How politics have skewed the debate over the biological causes of homosexuality.
Recent findings by scientists suggest that homosexuality is an inborn trait. Simon LeVay, a neuroscientist with the Salk Institute of La Jolla, California, found the area of the hypothalamus that allegedly governs sexual activity tobe smaller in homosexual men than in heterosexual ones. (The brains of 41 cadavers were studied by LeVay, 19 of which had belonged to homosexuals.)
On the heels of LeVay’s work came the findings of psychologist Michael Bailey, a gay-rights advocate, and psychiatrist Richard Pillard, who, like LeVay, identifies himself as homosexual. Published in December 1991, Bailey and Pillard’s research with identical twins (who have identical genetic codes) and fraternal twins (whose genetic codes differ) showed that if one identical twin is homosexual, the other’s chances of being homosexual are three times higher than among fraternal twins. This, they say, suggests a link between homosexuality and genetics.
Predictably, this has been grist for the media mill. Although the researchers themselves show some restraint in their claims (LeVay admits his findings do not establish “cause and effect”), the press has not always been as careful. Major talk shows and news articles have used the research to take the argument a step further, not only telling us homosexuality is probably inborn, but also that our views on the subject should be modified. The argument goes something like this: Homosexuals are born that way, which means homosexuality is a normal condition. What is normal cannot be immoral. Therefore, prohibitions against homosexuality make no sense.
Many Christians, especially those of us involved in ministry to homosexuals, react ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more