Archive Picks

More from 2007

Re-engineering Temptation

Fuzzy science sparks debate over treatments to reverse homosexuality.
2007This article is part of CT's digital archives. Subscribers have access to all current and past issues, dating back to 1956.

What if scientists proved that certain people have a biological bent toward homosexuality? And what if they developed a treatment that reversed that orientation? Christians need to have answers ready, said ethicist Nigel Cameron. Already, theologian Al Mohler's response to theories recently tossed about in the media has ignited a debate among Christian leaders.

The story begins at the Oregon Health and Science University, where Charles Roselli studies homosexual sheep (about 8 percent of rams are gay). His research, now more than five years old, has confirmed a link between brain chemistry and sexual preference. But his data does not indicate whether chemistry or preference comes first.

News outlets have reported on Roselli's work with various degrees of accuracy. Last December, for example, the London Times erroneously reported that scientists were attempting to change the sexuality of sheep and that their research could result in medical therapy to change gay humans. The Times retracted the story, but not before other outlets picked it up, and it ended up on the desk of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Al Mohler.

"If a biological basis is found, and if a prenatal test is then developed, and if a successful treatment to reverse the sexual orientation to heterosexual is ever developed," Mohler wrote on his blog, "we would support its use as we should unapologetically support the use of any appropriate means to avoid sexual temptation and the inevitable effects of sin."

Mohler told CT that he is not calling for genetic therapy, but would be open to a hormonal treatment. He said Christians should support treatments that would spare a child from a lifetime of struggle. "The idea that whatever God makes in the womb ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

May
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
More from this IssueRead This Issue
Read These Next
close