Followers

Sunday, May 17, 2009

No Gay Gene

A publication from the American Psychological Association includes an admission that there is no "gay" gene, according to a doctor who has written about the issue on the website of National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality.

A. Dean Byrd, the past president of NARTH, confirmed that the statement from the American Psychological Association came in a brochure that updates what the APA has advocated for years.

Specifically, in a brochure that first came out about 1998, the APA stated: "There is considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person's sexuality."

However, in the update: a brochure now called, "Answers to Your Questions for a Better Understanding of Sexual Orientation & Homosexuality," the APA's position changed.

The new statement says: "There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles. ..."

"Although there is no mention of the research that influenced this new position statement, it is clear that efforts to 'prove' that homosexuality is simply a biological fait accompli have failed," Byrd wrote. "The activist researchers themselves have reluctantly reached that conclusion. There is no gay gene. There is no simple biological pathway to homosexuality."

Byrd said the APA's documents both new and old "have strong activist overtones," but the newer document "is more reflective of science and more consistent with the ethicality of psychological care."

"On the question of whether or not therapy can change sexual orientation, the former document offered a resounding 'no,'" Byrd wrote. "However, the current document is much more nuanced and contains the following statement: 'To date, there has been no scientifically adequate research to show that therapy (sometimes called reparative or conversion therapy) is safe or effective.'"

A spokesman for NARTH said the change in statements, although not new, is considered significant for the organization. The APA declined to return a WND call requesting comment.

Byrd questioned whether the APA now plans to study the effectiveness of a variety of therapies for homosexuality.

"Many are entirely without validation, yet practitioners regularly receive Continuing Education credits for teaching these same therapies through APA-approved courses. Perhaps it is time for APA to hold all therapies and all therapists to the standard which they advocate for reorientation therapy," he said.

But he wrote that the changes are substantial, with even a change in the APA's recommendations for additional information.

"Most intriguing are the recommended resources for further reading. The former brochure referred readers to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; to Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, and to Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), all activist groups," Byrd wrote. "The current brochure refers readers to the American Psychological Association, Mental Health America, and the American Academy of Pediatrics."

NARTH documents other evidence of a lack of a "gay" gene, too.

For example, Douglas Abbott, a University of Nebraska professor, concluded, "If homosexuality was caused by genetic mechanisms, their children would be more likely to choose same-sex interaction. But they aren't more likely, so therefore it can't be genetic."

Read more here.

No comments: