“I don’t believe that your sexual preferences are a choice for a vast and enormous majority of the people. The bottom line is I believe that sexual preference is something people are born with.” ~ Sen. Marco Rubio, April 19, 2015
Marco Rubio has become the latest GOP presidential candidate to stumble badly over the issue of homosexuality. Sen. Rand Paul hurt himself by saying that gay “marriage” is okay, as long as it’s a matter of private contract, a view which will satisfy no one.
Dr. Ben Carson hurt himself by asserting that people do change their sexual orientation (correctly using prison as an example) and then retreating under fire and promising never to talk about homosexuality again.
Sen. Rubio is now the victim of a self-inflicted wound, by saying something that is politically correct but scientifically, medically and genetically wrong. Our public policy on homosexuality should be based on the best in scientific research, and Sen. Rubio’s position isn’t.
As I have written before, it’s time to send the “born that way” myth to the graveyard of misbegotten ideas, buried in the plot next to the myth that the sun revolves around the earth.
Psychiatrists William Byne and Bruce Parsons wrote in Archives of General Psychiatry (March 1993) that, “Critical review shows the evidence favoring a biologic theory to be lacking … In fact, the current trend may be to underrate the explanatory power of extant psychosocial models.” In other words, nurture plays a greater role in sexual preference than homosexual activists want you to believe.
As Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council points out, rigorous studies of identical twins have now made it impossible to argue seriously for the theory of genetic determination. If homosexuality were fixed at birth, as the misguided thinking of homosexual activists goes, then if one twin is homosexual, the other should be as well. The “concordance rate” should be 100%.
But it’s not. One early proponent of the “born that way” thesis, Michael Bailey, conducted a study on a large sample of Australian twins and discovered to his chagrin that the concordance rate was just 11%.
Peter Bearman and Hannah Bruckner, researchers from Columbia and Yale respectively, looked at data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and found concordance rates of just 6.7% for male and 5.3% for female identical twins.
They determined that social environment was of far greater significance, and their research led them to reject “genetic influence independent of social context” as an explanation for homosexuality. They concluded, “..[O]ur results support the hypothesis that less gendered socialization in early childhood and preadolescence shapes subsequent same-sex romantic preferences.” In other words, post-birth experiences shape sexual orientation, not genes.
Bearman’s and Bruckner’s research is born out by no less than eight major studies of identical twins in the U.S., Scandinavia and Australia over the last two decades. They all arrive at the same conclusion: gays aren’t born that way.
As Sprigg observes, “If it was not clear in the 1990’s, it certainly is now -- no one is ‘born gay.’”
Strikingly, honest homosexuals agree. In an astonishing column published in the winger-left publication, “The Atlantic,” openly “queer woman” (her words) Lindsay Miller says flatly, “In direct opposition to both the mainstream gay movement and Lady Gaga, I would like to state for the record that I was not born this way.”
Tellingly, she argues that saying people are “born this way” is a form of condescension, and she resents it mightily. “I get frustrated with the veiled condescension of straight people who believe that queers ‘can’t help it,’ and thus should be treated with tolerance and pity.”
Ms. Miller concludes her piece by saying, “The life I have now is not something I ended up with because I had no other options. Make no mistake -- it’s a life I chose.”
The implications, of course, of this simple truth are far-reaching. If homosexual behavior is a choice, then our public policy can freely be shaped by an honest look at whether this behavioral choice is healthy and should be encouraged or unhealthy and dangerous and consequently discouraged.
The elevated health risks associated with homosexuality are by now so well established that not even homosexuals pretend otherwise. The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association warns that active homosexuals are at elevated risks of HIV/AIDS, substance and alcohol abuse, depression and anxiety, hepatitis, a whole range of STDs such as syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, pubic lice, Human Papilloma Virus, and anal papilloma, and prostate, testicular and colon cancer.
Bottom line: this is not behavior that any rational society should condone, endorse, subsidize, reward, promote or sanction in domestic policy or in the marketplace. It’s a choice, and a bad one at that. It’s long past time for our culture - and our presidential candidates - to say a simple and direct “No” to homosexuality and the homosexual agenda.
Social conservatives need and deserve a candidate who will base his social policy agenda on genetics, science, biology, the best in health research, and on biblical morality. Sen. Rubio has failed that test.