The argument is simple enough. If a person is born a certain way, who are we to judge what they are and how they act? A person born with black skin is that way because of his or her genes, but there is no behavior associated with skin color. Skin color is a benign genetic trait like hair color.
We’ve been told that homosexuality is gene-directed. A person’s DNA determines sexual attraction and identity even though the sexual organs in same-sex relationships do not line up with the genetic makeup of people of the same sex. The sexual “equipment” don’t fit.
One would think that sexual normalcy would coincide with sexual reproduction. It’s a rational and scientific judgment to make. Homosexuality stops the transfer of DNA to a new generation. One would think that science alone would be enough to conclude that same-sex sex is genetically counterproductive and therefore abnormal.
One way to test a hypothesis is to find similar test subjects. Twin studies have frequently been used to test genetic theories. The latest twin studies regarding homosexuality are giving more evidence that homosexuality is not DNA determined.
“Eight major studies of identical twins in Australia, the U.S., and Scandinavia during the last two decades all arrive at the same conclusion: gays were not born that way. . . .
“Identical twins have the same genes or DNA. They are nurtured in equal prenatal conditions. If homosexuality is caused by genetics or prenatal conditions and one twin is gay, the co-twin should also be gay.
“‘Because they have identical DNA, it ought to be 100%,’ Dr. [Neil] Whitehead notes. But the studies reveal something else. ‘If an identical twin has same-sex attraction the chances the co-twin has it are only about 11% for men and 14% for women.’
“Because identical twins are always genetically identical, homosexuality cannot be genetically dictated. ‘No-one is born gay,’ he notes. ‘The predominant things that create homosexuality in one identical twin and not in the other have to be post-birth factors.’”
I know two sets of twins where this is true. Of course, my sample is very small, but it is an indication that DNA is not the predominate factor in the sexual choices people make.
But let’s assume that DNA does determine sexual preference. What if a case could be made that DNA determines if a person has sexual desires for children? Would this then mean that the ensuing behavior would have to be legitimized by state legislatures and anti-discrimination laws would be put in place?
Where do we stop with DNA-determined behavior? Why are some DNA-determined behaviors good and others bad? Consider the following and ask yourself this question: Why are scientists working to overcome these genetic irregularities but not homosexuality which is genetically counter productive?:
- “Scientists say they have found a gene that predicts whether prostate cancer will develop into its most lethal form.”
- “A research team at two Mideast universities has developed a new way to genetically alter cells in living mice; offering new possibilities in the war against cancer and other diseases.”
- “Some of us, it seems, were just born to be bad. Scientists say they are on the verge of pinning down genetic and biochemical abnormalities that predispose their bearers to violence. An article in the journal Science . . . carried the headline EVIDENCE FOUND FOR POSSIBLE ‘AGGRESSION’ GENE.”1
- “Apparently healthy men with normal weight and cholesterol levels are at three times higher risk of a heart attack if they have a common variation of a particular gene, researchers say.”2
- “Salk Institute scientists say they have uncovered a gene that triggers certain forms of Leukemia, a discovery that may lead to the development of a screening test within the next few months.”3
- “Researchers have found a brain chemical that boosts the craving for fat—and a way to block it without affecting the appetite for healthier foods.”4
- “Why do gamblers often bet more after a losing hand? Or investors throw good money after bad? The answer may lie in the science of the brain.”5
- “Is racism simply human nature or something learned from society? Neither, says a team of psychologists who, despite criticism, argue that racism represents an accidental side effect of evolution.”6
So even if genetics is the determining factor among people who engage in same-sex sex, this would not mean that the behavior is either genetically normal or a candidate for special legal protection.
- Dennis Overbye, “Born to Raise Hell?,” Time (February 21, 1994), 76 [↩]
- Amanda Huted, “Gene variant could mean higher risk of heart attack,” Atlanta Journal/Constitution (October 15, 1992), C3. [↩]
- “Gene discovery could lead to leukemia screening test,” Atlanta Journal/Constitution (October 3, 1992), E8. [↩]
- Tim Friend, “Brain chemical may feed craving for fat,” USA Today (October 29, 1992), 1A. [↩]
- Faye Flam, “Study: Reckless gambler, blame your brain,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (March 22, 2002), A18. [↩]
- Dan Vergano, “Racism may have evolutionary link,” USA Today (December 11, 2001), 11. [↩]