Spontaneous Change in Sexual Orientation: It Does Happen!


Spontaneous Change in Sexual Orientation: It Does Happen!

James R. Aist

(Note: Numbers in parentheses refer to references listed at the end of the article)

Introduction

Pro-gay activists are doing their best to deny that therapy and counseling for people with unwanted homosexuality can be effective. This is not because it can’t be effective (it can), but because to admit that it can be effective would undercut the goal of the “gay agenda” to convince the heterosexual majority that homosexual people are “born gay” and, therefore, cannot change. But the fact is that not only can therapy and counseling be effective in helping people diminish or remove homosexuality from their lives, such change often occurs spontaneously, without any intervention being necessary or even attempted; it just happens.

The Details

A huge amount of information on this topic has been reviewed and summarized by Whitehead and Whitehead (1), which I will excerpt as follows:

Large studies now show that…

For adolescents:

[The following points were derived by Whitehead and Whitehead (1) from the data files used by Savin-Williams and Ream (2).]

  • Most teenagers who identify as homosexual will change from same-sex attraction. In fact, in the 16 to 17 year age group, 98% who identified initially (at age 16) as homosexual or bi-sexual had moved towards heterosexuality one year later, at age 17;
  • 16 year olds saying they are same-sex attracted or bi-sex attracted are 25 times more likely to say they are opposite sex attracted at the age of 17 than those with a heterosexual orientation are likely to identify themselves as bi-sexual or homosexual; and
  • 16-year olds who claim they are opposite sex attracted will overwhelmingly remain that way.

For adults:

  • About half of those with exclusive same-sex attraction move towards heterosexuality over a lifetime. Put another way, 3% of the practicing heterosexual population (both men and women) claim to have once been either bisexual or homosexual;
  • These changes are not therapeutically induced, but happen “naturally” in life, some very quickly;
  • The vast majority of changes in sexual orientation are towards exclusive heterosexuality;
  • The number of people at any point in time who have changed spontaneously towards exclusive opposite sex attraction are greater than the number of bisexuals and exclusive same-sex attraction people combined. In other words, “Ex-gays outnumber actual gays”; and
  • Exclusive opposite sex attraction is 17 times as stable as exclusive same-sex attraction for men, and 30 times as stable as exclusive same-sex attraction for women. (Women are known to be more fluid in their sexual orientation than are men.)

Additionally, Sorba (3) has documented numerous examples of adult celebrities and homosexuality advocates who have spontaneously changed from homosexual to heterosexual. These include celebrities such as pop star Sinead O’Connor, actress Ann Heche, gay activist/author Jan Clausen and gay activist Williams (Bro) Broberg. Furthermore, at least six specific examples of adults who changed sexual orientation spontaneously, without therapy or counseling, have been documented by NARTH (4). These documented examples of spontaneous changes demonstrate the considerable fluidity that exists in sexual orientation for many individuals, even in adulthood.

Conclusions

Sexual orientation is often fluid, not fixed, and change sometimes occurs spontaneously, without formal intervention of any kind. The vast majority of spontaneous change in sexual orientation is from homosexual to heterosexual. In fact, it can be accurately stated that ex-gays outnumber actual gays at any given time. These documented facts demonstrate that at least a considerable number of homosexuals are not “born gay.” And they lend credence to the many reports that therapy and counseling for unwanted homosexuality can be effective: since sexual orientation sometimes changes spontaneously, it follows that formal efforts to assist an individual with unwanted homosexuality would, indeed, be quite effective, and they can be (click HERE)

References Cited:

1. Whitehead, N. and B. Whitehead. 2016. My Genes Made Me Do It! – Homosexuality and the Scientific Evidence. Chapter 12. Can sexual orientation change? (click HERE)

2. Savin-Williams, R., and G. Ream. 2007. Prevalence and Stability of Sexual Orientation Components During Adolescence and Young Adulthood. Archives of Sexual Behavior 36:385-394.

3. Sorba, R. 2007. The Born Gay Hoax. (click HERE)

4. NARTH, 2012. 7) Spontaneous or Adventitious Change of Sexual Orientation. (click HERE)

(For more articles on HOMOSEXUALITY, click HERE)

Homosexuality: Good News!

Español: Intercambio de anillos entre los novios

Successful Therapy and Counseling for Dissatisfied Homosexuals

by James R. Aist

(Note: the numbers in parentheses refer to specific references listed at the end of the article)

“Numerous studies have shown that both religiously and secularly mediated change in sexual orientation occurs in highly motivated, dissatisfied homosexuals at success rates of around 25%-30%, which is comparable to the success rates generally achieved by therapists and counselors for treatment of psychological disorders and behavioral problems, such as alcoholism.”

Same-sex Attractions

Same-sex attractions are powerful temptations, but biblically speaking, they are not sins. To have such attractions is akin to a married heterosexual man having opposite-sex attractions to women other than his wife. These attractions are, in effect, temptations to sin and nothing more; they are not sin, although they would lead to sin if acted upon. Apparently, same-sex attractions are not something that most homosexuals choose initially. Rather, they usually seem to occur initially in homosexual persons without their volition or intent. This is an important distinction that Christians need to be aware of. The Bible condemns homosexual sex acts, but it does not condemn the initial experience of being tempted by same-sex attractions. If the Bible did condemn the experience of being tempted, then Jesus would not have been without sin, would He?

Furthermore, Jesus said “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28). Thus, “acting” on either opposite-sex or same-sex attractions includes “looking lustfully” as well as the physical, sexual act itself; both are sin, and, as such, they are to be renounced, resisted and repented.

And finally, same-sex attractions are not of God; they are of the devil and are evil, as are all temptations to sin (click HERE). There is nothing good about either same-sex attractions or the practice of homosexuality in any context.

Homosexuality and Choice

There seems to be some consensus that homosexual people do not choose to have the initial same-sex attractions and sexual feelings that they experience, but that doesn’t mean that living a homosexual life-style does not involve choices. Once that first same-sex attraction is encountered, homosexual people have a choice as to whether or not to act on their same-sex attractions and sexual feelings every time they experience them. Bi-sexual people make a choice every time they choose to engage in homosexual sex rather than heterosexual sex. Heterosexual people who are married with children and then forsake their marriage and children for a homosexual relationship have made a choice to do so. The fluidity in sexual orientation found especially in lesbians, but also in gays, speaks to the choice of sexual orientation available to many, if not most, homosexual people. And where there is choice there is also the potential for change.

The Bad News

Someone once said, “Without bad news, we would not be able to recognize good news when we hear it!” In this series of articles on homosexuality, I have bad news and good news to share. My previous posts on homosexuality focused mainly on the bad news for homosexual people. Namely, that homosexual behavior is wrong in the eyes of God and, if not given up, will disqualify from heaven those who persist in it . The same bad news is just as real, of course, for all sinners, not just those practicing homosexuality.

The Best Good News

The best good news for all of us, whether we are homosexual people or heterosexual people, is that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God that brings salvation to all who will believe in Him (Romans 1:16; John 3:16), confess their sins and repent of them (I John 1:9; Matthew 4:17), and accept Him as their Lord and Savior (Acts 16:31), trusting in His finished work on the cross (1 Peter 2:24) to qualify them for heaven. This is God’s one and only plan to reconcile mankind to Himself — there is no other path to God (John 14:6; Acts 4:12) — and He is the only one who can establish the ground rules, because “Salvation belongs to our God…” (Revelation 7:10). God wants to save you (Matthew 18:14)! So, if you have not yet allowed God to save you, then you may want to re-think that; right now would be a good time.

Change in Sexual Orientation

Introduction

At least for many dissatisfied homosexual people, it is possible to make a substantial and meaningful change in sexual orientation from homosexuality to heterosexuality. Change in sexual orientation can be measured in terms of sexual behavior, same-sex attraction (SSA) and/or sexual fantasies. Homosexuality advocates claim that, unless such change includes the complete elimination of same-sex attractions, the homosexual person is still homosexual and the efforts to change were completely unsuccessful. That is an unwarranted claim that defies logic and reason (click HERE). While examples of such a complete change — from homosexual to heterosexual — are in the minority, they do exist (4). More commonly, successful efforts to change one’s sexual orientation result in a major shift from homosexual to heterosexual in one or more of the indicators of sexual orientation. Many studies have reported that people have been able to achieve a complete conversion from exclusively homosexual to exclusively heterosexual behavior. Some studies have reported a major shift as well in SSA and/or sexual fantasies (4). While most of these individuals have not experienced a 100% reversal in all aspects of sexual orientation, they have achieved substantial and meaningful changes in their sexual orientation that enable them to live celibate or exclusively heterosexual lifestyles that satisfy their personal goals. For the originally dissatisfied homosexual person, that is real, substantial and meaningful change, the unwarranted objections of homosexuality advocates notwithstanding.

For the most part, sexual orientation research has relied on questionnaires, surveys and reviews of selected published results, all of which have been widely used and accepted  research approaches, despite the fact that they rely on an “honor system” of honesty and objectivity in reporting by both the professional clinicians and researchers on the one hand and by the clients or subjects on the other (4). While such information cannot be as scientifically rigorous and definitive as one might prefer, it remains the best kind of information available for this area of study. For homosexuality advocates to selectively and summarily dismiss the entire body of evidence concerning sexual orientation change, because of this potential for subjective bias (i.e., wholesale lying on the part of those conducting and/or participating in the studies), is slanderous, hypocritical and contrary to the professional standards currently in use for research of this nature (4). That said, let’s have a look now at some of the substantial body of evidence indicating that sexual orientation can change from homosexual to heterosexual.

Spontaneous or Adventitious Change

This kind of change in sexual orientation comes about without any intervention being necessary; it just happens. A huge amount of information on this topic has been reviewed and summarized by Whitehead and Whitehead (1) as follows: Large studies now show that…

 For adults:

• About half of those with exclusive same-sex attraction move towards heterosexuality over a lifetime. Put another way, 3% of the practicing heterosexual population (both men and women) claim to have once been either bisexual or homosexual.

• These changes are not therapeutically induced, but happen “naturally” in life, some very quickly.

• Most changes in sexual orientation are towards exclusive heterosexuality.

• Numbers of people who have changed towards exclusive opposite sex attraction are greater than current numbers of bisexuals and exclusive same-sex attraction people combined. In other words, “Ex-gays outnumber actual gays.”

• Exclusive opposite sex attraction is 17 times as stable as exclusive same-sex attraction for men, and 30 times as stable as exclusive same-sex attraction for women. (Women move about more in their sexual orientation than men.)

Additionally, Sorba (17) has documented numerous examples of adult celebrities and homosexuality advocates who have spontaneously changed from homosexual to heterosexual. These include celebrities such as pop star Sinead O’Connor, actress Ann Heche, gay activist/author Jan Clausen and gay activist Williams (Bro) Broberg. Furthermore, at least six specific examples of adults who changed sexual orientation spontaneously, without therapy or counseling, have been documented by NARTH (2). These documented examples of spontaneous changes demonstrate the considerable fluidity that exists in sexual orientation for many individuals, even in adulthood.

For adolescents:

The following points were derived by Whitehead and Whitehead (1) from the data published by Savin-Willians and Ream (21).

• Most teenagers will change from same-sex attraction. In fact, in the 16 to 17 year age group, 98%  who identify initially as homosexual or bi-sexual will move towards heterosexuality.

• 16 year olds saying they are same-sex attracted or bi-sex attracted are 25 times more likely to say they are opposite sex attracted at the age of 17 than those with a heterosexual orientation are likely to identify themselves as bi-sexual or homosexual.

• 16-year olds who claim they are opposite sex attracted will overwhelmingly remain that way.

Religiously Mediated Change

The God of the Bible wants to change homosexual people Himself, through the “name” (i.e., the power and authority) of Jesus Christ, as recorded in the Bible (I Corinthians 6:9-11)! Interestingly, this is probably the first-ever published report of homosexual transformations. Now, Paul was well aware that the condition of homosexuality has two aspects: 1) same-sex attractions (SSA), which he referred to as “shameful lusts” and “inflamed with lust for one another” (Romans 1:26-27); and 2) the practice of homosexuality (Romans 1:26-27 and 1 Corinthians 6:9). Thus, when Paul states “…that is what some of you were”. But you were washed…” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11), he is not just speaking about the abandoning of homosexual practice (celibacy), but also the cessation of SSA. On the other hand, Paul did not say whether or not these particular transformed homosexual people became heterosexual. Moreover, Jesus himself wants homosexual people to be changed, else why would these Corinthian homosexual people have been changed through His power and authority? Jesus did not come to save us and our sins, but to save us from our sins.

More recent examples exist of religiously mediated change from a homosexual to a heterosexual orientation (3, 4). Here are some specifics of one of these studies. Pattison and Pattison (5) studied 11 men who changed from exclusive and active homosexuality to exclusive or almost exclusive heterosexuality after converting to Christianity in a Pentecostal church fellowship. On the Kinsey 7-point sexual orientation scale, all subjects manifested major before-after changes. Eight of the 11 subjects became exclusively heterosexual. Although the men participated in prayer groups with heterosexual men and women, no effort was made to effect the change of sexual orientation. NARTH (6) has listed 24 autobiographies and 14 case histories of homosexual people who have undergone religiously mediated change from homosexual to heterosexual. Jones and Yarhouse (7) conducted a study that was designed to meet high standards of empirical vigor and is perhaps the best publication to date in this regard. They studied 61 subjects who completed the study, which included six independent assessments over a total time span of 6-7 years. Standardized, respected measures of sexual orientation were used. Of the 61 subjects, 23% reported successful conversion to heterosexual orientation and functioning, while another 30% reported stable behavioral chastity with substantive dis-identification with homosexual orientation. Moreover, there was a statistically significant increase of heterosexual attraction. The authors concluded that their results demonstrate meaningful shifts along a continuum that constitute real changes for some of the subjects. (See also “Combined Surveys of Religiously and Secularly Mediated Change“, below.)

For comparison, a success rate of around 25%-30% is generally achieved by therapists and counselors for psychological disorders and behavioral problems, such as alcoholism (1, 18, 19).

Restored Hope Network is a membership-governed network dedicated to restoring hope to those broken by sexual and relational sin, especially those impacted by homosexuality. They proclaim that Jesus Christ has life changing power for all who submit to Christ as Lord; they also seek to equip the church to impart that transformation. Their website (click HERE) is able to connect many with a nearby ministry that will offer help in overcoming homosexuality. Also, P.A.T.H. (click HERE) has a list of religious and secular organizations and ministries offering help for dissatisfied homosexuals seeking change (NOTE: I do not recommend Exodus International). I can also recommend two online resources that will enable almost anyone, anywhere, to obtain Christ-centered help in overcoming unwanted homosexuality: Taking Back Ground (click HERE)  and  Reach Truth (click HERE).

Secularly Mediated Change

A comprehensive history of this topic was published by Phelan, et al. (4). Many professional therapists have reported the clinical results of their own efforts to help dissatisfied homosexuals to change. The results presented by Socarides (18) seem to be representative of successful treatment therapy. Out of around 1,000 dissatisfied male homosexuals, about 35% became heterosexual (able to have complete, satisfactory sex with a woman and develop the capacity to really love her). Another 31% were able to control previously uncontrollable impulses toward same-sex sex (abstinence). The remaining 34% discontinued treatment for various reasons.

Satinover (19) compiled the results of nine outcome studies of clinical results reported in the 1950s through the 1980s. Out of a total of 341 dissatisfied homosexuals treated, success rates varied from 27% to 100%, where success was defined “as considerable to complete change.” In these reports, the average success rate was 52%. A range of reported success rates often reflects varying degrees of success with different therapy approaches; some approaches are more effective than others.

Individual therapists have also reported long-term success in homosexual to heterosexual changes. Masters and Johnson (8) reported that 71.6% of their transformed homosexual subjects were still heterosexual after five years (when the study was terminated), indicating that these sexual orientation transformations represented long-term changes. Mayerson and Lief (20) found that 47% of their patients were functioning heterosexually after a mean follow-up period of four and a half years. And some transformed homosexuals were reported to have remained exclusively heterosexual for as long as 20 years (9)!

Surveys and meta-analyses also show the reality of secularly mediated change. Bieber et al. (10) is a good example. Out of 106 homosexual men in the studies they reviewed, 35 (33%) changed to exclusively heterosexual. And in a follow-up study conducted three years later on 15 of these formerly exclusively homosexual men (all those for whom data could be reclaimed), Socarides (18) found that 12 (80%) had remained exclusively heterosexual. Clippinger (11) reported similar results from 12 independent studies. Of 785 patients, 307 (38%) were “cured” (i.e., changed from homosexual to heterosexual). Goetze (12) conducted a carefully designed meta-analysis of the results of 17 studies. He determined Kinsey ratings before and after therapy and obtained follow-up information. Of 396 subjects who were exclusively or predominately homosexual, 283 (71.5%) experienced a partial shift in sexual orientation, 69 (17.4%) acquired heterosexual behavior and 44 (11.1%) experienced a full shift to heterosexual orientation. Thus, 28.5% (17.4% + 11.1%) became exclusively or predominately heterosexual.

Again, a success rate of around 25%-30% is generally achieved by therapists and counselors for psychological disorders and behavioral problems, such as alcoholism (1, 18, 19).

The National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (click HERE)) is a professional, scientific organization that offers hope to those who struggle with unwanted homosexuality. They have extensive published resources available and can provide referrals to treatment programs and professional, experienced therapists who also can provide compassionate guidance and support to help dissatisfied homosexual people in their journey out of homosexuality.

Combined Surveys of Religiously and Secularly Mediated Change

Nicolosi et al. (13) published an analysis of 882 subjects who were dissatisfied with their homosexuality, 726 of whom had received therapy from professional therapists or pastoral counselors, while the other 156 underwent “self help.” Of the total of 882, 45.4% of the exclusively homosexual subjects reported major changes in their sexual orientation, whereas, 35.1% of all participants were unsuccessful in making significant progress. The subjects who were successful reported statistically significant reductions in the frequency of homosexual thoughts and fantasies, indicating that for many, the conversion was comprehensive in nature, not just in sexual behavior.

Three years later, Spitzer (14) published the results of a questionnaire survey by telephone of 200 self-volunteering individuals who reported at least some minimal change from homosexual to heterosexual that lasted at least 5 years (thus, this is a quasi-5-year longitudinal study; his phone interviews were a kind of 5-year follow-up). He looked at not only homosexual behavior, but also same-sex attraction, sexual fantasy and same-sex yearning. The majority of participants gave reports of change from a predominantly or exclusively homosexual orientation before therapy to a predominately or exclusively heterosexual orientation in the past year (i.e., 4-5 years later). Reports of complete change (including all measures of homosexuality) did occur, but they were uncommon (4). Female participants reported significantly more change than did male participants. For many stated reasons, it was concluded that the participants self reports were largely credible and that few of the participants elaborated self-deceptive narratives or lied.

N.B.– Nine years after this study was published, Spitzer reassessed his conclusions (15), stating that there was no convincing way to judge the credibility of the subject reports (Note that the New York State Psychiatric Institutional Review Board had reviewed and approved the study protocol in advance). Armelli et al. (16) responded to Spitzer’s disclaimer, pointing out that every other psychology study using self-report measures has the same limitation, yet those authors do not disavow their findings, but simply state the limitation as part of the data. This response goes on to suggest that Spitzer may have published his disclaimer because he had become convinced that his results may have caused some homosexual people to feel hurt by them. They conclude by pointing out that “One can apologize for the consequences of a study, but one cannot undo the evidentiary data. Well intentioned sentiments cannot undo facts.” In other words, Spitzer’s 2003 study stands on its own merit, which, based on the generally accepted standards for this kind of research, remains intact.

For Parents of Children Who Say They Are Gay

Christian parents who find themselves in this situation should be aware of the following encouraging facts: 1) the vast majority of teens up to 16 years of age who have identified themselves as homosexual will self-identify as heterosexual by the age of 17; 2) God is still in the transformation business, and that includes transforming homosexuals into heterosexuals; and 3) Numerous studies have shown that both religiously and secularly mediated change in sexual orientation occurs in highly motivated, dissatisfied homosexuals at success rates of around 25%-30%, which is comparable to the success rates generally achieved by therapists and counselors for treatment of psychological disorders and behavioral problems, such as alcoholism. I highly recommend the following article on how to respond when your child says he’s gay (click HERE).

Summary and Conclusions

The first recorded account of homosexual people being changed is found in the Bible: “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified,you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-12, with Romans 1:26-27). From these verses we can see that both God the Father and His Son, Jesus, want to change the sexual orientation of homosexual people, and that they can do it (click HERE) ). So, if you are a born-again, homosexual Christian, do not hesitate to seek God’s help to change your sexual orientation; He is still in the healing business.

A spontaneous shift in sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual is by far the most common change that occurs in sexual orientation. Numerous studies have shown that both religiously and secularly mediated change in sexual orientation occurs in highly motivated, dissatisfied homosexuals at a rate that is at least comparable to the success rates generally achieved by therapists and counselors for other behavioral problems. And many studies have found that, for the most part, these are long-range, stable shifts in sexual orientation.

On the other hand, these intervention approaches are unsuccessful in about one-third of individuals who attempt to change their sexual orientation. Moreover, some who have achieved an initial change in sexual orientation eventually slip back into homosexual behaviors. These failures should not discourage dissatisfied homosexuals from seeking help to change, because, for many, this has clearly been a viable option to giving up and giving in to homosexual desires. The degree of change that has been achieved ranges from complete reversal of homosexual orientation, to reversal of sexual behavior from homosexual to heterosexual, to freedom from compulsive homosexual behavior (celibacy). These changes represent real, meaningful and stable changes in the lives of thousands of former dissatisfied homosexuals. Don’t let homosexuality advocates fool you into believing that change is impossible; the facts of the matter prove otherwise.

(For more of my articles on HOMOSEXUALITY, click HERE)

References Cited:

1. Whitehead, N. and B. Whitehead. 2016. My Genes Made Me Do It! – Homosexuality and the Scientific Evidence. Chapter 12. Can sexual orientation change? (click HERE)

2. NARTH, 2012. 7) Spontaneous or Adventitious Change of Sexual Orientation. (click HERE)

3. NARTH, 2012. 6) Religiously Mediated Change. (click HERE)

4. Phelan, J.E., N. Whitehead and P.M. Sutton. 2009. What Research Shows: NARTH’S Response to the APA Claims on Homosexuality. Journal of Human Sexuality, Volume 1, Pages 9-39. (click HERE)

5. Pattison, E.M. and M.L. Pattison. 1980. “Ex-Gays”: Religiously Mediated Change in Homosexuals. American Journal of Psychiatry 137:1553-1562.

6. NARTH. 2012. Autobiographies of Religiously Mediated Change. (click HERE)

7. Jones, S. L. and M.A. Yarhouse. 2011. A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Sexual Orientation Change. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 37:404-427.

8. Masters, W. H. and V. E. Johnson. 1979. Homosexuality in Perspective. Little, Brown & Co., Boston.

9. Bieber, I. and T.B. Bieber. 1979. Male Homosexuality. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 24: 409-421.

10. Bieber, I., et al. 1962. Homosexuality: A Psychoanalytic Study of Male Homosexuals. Basic Books, New York.

11. Clippinger, J. 1974. Homosexuality can be cured. Corrective and Social Psychiatry and Journal of Behavior Technology Methods and Therapy. 21:15-28.

12. Goetze, R. 1997. Homosexuality and the Possibility of Change: A Review of 17 Published Studies. Toronto Canada: New Directions for Life.

13. Nicolosi, J., A.D. Byrd, and R.W. Potts. 2000. Retrospective Self-Reports of Change in Homosexual Orientation: A consumer Survey of Conversion Therapy Clients. Psychological Reports 86:1071-1088.

14. Spitzer, R.L. 2003. Can Some Gay Men and Lesbians Change Their Sexual Orientation? 200 Participants Reporting a change from Homosexual to Heterosexual Orientation. Archives of Sexual Behavior 32:403-417.

15. Spitzer, R.L. 2012. Spitzer Reassesses His 2003 Study of reparative Therapy of Homosexuality. Archives of Sexual Behavior 41:757.

16. Armelli, J.A., E.L. Moose, A. Paulk and J.E. Phelan. 2012. A Response to Spitzer’s (2012) Reassessment of His 2003 Study of reparative Therapy of Homosexuality. Archives of Sexual Behavior 41 (19 October).

17. Sorba, R. 2007. The Born Gay Hoax. (click HERE)

18. Socarides, C.W. 1995. Homosexuality: A Freedom Too Far. Adam Margrave Books, Phoenix AZ.

19. Satinover, J. 1996. Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth. Hamewith Books/Baker Books, Grand Rapids MI.

20. Mayerson, P., and Lief, H. 1965. Psychotherapy of homosexuals: a follow-up study. In, Sexual Inversion: The Multiple Roots of Homosexuality, ed. J. Marmor. New York: Basic Books.

21. Savin-Williams, R., and G. Ream. 2007. Prevalence and Stability of Sexual Orientation Components During Adolescence and Young Adulthood. Archives of Sexual Behavior 36:385-394.

Are Homosexual People Really “Born Gay”?

Born GayAre Homosexual People Really “Born Gay”?

James R. Aist

(Note: the numbers in parentheses refer to specific references listed at the end of the article)

Introduction

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”  — Joseph Goebbels

Since the early 1970s, homosexual people have increasingly claimed that they were “born gay” (1, 27) and that, therefore, they could not change even if they wanted to. In 1976, 9% reportedly claimed to be born gay, the figure increased to 35% by 1989, and by 2004, in one gay community, more than 90% of gays reported that they believe genes are a significant factor in their orientation— which would suggest a ten-fold increase in 28 years. By repeating this claim over and over again for decades now, gay activists have managed to win over a large percentage of heterosexual “believers” to their cause, without any substantial basis in fact to validate the claim that they were “born that way.” “Born gay” is, in fact, a hoax of mammoth proportions that has been accepted by many institutions, organizations and individuals in our culture, even by those in the “Christian church” and even by many apparently “born-again Christians” (1). Therefore, it is necessary to examine carefully the facts concerning the origins and development of homosexuality to see if there is any truth at all to the “born gay” claim. Most of the relevant information can be grouped into three main categories: biological theories, cultural influences, and social and environmental influences. The critical question is whether homosexuality is already determined at birth by biological factors and is immutable (unchangeable), or develops later as a result of post-natal experiences and influences, and is fluid (changeable). As you will see, the evidence strongly supports the view that homosexuality develops primarily as a result of post-natal experiences and influences, and is fluid (changeable); all pre-natal influences combined (including genetics, epi-genetics and hormones) have, at most, a weak and non-determinative role.

Biological Theories of Homosexuality

This research has focused primarily on possible genetic contributions to the development of homosexuality, but other potential biological factors, such as epi-genetics and pre-natal hormones, have received considerable attention as well and remain viable theories.

Gay Gene(s) Theory. Let’s first take a look at evidence for genetic causation of homosexuality. In this regard, it is important to note at the outset that if homosexuality were genetically determined (as opposed to merely being genetically influenced), it most likely would have been bred out of existence in only several generations. It would not exist today because homosexual behavior is a seriously deleterious trait that does not produce offspring.

According to the gene theory of homosexuality, male homosexuals have inherited one or more genes that predispose them to develop homosexuality later in life. Research in the early 1990s suggested the existence of “gay genes” in male homosexuals (31), but these results were not confirmed by other researchers attempting to duplicate the results (35). More powerful and sensitive approaches to finding gay genes have been developed since the 1990s and applied to the entire DNA compliment from large numbers of gay men. Again, different results were obtained by different researchers, some finding region(s) of human DNA that were linked specifically to male homosexuality (33), while others found no such linkages at all (34). Any one gene that would act so strongly as to determine homosexuality would have shown up in all of these newer analyses; thus, there is no single, determinant “gay gene” per se. But, it does appear that there may be several genes that each has a minor and indirect influence on the development of male homosexuality. Thus, it is now well documented that specific genes, although they may have an influence, do not determine (i.e., dictate) male sexual orientation (15,16,17). To date, there have been no reports of the existence of gay genes in lesbians.

Hormone theory: This theory postulates that atypical levels of prenatal steroids, such as testosterone, cause changes in the unborn child (e.g., changes in brain structure) that lead to the development of homosexuality later in life. According to this theory, during a critical stage of fetal development, exposure of a male fetus to a high level of testosterone would lead to typical heterosexual orientation, whereas exposure to a sufficiently lower level would lead to homosexuality. Female fetuses exposed to a high level of testosterone would later develop into lesbians (28). Support for this theory comes primarily from indirect evidence derived from animal studies, speculation based on hormone effects on other aspects of sexual differentiation in humans, brain studies that fail to show any significant changes in brain structure before the ages of 8-11 years old (32) and clinical conditions with significant prenatal hormone changes that are associated with increased incidences of homosexuality. Balthazart (28) concludes that “…this theory remains speculative (and is likely to remain unproven…)” due to the logistical and ethical impossibilities of conducting the necessary experiments on humans, as has been done in animals. Nonetheless, the theory does have merit, and hormones may very well have a minor influence on the development of homosexuality, perhaps in the 16%-27% range (39).

Epigenetics Theory: Epigenetics is a relatively new and vigorously investigated field of biological science that deals with the regulation of gene expression (production of proteins) in cells. The components of chromosomes that regulate genes are called “epi-marks.” These include such things as methylated DNA and variously modified histone proteins, but does not include changes in the DNA sequences themselves that code for specific proteins.

In 2012, Rice et al. (36) published a review article presenting a speculative and hypothetical model (theory) to explain the development of homosexuality in both male and female homosexuals. Their goal was to develop a model that would explain why 1) molecular studies have failed to conclusively identify “gay genes” and 2) concordance for homosexuality between identical twins is low (see following sections). The theory draws on research supporting the “hormone theory” (see above) as well as known properties and functions of epi-marks. The model would explain homosexuality on the basis of epi-mark-controlled prenatal testosterone (a sex hormone) levels, to the virtual exclusion of a role for either a strictly genetic influence or post-natal environmental influences.

Normally, epi-marks regulating sexual orientation are “erased” after they have produced the intended sexual development (i.e., heterosexual males and females). But, occasionally, a mistake is made, and the epi-mark is not erased but is, instead, passed on to the next generation. According to the model, when this mistake is made, epi-mark regulated testosterone overexposure in a female fetus would result in a masculinized female who will prefer females (a lesbian), whereas epi-mark regulated testosterone underexposure in a male fetus would result in a feminized male who will prefer males (a gay). The low concordance in twin studies would be explained not by a low-level genetic influence, as is usually assumed, but by the occasional passing of testosterone-enhancing epi-marks from father to daughter (creating a lesbian) and of testosterone-limiting epi-marks from mother to son (creating a gay man).

It is interesting to note that this model posits homosexuality as an aberrant accident of nature, in which normal prenatal development of a fetus produces the intended effect (heterosexuality), and abnormal prenatal development produces an unintended effect (homosexuality) by mistake. Abnormal prenatal development results when a mistake is made and an epi-mark in a parent is not erased, but is, instead, passed on to the offspring, where its effect (homosexuality) is seen in the subsequent generation. Thus, according to this theory, homosexuality is a mistake of nature.

Although this model is highly speculative and presently has very little, if any, direct experimental support, it does have merit as a scientific hypothesis, because 1) it would explain both male and female homosexuality, 2) it could explain the low concordance for homosexuality found in twin studies, 3) it seems to provide a feasible explanation for the long-term survival of a reproductively deleterious trait in the human population, and 4) it is, at least to some extent, testable. Only further research will determine whether or not this theory will join the many previous theories purporting to represent an almost exclusive influence on the development of homosexuality, all of which have failed.

Twin Studies Overview: As indicated above, most of the more recent research has focused on the degree to which genes, along with other prenatal factors such as hormones and epi-genetics, may influence the development of homosexuality. In this regard, the most conclusive and telling results have come from studies of “identical” twins (who both have virtually the exact same complement of genes). Although it is commonly assumed that twin studies reveal the influence of genes per se on a trait or behavior, the results of such studies have the unique advantage of reflecting, in fact, the combined influence of all possible, pre-natal, biological factors (e.g., genetics, epi-genetics, hormones, etc.) on the development of homosexuality in adults (8). The design of research studies using identical twins has improved greatly since the mid-1990s, with the advent of large, twin registries which can afford much larger data bases and less biased sampling procedures. The former approach of recruiting identical twins via advertisements in gay and lesbian publications is now known to have a very strong “volunteer effect” that produced the appearance of relatively large genetic effects (8). Nevertheless, even with the use of large twin registries, the number of twin pairs found with homosexuality is often very small in individual studies (e.g., 2-4 concordant pairs with 9-16 discordant pairs). Such a low number of twin pairs with homosexuality yields a standard deviation that is greater than the calculated genetic effect, meaning that the results are not statistically different from zero. In other words, the genetic influence or contribution in several of these studies may actually be zero, making definitive conclusions impossible. Whitehead and Whitehead (8) have presented and discussed, in some detail, these and other problems inherent in twin studies of homosexuality and have presented reasons to expect that the genetic influence on, or contribution to, homosexuality will eventually be agreed to be in the 10%-15% range (i.e., weak). One reason for this (anticipated) lower actual genetic influence is that epi-genetic effects operating through identical twins sharing one placenta may represent about 15% of the total influence attributed to genetics in published twin studies (8). Another reason has to do with the predominant influence of post-natal environmental factors on the development of homosexuality (see below). Schumm (26) found that children with homosexual parents are 12-15 times more likely than children of heterosexual parents to be homosexual as adults. This is the strongest environmental influence ever reported for the development of homosexuality, and it involves very close family members, the parent-child relationship. Identical twins share a common bond and common experiences more so than do other siblings, including non-identical twins; siblings can’t be any closer than that. The results of a study by King and McDonald (44) illustrate how such a close, family relationship could inflate the calculated genetic influence on homosexuality in identical twin studies. They studied 46 twin pairs having homosexuality present in one or both of the twins in each pair and found that 54% of the twin pairs had discussed their sexual orientation with each other, 89% had “shared knowledge” of each other’s sexual orientation, and 30% of these twin pairs had actually had sex with each other. Because identical twins identify so closely with each other, and post-natal experiences  – especially close family relationships – strongly affect the development of homosexuality, it seems plausible, if not likely, that  a homosexual member of a twin pair would influence the other member of that pair to embrace and explore homosexuality also, thus inflating the apparent genetic influence reported in identical twin studies. That is to say, a significant portion of what may appear, in identical twin studies, to be a genetic influence on the development of homosexuality may turn out to be, instead, a post-natal, environmental influence involving shared knowledge of sexual orientation and shared sexual experiences within identical twin pairs.

Twin Concordance studies: The “pair-wise concordance” answers the simple question, “Where one twin of an identical pair is homosexual, what percentage of co-twins is also homosexual”. The formula for pair-wise concordance of identical twins is C/C+D, where C is the number of concordant (similar) twin pairs and D is the number of discordant (dissimilar) twin pairs found in the study. For example, if C=1 and D=9, then the pair-wise concordance would be 1/1+9=1/10 or 10%. This result would indicate that for every twin pair with both members being homosexual, there are 9 twin pairs with only one homosexual member.

Using data provided in several reports of large, twin registry studies in different countries, I performed a meta-analysis and calculated the range of pair-wise concordance to be 9.9% to 31.6%, with the average being 13.0% for males, 13.3% for females, and 13.2% when the raw data for males and females were combined. These pair-wise concordance values indicate that for every twin pair with both members being homosexual, there are 7 twin pairs with only one homosexual member. Now, compare this result to the range of theoretically possible outcomes where no twin pairs would both be homosexual (= 0%) and where all twin pairs would both be homosexual (= 100%) and you can see, intuitively, that a pair-wise concordance of only 13.2% would indicate a real, but relatively minor, contribution of genetics to homosexuality. This minor role is similar to the estimated level of genetic contribution to virtually any kind of human behavior (11) and is known to be non-determinative and, in many cases, treatable by therapy and/or counseling. For instance, the best example to date of a genetically related behavior (mono-amine oxidase deficiency leading to aggressive behavior) has shown itself remarkably responsive to counseling (11). Therefore, on the basis of pair-wise concordance in identical twins, it seems appropriate to conclude that there is, at the most, only a minor genetic contribution to the development of homosexuality, and that this relatively minor influence can be overcome (i.e., nullified) through behavioral therapy (8), which we know to be a fact (10, 19).

The other measure of concordance in twin studies is “proband-wise” concordance. This estimate of concordance is necessary in order to use both identical and fraternal twins in a study to disentangle the relative contributions of genetics and environment to homosexuality. The formula used is 2C/2C+D, which, compared to the formula for pair-wise concordance, gives much more weight to the individual twins (probands). The effect is to greatly increase, relative to pair-wise concordance values, the apparent genetic contribution to homosexuality in identical twin studies. To illustrate this point, if we use the example given above where the pair-wise concordance calculates to be 1/10 = 10.0%, the proband-wise concordance calculates to be 2/11 = 18.2%. Although it is less intuitive, proband-wise concordance is generally recognized to give a better overall estimate of “genetic influence” than does pair-wise concordance.

Classical Twin Studies: While pair-wise concordance gives an intuitive indication of the genetic influence on homosexuality as expressed in identical twins, it does not provide information on what factors may provide the remaining, non-genetic influence. To answer this question, researchers are using other measures, broader-ranging questionnaires and more sophisticated statistical procedures to evaluate other such things as heritability, additive genetic effects and postnatal environmental influences. In order to be able to put the results of classical twin studies into perspective, it is important to keep in mind that, by convention in the twin study literature, a genetic contribution of around 25% is considered weak, of around 50% is considered moderate and of 75% or more is considered strong (18).

In a meta-analysis, Whitehead (18), using the results from seven of the recent twin registry studies that were designed to reveal contributions of both genetic and non-genetic factors to homosexuality, found that the mean contribution of genetics to male homosexuality was around 22%, and to female homosexuality, around 33%. Because of the relatively large standard deviations in the data, these two values were not statistically different from each other.  Thus, the genetic contribution to male homosexuality in these studies is weak and to female homosexuality is weak to moderate (at most). Such levels of genetic contribution indicate a real but weak to moderate and indeterminate role of genetics in the development of homosexuality. For comparison, other traits that have around 50% (moderate and indeterminate) genetic contribution in twin studies include such things as divorce and alcoholism, while puberty has a 90% (strong and determinate) genetic contribution (8). Furthermore, the non-shared, post-natal environmental contribution to homosexuality is moderate to strong, around 64%-78%, has a relatively small standard deviation and is consistently around the same percentage (18), indicating that homosexuality is influenced primarily by post-natal environmental factors and experiences that are not directly related to prenatal contributions of any kind or combination.

The recent study by Zietsch, et al. (41) can be used to illustrate representative research results obtained with large samples from twin registries. They used a very large sample (9,884) of twins from the Australian Twin Registry, one of the largest samples to date for twin studies of homosexuality. In this sample, there were 1,840 identical twin pairs (1,133 female and 707 male). Their calculated value of only 24% for the proband-wise concordance for homosexuality indicates a weak genetic influence. Moreover, their calculated figure of 31% for heritability of homosexuality also indicates a weak genetic component. This leaves around 68% of the variance represented by post-natal, “shared environment” and “residual” environmental influences combined.

[For a much more detailed and comprehensive treatment of “twin studies”, see Whitehead and Whitehead (8).]

In view of the fact that twin studies have shown that the combined influence of all possible, pre-natal, biological factors (e.g., genetics, epi-genetics, hormones, etc.) on the development of homosexuality in adults is only weak to moderate, it is important to understand that all of the biological theories discussed above can address only this weak to moderate influence, while ignoring the far more important post-natal influences (discussed below). Furthermore, these results clearly support the inference, based on results obtained through therapy and counseling (14, 20, 21, 22), that post-natal, environmental influences have a far greater role in the development of homosexuality than do pre-natal influences. So what are some of these post-natal influences that, together, could account for two-thirds or more of the total influence on the development of homosexuality?

Cultural Influences

There are several kinds of cultural evidence indicating that homosexuality is not genetically determined, but is, instead, strongly influenced by post-natal events and influences. This evidence was reviewed by Whitehead and Whitehead (4), and I will mention some of the highlights here. If causation of homosexuality were to be genetically determined, then it would appear in about the same percentage in all cultures, but this is clearly not the case. The prevalence of homosexuality has varied considerably in different cultures. For example, Ford and Beach (23) found that in the 79 cultures they surveyed, homosexuality was rare or absent in 29 and lesbianism was found in only 17. Homosexuality is also historically and exceptionally rare in Orthodox Jews. And among the genetically related tribes of the New Guinea Highlands, homosexuality was mandatory among one tribe, practiced by 2-3% of a second tribe and completely unheard of in a third tribe. A significant number of cultures appear not to have practiced homosexuality at all. Moreover, if causation of homosexuality were to be genetically determined, then its occurrence in any given culture would be stable over very long periods of time (e.g., 1,000 years or more), but in some cultures, homosexuality disappeared within several generations. Anthropologists attribute many such sudden changes to Christian influences, which represent a set of post-natal, non-biological, cultural factors.

Two original scientific studies merit particular mention in this regard. Broude and Greene (42) used the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample of 186 societies representing different and independent culture clusters within major areas of the world. This data base is considered to be the best representative sample of world cultures. They found that 12% of these cultures had “No concept of homosexuality.” Moreover, in 59% of these cultures, homosexuality was “Absent or rare.” A necessary conclusion from these results is that homosexuality does not exist in many of the cultures of the world. More recently, Hewlett and Hewlett (43) interviewed 35 members of an Aka forager band and 21 members of a Ngandu farmer village of the Central African Republic. The Aka had no concept of homosexuality; it was absent from their culture. The Ngandu were familiar with the concept of homosexuality from visits by some members to the capitol city, but they had no word for it; it was absent in and around their village. From a review of the literature, these authors concluded that the Euro-American human sexuality literature gives the false impression that homosexuality is a human universality. Whereas, in fact, the Euro-American patterns of homosexuality are quite unusual by cross-cultural standards; homosexuality is more common in this demographic than it is elsewhere. By contrast, sexual practices of the Aka and Ngandu are not unusual by cross-cultural standards.

Sorba (15) has documented numerous examples of adult celebrities and homosexuality advocates who have spontaneously changed from homosexual to heterosexual. Furthermore, at least six specific examples of adults who changed sexual orientation spontaneously, without therapy or counseling, have been documented by NARTH (24).

Homosexuality does not conform to any genetically prescribed model, but does appear to have an overwhelmingly cultural component, ebbing and flowing with changes in cultural values and expectations and with personal experiences (4).

Social and Environmental Influences

In addition to the cultural influences on the development and practice of homosexuality mentioned above, there are several other social and experiential factors that have been shown to have an important role. Let’s take a quick look at a few of these factors.

Childhood sexual abuse has been shown to be associated with the subsequent development of homosexuality in adulthood. Whitehead (40) lists eight relatively recent studies demonstrating this association. For example, in the article by Zeitsch, et al. (41), childhood sexual abuse was associated with an approximately two to three-fold increase in homosexuality in adulthood. According also to Mayer and McHugh (ref), it is well documented that the development of homosexuality is strongly correlated with childhood sexual abuse. Moreover, in a longitudinal study by Wilson and Widom, it was found that those who were sexually abused in childhood were 2.8 times more likely to develop same-sex relationships as adults than were those who were not sexually abused. Thus, these results are in close agreement with those of Zeitsch, et al. (41).

Divorce during childhood has also been shown to be associated with the development of homosexuality in adulthood, as evidenced by homosexual “marriage.” For example, men whose parents divorced before their sixth birthday were 39% more likely to “marry” homosexually than peers from intact parental marriages, and the figure for men whose cohabitation with both parents ended before age 18 years was in the range of 55%-76% (30). In a related study, Wells, et al., (37) found that cohabiting with two heterosexual, non-biological parents until the age of 16 was associated with a two-fold increase in homosexuality in adulthood, compared to cohabiting with both biological parents.

Urban versus rural environment. Whitehead and Whitehead (25) pointed out that the percentage of homosexuality in males reared in urban environments is 3.3 times that of males reared in rural environments, while the corresponding factor for homosexuality in females is 2.3 times, indicating a very strong influence of the urban environment on the development of homosexuality.

Homosexual parents. Schumm (26) found that adults with a homosexual parent are 12 to 15 times as likely to self-identify as homosexual or bisexual as are adults without a homosexual parent, which indicates that post-natal environmental factors associated with having a homosexual parent (such as having a homosexual adult role model and unequivocal acceptance of homosexuality) can play a major role in the development of a homosexual orientation. These results confirmed those of an earlier, much aligned, meta-analysis conducted by Cameron (29), and they suggest a very powerful post-natal influence on the development of homosexuality.

Therapy and Counseling Influences. Aist (19) reviewed and summarized some of the published information on religiously mediated and secularly mediated change in sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. Numerous studies have shown that both religiously and secularly mediated change in sexual orientation occurs in highly motivated, dissatisfied homosexuals at a rate that is comparable to the success rates generally achieved by therapists and counselors for psychological disorders and behavioral problems, such as alcoholism. And many studies have found that, for the most part, these are long-term, stable shifts in sexual orientation. In fact, many ex-gays have been happily married with children for several-to-many years. What is the significance of these results relative to the claim that homosexual people are born gay? First, they confirm that pre-natal influences, including genes, do not dictate sexual orientation, because very significant change in sexual orientation has been achieved through therapy and counseling. Such change would not be possible if sexual orientation were fixed at birth. And second, the fact that therapy and counseling are successful at a rate that is comparable to the success rates generally achieved by therapists and counselors for psychological disorders and behavioral problems, such as alcoholism, confirms that any predisposition to homosexuality that may be present at birth is so weak that it can be nullified by subsequent intervention. Socarides (14) put it this way: “As psychoanalysts and psychotherapists, we are treating obligatory homosexuality successfully, changing sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. Such a change would be unthinkable if there were any truth at all to the organic or biological or hereditary causation of homosexuality.”

It is virtually impossible to envision how prenatal mechanisms could explain these post-natal associations of increased or decreased homosexuality with social, cultural and experiential factors. But it is easy to envision how these social, cultural and experiential factors could account for the two-thirds or more of post-natal influence on homosexuality that is revealed by the results of twin studies.

Path analysis. A re-interpretation of results obtained using a research technique called “path analysis” has also indicated that post-natal social factors do, in fact, strongly influence the development of homosexuality (9). Two of these studies produced similar results and were found to lend good support to the idea of a constellation of environmental factors influencing the development of homosexuality, rather than biological factors. In these studies, environmental factors accounted for 38% of female homosexuality and 76-78% of male homosexuality. A third study, using a variation on the path analysis approach, showed that one post-natal social factor, gender non-conformity during childhood and adolescence (e.g., sissy-ness or tomboyish-ness), is about 10 times stronger than genetic factors in “predicting” the development of homosexuality later in life. However, whether this type of behavior is a cause of adult homosexuality or a result of (nascent) homosexuality is unclear.

The Role of Choice in Homosexuality

There seems to be some consensus that homosexual people do not choose to have the same-sex attractions and sexual feelings that they experience initially, but that doesn’t mean that living a homosexual life-style does not involve choices. Once that first same-sex sexual attraction is encountered, there is a choice as to whether or not to act on it (either through fantasies or sexual encounters), and the same choice is made every time that attraction is experienced. Bi-sexual people make a choice every time they engage in homosexual sex rather than heterosexual sex. Heterosexual people who are married with children and then forsake their marriage for a homosexual relationship have made a choice to do so. And the fluidity in sexual orientation, found especially in lesbians but also in gays, speaks to the choice of sexual orientation available to many, if not most, homosexual people, at least until their late teens (10).

Models for the Development of Sexual Orientation

Since pre-natal factors apparently have relatively little to do with the development of homosexuality, how, then, can we correctly envision the development of homosexual orientation? Psychologists tell us that the years 0-4 are the most important in terms of a human being’s intellectual and emotional development. Thus, there is plenty of time for a person’s sexual orientation to be influenced by environmental factors before they first experience sexual attractions.

Let‘s first consider the development of heterosexual orientation. Psychologists are unanimous in their belief that heterosexuality is environmentally, not genetically, determined (3). No one appears to be born heterosexual. Rather, heterosexual attraction is learned, developing over a period of time in response to certain environmental factors, in particular:

• Good maternal nurture from the earliest stages and through the first few years

• Identification with and imitation of the parent of the same sex

• Acceptance by and identification with same-sex peer groups

• Identification in a boy with what is culturally “masculine” and in a girl with what is culturally “feminine” (this is called “gender conformity”).

• The day-in-day-out treatment of boys and girl, as boys or girls, respectively

• The biologically programmed hormonal rush of puberty

• Falling in love

• Culturally prescribed sexual behaviors, such as arousal over women’s breasts.

• Personal sexual preferences and behaviors that can be traced back to early sexual arousal in unique circumstances.

It is believed that, for a variety of reasons, homosexuality develops when the normal pattern of heterosexual development is not followed. Reasons include sexual abuse (by men), and a variety of ruptures with same-sex role models. Sometimes this is the father or mother, sometimes peers, probably including siblings. Quite a common consequence is being or feeling less masculine (males) or feminine (females) than others in the same-sex peer group. This can lead to rejection by peers (even other peers who are homosexual) leading to feelings of being different, gender non-conformity and a growing drive to make up the sensed deficit through a strong connection with an individual of the same sex, which becomes eroticized and then manifested as homosexual behavior (3).

Once the pattern of sexual gratification starts, a habit begins, becomes ingrained, and then often addictive. When the process gets to this point, it is very difficult, but not impossible, to effect a change in sexual orientation because the desire for homosexual gratification has become ingrained and extremely powerful. (It is important to note that one gets oneself into this condition through a series of personal choices and decisions made repeatedly over a long period of time; it is not imposed upon him/her by any biological factors, including genes.) It should not be surprising, therefore, that it will take a series of very difficult personal choices and decisions made repeatedly over a long period of time to achieve a reversal of homosexual orientation and/or behavior, but it is possible; many exclusively homosexual people have managed to do so (10, 19).

Homosexual Orientation Is Not from God!

Some homosexuality advocates claim that homosexual people are not only born gay, but that God created them that way (with same-sex attractions). However, such a claim is diametrically opposed to the biblical witness; there are scriptural proofs that God is not the source of the same-sex attractions and desires that homosexual people experience. Firstly, the Bible clearly and consistently condemns homosexual behavior as sin (Genesis 19:5 with Jude 1:7; Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; I Corinthians 6:9-10; and I Timothy 1:10). Now, if God himself were to instill same-sex attractions and desires into homosexual people, then, by doing so, He would be tempting them to sin sexually. However, the Bible also states, emphatically, that God does not tempt anyone to sin (James 1:13-14). The necessary conclusion is that the God of the Bible would not create anyone homosexual, because to do so would violate His very nature and character, which is to hate sin. And secondly, after God had created Adam and Eve as heterosexual people, the Bible says that “God saw all that he made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). “All that He had made” could not have included homosexuality, because the Bible clearly and consistently condemns homosexual behavior as evil, not good. And that — the creation of Adam and Eve –- was “the last of the work of creation that God was doing” (Genesis 2:2). It follows, then, that God not only would not, but also did not, create anyone homosexual. Homosexuality must have first appeared at some later time, after God had finished creating.

Since same-sex attractions and desires do not come from God, where do they come from? The Bible says that sin entered the world through the “original sin” of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:1-19) after the last of the work of creation that God was doing (Genesis 2:2), and that “each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed” (James 1:14). Thus, same-sex sexual attraction (i.e., homosexuality) is a result of sin entering the world through the disobedience of Adam.

Moreover, since God does not put the same-sex urges into homosexual people, it follows that such urges do not constitute a valid argument that God approves of their volitional consequences, namely, homosexual acts. Rather, God’s moral laws were given to communicate the sinfulness of our urges (e.g., lying, stealing, vengeance, adultery, fornication, and homosexual sex) that are opposed to His will.

Summary and Conclusions

There is nothing fixed or final about the homosexual orientation and its natural expression, homosexual behavior. No politician, church leader or member, judge, teacher or counselor, or homosexual person, or friend or family of a homosexual person, needs to feel forced into a position on homosexuality based on the apparent immutability of homosexual orientation. Homosexuality is not inborn, not genetically dictated; nor for that matter is heterosexuality or any other human behavior. In fact, our genes do not make us do anything. Whether it’s homosexuality, a foul temper, bed-wetting or addiction to chocolate, our genes have relatively little to do with it. The level of genetic influence could easily be as low as 10%, with the balance of 90% coming from post-natal cultural, social and environmental influences. And that 10% is not a direct genetic influence on homosexual orientation; it is a direct influence on a separate trait that can predispose toward homosexual orientation. Every human being has a 10% genetic influence on behavior of any kind, and that minimal genetic influence drops commensurately with whatever environmental interventions (e.g., cultural influences, social factors, personal experiences and/or therapy and counseling) of an opposing kind are brought to bear upon it (1).

So, the next time a homosexuality advocate tries to convince you that homosexual people are born gay, that God made them that way, that their homosexuality is “natural” and/or that their homosexual orientation cannot change, do not believe them. They are trying to get you to believe a lie, as the evidence clearly shows.

(For more articles on HOMOSEXUALITY, click HERE)

References Cited

1. Whitehead, N. and B. Whitehead. 2016. Introduction. (click HERE)

2. Whitehead, N. and B. Whitehead. 2016. Chapter 1. Can genes create sexual preference? (click HERE)

3. Whitehead, N. and B. Whitehead. 2016. Chapter 3. Are heterosexuals born that way? (click HERE)

4. Whitehead, N. and B. Whitehead. 2016. Chapter 6. What do different cultures tell us about homosexuality? (click HERE)

5. Whitehead, N. and B. Whitehead. 2016. Chapter 7. Pre-natal hormones? Stress? Immune attack? (click HERE)

6. Whitehead, N. and B. Whitehead. 2016. Chapter 8. Are brains gay? (click HERE)

7. Whitehead, N. and B. Whitehead. 2016. Chapter 9. The “discovery” of the “gay gene”. (click HERE)

8. Whitehead, N. and B. Whitehead. 2016. Chapter 10. Twin studies: The strongest evidence. (click HERE)

9. Whitehead, N. and B. Whitehead. 2016. Chapter 11. Path analysis – social factors do lead to homosexuality. (click HERE)

10. Whitehead, N. and B. Whitehead. 2016. Chapter 12. Can sexual orientation change? (click HERE)

11. Whitehead, N. and B. Whitehead. 2016. Summary. (click HERE)

13. Socarides, C.W. 1995a. A Freedom Too Far. Adam Margrave Books, Phoenix, AZ. pp.149-150.

14. Socarides, C.W. 1995b. Exploding the myth of constitutional homosexuality. Narth Bulletin, Vol. III, Number 2, pages 17-18.

15. Sorba, R. 2007. The Born Gay Hoax. (click HERE)

16. Whitehead, N. and B. Whitehead. 2016. My Genes Made Me Do It! – Homosexuality and the scientific evidence. (click HERE)

17. Deem, R. 2012. Genetics and Homosexuality: Are People Born Gay? The Biological Basis for Sexual Orientation. (click HERE)

18. Whitehead, N.E. 2011. Neither Genes nor Choice: Same-sex Attraction is Mostly a Unique Reaction to Environmental Factors. Journal of Human Sexuality 3:81-114. (click HERE)

19. Aist, J. 2012. Homosexuality: Good News! (click HERE)

20. Masters, W. H. & V. E. Johnson. 1979. Homosexuality in Perspective. Little, Brown & Co., Boston.

21. Nicolosi, J. 1991. Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality. Jason Aronson Inc., Northvale, NJ.

22. Siegel, E. V. 1988. Female Homosexuality. Choice without Volition. The Analytical Press, Hillsdale, NJ.

23. Ford, C. and F. Beach. 1951. Patterns of Sexual Behaviour. Harper & Brothers, New York.

24. NARTH, 2012. 7) Spontaneous or Adventitious Change of Sexual Orientation. (click HERE)

25. Whitehead, N. and B. Whitehead. 2016. Chapter 2. Homosexual numbers show that nurture prevails. (click HERE)

26. Schumm, W. 2010. Children of Homosexuals More Apt to be homosexuals? A Reply to Morrison and to Cameron Based on an Examination of Multiple Sources of Data. Journal of Biosocial Science 42:721-742.

27. Tahir, I. jaz. HOMOSEXUALITY – An Analysis of Biological Theories of Causation. (click HERE)

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30. Frisch, M. and A. Hviid. 2006. Childhood Family Correlates of Heterosexual and Homosexual Marriages: A National Cohort Study of Two Million Danes. Archives of Sexual Behavior 35:533-547.

31. Hamer, D., et al. 1993. A Linkage Between DNS Markers on the X Chromosome and Male Sexual Orientation. Science 261:321-327.

32. Lombardo, M., et al. 2012. Fetal Testosterone Influences Sexually Dimorphic Gray Matter in the Human Brain. Journal of Neuroscience 32:674-680.

33. Mustanski, B., et al. 2005. A genomewide scan of male sexual orientation. Human Genetics 116:272-278.

34. Ramagopalan, S., et al. 2010. A genome-wide scan of male sexual orientation. Journal of Human Genetics 55:131-132.

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