Gay-lib reactions to the Mayer and McHugh report, part 1: Dean Hamer

dean-hamerGay-lib magazine The Advocate has released a response by Dean Hamer to the Mayer & McHugh report of August last. The two scientific researchers demonstrated that there is no scientific evidence to substantiate a genetic origin for either sexual feelings or gender identity. Hamer on the other hand was the geneticist who claimed he had identified the “gay gene” in 1998, thereby proving the “born that way” theory. The Advocate writes: “The right wing is pushing a study that isn’t based in sound science, says famed geneticist Dean Hamer.”  Who is Dean Hamer, what has been his role in gay-lib, what is he doing now as filmmaker and full-time activist for the radical transgender agenda, and what exactly is his point?

1. Dean Hamer and the “Gay Gene”
science-of-desireIn 1998 gay-lib activist Dr. Dean Hamer gained great attention when he wrote that he had discovered “gay genes”. His findings were in accordance with the then current fashionable gay-lib ideology, giving it solid scientific grounding. Or so everyone thought.

While waiting for scientific scrutiny he immediately published a book, “The Science Of Desire, the search for the gay gene and the biology of behvavior“, after completing the research. It was hailed as a sensation and made him quite wealthy. The powerful one-liner message helped spread the idea that the gay gene had been discovered at last. To this day, gay-libbers still cite the essence of his findings, in spite of the fact that the scientific community has discredited the so-called discovery.

In time other scientist caught up on him. He had compared the genes of gay men with the genes of their gay brothers (if they had any), but not with their heterosexual brothers. This leaves it unclear whether those heterosexual brothers also possess the alleged genes. It might just be a trait that runs within the family for gay and straight siblings alike. By the year 2000 he had become the only scientist who actually believes that his research confirms the existence of gay genes.

His stories were met with great criticism. In the Huffington Post we now read that he has quit science and has become an author, filmmaker and fulltime activist for transgender rights, together with his gay partner Joe Wilson.

2. Dean Hamer and the “God Gene”

time-magazin-god-geneAfter finding the alleged “gay gene”, atheist Dean Hamer went on to claim he had finally discovered the “God gene”, proving that people who uphold religious faith and who pray, are basically mutants. He calls prayer a state of self-transcendence. Once again the book was a sensation and hailed by his fellow gay-libbers.

In an interview with Hamer on The Beliefnet.com we read:

“So you studied a certain gene to see how it related to this self-transcendence scale?

beliefnetRight. There was a twin study suggesting that this spirituality scale is at least partially inherited. We were interested in finding out what are the genes. So we did a classical type of study that molecular biologists do: we rounded up a bunch of people and measured their self-transcendence. Then we looked at a bunch of genes and looked for differences. And we found this one gene that was at least correlated with self-transcendence. It’s called VMAT2, which stands for ‘vesicular monoamine transporter no. 2.’ It handles one type of brain chemical, monoamines, that have a lot to do with emotional sensitivity.

So basically this VMAT2 gene, which you have been able to isolate, affects those brain chemicals–which in turn, you feel, affect people’s sense of spirituality?

Exactly. That’s the theory. The best interpretation is that the monoamines are affecting higher consciousness. By higher consciousness, I mean the way that we perceive the world around us and our connection to it. The twin studies are really the original basis for saying self-transcendence is at least partially genetic. And what was interesting about it is not only is it partially genetic, but the part that is not genetic is not from social learning, it’s not that people get this from their parents or even from their schools or their ministers or churches or anything else. It’s just sort of genes plus just the random stuff that happens in people’s lives.”

To date, no-one else has found the “God gene”, so replicating the findings. In the Amazon.com webshop you will find two reviews, both equally negative about the book.

One reviewer from the Scientific American website writes:

scientific-american“The book we have today would be better titled: A Gene That Accounts for Less Than One Percent of the Variance Found in Scores on Psychological Questionnaires Designed to Measure a Factor Called Self-Transcendence, Which Can Signify Everything from Belonging to the Green Party to Believing in ESP, According to One Unpublished, Unreplicated Study.”

Another reviewer, Stephen A. Haines, writes:

“Hamer is an avid speculator – he would make a Wall Street broker blench. He proposed a “gay gene” in his previous book – a thesis that fell on sterile ground.”

The scientific community is clearly sceptical about Dr. Dean Hamer.

3. Debunking Hamer’s myths
On the website Trans Road Map, Andrea James writes:

andrea-james“In a 2004 article, Hamer proclaims himself as a “cynical old queen”. Now that his “Xq28 theory” of gay DNA is looking less and less likely to be replicated, Hamer has switched gears and now claims to have discovered a “God gene.” Given the track record of behavioral geneticists in general, and Dean Hamer in particular, why does anyone still take their claims seriously?

“Having recently read a completely uncritical profile of Dean Hamer and his new book on the alleged “God gene,” I have been thinking a lot about how fringe scientists are able to manipulate the media and get publicity by making especially dramatic claims. I have also been watching how skillfully the evolutionary psychology crowd manipulates peer-review to get in the mainstream press. Their conclusions typically bolster what laypeople already believe to be true or claim something that has not been independently verified.

“In fact, Hamer continues to profit from his adventures in pseudoscience, both as a priest selling his belief system (and poorly researched books) and as a well-paid bureaucrat with the US government.”

In Discover Magazine, Carl Zimmer writes:

carl-zimmer“Hamer’s work gets the lion’s share of space in Time Magazine, without any mention that his results haven’t been published in a journal, let alone that the last results with which Hamer got this sort of press – about a “gay gene” – could not be replicated.”

4. Gay-lib keeps supporting Hamer
On his anti-exgay website “Truth Wins Out”, the notorious Wayne Besen uses Hamer as his exclusive source of “science”. When asked by Besen, he says:

hamer-besen“All of the evidence shows that there is nothing in a person’s upbringing that causes them to be gay. Just like there is nothing in a person’s upbringing that causes them to be straight. What we do know is that none of the factors that used to be suspected like having a father that was distant, having a mother that was too close, playing too much ball with Sally or not playing enough ball with Tommy — we know that none of those are important. None of them have held up to careful controlled research.”

Strangely enough, none of this alleged Hamer evidence is to be found. Besen does not include footnotes and quotations to substantiate Hamer’s claims in order to help “truth” win out. Surely we would all be struck with awe after reading such an array of footnotes, leaving nothing more to be said. And yet there is not one scientific article in which Hamer, or anybody else for that matter, can substantiate his claims. Hamer just confidently says so, and lay true believers then parrot him. In science, this is called “proof by intimidation”, meaning others are to be intimidated by his PhD degree.

5. The Born Gay Hoax
In 2008 Joe Sorba presented his book “The Born Gay Hoax”, debunking Hamer’s “Born That Way” myths (download it here). But during a presentation of his book, lesbian activists disrupted the gathering, prohibiting Sorba to give his lecture.

Life Site News reports in 2008:

sorba“We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it!” cried a group of lesbians at Smith College Tuesday night in the midst of a riotous protest that met little resistance from on-looking police and security officials and forced scheduled speaker Ryan Sorba to prematurely end his “The Born-Gay Hoax” talk. Shortly into his speech, the protesters tried to drown out Sorba’s words with loud chants and clanging of pots and pans.  As Sorba strove to continue his lecture, protesters invaded from a back window, flooded the podium, and began noisily dancing and clapping in front the speaker.

Ryan Sorba bullied out of the conference room by lesbians
Ryan Sorba bullied out of the conference room by gay-lib lesbians

A Smith College official told Sorba that he needed to leave, while two police officers and a security guard watched the protesters continue in triumphant chants. Because protesters remained in the room, Sorba was not able to return to conclude his talk.”

This is called silencing by intimidation. And now Mayer and McHugh come up with yet more scientific details to contradict the works of Hamer. The gay-lib author rushes in, equally hoping to silence them.

6. Smoking the geneticist out
Mayer and McHugh are not the first to present scientific facts contradicting him. In 1995 an article appearing on page 25 of the July 10, 1995, edition of the pro-gay magazine New York Native, has as a headline:

Gay Gene” Research Doesn’t Hold Under Scrutiny, Chicago Tribune’s John Crewdson Uncovers Possible Scientific Misconduct by NCI Researcher.

Reporter John Crewdson
Reporter John Crewdson

In addition to the political and social firestorm Dr. Dean Hamer’s research has ignited, he has also been criticized by numerous scientists for not performing what seems to be an obvious control experiment: examining the genes of heterosexual brothers. The omission of a control group in a scientific experiment is significant, because it essentially renders the experiment inconclusive.

“Another researcher who worked on the project claimed that although Hamer conducted the experiment correctly by including a control variable, the results he obtained did not lead to the conclusion he was hoping to find: that some men are “born gay.” Hamer therefore did not release the information related to the control group and published pseudo-scientific results. All went well for Hamer until a junior researcher on his team exposed his scheme.

The article continues:

“Even worse for Hamer, the National Institute of Health’s Office of Research Integrity is now investigating his “gay gene” research, according to Crewdson. The inquiry concerns allegations that Hamer was selective about which data he chose to report (i.e., that he ignored data that didn’t support his contention that homosexuality is genetically determined). The data manipulation was reported to NIH’s integrity office by a junior researcher who performed research crucial to Hamer’s claimed discovery, according to Crewdson.

Crewdson’s revelations turned out to be true. A November 1995 edition of Scientific American confirmed that Hamer was “being charged with research improprieties and was under investigation by the National Institute of Health’s Federal Office of Research Integrity.”

Although the NIH never released the results of the inquiry, Hamer was shortly thereafter transferred to another section. In addition to lying about his results, he had secretly done his “gay gene” research under a grant which had been granted to work on another topic, Kaposi’s sarcoma, a skin cancer that inordinately afflicts men who have sex with men who have H.I.V.”

7. What does Hamer say in response to Mayer and McHugh?

7a. The “choice” issue
In his article in The Advocate on the 26th August 2016, Dan Hamer starts off attacking the messengers, but not the message:

dean-hamer2“When it comes to emotionally and politically charged topics like human sexuality and gender, even highly regarded professionals may find themselves tempted to bend the facts to support their own viewpoint rather than reality.”

It is strange that Hamer writes this sentence. It is the very same criticism that he himself has received. He demonstrates an intense personal interest in the outcomes of his research, due to his being homosexual (“I am a cynical old queen”, he once wrote), his being a radical gay-lib activist, his recent career switch to full-time activism for the transgender cause, and his firm grounding in and admiration he receives from the radical gay-lib community. I would say: it takes one to know one; it is a projection.

Hamer continues on to say:

“It (the study, ed.) claims to show sexual orientation is chosen and not fixed, and that gay people are not “born gay.”

Mayer and McHugh (M&M) never said that people “choose” to have same-sex attractions. It is gay-lib who says that others say that.The opposite of genetically fixed is acquired. In the M&M report we read:

Mayer and McHugh
Mayer and McHugh

“While some claim that sexual orientation is a choice, others say that sexual orientation is a fixed feature of one’s nature, that one is “born that way.” We hope to show here that, though sexual orientation is not a choice, neither is there scientific evidence for the view that sexual orientation is a fixed and innate biological property (underlining added, ed.)”

This is a clear example of the gay-label cognitive disorder. The activist reads things which were not written (and rallies people to a perceived cause), and does not perceive the things that ARE written.

Professor Michael Bailey (Dept. Psychology, North-western University) wrote:

Prof. Michael Bailey, Northwestern University
Prof. Michael Bailey, North-western University

“Let’s start with the most common framing of the debate: whether sexual orientation is genetic or chosen. This framing is utterly mistaken. The complement of genetic is not chosen but environmental. The unfortunate insertion of chosen/choice reveals a badly outdated understanding of the way the mind works. A more sensible framing is whether sexual orientation is innate or socially acquired, or something in between.”

7b. The gender dysphoria issue

Hamer continues:

“The authors come out strongly against affirming the identities of transgender children, arguing that their “dysphoria,” as they insist on pathologizing gender fluidity, might be transient.”

This sentence is important for now we are witnessing the birth of a new gay-lib narrative, one which has not yet emerged to this extent. Dean Hamer, the transgender issue activist, is well on his way with his new cause.

He says that Mayer and McHugh (M&M) are pathologizing transgenderism. But this is not the case. The whole psychiatric community, not only M&M, sees transgenderism as a pathological condition, mentioned in the Diagnostic Statistics Manual DSM5. To the contrary, it is activist Hamer who is now inserting a new narrative into the debate by introducing the term “gender fluidity” as though that were a normal part of everyday life. He is making it sound as if “gender fluidity” is the natural norm, and that the psychiatric term “gender dysphoria” entails pathologizing something that is innately normal and healthy. Hamer is turning the tables around, and accuses M&M of insisting on pathology. But they just use the everyday terms of clinical psychiatry, and they did not invent those terms themselves.

“…might be transient”

Might be transient? But such is the essence of the scientific findings.

M&M have offered scientific data in this 143 page report conclusively proving that the overwhelming majority of gender confused children and youngsters get over it, and yet Hamer is now casting a shadow of doubt over these conclusions (yet another manifestation of the gay-label cognitive disorder, not reading or integrating what is written). On the other hand, Hamer shows no data proving that all gender confused children indeed end up transgender at adulthood; he just implies it and hopes to get away with it because of his PhD degree and his aggressive and hurt tone of voice.

Most probably radical gay-lib will now start parroting this rephrasing of the DSM, and start a persecution campaign against those psychiatrists who defy the new rhetoric.

7c. The ‘Happy Trannie Kid’ myth

Hamer writes:

“But they (M&M, ed.) neglect two very important recent studies showing that trans children who are affirmed by their parents are as happy and healthy as their peers, and that allowing them to express their true gender decreases depression and anxiety.”

These two studies are not important at all, because they demonstrate yet once again the gay-label cognitive disorder. Imagine having a car accident with your kids on the back seat, and little Rodney gets seriously hurt. His lower limbs were crushed, and sadly both legs had to be amputated at age 6. At age 18, Rodney is a happy youth, playing and fooling around with his peers, thanks to the tremendous affirmation given to him by his loving parents. Rodney is right as rain.

no-legsOnly: no legs!

So, is Rodney’s lack of depression and anxiety in any way relevant to the cause of removing legs, testicles, breasts or whatever other surgical procedures gay-lib comes up with? What do you expect? Is a child with no male hormones going to complain about having no hormones, when his doting parents have smothered him in love all those years for being so determined, so brave and above, being so “himself”? Sounds more like child abuse to me, but there is an elephant in the room, called a cognitive disorder.

pageant-princessIt is comparable to mothers who want their 4 year old daughter to win the local princess pageant, who dress her up as Shirley Temple, and bawl their eyes out if little Suzanne comes in second place. Suzanne cries too, she has never been so sad, especially with Mom in a total state of agony. And little Suzanne is to blame, aren’t you, Suzie? At least, little Suzie feels it that way. This is equally a form of child abuse in my opinion. The parents will of course disagree, calling Suzie to the scene to repeat to that nasty psychiatrist that she truly, truly wanted to win. Go on, Suzie, say it.

Note that in his compassion towards the gender confused, Hamer pays no attention to the majority of this group, a majority which gets over the confusion by adulthood. He cognitively bypasses the written messages to be found everywhere, he ignores the personal long term interest of the overwhelming majority that gets over it, their welfare and happiness, subsequently charging on as if no-one had spoken out. He demonstrates sheer neglect. And all this is muttered in the same hurt and annoyed tone of voice. Yet another manifestation of the gay-label cognitive disorder; you can talk until you are blue in the face, but to no avail.

Hamer also implies that there is such a thing as “trans children”. A new breed of human kind is defined before our very eyes and gay-lib activists then take it from there. By distancing himself from a wretched “heterosexual world” at a very early age, the homosexual creates a self-contained new world all of his own, not realizing that there is but one world out there of which he is part, and a very normal part at that, despite his self-label, his self-image, his solipsistic world-view and his self-defined “LGBT community”.

7d. Fear of spreading scientific knowledge

Hamer signs off with:

“Rest assured that this report will have zero impact in the scientific world, which gives vanity journals like The New Atlantis about the same credence as the National Enquirer. It does, however, lend a certain air of legitimacy to the anti-LGBT arguments of various right-wing groups in the U.S. (which have received the publication with glee), the religious fundamentalists who are working to export homophobia to the developing world, and of course to pseudo-scientific organizations such as NARTH that promote “conversion therapy.”

If such is the alleged consequence of a scientific review, with its countless footnotes meant to perform necessary fact-checking on controversial and important issues, so be it.

That is what shrinks do. They think before they leap. They check the facts and express them, oh so mildly and gently, knowing the explosive state of mind of their potential clients, many of whom are in agony, frantically wanting to indulge in the gay sexual act or to abstain from it, wanting the chop or to the contrary having their doubts and regrets. Shrinks keep their shirts on.

mouth-silenceWhat does The Advocate want the press to do? Does it aim to hide the facts and sweep them under the carpet in order to soothe paranoid gay-lib activist fantasies and prophecies? In the meantime non-gaylibbers are not morally obliged to debunk wild allegations of supposed evil deeds before radical gay-lib gives permission for publication. It just isn’t the job of the media to keep everyone ignorant until gay-lib cries “roll the press”.

Conclusion

afraidIs The Advocate absolutely sure they are not spreading a paranoid message? And if so, is their paranoia anybody else’s problem? Sometimes when dealing with gay-lib fanatics, I wonder how much soothing it takes to tell the frightened sleepless child that behind the curtains there is no bogeyman, and that the slight movements of the curtains at night which, yes, do exist are due to logical reasons, like the window sills needing renewal.

Job Berendsen, MD, Amsterdam.

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