In 2019, science proved for once and for all that there is no genetic proof for the slogan ‘born that way”, that is to say, born with an exclusive potential for homosexual behavior and a total lack of heterosexual capacity. When studying sexuality, there are no genetic differences to be found between so-called “groups” who would have separate sexualities. Genetically identifiable groups do not exist.
To this end, the full genetic makeup of a half million random people in the US and the UK was chartered by a team of scientists. It was published in the magazine Science on the 4th of September 2019 by Benjamin Neale and 19 international colleagues.
“There is certainly no single genetic determinant for same-sex behavior (sometimes referred to as the “gay gene” in the media). All measured common variants do not allow meaningful prediction of an individual’s sexual preference. The researchers emphasize the importance of resisting simplistic conclusions”.
In the biggest sample of the population in scientific history, same-sex attractions have been proven not to be a hardware issue. On the other hand over the last thirty years, psychologists have studied SSA’s from the point of view that we are probably dealing with an intricate software issue, and as a result, all behavioral aspects can be accounted for by the science of psychology.
In the article, Neale and his team describe how they looked at genetic variants in people who said they had had at least one sex partner of the same sex and compared those to variants in people who said they had not had same-sex encounters. The geneticists only found three proteins (loci, DNA pairs) which appear to be seen more often, but given the fact that the human cell nucleus counts 3 billion of such pairs, the result is insignificant and of no meaning.
“The most important conclusion is that they (the three proteins, ed.) represent very, very, very small effects. Together, the three variants account for much less than 1% of the variability in the traits that we’re looking at.
Though our study focuses on genetic influences on same-sex sexual behavior, previous research indicates that other, non-genetic influences are very important. Our genetic findings in no way preclude the influences of culture, society, family, or individual experiences, or of non-genetic biological influences, in the development of sexual behavior and orientation.”
Team member Brendan Zietsch from Queensland, Australia, says,
“Another possible misinterpretation is to think that if same-sex preference is genetically influenced, it must therefore be totally genetically determined: born this way” Zietsch added. “That is not true. Genetically identical individuals — twins — usually have different sexual orientations. We know there are many non-genetic influences as well, but we geneticists don’t understand these well, and our study does not say anything about them.
We found personality traits, risky behaviors and mental health disorders, but not biological physical traits, to be significantly correlated with same-sex sexual behavior. “
Richard Harris from Health News comments,
“That means the scientists who focus on biology found virtually nothing in common among the people who reported having at least one same-sex experience in their lifetime. And the results reveal little if anything about the biology that might underlie these minute genetic variants.
The findings are not strong. Other studies like this that seek to link genetic patterns to behaviors or disease commonly find dozens if not hundreds of genetic variants, which typically explain far more than the fraction of a percent of the variance that this study found. That leaves Cecile Janssens, a professor of epidemiology at Emory University, puzzled about why this study was even published. “I don’t think they found anything that is worth reporting,” she says.””
Not worth reporting?
In our view, the value of the study depends on your angle. We do not agree that the study was not worth reporting. Take this example: imagine that in a court you prove a defendant was NOT guilty of committing an alleged murder, then such evidence is just as worth reporting as evidence which would have proved him guilty. A negative outcome can always still be a worthwhile outcome, especially if the defendant was facing a lynch mob outside who called out for the death sentence.
And so, for psychotherapists who face a ten year jail sentence and a $200.000 fine, as of 2021, in the Australian state of Victoria for merely insisting that no one is ‘born that way’ (and being given the weird non-existent stigma of ‘conversion therapist’) and with equally harsh jail sentences at a federal level promised by the Biden-Harris presidency, the study is extremely worthwhile, not to mention for individuals who are sincerely questioning their sexual feelings and life (the Q in the term LGBTQ).
In science, if you have looked into a matter and after a half million subjects you have found no correlation or link between what you were looking for, then the correct conclusion must be that there is nothing there. And vague “hints” will not do.
For a client, it is crucial to know if he is tackling an immutable and scientifically proven genetic hardware trait, or that his feelings and behavior can safely be tackled from a software point of view. Were it to be hardware, then he is probably wasting his time. We now know for sure that such is not the case.
See also our free booklet “The Science Facts on Same-sex Attractions“.
Surprisingly, the title of the publication “Large scale GWAS gives insights into the genetic architecture of same-sex behavior” renders a different impression than one can ascertain from the actual data itself.
It sounds as though a hardware architecture has been looked for and has been discovered, but when one reads the fine-print of the publication, the title is not justified. Neale c.s. found that there is no architecture at all: “All measured common variants do not allow meaningful prediction of an individual’s sexual preference”.This is called synopsis-bias, that is to say, that the conclusion drawn from data is colored by the expectations of the researchers.
They had hoped to reveal how genes define SSA’s, and they had received grants to fund this huge and laborious project. Therefore, the title is in accordance with the applications for the grant. But at the end of the day, the conclusion is that no genetic architecture exists which can predict or define SSA’s.
How come the scientists phrase the title so ambivalently? There is a telltale sign at the end of the publication which hints at the fact that the geneticists have apparently rephrased their findings in order not to be attacked by the radical LGBT-activists, people who insist on the ‘born that way’ mantra. In the study, activists are actually being told off by the scientists when the latter emphasized “the importance of resisting simplistic conclusions”. This was clearly meant to criticize the dead-easy activist slogan ‘born that way’.
The scientists wrote:
“To help communicate our study to the broader public, we organized workshops in which representatives of the public, dozens of LGBT-rights activists, and researchers discussed the rationale, results, and implications of our study.”
For activists, the scientists even created a website
“to communicate and share the results from the largest study on the genetics of sexual behavior”.
I find it rather weird that you collaborate with activists about how to communicate the results. There is no example of this in any other area of research. Which activists were that? And since when do “activists” own the subject of sexuality? Since when are there “representatives”? And were these persons voted for by any legislative body? If you have SSA’s, can you vote for a representative? And to whom are they accountable? Are they accountable at all?
The term “LGBT activists” refers to an anarchist, poorly defined mob with a multitude of opinions, ideas, ignorance, and emotions ranging from extremely passive to outright hostile-aggressive, if not to say paranoid-persecutory.
Could it be possible that the pressure from radical activists is so great that they have become a force to be reckoned with? It certainly looks that way when one sees the publications in which examining the genetics of SSA’s has even been labeled “unethical”. It is as if you are publishing a long-awaited research paper on the hidden working of the maffia, and have consulted dozens of maffia bosses on how to “communicate and share the results” before going public.
In Bioethics.com we read,
“From the outset, Neale expected some pushback and misunderstandings. That’s why he involved LGBTQ+ groups along the way, something not technically required for the kind of research he was doing. But he wasn’t prepared for scientists within his home institution to rise up and challenge the value and ethics of his work. And he was even less prepared for a company to exploit the results of the study – just a few weeks after it was published in the journal Science – to sell an app purporting to predict how attracted someone is to the same sex”.
In other words, the researchers were so keen on avoiding being persecuted (“pushback”) that the article was made to sound as if a genetic proof had been found, even leading a company willing to create an app to exploit these new “insights”. Neale was appalled, since he had phrased (so he thought) so clearly that there is no genetic cause or marker to be found.
“Unethical” science research?
As far back as 1997, activists Schuklenk and Stein made the following accusations, creating an atmosphere of persecution in the academic world. They wrote,
“Research into the genetic component of some complex behaviors often causes controversy, depending on the social meaning and significance of the behavior under study. Research into sexual orientation – simplistically referred to as “gay gene” research – is an example of research that provokes intense controversy. This research is worrisome for many reasons, including the fact that it has been used to harm lesbians and gay men.
Many people have been forced to undergo “treatments” to change their sexual orientation. Others chose to undergo them to escape discrimination and social disapprobation. But there are other reasons to worry about such research. The very motivation for seeking an “origin” of homosexuality reveals homophobia. Moreover, such research may lead to prenatal tests that claim to predict for homosexuality. For people who live in countries with no legal protections, these dangers are particularly serious.”
This is, in my view, a strange compilation of paranoid preoccupations, where the activists lash out at scientists as if their activist presumptions have all come true or are bound to come true. We read “homophobia”, “genetic tests”, “forced to undergo treatment”, “dangers”, “harm”, etc. That is quite an array of unfounded fears; this is a classic example of defensive detachment, meaning: I’ll drop you before you can drop me.
If it is a software issue, yes, you can seek counseling (albeit not by force, of course).
If it is a hardware issue, yes, you can develop a prenatal test if you want to (albeit not to be used behind your back, of course).
So, we now see how the activists want scientists to do no research at all so as the activists can criminalize and eradicate any form of counseling and can promote the ‘born that way’ mantra.
They are frightened by the prospect of the possible results of research: software means that there is work for a psychotherapist (gayness supposedly goes down in the counseling room), hardware means there is work for a genetic test (gayness supposedly goes down in the abortion clinic). And for the activists, the possible outcomes either way are equally scary. Hence, the radical LGBT pressure groups are vehemently opposed to any form of scientific research, unless the researchers make it sound as follows: “you are born that way”. The activist resistance is based on extreme forms of paranoia and unjustified anticipatory rage.
In Psychology Today 2012, activist Mark van Vught wrote in support of the “born that way” hypothesis:
“These are some of the evolutionary hypotheses that are out there to support the relatively well-established scientific claim that homosexuality is a natural (normal) sexual orientation. More research is needed and hopefully in 2013 scientists will come closer to solving the mystery of homosexuality.”
Well, the research that he called for, is as of 2019 now in the open: science has proved that the “relatively well-established biological claim” does not exist.
No alleged gene can be passed onto the next generation because it is not there.
Even the gay gene (“a spot on Xq28, the subtelomeric region of the long arm of the sex chromosome”, Hamer, Science 1993 July 16) that ex-geneticist and gay activist Dean Hamer supposedly had discovered in July 1993, was not to be found in the half million people now under study. Hamer was later exposed as a fraud and forced to retract his article and leave the research world for good. Were such a gene to exist as part of any evolutionary hypothesis, then it must be discarded because it is people who self-identify as heterosexual that are doing all the reproducing. In 1998, he finally admitted:
“There is not a single master gene that makes people gay. … I don’t think we will ever be able to predict who will be gay,” he said.
This report is very worthwhile reporting since we can now bury the ‘born that way’ ideology for once and for all, and focus on the real psychological issues that people face when they experience same-sex attractions.