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Miscellaneous meanderings and philosophical ramblings. The title from a spiral notebook I used to jot down my thoughts on religion and other matters some years ago. I like to write, think and express my views on various issues. Robust discussion is welcome.

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"Lan astaslem."
I will not submit. I will not surrender.
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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Gay gene?

If you haven't heard by now, there is another study that will be used to promote the idea that homosexuality must be wholly determined by biology rather than mostly by learning or conditioning and choosing.

Gay Men Respond Differently to Pheromones

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The sexual area of a gay man's brain works a lot like that of a woman when exposed to a particular stimulus, researchers say.

In an experiment, men and heterosexual women sniffed a chemical from the male hormone testosterone. The homosexual men's brains responded differently from those of heterosexual males, and in a similar way to the women's brains.

"It is one more piece of evidence ... that is showing that sexual orientation is not all learned," said Sandra Witelson, an expert on brain anatomy and sexual orientation at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.[...]

Already, some are saying this proves being gay is unavoidable and therefore must not only be tolerated but also accepted and indeed, encouraged in our youth.

I heard about this on the radio today and I emailed a few thoughts that I had based on the discussions that occurred.

  • Correlation is not causation

  • Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Was the brain affected by a choice in behaviour or vice versa?

  • A genetice component does not automatically mean a 100% genetic determination in behaviour. That would be a very strict determinist philosophy.

  • The negative affects of making certain choices do not stop some from robbery, fraud, assault etc. Why should that argument have any force in this situation? That was in response to the oft made claim that, being gay subjects one to so much societal ostracism that no one would choose to be subjected to that. A very weak arugment as I pointed out with the examples.

  • The MSM has inaccurately hyped such studies before. This is more than likely the same thing.

  • Having an urge or desire to do something should not be enough to justify anything. Society would be frightening if that was all it took to prove something was morally correct or beneficial to the individual or civilization at large.

  • Tolerance and compassion do not require acceptance or the encouraging of actions.

  • Unfortunately, some are very much beholden to the entirely biologically determined storyline. I suspect this is because it is much more difficult to argue that this lifestyle should be not just be tolerated but encouraged and accepted as normal if it is mostly about nurture and making choices. Rather, the sledgehammer of biology and the immediate charge of homophobia are necessary to force society to accept this. Sadly, such tactics seem to encourage real homophobia and shameful hatred and violence, a vicious circle indeed.
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