A new report analyzing a vast body of studies and research casts doubt on the prevailing notion sexual orientation and gender identity are biologically determined.
After analyzing decades of scientific data, researchers concluded,
“Some of the most widely held views about sexual orientation, such as the ‘born that way’ hypothesis, simply are not supported by science. The literature in this area does describe a small ensemble of biological differences between non-heterosexuals and heterosexuals, but those biological differences are not sufficient to predict sexual orientation, the ultimate test of any scientific finding. The strongest statement that science offers to explain sexual orientation is that some biological factors appear, to an unknown extent, to predispose some individuals to a non-heterosexual orientation. . . . .
“In reviewing the scientific literature, we find that almost nothing is well understood when we seek biological explanations for what causes some individuals to state that their gender does not match their biological sex.”
Writing at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, John Stonestreet notes,
Their report also tackles the transgender question, comparing actual research to the lofty claims of activists. Once again, there’s a yawning chasm. Only a tiny minority of children who experience gender dysphoria continue to identify as transgender when they’re adults.
McHugh and Mayer [the researchers] insist that subjecting children to hormone therapy or to so-called “sex reassignment” surgery is an act of sheer ideology, not medicine or compassion.
And, they add, adults who undergo sex-change operations (which the Obama Administration is pressuring health insurers to cover) are still—get this—19 times more likely to commit suicide than the rest of the population.
You may recall in 2012 the former president of the American Psychological Association stated sexual orientation could change, and in 2014 the former psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital explained in the Wall Street Journal why the hospital stopped doing sex-reassignment surgeries.
Homosexual and transgender activists often liken sexual orientation and gender identity to race, claiming they are biologically determined and unchangeable. The science behind that claim, however, seems to be far from settled.
You can listen to John Stonestreet’s full commentary on the issue below.
About a year and a half ago our friends at Breakpoint and Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview ran an excellent commentary on the unseen pain behind same-sex marriage.
John Stonestreet writes of one woman whose husband left her for his gay partner, saying,
For instance, USA Today, in its cheerleading for same-sex marriage, ran a photo section on her ex-husband, his partner, and her children without her consent or even notice to her. Darnelle wrote, ‘Commenters exclaimed at how beautiful this gay family was and congratulated my ex-husband and his new partner on the family that they “created” . . .,’ even though, she continued, ‘there is a significant person missing from those pictures: the mother and abandoned wife. That “gay family” could not exist without me.’
In an essay entitled “We Have No Right to Happiness,” [C.S. Lewis] told the story of two neighbors each of whom had divorced their spouses and then married each other. Another neighbor, with whom he was discussing the situation, replied ‘they have a right to happiness.’
Lewis noted that this neighbor would not say the same thing of a ruthless businessman who was happy when he made money by means fair or foul. Nor would she say the same thing about an alcoholic who was happy when he drank.
The happiness his neighbor was referring to was a right to ‘sexual happiness,’ which, according to Lewis, meant the freedom to act on our sexual impulses without restraint. And it doesn’t matter if such restraint is good for us or for the society as a whole.
You can read Stonestreet’s entire commentary here or listen to it below.
Yesterday Circuit Judge Doug Martin in Washington County issued a summary judgment upholding Fayetteville’s so-called “nondiscrimination” ordinance despite a new state law, Act 137 of 2015, prohibiting counties and cities from creating protected classes on any basis not contained in state law.
The City of Fayetteville recently enacted an ordinance granting special protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity; the ordinance carries significant, unintended consequences we have written about in the past. Attorneys from Northwest Arkansas as well as the Attorney General’s Office brought a lawsuit against the city, alleging the city’s ordinance violated Act 137, because it created new, protected classes of citizens not found in state law. Judge Martin, however, ruled in favor of the city ordinance.
In a nutshell, Judge Martin’s ruling plays loose with facts and with the language of Arkansas state law. The ruling hinges on Arkansas’ anti-bullying law intended to help prevent bullying in public schools; the anti-bullying law addresses bullying that is based on, among many other things, sexual orientation or gender identity. Judge Martin essentially claims this anti-bullying law gives the City of Fayetteville a basis in state law upon which to enact its ordinance.
The problem is Arkansas’ anti-bullying statute does not create any protected classes. It is designed to protect students enrolled in a public school from physical harm and harassment. Judge Martin’s ruling implies that because state law says a public school student should not be bullied due to their sexual orientation, sexual orientation amounts to a protected class under state law.
The same anti-bullying law says a public school student cannot be bullied because of his or her “academic status.” By Judge Martin’s logic, Arkansas’ anti-bullying law arguably makes education level some sort of protected class, meaning a person might enjoy more or less protection depending on their intelligence or education.
The fact of the matter is Arkansas’ anti-bullying law is irrelevant to this conversation. Arkansas’ Civil Rights Act addresses protected classes of citizens. The state Civil Rights Act provides protections based on immutable characteristics like race and national origin. Sexual orientation and gender identity are never mentioned. Judge Martin’s ruling drastically misconstrues state law in order to create new, protected classes. It’s unthinkable.
Judge Martin’s ruling likely will be appealed to the Arkansas Supreme Court. Depending on how the Arkansas Supreme Court rules, there is a slim possibility the issue could be appealed further in federal court. In the meantime, the Arkansas Legislature could opt to amend Act 137 to clarify cities and counties cannot create protected classes on a basis not found in the Arkansas Civil Rights Act.
One thing is for sure: This debate is far from over.
Photo Credit: “Old Main from the northwest, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas (autumn)” by Brandonrush – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.