Explosive Proof Against The “Gay Gene” Theory

An immense scientific study has pulled the rug out from under the argument that some gene or targeted set of genes causes people to engage in homosexual activity. Science has spoken: there is no “gay gene”.

The study’s authoritative results are a boost for faith in free will, but a devastating blow to advocates of “free love”.

The “Gay Gene” Findings

The study’s findings about a #gaygene have profound implications for our understanding of sexual morality. If the tendency toward homosexual feelings is only slightly influenced by a person’s genetic makeup, individuals engaging in homosexual activity must accept moral, social, and legal responsibility for that choice.

Published just days ago in Science, the research project analyzed genetic and environmental information for over 400,000 individuals, plus more detailed genetic analysis of another 70,000. It is the largest study ever intended to determine the relationships between genetic characteristics and homosexual orientation. The study was funded by the National Institutes for Health and other agencies.

Michael Cook at BioEdge summarized the findings: “While they did find five genetic variants associated with same-sex behaviour (and many others which may also be involved) at best these genetic differences could only account for between 8 and 25% of variation in same-sex sexual behaviour and could not be used to predict it.”

Compassion Teaching on a Tough Issue

The Catholic Church has always taught compassion and responsibility for people who experience a homosexual orientation. The Catechism (2359) states:

Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

Following Jesus’ example, we are to love all of God’s children, even when they sin. We can do this especially by bringing clarity to their moral reasoning, challenging their sinful behavior, and welcoming them back into holiness and a loving relationship with their Creator.

Those who embrace homosexual activity are no exception.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has provided extensive guidance in its document Ministry to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination. For homosexually inclined persons, the path of holiness “will unavoidably involve much struggle and self-mastery, for following Jesus always means following the way of the Cross…. The Sacraments of the Eucharist and of Penance are essential sources of consolation and aid on this path.” For the rest of us,

… the commission of the Church to preach the Good News to all people in every land points to the fundamental dignity possessed by each person as created by God. God has created every human person out of love and wishes to grant him or her eternal life in the communion of the Trinity. All people are created in the image and likeness of God and thus possess an innate human dignity that must be acknowledged and respected.

This includes recognizing that persons with a homosexual inclination are harassed and devalued by many in our society, and as Christians we must uphold the essential dignity of every person. As declared by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors wherever it occurs.”

Resistance and Misinformation Are to Be Expected

Advocates for an imagined necessary and unavoidable homosexual orientation among those attracted to homosexual activity are understandably upset by the results of the recent study. The New York Times, for example, quoted a geneticist and member of an LGBTQ affinity group regarding his strong opposition to publication of the study.

A research associate declared: “If the release of this GWAS paper was the plot of Jurassic Park, in which scientists engineer the return of dinosaurs, I’d be Jeff Goldblum’s character, the sober critic, saying: Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

Portrayal of homosexuality as a naturally, genetically occurring trait has long been a source of emotional and political security for the LGBTQ community.

Certain media sources will resist the impact of the recent study on public attitudes. For example, in its own report about the research, CNN anxiously claimed – even before describing the scientific study and its findings – that “same-sex attraction appears to run in families, and identical twins are more likely to be aligned in their sexuality than either fraternal twins or other siblings.”

The New York Times’s Pam Belluck highlighted the following quote from one of the lead researchers after just a one-paragraph summary of the August research report: “I hope that the science can be used to educate people a little bit more about how natural and normal same-sex behavior is.”

We can prudently expect the results of the recent study to be debated and distorted according to the will of groups with varied political, social, and discriminatory objectives.

Consistent and determined faith in the truth of Christ’s teachings and the guidance of the Church, however, will steer Catholics on our path of holiness.

Genetic Reductionism is Rampant and Destructive

Stubborn belief in the myth of a genetic basis for homosexuality is only one example of genetic reductionism – the exaggerated belief in genetic factors as determinants of our human nature.

Research studies and stories in the popular media appear every week to convince the public that one or another characteristic of human DNA has a determining effect on our personalities, behavior, and even thoughts.

Some researchers have tried to tie various genetic traits to individuals’ happiness. Others see a correlation between genetics and political orientations. Tentative indications that a particular gene influences a person’s ability to multitask led to hasty calls for performing a new gene therapy on drone operators. Numerous, conflicting studies try to find the genetic basis for being a good student or staying in school.

Whether or not the genetic structure of a person’s DNA has some influence on his nature and actions, what all these studies have in common is a cynical attitude toward the spiritually-founded free will of God’s children.

Christian Response to the Brave New World

The evils of denying human beings’ free will are many. Will our government elites someday take action against citizens who seem to have a genetic predisposition toward political opposition to certain policies? Will our military use aggressive and highly premature therapies to craft the perfect soldier? Will our society endorse a host of genetically-based excuses for irresponsible, antisocial, and immoral choices?

We have already seen this tendency in the widespread insistence on a genetic basis for homosexual behavior. We have seen it in the shrill attacks on psychologists, priests, and Christians who try to lovingly counsel individuals away from unnatural and damaging homosexual behavior.

As Michael Cook wisely asked, “If homosexuality is not largely genetically-based, why is it wrong to try to modify sexual orientation, if a person requests help in doing so?”

As I noted previously, we are rapidly entering an age in which parents will have the ability to alter the genetic characteristics of their children at the embryonic stage.

In all of these moral challenges, there is only one response by the Christian community that will keep our society on its moral bearings: to vigorously share God’s love and truth with our neighbors.

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13 thoughts on “Explosive Proof Against The “Gay Gene” Theory”

  1. I’m comfortable with a finding of no gay gene. And yet God creates some 5% of them on a continuing basis. Evolution would argue that homosexuality would die out since most gays don’t reproduce. And yet, studies anecdotally find that the second male in birth sequence is 33% more likely to be gay, the third son, another 33%. This argues that some genomic or hormonal thing happens in the mother at male birth, thus those characteristics pass down through maternal genes.

  2. I am not sure finding a “gay gene” is all that relevant to the question of disposition. I am unaware of anyone ever having found a “left-handed gene,” and yet we now accept that one out of ten people is naturally disposed to being left-handed. Interestingly, long ago debunked “therapies” to “cure” left-handed people were abandoned not only because they failed (it is no easier for a left-handed person to work with his or her left hand than it is for a right handed person to work with his or her left hand no matter how many therapies, punishments, training processes are inflicted on them) but because they also proved psychologically damaging — just like so called “reparative” therapies to “convert” gay people. The study that could be game changing would be one showing successful conversions of gay people becoming heterosexual (and, for control purposes, vice versa. If there’s a “choice,” the “choice” has to work both ways). To date, even the most ardent proponents of such therapies have failed to come up with enough “success” stories to conduct such a study. That’s far more telling than whether or not some gene has been discovered.

    1. Good question, and yes that data was captured – click on the study link and scroll down to figure 5. The survey asked preferences from half a million participants (gay likely about 10%). It is noteworthy that the primary investigator is gay himself and therefore decided which data was published based upon a prior approved grant proposal. However, the technique used in this study would still register a disassociation of the gay gene – not the wild-type population but from the heterosexual-type…assuming there is a difference.

  3. Pingback: VVEDNESDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit

  4. Chris Reilly: nice article. However, I think Christopher (commentator) has it right as far as the science is concerned. Clearly factors of intelligence and personality are heritable. Yet, the tension between environmental and hereditary influences is not that well understood, and possibly never will be. Statistical correlation is not a sufficient condition for causation; is it a necessary condition? I think the jury is out on that.

  5. For most human actions – under principles of morality as stated in the doctrines of Holy Mother Church – one freely chooses right or wrong. If one cannot freely choose, the act cannot be wrong.

    When I sin, I freely choose evil instead of good; knowing the right and the wrong, knowing what leads to “inheriting the kingdom” and what leads to [if I am unrepentant before death] “eternal fire, ” I freely choose one or the other. I am not a robot, I am not an animal acting 100% out of instinct. Made in God’s image and likeness, I freely choose to voluntarily do this act or that act. I am – due to original sin – inclined toward evil. God did not make me this way – God did not incline me to evil. If, with this inclination in place, I freely choose evil, I am not justified, or forgiven, by saying “God made me this way.”

    If I freely choose to do racist acts, [racism is an intrinsic evil], no intention and no circumstances make that act an act of virtue. Same with abortion, same with choosing to engage in homosexual activity.

    Acting in mental illness is not the same as freely choosing to do acts of intrinsic disorder, acts of intrinsic evil. Mentally ill folks often do not freely choose.

    For an interesting discussion, check out the not-little body of literature re: what if they did find a homosexual gene? And then parents either 1. abort the preborn child who has this – whether you call it defect or not; and 2. post-birth, the homogene is ‘fixed’ and the child/person proceeds to grow as a heterosexual.

    Of course, one could attempt to rely on the Bergolgian heresy, [the correction of Jesus’s errors about eternal hellfire being, yes, forever,] the heresy that “no one is condemend forever.” [Amoris Laetitia heresy exhortation].

    Guy McClung, Texas

  6. Thanks for your comment. Please note that I have not indicated that there is no connection at all with genetics, but the interpretation of the study that genetics has at most a weak association with homosexuality has been confirmed by every source I have encountered when reviewing the new study. Genetics, which has something to do with just about any human trait, is not a dominant cause here – that’s the lesson to take away. The study looked carefully at the possibility of a highly complex genetic influence and did not find evidence of it beyond the 8% to 25% relationship quoted.

    1. Of identical twins, 50% develop Schizophrenia (1% naturally) strongly suggesting a genetic susceptibility, yet it continues to baffle. I would hope that more data and funding is available for Schizophrenia than this disorder…but not finding evidence is not synonymous with no connection. Sometimes you have to discover the shovel before you can dig. Catholic Stand tends to be expository – as opposed to persuasive articles – since you are preaching to the choir, so obviously I know you don’t intend to mislead…I just wouldn’t go so far as to say it was a devastating blow or to suggest it is based on a myth.

  7. As Catholics, the truth will set us free. Unfortunately, this article has some holes. Studies like these do not necessarily conclude that genetics is NOT involved. I have about 80 publications in molecular pathology at a top 5 medical institution, so I suggest we not jump to conclusions. Sickle Cell Anemia has a one molecule substitution in the gene which made it easy to find and study. Schizophrenia on the other hand is far more complicated. Schizophrenics do not choose to be this way. Let us wait and find the truth.

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