By Peter Espeut
One of the important claims made by activists wishing us to accept that homosexuality is 'normal' and 'natural', and therefore 'acceptable' and 'legal', is that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are 'born that way'. Because they are 'born that way' (the argument goes), being gay is 'natural' (i.e., according to nature); and how can something 'natural' be made illegal?
Patrick E. White, PhD, expresses it like this in a letter to The Gleaner published June 11, 2013: "But, what if the behaviour is innate, part of who the guy is and not subject to his conscious control? As I understand it, the emerging scientific consensus is being gay is not a conscious choice, which makes sense. I cannot recall choosing to be straight. Did you?"
The argument is quite spurious, proving that just because someone has a PhD, that does not guarantee clear, rational, logical thinking. The logic is, if one does not make a conscious choice to be gay, being gay must be 'innate' (i.e., you are born that way). What rubbish!
Do you like the taste of jackfruit? Do you eat snails (like the French)? Or frogs (like residents in our sister isle Dominica)? What about cricket (the game, I mean)? Do you like them? Was that a conscious choice? Is love of snails or frogs or cricket 'innate', or does it have something to do with culture? Or socialisation?
Being male or short or black are innate characteristics over which we have no control, no choice in the matter. We are born that way. Anyone who has done high-school biology understands that our natural, innate traits are determined by our genetic make-up. One pair of chromosomes (XY or XX) with their constituent genes determine our sex. Study at university level is required to understand the genetics behind the wide variation between humans in height and skin colour.
The only way for traits to be 'innate' - able to be passed from one generation to the next - is if they have a genetic basis. Patrick E. White, PhD, needs to know that THERE IS NO GAY GENE. Check it out! Google it! Read a genetics textbook! No one is born lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. That is false 'gay-rights' propaganda. Gays are MADE, not born.
SCIENTISTs YET TO FIND 'GAY GENE'
Don't think that gay propagandists don't know this. Scientists have been looking for a 'gay gene' for decades - fruitlessly. Every gene on every chromosome of the human genome has been put under the microscope. Some wish us to assume with them that it will soon be found; and so - in anticipation of the discovery - we must act as if homosexuality is a natural, innate phenomenon. Pure propaganda, and wishful thinking!
On the other hand, there is no shortage of psychosocial explanations for LGBT behaviour. Genetics can explain how sex (male/female) is transmitted from parents to child, but it cannot explain how gender (masculine/feminine behaviour) is transmitted.
Socialisation is the process of transmitting behaviour and beliefs from one generation to the next. The thing about socialisation is that it is not a conscious process; we adopt personal traits, but we do not experience that we have 'made a choice'. We observe and copy the behaviour of our mothers and fathers, and we are thrown in with brothers and sisters, and adjust to their presence.
We are taught our gender identity by the names we are given, by the clothes put on us, and by the games we are taught to play. Gender-conforming children grow to feel similar to children of their own sex, but different from opposite-sex children. Gender-non-conforming children will feel different from children of their own sex. This may evoke physiological arousal when the child is near members of the sex which it considers as being 'different' (opposites attract). This will later be transformed into sexual arousal.
Socialisation does not always work the way it should; so many people are improperly socialised, and this leads to socially dysfunctional behaviour.
But what causes gender-conforming and gender-non-conforming behaviour? Hormone imbalances may be one explanation. Others suggest that domineering mothers and ineffectual fathers may interfere with socialisation; and still others suggest that homosexuality may be triggered by having sexual encounters with members of one's own sex at an early age that prove to be very satisfying.
Let us not fall into line with 'gay-rights' propaganda by speaking as if LGBT behaviour is normal and natural. Unless you want to say that improper socialisation and dysfunctionality are normal and acceptable.
Peter Espeut is a sociologist and Roman Catholic deacon. Email feedback to email@example.com.