Jamaica Gleaner
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Sexual orientation: Is there a conclusion?

By Rev. Stephen-Claude Hyatt

WE WILL continue to look at the Sociological theory of sexual orientation. This theory is backed by the story of a set of twin boys, one of whom lost his penis during a car accident at infancy. He was grown as a girl and convinced that he was always a girl, and his behaviours, discordant with his actual sex, were concordant with the sex in which he had been raised. Upon critique however, it was discovered that this was not a honest reflection, as the infant was in fact castrated, thus removing the principal androgen source, and was placed on a regimen of female hormones. This made it impossible for scientists to assess the relative contributions of biology and social rearing.

With the absence of this critique, the study of the twins would suggest, as some contend that homosexuality is a learnt behaviour. I guess you could say that they would embrace John Locke's theory of "Tabular Rasa", transferring it to counter the concept of homosexual predisposition (Diathesis-Stress Theory).

It is also suggested that adolescents are vulnerable and easily shaped into heterosexuality or homosexuality, based on their experience during that critical point in development. This social viewpoint suggests that anyone can be made into a homosexual based on his/her experience.

It is also further suggested that sexuality is a continuum with heterosexuality and homosexuality at either ends. Bisexuality is therefore in the middle, hence we all go through a period, even though briefly, of homosexual tendencies, and this determines one's sexual orientation based on Kinsey's study in the 1940's.

According to one journalist, homosexuality is a totally learnt phenomeKnon, and has no biological significance. This journalist posits that homosexuality is due to such learning experiences; for, example, seduction by an older same-sex individual, or being "over-mothered". It is also suggested, though yet to be proven, that boys who grow without their father or a masculine figure around, tend to be more predisposed to becoming homosexuals, than others.

Spiritual theory

The spiritual theory suggests that demon spirits possesses all homosexuals, and the only way to deal with same is through exorcism. This viewpoint is rather intolerant of any form of homosexual behaviour, and is often times condemnatory. According to Errol Hall, noted Jamaican Evangelist, on a Television Jamaica broadcast, all persons who are homosexuals, be they lesbians or gays, are in need of him to lay hands on them and cast out the demons.

This theory is the most subjective of all, as it is not based on any form of research or testing; rather, it is based purely on interpretation of scripture, which varies, as well as feelings, biases, convictions and a need to condemn. Many Church leaders and members hold this viewpoint, and would rather beat the life out of an individual, be it by the tongue or with an object, all under the guise of exorcism and Godliness, than searching for realistic explanations.

In order to support this point, individuals use scripture, in particular the Hebrew Scripture (Old Testament), to support their beliefs and actions. Let me be quick to state that there is nowhere in scripture which supports the practice of homosexuals, nowhere which calls us to be merciful or accommodating. However, there is no verse that stipulates that homosexuality is the greatest and unpardonable sin.

I am not calling for the Church to embrace homosexuality and make it an accepted norm within her walls. However, I am calling for the Church to examine all the possible explanations objectively, and then decide what her role ought to be in the scenario.

  Rev. Stephen-Claude Hyatt is guidance counsellor at Jamaica College. yahgnosis@hotmail.com

Articles In This Series
I was born this way July 25,2001
Sexuality and the law July 25,2001
Homophobia remains HIGH July 26,2001
Bisexual woman struggles with identity July 26,2001
Is there a gay gene? July 26,2001
Homos at risk July 26,2001
Sexual orientation: Is there a conclusion? July 278,2001
'I was sleeping with their husband and father' July 27,2001
Sexual orientation:Critiquing the theories, looking at the realities (new) August 13, 2001
US Church divided on issue (new) August 13, 2001

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A Go- Jamaica Feature 2001