LGBT

Prepare for This Study on the Misuse of Science on LGBT Issues to Be Misused

Acknowledging the ambiguity in research is hardly debunking myths.

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Lady Gaga
Van Tine Dennis/Sipa USA USA/Newscom

When you find yourselves turning to the lyrics of a Lady Gaga song as evidence of a widespread "myth" about scientific research, maybe take a step back for a moment and reconsider your angle,

The New Atlantis is a journal about science published by the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center. It's not a peer-reviewed science journal—it's an opinion journal about science. Don't take this as criticism—we're not hypocrites. We write opinion pieces frequently that are informed by science but are also intended to push forward liberty-minded policies.

They have a brand new journal out getting attention in conservative circles that purports to provide "the most up-to-date explanation of many of the most rigorous findings produced by the biological, physiological, and social sciences related to sexual orientation and gender identity."

What this report is really about is pointing out how many theories about sexual orientation and gender identity are exactly that—theories. Lady Gaga's song "Born This Way," is invoked early on in the study as an example of pushing a theory that sexual orientation is innate and that the science on the matter is settled when it is not.

Essentially, what this "Sexuality and Gender" report is intended to do is increase an emphasis on the ambiguity of the research to help push against public policies that want to treat everything about sexuality and gender identity as "settled science." The reality, though, is that much of what is in the report is not in any way, shape, or form "debunking" any "myths," as David French puts it at the National Review, because while some people may believe sexuality is innate, the science has been fairly consistent in saying the reasons currently remain inconclusive. (And since we don't have a scientifically confirmed explanation of where sexual orientation comes from, nothing has even been "debunked.")

In fact, here's how the American Psychological Association (APA) itself responds to the question "What causes a person to have a particular sexual orientation?"

There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.

That the APA doesn't classify homosexuality as a "mental illness" any longer and opposes efforts by therapists to change people's sexual orientation does not mean that the APA has concluded that sexual orientation is inherent or unchanging.

The New Atlantis study also puts out these nuggets:

Members of the non-heterosexual population are estimated to have about 1.5 times higher risk of experiencing anxiety disorders than members of the heterosexual population, as well as roughly double the risk of depression, 1.5 times the risk of substance abuse, and nearly 2.5 times the risk of suicide.

Members of the transgender population are also at higher risk of a variety of mental health problems compared to members of the non-transgender population. Especially alarmingly, the rate of lifetime suicide attempts across all ages of transgender individuals is estimated at 41%, compared to under 5% in the overall U.S. population.

What's fascinating about tossing out these numbers is that, first of all, they have nothing to do with the legitimacy of non-heterosexual orientations on gender identity. It's information intended to cast doubt on the state of minds of gay and transgender people without actually establishing a correlation. (To the study's credit, it does acknowledge the evidence that discrimination and social stigmas against LGBT people contribute to these figures.)

Second, numbers like this get tossed around within the LGBT community itself. There is a well-established understanding of the additional mental health concerns that people who are gay or transgender face. There are therapists and counselors who specialize in helping gay and transgender clients with problems ranging from depression to domestic abuse. There's certainly no "myth" that working out one's non-standard sexual orientation or gender identity comes free of mental baggage.

A good chunk of the study seems devoted to challenging the legitimacy of transgender transitions, and again, a lot of it is a reminder that the science is not settled. The study is probably going to catch a lot of critique from the left for its obvious agenda and clear intent to be used politically. But I do actually think it's fair of them to point out how much remains ambiguous and unsettled about gender identity given that we are in the crafting federal government policy about how or whether to accommodate transgender people.

Indulge me a moment in a childhood anecdote: I played a lot with girly things and with girls as a boy. Even when I was a small kid, I did have that sense that I was not "like" the other boys, something that many gay guys experience long before hitting actual puberty. My interest in girly things is long gone now (though I have recently become overly interested in mid-century design—not sure if that's a gay thing or a Los Angeles thing, or both).

With the enhanced interest in recognizing transgender kids, I think about that now and wonder whether I would be pushed by some well-meaning soul to consider whether I was transgender. I was not. I was confused, and the idea of treating a child as though he or she is "confused" has taken on a significant amount of stigma. It's easy to see why, given that the term "confused" has often been used to dismiss those who claimed non-standard sexual orientations. (I would point out here before conservatives start pointing to this confusion as evidence of something that the source of the confusion was the fact that I was gay. And about that part of my identity, there is most assuredly no dispute, regardless of the science behind it.)

We're seeing transgender policy that is pushing on both end of the scales, and that's frustrating. We have some people who want to treat a child's gender confusion as a settled matter and not a process of normal childhood development. We have some who want to treat it as though it will be a cultural disaster if we accommodate a child's confusion and not use social pressure to push him or her to conform to birth sex. And we have a federal government that is attempting to intervene on policies, which turns this all into a new stage of the culture war. Ultimately a child's sexual and gender identity is a matter for that child and the child's parents or guardians to work out. It shouldn't be the role of the government to step into this process to pressure parents or families in either direction. The purpose of this study is obviously to help one side push back against policy prescriptions from their opposition.

Read the report for yourself here.

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135 responses to “Prepare for This Study on the Misuse of Science on LGBT Issues to Be Misused

  1. Be sure that the big Nanny State will be involved in the transgender issue for some time.

    1. Well, the transgender activists demanded that the Nanny State get involved. May they have the joy of it.

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    2. Do you mean they will be generating them or something else? Because it seems to me that the dems and some RINOs need a lot more confused people, so just trying to get a gauge on this. Not that I care much. Are they Americans? Yes? Give them ALL the rights that American’s deserve, based ENTIRELY on what America represents, and more importantly, what people living and dead have stood / fought / died for.

      Unlike some, I believe the US gubment (will NOT cap that) is not entitled to tell us what we are or what we can do, at all. Any time, anywhere. States and individuals have rights. Feds get what we TELL them they have. No more.

    3. Do you mean they will be generating them or something else? Because it seems to me that the dems and some RINOs need a lot more confused people, so just trying to get a gauge on this. Not that I care much. Are they Americans? Yes? Give them ALL the rights that American’s deserve, based ENTIRELY on what America represents, and more importantly, what people living and dead have stood / fought / died for.

      Unlike some, I believe the US gubment (will NOT cap that) is not entitled to tell us what we are or what we can do, at all. Any time, anywhere. States and individuals have rights. Feds get what we TELL them they have. No more.

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  2. I remember I found The Folly of Scientism article rather interesting. That was the first time I noticed the New Atlantis.

  3. Their decision to be gay is as much of a choice as my own to be a Nazi. Bakers should not be allowed to discriminate against either of us.

    1. Hey wait a minute here…
      If I am a cake-baker, I ***MUST*** take money from the NAZI and bake him a cake if he wants to pay for one, else I am a hate-criminal…
      Yet if I am a politician, I can NOT take money from the NAZI who wants me to vote NAZI for him, but I can take money from the Bernie supporters and vote to nationalize everything… If I take the money of the NAZI in this case, I am a hate criminal, right?
      Why this double standard? One standard for politicians, a totally 180-out standard for the rest of us? Why, Santa, why?

      1. So how long till a NAZI gloats victoriously after a cake-baker refuses to bake a NAZI cake for him… And he wins in court… Then said NAZI will move on to sue the politician who wouldn’t even take his NAZI bribes, OOOOOps, I mean, campaign contributions? What should I do as a juror, if I am selected for jury duty, in the latter case? This is going to keep me up sleepless tonight!!!! Please advise ASAP!!!!

        1. You know, I was actually thinking about getting into the cake-baking business? But now I am thinking, “A NAZI comes to me, he says, “Bake me a cake, it says, in yummy chocolate frosting, “I am a NAZI and I want to kill the POTUS””? (Or the SCOTUS, the BLOATUS, or the SCROTUS, cum to think of it).
          Now if I do ***NOT*** bake him his cake, I am an anti-NAZI hater, and must be punished, but if I ***DO*** bake him a cake, I have threatened the Emperor-God, which is ALSO a hate crime.
          I guess I will need an army of lawyers on-staff to advise me, and charge like $1 million per cake, and hope and pray I can make a “go” of the business, and NOT go to jail?

  4. Sexual orientation is not innate, anyone who argues otherwise is either misinformed or has a political agenda.

    Sexual orientation is not a choice, anyone who argues otherwise is either misinformed or has a political agenda.

    Frustratingly for both sides of the issue BOTH of these statements are true. Sexual orientation is not something you are born with and it is not fixed throughout your life but neither is it something you have any actual control over.

    That said having a non standard Gender identity is ALWAYS a mental illness, at a minimum it requires off the charts levels of narcissism to think that the world cares what you identify as on the inside and that it should be required to change to suite the reality that you wish existed.

    1. That there are aspects of the world that would need to change in order to accommodate people who don’t jive with conventional gender identities does indeed indicate a widespread and prolonged sense of narcissism.

      1. Someday, there will be philosophy concerning the freedom of individuals to express themselves. Maybe it can be called something catchy, like “libertarianism”.

        Until then, we are stuck arguing about whose preferences should be enshrined in law.

        1. I find your ideas intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter. Unfortunately it is not on the list of government approved opinion journals, so I have reported you to the Federal Speech Bureau, who will send a SWAT team to correct you.

          1. I find your ideas intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

            Aw Hugh, the feigned interest in freedom…

    2. That’s true not only of sexual orientation, but most preferences. We do have a few preferences we’re born with, such as for sweet taste and against being stuck with needles, but once you get beyond those, who’s to say why you prefer, say, blondes or redheads? Fortunately nobody seeks to stigmatize or politicize most preferences.

      1. Fortunately nobody seeks to stigmatize or politicize most preferences.

        Hmm. So I guess all those references to white male hetero shitlords aren’t meant to be stigmatizing?

      2. I know exactly why I prefer redheads, and it’s because of this beautiful lady being on TV when I was in adolescence.

      3. blondes or redheads? YES!

      4. All that shit could be (wholly or partially) genetic, or biological in some other way. My dad has been on a bit of a kick lately about how microbes in your gut can influence behavior, and they do seem to be surprisingly important (for gayness it makes a whole lot more sense than genes).

  5. This study’s proponents are merely using the same mock ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY that the prior folks always used for THEIR agenda.

    1. Let’s be careful here, both you and Scott are being sloppy when calling it a “study.” There was nothing studied here; no experiments were conducted and no data were collected. And that’s OK. It is a “report,” that is the term the New Atlantis authors use, and it is the correct terminology. It is an analysis and synthesis of findings from prior studies. It would be improper to criticize the report using the criteria of a study. The purpose of a study is to report the findings of original researcher, whereas, the purposes of a report can be to identify patterns within the findings of previous research on the topic, argue that a particular theory is supported by previous research, or to suggest new research agendas. As such, one can expect less academic “hedging” in a report than a study.

      1. The purpose of a study is to report the findings of original researcher

        By what definition? Or is this one of those argument from authority things?

        A study is many things, and no, they don’t all adhere to your one dimensional definition, nor do reports.

  6. David French is a mendacious little goblin. He spends 11 paragraphs making the reasonable case that society and culture play significant roles in sexual orientation and gender identity, then he dumps this paragraph:

    Here’s the thing, the messy reality McHugh and Mayer describe has been experienced by humans since time immemorial. The LGBT Left’s narrative is the new nonsense. But in response to the new nonsense, there are sectors of American and European politics and culture that can’t kick away the old norms of marriage and gender fast enough, and they keep doing so in spite of the mountain of evidence that those who forsake the allegedly oppressive “Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement,” to quote Black Lives Matter, face far greater challenges than those hidebound bigots who stick faithfully to the heteronormative nightmare of traditional male-female marriage.

    Huh, do you think the challenges might just result from living at odds with a culture that promotes and institutionalizes the heteronormative marriage paradigm?

    Then he concludes by saying if you don’t want problems just be normal and go to church, faggot.

    1. David French is a mendacious little goblin.

      Careful with your language, Hugh. One would not want to insult hard working fiscally responsible Goblin-Americans by comparing them to David French.

      1. I would like to apologize to the Goblin community for my unfortunate remarks, and it is my honor to announce the Hugh Akston Goblin-American Scholarship Foundation.

        1. But nothing for the trolls? For shame, Hugh, for shame.

    2. The report is also a Don Quixote-ian assault on a gigantic straw-man. As Scott “Love Shack” Shackford points out with his APA cite, no serious researcher claims that sexual orientation is entirely a result of nature over nurture. The heritability of sexual orientation within the general population remains an open question. I suspect that we will find, like many traits (height, IQ, etc.) that the heritability circles around .8. Because Loki is the one true god.

      1. Nice reference to Loki! However, one of my Gods would like to have a word with you……..

        1. I’m guessing it’s Indra/Thor/Zeus/Perun. The Indo-European thunder deity has always been always a little “excitable.”

        2. Seriously though, I find it fascinating that the heritability of so many traits ends up being around .8.

          1. I would have expected more around .707.

            1. I suspect that the inheritability of non-hetero sexuality is about 0.0

              It would have negative propagation properties if directly inheritable.

              There are lots of other theories that suggest biological causes rather than direct inheritability than would be much more plausible.

      2. I suspect that we will find, like many traits (height, IQ, etc.) that the heritability circles around .8.

        Nah. That wouldn’t make any sense.

        1. “Biometric modeling” aside, you really think environment has that much influence on the variability on the expression of sexual orientation as a trait? Prenatal environmental factors do seem to play an important role, but “illness and trauma,” “peer groups”, (and what seems like a circular argument to me) “sexual experience”? That doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t see myself becoming gay due to a childhood episode of scarlet fever, much less from “Hey! Suck a dick, everyone’s doing it!”

          1. I linked to the “twin studies” section. I don’t know where you’re getting this “peer groups” stuff from, and I don’t intend to find out.

            In popular parlance, the “environment” is things social workers care about. In genetics, “the environment” is “everything but the genome.”

            Best theory I’ve seen. (homo bugs)

            1. From your own link, first sentence of the third paragraph under the “twin studies section”

              A 2010 study of all adult twins in Sweden (more than 7,600 twins)[9] found that same-sex behavior was explained by both heritable factors and individual-specific environmental sources (such as prenatal environment, experience with illness and trauma, as well as peer groups, and sexual experiences),

              1. They’re just giving the usual bullshit to cover-up what non-shared environment really means: “other.”

                1. From the abstract:

                  Biometric modeling revealed that, in men, genetic effects explained .34?.39 of the variance, the shared environment .00, and the individual-specific environment .61?.66 of the variance.

                  If peer groups and other nonsense mattered, it would show up in the shared environment too.

                  Essentially what we have is a third of the variance explained by genes, and two thirds completely unexplained. (Homo bugs done it)

                  1. If peer groups and other nonsense mattered, it would show up in the shared environment too.

                    That’s not true. The effect of a peer group, etc. is not and cannot be “shared” equally throughout the environment, as each individual has a different experience as part of a peer group; thus, it is correct to place it under individual-specific environment.

                    No offense, but you’re engaging in special pleading. Your own source precisely defines both shared and individual environmental effects. You can’t just hand-wave it away because it is inconvenient to your preferred hypothesis of pathogens. Furthermore, it could be just that homo heritablity is particularly low among Swedes. I would wait until there is a study done with a larger population before making bold claims either way.

                    I need to AFK for a bit, so please take this raincheck to discuss this topic later. I don’t want to give the impression that I’m bugging out on you.

            2. Best theory I’ve seen. (homo bugs)

              Expression of homosexuality as a result of a pathogen doesn’t seem to be the most elegant explanation for the behavior to me. It seems to rely on the fallacy that every, single human behavioral trait has some sort of evolutionary benefit. That the expression of homosexual behavior requires some sort of Just-so story to explain it.

              I’m also concerned whenever anyone makes an ipse dixit claim, such as:

              It doesn’t exist in most hunter-gatherers: you have to explain what it is you’re even talking about when you ask them. Presumably with diagrams.

              without any sort of citation to back it up. A cursory search on my institution’s electronic card catalog turned up no supportive literature. Indeed, why would hunter-gatherers be less susceptible to a pathogen? Perhaps you can point me to the source West is making this claim from. Suggesting that homosexuality didn’t exist when we are in the Rousseau-ian state of nature doesn’t make a lot of sense when you consider our closet genetic cousins, the Bonobos, stick their dicks into pretty much anything that moves. Based on etiological observation of other animals, if anything, homosexuality/bisexuality seems to be atavistic behavior than pathogenic-based innovation.

              1. “Homosexual behavior” isn’t an evolutionary mystery. “Disinterest in heterosexual behavior” is.

                It seems to rely on the fallacy that every, single human behavioral trait has some sort of evolutionary benefit.

                LOLWTF Fucking women has a pretty damn obvious evolutionary benefit.

                without any sort of citation to back it up

                The co-blogger is (was now, sadly) an anthropologist who lived with hunter-gatherers.

                Indeed, why would hunter-gatherers be less susceptible to a pathogen?

                For the same reason Native Americans weren’t susceptible to smallpox?

                Based on etiological observation of other animals, if anything, homosexuality/bisexuality seems to be atavistic behavior than pathogenic-based innovation.

                The type of preferential homosexuality humans practice has only been observed in one other animal: domesticated rams.

                1. BTW, that’s the blog of The 10,000 Year Explosion authors.

  7. And since we don’t have a scientifically confirmed explanation of where sexual orientation comes from, nothing has even been “debunked.”

    Yes we do. Single mothers cause it.

  8. “There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual…”

    Really? The whole survival of a species didn’t give you a clue?

    And I was assured the “science was settled!!!!!” Now we are allowing ambiguity?

    Who knew SCOTUS rulings could affect science so!!!!

    The only honest answer of what causes homosexuality must be “I don’t know.”

    Anyone at this point who says otherwise is a liar.

    1. That’s a brilliant rendition of the kind of comments I was expecting under this article.

      I was almost disappointed that it wasn’t happening, but you’ve covered all of it.

      *slow clap*

    2. “Really? The whole survival of a species didn’t give you a clue?”

      No, that explains why most individuals are heterosexual it offers no explanation for why a specific individual is

  9. Understand upfront that we don’t know what human consciousness really is or if humans really have “free will” or what “free will” even means and may never know. So take that larger issue out of it.

    The fact is physical processes and characteristics are observable and predictable. If something is the result of genes or a physical process, that process is observable. So don’t tell me being gay is genetic or phys and not a choice different from any other preference unless you can point to some predictable and observable process. If you can’t, then the default answer is that it is not and it is a choice. It is really that simple. If something can be seen, we don’t assume it is there until we see it. So the burden of proof lies with those who claim that sexual preference is somehow genetically driven and is unlike any other preference.

    Does this study rule out the possibility that sexual preference could be genetically different and thus not the same as other choices and preferences? No it doesn’t. You can’t prove a negative. It may be that every choice is driven by our genes. What this study does do, however, is say that based on the evidence we have there is no reason to believe that it is. And for that reason, choice of sex partner should be treated like any other choice.

    1. “… if humans really have “free will” or what “free will” even means and may never know.”

      The determinist camps (including people like Richard Dawkins) do believe the question has been answered, and decisively so. Oh sure, outside of their own circles they dance around the hard truths guaranteed by their understanding of reality. But don’t think they do not understand the ramifications, they just don’t think you’re ready for them.

      It is really only the free will crowd that actually remains open to the question.

    2. … which of course leads to the rather unremarkable and yet controversial conclusion “whether or not it’s a choice should be legally irrelevant”.

      Religion is absolutely a choice* and yet is something that everyone should be free to choose and express. Why does the question of “choice or not” matter, at all?

      * = Places that punish apostasy and blasphemy notwithstanding

      1. All true. There is nothing that says you have to protect against the discrimination over religion. Of course in the US, there is something that says that, the US constitution.

        Understand why that is the case. The founders didn’t protect religion because of some bizarre idea that people didn’t have a choice in it. They said that you couldn’t discriminate against religion because they had seen what the religious wars had done to Europe and didn’t want that to happen here. It was a strictly utilitarian decision.

        If you want to say “I like homosexuals and think it should be illegal to discriminate against them”, fine. That is not an irrational position. When you do that however, stop using the language of race. Disliking someone because of them being black or short or tall or some other physical factor they have no control over is not the same thing as disliking someone because you don’t approve of their choices.

        And yes, since religion is a choice, saying “I don’t like Jews or Christians or whatever” is different and in some sense less objectionable and irrational than saying “I don’t like people with brown skin.”

    3. Sexual orientation has little to nothing to do with the choice of sex partners it is what specific body forms and specific acts triggers your libido. There are a great many heterosexuals who have sex with the same gender for a variety of reasons even though they aren’t actually attracted to them and there are more than a few homosexuals who have sex with members of the opposite sex.

      Who you have sex with does not define your orientation.

      You want absolute proof that sexual orientation is not a choice….

      Lets conduct an experiment. I want you to choose to be gay for 15 minutes. No, you don’t have to suck anyones dick or let someone drill you in the ass, I didn’t say to have gay sex, I just want you to choose to have a homosexual orientation for just 15 minutes. I want you to look at guys and become sexually aroused and look at women and either feel nothing or even be repulsed by the idea of having sex with them. I want you to get physically aroused at the thought of a dick sliding down your throat or into your ass and turned of by the sight of a vagina. Here is the key, you can’t just say “I’m Gay” and be done with it, you have to actually BE gay by choice for just 15 minutes.

      Report back to us and tell us how successful you are at choosing your sexual orientation.

      1. Sexually orientation is no more or less a choice than any other orientation. I can’t help it that I like rice pudding. Even if you could explain why I like it, it wouldn’t really matter since I never choose to like it and couldn’t stop liking it if I tried. It is just what I like. Sexual orientation is the same way. But so what? every preference is like that. I can’t judge you for your sexual preference but I most certainly can judge you for your choice to act on it, if I so choose. Just because you prefer it doesn’t mean you have to act on it anymore than my love of rice pudding somehow compels me to eat it at any given opportunity.

    4. then the default answer is that… it is a choice

      If you don’t know, then the default answer is you don’t know. Arguing it is a choice has the obvious drawback of people claiming that they never chose their orientation. I’m one of them. For as long as I’ve had sexual thoughts, I’ve felt attraction to both men and women. I never chose for it to be that way–that’s just how it’s always been as long as I can remember since I was a child.

      As it is now, we’re not sure what exactly goes into sexual orientation/attraction and how it differs from person to person. Like many things with humans, it’s really complex. The default answer is that we don’t know for sure yet. It’s not justified to claim it’s a choice.

      1. I don’t know that there are not magic elves. If there are, there should be some observational evidence of such. Since there is not, I am going to assume no such thing exists until the evidence shows otherwise.

        1. I don’t know that there are not magic elves.

          “I don’t know” really should be the end of it, because it’s the most truthful answer.

          If there are, there should be some observational evidence of such.

          Where? How do you know they don’t exist on another planet, or in another universe entirely? Your example was too vague, and left open too many possibilities.

    5. This is remarkably close to my Christian viewpoint.

      Everyone is subject to temptation.

      Certainly pedophiles are inclined to be tempted to engage sexually with children. We do not say, because you did not choose to be a pedophile, it is therefore acceptable.

      Rather, we expect those subject to these sorts of temptations, pedophilia, excessive gambling, non-consentual sex, whatever, to control those impulses.

      I don’t really care what homosexuals do with each other, or what folks do sexually with a pet duck for that matter. I do object to the characterization that they can’t help it. You are an intelligent creature with free will. You can’t help being tempted, you completely control what you do. You CHOSE to act this way.

  10. The reality, though, is that much of what is in the report is not in any way, shape, or form “debunking” any “myths”…because while some people may believe sexuality is innate, the science has been fairly consistent in saying the reasons currently remain inconclusive. (And since we don’t have a scientifically confirmed explanation of where sexual orientation comes from, nothing has even been “debunked.”)
    .
    What the fuck is this? Something is not commonly called a “myth” to be “debunked,” in the context of what Shackleford himself says is “an opinion journal not a science journal,” if it is merely referring to a view widely held by the public, being refuted by informing them of scientific consensus, rather than a matter of debunking scientific consensus itself?
    .
    In fact “born this way” for both sexuality and gender is both nearly universally believed by the pro-LGBT rights public and nearly universally pushed by the gay rights movement, to the extent that any LGBT who dares suggest that he himself had the slightest bit of choice in the matter, or was the slightest bit influenced by environment, is denounced as an Uncle Tom. “Don’t you know we have struggled so hard, you’re endangering all our progress, we still have work to do…?” …

    1. …The idea that any psychological characteristic is all nature and no nurture is not only ethically and politically irrelevant but scientifically ludicrous. It is, however, just one of the many baldfaced lies (“10%”, anyone?) perpetrated by the LGBT movement, perhaps the shrewdest in American history. They knew well enough that they would get nowhere in securing their basic human rights simply by reminding Americans that it was simply none of their business what they did with their genitalia, and everywhere by charming them into “approving” of their behavior. And now, of course, they’re on a roll; and being seen as an inborn, unchanging characteristic is crucial to attaining the special treatment they now seek as an identity group. Utopia is not a place where they are simply human beings who like to bump dicks with other dudes or cut theirs off completely and who the fuck cares; to the contrary, it is a place where they are “Gay!” and “Transgender!” and that is Who They Are!

      Whoever would support forcing someone else to celebrate your private choices if they were just, you know, your private choices?

      1. They knew well enough that they would get nowhere in securing their basic human rights simply by reminding Americans that it was simply none of their business what they did with their genitalia, and everywhere by charmingforcing them at gunpoint into “approving” of their behavior.

        And they did this absent any irony or self-awareness.

        1. You’re right; rereading I gave them altogether too much credit for their sincerity. As with all other groups, no one ever wants to overthrow the czardom; they merely want to be the next czar. They may take up the peasants’ banner during the revolt but they drop it as soon as they reach the palace gates.
          .
          Even the gun-rights rank-and-file, surely the most principled and solid pro-liberty movement out there, would probably force every American to own a weapon and/or hunt if they could; I’ve certainly heard as much being grumbled. And don’t even get me started about what some of them think about cops and armed black folks.

          1. addendum: False comparison. At least the gun-rights leadership is quite responsible and principled (if altogether too moderate for my taste). The same cannot be said for the LGBT leadership, which is of course far *worse* than its own rank and file. Very sloppy on my part. Sorry there; just a very frustrated dude in general!

    2. They would also have to admit that deprogramming or reorientation therapies, while unproven are also not disproven.

    3. What Diego said. Basically the LGBT community made up the claim that “they were born this way” without any evidence or scientific basis so they could get in on the civil rights gravy train. Now, even though there has never been any evidence or basis to believe that gays are genetically compelled to prefer the same sex, they place the burden on those who are skeptical of the claim to prove that it is not true.

      Sorry but when there is no evidence that something is true and the observations and science says “we can’t tell”, the thing is considered untrue until the science and observation say yes.

      1. Sorry but when there is no evidence that something is true and the observations and science says “we can’t tell”, the thing is considered untrue until the science and observation say yes.

        Hmmmmm; I wonder if this could be applied to any other current topic of debate involving scienc-y things, any topic at all.

        1. Sure, so long as you accept that the “libertarian” approach is to apply a market based tax in order to generate your preferred outcome.

      2. Now, even though there has never been any evidence or basis to believe that gays are genetically compelled to prefer the same sex

        Congenital disorders aren’t necessarily, or even usually, genetically determined.

        1. True. But if they are not, they are just another choice. If gays are somehow compelled to be attracted to the same sex, why isn’t every other choice also compelled? What is different about your taste in sex versus your taste in food or anything else?

          We don’t say people are not responsible for other choices they make, so why should gays not be responsible for theirs?

          1. Preferences are not chosen. They don’t have to be innate to be unchosen. Other conditions too can be acquired w/o being chosen; for instance, few people choose to get a broken leg.

            1. But acting on that preference is. So, you can’t look down on someone for the preference, but you can look down on them for acting on it. So that doesn’t get you anywhere.

              Moreover, we do not in law prohibit the discrimination against preferences and choices in any other context sans religion. And given the world’s history of religious wars, there is good reason for that exception. So, why should discrimination against gays be any different? Why is being gay different than liking broccoli? It is not illegal to discriminate on the basis of taste in food.

              1. So, you can’t look down on someone for the preference

                Nothing would stop you from doing so.

          2. I don’t have a choice in which food or boobs I like.

            We don’t say people are not responsible for other choices they make, so why should gays not be responsible for theirs?

            Responsible for what? Turning HIV into an epidemic, seemingly overnight? Sure. Liking the dick? Don’t see how that’s a choice.

            1. Not Responsible in the sense that we should make it illegal to discriminate against you for it. You can make any choice you like. You just have to live with whatever choices other people make in response to that choice.

              1. Still don’t see how liking the dick is a choice. The raging boner I got in 6th grade when Mindy grew some bumps certainly wasn’t a choice.

                1. That boner wasn’t a choice. But your decision not to go and try and molest her certainly was.

                  1. Don’t think anyone here is disagreeing.

  11. It’s not a study, at least not in the generally understood ‘scientific’ meaning of the term. The authors themselves call it a report. A more accurate description would be a selective survey of the existing literature.

    “What this report is really about is pointing out how many theories about sexual orientation and gender identity are exactly that?theories.”

    Sauce, goose, gander.

    “What’s fascinating about tossing out these numbers is that…”

    They are all factually based. Shackford just doesn’t like someone with a different agenda employing them as well.

    Shorter Scott: “You don’t agree with me so I don’t like what you say.”

    Because the best way to have a discussion is to marginalize anyone who does not share your initial premise.

    1. I was thinking much the same; tough to see the positives, even for a biased puece, when one cannot overcome one’s own in-group biases. I’ll re-read the ‘report’ now, minus the hinky language of all political bs, the results should be there for the digging.

  12. We’re seeing transgender policy that is pushing on both end of the scales, and that’s frustrating.

    Wrong. What’s “frustrating” is that transgender policy exists. Is it a bit much to expect a liberty-minded publication to call bullshit on that sort of thing?

  13. Essentially, what this “Sexuality and Gender” report is intended to do is increase an emphasis on the ambiguity of the research to help push against public policies that want to treat everything about sexuality and gender identity as “settled science.”

    When I sit on the sidelines and watch the debate, I’m not sure who’s screaming “the science is settled” louder.

    1. No one other than Scott is saying that that I can see. What the skeptics are saying is that there is no reason to believe this. That doesn’t mean the science is settled. Being gay may really be genetic. I don’t know. What I do know is that based on the information available, there is no reason to believe it is right now.

      Like I saw above, if something can be seen but isn’t seen, you don’t assume it exists. You assume it doesn’t’ exist but may exist until observation gives you a reason to think otherwise.

  14. “Ultimately a child’s sexual and gender identity is a matter for that child and the child’s parents or guardians to work out.”

    As someone who is gay, I would be hesitant to give Parents or Guardians, much role in working out a Childs sexual or Gender identity. I realize Scott is likely just using a simple phrasing to avoid an overly complex sentence. I would hope that parents would be helpful in such a situation, and these days I think most people are. However I am sure I need not site any anecdotal evidence of well intentioned parents attempting to help out there LGBT child, and in so doing creating considerable issues, including: abuse, drug addiction, mental health issues, suicide, and likely many more. Ultimately, as Scott says in his article, a person has no real control over their sexual or gender identity, and to suggest a parent or guardian, could “work out” the issue with a child is na?ve.

    1. “Work out” might just indicate “dealing with the situation as it is”. In this case it would mean parents helping LGBT kids figure out their identity and how to get along in society.

    2. Yeah, I read that as “support.” Which one would think was not an issue these days.

      But I ran into an in-law over the summer who has been ostracized by his family for being gay. It really shocked me that in today’s world a family would “disown” a gay son. Particularly as he’s not the only gay man in the extended family.

      And boy is he messed up. Just that lack of support from mom and dad really had him in a dark place for a number of years. He’s pulling it together now, but it took several years.

      So like most things parents do, there isn’t much you can do to make it better, but there’s a lot of ways to really screw it up.

  15. Yeah, this whole “transitioning as a child” thing is a bit worrisome. I think it started with children with ambiguous genitalia who got assigned the wrong gender at birth ( they took a look and decided the bits were closer to female than male, so they made her a female. Except her body actually was more male…. so she never liked being female. etc.) There were quite a few feature pieces on this phenomenon about 25 years ago.

    That’s not the same thing as realizing that you are a girl trapped in a boy’s body at 7. I’m not sure how you’d distinguish that from a phase if you were a parent. Or just liking dresses.

    One of my friends in high school was straight, but oddly obsessed with talk of masturbation. After graduation his girlfriend of two years dumped him. Then he met an older woman and got engaged. That September I ran into him at the mall… he had feathers all in his hair and was hanging out with his boyfriend.

    All of us were like “oh, that explains a lot”. But I don’t think any of us would have guessed his orientation prospectively – him included. We fell out of touch, but last I heard he was still gay and mildly flamboyant. He had a teen bout of struggle with his identity, but it was pretty clearly “who he was”, including the bit of bisexuality mixed in.

    Another friend of ours was a lesbian from the moment we hit puberty. She never had a crisis because she always liked women, probably since 6th grade.

    So my anecdote is “everyone is different”.

    1. One of my friends in high school was straight, but oddly obsessed with talk of masturbation.

      Oddly?

      1. Yeah, even for a teenage boy. Which is quite an accomplishment, I will admit.

        1. Is this a euphemism?

    2. Everyone is different and the claims of the fanatical determinists aside, we are not even close to understanding what consciousness and choice really are. We can’t explain why people make the simplest of choices. Yet, we are now supposed to believe that we understand someone’s sexual preferences or desire to be the other sex to such a degree of certainty that we can say that it is some sort of natural and unchangeable thing such that it can fairly be called “genetic”.

      Give me a fucking break. The whole idea is fucking so stupid as to be beyond belief. What does having a “woman’s mind” even mean? And since when did radical duality and the complete separation of the mind and body come back into fashion?

      1. What does having a “woman’s mind” even mean?

        If we accept that brain structure is related to cognition, then the differences between men and women in brain structure would suggest sex-based differences in cognition.

        1. Suggest is not prove. Come talk to me when you can prove it. And even then, you still have to show me that people who are not women but claim to have a “woman’s mind” actually show the same objective characteristics seen in a woman’s mind, whatever those are.

          1. You are confused. Empirical evidence forsex-based difference in cognition is overwhelming. What has not been proven conclusively is the mechanism of action from which these differences result. Any forensic pathologist worth his or her salt can look at a brain and tell you if it belonged to a man or woman. That male and female brains exist is incontrovertible. Likewise, the relationship between brain structure and cognition is incontrovertible. If I damage your frontal cortex, I have a pretty good idea of how you’re going to act. What is currently not know, but I suspect will soon be known, is the exact range of difference between male and female brain structures and the range of variance in cognition they led to.

            1. I took your word “suggest” literally. Maybe it is proven, though without a complete understanding of how consciousness and cognition work I don’t see how you can say that. Regardless, you still can’t show me that the people claiming this really have different minds.

              Beyond that, even if they do, so what? Why does that then obligate everyone to recognize their mental condition?

              1. “You” are your brain. That’s all there is in the world that really defines “you”. If your brain changes, you change.

                Start with the popular book “The Man who Mistook His Wife For a Hat”. A fantastic book of case studies about the effects of changing the brain.

                As to sexuality, you probably recall the relatively recent case of the staid, Christian, family man who suddenly became wild and promiscuously gay. His wife took him to a neurologist and it turns out he had a tumor. So they took out the tumor. All of the wild behavior and the homosexual desires went goodbye.

                A couple of years go by and he starts feeling attracted to men again. He starts running wild again. They head in to the doctor and whaddaya know, the tumor is back. He decides that he’s happy being wild and leaves the tumor, which eventually kills him.

                Your brain is the computer that runs your mind. It is inseparable. So eventually we will be able to map all of this stuff out. It is just very complex and it will take a long time.

                So your sexuality and what you are attracted to are innate in your brain’s wiring. The fact that you eschew skinny models and desire a more Rubenesque figure is wired into your brain. Some of that wiring is set at birth. Some is set by environmental factors.

                Not knowing every detail of the wiring doesn’t negate the stuff that we do know. And we know a great deal about the brain and sexuality – despite it being a relatively new field.

            2. “Any forensic pathologist worth his or her salt can look at a brain and tell you if it belonged to a man or woman. ”

              A brain and only the brain? No. At least not with anything approaching scientific validity.

              Your links talk almost exclusively of functional differences, not gross physical differences.

              But, to be clear, I’m not saying that differences do not exist, more that the state of our knowledge is insufficient to make reliable declarations based upon such sorts of observations – be they physical or functional.

            3. The trouble with relating the sex-based cognition differences to gender identity issues is that not everyone who deviates cognitively from their gender wants to be the other gender.

              1. I guess that should be “deviates cognitively from their sex” but I have a really hard time with the supposed differences between sex and gender

                1. Blah phone…

                  *…when the gender identity experts can’t even keep the definitions straight

              2. Yep, we can “see” someone having an idea via an fMRI, but the image tells us nothing about what that idea actually is.

        2. Striking differences between men and women? You mean during PC 1.0, the White Male Linear Thinking narrative was true?

        3. For instance, on average, men are more likely better at learning and performing a single task at hand, like cycling or navigating directions, whereas women have superior memory and social cognition skills, making them more equipped for multitasking and creating solutions that work for a group. They have a mentalistic approach, so to speak.

          +1 scientific confirmation of the obvious!

          1. But what does “on avg.” have to do w the individual?

            1. Nothing. A woman can be a great race car driver.

              1. How does that get my house cleaned, or my dinner cooked?

                1. Because if you marry a great race car driver she’ll make enough money to hire a maid and a personal chef

        4. Those differences also show tremendous overlap. Such that, shown structural and functional imagery it is still not possible to reliably declare the subject’s biologic sex, much less their professed ‘orientation(s).’

          1. I suspect that’s more due to the limitations of the observational instrument than anything else. As imaging technology and techniques improve, we might possibility be able to do just that, as the link in my OP suggests.

            1. I tend to agree that one day in the future we probably will be able to look at both brain structure and functions and make determinations about people that we cannot make now.

              But, much like how DNA can be used to ‘predict’ race by identifying groups of genes that tend to have geographic patterns of distribution, we will need to be much more clear about separating cultural terminology from biological terminology.

              1. But, much like how DNA can be used to ‘predict’ race by identifying groups of genes that tend to have geographic patterns of distribution, we will need to be much more clear about separating cultural terminology from biological terminology.

                Absolutely. I agree 100 percent.

  16. I think there’s a mass hysteria going on about LGBT issues. In the blink of an historical eye, it went from “Don’t beat me up or fire me just because I’m gay” to “You must bake this cake for me” and “You must agree that I am a woman even though I have a beard and dangly bits.” And the trans stuff and infinitely-subdivided gender-identity stuff is increasingly insane. I’ve been friends with gay people for most of my life, but I’m starting to feel a negative reaction to it all, particularly the trans stuff. No, your chromosomes are determinative. Sorry. You can use drugs and surgery to remake yourself, but on some basic levels, it’s not “real.”

    1. Basically progressives are reinforcing a form of severe Dysmorphic Body Disorder in an attempt to use these people to create wedge issues and attack Americans. Its disgusting.

      1. Pretty much.

  17. With the enhanced interest in recognizing transgender kids, I think about that now and wonder whether I would be pushed by some well-meaning soul to consider whether I was transgender.

    This is something I wonder about. In some cases I detect a whiff of Munchausen-by-proxy going on where a parent has leapt all over the transgender thing and seems to be (I obviously can’t say) going on a media crusade to get their child’s rights recognized via legislative action.

    These things seem to come in… fads (for lack of a better word) and there definitely seems to be a major fad going on in this arena. One gets the impression that the transgender/gender-fluid population grew by 10,000% over the last eight months.

    1. Incentives: You get more of what you reward, and now being non-hetero is considered special.

  18. So a person can go to a therapist to confirm they are gay but they can’t go to a therapist to confirm if they are heterosexual. that is anti confirmational hetero sexism

    1. …walk into a bar. They see the Pope drinking there, and go up to ask him what his personal thinking about homosexuality is, not the church’s teachings.
      He turns and says “well boys, if I could think of something clever, this would be the funniest punchline ever,”

  19. many of the most rigorous findings produced by the biological, physiological, and social sciences

    “Social sciences” really are not rigorous “sciences” in the way physical, and even biological, science are, and they never will be, no matter how much “social scientists” may protest otherwise.

  20. “What this report is really about is pointing out how many theories about sexual orientation and gender identity are exactly that?theories.”

    This is a canard used by the religious, english majors, and journalists that don’t know how science works. They don’t know what a theory is.

    The proper response is “The theory of gravity is just a theory. The heliocentric theory of the solar system. That is just a theory also. ”

    I have actually had people assert doubts about gravity when confronted with that. No shit.

    1. They have doubts that gravity exists or they have doubts about what the theory predicts and/or purports to explain?

      Because there is a difference.

      And it’s not a canard to note that only some theories are well supported by objective testing and display high predictive ability.

  21. We just need to invent the de-fagifier and cure everyone.

  22. “while some people may believe sexuality is innate, the science has been fairly consistent in saying the reasons currently remain inconclusive.”

    Yeah, that’s *totally* the message we’ve been getting from the MSM and the SJWs.

  23. The fallacy of Scott and others in the “you can’t help but be homosexual” camp is that it forgets the distinction between preference and action.

    We can’t choose any of our preferences. I love rice pudding and loath anise. My wife is just the opposite. Why? Who knows. But even if we did know why, it wouldn’t matter, since neither of us chose to have those preferences or could stop having them now if we wanted to.

    No one controls their preferences. Yet, we still hold people accountable and think that it is acceptable for people to discriminate based upon how someone acts on those preferences. So, it doesn’t matter if the elusive “gay gene” is found. That won’t mean anything that we don’t already know; namely that people don’t consciously choose what at a base level appeals to them. And that wouldn’t mean what Scott and others want it to mean. People can’t help it that they are attracted to others of the same sex. Since no one chooses what appeals to them, that doesn’t make being “gay” any different than not liking to get up early in the morning or liking bread pudding and no anise or any other preference.

    1. Moreover, the idea that because gays cannot help that they are attracted to the same sex means that being gay is like the color of someone’s skin rather than like every other preference is profoundly dehumanizing to gays. I can’t help it I like attractive women in their 20s. If I act on that preference, however, my wife is still justified in divorcing me and my boss, if he is a moralizer, can still fire me because adulterers are not a protected class. Just because I prefer something doesn’t mean I am compelled to act on that preference such that doing so is just some kind of immutable part of who I am and nothing anyone can ever rationally judge me for. To say otherwise is to deny my moral agency and reduce me to the level of an animal. Gays are dehumanizing themselves with this argument.

      1. You’re an idiot, John.

  24. Government frustration story:

    At this state prison, if we are no longer using a piece of furniture, we send it to “the warehouse”. We sent a desk to the warehouse a few months ago; now we need it back. We called the warehouse to see about getting it back, but here’s the problem: the warehouse just destroys all furniture that is given to them and throws it in a dumpster. They don’t keep it in case some other department wants it; they don’t even give it to some charity organization. They just smash it apart and send the remains to the dump. We ordered a cork bulletin board but instead got this thing that was more like a display case with locking doors. Similar products online cost about $1000. We were about to send it to “the warehouse”, but now we might just hang on to it or give it directly to another department.

    It would be so much easier to sell the libertarian cause to the public if the public could see the incredibly wasteful shit that goes on every day in government bureaucracies.

  25. “There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops bipolar. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social and cultural influences on bipolar, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that bipolar is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about being bipolar.”

    Couldn’t most mental illnesses work in this context.

    1. Might not even just be illnesses. Does science have full explanations of talents, prodigies etc.?

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  28. Gay pre-teen boys being interested in girl’s toys or girls as playmates, and gay pre-teen girls being interested in boy’s sports etc. are well known parts of many a gay person’s autobiography.

    I’m wondering if part of the issue is that for those of us who grew up in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, we “felt different,” as the author puts it, from the binary or at least limited range of choices we were offered of childhood hobbies and past times. So we tried the girly activities because the boyish activities didn’t fit. But maybe the girly ones didn’t fit that well either. And the real problem is that there weren’t more options – art? gymnastics? collecting? – that appealed to gay sensibilities, fell outside of the binary choices, etc.

  29. Is using popular song lyrics to back up your argument an appeal to popularity or to authority? I know she isn’t actually an authority on anything but is the argument “well, LADY GAGA, with all her hits, believes THIS”, or “millions of fans pay exorbitant amounts of money to see her. She’s gotta have her finger on the pulse”? I’m awfully used to disagreeing with musicians I like about politics (probably none more so thanMorrissey,, that douchebag), but I guess most of lady gagas fans aren’t mature or intelligent enough to distinguish someone’s art from their ideology.

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