Saturday, November 15, 2008

Open Forum: Are We a Biological Error?

Anti-gay former talkshow host and author Dr. Laura Schlessinger once said "gays are a biological error." It caused a storm of uproar among the LGBT community who urged a boycott against her and ultimately led the fight to the rescinding of her show.

Science is definitely on the side of homosexuality being biological, every few months new reports are released indicating that sexual orientation and gender identity have a biological component to them. Whether it be an overdose or underdose of hormones during pregnancy, some chemical composition, or a nerve related issue, it appears likely that being queer is strongly connected to our biological composition.

This eliminates the argument that being queer is a choice, puts a rest to nature versus nurture debate, and validates the notion that "we are born LGBTQIA". It also brings into the debate a whole new controversial arena. If something occurred during pregnancy or our DNA is different and influenced our sexuality or gender, are we a biological error? Might something have gone wrong during the process which rendered us defective?

I think as we advance in the realm of science we will find more and more evidence of the strong connection between sexuality and biology, but this will bring up the question of whether homosexuality/transsexuality are a genetic mutation that can be fixed.

All kinds of groups who are different be they gay, trans, intersex, asexual, might be considered an error that could be fixed by scientific altering?



Anonymous said...

I know they will find out how to stop it from happening eventually. I just hope it dosn't happen in my lifetime. What a sad day that'll be.

Laurie said...

If it can be 'fixed' would you
wanna be 'fixed'.....I know that
I like you just the way you are...
If you're a biological 'error' than
so am I....And I'm glad I am... :)


♥MiSs♥MaNdAy♥ said...

Well if that's the case I am a biological error and I'm proud of it. I like who I am and who I love. I am me. No one can change that and they don't need to try.

Anonymous said...

Well the evidence is pretty strong that it's likely a recurring mutation or a suite of interacting genes like skin pigment. I doubt many scientists would be for gene therapy and I doubt that gene therapy on that level would be boilerplate enough to be wide-spread before homosexuality was at least as accepted as race.

I don't know what the warriors for conformity will do though if they think it's curable. Hopefully their hatred and ignorance of science will save us. Especially as I'm in the group they'll get around to hating when this stuff does get doable (asexual).

However, on that note, many of the asexual activists have been pushing the why change it if you don't think it's wrong argument so the public may be semi-literate on that notion before the debate hits.

Anonymous said...

As far as disorders go, doctors tend to not make it their business to correct problems that wouldn't keep someone from living a relatively normal life. For example, conjoined twins are separated usually to keep at least one from dying. People with multiple sclerosis have a very difficult time living their lives and so stem cell research is being used to find a cure for that.

Being gay doesn't really tamper with a person's ability to live their life. And our culture has made us wary of any attempt to "fix" people just because they are different.

And I'm extremely sorry for not getting to the protest today. I woke up late and didn't have clean pants to wear (long story).

Renee said...

YOu can see this debate being played out in the deaf community right now with coclear ear implant. Many fear that will happen is the end of deaf culture. I think an observation of this will be really revealatory in terms of what and how we treat supposed dysfunction.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't want to be fixed! Plus, everything in life, no matter what it is, exists on a continuum. Most people will fall into a certain category (i.e. heterosexual) but there will always be the outliers (bisexual/homosexual). We're not all supposed to be the same.

If you have ever read Robin Baker's book "Sperm Wars" he gives several biological reasons for homosexual people. And they are adaptive and not errors at all. It all serves a purpose.

Anonymous said...

Mutation, yes. Dysfunction, no. There is a purpose for our existing. We don't need to be "fixed", we need to be accepted. That is all.

Mewi said...

I don't want to be "fixed", No offense to you men, but I'd rather jump off a cliff ;p

Anonymous said...

Gay may just be a response to overpopulation. If you don't like gay sex, you may be doing it wrong. The parts do fit if you do it right.

Silvia Straka said...

I'm queer and I'm not sure I like the biological argument. Why can't it be a choice? I happen to view queer as something that can be shifting and change over time -- it doesn't for everyone, I know that. I think some people do feel strongly hard-wired in one direction or another. There surely is some biology to it -- there's biology to everything. But I don't want to justify who I love because "I was born that way". Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

It's a relief that it's been proven to be purely biological - I can just say: "hormones in the womb" when people ask "Well, why are you trans?" However, would I want to be fixed? It's true that a lot of my childhood emotional problems would have been eliminated if I had just been born a guy, or a cisgendered girl, but if I wasn't trans, then I would have never met a lot of people, I would have never had the experiences that have made me who I am, and I think I would've ended up a different personality in addition to a new body.


Anonymous said...

I grew up in a family that never talked about sexuality, and I was wasn't terribly fond of the idea of homosexuality. I grew up hearing that being gay is unnatural, goes against nature, etc. My struggle to come out had nothing to do with not accepting myself, but fearing that my folks would reject me. They didn't, thankfully, but they remain homophobic when I'm not around, which saddens me.

Before I came out to them, I tried fo figure out what made me who I am, so that I could point to science (or anything) and say "See? It's natural!" Of course, I already knew that, and I knew that being gay is the only way that I make sense.

My own profound discovery came in the form of a new sense of self worth: I reached a point where I stopped worrying about it and stopped wasting my time trying to find a reason. I realized I was missing out on living my life, and more than that, I really don't want to know what makes me the way I am. I see no harm in keeping it a mystery, because it's too wonderful to ever want to know the secret behind it. I suspect there's biological factors, and but I also feel that part of my personality IS shaped as a result of the environment in which I grew up. But regardless of both these points, I DON'T CARE and I never want to know. I love who I am, inside and out, and I think after all the self-loathing I did on account of others, I've earned that right.

Anonymous said...

I think that if being gay wasn't natural it wouldn't exist any longer. I know some people actively choose to be gay. I find it hard to believe but it happens. Most people say that being gay is not a choice. I believe that to be true. The only choice is if you choose to accept it and live your life in a way that makes you happy.

John Bisceglia said...



Now get out and protest!

John Bisceglia said...

TO HETEROS - We will NOT go away.

You keep procreating; we keep popping out.


Anonymous said...

As a molecular biologist, I've had the same thoughts and fears. If one gene is involved (and it's probably many factors), then someone will think about "curing" it. I agree with the poster above who said that doctors treat conditions that truly interfere with the patients ability to lead a happy life. And the patient gets to decide what that is. My son was born with two physical birth defects so they were corrected with surgery. But fixing being gay? Why? I love my gay friends the way they are. It would be a waste of money. Let's cure HIV, cancer, juvenile diabetes, cystic fibrosis.

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