Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Lady Gaga on being ‘born this way’

Lady Gaga has set a new worldwide record, becoming the first person to hit 20 million followers on Twitter.

The singer has now edged way in front of her nearest rival Justin Bieber who has 18m followers.

Contemporary idols like Lady Gaga have a powerful influence, not just in becoming the obsessional preoccupation of millions of teenagers (her smash hit ‘Bad Romance’ has had over 450 million views on you tube – one view for every 15 people on the planet), but also in shaping the aspirations and beliefs of a generation.

In this connection, and given the current debate on same sex marriage, I was interested to see an article titled ‘Not “born this way”’ published today on meracatornet about how Gaga has helped mould beliefs on sexuality. It reads:

‘Many people are sympathetic to persons with same-sex attraction demand for a ‘right’ to marry because they believe that such persons were ‘born that way’ and can’t change; therefore, allowing them to call their relationships marriages gives such persons their only opportunity for a recognized relationship.’

Lady Gaga’s song ‘Born this way’ expresses just this view.

No matter gay, straight or bi
Lesbian, transgendered life…
Ooh, there ain't no other way, baby, I was born this way
Baby, I was born this way


Our Prime Minister David Cameron of course shares this opinion and this is what is driving him in his campaign to legalise same sex marriage.

The problem is that there is no science supporting a ‘gay gene’ or combination of genes or hormonal cause for same-sex attraction.

‘In 1995 The Journal of Homosexuality published 4 issues (Vol 28, numbers 1/ 2. 3/ 4) on the question of biological causes for same-sex attraction. The issues were republished under the title Sex, Cells, and Same-Sex Desire: The Biology of Sexual Preference, and edited by John DeCecco and David Parker. Their conclusion: “Current research into possible biological bases of sexual preference has failed to produce any conclusive evidence.”’

And since 1995 no new scientific, replicated studies have even claimed to find a biological cause for same sex attraction (see my review)

Even leading gay rights activists like Peter Tatchell concede that the belief that homosexual orientation is biologically fixed or determined is not evidence-based.

Most researchers now accept that homosexual orientation, although it may have some genetic influences, is a complex product of genetics, environment and personal choice.

Unfortunately, as mercatornet points out, more people are inclined to believe Lady Gaga than the actual evidence.

10 comments:

  1. What does it matter if they are born that way or not? I fail to see the significance. If it is environmental that does not mean that homosexuality is a whim of the season.

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  2. Peter, another broken record repeat. Does heterosexuality have a biological cause? After all since 1995 no new scientific, replicated studies have even claimed to find a biological cause for opposite sex attraction.

    This statement is a lie: "Most researchers now accept that homosexual orientation, although it may have some genetic influences, is a complex product of genetics, environment and personal choice."

    None of the research you seem to be so familiar with yet mis-interpret mention personal choice. In fact the opposite, researchers make it crystal clear that for the majority of people they don't experience any element of choice even where they are said to have fluid or bisexuality. Choice doesn't come into. Even Cynthia Nixon clarified her statement.

    Also, 1995 reference - you need to update yourself. There are many significant papers in novel areas since then in particular.

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  3. Lets quote one of the foremost researchers on this issue, Prof Bailey [in Bailey JM. Biological perspectives on sexual orientation. In: Garnets LD and Kimmel DC: Psychological perspectives on lesbian, gay, and bisexual experiences. Columbia University Press, New York. 2nd Edition. 2003]

    The argument over whether homosexuality is ‘biological’ or ‘freely chosen’ is perhaps the most common and least productive version of the biology debate.
    ‘The rational link between the position that homosexuality is biologically determined and a sympathetic view of homosexuality is much more tenuous than commonly assume. This is because all behavior is biologically determined, in one fundamental sense. Thus if homosexuality (or heterosexuality) is excused on the ground that it is biologically determined, all behaviour must be excused, including behaviour that should not be excused, such as dishonesty, theft, homophobia or even genocide.’ … all behaviours are ‘biologically determined’ in the sense that all these events are caused and behavioural events are caused by brain states, which are “biological”.

    The question “is homosexuality biological?” is often asked in teh form “is homosexuality genetic?” that the question is often not meant literally was recently evidenced on an American talk show in which a gay man with a heterosexual identical twin argued emphatically that sexual orientation is ‘genetic’,, seemingly oblivious to the contradictory nature of his personal evidence.

    If there was a ‘gay gene’ this gene would cause a significant problem: homosexuality is associated with low fertility, indeed if a homosexual has only sex with same-sex persons he will have no offspring.

    Prof Bailey states that the research regarding ‘gay genes’ is ‘ultimately inconclusive’ (p 73) in other words, no ‘gay gene’ has been identified and there is no evidence, that individuals with ‘gay genes’ have any advantage over those without ‘gay genes’ (p 73f)
    ‘…even most researchers who are engaged in, or otherwise sympathetic to, a biological research program freely admit that neuroendocrine or genetic hypotheses about sexual orientation have not been supported to a degree of certainty that would justify their acceptance.’ (p 75)

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  4. However it is determined, being "born that way" does not justify acting on an inclination. I understand that there IS a genetic predisposition to addiction to alcohol, so one could say the one with a drink problem is "made that way", but we do not allow him to indulge his inclinations because he cannot help it - he is subject to the same restrictions as the rest of us.

    The purpose of sexual activity is, surely, to propagate the species - were homosexuality the norm, none of us would be here as the human race would have died out! Marriage is there to provide a stable base to bring up the children that are the natural result of sexual activity - I understand studies have shown the best outcome for a child (in the form of such things as educational attainment) comes when he is brought up by a conventional married couple.

    Homosexual "marriage" does not fulfil this purpose, rather it sanctions sexual activity between two people; the focus is on the coupling, not the issue of the relationship. Thus it is different in purpose so not the same thing - civil partnership serves the purpose of the couple in providing the legal protection they might wish to have.

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  5. I agree with the Bible on homosexual relationship but I'm worried this debate is distracting Christians from more important issues. Biologically determined or not, a good number of people (including Lady Gaga) experience very powerful same-sex attractions and cannot avoid having these attractions. We in the Church need to be preaching the grace of Jesus Christ to them, yes without compromising the Biblical teaching on homosexuality but also with humility and confession that we hetero's are full of sin as well. With the debate on gay marriage, battle lines have been drawn and both sides are starting to get into an ugly slanging match. Unfortunately this is what happens when the Church stops preaching grace and starts moralizing to a largely unbelieving society.
    In Christ
    Electrogoth

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  6. It's very interesting that you wrote this article at this time because BBC Radio One are hosting a 3 hour session on Sunday night devoted to the topic of sexuality. It is hosted by an openly gay DJ but it might be worth chiming in with a few facts to bring some clarity on the show.

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  7. You cane be sure of one thing about this Radio 1 show. They won,t, in any circumstances, be advancing the notion that sexual attractions involve choice.

    The Surgery is a show that has covered sexuality frequently and is overwhelmingly gay affirmative.

    Face it..... Your side has lost this cultural war. There is no single 'gay gene' but it seems there are as many 'gay' genes as straight ones

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  8. Hearts of Oak7 March 2012 15:56

    All a storm in a teacup! If DC wants to redefine the word marriage so be it. "Gay" does not mean what it did 30 years ago, neither in 30 years will marriage. "Marriage" will be what divorcees, "gays" and actresses "do"in registry offices. Holy Matrimony will be what Christians celebrate in Church. The scriptures will have to be reworded to reflect the original meaning of the word marriage. DC may or may not have been re-elected on the back of the "gay" vote, politicians will have declined even futher in our estimation and we'll all have forgotten why.

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  9. It never ceases to amaze me that there are so many people who are concerned about what other people do with their organs and where they put them.

    If you don't want to play with an organ owned by someone of the same sex then don't, if you do, feel free. Either way it wont affect me.

    Hammond Organs ftw.

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    Replies
    1. We don't have an organ but we keep our piano in the dining room, our woodwinds in the bedroom and our drums in the shed.

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