Section 2: Supporting Scientific & Medical Evidence


PSYCHOLOGY & MENTAL HEALTH

  • Facts – gay mental health (University of California)
  • 20120519 Psychiatry Giant Sorry for Backing Gay ‘Cure’ (Psychiatrist Dr. L. Spitzer, who once offered a study on reparative therapy, has since denounced the practice and has apologized for endorsing the practice.)
  • Transexuality no longer to be classified as mental illness in France (University of Michegan)
  • Scientific/Medical argument against “ex-gay” “therapy” (PFLAG.org “”Ex-Gay” Ministries and “Reparative Therapy”: Ex-gay ministries use out-of-date and scientifically disproved medical theories to justify trying to “cure” lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) peoples’ natural sexual orientation or gender identity. Originally, these ministries were a small group of religious people who were virtually unknown. However, because of high-profile ad campaigns and conferences sponsored by the religious right these ministries have become a political tool in the ongoing fight to deny LGBT civil rights.
    Ex-gay ministries believe three main things:
    1. They are called to love LGBT people who are “struggling with sexual orientation and gender identity”
    2. Homosexual orientation and transgender identity are chosen or are the result of bad childhood experiences
    3. They cannot condone this “sinful” behavior and are therefore called on to change the sexual orientation of LGBT people.” Many churches also adopt the same stance.)
  • Research on the Impacts of Reparative Therapy, Harms Caused by Societal Prejudice (In 2007, a task force of the American Psychological Association undertook a thorough review of the existing research on the efficacy of reparative therapy. Their report noted that there was very little methodologically sound research on sexual orientation change efforts (SOCEs) and that the “results of scientifically valid research indicate that it is unlikely that individuals will be able to reduce same-sex attractions or increase other-sex sexual attractions through SOCE.)
  • The APA Says ‘No Evidence’ In Support of Ex-Gay Therapy (Truth Wins Out – There is “no evidence that sexual orientation change efforts work.” This was the American Psychological Association’ verdict on “ex-gay” therapy after an appointed task force of experts studied the issue for two years. The APA deserves credit for taking ex-gay therapists to task for twisting the truth and holding them accountable for their scare tactics, such as claiming that there are no happy gay people. “The limited published literature on these programs suggests that many do not present accurate scientific information regarding same-sex sexual orientations to youth and families, are excessively fear-based and have the potential to increase sexual stigma,” said the APA report, “Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation.”)
  • Masters & Johnson’s Notorious ‘Ex-Gay’ Study Debunked (In his groundbreaking new book, “Masters of Sex”, author Thomas Maier discovered through investigative reporting that the results of Masters & Johnson’s study were entirely fabricated. Virginia Johnson acknowledged that the results were fake. She had actually argued in 1978 that book should never have seen the light of day – but it was already to late in the publishing process to undo the damage. One can not overstate the importance of Maier’s findings. They undo the very underpinnings of the so-called “ex-gay” therapy movement, further showing that there is no scientific evidence or data to support the outdated idea that gay people can become heterosexual through therapy. Indeed, many people who have undergone such “treatment” claim the experience was harmful and that they were psychologically damaged. The American Psychiatric Association says that attempts to change sexual orientation can lead to “anxiety, depression and self-destructive behavior.”)
  • Resources & Research Papers Listing (San Francisco State University – includes an easily and freely accessible listing of documents about Family Education Information, Faith-based Family Education Information, Peer-reviewed Research and Policy & Practice Guidelines in English, Spanish and Chinese.)

HOMOPHOBIA & RACISM AS MENTAL DISORDERS

  • 20130904 – Religious Homophobes Prone to Physical Aggression (“”Love the sinner, hate the sin” is a phrase that most LGBT people have heard dozens and dozens of times. It’s a favorite trope for religious homophobes, who use it to disingenuously sanitize their opposition to LGBT rights and convince themselves that it’s nothing personal so they can sleep better at night.” “a new study from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium suggests that “love the sinner, hate the sin” is not just a feel-good myth but a deception, and that people with anti-LGBT religious views are more inclined to inflict pain on pro-equality gay people when given the chance. Gay Star News reports: Christians listened to a gay person praising progress in LGBT rights. They were told he didn’t like spice but were allowed to give him as much ‘Xtra hot’ chili sauce as they wanted for him to eat. They gave more of the painfully-hot chili sauce than to a ‘neutral’ target who had spoken about technological progress instead of gay issues. The full paper will be published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, likely within a year. In an abstract on the university’s website the study’s authors note that religious people were far more prone to “love their neighbor” when that neighbor was similar to them: “religiosity predicted helping, in a real life context, of an ingroup member in need.” They conclude that religion-based homophobic aggression is real and “at the heart of personal religiosity.” Chilling, isn’t it?” Alternative sources: Universite catholique de Louvain Center For Psychology Of Religion Study “From Religious Homophobia To Physical Aggression“)
  • 20130410 – From religious homophobia to physical aggression – (Universite catholique de Louvain (Belgium) Center For Psychology Of Religion Study “Religious claims of “liking the sinner” (gay person) though “hating the sin” (homosexuality) seem not to be true. Using the paradigm of the hot sauce allocation as indicator of aggression, we found that religious people are prone to physically aggress a fictitious gay target who praised gay rights. Individual religiosity relates to prosocial attitudes, behavioral intentions, and behaviors of minimal (no/low cost; limited to ingroup members) prosociality in hypothetical situations. Yet evidence on religious prosociality through other-oriented, costly helping behavior in real life is still to be documented. Similarly, religiosity relates to cognitive, emotional, and attitudinal components of prejudice toward moral outgroups, but evidence on real behavior of prejudice is still needed. In two experiments using the same measure of religiosity and samples from the same population, religiosity predicted helping, in a real life context, of an ingroup member in need (Experiment 1) as well as overt and direct aggression by means of allocating hot sauce to a gay, but not to a neutral, target (Experiment 2). Religious prosociality and aggression are real, concern distinct kinds of targets and are at the heart of personal religiosity. Blogowska, J., Saroglou, V., & Lambert, C. (2013). Religious prosociality and aggression: It’s real. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 52, 524-536.”)
  • Homophobia as mental illness (“Homophobia manifests in different forms, and a number of different types have been postulated, among which are internalized homophobia, social homophobia, emotional homophobia, rationalized homophobia, and others.[21] There were also ideas to classify homophobia, racism, and sexism as an intolerant personality disorder.[22]” “Guindon MH, Green AG, Hanna FJ (April 2003). “Intolerance and Psychopathology: Toward a General Diagnosis for Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia”. Am J Orthopsychiatry 73 (2): 167–76. doi:10.1037/0002-9432.73.2.167. PMID 12769238.” )
  • Wikipedia – Conduct Disorder (“Conduct disorder is a psychological disorder diagnosed in childhood or adolescence that presents itself through a repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in which the basic rights of others or major age-appropriate norms are violated. These behaviors are often referred to as “antisocial behaviors.”[1] Indeed, the disorder is often seen as the precursor to antisocial personality disorder.” “Empathy is recognizing feelings that other people are experiencing; lack of empathy is inability to recognize feelings of others. The child diagnosed with CD often presents with a lack of empathy.”)
  • Wikipedia – Antisocial Personality Disorder (“Antisocial (Dissocial) Personality Disorder is a personality disorder characterized by a pervasive pattern of disregard for, or violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood. There may be an impoverished moral sense or conscience and a history of crime, legal problems, impulsive and aggressive behaviour. The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) and the World Health Organization’s International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems’ (ICD) (F60.2 Dissocial personality disorder.[1]) have similar but not identical criteria. Both have stated that their diagnosis has also been known as psychopathy or sociopathy, though the criteria are different to other commonly used assessments, and the DSM-5 now has psychopathy as an optional ‘specifier’ of the main diagnosis.[2][3][4][5][6][7] Antisocial Personality Disorder falls under the dramatic/erratic cluster of personality disorders.[8]”)

MEDICAL &  BIOLOGICAL RESEARCH/STUDIES

This subsection focuses on the nature vs nurture debate wrt sexual orientation, gender and gender identity.

Sexual Orientation:

This subsection focuses on medical and scientific evidence to show that sexual orientation is set by nature and not by nurture.

  • 20140218 – These Are the Genes That Help Decide if You’re Gay or Straight (“Is sexuality a choice? Some religious conservatives continue to insist that it is, pushing conversion therapy programs on homosexual teens in hopes that they will successfully “pray the gay away.” But research presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago last week said otherwise.In testing the DNA of 400 gay men and straight members of their families, researchers found that genes on at least two chromosomes influenced the subjects’ sexuality. In addition to a stretch of DNA on chromosome 8, a region of the X chromosome, Xq28, has an impact on men’s sexual preferences.Xq28, the chromosomal band and genetic marker impacting sexuality, via UNC GenomicsJ. Michael Bailey, a psychologist at Northwestern University and a researcher behind the study, said, “Sexual orientation has nothing to do with choice. We found evidence for two sets [of genes] that affect whether a man is gay or straight. But it is not completely determinative. There are certainly other environmental factors involved.” Among these factors may be exposure to hormones in the womb.The researchers were careful to point out the nuances of their research. Not all of the gay men in Bailey’s study inherited the same Xq28 region. Indeed, how genes interact and determine phenotypes or instruct behavior is complex, and there are almost always multiple factors at work. The finding of this research corresponds with the results of a set of controversial studies from the early 1990s. Dean Hamer, a researcher at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, also found a link between Xq28 and homosexuality. In summarizing his findings, Hamer said that there is “a 99.5% certainty that there is a gene (or genes) in this area of the X chromosome that predispose a male to become a heterosexual.” Hamer received criticism for his study from gay rights advocates who were concerned that scientists could develop a genetic test for parents who wish to abort their potentially gay children. But as Qazi Rahman, a psychologist at King’s College London, explained, these types of studies will likely help gay rights. “I don’t see how genetics would contribute more to the persecution, discrimination and stigmatization of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people any more than social, cultural or learning explanations,” he said. “Historically, the persecution and awful treatment of LGBT groups has been because politicians, religious leaders and societies have viewed sexual orientation as ‘choice’ or due to poor upbringing.” While these studies are very useful for understanding the human body, they may not be necessary for public policy. Regardless of whether sexual preference is a choice, shouldn’t we treat all groups equally?”)
  • 20140214 – Study finds genes on X chromosome linked to male homosexuality (“A study of gay men in the US has found fresh evidence that male sexual orientation is influenced by genes. Scientists tested the DNA of 400 gay men and found that genes on at least two chromosomes affected whether a man was gay or straight. A region of the X chromosome called Xq28 had some impact on men’s sexual behaviour – though scientists have no idea which of the many genes in the region are involved, nor how many lie elsewhere in the genome. Another stretch of DNA on chromosome 8 also played a role in male sexual orientation – though again the precise mechanism is unclear. Researchers have speculated in the past that genes linked to homosexuality in men may have survived evolution because they happened to make women who carried them more fertile. This may be the case for genes in the Xq28 region, as the X chromosome is passed down to men exclusively from their mothers. Michael Bailey, a psychologist at Northwestern University in Illinois, set out the findings to the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago on Thursday. “The study shows that there are genes involved in male sexual orientation,” he said. The work has yet to be published, but confirms the findings of a smaller study that sparked widespread controversy in 1993, when Dean Hamer, a scientist at the US National Cancer Institute, investigated the family histories of more than 100 gay men and found homosexuality tended to be inherited. More than 10% of brothers of gay men were gay themselves, compared to around 3% of the general population. Uncles and male cousins on the mother’s side had a greater than average chance of being gay, too. The link with the mother’s side of the family led Hamer to look more closely at the X chromosome. In follow-up work, he found that 33 out of 40 gay brothers inherited similar genetic markers on the Xq28 region of the X chromosome, suggesting key genes resided there. Hamer faced a firestorm when his study was published. The fuss centred on the influences of nature and nurture on sexual orientation. But the work also raised the more dubious prospect of a prenatal test for sexual orientation. The Daily Mail headlined the story “Abortion hope after ‘gay genes findings’ ”. Hamer warned that any attempt to develop a test for homosexuality would be “wrong, unethical and a terrible abuse of research”. The gene or genes in the Xq28 region that influence sexual orientation have a limited and variable impact. Not all of the gay men in Bailey’s study inherited the same Xq28 region. The genes were neither sufficient, nor necessary, to make any of the men gay. The flawed thinking behind a genetic test for sexual orientation is clear from studies of twins, which show that the identical twin of a gay man, who carries an exact replica of his brother’s DNA, is more likely to be straight than gay. That means even a perfect genetic test that picked up every gene linked to sexual orientation would still be less effective than flipping a coin. While genes do contribute to sexual orientation, other multiple factors play a greater role, perhaps including the levels of hormones a baby is exposed to in the womb. “Sexual orientation has nothing to do with choice,” said Bailey. “We found evidence for two sets [of genes] that affect whether a man is gay or straight. But it is not completely determinative; there are certainly other environmental factors involved.” Last year, before the latest results were made public, one of Bailey’s colleagues, Alan Sanders, said the findings could not and should not be used to develop a test for sexual orientation. “When people say there’s a gay gene, it’s an oversimplification,” Sanders said. “There’s more than one gene, and genetics is not the whole story. Whatever gene contributes to sexual orientation, you can think of it as much as contributing to heterosexuality as much as you can think of it contributing to homosexuality. It contributes to a variation in the trait.” Qazi Rahman, a psychologist at King’s College London, said the results were valuable for further understanding the biology of sexual orientation. “This is not controversial or surprising and is nothing people should worry about. All human psychological traits are heritable, that is, they have a genetic component,” he said. “Genetic factors explain 30 to 40% of the variation between people’s sexual orientation. However, we don’t know where these genetic factors are located in the genome. So we need to do ‘gene finding’ studies, like this one by Sanders, Bailey and others, to have a better idea where potential genes for sexual orientation may lie.” Rahman rejected the idea that genetics research could be used to discriminate against people on the basis of their sexual orientation. “I don’t see how genetics would contribute more to the persecution, discrimination and stigmatisation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people any more than social, cultural or learning explanations. Historically, the persecution and awful treatment of LGBT groups has been because politicians, religious leaders and societies have viewed sexual orientation as ‘choice’ or due to poor upbringing.”Steven Rose, of the Open University, said: “What worries me is not the extent, if at all, to which our genetic, epigenetic or neural constitution and development affect our sexual preferences, but the huge moral panic and religious and political agenda which surrounds the question.””)
  • 20130906 – Men With Older Brothers More Likely To Be Gay? Study Expanding To Biological Origin (“Seven years ago a study made headlines for finding that men with older brothers are more likely to be gay. Today the study has resurfaced as researchers extend upon the original findings by looking deeper into the possible biological basis of homosexuality. Published in New Scientist magazine, the 2006 study was conducted by sexologist Anthony Bogaert, a Community Health Sciences chair and professor at Ontario’s Brock University. His research led him to conclude that having more older brothers makes it more likely a man will be gay. Each older brother raises the odds of homosexuality by a third, potentially going from a 3 percent chance with the first son to a 6 percent chance with the fourth. Bogaert studied 944 gay and straight men, including some who were raised with non-biological male siblings, to pit prenatal against postnatal factors. His research, which reappeared in a Sept. 4 New Scientist article, ultimately determined that fraternal birth order seems to have a connection to sexual orientation. “That means for each male gestation that occurs, something changes in a woman’s body that makes her more likely to give birth to a gay son,” as Brock University explains Bogaert’s findings. An abstract from the study, published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, summarizes the research:

    Only biological older brothers, and not any other sibling characteristic, including nonbiological older brothers, predicted men’s sexual orientation, regardless of the amount of time reared with these siblings. These results strongly suggest a prenatal origin to the fraternal birth-order effect.

    Today, Bogaert is looking to determine that prenatal origin. “[The 2006 study] was an important study and it does suggest there is probably a biological basis to the older brother effect,” he told The Huffington Post during a phone conversation from Canada Thursday afternoon. “It’s an important study in the context of sex orientation development. We have additional research going on right now testing specifically the underlying biological effect of the older brother. … There are no results yet. We are collecting samples of mothers of gay men and comparing them to mothers of heterosexual men and looking to see if there is evidence of a biological factor that differs between the two groups.” Bogaert explained that the 2006 study never determined a specific “mechanism” — a biological factor or process — behind the older brother effect. He suggested this mechanism could be a maternal immune response, a hormone change in the womb, a gestational factor during pregnancy or even genes. “The 2006 study really strongly suggests that there is biological mechanism but it never really tested the specific mechanism itself in terms of determining what factor is in fact influencing a change in a mother’s development during pregnancy,” he explained to HuffPost. “What we’re doing now is we’re looking at the specific mechanism and seeing if we can find evidence for that. We have a study looking at … mothers of gay and heterosexual men and seeing if there is a maternal immune response. So, that’s something very unique and new.” Bogaert says that isolating the exact biological mechanism or process will support the “nature” side of the Nature v. Nurture debate. If successful, his new research could provide a biological backing for homosexuality. “I think there’s strong evidence that people who believe that there’s a biological basis to sexual orientation tend to be more tolerant to sexual minorities, and that’s one of the more positive [possible] social outcomes,” he said. “And I am in that camp. I don’t believe that homosexuality is a disorder or immoral.” The overarching purpose of the new study is to delve deeper into the origins of sexuality. Bogaert says he is trying to understand sexual variability, human sexuality and sexual orientation as a piece of the larger puzzle. “Unerstanding the biological mechanisms may have some social ramifications, and for me that’s great if it ends up being positive,” he added. “But a larger motivation is just trying to understand sexuality, and understanding sexuality has its own benefits from a scientific perspective.””)

  • 20091201 – Gay by nature: Part one (“We know that just under half the variation in sexual orientation is down to genes. Then the rest of the variation is down to ‘non-shared’ factors, and those, like hormones, are primarily biological.” “Sexuality is a complex human trait, just like IQ or personality. It is determined not by a single gene, but how several genes work together. A whole range of features with reproductive disadvantages can be maintained in the gene pool down the generations, if only a portion of the genes responsible are advantageous to heterosexual carriers.” “The level of exposure to sex hormones, such as testosterone, during life in the womb, seems to influence the direction of sexual preference. Everyone would be born female if it were not for testosterone. At stages during pregnancy, the hormone is introduced into the womb. The level of testosterone to which the foetus is exposed determines the level of masculinity. Some bodily markers provide an insight into exposure. One example is the relative length of index finger to ring finger.” “In males the big brother effect is also important. Gay men tend to be born younger in relation to their brothers. The maternal immune system recognises successive male foetuses and may form an immune response to particular types of protein that form on the surface of the brain in the developing foetus. This might affect sexual differentiation or it might produce some hormonal mechanism that produces that variation, too. The big brother effect only appears to be important when gay men are right handed. Left handed gay men owe their sexual orientation to other causes we are unaware of.” “And we know these are different between the sexes, but we find gay men tend to have a female type of spatial ability. Spatial ability is controlled partly by two regions of the brain. So if we know that gay men perform differently in these kinds of tests, that suggests that part of the brain either is structurally different or functions in a different way. That gives us an insight into brain development. Thanks to MRI scans, we also have the technology to look at the brain directly rather than just carry out problem solving tests on people. The studies in the last two years strongly suggest that in the adult gay brain, and lesbian brain, it is wired very differently to the straight brain. “In 2008, Swedish scientists at the Karolinska Institute compared the brain hemispheres of healthy gays and lesbians with heterosexual male and female adults. The results showed that heterosexual men and lesbians show a rightward asymmetry in their brain – it appears to be larger in volume than the left. However, the brain hemispheres of gay men and heterosexual women were more symmetrical. It might explain why heterosexual men tend to be better at spatial skills; there is some evidence that lesbians are better at some visual motor skills as well. Tests show gay men and hetero women tend to be better at language, verbal fluency, skills and emotion processing. The Swedish group also found differences in the amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for orientating the rest of the brain in response to an emotional stimulus, such as a startle (fight or flight) response, or the presence of a potential mate. Heterosexual men and gay women have more nerve connections in the right side of the amygdala, while gay men and heterosexual women have more on the left. So, the brain network which determines what sexual orientation actually ‘orients’ towards is similar between gay men and straight women, and between gay women and straight men.” – Dr Qazi Rahman, assistant professor in Cognitive Biology from Queen Mary University London.)
  • 20091202 – Gay by nature: Part two (“There is a fringe group of psychoanalysts, such as NARTH, who claim that homosexuality is caused by dominant mothers. Dr Raman emphasises that there is no evidence for these claims. He said: “Homosexuality is not due an overbearing mother and a distant father as some psychoanalytic nonsense has suggested. The crux of the theory predicts that gay men should come from homes where the father is absent – no demographic evidence supports this claim. Secondly, the notion that homosexuality is due to unresolved Oedipal complex (a core tenet of psychoanalytic theory) makes the prediction in the wrong way – it should explain heterosexuality and not homosexuality. If gay men are so fixated on their mothers as the theory claims then why do they end up fancying men? Psychoanalytic theory is best left in the land of warlock magic and elfin trickery. ” “All the biological and developmental evidence shows that homosexuality cannot be learned so teaching about same-sex relationships in schools cannot result in increases in homosexuality. You cannot learn homosexuality like you can learn maths! A certain amount of same-sex horseplay is common in adolescence but there is no evidence that is disproportionately results in adult homosexuality.” Although there are frequent reports of kids who are abused, growing up to become gay, Dr Rahman dismisses this as anecdotal.” – Dr Qazi Rahman, assistant professor in Cognitive Biology from Queen Mary University London.)
  • 20080616 – BBC NEWS  Health Scans see ‘gay brain differences’ (“The brains of gay men and women look like those found in heterosexual people of the opposite sex” “Scientists have noticed for some time that homosexual people of both sexes have differences in certain cognitive abilities, suggesting there may be subtle differences in their brain structure. This is the first time, however, that scientists have used brain scanners to try to look for the source of those differences. A group of 90 healthy gay and heterosexual adults, men and women, were scanned by the Karolinska Institute scientists to measure the volume of both sides, or hemispheres, of their brain.”)
  • 20080118 – The Genetics of Homosexuality (The results of several interesting and revealing scientific studies performed in the 1990’s)
  • 20061207 – Is there a homosexuality gene? (During the past several decades, scientists have discovered some interesting patterns that may point toward genetic causes of homosexuality. Among the findings is that male homosexuality appears to be inherited more often from the mother than the father (Pillard). Also, natural selection might maintain a gene that may decrease the fecundity of one sex because the same gene also increases the fecundity of the other sex. In fact, recent data shows that female maternal relatives of gay men have higher than average reproduction capacity (Camperio-Ciani).)
  • 20050131 – Non sex genes linked to ‘gay trait’ (“Multiple genes – and not just the sex chromosomes – are important in sexual orientation, say US scientists. A University of Illinois team, which has screened the entire human genome, say there is no one ‘gay’ gene.” “Much of the past genetic research into male homosexuality had focused solely on the X chromosome, passed down to boys by their mother, according to lead researcher Dr Brian Mustanski. His team looked at all 22 pairs of non-sex chromosomes of 456 individuals from 146 families with two or more gay brothers.” “They found several identical stretches of DNA that were shared among gay siblings on chromosomes other than the female X. About 60% of these brothers shared identical DNA on three chromosomes – chromosome 7, 8 and 10. If it were down to chance, only 50% of these stretches would be shared, said the authors. The region found on chromosome 10 correlated with sexual orientation only when it was inherited from the mother.”)
  • 19950612 – More evidence that homosexuality is genetic (“A DNA transplant made these male fruit flies turn away from females. What does that say about the origins of homosexuality?”)
  • 1992 – The American Psychiatric Association: “In 1992, the American Psychiatric Association, recognizing the power of the stigma against homosexuality, issued the following statement, reaffirmed by the Board of Trustees, July 2011: “Whereas homosexuality per se implies no impairment in judgment, stability, reliability, or general social or vocational capabilities, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) calls on all international health organizations, psychiatric organizations, and individual psychiatrists in other countries to urge the repeal in their own countries of legislation that penalizes homosexual acts by consenting adults in private. Further, APA calls on these organizations and individuals to do all that is possible to decrease the stigma related to homosexuality wherever and whenever it may occur.”[24]”
  • Wikipedia – Homosexuality in animals (Homosexual behavior in animals is same-sex behavior, homosexual or bisexual, among non-human species. Such behaviors include sexual activity, courtship, affection, pair bonding, and parenting among same-sex animal pairings. Homosexual behavior has been observed in close to 1,500 species, ranging from primates to gut worms, and is well documented for 500 of them.[1][2] The sexual behavior of non-human animals takes many different forms, even within the same species. The motivations for and implications of these behaviors have yet to be fully understood, since most species have yet to be fully studied.[3]According to Bagemihl, “the animal kingdom [does] it with much greater sexual diversity – including homosexual, bisexual and nonreproductive sex – than the scientific community and society at large have previously been willing to accept.”)
  • Soulforce (A very good Christian human rights resource which refers to scientific studies and moderate Christian resources in support of acceptance, tolerance and understanding.)

Gender Identity:

This subsection focuses on medical and scientific evidence to show that gender identity is set by nature and not by nurture.

  • 20091211 – Gene discovery could make gender reassignment easier (“The discovery of a single gene which controls gender could pave the way for simpler treatment of trans people. Researchers at the National Institute for Medical Research discovered that just one gene prevents females from developing male physical characteristics such as facial hair and testes. The study in adult mice showed that when the gene, known as FOXL2, was artificially switched off, the ovaries of female mice began developing into testes and they produced male amounts of testosterone. Previously, it was thought that gender was controlled by X chromosomes and Y chromosomes. Men typically have XY, while women have XX. This study refutes the consensus that gender is fixed at birth and that embryos are female unless they possess a male-determining gene.”)
  • 20080618 – Swedish study brain symetry GLBT (“Swedish researchers have found that some physical attributes of the homosexual brain resemble those found in the opposite sex, according to an article published online (June 16) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Some psychological tests have shown differences between men and women in the extent to which they employ the brain’s hemispheres in verbal tasks. Positron emission tomography (PET) scans taken by the researchers also show that in connectivity of the amygdala (which is important for emotional learning), lesbians resemble straight men, and gay men resemble straight women. The researchers analyzed the brains of 90 subjects, using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess brain volume and PET data partly gleaned from previous olfactory studies.”)
  • 20050511 – Preliminary work, genetic link found in transexuality (“In the transsexualism study, the researchers examined a repeat sequence in each of three genes known to affect the sexual development of the brain, in hopes that one or more of these might shed light on transsexualism. They studied several common variants affecting the length of these repeats in different people. These variants “are all much more common than is transsexualism” itself, they wrote. “Hence, the goal of this study was not to reveal the primary cause of transsexualism,” but rather to help explain “whether the studied genes may facilitate or prevent” it. One particular variant seemed significantly associated with the frequency of transsexualism, they found. This variant was in a gene responsible for producing a molecule called ER-Beta. ER-Beta acts as a minuscule gateway that controls the flow of estrogen, a hormone, through the brain during fetal development.”)
  • 20020327 – Trans Health dot com (“Despite popular opinion and negative media portrayals which disparage transgendered people as being “mentally ill” or making “lifestyle choices,” an increasing amount of evidence is surfacing which is linking the proliferation of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) to variations in gender identity and sexual orientation. In an invited paper published in the December 2001 issue of Neuroendocrinology Letters, Dr. Günter Dörner outlines the various purported causes of transsexualism, which fall into two general classes: 1) genetic enzyme mutations and 2) so-called epigenetic effects which include stressful prenatal/postnatal situations and fetal exposure to endocrine disruptors such as the pesticide DDT and its breakdown products.”)

DEBUNKING CLAIMS THAT LGBT PARENTS = “CHILD ABUSE”

  • 20140312 – Largest Study of Children Raised by Same-Sex Parents Is Bad News for Bigots (“Bad news bigots. The largest study yet of children raised by same sex couples suggests that not only are these children equal to their peers raised in heterosexual parented households – but on some markers, they are actually doing better.“Children of same-sex parents are doing as well or better than the rest of the population on a number of key health indicators,” The Age reports:“That is the initial finding from the world’s largest study on the children of same-sex parents, under way at Melbourne University.The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families collected data on 500 children nationwide, up to the age of 17.An interim report found there was no statistical difference between children of same-sex couples and the rest of the population on indicators including self-esteem, emotional behaviour and the amount of time spent with parents.

    However, children of same-sex couples scored higher than the national average for overall health and family cohesion, measuring how well the family members get along.”

    The study’s protocol, detailing its intent and methodology may be accessed here. Unlike the “deeply flawed” and “disgraced,” Regnerus study, The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families looks at children of actual same-sex couples.

    This is but one of a number of studies on children raised by same-sex parents, which all have similar findings.

    Those who oppose same-sex couples adopting or having children together, often use arguments about the likely negative impact of such parenting models on the children involved – and pitch the rights of the adults against the rights of the children, favoring those of the child to have a ‘normal’ upbringing, over those of the adults to have children. So, this should be really great news for them – they can now pitch in and celebrate same-sex parenting for achieving such remarkable results. Unless, of course, they are just bigots, dressing up their bigotry in disingenuous concern for children. In which case, this is the worst news ever.”)

  • 20091220 – Study shows no difference in adopted children raised by gay parents – Insciences (“Three college educators have determined there is no significant difference in emotional problems experienced by children adopted by heterosexual and gay or lesbian parents. The study, published in this month’s Adoption Quarterly, was authored by Scott Ryan, the new dean of The University of Texas School of Social Work, and Paige Averett and Blace Nalavany, assistant professors of social work at East Carolina University.”)
  • 20051012 – Study shows same-sex parents raise well-adjusted kids (“Children growing up in same-sex parental households do not necessarily have differences in self-esteem, gender identity, or emotional problems from children growing up in heterosexual parent homes. “There are a lot of children with at least one gay or lesbian parent,” says Ellen C. Perrin, MD, professor of pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. She revealed the findings at the American Academy of Pediatrics Conference and Exhibition. Between 1 million and 6 million children in the U.S. are being reared by committed lesbian or gay couples, she says. Children being raised by same-sex parents were either born to a heterosexual couple, adopted, or conceived through artificial insemination. “The vast consensus of all the studies shows that children of same-sex parents do as well as children whose parents are heterosexual in every way,” she tells WebMD. “In some ways children of same-sex parents actually may have advantages over other family structures.””)
  • Soulforce (“The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that between 1 and 9 million children in the United States are being raised by at least one parent who is lesbian or gay. (The broad range cited is due to the social stigma associated with homosexuality — which keeps some lesbian or gay parents from openly disclosing their sexual orientation in surveys).37” “In 2001, Dr. Judith Stacey and Timothy Biblarz published a comprehensive review of the social science research on lesbian and gay parenting in the American Sociological Review. The overall finding was that lesbian and gay parents were as competent as heterosexual parents. The article did note some differences between families with gay and lesbian parents and those with heterosexual parents, but was careful to emphasize that these were differences, not deficits. Many of those opposing parenting rights for lesbian and gay people seized on these differences, using them to assert that gay and lesbian parents were not as effective as heterosexual parents. In an interview, Dr. Stacey addressed what she sees as a distortion of the literature and her work: “Significant, reliable social scientific evidence indicates that lesbian and gay parents are as fit, effective, and successful as heterosexual parents. The research also shows that children of same-sex couples are as emotionally healthy and socially adjusted and at least as educationally and socially successful as children raised by heterosexual parents.” Later in the interview she commented: “There is not a single, respectable social scientist conducting and publishing research in this area today who claims that gay and lesbian parents harm children.” She explained that the research does find some differences between families with gay and lesbian parents and those with heterosexual parents, but emphasized that they are differences, not deficits. For example, daughters of lesbian moms tend to be somewhat more career-oriented than other daughters. That antigay activists had cited these differences as evidence supporting their efforts to deny partnership and parenting rights to lesbians and gays was for Stacey “a serious misreading and abuse of our work.”39 “)

DEBUNKING CLAIMS THAT LGBT PEOPLE ARE PEDOPHILES

  • Facts About Homosexuality and Child Molestation (“Members of disliked minority groups are often stereotyped as representing a danger to the majority’s most vulnerable members. For example, Jews in the Middle Ages were accused of murdering Christian babies in ritual sacrifices. Black men in the United States were often lynched after being falsely accused of raping White women. In a similar fashion, gay people have often been portrayed as a threat to children.” “In recent years, antigay activists have routinely asserted that gay people are child molesters.” “Some conservative groups have argued that scientific research strongly supports their claims that homosexuality and pedophilia are linked. The Family Research Council has produced what is perhaps the most extensive attempt to document this claim. It is an article by Timothy J. Dailey titled Homosexuality and Child Abuse. With 76 footnotes, many of them referring to papers in scientific journals, it appears at first glance to be a thorough and scholarly discussion of the issue. On further examination, however, its central argument – that “the evidence indicates that homosexual men molest boys at rates grossly disproportionate to the rates at which heterosexual men molest girls” – doesn’t hold up.” “In summary, the scientific sources cited by the FRC report do not support their argument. Most of the studies they referenced did not even assess the sexual orientation of abusers. Two studies explicitly concluded that sexual orientation and child molestation are unrelated. Notably, the FRC failed to cite the 1978 study by Groth and Birnbaum, which also contradicted their argument. Only one study (Erickson et al., 1988) might be interpreted as supporting the FRC argument, and it failed to detail its measurement procedures and did not differentiate bisexual from homosexual offenders.”)
    20020129 – Playing the Pedophillia Card (“In 1978 psychologist Nicholas Groth screened 175 men who had been convicted in Massachusetts of sexual molestation of children and referred by a court for psychological evaluation. He found not a single gay man in this sample. Every one of the perpetrators was either an exclusive heterosexual, a bisexual with a predominantly heterosexual orientation, or a fixated pedophile with no sexual interest in adults.[4] His conclusion? That “the adult heterosexual male constitutes a greater risk to the underage child than does the adult homosexual male.” In the same year, researcher David Newton reviewed the scientific literature and found no reason to believe that anything other than a “random connection” existed between homosexual orientation and child molestation.[5] Later research has confirmed these findings: In 1988, renowned sex researcher Kurt Freund at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry in Toronto studied two groups of paid volunteers and found that gay men responded no more to male child stimuli than heterosexual men responded to female child stimuli.[6] He later described as a “myth” the notion that gay men are more likely than straight men to be child molesters.[7] In 1992, alarmed over claims made during a campaign for an anti-gay state constitutional amendment in Colorado, two physicians reviewed every case of suspected child molestation evaluated at Children’s Hospital in Denver over a one-year period. Of the 269 cases determined to involve molestation by an adult, only two of the perpetrators could be identified as gay or lesbian. The researchers concluded that the risk of child sexual abuse by an identifiably gay or lesbian person was between zero and 3.1%, and that the risk of such abuse by the heterosexual partner of a relative was over 100 times greater.[8]”)

DEBUNKING CLAIMS THAT SAME SEX MARRIAGE IS A ‘NEW THING’

  • Wikipedia – The history of same sex marriage (“Although state-recognized same-sex unions are becoming more accepted, there is a long history of same-sex unions around the world. Various types of same-sex unions have existed, ranging from informal, unsanctioned, and temporary relationships to highly ritualized unions that have included marriage.[1]“)

DEFENDING SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AGAINST DISTORTIONS BY PSEUDO-SCIENCE

Argument by scientists proving that the Religious Right distorts their research against LGBTI:

  • Respect my research org (Anti-gay activists and their organizations have distorted, cherry picked or misquoted research from esteemed academic scholars across the world. On this site is a one-of-a-kind “Library of Lies”, which catalogues these abuses and provides a powerful response from those whose work was twisted.)
  • Masters & Johnson’s Notorious ‘Ex-Gay’ Study Debunked (In his groundbreaking new book, “Masters of Sex”, author Thomas Maier discovered through investigative reporting that the results of Masters & Johnson’s study were entirely fabricated. Virginia Johnson acknowledged that the results were fake. She had actually argued in 1978 that book should never have seen the light of day – but it was already to late in the publishing process to undo the damage. One can not overstate the importance of Maier’s findings. They undo the very underpinnings of the so-called “ex-gay” therapy movement, further showing that there is no scientific evidence or data to support the outdated idea that gay people can become heterosexual through therapy. Indeed, many people who have undergone such “treatment” claim the experience was harmful and that they were psychologically damaged. The American Psychiatric Association says that attempts to change sexual orientation can lead to “anxiety, depression and self-destructive behavior.”)

Pro LGBT org sites:

  • Successful Transwomen worldwide (A site by Lynn Conway with images and bios of transwomen who have made successes of their lives and careers despite resistance and persecution encountered in their environs)
  • Successful Transmen worldwide (A site by Lynn Conway with images and bios of transmen who have made successes of their lives and careers despite resistance and persecution encountered in their environs)
  • Soulforce (A very good Christian human rights resource which refers to scientific studies and moderate Christian resources in support of acceptance, tolerance and understanding.)
  • Steps to recovery from bible abuse (A Christian minister’s response to the abusive use of the bible against gays and lesbians.)
  • Religious Tolerance.org (A secular pro human rights information/activism resource.)
  • The Gay Agenda (“Whether you’re gay, bisexual, transgender or heterosexual, a small minority of vicious homophobes want you to believe that LGBT people, are somehow abnormal, inferior, less worthy, or downright evil when compared to heterosexuals. Many LGBT people even grow up believing this nonsense, because of the constant emotional bullying and brainwashing.”)
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