You aren't born gay! or why science is dead in America.

Well, OK, there is the possibility, but it is far slighter than you might think.

 Here is what it all boils down to, people aren't born gay. They are using weak science to move a political agenda.  I know Lady gaga did lie to you, and I'm sorry you believed her lies.

Being born gay is an idea from 1899 when German researcher Magnus Hirschfeld regarded homosexuality as congenital - meaning, "born that way" - and he asked for legal equality based on this thinking.

I'm going to take the three major studies by:and break down for you how they are misleading, and totally fallacious.

 

Simon LeVay and the INAH-3

 
 

Simon LeVay, a neuroscientist, studied the brains from 41 corpses, including 6 women, 19 homosexual men, and 16 men presumed to be heterosexual. A small area of the brain, the INAH-3, was similar in size in women and homosexual men, but larger in heterosexual men. He suggested that this might be evidence for an actual structural difference in the brains of gay men. There are, however, numerous problems with this study

               

  • In comparing the size of the INAH-3, he presumed that the 16 "heterosexual" men were, in fact, heterosexual. Only two of them had denied homosexual activities; for the rest, sexual histories were not available. Thus, he was actually comparing homosexual men with men of unknown sexual orientation! This, obviously, is a major flaw in scientific method.

The volume of the INAH-3 may not be a relevant measure:

       

  • Scientists disagree on the most accurate way to measure the INAH-3. LeVay measured the volume; other scientists claim it is more accurate to measure the actual number of neurons. Clarifying the potential problem, some have suggested that using a volume method to project impact on sexual orientation may be like trying to determine intelligence by a person's hat size.
  •   When different laboratories have measured the four areas of the INAH (including INAH-3), their results conflicted. For example, Swaab and Fliers (1985) found that the INAH-1 was larger in men, while LeVay (1991) found no difference between men and women. Allen et al (1989) found the INAH-2 to be larger in men than in some women, while LeVay (1991) again found no difference.

 

The above problems aside, even the data from LeVay's study did not prove that anyone was born gay. This is the case for at least two reasons:

 

  • Both groups of men covered essentially the same range of sizes. One could be gay (HM) with a small INAH-3 or with a large one. One could also be in the "heterosexual" category (M) with either a small or large INAH-3. Clearly, these men were not held to a sexual orientation by their INAH-3 biology! As the data shows, the INAH-3 size of three of the homosexual men puts them clearly in the "heterosexual" category (with one having the second largest INAH-3!). If all you know about any of LeVay's subjects is INAH-3 size, you could not accurately predict whether they are heterosexual or homosexual, male or female.
  • A study that showed a clear difference in INAH-3 sizes, would still leave another question unanswered: are men gay because of a smaller INAH-3, or was their INAH-3 smaller because of their homosexual actions, thoughts, and/or feelings? It is known that the brain does change in response to changes in behavior and environment. For example, Newsweek reported that "in people reading Braille after becoming blind, the area of the brain controlling the reading finger grew larger." As well, in male songbirds, "the brain area associated with mating is not only larger than in the female, but varies according to the season" (Newsweek, Feb. 24, 1992, p. 50). 

 

Bailey & Pillard: Twins and Other Brothers

 

Bailey and Pillard studied pairs of brothers -- identical twins, non-identical twins, other biological brothers, and adoptive brothers -- where at least one was gay. At first glance, their findings looked like a pattern for homosexuality being genetically influenced. Identical twins were both homosexual 52% of the time; non-identical twins, 22%; other biological brothers, 9.2%; and adoptive brothers, 10.5%. A closer look reveals significant problems with a "born gay" conclusion to this study:

 

    "In order for such a study to be meaningful, you'd have to look at twins raised apart," says Anne Fausto Sterling, a biologist. The brothers in this study were raised together in their families ( had he same upbringing)

    All the results were different from what one would expect if homosexuality was directly genetic:

  •   Because identical twin brothers share 100% of their genes overall, we would expect that if one was homosexual, the other would also be homosexual, 100% of the time. Instead, this study found that they were both homosexual only 52% of the time.
  • Although completely unrelated genetically, adoptive brothers were more likely to both be gay than the biological brothers, who share half their genes! This piece of data prompted the journal Science to respond: "this . . . suggests that there is no genetic component, but rather an environmental component shared in families" (Vol. 262 Dec.24, 1993).

        If homosexuality were genetic, one would expect each number in the column "Results from the B & P study" to be identical to the corresponding number in the "Expectation if genetic" column. Each one is significantly different!

 

               



Both are Homosexual:
  Shared genes 
(overall)
Expectation
if genetic
Results from 
B&P study
Identical twin brothers 100 % 100 % 52 %
Non-ident. twin brothers  50 %  50 % 22 %
Other biological brothers  50 %  50 %  9 %
Adoptive brothers    0 %  1-4 % 11 %
 

 

  Finally, Bailey & Pillard did not use a random sample. The men in the study were recruited through advertisements in gay newspapers and magazines.

 

Dean Hamer and the Xq28 Genetic Markers

 

    Hamer studied 40 pairs of homosexual brothers, and reported that 33 pairs shared a set of five genetic markers. Reporting the story, Time magazine's cover read "BORN GAY Science Finds a Genetic Link" (July 26, 1993). Hamer, however, was more cautious. He felt that it played "some role" in a minority of 5 to 30% of gay men (The Science of Desire by Dean Hamer and Peter Copeland. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994. Pages 145-146). This is a rather distant reality from finding the "gay gene" and it left two critical questions: just how much influence was "some role" thought to be, and what about the other 70 to 95%?

 

        Based on a simple genetic theory, one would expect 50%, or 20 pairs, to have the same markers. Why did 7 pairs of gay brothers not share a set of genetic markers?

        Hamer did not check to see if the heterosexual brothers of the homosexual men also had such a genetic marker. Thus, there was no control group in this study. Here too, this obviously is a major flaw in scientific method.

        Since that time, Science has reported that George Ebers, a researcher at the University of Western Ontario, has attempted to duplicate the study but found "no evidence, not even a trend," for the "genetic link." In the scientific world, that is a big problem. More recently, another study by Rice et al. has also stated that its results "do not support an X-linked gene underlying male homosexuality."

 

The Takeaway


If nothing else take this away:  Being pro  gay rights is fine, but don't destroy the scientific method to move your agenda.


****(notes from my biology 372 class were used)
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Posted by l4wd0g

Well, OK, there is the possibility, but it is far slighter than you might think.

 Here is what it all boils down to, people aren't born gay. They are using weak science to move a political agenda.  I know Lady gaga did lie to you, and I'm sorry you believed her lies.

Being born gay is an idea from 1899 when German researcher Magnus Hirschfeld regarded homosexuality as congenital - meaning, "born that way" - and he asked for legal equality based on this thinking.

I'm going to take the three major studies by:and break down for you how they are misleading, and totally fallacious.

 

Simon LeVay and the INAH-3

 
 

Simon LeVay, a neuroscientist, studied the brains from 41 corpses, including 6 women, 19 homosexual men, and 16 men presumed to be heterosexual. A small area of the brain, the INAH-3, was similar in size in women and homosexual men, but larger in heterosexual men. He suggested that this might be evidence for an actual structural difference in the brains of gay men. There are, however, numerous problems with this study

               

  • In comparing the size of the INAH-3, he presumed that the 16 "heterosexual" men were, in fact, heterosexual. Only two of them had denied homosexual activities; for the rest, sexual histories were not available. Thus, he was actually comparing homosexual men with men of unknown sexual orientation! This, obviously, is a major flaw in scientific method.

The volume of the INAH-3 may not be a relevant measure:

       

  • Scientists disagree on the most accurate way to measure the INAH-3. LeVay measured the volume; other scientists claim it is more accurate to measure the actual number of neurons. Clarifying the potential problem, some have suggested that using a volume method to project impact on sexual orientation may be like trying to determine intelligence by a person's hat size.
  •   When different laboratories have measured the four areas of the INAH (including INAH-3), their results conflicted. For example, Swaab and Fliers (1985) found that the INAH-1 was larger in men, while LeVay (1991) found no difference between men and women. Allen et al (1989) found the INAH-2 to be larger in men than in some women, while LeVay (1991) again found no difference.

 

The above problems aside, even the data from LeVay's study did not prove that anyone was born gay. This is the case for at least two reasons:

 

  • Both groups of men covered essentially the same range of sizes. One could be gay (HM) with a small INAH-3 or with a large one. One could also be in the "heterosexual" category (M) with either a small or large INAH-3. Clearly, these men were not held to a sexual orientation by their INAH-3 biology! As the data shows, the INAH-3 size of three of the homosexual men puts them clearly in the "heterosexual" category (with one having the second largest INAH-3!). If all you know about any of LeVay's subjects is INAH-3 size, you could not accurately predict whether they are heterosexual or homosexual, male or female.
  • A study that showed a clear difference in INAH-3 sizes, would still leave another question unanswered: are men gay because of a smaller INAH-3, or was their INAH-3 smaller because of their homosexual actions, thoughts, and/or feelings? It is known that the brain does change in response to changes in behavior and environment. For example, Newsweek reported that "in people reading Braille after becoming blind, the area of the brain controlling the reading finger grew larger." As well, in male songbirds, "the brain area associated with mating is not only larger than in the female, but varies according to the season" (Newsweek, Feb. 24, 1992, p. 50). 

 

Bailey & Pillard: Twins and Other Brothers

 

Bailey and Pillard studied pairs of brothers -- identical twins, non-identical twins, other biological brothers, and adoptive brothers -- where at least one was gay. At first glance, their findings looked like a pattern for homosexuality being genetically influenced. Identical twins were both homosexual 52% of the time; non-identical twins, 22%; other biological brothers, 9.2%; and adoptive brothers, 10.5%. A closer look reveals significant problems with a "born gay" conclusion to this study:

 

    "In order for such a study to be meaningful, you'd have to look at twins raised apart," says Anne Fausto Sterling, a biologist. The brothers in this study were raised together in their families ( had he same upbringing)

    All the results were different from what one would expect if homosexuality was directly genetic:

  •   Because identical twin brothers share 100% of their genes overall, we would expect that if one was homosexual, the other would also be homosexual, 100% of the time. Instead, this study found that they were both homosexual only 52% of the time.
  • Although completely unrelated genetically, adoptive brothers were more likely to both be gay than the biological brothers, who share half their genes! This piece of data prompted the journal Science to respond: "this . . . suggests that there is no genetic component, but rather an environmental component shared in families" (Vol. 262 Dec.24, 1993).

        If homosexuality were genetic, one would expect each number in the column "Results from the B & P study" to be identical to the corresponding number in the "Expectation if genetic" column. Each one is significantly different!

 

               



Both are Homosexual:
  Shared genes 
(overall)
Expectation
if genetic
Results from 
B&P study
Identical twin brothers 100 % 100 % 52 %
Non-ident. twin brothers  50 %  50 % 22 %
Other biological brothers  50 %  50 %  9 %
Adoptive brothers    0 %  1-4 % 11 %
 

 

  Finally, Bailey & Pillard did not use a random sample. The men in the study were recruited through advertisements in gay newspapers and magazines.

 

Dean Hamer and the Xq28 Genetic Markers

 

    Hamer studied 40 pairs of homosexual brothers, and reported that 33 pairs shared a set of five genetic markers. Reporting the story, Time magazine's cover read "BORN GAY Science Finds a Genetic Link" (July 26, 1993). Hamer, however, was more cautious. He felt that it played "some role" in a minority of 5 to 30% of gay men (The Science of Desire by Dean Hamer and Peter Copeland. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994. Pages 145-146). This is a rather distant reality from finding the "gay gene" and it left two critical questions: just how much influence was "some role" thought to be, and what about the other 70 to 95%?

 

        Based on a simple genetic theory, one would expect 50%, or 20 pairs, to have the same markers. Why did 7 pairs of gay brothers not share a set of genetic markers?

        Hamer did not check to see if the heterosexual brothers of the homosexual men also had such a genetic marker. Thus, there was no control group in this study. Here too, this obviously is a major flaw in scientific method.

        Since that time, Science has reported that George Ebers, a researcher at the University of Western Ontario, has attempted to duplicate the study but found "no evidence, not even a trend," for the "genetic link." In the scientific world, that is a big problem. More recently, another study by Rice et al. has also stated that its results "do not support an X-linked gene underlying male homosexuality."

 

The Takeaway


If nothing else take this away:  Being pro  gay rights is fine, but don't destroy the scientific method to move your agenda.


****(notes from my biology 372 class were used)
Posted by Empirepaintball

I think that MY argument is that it's not a choice. People don't choose that lifestyle. Who would, especially in this world?

Posted by MagnetaHint

Actually, it's widely considered that gay people are, in fact, born that way OP. 

Posted by The_Laughing_Man

Nothing was set on fire or blown up in this post. I do not approve. 

Posted by GravityProof

I'M CONTRIBUTING TO THIS CONVERSATION BY YELLING, ONLY IT'S ON THE INTERNET SO IT'S JUST LOUD TYPING.

Posted by FlyingRat

Wow, are you really doing this? Are you really that sad?

Edited by Akrid

Didn't read this yet, but do you think people "Choose" to be gay, or are they irreparably shaped by life experiences beyond their control?


Ed: read it, and concluded that your argument is mostly bullshit, or at the very least not as black and white as you claim it to be. A distinct gray if you will.

 The question still stands though.
Posted by natetodamax

Meanwhile, loads of people are dying from diseases that we haven't found cures for yet.

Posted by KarlPilkington

No-one cares.

Posted by Bigheart711
@MagnetaHint said:
Actually, it's widely considered that gay people are, in fact, born that way OP. 
Definitely this.
Edited by EpicSteve

I don't really understand the science of either side. The entire point of separate genders is to reproduce. So how can someone be born to totally contradict that? On the other hand, how does someone develop an attraction that is considered unnormal? Either side is a pretty weak case. You can't have a legit argument without sounding like a complete idiot. There are plenty of abnormal things people do in this world. How any of it comes to be isn't my agenda to figure out. 

Also, do not post political-related garbage on the forums. Especially right-winged supportive stuff. I know you aren't exactly saying "this is the way". However, you have a lot of liberal free-will individuals on GiantBomb, let alone the internet. Not insulting, that's just the general crowd you get. Therefore, you won't get a good discussion. You generally want to stray away from homosexuality, supporting ISAF and/or Coalition wars, and anything that greatly divides both parties. 

Posted by FancySoapsMan

It's most likely a combination of genetics and environmental influences.

Posted by GenghisJohn

why even have this debate here?

Posted by bartok

Is taking a controversial stance on a non video game related topic a quest I didn't know about ?

Posted by Xdsk
@natetodamax said:
Meanwhile, loads of people are dying from diseases that we haven't found cures for yet.
I think science has got its focus wrong. Let people live how they want to live, what goes up them aint your problem.
Posted by Dany

Whatever. I'm happy the way I am.

Posted by James_ex_machina
@bartok: If it's a quest I want to know so I can finish it. 

Posted by Rudeboy217

Cool, now I have a reason to stop following you.

Edited by damnboyadvance

Not the first time politics may have gotten in the way of science. It's more common than you might think.

Posted by JasonR86
@l4wd0g:

There is not enough evidence to say one way or another in regards to this topic.  Twin studies have methodological flaws, genetic research is good but far from perfect due to technological limitations and the limits of our knowledge on genetics (despite what many scientists on TV might have you think), and so on and so forth.  Everything boils down to theory with some, but not much, scientific facts to back up the theories.  But there is no research that can prove or disprove whether people or born gay or not.  Your biology class and its teacher provide you theory and research but not total truth if you somehow got out of this that any of this is absolute.

But regardless of the origins, those who are gay, straight, transgender or anything else are definitively that orientation and no amount of research about the origin of their orientation will change their minds nor should it.  Whenever I see this topic brought up I can't help but feel a sense of hate by those who bring it up.  Why is it so important to be right or wrong about the topic?  That isn't science.  Regardless of the conclusions, the motive for the research should be about gaining knowledge and an understanding about the world and the beings on the planet.  This topic brings up a sense of right or wrong to me by those who argue it.  I find that distasteful and unscientific regardless of the methods employed.

I don't know if any of my interpretation of your post matches your intention but that is my reaction nonetheless.
Posted by Metric_Outlaw

If your blog post is too long to read then your point is automatically invalid.


Posted by Landon

Finally. THESE kinds of discussions have made it to Giant Bomb.

/sarcasm.

Posted by Weltal

Making an inflammatory statement and then immediately going back on that statement in your first sentence and then immidately restateing the initial argument you just refuted isn't a great way to start your argument.

Posted by Slaker117
@FancySoapsMan said:
It's most likely a combination of genetics and environmental influences.
Yep. Too many variables to prove definitively either way, but the chances are, as it seems to be with most things, that there is genetic predisposition that when combined with external factors brings out these results.
Edited by anywhereilay

Does this blog mean you're struggling to come to terms with your own sexuality?

Posted by ColinWright

..okay?

Posted by Animasta

yes because choosing to be gay is something bunches of people would totally do

(Hint: it's not)

Posted by Skullo
@TimAllen624 said:
If your blog post is too long to read then your point is automatically invalid.

Not really. There are some long blog post about games that make genuinely good points. Sometimes, short and to the point kind of posts misses the nuances of the argument.

Also OP, really? Citing your homework as a source for the post generally a bad way to make posts.
Posted by Daveyo520

Wow.....


Sigh
Posted by TehFlan

I don't really care what sexual orientation other people are, but saying homosexuality is genetic seems to contradict common sense in my eyes. I mean, if a person was born in the first place there's a pretty damn good chance both of his/her parents were heterosexual.

Posted by ch13696
@Akrid said:
Didn't read this yet, but do you think people "Choose" to be gay, or are they irreparably shaped by life experiences beyond their control?

Ed: read it, and concluded that your argument is mostly bullshit, or at the very least not as black and white as you claim it to be. A distinct gray if you will.

 The question still stands though.
Well, let's put it this way. Everyone is born straight. It's their environment and how they're raised that makes them who they are.
Posted by BaconGames

This is all well and good I guess, but what's your point?  That science is imperfect?  Duh.  That there's political interest on both sides of a scientific conclusion?  Duh.  Basically the arguments boil down to genetic behaviorism and social constructionism.  There is evidence to suggest that socializing a child as the opposite sex is not going to make them that gender.  Likewise twin studies and other forms of genetic behaviorism is never causal and almost always requires a socialization corollary to explain the remaining variance.  Besides that, you have the simple fact that genetic variation throws a wrench into every neat category we try and make between the sexes that is only compounded when those individuals grow up and dynamically interact with other people over the course of their lives.  This is why a synergistic effect between genetics and socialization over time (especially when one hits puberty) best explains the prevalence of transexuality and homosexuality.  Not only that but how do you explain all the people in the middle between homosexuals and heterosexuals?  I do understand the frustration that exist in trying to figure out the proportion of genetics vs. socialization but that's no excuse to shit on science or a political view.

Posted by TheVideoHustler
@GravityProof said:
I'M CONTRIBUTING TO THIS CONVERSATION BY YELLING, ONLY IT'S ON THE INTERNET SO IT'S JUST LOUD TYPING.
AND SWEARING FUCK
Posted by Commando

I don't believe people are born gay. But most of them don't choose to be gay either.
I think events in their lives turn them that way.

Posted by npeterson08

Oh... Oh, no. *backs away slowly*

Posted by Slaker117
@TehFlan said:
I don't really care what sexual orientation other people are, but saying homosexuality is genetic seems to contradict common sense in my eyes. I mean, if a person was born in the first place there's a pretty damn good chance both of his/her parents were heterosexual.
Recessive genes and genetic mutation are things. As are millions of other factors. That argument is far too reductionist.
Posted by FancySoapsMan
@ch13696 said:
@Akrid said:
Didn't read this yet, but do you think people "Choose" to be gay, or are they irreparably shaped by life experiences beyond their control?

Ed: read it, and concluded that your argument is mostly bullshit, or at the very least not as black and white as you claim it to be. A distinct gray if you will.

 The question still stands though.
Well, let's put it this way. Everyone is born straight. It's their environment and how they're raised that makes them who they are.
When you're born you don't really have a sexuality.
Posted by Enigma777

I don't really think it's a choice. I mean you can't help being physically attracted to either men or women (or both). It's just innate. Granted, that may be due to our environment and how we are raised, but you still can't just flip on a switch and decide you're gay on day. 

Posted by ch13696
@l4wd0g: Nothing against you, but this is the internet. You can be a scientist hired by the entire world and God himself to prove that people aren't born gay and you'll still not prove it to the internet. When it comes to homosexuality, you're either with them 100% on everything they say or you're considered homophobic.
Posted by Animasta

boy I can already tell that this thread is going places

and by places I mean getting locked the fuck down in about 100 posts

Posted by ch13696
@FancySoapsMan said:
@ch13696 said:
@Akrid said:
Didn't read this yet, but do you think people "Choose" to be gay, or are they irreparably shaped by life experiences beyond their control?

Ed: read it, and concluded that your argument is mostly bullshit, or at the very least not as black and white as you claim it to be. A distinct gray if you will.

 The question still stands though.
Well, let's put it this way. Everyone is born straight. It's their environment and how they're raised that makes them who they are.
When you're born you don't really have a sexuality.
Ok, so you aren't born anything. Once again proving that you aren't born gay. Nor straight for that matter.
Posted by Spiritof

They may or may not be born gay, but this post sure was.

Posted by Akrid
@ch13696 said:
@Akrid said:
Didn't read this yet, but do you think people "Choose" to be gay, or are they irreparably shaped by life experiences beyond their control?

Ed: read it, and concluded that your argument is mostly bullshit, or at the very least not as black and white as you claim it to be. A distinct gray if you will.

 The question still stands though.
Well, let's put it this way. Everyone is born straight. It's their environment and how they're raised that makes them who they are.
You're not OP! I think he lit the fire and ran away with the matches. But yes, I assume that's what he believes. If he answered the other then I think we could safely write him off as a homophobe.
Edited by Juno500
@TehFlan said:

I don't really care what sexual orientation other people are, but saying homosexuality is genetic seems to contradict common sense in my eyes. I mean, if a person was born in the first place there's a pretty damn good chance both of his/her parents were heterosexual.

That's a misunderstanding of genetics. Sometimes parents can be carriers of gene that are not activated in either of them, but activate in the genes of the child.

For example, eye color is genetic, but two parents with brown eyes can have a child with blue eyes. My sister is an example of this. The reason it works out this way is that in these situations, both of the parents had one brown eye allele and one blue eye allele, but the blue eye allele is recessive and so the parents have brown eyes. But when they have a child, there is a chance that the child will get both of the blue eye alleles, and therefore have blue eyes.

Now, we don't really know whether homosexuality is an example of this process, but my point is that the simple fact that the parents were heterosexual doesn't necessarily disprove the idea.
Posted by JasonR86

I think the OP isn't going to respond to anyone on here.  I think he was born a wuss.

What OP!  WHAT!

Posted by IBurningStar

I can tell the OP put a lot of work into this post. Too bad it is total shit.

Posted by Roundlay

So it follows that I 'chose' to be straight? 

Posted by Daveyo520
@Juno500 said:
@TehFlan said:

I don't really care what sexual orientation other people are, but saying homosexuality is genetic seems to contradict common sense in my eyes. I mean, if a person was born in the first place there's a pretty damn good chance both of his/her parents were heterosexual.

That's a misunderstanding of genetics. Sometimes parents can be carriers of gene that are not activated in either of them, but activate in the genes of the child. For example, eye color is genetic, but two parents with brown eyes can have a child with blue eyes. My sister is an example of this. The reason it works out this way is that both of the parents have one brown eye allele and one blue eye allele, but the blue eye allele is recessive and so the parents have brown eyes. But when they have a child, there is a chance that the child will get both of the blue eye alleles, and therefore have blue eyes.Now, we don't really know whether homosexuality is an example of this process, but my point is that the simple fact that the parents were heterosexual doesn't necessarily disprove the idea.
Also not every parent to have kids is straight. 
Posted by HatKing

Far more intelligent people than you have said the opposite, OP.  The DSM (diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders), a book referenced by psychologists and therapists to diagnose mental illnesses, states the opposite.  In fact, your train of thought is widely considered antiquated by modern scientists. 

Posted by supermike6

I think people aren't born gay in the same way people aren't born as nice or mean people, we are all just shaped by our experiences in life.

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