Wednesday, June 20, 2007

On Gayness

Via Steve Sailer, an article in New York Magazine, "The Science of Gaydar", by David France:

But the thrust of these developing findings puts activists in a bind and brings gay rights to a major crossroads, perhaps its most significant since the American Psychiatric Association voted to declassify homosexuality as a disease in 1973. If sexual orientation is biological, and we are learning to identify how it happens inside the uterus, doesn’t it suggest a future in which gay people can be prevented? . . . “There are positives, but many negatives” to this kind of research, says Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. “I will bet my life that if a quote-unquote cure was found, that the religious right would have no problem with genetic or other kind of prenatal manipulations. People who don’t think that’s a clear and present danger are simply not living in reality.”

David France is, as he states in the first paragraph of this excellent article, an active homosexual. He appears to assume, without argument, that preventing homosexuality in utero would be a bad thing, and the exclusive province of religiously motivated homophobes.

No. Or at any rate, not necessarily. Let's imagine a typical liberal couple, informed by amniocentisis (let's say) that their child will be homosexual, but that a treatment exists (not abortion) that will reverse this effect. As good liberals, they have no religious or moral objections to homosexual behavior. Let's even pretend (unlikely as it may be) that they have no visceral aversion to homosexual activity. Does this mean that they will say, "oh, no, we wouldn't change the way he will be 'naturally'"?

Or are they more likely to consider:

- He is unlikely to provide them with any grandchildren by direct descent.

- As Half Sigma documented in excruciating detail, the homosexual lifestyle carries an inherent risk of disease and death.

- Even if they assume, without evidence, that science will somehow overcome these problems in a timely manner, they might still ask themselves whether homosexuals would really become socially "mainstreamed" during their child's lifetime. Granted, if they live in Manhattan, they might answer this question in the affirmative, and with good reason, but elsewhere, they might take a more jaundiced view of the level of "enlightenment" of their communities.

So I would expect that pre-natal treatments for homosexuality to be wildly popular among heterosexual couples. The question the article doesn't ask, however, is what would be the popularity of pre-natal intervention to cause homosexuality among gay couples.

Over the next two decades, [Evelyn Hooker, a UCLA psychologist, studied healthy, non-institutionalized homosexuals], proving that none of the known psychological screens could detect a healthy gay person—that there was no clinical pathology to sexual orientation. Of necessity, research at the time was focused on demonstrating how unremarkable gay men and lesbians are: indistinguishable on all personality inventories, equally good at all jobs, benign as parents, unthreatening as neighbors, and so on. [Emphasis added]

Of necessity? So . . . psychological research is not about the uninhibited search for objective truth, but is really a pseudoscience that can and should be "cooked to order" in the service of a political agenda? As an engineer, I privately suspected this to be the case, but I am nonetheless surprised to see it admitted so openly.

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