A recent study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that your mother’s womb has a significant influence on whether or not you are ‘born gay’ (see Scientific American article). Anthony Bogaert of Brock University found that men who had many older brothers from the same mom were more likely to be gay. The correlation was present in the youngest brother regardless of
whether or not he grew up with his mom or brothers, but not present in
From Scientific American
The BBC reports: Bogaert suggests the effect is probably the result of a “maternal memory” in the womb for male births. A woman’s body may see a male foetus as “foreign”, he
says, prompting an immune reaction which may grow progressively
stronger with each male child. The antibodies created may affect the developing male brain.
As I understand it, after having so many boys, the mom’s body starts developing ‘antibodies’ against male-proteins because their frequent or continual presence starts to feel like a foreign object which revs up the immune system. So if the newest birth is a boy, the mom’s womb reacts against his proteins by sending these antibodies which end up influencing the brain toward homosexuality.
Not exactly (or at all) a ‘gay gene.’ But gay advocates are pleased with this study.
Comment: Is it just me, or does anyone else find these sort of studies disturbing? (E.g., what are the natural factors involved in homosexuality and what is the mechanism behind it?) I think that gays and their supporters should be vary wary.
Update: I don’t think I’m making myself clear on why I think these sort of studies should worry those in the gay community. Certainly, I think there is much for them to gain to try to work out the biological specifics of homosexuality if only to establish that they did not ‘choose’ to be gay. But what I think is dangerous about these sort of scientific inquiries is that it opens up the door even wider to genetic screening and engineering.
Allow me to pose some ‘what-ifs’…What if scientists found a gene which was strongly linked with homosexuality? Amid the sighs of relief in the gay community, parents-to-be might be finding themselves looking for ways to screen for down’s syndrome, birth defects, and homosexuality. What if we couldn’t link it to a gene but to a variety of influencing factors? Would we be okay with parents who aborted their baby if it was their 4th consecutive son…’just in case’?
Already, this study suggests that homosexuals are somehow deficient in their male-ness since certain male-proteins have been subject to antibodies–a notion that many gay men do not welcome. Any minority should be wary of attempts to pin down what makes them unique to biological factors because it can help embolden discrimination. What one day may be to show one’s biological distinctness may another day be used to demonstrate biological inferiority (or superiority)…we’re evil like that.
Regardless of your position on homosexuality, Scripture teaches two things that we have in common: we all bear the image of God (albeit marred) and we are all sinners. Regardless of our sexuality, race, size, abilities, and whatnot, we all stand equal before God–equal in need. The sun and clouds pour their goods without regard for a persons distinctions. Jesus loves and sacrificed his life for all of us without partiality. I fear that irresponsible inquiry, their irresponsible interpretation, and their irresponsible application can amount to a danger that even the most well-intentioned scientist and advocate could (would) not foresee.
I don’t know if its good to discourage any research simply because of the potential harm. So I am not going to go out of my way to stand in the way of this sort of research. But I think that human curiosity cannot easily be assumed to always be for good.
Until the next finding, if you’re a gay man, thank your dad for making you a boy, but thank your mom for making you gay. Who knows, maybe the next study will show that babies choose to be gay while they’re in the womb…then we’ll all be confused.