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Media Put Positive Spin on 'Gay Gene' Study

Media Put Positive Spin on 'Gay Gene' Study

By Robert Knight
September 9, 2019

The media outdid themselves last week when reporting on a genetic study that blows apart the much-repeated myth of an elusive "gay gene" that supposedly causes homosexuality.

Actually, the massive Human Genome Project at the National Institutes of Health did pretty much the same thing a few years ago, but the media declined to ask. It didn't fit their ongoing narrative that people are born gay, cannot change, and therefore it's just like race or ethnicity. Anyone who says otherwise is a "hater."

But it's always been an invalid comparison. Unlike biologically immutable and morally neutral traits such as race, sex or ethnicity, sexual behavior is volitional and has moral, social and health implications.

Instead of reporting the limitations of this new study up front, the media deployed misleading headlines, knowing that few people read beyond them.

The New York Times headline was: "Many Genes Influence Same-Sex Sexuality, not a single 'gay gene.'"

The Washington Post entry was: "Study: No 'gay gene,' but genetics linked to same-sex behavior."

Ah, so there's no single gene, but being gay must still be caused somehow by genetics. The study, which involved more than 490,000 people, shows that same-sex behavior is "a natural part of our diversity as a species," according to lead author Andrea Ganna of the Institute of Molecular Medicine in Finland. The article in the Aug. 30, 2019, edition of Science does have caveats against hasty conclusions about causation.

The study suggests that various genetic factors together may correlate with perhaps a third of the variation in same-sex sexual behavior, whose incidence is as little as 2 percent of the population, and which could be a single encounter for many people. This means the vast majority of instances of same-sex behavior correlate with social, cultural and environmental factors - not genetics.

The Wall Street Journal had perhaps the most misleading headline, "Genetics Tied To Same-Sex Behavior." However, in the very last paragraph, readers learn an inconvenient truth:

Researchers "worked with several advocacy and alliance groups, such as Sense about Science and GLAAD [the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, a media pressure group], and received feedback on the science and how to best communicate the findings. The authors then rewrote sections of the paper to highlight the focus on behavior rather than a person's identity or orientation."

In other words, the original findings damaged the idea of the "gay gene" so badly that the researchers were pressured into recasting the data.

Imagine the outrage if, say, researchers rewrote tobacco smoke studies to please cigarette company lawyers.

A dishonest axis between politically correct sex researchers and activist media has been afoot since Alfred C. Kinsey wooed credulous reporters before publishing his groundbreaking and fraudulent study of male sexual behavior in 1948. He did the same with his volume on female sexuality in 1953. Eager to validate casual sex of all kinds, the media have suppressed negative medical evidence about certain behaviors while hyping fake science, such as genetic studies that fail to be replicated.

"To be succinct, this study is not worth very much," said David Pickup, a California-based license marriage and family therapist. "The title and article implies there are many genes that cause homosexuality, then the statement underneath the title says there's no way genes can predict sexual preference. It's the same old attempt to influence public beliefs. What's actually relevant is that they admit in the article there are environmental (emotional) influences that have a bearing on sexuality."

This is important because the LGBTQ movement is on a jihad to criminalize professionally licensed counseling aimed at reducing homosexual or gender dysphoric inclinations - even if a client wants it.

Their main argument is that if people are born gay or transgender and can't change, then any effort to assist them to do so amounts to malpractice or even criminal activity. With this reasoning, the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center managed to persuade a liberal judge in New Jersey to rule that a small Jewish group had committed consumer fraud simply because they referred people to counselors who specialize in reparative therapy.

But this affects far more than counselors. The myth that people are born gay and cannot possibly change is a direct rejection of the Christian gospel of sin and redemption. It has fueled a dangerously unconstitutional movement to criminalize traditional moral views regarding sexuality.

It's one thing to treat everyone with respect. It's quite another to use cultural and political power to crush dissent and force people to lie. These are the seeds of tyranny.

Star quarterback Drew Brees is the latest to feel the love. He made a short video for Focus on the Family promoting Bring Your Bible to School Day and is now being hammered as "anti-LGBT" because Focus supports traditional family values.

As America reels under the left's many infringements on our liberties, Big Brother is taking the form of a fist in a rainbow-colored glove.

But they won't have the "gay gene" in that glove anymore.

Robert Knight is a contributor to The Washington Times.


Media Bias and the Elusive Gay Gene
And there is still no 'gay gene'

Aug. 31, 2019

This is a rule of thumb that you can take to the bank: Do not believe everything you read in the media. That is especially true of the mainstream media, with its blatant secular left bias on most political, religious and cultural issues. And we must also beware of misleading and patently false headlines.

Stories can be completely skewed just by a twisted headline. It happens all the time unfortunately. Consider one brand-new story making the rounds in the media. Based on the headlines, you would think that different news items are being covered. But in fact they are all discussing the same issue.

Consider these five recent headlines that all spoke to the exact same story:

"New genetic links to same-sex sexuality found in huge study" qctimes.com/news/national/new-genetic-links-to-same-sex-sexuality-found-in-huge/article_6aa2c794-b80a-551f-9792-a15ef2f9843f.html

"Major study finds genetic links to same-sex behaviour" www.wsj.com/articles/research-finds-genetic-links-to-same-sex-behavior-11567101661

These first two headlines seem to be making one clear case: Yes there is a homosexual gene! It is only after reading further in the articles that you will learn otherwise. Now check out these three headlines:

"No single gene associated with being gay" www.bbc.com/news/health-49484490

"Harvard and MIT Scientists: There Is No Gay Gene" www.afa.net/the-stand/culture/2019/08/harvard-and-mit-scientists-there-is-no-gay-gene/

"No 'gay gene', but study finds genetic links to sexual behaviour" news.yahoo.com/no-gay-gene-study-finds-180220669.html

As can be seen, the truth of this story all depends on what spin you want to put on it, and even what title you want to use! Those last three headlines certainly offer a far different take on the story than the first two. So let me spend a few minutes trying to lay out just what the story is all about.

An international team of researchers examined almost a half million people (470,000) to see if genetic markers could be associated with homosexual sex. This study was published in the August 30, 2019 edition of Science and is entitled, "How do genes affect same-sex behavior?"

Consider this key finding of the researchers: "Although they did find particular genetic loci associated with same-sex behavior, when they combine the effects of these loci together into one comprehensive score, the effects are so small (under 1%) that this genetic score cannot in any way be used to predict same-sex sexual behavior of an individual."

The article finishes this way: "Future work should investigate how genetic predispositions are altered by environmental factors, with this study highlighting the need for a multidisciplinary sociogenomic approach." science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6456/869

With all this in mind, let me offer three quotes from the BBC article that I linked to above. Associate professor in the Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, Ben Neale said this "There is no single gay gene, and a genetic test for if you're going to have a same-sex relationship is not going to work. It's effectively impossible to predict an individual's sexual behavior from their genome."

And honorary professor at the UCL Genetics Institute at the University College London, David Curtis put it this way: "This study clearly shows that there is no such thing as a 'gay gene.' There is no genetic variant in the population which has any substantial effect on sexual orientation."

Even homosexual groups have had to admit this. Zeke Stokes of the pro-homosexual organisation GLAAD, said: "This new research re-confirms the long-established understanding that there is no conclusive degree to which nature or nurture influence how a gay or lesbian person behaves."

All this lines up with what has been said for decades now. Despite what many homosexual activists and their sycophantic supporters in the MSM try to tell you, homosexuality is not just the result of one's genes. Many authorities have been saying this over the years.

For example, three years ago one world authority on human sexuality, Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University, said quite clearly that "there is no gay gene." www.cnsnews.com/blog/michael-w-chapman/johns-hopkins-psychiatrist-there-no-gay-gene

I quoted a number of other experts on this matter in my 2011 book, Strained Relations. Let me offer a quote from that book:

Homosexual activists continue to insist that homosexuality is genetically based, and nothing can be done about it. Science, again, begs to differ. One person who should know is Oxford's Richard Dawkins, author of The Selfish Gene. Dawkins argues that "the body of genetic determinism needs to be laid to rest." Says Dawkins, "Whether you hate homosexuals or whether you love them, whether you want to lock them up or 'cure' them, your reasons had better have nothing to do with genes. Rather admit to prejudiced emotion than speciously drag genes in where they do not belong."

Indeed, scientists involved in genetic research are becoming increasingly convinced that "genetic determinism" is a fallacy. One distinguished Harvard University professor, Dr. Ruth Hubbard, recently wrote a book denouncing genetic determinism. One summary of the issue concluded by saying that scientists are coming to realize one truth at least: "DNA is not destiny". And the two men most responsible for the humane genome project, Francis Collins and Craig Venter, have both argued that their discoveries imply the end of genetic determinism. Their discoveries about the human genome have made any simplistic statements about one or two genes predisposing someone to complex behaviors such as gayness or schizophrenia appear untenable.

In an article in Science magazine Charles Mann said this: "Time and time again, scientists have claimed that particular genes or chromosomal regions are associated with behavioral traits, only to withdraw their findings when they were not replicated. 'Unfortunately,' says Yale's [Dr. Joel] Gelernter, 'it's hard to come up with many' findings linking specific genes to complex human behaviors that have been replicated. '...All were announced with great fanfare; all were greeted unskeptically in the popular press; all are now in disrepute'."

And many homosexuals themselves reject the idea that homosexuality is genetically based. Many could be cited here. Let me mention a few. Homosexual activist Edward Stein has penned an entire book on the issue. This is what he has to say:

"Genes in themselves cannot directly specify any behaviour or psychological phenomenon. Instead, genes direct a particular pattern of RNA synthesis, which in turn may influence the development of psychological dispositions and the expression of behaviors. There are necessarily many intervening pathways between a gene and a disposition or behaviour, and even more intervening variables between a gene and a pattern that involves both thinking and behaving. The terms 'gay gene' and 'homosexual gene' are, therefore without meaning. . . . No one has presented evidence in support of such a simple and direct link between genes and sexual orientation."

An Australian homosexual activist has said similar things about homosexuality and genetics: "I think the idea that sexuality is genetic is crap. There is absolutely no evidence for it at the moment, and I think it is unhealthy that people want to embrace this idea. It does reflect a desire to say, 'it's not our fault', as a way of deflecting our critics. We have achieved what we have achieved by defiance, not by concessions. I think we should be recruiting people to homosexuality. It's a great lifestyle and something everybody should have the right to experience. If you believe it's genetic, how are you going to make the effort?" Or as he put it elsewhere: "On the question of recruiting to homosexuality -- well, of course, I am in favor of this. I believe homosexuality to be a perfectly valid lifestyle choice. . . . I am naturally keen to encourage people to participate in [the gay lifestyle]."

See my book for many more such quotes, and for full documentation on all this. The moral of the story is simple: don't believe everything you find in the media, especially when it comes to hot potato issues like homosexuality.

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