Monday, February 01, 2010

"No Gay Gene," Says Leading Psychiatrist from Johns Hopkins University

[McHughPaul.jpg]

Dr. Paul R. McHugh (a Catholic) was the Henry Phipps professor of psychiatry, director of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and psychiatrist in chief at the Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1975 to 2001. The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine named him distinguished service professor in 1998.

See his bibliography and list of peer-reviewed journal articles (both posted on a site quite hostile to Dr. McHugh).

The following are excerpts (all his words) from an interview posted at The Living Church News Service website (1-26-10):

* * * * *

[Evidence from longitudinal studies suggests] that gender identity disorder may well be something imposed upon people out of their wish to live the roles, and the lives, within their social cluster. . . . there is no gay gene. And there are factors more influential than biology. If you are a man and you grow up in a rural environment, you are four times less likely to have homosexual relationships than if you grow up in a metropolitan area. That’s not left-handedness. If you are a lesbian, you are much more likely to be college-educated. That’s not something that happens at conception. My point is that we now know that the environment is very important.

It really is amazing … I mean, 50 years ago [homosexual behavior] was a crime, and now we’re talking about [same-sex marriage]. Anyone who wants to stick with the tradition is accused of being a biblical literalist or a homophobic racist, because, in part, of the more fundamental change in our society towards permissiveness, that is, easy divorce, cohabitation and concubinage, abortion, pornography … and euthanasia. The issue of the homosexual is not separate … it’s all part and parcel of the pandemonium that the permissive movement has brought. We have just licensed all kinds of behavior.

. . . what has happened with the permissive movement is that it has picked up the Freudian confusion of desire and love, making them the same. . . . there is this confusion of desire and love. [Homosexuality] is erroneous desire.

18 comments:

Martin said...

This guy is great! He speaks in with a scientific candor that precludes kneejerk homophobe responses.

I read a great article of his on the failure of transgender surgery. " What other psycological disease do we treat with surgery", he asks. My hero! (Well, after DA of course).

Dave Armstrong said...

Aw shucks. You're way too kind . . .

Doug Benscoter said...

It seems to me that even if there is a gay gene, that wouldn't make homosexual behavior good or healthy. After all, people are born with all kinds of predispositions toward things that we wouldn't consider healthy.

Martin said...

Yes, but, no surprise to you, there is a desire to show gay not my choice because I was born that way.

Well, not *me* actually...that's the hypothetical "I".

:)

Still, there are too many who, in an honest self history, seem to feel that they were drawn to the same sex from the earliest age they could remember. I try to have a respect for otherpeoples life history.

Dave Armstrong said...

I agree with both o' ya!

Martin said...

This is, I think, the paper I referenced above. I would recomend it to all as a lession in compassion for our mentally ill and a warning about what the psyciatric institutions are doing to them:

http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/mchugh.htm

Ken said...

This is a good post that all conservative Protestants will agree with.

Excellent. I only wish the video of Dr. McHugh that you got the picture from; was about the homosexual issue so that it can be shown for the masses.

How did the Psychiatric institutions get taken over in the 1970s by those that deemed that homosexuality was no longer a mental illness?

Where are the other doctors like this man?

Jeffery Satinover, MD is also good:
Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth

This issue is coming up more now in the news as Obama tries to reverse "Don't ask, don't tell" military policy. (Distraction from his failures in Health Care, Deficit spending, job creation?)

romishgraffiti said...

There is probably much I would disagree with Rick Warren on, but when Anne Curry (another one of those cute, clever girls that are taking over news media) tossed the born-that-way card, he schooled her:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCxj_6yYbyc

Mydrama said...

"If you are a man and you grow up in a rural environment, you are four times less likely to have homosexual relationships than if you grow up in a metropolitan area."

I would just like to point out that this logic is a bit flawed. I am 16 and openly homosexual and live in a more metropolitan area. I would agree with the statement that I'm more likely to have a relationship with another man as opposed to a boy from a rural area, BUT there's a reason why. I live in a very accepting city. I know closeted gay people in more rural towns nearby, towns with a population of about 2,000 people, and the town is heavily conservative. Clearly the boys aren't going to shout from the rooftops that they're gay for fear of being ostracized by their town. Not having a relationship doesn't mean they AREN'T gay. It means their environment is stopping them from being who they want to be.

Dave Armstrong said...

I think you make some valid points there. But environmental factors, of course, tell us nothing whatever as to an existence of a supposed "gay gene."

Mydrama said...

I understand that who we are as adults is not strictly based on genetics, but also environment. But people can't be influenced into what they're sexually attracted to. Who you surround yourself with does not reflect who you personally are. I agree that environment is IMPORTANT in who we become as adults, but the last time I checked having heterosexual friends and family did NOT influence my sexual orientation. What you find sexually attractive is beyond your control.

Dave Armstrong said...

Many studies have shown that a seriously disrupted or dysfunctional relationship with one's father is a leading indicator of future homosexual orientation.

There is also a lot of evidence that atheism can begin in this fashion as well. Many of the famous atheists either had no father or a bad relationship with them.

That's environmental; it ain't genetic.

Martin said...

The APA and the scientific community agree there is no gay gene;
http://open.salon.com/blog/djohn/2009/05/12/american_psychological_association_no_gay_gene

Mydrama said...

Your article includes quite a bit of perspective from NARTH. George Rekkers (From NARTH, the organization that claims to cure homosexuality) was caught with a male prostitute. While I agree that nothing can be PROVEN yet, I don’t belief that the opinions’ of NARTH are any basis for fact.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/05/george-rekers-anti-gay-ac_n_565142.html

While I belief you can be traumatized away from one sex (example: being raped by a female might make one scared of females and any sex with them, leaving men as an alternative choice) you can't choose every aspect of what you find attractive.

http://allpsych.com/journal/homosexuality.html
This paper I found to be useful. Especially the 6th, 7th, and 8th paragraphs. The 18th paragraph points out that the “homosexual son and father relationship theory” “…is largely disrespected by the psychological community at large.” You use the word MANY a lot, and have no citation. And it is understandable that homosexuality might lead to atheism. I know it lead to my atheism, because I can't believe in a God that is largely believed to condemn me for being myself. The way God made me.

I'm not claiming that there IS a "gay gene". I'm saying that sexuality is a complex matter that cannot be "chosen" and should not be shunned. You’re free to believe whatever you wish to. I just find it a bit silly that your topic is about homosexuality, and not JUST sexuality as a whole. The same way people approach the gay marriage issue. If anything is a THREAT to the “Christian institute of marriage” shouldn’t the focus be on divorce? (which occurs in about 50% of couples) As opposed to gay marriage, which isn’t legal in 1/5 of the states.

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+10%3A1-12&version=NIV

Dave Armstrong said...

I just find it a bit silly that your topic is about homosexuality, and not JUST sexuality as a whole. The same way people approach the gay marriage issue. If anything is a THREAT to the “Christian institute of marriage” shouldn’t the focus be on divorce?

Are you saying that every time I write about sexual morality I have to talk about everything sexual? That is what is the truly silly idea. I have lots of articles about lots of stuff (2550 at present). I oppose divorce and masturbation and contraception and abortion and cohabitation, just as I am opposed to homosexual acts. These are all Catholic and traditional Christian positions.

In none of these cases do I "hate" or even have any hostility against the persons involved. That has nothing to do with it. The motivation is love, not hate. It's simply a matter of taking a certain view on sexuality.

At least I can't be fired for merely expressing my opinions on this, as my friend Ken Howell was, from the University of Illinois:

http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2010/07/outrageous-firing-of-professor-for.html

For the moment, free speech reigns in the blogosphere, but who knows? In 5-10 years the PC thought police may be coming after me and threatening me, too, if I dare to give a non-PC opinion and defend it.

Mydrama said...

(In the following paragraph homosexuality refers to the sexual attraction to someone of the same sex, and not sexual acts based on sexuality.)

I have a rather important two-part opinion based question for you: Is homosexuality by itself wrong? Just the idea of it. Not sexual acts. (Leviticus 18:22 is translated: "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.") Lev 18:22 condemns homosexual ACTS not homosexuality itself. As many recent studies (articles I have supplied as well as you) concluded, homosexuality may or may not be genetic, but (like everything else) is influenced by environment. With that information I come to the conclusion that the sexuality of a person is out of their control. (imprinting at a young age and such) So if homosexuality itself (not the acts) is wrong, why would God create a natural situation where the sexuality is out of the control of the person? If the motivation is LOVE, then is it immoral for two people of the same sex who love each other to spend their entire life together (not marriage but "partnership") if they do not have any form of "sex"?

Dave Armstrong said...

I have a rather important two-part opinion based question for you: Is homosexuality by itself wrong? Just the idea of it. Not sexual acts.

The Catholic Church does not condemn what we call "homosexual orientation."

(Leviticus 18:22 is translated: "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.") Lev 18:22 condemns homosexual ACTS not homosexuality itself.

That is the emphasis, yes.

As many recent studies (articles I have supplied as well as you) concluded, homosexuality may or may not be genetic, but (like everything else) is influenced by environment. With that information I come to the conclusion that the sexuality of a person is out of their control.

I think there is some sense of involuntariness, but I also think that we can cultivate our sexuality i one direction or another.

(imprinting at a young age and such) So if homosexuality itself (not the acts) is wrong, why would God create a natural situation where the sexuality is out of the control of the person?

I deny the premise. I think people can develop behaviors that are disordered in many different ways.

If the motivation is LOVE, then is it immoral for two people of the same sex who love each other to spend their entire life together (not marriage but "partnership") if they do not have any form of "sex"?

That's not immoral. That is no different from two male roommates. We object to institutionalizing homosexual "marriage" because we believe that marriage, by definition, is between a man and a woman.

Thanks for your questions and I hope I have answered then to your satisfaction (agree or disagree).

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