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Homosexuality: A Cost to Society or Harmless?

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(C) Copyright 2000
Muhammed Asadi

Of all topics most popular in today's media, issues concerning homosexuals and homosexuality in general top the list. Homosexuality is generally defined as a sexual relationship between partners of the same sex. Debate concerning its causes and consequences has been going on almost in every period in human history. However, never before in human history has it been granted such wide scale acceptance in western society as it has now. The question that I seek to answer in this paper is whether such wide scale acceptance should in fact be granted to homosexual behavior? Is such behavior rational, scientifically functional or is it actually detrimental to the high level of civilization that we've achieved?

I)THE SCIENTIFIC PERSPECTIVE:

Scientifically speaking , sex is a means to an end. The end being the propagation of the human race. This end can never be fulfilled by sex between males (in the case of gays) or between females (in the case of lesbians). Therefore, the general conclusion is that homosexuality is irrational and illogical.

If we consider the construction of the bodies of the male and female, what is noticed at once is that the construction of a body of a male (the penis and the anus- i.e no vagina) does not accommodate having sex with another male. Nor does the construction of a body of a female (no penis, a vagina) accommodate sex with another female. What is obvious to common sense is that the construction and location of specific sexual organs in the bodies of a male and a female accommodate sex between a male and a female and not among members of the same sex.
Therefore, the conclusion once again is that homosexuality is an unnatural and an irrational
behavior.

The case with birth control is different to the "cause & effect" argument above[this point was brought up in my meeting in class with the SMSU (Southwest Missouri State) Gay & Lesbian Alliance]. Birth control is simply the further delaying or prevention of a naturally occurring delaying process. The egg (ovum), which when fertilized develops into a zygote, which then eventually develops into the fetus, is released in the female's body in a specific period of time and pregnancy is caused only if a sperm fuses with the egg in that specific time period. If the egg is not fertilized during that period, then the cycle in humans ends in menstruation (Encyclopedia
Britannica, vol 26, Macropaedia 701-703)

II)THE PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE:

It was clearly recognized by experts who were objective and unprejudiced, that psychologically speaking homosexuality is an abnormal behavior. However large scale lobbying by homosexuals and certain psychologists brought in biases into this scientific field of inquiry and hence the truth got masked and the results are stated below:

"Before 1973 the DSM [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders] listed
homosexuality as a sexual disorder. Protests by gay activist groups and many psychotherapists
eventually led to its elimination from the manual as a sexual disorder per se, but the DSM did retain a category called "ego dystotic homosexuality- the feeling of extreme distress over one's homosexual preference". DSM III R has dropped even this category, and the issue of homosexuality is no longer mentioned (Comer 480)."

"Until the early 1970's the U.S psychiatric establishment classified homosexuality as a
mental illness, but that designation was dropped amid increased political activity and efforts by
homosexuals to be seen as individuals exercising different sexual preferences rather than aberrant personalities (Encyclopedia Britannica, vol 6, 31)."

Homosexuality is proven to be a learned behavior according to experiments with clinical
cases of intersexuality. At puberty, the individuals in question were "generally attracted to the sex opposite to their sex of rearing [even if it be opposite to their genetic sex of males, having X & Y chromosomes and females both X chromosomes] This suggests that sexual orientation is primarily established in post natal experiences (Encyclopedia Britannica, vol 27, 247)

There has however been great debate concerning the nature versus nurture question concerning homosexuality:

i)Brain Difference: The most recent one seems to indicate a certain difference in certain parts of the brains of homosexual people. What has however not been resolved is whether such difference in the brains was the cause or the effect of homosexual behavior. Further many people in the sample studied had Aids and Aids in its later stages affects the brain. Therefore no strong conclusions can scientifically be drawn from such a study.

ii)Hormonal Differences: when hormones are artificially altered in female animal's bodies
[introducing excess androgen prenatally] it makes them behave more like males even showing mating preference for members of the same sex. (Britannica, vol 27 ,248-249).

The same source however, also narrates that changing the hormone level postnatally does not mean that sexual preference for partners will change. The only thing that will change will be
the arousal level.

Therefore, based on the above, I believe I can justifiably conclude that abnormal sexual preference even when it becomes "normal" to a particular individual due to abnormal circumstances like the above, can be controlled. If every male took his sexual desires towards every attractive female to their conclusion, you can well imagine the galloping rate of rapes in this or any other society. Just because certain individuals experience sexual desires towards members of the same sex, because something went wrong somewhere, does not at all mean that they should engage in homosexual behavior or that their behavior be accepted without question or search for a solution.

iii) The Gay Gene: Even though many "political" efforts have been made by gays to attribute sexual orientation to the infamous "gay gene," nothing conclusive has been found. The study that is cited has fallen our of favor due to the biased nature of the sample and its taking into account only gay men and not lesbians.

1)From psychiatrist Jeffrey Satinover, M.D.:

"Like all complex behavioral and mental states, homosexuality is...neither exclusively biological nor exclusively psychological, but results from an as-yet-difficult-to-quantitate mixture of genetic factors, intrauterine influences...postnatal environment (such as parent, sibling and cultural behavior), and a complex series of repeatedly reinforced choices occurring at critical phases of development."

--J. Satinover, M.D., Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth (1996). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

2) William Byne, a psychiatrist with a doctorate in biology, and Bruce Parsons (1993) carefully analyzed all the major biological studies of homosexuality. They found none that definitively supported a biological theory of causation. --W. Byne and B. Parsons, "Human Sexual Orientation: The Biologic Theories Reappraised."

Archives of General Psychiatry 50, no.3.)

3)Psychiatrists Friedman and Downey state that "a biopsychosocial model" best fits our knowledge of causation, with various combinations of temperament and environmental events leading to homosexuality. They say:

"Despite recent neurobiological findings suggesting homosexuality is genetically-biologically determined, credible evidence is lacking for a biological model of homosexuality."

--R. Friedman, M.D. and J. Downey, M.D., Journal of Neuropsychiatry, vol. 5, No. 2, Spring l993.

4)From sociologist Steven Goldberg, Ph.D.:

"Virtually all of the evidence argues against there being a determinative physiological causal factor and I know of no researcher who believes that such a determinative factor exists...such factors play a predisposing, not a determinative role...I know of no one in the field who argues that homosexuality can be explained without reference to environmental factors."

I would like to add as a conclusion. If we take the arrow of implication backwards, some people have a predisposition to alcohol, that doesn't mean that they should abuse alcohol and that no therapy is effective.

5)An article on genes and behavior in Science magazine says:

"...the interaction of genes and environment is much more complicated than the simple "violence genes" and intelligence genes" touted in the popular press. Indeed, renewed appreciation of environmental factors is one of the chief effects of the increased belief in genetics' effects on behavior. The same data that show the effects of genes also point to the enormous influence of non-genetic factors."

--C. Mann, "Genes and behavior," Science 264:1687 (1994), pp. 1686-1689.

For more information on the "gene" factor this site (from which the above 5 quotes are taken )is helpful:

http://www.narth.com/docs/bornway.html

)THE RELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVE:

There is absolutely no doubt that Christianity, Judaism and Islam, the three most widely embraced religions in America condemn homosexual behavior in the strongest terms:

According to the Old Testament & the Koran, the people of Lot were destroyed because they engaged in homosexual behavior and were unrepenting and un accepting of God's admonishment (Holy Bible, Genesis chapter 13, 14, 18, 19; Koran 7:80-84; 4:16 etc)
In the book of Romans, in the Bible [New Testament], Paul states:

"Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural and the men likewise gave up natural
relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error
(Romans 1:22-27)."

The above verse also condemns those who worship God in the image of a man i.e those who believe in the concept of a "God- incarnate".

IV) SOCIAL CONSEQUENCES:

i)Aids: Among the groups that have directly and indirectly contributed to the wide scale spread of Aids to even innocent patients like children are homosexuals and their practice of anal sex.

"There are specific behaviors that place people at a high risk for AIDS. The first is anal sex which can cause rectal bleeding and thereby allow easy transmission of HIV. This practice is therefore extremely dangerous and, of course, the greater the number of sexual partners, the greater the risk. Anal sex is commonly practiced by Gay males in some cases with many sexual partners.
For this reason about two thirds of persons with Aids are homosexual or bi-sexual males
(Macionis 545:1987)."

The above statistic of two thirds shows the trend in the spread of AIDS a few years after it
was recognized as a threat (1987). Even today according the the General Social Survey of the University of Chicago (Smith 1998) gay men are at the highest risk of contracting AIDS.
Aids results in many national cost problems too:

"....The cost of treating Aids already exceeds $150,000 per person and may rise further as new therapies develop....Added to the direct medical costs are the tens of billions of dollars in lost earnings and productivity...There is little doubt that Aids is a medical and social problem of
monumental proportions (Macionis 545)."

GENERAL CONCLUSION:
According to common sense, science, logic, psychology and religion - i.e all those aspects of present society, that have contributed to its civilization, homosexuality is irrational, illogical, abnormal and an immoral behavior. Those who practice is should not be personally condemned but their behavior should and solutions to their ills be found, and the free practice of homosexual behavior be stopped, so that our society prospers. If clear and concrete evidence were indeed found in the other direction, I would gladly change my above conclusions. Therefore let our end be towards the truth!

"..What is left after the truth except error? How then are you turned away."(Koran10:32)

WORKS CITED

Comer, Ronald J. Abnormal Psychology. New York, W.H Freeman & Co, 1992

Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Iowa, World Bible Publishers Inc, 1971.

"Homosexuality", Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol 6 (Micropaedia). 15th ed, 1990

Koran. Translation, Picthall, M. Marmaduke, Lahore, Taj co 1981.

Macionis, John J. Sociology. New Jersey, Prentice Hall International, 1987.

"Reproduction & Reproductive Systems", Encyclopaedia Britannica,vol 26 (Macropaedia), 15th ed. 1990.

"Sex & Sexuality", Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol 27 (Macropaedia). 15th ed, 1990.

Smith, Tom. 1998. General Social Survey, Topic 25. University of Chicago.

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Note on homosexuality in the animal kingdom:

I) Discussed under hormonal errors above.

II) A comparison with the animal kingdom is not justified. Animals at times kill and eat their offspring too, as the exception and not the general rule. We cannot therefore justify the killing of our children just because it "happens" in the animal kingdom. Homosexuality is not the rule but an exception.

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