“The science is settled!” we often hear on any questions surrounding the LGBT issues. But two experts replied last week, “Not so fast.”
If you blinked sometime around 2010, you probably didn’t recognize the country when you opened your eyes. Once President Obama “evolved” on marriage, and the Supreme Court redefined that institution, the remaining cultural dominoes are falling, and fast.
This year alone, laws were proposed that would force Christian colleges to deny their beliefs, and a federal directive demanded that schools nationwide accommodate transgender students in both restrooms and athletics. And this march is accompanied by the persistent media drumbeat that “the science is settled” on these issues.
But the rhetoric is way ahead of the research. A sweeping new report in The New Atlantis surveys decades of published data on sexual orientation, gender dysphoria, and the psychology behind them. The results are turning heads. Not only is the science behind LGBT claims far from settled, but these findings call into question foundational assumptions of the new sexual orthodoxy.
Dr. Paul McHugh and Lawrence Mayer, psychiatric experts, argue that “there is a large gap between the certainty with which beliefs about [sexual orientation and gender identity] are held…and what a sober assessment of the science reveals.”
Their report identifies major areas where scientific findings don’t support the triumphal rhetoric of activists. First, the idea that “gay” people are “born that way,” genetically pre-programmed to be attracted to their own sex, lacks evidence.
“Genes,” write the authors, “constitute only one of the many key influences on behavior in addition to environmental influences, personal choices, and interpersonal experiences.” So-called “sexual orientation” is “fluid,” not “fixed” and often changes throughout a person’s life. In fact, some studies found that eighty percent of males who reported homosexual or bisexual feelings as children later identified exclusively as heterosexual.
Their report also tackles the transgender question, comparing actual research to the lofty claims of activists. Once again, there’s a yawning chasm. Only a tiny minority of children who experience gender dysphoria continue to identify as transgender when they’re adults.
McHugh and Mayer insist that subjecting children to hormone therapy or to so-called “sex reassignment” surgery is an act of sheer ideology, not medicine or compassion.
And, they add, adults who undergo sex-change operations (which the Obama Administration is pressuring health insurers to cover) are still—get this—19 times more likely to commit suicide than the rest of the population.
They conclude; “The hypothesis that…a person might be ‘a man trapped in a woman’s body,’ or ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body,’—is not supported by scientific evidence.”
Okay, so what do we do with all of this? Well, as the staff at The Federalist writes, “this new report gives us language and authority to push back, as it challenges these false narratives, and by extension, the [policies] that rely on them.”
To be clear, the research will continue, and this report isn’t exhaustive of all the studies out there, but it is enough to prove that the science isn’t settled as we’re often told. And to be clear, those using the levers of cultural power to impose this new vision of sex, marriage, and humanity aren’t driven by, nor will they be unconvinced of their vision, by science.
Thus, McHugh and Mayer anticipate, as they put it, “spirited responses.” No kidding. Not that we will be met with cheers when we share this report with others, either. But share it we must. The media won’t, and too much is at stake. Until this runaway train is stopped, many, especially children who are the most vulnerable subjects of our social experiments, will be run over by this ideology.
— by John Stonestreet
Stonestreet is the Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview and is heard on Breakpoint. Copyright© 2016 Prison Fellowship Ministries. Reprinted with permission. BreakPoint is a ministry of Prison Fellowship Ministries.