By: John A. Leopard
To: Preston Simpson
Re: Homosexual Christians?
On Fri 17-Nov-1995 6:22p, Preston Simpson said to Don Martin:
DM> Well, the organizing hormone scheme above does seem to be in
DM> harmony with the higher incidence of homosexual boys born to London
DM> women pregnant during the Blitz: in accounts of that event, I see
PS> I thought that study was done in Germany, not London. Perhaps both?
There was a study done in Germany in 1980 (Dorner, G., Geier, T.,
Ahrens, L., Krell, L., Munx, G., Sieler, H., Kittner, E., and Muller, H.,
"Prenatal stress as possible aetiogenetic factor of homosexuality in human
males" Endokrinologie 75:365-386). This study reported a greater incidence of
homosexuality among men born during the Second World War.
Another study in 1988 (Ellis, L., Ames, M.A., Peckham, W., and Burke,
D. reported in the Journal of Sex Research 25:152-157) seems to offer partial
support for the stress hypothesis.
But a study done in 1991 (Bailey, J.M., Willerman, L., and Parks, C. "A
test of the maternal stress theory of human male homosexuality." Archives of
Sexual Behavior 20:277-293) came up with a totally different conclusion. This
study reported that women who have had a gay and a straight son do not recall
different levels of stress during the two pregnancies.
I tend to believe that stress may have SOME effect - under certain
circumstances - but not that great of an effect or there would be a more easily
charted correlation between wars, earthquakes, etc., and the presence of
homosexuals in a particular society. And what should not be ignored is that a
few people might be born homosexual because of maternal stress - but the
majority of those who are born homosexual are homosexual because of a genetic
PS> Something like that. It has been known for some time that exposing
PS> expecting mothers to stresses that will raise their level of certain
PS> hormones (I *think* that they're androgens, but I'm not sure) at
PS> certain times will produce homosexual offspring--in rats and monkeys.
PS> From other research done with rats and monkeys, I'd be willing to
PS> bet that the same holds true for humans.
There's been a lot of research on the subject - I have posted some
previously in other echos - but you are basically correct as far as PRE-NATAL
hormone exposure is concerned.
As far as post-natal hormone exposure, Dr. John Money has been doing
that kind of research since the 1970's and what he says (in "The Adam
Principle: Genes, Genitals, Hormones & Gender: Selected Readings on Sexology"
(c) 1993, Prometheus Books ISBN 0-87975-804-X) is: "The sum total of present
evidence is that no hormone measurements differentiate those in whom sexual
orientation is homosexual and those in whom it is heterosexual or bisexual. On
the contrary, hormones that participate in sexual functioning, whether secreted
from the hypothalmus, pituitary, or gonads, are best characterized as being
homosexually and heterosexually not different but bipotential. Similiarly,
they are best characterized as being bipotential for masculinity and feminity,
also, insofar as their difference in men and women is not absolute but
relative. The difference between male and female, hormonally, is determined by
the ratio of sex hormone levels in the bloodstream, the periodicity of their
release, and, to a variable extent, the response threshold of the different
target organs they stimulate." (Page 23)
PS> The trick is that the stress has to come at the right point in
PS> prenatal development. If it doesn't, then there might be no effect
PS> or the body structure might be changed while leaving orientation
PS> intact. Body structure is determined and "programmed" at a different
PS> time than the brain is, thus is it possible to literally have
PS> a woman's brain in a man's body (and vice versa).
DM> The bozo I was addressing above _seemed_ to be maintaining that
DM> homosexual behavior sommehow alters genes, and THAT's why we find
There is a common argument by homophobes that Dr. Simon LeVay's
conclusions on the brain differences between homosexuals and heterosexuals are
incorrect because homosexual behavior somehow alters brain structures - and
that is not only incorrect but the same brain structure differences have been
found in children who have not reached puberty...
PS> I noticed that. I tend to disagree, though twin studies suggest that
PS> homosexuality has a genetic component. If I can get the raw data for
PS> the twin studies, I can run 'em through the t test and see if they're
PS> valid for myself.
I can give you the citations to about a dozen twin studies, if you
want them. You would have to look up each study and see how much of the hard
data is contained therein to verify. I'm sure you've read "The Science of
Desire: The Search for the Gay Gene and the Biology of Behavior" by Dean Hamer
and Peter Copeland (c) 1994, Simon & Schuster ISBN 0-671-88724-6, that book
contains a good summaries of the studies done through 1994. There have been
about three published twin studies since then - all of which come to similiar
conclusions - that sexual orientation has a genetic component.
And homophobes are quick to point out that one of Dr. Hamer's
assistants filed ethics charges against him last year - claiming that he had
"fixed" the results of the studies to support a particular "agenda" (that same
assistant had just been "born again"....). As of this date, the ethics charge
has not been dismissed - but it will be shortly - since Dr. Hamer's research
has already been duplicated and confirmed by a peer-review panel.
PS> True. In homosexual males, the corpus callosum is larger (about the
PS> same size as a heterosexual female's) and the preoptic area of the
PS> hypothalamus is smaller (again, about the same size as a heterosexual
Correct. Also the anterior commissure, the massa intermedia and the
amygdala of the human brain is noticeably different in size among homosexual
males and heterosexual males (on the average).
PS> Testosterone levels are about equal (within normal variances)
PS> to those of heterosexual males, so *that* doesn't seem to be a factor.
PS> I did learn today that the percentage of true homosexuals (not just those
PS> practicing homosexual behavior) tends to be fairly constant throughout
PS> cultures and even across species (6% of the total population, with
PS> male homosexuals outnumbering female homosexuals by about 2-1). If this
PS> is indeed true, then it would go a long way towards suggesting a mostly
PS> physical component to homosexuality.
I have seen this statistic before, as well, but I don't have a citation
for it. If you find a citation, let me know.