…a team of scientists at the University of Padova in Italy made headlines around the world when they claimed to have discovered that homosexuality in males may be caused in part by genes that can increase fertility in females (1). According to gay gene theory, genetic factors are responsible for sexual orientation, with our genetic inheritance programming us to desire one sex rather than the other. This is a very simple, deterministic thesis: A causes B. But contrary to what the authors seem to suggest, an influence is not the same as a cause. Genes and hormones may predispose a person to one sexuality rather than another. But that’s all. Predisposition and determination are two different things. http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/5375#.Uw24_s4m_Ql
If heterosexuality and homosexuality are, indeed, genetically predetermined (and therefore mutually exclusive and unchangeable), how do we explain bisexuality or people who, suddenly in mid-life, switch from heterosexuality to homosexuality (or vice versa)? We can’t.’…One of the main original proponents of gay gene theory, Dr Dean Hamer, now concedes that it is unlikely that something as complex as human sexuality can be explained solely in terms of genetic inheritance. He seems to accept that while genetic factors may establish a predisposition towards homosexuality, a predisposition is not the same as a causation.http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/5375#.Uw24_s4m_Ql
Prof. Latigo Ogenga makes the first fallacy by urging
that ‘’It is a fact that claims by some scientists
that homosexuality is not genetic is an absurdity, since all human behaviour,
without exception and including sexuality, derives from the genetic
constitution of individuals. This fact is embedded in Turkheimer’s First Law of
Behaviour Genetics which states that “All human behavioural traits are
heritable”. The professor does not know that many human traits are due to socialization
for example gender traits. In some African cultures women used not to eat chicken,
eggs and fish. Today, some African women still think that if a man does not
beat you, he does not love you. These are not genetic traits . These are
behavoiurs that arise out gender socialization. The Professor has made a fallacy
of homogenization by confusing natural traits with socialized traits . Homosexuality
is not a natural phenomena but a socialized phenomena.
The professor does not seem to know the
difference between a law and a regularity.
Professor Latogo also urges, that it is a basic genetic fact that all
behavioural traits, just like crop yield
characteristics, are governed by complex ranges of genes that control
complex chains of processes and responses.’’Like he points out in is his
heading, ‘’choice is not in science’’, he thinks that behavoiur traits of humans
are as mechanical as crop characteristics. But humans have free will although ,
can be socialized to have hardened
perceptions or adaptive preferences( being socialized to think that people have
a right to oppress you for example). Can free choice be explainable by deterministic genes? He is
precisely saying that human actions can be both free and determined at the same time. This
is a violation of the principle of non-contradiction. He is not aware of the
philosophical problem of freedom and determinism. He further contradicts
himself by saying that ‘’to explain homosexuality in terms of genes only is,
therefore, scientifically very naive. Although it is known that up to 10% of
any given population is genetically predisposed to homosexual tendencies, under
strict social conformational pressure of our traditions, homosexuality was
suppressed and only individuals with the strongest attributes expressed it. In
a society liberalizing like ours now, however, this pressure is eased, allowing
for more people to openly express their unique sexualities.’’ But how can
deterministic genetic behavoiur be suppressed by conformational social pressure????
The professor does not seem to know the difference between a law and a regularity.
Professor Latogo also urges, that it is a basic genetic fact that all behavioural traits, just like crop yield characteristics, are governed by complex ranges of genes that control complex chains of processes and responses.’’Like he points out in is his heading, ‘’choice is not in science’’, he thinks that behavoiur traits of humans are as mechanical as crop characteristics. But humans have free will although , can be socialized to have hardened perceptions or adaptive preferences( being socialized to think that people have a right to oppress you for example). Can free choice be explainable by deterministic genes? He is precisely saying that human actions can be both free and determined at the same time. This is a violation of the principle of non-contradiction. He is not aware of the philosophical problem of freedom and determinism. He further contradicts himself by saying that ‘’to explain homosexuality in terms of genes only is, therefore, scientifically very naive. Although it is known that up to 10% of any given population is genetically predisposed to homosexual tendencies, under strict social conformational pressure of our traditions, homosexuality was suppressed and only individuals with the strongest attributes expressed it. In a society liberalizing like ours now, however, this pressure is eased, allowing for more people to openly express their unique sexualities.’’ But how can deterministic genetic behavoiur be suppressed by conformational social pressure????
The 'gay gene' hoax
Exclusive: Ryan Sorba traces initial pseudo-science homosexuals hang their hat on
Published: 06/03/2010 at 12:00 AM
One of the most common studies homosexual activists cite when they make the absurd claim that people are “born gay” was conducted in 1993 by pro-gay activist Dr. Dean Hamer and his team of geneticists at the National Cancer Institute.
Hamer and his colleagues reported that a “gay gene” seemed to be maternally linked and could be found on the Xq28 stretch of the X chromosome.
Hamer’s genetic study played a key role in a massive public-relations campaign designed by Harvard-educated and Madison Avenue-trained homosexual activists Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen. I refer to this campaign as the “born gay hoax.” In the late 1980s and early 1990s, this hoax was designed to help homosexual activists legally obtain minority-class status. Historically, courts have awarded minority-class status to groups that:
- have demonstrated a long history of discrimination;
- have demonstrated that they are powerless as a community to help themselves; and
- have demonstrated an immutable characteristic such as race or gender (i.e., are born that way).
In the 1990s, homosexual activists believed that if they could convince the courts that they were “born gay” they would acquire protected-class status and could then legally challenge anti-sodomy laws in the United States.
Dean Hamer played an enormous role in this effort. In fact, on April 3, 1994, the The Washington Times reported that while Hamer was testifying against Colorado’s Amendment 2 – which sought to keep men who have sex with men from winning minority-class status – Sen. Robert C. Smith, R-N.H., knew of Hamer’s motives and accused the doctor of “actively pursuing a gay agenda.”
Immediately after Hamer’s “gay gene” study was published in 1993, a media explosion ensued. Hamer’s results, however, were a fraud. The title of an article appearing on page 25 of the July 10, 1995, edition of the pro-gay magazine New York Native explains:
“Gay Gene” Research Doesn’t Hold Under Scrutiny, Chicago Tribune’s John Crewdson Uncovers Possible Scientific Misconduct by NCI Researcher.
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The article begins:
In addition to the political and social firestorm Hamer’s research has ignited, he has also been criticized by numerous scientists for not performing what seems to be an obvious control experiment: examining the genes of heterosexual brothers.
The omission of a control group in a scientific experiment is significant, because it essentially renders the experiment inconclusive. Why would a supposedly professional researcher like Hamer conduct an experiment in such an unacceptable and unprofessional fashion?
According to the article, another researcher who worked on the project claimed that although Hamer conducted the experiment correctly by including a control variable, the results he obtained did not lead to the conclusion he was hoping to find: that some men are “born gay.” Hamer therefore did not release the information related to the control group and published pseudo-scientific results. All went well for Hamer until a junior researcher on his team exposed his scheme. The article continues:
Even worse for Hamer, the National Institute of Health’s Office of Research Integrity is now investigating his “gay gene” research, according to Crewdson. The inquiry concerns allegations that Hamer was selective about which data he chose to report (i.e., that he ignored data that didn’t support his contention that homosexuality is genetically determined). The data manipulation was reported to NIH’s integrity office by a junior researcher who performed research crucial to Hamer’s claimed discovery, according to Crewdson.
Crewdson’s revelations turned out to be true. A November 1995 edition of Scientific American confirmed that Hamer was “being charged with research improprieties and was under investigation by the National Institute of Health’s Federal Office of Research Integrity.” Although the NIH never released the results of the inquiry, Hamer was shortly thereafter transferred to another section. In addition to lying about his results, he had done his “gay gene” research under a grant to work on Kaposi’s sarcoma, a skin cancer that inordinately afflicts men who have sex with men.
Upon learning that Hamer’s “gay gene” study was a hoax, one might assume that if other researchers were to attempt to replicate his experiment, including his control group, they would fail to obtain the pseudo-scientific result that there is a “gay gene.” This is exactly the case. The New York Native article continues:
… [A]t least one lab that has tried hard to replicate his findings has been unsuccessful.
“Only one independent laboratory has reported attempting such a replication, and it has found no evidence to support Hamer,” Crewdson reported. “We can’t reproduce Hamer’s data,” said George Ebers, a neurogeneticist from the University of Western Ontario, who has searched unsuccessfully for a Hamer-style genetic link to homosexuality in more than 50 pairs of gay Canadian brothers. In fact, Ebers found the genetic markers cited by Hamer in “exactly half of his brother pairs” according to Crewdson – precisely what the laws of chance would predict, if the “markers had no significance.”
The fact that Hamer’s study cannot be replicated confirms reports that Hamer lied about his results. In 1998, another group of researchers (Sanders, et al.) tried to replicate Hamer’s study as well; they also failed to find a genetic connection to homosexuality.
Then, in the Aug. 6, 1999, edition of Science, George Rice and George Ebers published a review of Hamer’s study to go along with their previous attempts to replicate his findings. The scientists stated that the results of Hamer’s study “did not support an X-linked gene underlying male homosexuality.” They found that the brothers observed by the Hamer group were no more likely to share the Xq28 markers than would be expected by mere chance.
By this time, Hamer had already conceded that his pseudo-scientific study did not support a genetic cause for homosexuality, in the Jan. 30, 1998, edition of the Washington Blade. He also conceded that homosexuality is “culturally transmitted, not inherited,” and that “there is not a single master gene that makes people gay. … I don’t think we will ever be able to predict who will be gay,” he said.
Sunday, 23 February 2014 19:34
Following past pleas on David Bahati’s “Anti-homosexuality Bill” from its introduction in 2009 (see: Anti-homosexuality bill: where is our honesty?), I had chosen, after the rushed passage of the bill, to hold my peace.
This decision was reinforced by President Museveni’s initial bold and objective stand on the bill, and his demand for scientific justification.
By taking the science path, one expected the president to invite scientific arguments both for and against the bill. Regrettably, in spite of a brilliant article by the much respected lawyer, Peter Muliira, on the lack of scientific, legal and real bases for enacting this law (See: Homosexuality is regarded as a genetical condition, Daily Monitor, January 28) and in spite of facts and caution by many, the president has now agreed to sign the bill into law, based on the biased views of Drs. Kenneth Omona, Chris Byaromunsi and others, all NRM legislators.
Deeply concerned by the gross misrepresentation of the science of homosexuality by these medical doctors and about key issues that we have not considered, and given that President Museveni may not have signed the bill into law yet, I am compelled to make this last ditch appeal to the president to return the bill to Parliament for reconsideration.
Homosexuality is genetic
Although aware that decisions on the bill go far beyond science, and that is my focus, it is important to clarify scientific aspects of homosexuality that the President may have been misled about. It is a fact that claims by some scientists that homosexuality is not genetic is an absurdity, since all human behaviour, without exception and including sexuality, derives from the genetic constitution of individuals.
This fact is embedded in Turkheimer’s First Law of Behaviour Genetics which states that “All human behavioural traits are heritable”.
To help us understand the genetic basis of homosexuality, we must appreciate certain realities. Firstly, it is illogical to expect homosexuality to be governed by simple heritable genes and still exist simply because homosexual partnerships do not produce off-springs. Obviously, nature is not that stupid to make homosexuality a simple heritable character that leads to extinction of any lineage carrying its genes.
Secondly, it is a basic genetic fact that all behavioural traits, just like crop yield characteristics, are governed by complex ranges of genes that control complex chains of processes and responses.
To arrive at running away as a fear response, for example, one must perceive danger by seeing, hearing, feeling or sensing. The perceived threat is transmitted to the brain and is subconsciously analyzed to determine if it is critical or not. This in turn generates a reaction to ignore, resist or flee, again governed by a complex chain of genetically-controlled response mechanisms.
The same process applies to homosexuality and all human sexual responses. If along the sexual stimulus/response chain same-sex attraction is triggered, the outcome is homosexuality.
Thirdly, expression of all our genetic characters is moderated by external factors - the environment. In the case of homosexuality and other complex human behaviour, Turkheimer’s Third Law of Behaviour Genetics states that “A substantial portion of the variation in complex human behavioural traits is not accounted for by the effects of genes or families”. To explain homosexuality in terms of genes only is, therefore, scientifically very naive.
Although it is known that up to 10% of any given population is genetically predisposed to homosexual tendencies, under strict social conformational pressure of our traditions, homosexuality was suppressed and only individuals with the strongest attributes expressed it. In a society liberalizing like ours now, however, this pressure is eased, allowing for more people to openly express their unique sexualities.
In our situation, it is even possible that the fear of heterosexual transmission of HIV/Aids, especially amongst young girls, is driving them away from early heterosexual exploratory relationships. The alternative for safe sexual exploration and expression then becomes same-sex relationships or lesbianism.
Fourthly, while the likes of Dr Omona use crude description of anal sex among homosexual males and associated risks as evidence of the scientific “badness” of homosexuality, they forget the fact that among lesbians and many male homosexuals there is no anal sex, and also that many heterosexuals indulge in anal and even oral sex.
They also forget the fact that nature has even created people with both male and female organs, hermaphrodites, and males with breasts and tendency to act female, etc. When these respond the way they are born, where do you place them?
On the basis of the above, I assert that there are no scientific grounds for the enactment of an “anti-homosexuality” law. If we must enact any law at all, we must find reasons for it elsewhere.
Nature of the law we need
Many Ugandans have pointed out that the “anti-” prefix in the “Anti-Homosexuality Bill” is an expression of nothing more than an irrational hatred for and witch-hunt of homosexuals. That the title was retained is evidence enough of the insensitivity of the enactors of the bill, who in Parliament offered no objective, clearly thought-out arguments to justify their stand.
It was further evidence that they and their religious fundamentalist backers merely rely on Pharisaic self-proclaimed “godly” or “cultural” righteousness as justification.
This situation was not helped by the stand of Speaker Rebecca Kadaga on the bill in 2012, when she promised to enact it “as a Christmas gift to Ugandans” as if homosexuals are not Ugandans, and on the final day of consideration of the bill when she, against Parliament’s rules of procedure, deliberately ignored the Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi’s legitimate call on lack of quorum. Any legislation handled with this scale of bias has no place in our statute books.
On the above grounds, and for the sake of our credibility and doing things right, I appeal to President Museveni to return the bill to Parliament for reconsideration. Besides, by its very nature and construct, the bill is fatally flawed both in law and intended purpose.
Firstly, that the law is targeting particular sections of our society, even those who relate in private and act responsibly in public, for being homosexuals is unjustifiably discriminatory and takes away their rights to privacy as free Ugandans. Nobody, not even religious fundamentalists of whatever description, have a right to deprive these Ugandans of their fundamental rights.
Secondly, Uganda is a signatory to world conventions on freedoms, non-discrimination and other fundamental human rights. If we want to be part of the world community and to be treated as such, we must uphold these standards in all aspects of our lives. Let there be no mistake, the world will hold Uganda to these same standards and there will be consequences.
Lest this be interpreted as Western blackmail, it is important to note that the pushers of this bill in Africa are Western religious fundamentalists. Does it not amaze that the bill passed into law in Nigeria was also titled the “Anti-Homosexuality Bill”, and that its various provisions are practically the same as ours, i.e. cooked from the same religious fundamentalist pot?
Thirdly, the provision for indiscriminate punishment of individuals for non-disclosure of the homosexual status of a person pauses real danger to our society as it undermines the roles of those best placed to help victims: parents, relatives, doctors and even priests! With the privacy they require to help, what do we seek to achieve in targeting them and all else for non-disclosure?
Fourthly is the complete lack of sensitivity of the law to victims. If, as is claimed, so many of our youths are lured into homosexuality, do they not deserve our understanding and rehabilitation support rather than the senseless rejection, punishment and humiliation they are to be subjected to under this law?
When Archbishop Desmond Tutu pleads against the enactment of this obnoxious law, he is drawing lessons from, and understands the pain of, how Africans in South Africa suffered discrimination purely on account of their God-given black skin that the apartheid law discriminated against.
Likewise, during the LRA war, while some of us understood the plight of young victims abducted and turned into killing machines and pleaded for their protection and amnesty, how many Ugandans despised and hated these innocent victims, opposed all efforts to save them, and even branded those who advocated for them as LRA collaborators?
In supporting this bill that also victimizes victims, and in castigating some of us for standing up against this obnoxious legislation, where do well-meaning Ugandans stand? What would your stand and approach be if your own son/daughter was one such homosexual creation or victim?
Lastly, one is amazed by the blind support of the bill in its current form by religious, civic and political leaders. To address homosexuality as an emerging social and development challenge in our country, we need to know the underlying factors and trends and set out mechanisms for tackling them. This, unfortunately, is not in the present anti-homosexuality bill.
Rather than emotively support the current bill on religious or moral grounds, our political and religious leaders, who ought to know better, should instead demand for a law that: (i) seeks to prevent and punish deliberate propagation of homosexuality without undermining individual rights and freedoms, (ii) promotes support of victims and rehabilitation, and (iii) sets up institutional mechanisms (council/authority and resource) to address the challenges.
Approached from the above perspectives, it is clear that the anti-homosexuality bill is defective, inadequate and blindly punitive, requiring further scrutiny with broader mindsets than we have presently demonstrated.
My appeal to President Museveni, our parliamentarians and Ugandans at large is that we hold our emotions and take a fresh look at the bill. The law we need is certainly not the current hate-filled anti-homosexuality bill. Please Mr President, return the bill to Parliament for Ugandans to reconsider.