Part 3 -2012 LGBTQ and Science
Before moving to and delving into the depth of the biblical text, we might want to look at what science has to say on the GLBT issue, primarily to clarify the position (starting point) on which the following texts are based.
An entire dissertation could be written on what science has to say about homosexuality to date, and naturally this has already been done. The intent is not, in this brief, to provide a full account of what science has learned about LGBTQ people, but rather to provide an overview of what appears to be the view held by the scientific communities regarding LGBTQ issues. This, of course, barely scratches the surface of the endless amount of research conducted on these issues.
Homosexuality is romantic and/or sexual attraction behavior between persons of the same sex. Homosexuality is one of the three principal categories of sexual orientation one finds on a continuous scale between homosexual and heterosexual orientation (Wikipedia, 2011 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality). Most probably it would be more accurate to talk about homosexuality, bisexuality and heterosexuality to demonstrate that there is a varying measured degree, rather than three homogeneous systems (Wink et al, 1999: 63).
The primary debate has been between the liberal view that homosexuality is something one is born with and the conservative view that it is a chosen lifestyle. And each side has sought to obtain scientific evidence; the conservatives have relied on psychology to demonstrate that gay behavior is conditioned by one’s environment and upbringing, but to this end they have not been able to provide any convincing evidence. Behavior scientists have, however, been able to demonstrate that there are not any indications whatsoever that upbringing and environment affect sexual orientation.
At the other end of the scientific spectrum they have sought to demonstrate (identify) a gay gene that determines one’s sexual orientation. However, here again, no one can provide such evidence and have so far only been able to demonstrate (confirm) that there is no such gene (Marin, 2009: 75F). What science appears to demonstrate so far is that sexual orientation is determined prenatally, i.e., before birth and it’s not a conscious choice one makes.
Obviously this does not preclude/mean that there are people who choose a sexuality opposite what one is born with: there are both homosexuals and heterosexuals inside and outside the church who choose to live opposite their sexual orientation. Whether this is a healthy decision/choice is another issue, and one that will be discussed later in this blog series.
Translation: Dr. Sven Ljungholm