Thursday, October 6, 2011

Psychology, Government, and Homosexuality - yes this will get ugly

So I have to write a discussion post for my online psychology class. On the most recent occasion of this "critical thinking" writing assignment, we were asked to write about the psychological and biological evidence of homosexuality and how it might affect the decision-making of the government.

So I know you're excited so I'll get right to it.

Here is the Prompt:


For your discussion topic 2, post at least one main posting (using "New Post") and at least two replies to posts from other students (using "Reply") to the following topic:

Your text, in Chapter 4, presented scientific information on gender and sexuality, including sexual orientation. However, sexuality and especially issues of sexual orientation remain very controversial topics in our culture.

Using critical thinking skills as outlined in Chapter 1 of your textbook, discuss the following: How would political decisions and laws related to sexual orientation, such as gay marriage or gays in the military, be made differently if they were guided more by current scientific evidence rather than by past traditional assumptions and beliefs?

Keep in mind that critical thinking requires that we carefully examine our underlying assumptions and beliefs, exposing hidden values and agendas, weighing evidence, and assessing conclusions, rather than just blindly accepting past arguments and conclusions. Discussion of this topic needs to reflect critical thinking and not just unexamined expression of personal opinions without supporting evidence.

And here is my response to the promt:

Within the contents of the book Psychology in Everyday Life, by David G. Myers, lies great scientific evidence supporting the fact that those with homosexual tendencies are indeed born gay. Simon LeVay for example studied donated cell samples from people with homosexual and heterosexual tendencies. These tests showed that cells in heterosexuals were larger than those found in homosexuals. Therefore these cells would have an important affect on the brain pathway and therefore show a difference between homosexuality and heterosexuality. The book provides more detail about the subject on page 115.

If leaders in the government and military allowed their law making decisions to be guided by these findings and beliefs then obviously things would be different. This research could show a lot of people that those with homosexual tendencies cannot control their emotions towards the same sex. If it were proved beyond a doubt that homosexuals cannot control feelings towards the same sex, then making laws restricting their marriage and admittance into the military would indeed be just as judgmental and prejudice as placing laws and restrictions on the blacks because of their color. Therefore, anyone with a sense of history and emotional understanding in the government would vote to relieve such restrictions on homosexuality.

There are, however, divisions over this issue in the science world as well. LeVay has simply shown evidence that support a theory that gays may be born with a tendency to be attracted to the same sex. He has not proven that it is uncontrollable. Many psychologists are doing tests and research on people with other tendencies, such as the fact that psychopaths have the tendency to be violent. A book called the Mask of Sanity is one of the many publications about psychopathy and the fact that psychopaths have tendencies to be violent. These people can be born with the disorder, or they can learn it and cultivate a characteristic of violent behavior. Jessica H. Lee has also written an article about treating psychopathy and anti social disorders. It is a hard disorder to treat, but it is treatable according to her article.

With that evidence, and the use of critical thinking, is it not sensible to ask “Can gay tendencies also be ‘treated’ ?” If people, with seemingly uncontrollable attractions to the same sex, demand that restrict their tendencies and emotions be repealed and further more that society should continue to embrace their tendencies and actions, then couldn’t these psychopaths, with seemingly uncontrollable tendencies to violence, demand the same?

Leaders in the government are also guided with this evidence, research, and critical thinking. The fact that scientists are still divided on this issue, and there is no proof that homosexuality is completely out of human control, will yield divisions in the government and therefore divisions in law making. Therefore, perhaps for now, since science is not certain about the issue, government leaders must continue to lean on their religious and moral beliefs to make the best choices about the issue. Hopefully with the discoveries that show how difficult homosexuality is to overcome, leaders in every facet will refrain from being judgmental or critical of those who have homosexual tendencies. But science could guide our leaders either way.


  1. Great post, William. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Amen. There are even some scientists who have studies showing that there is nothing that makes There has yet to be identified a "gay" gene. Most of it is social: if you only live with your mother you are more likely to be gay, but only by like 1% more. Plus, less than 1% of the population is gay, so why is it THAT important?