Monday, August 16, 2010

What If There Was a Medical Prevention for Homosexuality?

If there was a medical prevention for homosexuality, you can imagine the controversy that would arise. Consider this recent report in the LA Times:
    Each year in the United States, perhaps a few dozen pregnant women learn they are carrying a fetus at risk for a rare disorder known as congenital adrenal hyperplasia. The condition causes an accumulation of male hormones and can, in females, lead to genitals so masculinized that it can be difficult at birth to determine the baby's gender.

    A hormonal treatment to prevent ambiguous genitalia can now be offered to women who may be carrying such infants. It's not without health risks, but to its critics those are of small consequence compared with this notable side effect: The treatment might reduce the likelihood that a female with the condition will be homosexual. Further, it seems to increase the chances that she will have what are considered more feminine behavioral traits.

    That such a treatment would ever be considered, even to prevent genital abnormalities, has outraged gay and lesbian groups, troubled some doctors and fueled bioethicists' debate about the nature of human sexuality.

    The treatment is a step toward "engineering in the womb for sexual orientation," said Alice Dreger, a professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University and an outspoken opponent of the treatment.

    The ability to chemically steer a child's sexual orientation has become increasingly possible in recent years, with evidence building that homosexuality has biological roots and with advances in the treatment of babies in utero. Prenatal treatment for congenital adrenal hyperplasia is the first to test — unintentionally or not — that potential.

To the claim that homosexuality is a choice, the homosexual typically responds, "I was born this way. Do you really think I would choose this lifestyle and all that goes along with it?" Fine. Let's assume the cause of homosexuality is purely biological. If growing up gay means having to suffer shame, humiliation, discrimination, and alienation, how could anyone be outraged at the possibility of a medical prevention for all of that pain and suffering?

Some may argue that is the equivalent of trying to manipulate other inherent traits, such as sex or race, in order to make life easier. However, neither of those traits are behavioral. Homosexuality, on the other hand, is explicitly defined by one's behavior.

But the debate shouldn't be over the biological causation of homosexuality. It's a moot point. According to God's word, homosexuality is a sin, and it's root cause (biological or otherwise) is...well, sin (Romans 1:18-28). The one fact nobody can deny is that a conscious choice is made when one decides to justify and embrace the sin of homosexuality.

4 comments:

Stan said...

"The debate shouldn't be over the biological causation of homosexuality. It's a moot point."

Absolutely! I've never understood why this was "the defense". Who cares if it's biological? So I was born heterosexual with a sin nature and the tendency to sexual sin, and I need to choose to avoid it. Why is "born homosexual" an excuse not to have to avoid sexual sin? Never got it at all.

The Seeking Disciple said...

While I obviously believe that Christians should express love toward all, we should still not shy away from saying that such acts such as homosexuality are indeed sinful and not such person will inherit the kingdom of God. We need to rise and fall upon what God has said in His Word and not the opinions of the age.

Anonymous said...

It never ceases to amaze me how such a complex issue like sexuality can be so overly simplified. "Homosexuality only references behavior." What dictionary are you reading from? Since you have asked a question about the what ifs of a prevention for homosexuality, I'll chime in... As a 23 year old, homosexual, who is also Calvinist I guess I would have taken the prevention in a heart beat, a drop of the hat. I probably would have opted for my abortion if given the option.

I pray, most days, not all, that my life would be cut off as soon as possible. I think that I identify with Esau more than any other person in the bible. I find repentance no where, my sin is ever before me, and I have "prayed the gay away" since I was around 8 years of age. I have been in complete denial up until a year and a half ago, and am more self loathing that you could imagine.

The beauty of sovereign God. The ones that He chose before the foundations of the earth. That irresistible grace that is so underestimated by those who are not Calvinist. The saints that shall always prevail. Such encouraging doctrine, and I believe every bit of it. Except, I certainly find myself of the flip side. I was told every possible explanation for homosexually: prenatal hormones, birth order, daddy issues, insecurity, etc... Welp... It seems as those most of those things have been cleared up, and I still don't think that I could successfully sleep with a women, or give her everything that she deserves. As it turns out God wanted it this way, maybe not in terms of His moral will, but you better believe in His sovereignty, He has ordained such a labyrinth.

Alas, "who can resist His will?" and 'who am I to talk back?" No one. Don't waste your time arguing about homosexuality or reminding me that I'm damned. I'm aware. He has hated me from the foundations of the world, as He did Esau. You could call it... Assurance of Damnation. Or would it break the rules if Esau knew such a thing?

... and to Stan, I'm so sorry that you must constrain yourself to one women that you can hold every single night in a wedded covenant, knowing that every action made legally within that covenant is honored by the God of the universe. It must be so hard to imagine why it would be difficult to be only attracted to the same sex; not just sexually, but romantically, and emotionally. Is it just sexual sin, btw. Can I still have a boyfriend, if we don't have sex? Yeah, I still think that's a no go. Good luck with you heterosexual sin nature and all the torment that comes with it.

c.callegan@me.com

Lee Shelton said...

C. Callegan, this post wasn't meant to overly simplify homosexuality. It was dealing specifically with how such a medical treatment has generated outrage among gay and lesbian groups, undermining the whole "do you really think I would choose this lifestyle if I could help it?" argument.

I am sorry to hear of what you have gone through. Understand that no one is saying a person who struggles with homosexual desires is automatically damned. The gospel promise of eternal life is a reality for all who believe. That doesn't mean the struggle with sin in this life is over, but it does equip us to battle sin rather than embrace it.

I do, however, think you may be over-simplifying heterosexuality. Your sarcastic comments to Stan belittle the struggle heterosexual Christians deal with on a daily basis. Do you really think homosexuals have a monopoly on sinful, lustful, adulterous desires? Just look at how prevalent pornography is even among professing Christians. Know that you are not alone in the struggle against sexual sin.

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