Archive for the ‘Natural or unnatural?’ Category
Society has two views of homosexuality. The traditional view holds that homosexuality is an aberration, the orientation is a disorder, and the behavior is pathological. The opposing view is that homosexuality is a normal variant in the human condition that is determined before birth and that homosexual behavior is natural for those so oriented.
The gay community has been tremendously successful in gaining acceptance for the second view. This view, however, rests on a number of questionable premises, which if false, lead us back to the traditional view. In the following article we will continue to examine the premises put forth by those accepting homosexuality as “normal.”
Homosexuality is simply a normal variation in the human condition. It occurs in every culture, in every age, and although a majority are heterosexual, just as some people are left handed, a minority is homosexual in their orientation.
Is this assertion true, or is homosexuality a disorder, a sign that something has gone wrong in an individual’s development? Is homosexuality something that is inevitable for a certain percentage of the world’s population, and therefore should simply be accepted, or is it a distortion or dysfunction that should be resisted, and if possible, cured?
As with the question regarding homosexuality being prenatally determined, the burden of proof should be with those who say it is normal and natural. I say this because the only hard evidence that we have-the biological evidence-clearly indicates that it is a disorder, in that homosexuality represents a tendency to want to use body parts for some purpose other than that for which they were designed. The penis and vagina are certainly constructed for male-female intercourse. Their complimentary shapes, the location of highly sensitive nerve endings show, without a doubt, the Divine intent.
Regardless of where you stand on the pleasure-relational aspects of sexuality, man and woman’s sexuality is inextricably associated with reproduction, and two men or two women cannot reproduce. Therefore, homosexuality is a condition that, in a fundamental way, is contrary to nature. Biologically, it is simply not natural or normal.
The advocates of acceptance of homosexuality, however, have put forth a great effort to convince the world that homosexuality is in fact both natural and normal, that it is simply different, and that only because it is the orientation of a minority, do we classify it as a disorder or perversion. They have been quite successful in this effort.
When we talk about what is normal, we are talking about what is in accordance with the norm; what is common. When we talk about what is natural, we are talking about what is in accordance with nature. Most arguments favoring homosexuality as normal and natural, therefore, are aimed at creating an impression that homosexuality is extremely widespread, that it occurs everywhere in nature. Furthermore, human sexuality is viewed as an extremely fluid thing in which all sorts of variations are just going to happen.
If you listen to gay advocacy groups, over and over again, you will hear these arguments used. There isn’t space here to fully refute this whole approach, but I ask you to consider what is really being said, and what evidence is really being offered. We will look at two of the most common statements made by advocacy groups.
1. Ten percent of the world is gay.
I have heard this expressed with tremendous certainty, as when one gay activist said, “Don’t forget, one child in every ten born in the world, in all countries, in all ages is a homosexual.” The 10 percent statistic has been used so much that it is often simply assumed to be true in newspaper and magazine articles and by much of the public.
Where did the 10 percent figure come from? As far as we can tell it is a misinterpretation of the first Kinsey Report (Sexual Behavior in the Human Male ) in which it was stated that “10% of the males are more or less exclusively homosexual for at least three years between the ages of 16 and 55.” There are several problems here. Apart from the many legitimate concerns about Kinsey’s statistical methods and the fact that the study covered only U.S. males, Kinsey, on the same page states that, “4% of the white males are exclusively homosexual throughout their lives after adolescence.”
Those who first quoted the 10% figure from Kinsey were obviously consciously trying to mislead. Others later have used the figures innocently. In fact, we don’t know what percentage of ours or any other culture is homosexually oriented. Before Kinsey, the estimates, coming primarily out of England, Germany and the U.S. were between 2 and 5%. Later, more objective estimates in the United States project a maximum incidence of 5% among males and less among females.
The bottom line, however, is that whether it is 5% or 10% does not matter. Figures tend to be exaggerated by many homophiles because they believe that in numbers there is legitimacy. Not so. A significant number of people are criminally inclined, but that does not mean that they are not somehow distorted in their orientation.
2. Homosexuality occurs in all cultures and has been accepted in many.
This usually is accompanied by the statement or implication that Judeo-Christian culture just happens to be hard on homosexuals. Obviously, we can’t review culture by culture here, but let me suggest that you look carefully at the examples given of homosexuality in other cultures. Invariably, they involve either pederasty (sex by men with boys) or, in rare instances, a limited period of approved homosexual behavior during adolescence.
Certainly, homosexual behavior could have occurred in all cultures to varying degrees, but that says nothing about it being normal or natural. In fact, most cultures, including the Greek, up until its final years, classified homosexuality as a crime deserving the severest of penalties.
There is evidence that homosexual behavior occurs far less frequently in some cultures than it does in the West. Obviously, differing cultures would evidence differing degrees of secrecy regarding sexual behavior and there have been no widely-accepted surveys of homosexuality in non-Western countries, so hard evidence is almost impossible to come by. Anecdotal evidence is available however.
Theologian and psychiatrist Ruth Tiffany Barnhouse quotes an incident in which an American mentioned homosexuality to a group of doctors at the Canton Hospital in the People’s Republic of China, and only one member of the medical staff understood what homosexuality was.  I asked two missionaries to Africa about homosexuality on that continent, and both related that they had been told that it was unknown until the Westerners arrived. Anecdotes don’t provide certainty, but in the absence of hard numbers, ask people from Asia and Africa this yourself.
1. Alfred C. Kinsey, Wardell B. Pomeroy and Clyde E. Martin, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Company, 1948), p.651.
2. Ruth Tiffany Barnhouse, Homosexuality: a Symbolic Confusion, (New York: The Seabury Press, 1979) p.157.
Medinger, A. (2004). Homosexuality and the Truth: is It Natural and Normal?, from http://www.pureintimacy.org/gr/homosexuality/a0000058.cfm
For homosexuals who are committed to thinking biblically, this may begin to challenge their ideas on homosexual orientation. But a very significant question remains: Why does it feel natural? The biblical answer is relatively straightforward. Like many other sins, homosexuality does not have to be learned. The child who never witnessed a temper tantrum can be proficient at throwing them; it is an instinctive ability of the human heart. Homosexuality is natural in the same way that anger or selfishness is natural. They are embdedded in our fallen humanness. Indeed, homosexuality is “natural”, but only in the sense that it is an expression of the sinful nature.
The fact that most homosexuals cannot remember consciously choosing homosexuality is also readily explained by Scripture. Most sin works on a level where we do not self-consciously choose it. To use Old Testament language, our sin can be “unintentional,” but that does not make us less responsible for our violation of God’s will (Leviticus 5: 14 – 19; Numbers 15: 22 – 30). Sin is more than mature, rational, conscious decisions. It is our moral inclination from birth.
Welch, E. T. (1998). Blame It on the Brain? Distinguishing Chemical Imbalances, Brain Disorders, and Disobedience. New Jersey: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing