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Dr. Christian Spaemann

Opinion

What matters is context: Why a new study on homosexuality falls short

Dr. Christian Spaemann

Editor's note: In the following article, psychiatrist Dr. Christian Spaemann comments on a recent study showing there is no "gay gene."

September 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Yet another study about homosexuality, and, yet again, nothing new. This is fairly unsurprising, since the estimation of same-sex attraction requires an all-encompassing and differentiated approach, which takes into consideration human sexuality and attachment, as well as biology and psychology. Since the perspective on the human person is never free of philosophical presuppositions, such an overall view will always remain controversial. However, since the 1970s, this controversy has largely been put on hold. The representatives of the societal paradigm, which has so far determined the societal discourse of “Equality” and “Anti-discrimination” have taken a hold of the topic. The discussion has long ceased to be about tolerance and preventing real discrimination against homosexuals and is now about the establishment of an ideology. 

The principle of law concerning discrimination is: “The same must be treated the same, what is different may be treated differently.” This means that excluding a homosexual from a high position in a bank would be discrimination, while not granting a homosexual couple the right for adoption, would not be. This is due to the fact that it makes a difference for the child whether it has a mother and a father or two mothers or two fathers. 

Now back to the establishment of ideology. The thinking of the post-structuralist intellectual, for whom differences between individuals as such already mirror power dynamics, has increasingly become influential to society. This form of radical nominalism has been intent on destroying all differences between people, as for example the difference between man and woman, healthy and sick, normal and a-normal, and unnatural, and in a sense, systematically changing the whole consciousness of society. Human deficits are no longer balanced out by compassion and solidarity, but simply done away with. A person born with three limbs, according to this, can only feel well if humanity stops assuming four limbs to be the norm. 

Homosexuals, the majority of whom care solely about being left alone and having no societal disadvantages, have been instrumentalized as driving forces for this ideology of diversity and contrasted against the “heteronormativity” of society. This development has long ceased to be about the people in question. Both statistically significant differences between the life goals of men and women as well as the importance for children to grow up in a natural family consisting of a mother and a father should, according to this ideology cease to play any role. In short, the happiness of the individual and the common good, the “bonum commune” are neglected, even at the cost of our future. This means that in the last decades, research concerning homosexuality has only been focusing on raw data and not looked at the emergence of same-sex attraction in the context of a bio-psycho-social development concept. 

The result of the study which has been published in “Science” journal and deals with the data of roughly 500,000 people is not surprising. The fact that homosexuality cannot be explained through genetics had already been known before. This does not, however, rule out biological factors, as for example intrauterine hormonal influences. Still, these are merely factors of a disposition. The data which matter lie elsewhere, for example the fact that same-sex attraction is highly fluid during puberty, that only 1.5% of all men feel a stable homosexual attraction, that those affected significantly more frequently come from broken families, that relationships among homosexuals are highly fragile, that statistically, more homosexuals feel sexual attraction towards children and adolescents and show a higher tendency to psychological disorders and suicide than heterosexuals. Upon closer look, all this cannot merely be explained through societal discrimination and so called “Homophobia.”

Today we know that sexuality — be it homosexuality or heterosexuality — is, in all its complexity, influenced by the individual’s own biography with all its wounds and is shaped through various non-sexual factors. Through countless psychotherapist’s experiences over the last 100 years, it can be concluded that same-sex attraction frequently can be traced back to the psychodynamic background of the relationship to mother and father, as well as to the same-sex peer group. For many homosexuals, working through these (often painful) experiences is very helpful. It is no secret that the sexual orientation itself can change throughout this process. However, openly discussing psychotherapeutic dealings with homosexuality is still considered taboo and even actively prevented. 

As the abuse summit in Rome has shown, even high representatives of the Church themselves accept this as a taboo. They close their eyes to those who have seriously dealt with the issue and instead, in an incomparable self-destructing process, subscribe to the flat ideology of diversity. In the process, they leave behind natural law and therefore, the teachings of the Church. But ideologies tend to be short lived and their followers in the Church will one day be proven wrong.

This article was translated by Anna-Carolina Habsburg. It was originally published in German at Die Tagespost. 

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