The “Trojan Couch”

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Study No. 2: The Kinsey Reports & the Kinsey Associates The brief’s references to Kinsey and his colleagues at the Kinsey Instit ute as authorities on sexual orientation are striking for a number of reasons: First, because they considered sexual orientation mutable (a point they carefully avoided making out of certain contexts); second, because Laumann gives an extensive, utterly damning critique of Kinsey’s’ zesearch (though mild by comparison to other critiques in the scientific literature); third, because Laumann’s extensive and widely accepted standards for the definition and statistical characterization of sexual orientation have been completely ignored; and fourth, because a reference to Byne and Parsons, the most recent and most scientific review in the lot, completely undercuts the argument. Kinsey’s Colleague: Richard Green The first of Kinsey’s associates cited in the brief that we will consider is Richard Green. One of the three articles of his that the brief cites (alluded to above)—though it is not a scientific article (while referenced as such) and does not intelligibly address the scientific validity of any of the arguments—asserts that “growing research evidence exists for an innate origin of homosexuality.” But the statement is false. Evidence of any kind was then sparse, but all evidence as of the date he wrote was consistent with the opposite conclusion. Since then, evidence has grown more robust and contrary to the “it’s genetic” claim with every passing year. Laumann says in explicit terms: “The recent period of rapid change in sexual practices should be seen, not as a result of unleashed biological proclivities con fronting attenuated cultural proclivities, but as an active process of social construction and transformation.” But note how the authors give the opposite idea. They cite two careful reviewers of the scientific literature on the biology of homosexuality, B yne and Parsons, and leave the impression that they claim the opposite of what they actually mean. Byne and Parsons — referenced repeatedly by the authors, but as usual, never quoted—flatly state: Critical review shows the evidence favoring a biologic theor y to be lacking. In an alternative model, temperamental and personality traits interact with the familial and social milieu as the individual’s sexuality emerges. Because such traits may be heritable or developmentally influenced by hormones, the model pre dicts an apparent non-zero heritability for homosexuality without requiring that either genes or hormones directly influence sexual orientation per se. 21 Amici failed to present this information in their brief, nor did they cite Laumann directly. This is rather the brief’s summary: “Another study has suggested an ‘interactionist’ model, under which ‘genetic factors can be conceptualized as indirectly influencing the development of sexual orientation.’” (The Byne and Parson’s paper isn’t a study, it’s a revi ew of over one hundred research studies.) Kinsey’s colleague: John Money John Money, referenced three times in Romer, was the director of the now defunct “Psychohormonal Research Unit” of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and perhaps the world’s most effective promoter of “transsexuality” and transsexual surgery. Although Hopkins was once one of the major centers in the world for such surgery, the university abandoned it in 1979, having had the most—and therefore worst—experience with it. The school even stopped performing sex-change surgery on infants with ambiguous genitalia,

Footnotes: 21 Human sexual orientation. The biologic theories reappraised. Archive s of general psychiatry [0003-990X] Byne yr: 1993 vol: 50 iss: 3 pg: 228