The “Trojan Couch”

Page 23

Common sense tells us that there is noth ing to prevent both processes from occurring at the same time and affecting each other, especially since “the culture” is simply another way of talking about what many interpenetrating cohorts composed of people do. But until such time as a great many carefully designed explicit longitudinal studies are performed, we will be unable to tease out the exact contribution of personal maturation from external cultural fashion in the dramatic decrease over time that is universally confirmed in the prevalence of ho mosexuality. Conclusions In both the Romer and Lawrence briefs, the mental health guilds take great pains to emphasize that homosexuality is an early-established, fixed and stable condition—thus suitable for suspect class status. The authors buttress this claim by footnoting a selected pool of authorities whom they rarely directly quote, and by citing themselves in other places where they have offered the same opinions in different words (and even when their own findings are contradictory). Addi – tionally, they refer to the study of Laumann et al. whose work they completely misrepresent. They do this by extracting portions of his sentences so that his meaning is turned into its opposite, by citing page numbers not relevant to the statements they make, and pr imarily by simply not reporting the vast bulk of the Laumann study, whose conclusions in every area with respect to homosexuality are explicitly opposite to what the authors hold, and also opposite to the formal positions of the mental health guilds with r espect to the stability of homosexuality and to its very definition and definability. Furthermore, the briefs’ authors completely ignore a very large body of follow -up research that has been conducted since the Laumann study was published, specifically to confirm or disconfirm its findings. This follow-up research has not only repeatedly confirmed the essential findings of the Laumann study, including its conclusion that homosexuality is absolutely not a stable trait, but deepened and extended those findin gs, providing more specific understandings as to the nature and dynamism of that instability. In particular, while a scientist will always approach any statement as a hypothesis and never an absolute truth, to date all the available evidence—the same evidence carefully ignored by the mental health guilds—confirms a view of “sexual orientation” as a trait whose instability has a direction, namely, it tends in general toward normative heterosexuality over the course of life. Furthermore, the extent to which it does or does not do so, shows clear evidence of being directly influenced by “demographics,” and “the environment,” even the era one lives in—and no evidence of being directly influenced by genes. To the extent one may be specific about the nature of th is “environment,” all evidence points towards early and continuing sexual activity and later cultural The above figure is taken from page 393 of the article. The authors report that the decline for m ales has a p=.12 which not statistically significant (p<=.05 is the conventional cutoff that is used). To be scrupulous, I have reported everything exactly as the authors have, and it is important to make the point that it impossible wholly to disaggregate “collective mutability” effects from “individual mutability.” However, to whatever weight is added to the “collective mutability” component by the possibility that male homosexual identification remained fixed is weakened by the fact that it is far more likely that male homosexual identification did not remain fixed than that it did. This weakening was simply not strong enough —after age twenty—to “pass the statistical bar” even though, as the authors do note, the trend is clear. Of greater importance, however, is the fact that in all other studies elsewhere, e.g., in the United States, the greatest drop in male homosexual and bisexual identification occurs before age eighteen. For instance, the Laumann study (p. 296 passim) discusses a drop from 10% of m en, possibly well more than that, with some form of homosexual-related characteristic before age eighteen, to 3.8% of men who have had sex with men before age eighteen, but never again after, to 2.8% with a final homosexual identification. Compare to the above chart that only begins at age twenty. Furthermore, it would take very little reduction in error in a larger cohort for the male trend to achieve statistical significance. In any interpretation, additional research of so complex, dynamic and multivari ate a subject is clearly warranted prior to major overhauling of fundamental social structures.