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Born Gay? Science Says “No!”

Josh Sommer comments
| Science

A recent study has emerged from Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, spanning 143 pages, which suggests that sexual behaviors are not genetically grounded. According to the study, behaviors such as homosexuality are not biologically inherent in a person from birth.

“In the first part, the report argues that there is insufficient evidence to claim that heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual attractions are an innate trait that people are born with.”

This is actually an astounding scientific discovery. On one hand, it’s theologically unnecessary granted that all men are born into iniquity by virtue of original sin (Ps 51:5; Rom 3:10, 11). It’s not a problem for the Christian to say that people are born gay.

It’s actually to be expected.

On the other hand, however, notice the study mentioned that there is really no good scientific reason to believe that people are even born as heterosexuals. More on this below.

This article goes on to say that the study did in fact examine “modest” connectivity between “genetic factors and sexual orientation” but that these connections are not significant in that they can’t really be attributed to any gene in particular. Moreover, indicative within the study, according to the article, in light of neurological studies on the brain of homosexuals, there are biological differences. However, these differences have not been successfully linked to inborn circumstances, but rather environmental ones.

Perhaps this study is a scientific argument against the LGBT community’s attempted justification by way of alleged biological determination. As this study seems to indicate, there really is no genetic pointers by which one could justify same sex attraction. The article quotes from the study:

“Summarizing the studies of twins, we can say that there is no reliable scientific evidence that sexual orientation is determined by a person’s genes. But there is evidence that genes play a role in in influencing sexual orientation… So the question ‘Are gay people born that way?’ requires clarification. There is virtually no evidence that anyone, gay or straight, is ‘born that way’ if that means their sexual orientation was genetically determined. But there is some evidence from the twin studies that certain genetic profiles probably increase the likelihood the person later identifies as gay or engages in same-sex sexual behavior.”

Therefore, it appears as though the assertion, “Gay people are born that way!” was not really that clean-cut to begin with. There are qualifiers, one of them being that genetics play no role in determining sexual orientation. This strongly undermines the “I can’t help the way I was born” excuse. A person certainly, as indicated in the study, is not determined, biologically, to be attracted to men or women. These attractions are formed, perhaps nominally by genetic influences, but the weightier determining factor seems to be environment which would then be the field of psychology, not biology. Therefore, a person has no biological grounds for invoking a sense in helplessness concerning his or her sexual inclinations.

The Spiritual Nature of the Case

Scripture has always been clear that the rebellion in man, though manifested in physical ways, is an ethically spiritual matter (Eph 6:12).

Above, I mentioned that the study indicates heterosexual or “straight” attraction is not a genetic quality either.

This also seems to fit well with a biblical understanding of marriage. Marriage is not only physical, it’s a spiritual union. Moreover, though there may be some biological mandate for sexual attraction, man is in need of God’s special revelation (Scripture) in order to know how to properly use, or orient, his affections. Children are to be taught by their parents how and where to aim their sexual inclinations. It is the Word of God which chiefly directs a man into a right relationship with a woman notwithstanding general biological urges.

That said, one’s relationship with the opposite sex is specific, not general; and therefore it would be foolish to suggest that genetics entails the mapping needed for Godly sexual relationships, especially since we are tainted in and by sin.

When Science Corroborates Scripture

It is always nice to watch science unfold according to God’s Word. After all, it should be expected that God’s world would behave in accordance with what God’s Word says about it. I do not typically see science as confirming Scripture. I see revelation as that which allows for and confirms science. In other words, God’s Word is not tested, tried, or challenged by creation. Rather, His Word constitutes reality, not the other way around.

Because of this, the results of this study are not needed to confirm the Bible. However, these results are glorious in their own right because they show how God’s natural revelation (all creation) works in accordance with His Scriptures (special revelation). Experiments like this give glory to the Lord regardless of the beliefs of the scientists. It is a display of the way in which God has made Himself known in and through creation (Rom 1:18-21), and a demonstration of the fact that He will get the glory.

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

— Philippians 2:9-11


Josh Sommer

Josh Sommer is the co-founder and editor of the Reformed Collective. He is currently pursuing his B.A. in Biblical Studies and M. Div. simultaneously, and while doing that he'd like to bring you some input on current events, from a solid Reformed perspective.

My Website: http://www.reformedcollective.com