Several major Religions condemn and forbid homosexuality. Other Religious/Spiritual practices such as those of Buddhists, Native Americans and most of Hindus do not.
What does Science say about the subject? A simplified but accurate version is this:
The human embryo starts out as “female” in it’s very early anatomy, including it’s brain (with certain gender-specific neuronal connections and chemistry).
While still in the womb, different developmental pathways can be taken by the embryo. This comes about due to the continued influences of internal factors (Genes of the embryo itself) and of external ones (such as the hormones and other biochemicals circulating in the mother’s bloodstream that are also shared by the embryo).
There are basically 4 possible developmental-pathways available to the embryo:
1) it’s brain and the rest of it’s body continue to develop into a female.
2) it’s brain stays female (or more close to it in some aspects), but it’s body develops into a male.
3) It’s brain and body both develop into a male.
4) It’s brain develops into male (or more close to it in some aspects), but it’s body continues to develop into a female.
Statistically, pathways 1 & 3 are more common in Nature, resulting in the birth of a heterosexual female or a male baby, respectively.
Pathway 2 results in the birth of a baby with a predominantly gay predisposition in later life. It’s more of a female-brain in certain aspects within a male-body, if you will.
Pathway 4 results in a baby with a predominantly lesbian disposition in later life. It’s more of a male-brain in certain aspects within a female-body.
In this simplified but accurate picture, the Natural (Biological) basis of homosexuality is already established at birth through the prior activities of the embryo’s own GENES (influenced by the biochemistry of the mother’s circulating blood, in a currently less-understood manner. Scientific research will continue to improve our understanding on this, in the years ahead).
Social and cultural factors after birth play a role only in the extent of the “expression” of a person’s homosexual predisposition in her/his life, but not in the natural predisposition itself (as in what is allowed or encouraged by the existing norms of the society and culture for the outwardly “behavior” of the individual).
The individual can also make a conscious decision and effort to suppress her/his natural predisposition and not “act on it”, but in a rational and just society, and in my personal opinion, this will neither be healthy nor beneficial to the individual and the society, in the long run.
Taken together therefore, the traditional characterization of homosexuality by many Religions as unnatural, deviant and sinful is baseless, scientifically speaking. It’s a long-held dogma that should be abandoned in the light of our current scientific understanding of the phenomena. A dogma rather similar to the false, pre-scientific belief in “Sun revolving around the Earth” which, of course, has already been abandoned, and with no negative-consequences to humanity. On the contrary…
Suffice it to recall that in 1992 Vatican finally apologized for it’s ignorant and malicious persecution of Galileo in the 17th century over his correct and courageous scientific-stance on the Sun-Earth issue.
Worth asking therefore: If Organized-Religion was so terribly wrong then, why does it insist now on being right on other important issues which clearly will have correct answers through ongoing scientific-research?
Today’s greatest challenge for Religion is to reform itself, as it accepts and adopts to the new truths about the Universe discovered daily by Science.
Conversely, the challenge for Science is to continue filling the spiritual and moral vacuum created by the inevitable retreat of Religion from our lives.
Both enterprises have a very important and meaningful mission ahead. Let’s all work on it together, shall we?
May PEACE be upon us, all.
Celik Kayalar, Ph.D.
Writer & Director of “The Traffick”