The notion that a single gene might determine sexual orientation was briefly proposed and swiftly rejected in the early 1990s.
That hasn’t stopped antigay activists from circulating the myth that, because numerous researchers in the past decade have found a mix of biological factors and possibly other unknown factors in the formation of sexual orientation, therefore these experts must believe in the existence of a single “gay gene.”
After spending more than a decade hearing and repeating their self-generated lies about a “gay gene,” this week several evolution-denying religious-right groups are crowing over a year-old reiteration of well-known facts by the American Psychological Association.
WorldNetDaily, LifeSiteNews, Virtue Online, and Peter LaBarbera’s Americans for Truth all parroted A. Dean Byrd of NARTH, who repeated his previous false assertions that “activist researchers” have contended anytime in the past decade that there is a gay gene.
The antigay activists (Byrd included) illogically contend that, because there is no single gene that determines sexual orientation, therefore sexual orientation is caused entirely by the environment — lousy parents, in particular — and therefore, they insist, anyone can “change” their sexual orientation with sufficient right-wing Christian brainwashing.
Not so, said the APA last year:
Many [researchers] think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.
Byrd falsely cites three limited studies as proof that anyone can change and that ex-gay therapy causes no harm, even though at least two of the cited studies — by Dr. Robert Spitzer and Stanton Jones and Mark Yarhouse — excluded potential subjects who reported being harmed or who reported that the ex-gay program failed to change them.
Spitzer, in particular, has repudiated the mischaracterization of his study by NARTH and other ex-gay activist groups, saying that he believes change of attraction and orientation are exceedingly rare and that most people cannot “change” their orientation.