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Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Defending the Family

A dear friend was recently relating a conversation she had with a colleague. This colleague had posited that all lesbian and gay people were homosexual because they had experienced some form of abuse. My friend suggested two major points.

  1. That the antecedent cannot be cause of the precedent. The homosexual adolescent may find themselves in a precarious position relative to an abusive relationship because our society rejects their sexuality and drives it underground, placing them in a position to be abused. When the adolescent is driven underground with their sexuality, it is typically the case that difficulties arise due to the need to associate with those one might otherwise avoid. With heterosexual adolescents where sexuality is not addressed honestly, the result is teenage pregnancy, and other problems. It would be considered ludicrous to posit that the heterosexuality is caused by teenage pregnancy. In any case, the person's sexuality precedes adolescence and the abuse is antecedent to the formation of sexuality.
  2. That correlation does not prove causation. It is a fact that many homosexual men and women (not including yours truly) report some form of abuse in their adolescence. It does not, however, follow that this caused them to be homosexual. By way of illustrative analogy, it is a fact of viral pathology that many victims of Hepatitis C are also victims of HIV. It would be ludicrous, however, to state that Hepatitis C infection causes HIV infection. They are often present together because they are transmitted through a similar social environment. In like kind, the presence of abuse in the homosexual child's upbringing is not the cause of the homosexuality, but rather concurs with homosexuality due to the precarious position of the adolescent child in our social environment.

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