Saturday, April 08, 2017

Prenatal Hormone Levels and Sexual Orientation - Another Blow to the "Ex-Gay" Myth

New Mexico has joined the small but growing number of states to ban ex-gay torture that has paraded under the disingenuous banner of "conversion therapy" and been a linchpin in the Christofascists' campaign to depict sexual orientation as a choice. I can personally attest after 37 years of trying to "pray away the gay" that it simply does not work and that anyone who claims otherwise is (i) a liar, (ii) possibly looking to line their pockets with money from the religiously brainwashed, and/or (iii) desperately trying to avoid admitting that their own religious tradition has fed them lies.  Science is increasingly exposing the lie of the "ex-gay" myth and even New Mexico's Republican governor (yes, it is shocking) seemly put science and truth ahead of the Christofascist agenda.  Joe Jervis reports in part as follows:
Gov. Susana Martinez has signed legislation that would ban the use on minors of conversion therapy that seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The measure was among dozens signed by the Republican governor as the Friday deadline approached for her to act on legislation passed during the session that ended March 18.
Six other states have banned ex-gay torture: California, Illinois, Oregon, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont. Bans have also been adopted in dozens of local municipalities across the country, including in Cincinnati, Seattle, Miami, Pittsburgh, and Washington DC.

I can already hear the shrieks and howls coming from the usual suspects at "family values" organizations, including the mistress of hate, Victoria Cobb at The Family Foundation based in Richmond.  Science and medical knowledge moves onward even as the Christofascist seek to slink back in time.  A new study finds yet more evidence that prenatal hormone exposure plays a role in one's ultimate un-chosen sexual orientation.  Indeed, it suggests that common treatments to prevent miscarriage (such as what my own mother underwent) significantly increases the odds that a child will be same sex attracted later in life.  Here are some of the study findings:
Index cases were exposed to lutocyclin (bioidentical progesterone = C21H30O2; MW: 314.46) and no other hormonal preparation. Controls were matched on 14 physical, medical, and socioeconomic variables. A structured interview conducted by a psychologist and self-administered questionnaires were used to collect data on sexual orientation, self-identification, attraction to the same and other sex, and history of sexual behavior with each sex. Compared to the unexposed, fewer exposed males and females identified as heterosexual and more of them reported histories of same-sex sexual behavior, attraction to the same or both sexes, and scored higher on attraction to males.
. . . . regardless of sex, exposure appeared to be associated with higher rates of bisexuality. Prenatal progesterone may be an underappreciated epigenetic factor in human sexual and psychosexual development and, in light of the current prevalence of progesterone treatment during pregnancy for a variety of pregnancy complications, warrants further investigation. These data on the effects of prenatal exposure to exogenous progesterone also suggest a potential role for natural early perturbations in progesterone levels in the development of sexual orientation.

The February special with Katie Couric on the National Geographic Channel  that looked at the transgender Americans addressed the medical findings on what causes one to be transdgender.  The same, of course, applies to the rest of those under the LGBT umbrella.  Nature, not choice or nurture, is what is determinative.  Pretending otherwise only leads to pain, self-hate, and too often, suicide. On this issue, the Bible is simply flat out wrong. 

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