A cross-discipline study has challenged the belief that human sexuality and gender identity are determined by biology and remain fixed, saying that there is no scientific proof of this. The study cautioned against drastic medical treatment for transgender children.
The notion that sexual orientation is predetermined by biology is an important part of the current LGBT discourse. If a person has no choice over whether to be gay or not, society cannot demand that he or she be straight, so the argument goes.
But regardless of its political worth, the “born this way” paradigm is not backed up by sufficient scientific data, according to a new paper published in the autumn issue of the New Atlantis, a journal focusing on political, societal and ethical ramifications of technological advances.
The study does not claim that being gay is a choice, merely that stating the opposite may be wrong.
The 144-page paper was written by Dr. Lawrence S. Mayer, an epidemiologist and biostatistician also trained in psychiatry, who is currently a scholar in residence at the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and Dr. Paul R. McHugh, a renowned psychiatrist, researcher, and educator and former chief of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The paper’s three parts focus on sexual orientation, links between sexuality and mental health, and gender identity.