By Jodi A. Shaw
Yet another study of homosexuality has been released, this one suggesting that a neurotransmitter is the remote control for sexual preference in mammals. Yi Rao, a neuroscientist at Peking University, and his collaborators engineered male mice unable to produce serotonin, who then demonstrated a preference for other male mice. The mice with normal serotonin levels, in contrast, chased the female tails.
Injected with serotonin, the deficient males then became more interested in female mice. The results of the study were published in the March 24th issue of the journal Nature.
The scientists warn against reading too much into their findings, but I can’t help but cringe a little when I read of yet another study geared at finding empirical proof that homosexuals are born that way. Instead, given that millions and millions of homosexuals tell us that very thing, maybe we should just believe them.
Can I prove that I was born heterosexual? No. Yet I have yet to hear of a study attempting to demonstrate that I have no other choice.
I understand the difference: Homosexuals are still discriminated against, their sexuality scrutinized and judged. This past year, as in other years, a lot of gay youths ended their lives as a result of the bullying and tormenting they received because of their orientation. Finding irrefutable, scientific evidence that homosexuality is biologically and genetically who they are, rather than a choice, might help.
But would it really stop the abuse they receive? And should they really need a permission slip?
The study’s focus on male mice is interesting. What, no lesbian mice? I expect that has to do with the fact that female homosexuality is generally considered more acceptable — but that, of course, is its own kind of prejudice. And, while the study acknowledges that serotonin alone likely does not determine sexual orientation, its findings are wide open to misuse. Instead of Christian camps that “cure” homosexuality, will we now see attempts at serotonin “therapy” instead?
Say one day that science confirms what homosexuals have been saying all along, that they were born gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered. I honestly don’t think much will change. Those hurling hatred, the people quoting the Bible and making claims on God’s behalf, will simply ignore the evidence and continue to say what they’ve been saying all along: “The Bible says . . .”
I think it’s time for everyone to turn up the acceptance — not to mention the Lady Gaga.