Sunday, November 14, 2010

A cartoon guide to sexual orientation – by Dr. Brian Mustanski, January 26, 2009 – Psychology Today

A cartoon explains why some people are gay.

Ever since we published the first genetic scan for male sexual orientation, one of the most frequent questions I get asked is "why are people gay." While I have done my best to share information about the science of sexual orientation (this blog being one example), I am not an animator so I haven't explored cartoons as an option. Fortunately, I don't have to now because a cartoon recently posted on YouTube does a fairly good job. The video tries to take on two of what I like to call "the big three arguments against gay people." If you listen to enough anti-gay rhetoric you will find it usually comes down to at least one of the following statements, "I don't believe in it, its unnatural, it's a choice."  Watch the video and then let me fill in some of the details from research on sexual orientation.

The video starts out with theories about parental influences on sexual orientation, like having a distant father or overbearing mother making a man gay. In fact, this was a theory put forward by some Psychologists and Psychiatrists. It was also used to explain why some people were schizophrenic. Eventually it was disproved in both cases. For example, in the 1970 researchers at the Kinsey Institute conducted a large survey and found no support for the idea that these kinds of parental influences made children gay (Bell, Weinberg, & Hammersmith, 1981). In the 28 years since that book was published there hasn't been any credible evidence showing that any kind of parental behavior changes the sexual orientation of their children.
Read complete report/ view video:

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