Science in Christian Perspective

Letter to the Editor


Example of Evangelical Excess
Ralph Blair Editor, 
a Quarterly of Evangelicals Concerned, Inc. 
30 East 60th Street New York, New York 10022


From: JASA 34 (June 1982): 125.

In Bergman's article, "The Genetic Basis of Homosexuality, Journal ASA, September 1981, we find an example of the lengths to which supposedly scholarly evangelical enterprises will go to fight against a biological basis for homosexuality. As is evident from his first sentence, Bergman fears such basis may leave no room for further rejection and oppression-but world history proves him wrong. He is an education teacher and his essay-he conducted no empirical research-is published by an evangelical organization, no matter what the organization's name may imply. He clutters the article with quotations from Pentecostal preachers, an Episcopal bishop, public opinion polls, popular periodicals, and some psychoanalytic material from the 30s, 40s and 50s. Misunderstanding the non-experimental nature of the old Bieber report, he claims foolishly that Bieber "demolished the longstanding belief that homosexuality was biological." The Bieber report, based as it is on some psychoanalysts' impressions about their patients in the 50s, could not have concluded anything about biology, much less "demolish" biological possibilities.

A glaring deficiency is Bergman's failure even to mention, much less to interact with, the many more recent findings of researchers supporting biological connections and sexual orientation etiology (e.g., the work of D6rner; Margolese; Ward; Goy and Resko; Parsons; Meyer-Bahlburg; Maccoby and Jacklin; Pillard, Rose and Sherwood; to name a few)-though this is not to say that their research is at all conclusive. (Di5rner, for example, has demonstrated an interesting "neuroendocrine predisposition for homosexuality" in adults with normal testosterone production based on events at a critical period of differentiation in intrauterine development.) Does Bergman know that sperm banks refuse to accept gay men as donors because the physicians say it is still unclear whether homosexuality can be inherited?

Bergman's most fundamental failure, however, is that he does not seem to understand that whatever the complex of interacting influences for the etiology of homosexuality may eventually prove to be, the final pathway is biological. It is the brain,

  Reprinted from Winter 1982 issue of "Review."