Is speaking English genetic? Is heterosexuality a learned orientation and behavior? Are all people either male or female? Does the Gospel, which is the power of God for salvation for everyone who has faith Romans 1: Is nature still what God originally created it to be in Genesis 1? Our biblically informed views on LGBT issues, then, are informed also by what the sciences now tell us and do not tell us about these matters. This article will identify four key areas Nature versus nurture homosexuality in christianity study in what is called biopsychosocial research that can help us appreciate the protracted confusion about gender and LGBT issues.
Awareness of this research assists the church and our ministry in three ways. Inresponding to student interest in genetic and brain research reports in the popular press, I created a unit of instruction on homosexuality for our Psychology course.
This curriculum describes the hypotheses Nature versus nurture homosexuality in christianity lines of inquiry that have sought—without success—to explain homosexual orientation and behavior and the current state of the research. With updates, this curriculum is now 20 years old, and I have presented it to thousands of students and other interested groups at conferences and congregations.
They have found it helpful. When I first began teaching the unit in the s, I had to weight the presentation and discussions a bit toward mercy. Most participants were conscientious young Christians and were not especially condemning toward gays and lesbians, but they were wary. The AIDS epidemic was at its peak, the biblical texts on same-sex relations were clear to them, and gay pride was not yet a cultural norm.
While these participants did not share the vitriol expressed by most of their culture and many Nature versus nurture homosexuality in christianity the church at that time, they did tend to isolate homosexual behavior for selective condemnation from our larger fallen and sinful condition.
This serves as preparation for appreciating divine grace and spiritual growth rather than settling for some transient version of social tolerance or capitulating to any current politics of radical gender identity. The cultural landscape has changed, and our teaching ministry must adapt, just as Paul adapted his ministry while sustaining his aim in the Gospel.
Yes, but before we examine those four areas of the biopsychosocial research, we must first note an important gap in all the LGBT research: To put it plainly: For example, if one identical twin brother is gay, a significant correlation exists that the other brother will be gay but not a percent correspondence.
This correlation indicates a genetic component while leaving open the influence of nurture and environment. Another interesting finding is that homosexuality in men is correlated to their having a greater number of older brothers, whether homosexual or heterosexual. Despite these and other findings, causation remains an unknown and, for reasons we will consider below, is likely to remain unknown.
This knowledge gap is no longer news, but many participants in the discussions remain unaware of it. Given this absence of any causal explanation for sexual orientation, the cultural LGBT discussions in both the popular press and academic journals have now turned from the choice-or-born-that-way debate to contingencies in biology and genetics, development, and environment.
For example, a standard search of the Academic Search Premier database for — lists only seven articles related to causation but 48 studies about social attitudes, identity, and behavior. While choice about sexual conduct remains an important topic, the church needs to be aware of the research and not perpetuate claims regarding choice in sexual orientation about which the research is clearly inconclusive.
Paul devotes the entire first part of his letter to the disastrous consequences of sin on everything human. However we may Nature versus nurture homosexuality in christianity handle the same-sex material in Romans 1: We can help our congregations and classrooms better to understand these pervasive effects of the on humanity, including our sexuality, by alerting them to four areas of study about nature and nurture.
We begin with 1 the neural complexity of the brain.
The neurosciences have advanced rapidly over the past two decades through research in brain imaging and microbiology. Information about brain studies is now common in the popular media, but the brain basics remain astonishing. Roughly speaking the brain has about a hundred billion neurons.
Depending on the type, that neural cell can make upwards of ten thousand dendrite connections with Nature versus nurture homosexuality in christianity neurons. And those neurons use more than one hundred different neurotransmitters to chemically communicate with each other. Meanwhile, many of our most common features remain a complete mystery.
For instance, we still have no explanation for why most of us are right-handed Latin, dexterbut some of us are left-handed Latin, sinister. Next we consider 2 the Human Genome Project.