Seduction or Genetics?


Former Kinsey Institute research psychologist Alan Bell died this past 13th of May, twenty-one years after publication of his controversial study which suggested that homosexuals are born with their sexual orientation and not influenced by childhood traumatic events.

He based this conclusion on oral interviews with 1500 men and women in San Francisco, and, as related by these questioned, found little correlation between early family experience, and adult sexual orientation. In the intervening years, his conclusions have become the accepted "conventional wisdom", and its axiom of "born, not made" has been repeated over the years by psychologists, social workers, gay activists, psychiatrists, researchers, pundits, and even Dear Abbey, despite the absence of evidence of a any biological genetic marker for homosexual orientation. The infamous LeVay study in 1992 and the Hamer research paper in 1993 are often cited in support of the "born" view, but neither study produced any evidence of a "gay gene", despite vast misleading media propaganda. Nonetheless, in support of that view, the defining phrase "sexual orientation" was adopted to replace the earlier phrases "sexual choice" and "sexual preference", because neither conveyed the desired implication of biological determinism. As in Bell's study, most homosexuals will relate that they had always known they were "different", from their earliest childhood memories, thus proving to themselves that they were born that way. The homosexual state is analogized to that of racial and ethnic minorities, fixed and immutable, innate and inborn. In light of the Catholic Church's continuing problem with homosexual priests who seduce and molest pre-pubescent and adolescent boys, it is appropriate to take another look at those conclusions.

This cannot be done without a certain trepidation, for questioning the regnant conventional wisdom on homosexuality is quickly dismissed by its defenders with the epithet, "homophobic". This certainly inhibits any rational or factual discussion.

The Kinsey reports have been famously wrong, both in their methodology and in their conclusions. Dealing only with the most notorious, the widely-quoted Kinsey figure that 10% of the American populace is homosexual, the authoritative 1993 Guttmacher study found that only 1.1% of males considered themselves exclusively homosexual, and only 2.8% had engaged in same-sex sex. Similarly, in France, England, and Canada, less than 1.5% of their male populations indicated that they were homosexual. The deficiencies and errors of the Kinsey reports have been dealt with at length by Dr. Judith Reisman in Kinsey: Crimes and Consequences.

The Bell-Kinsey "born" view of homosexual origin has never been without its critics, who believe that environmental factors in early childhood, not genetics, are the major causative agents which influence one toward homosexuality. As Dr. Jeffery Satinover stated in his 1996 book Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, "...a certain genetic constitution may make homosexuality more readily available as an option, but it is not a cause of homosexuality." Dr. Charles Socarides, in his 1995 book A Freedom Too Far, stated of boys who develop a homosexual pattern: " ... Something went wrong in their childhood, some disturbance in the formation of their sexual identity. ... most homosexuals have been abused as infants, or in their early childhood. ... homosexuality is caused by two factors: 1)an early disturbance in sexual identity formation, and 2) some form of childhood sexual seduction."

Dr. Fred Berlin, founder of the Sexual Disorders Clinic at Baltimore's John Hopkins Hospital, has noted that a significant percentage of sex offenders were themselves molested as youths. This pattern of some sexually-abused boys going on to become sexual abusers themselves in a cycle beginning and ending in sexual seduction, has been observed and noted by many researchers . Dr. Socarides gives some typical examples: a ten-year old introduced to fellatio by his older brother and the brother's friend; a boy of eleven introduced to oral and anal sex when he shared a compartment with an uncle on an extended European rail trip; a ten-year old Boy Scout whose counselor would sit by the bed and stroke the boy's penis through the blanket. In each case, this started a life-long pattern of sexually compulsive behavior---oral sex with strangers in public restrooms and seduction of male adolescents. Earlier researchers such as Ollendorff in his Juvenile Homosexual Experience and its Effect on Adult Homosexuality, suggested that a male adolescent who shares his first orgasm with another male may be conditioned toward that orientation for the rest of his life; the effect of the seduction cannot be overemphasized. It was recently reported that about two-thirds of sexual-molester priests had themselves been the victims of sexual abuse when they were boys. The Rev. Stephen Rossetti, a psychologist and sex abuse consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and head of the St. Luke Institute, stated, "It's a vicious cycle."

One of my legal cases involved a middle-aged homosexual man who acted as a senior brother or father-figure to many young adolescent boys in the neighborhood. He would invite them over to talk sports, eat food, watch movies, and play games. His home was a regular meeting place for a group of boys for whom he provided what seemed a pleasant, comfortable, and secure environment, but was actually a haven for the same sexual seduction he had experienced as a young boy. In classic seduction technique, he would develop a position of trust in which the boys would try to please him, and the games turned to sex. I often wondered how many of those adolescents would themselves become sexual molesters in turn. Predatory homosexual priests have similarly targeted adolescents for seduction: boys who look up to them as safe and secure authority figures who can be relied upon to tell them what is right and proper to do, and who the boys will try to please. Happily, most boys who have a healthy family environment free of sexual abuse or sexual identity confusion do not fall into the cycle if they are molested.

Much has been written of late clarifying the distinction between those who are sexually attracted to and desire sexual relations with very young pre-pubescent children, and those who are attracted to older, near-pubescent children or adolescents. The former are properly called pedophiles, while the latter should be termed ephebophiles, even though in popular parlance the term pedophilia is used to cover all age groups. The distinction is important, because pedophilia is deemed an incurable mental illness---a sick condition having nothing to do with one's sexual orientation---whereas same-sex ephebophilia is seen as normative by a part of the homosexual community.

If, as the "conventional wisdom" asserts, homosexual orientation exists from birth, it then lies latent, waiting to be awakened at the proper moment. That is exactly the view of most gay activists. As Larry Kramer wrote in The Making of an AIDS Activist, "...where children do have sex with their homosexual elders...I submit that often, very often, the child desires the activity, and perhaps even solicits it." The homosexual magazine Guide, wrote in 1995, " Instead of fearing being labeled pedophiles, we must proudly proclaim that sex is good, including children's sexuality...we must do it for the children's sake."

In the view of activists, it is a positive act of goodness to liberate the child's native homosexual orientation at the earliest age possible. To that end, sex education on homosexuality needs to be done at early grade levels and continued through the educational system to facilitate the emergence of the gay sexual identity. Therefore, in accord with this "conventional wisdom", children who are unsure of their orientation need to be encouraged to experiment, so that the true inborn state might be realized. If a child is prompted to think they might be gay, they are encouraged to be gay, and need to be instructed on the mechanics of gay sex. All children need to be encouraged to view homosexuality as a normative and even desirable state. Homosexual role models must be provided. Dissent is to be dismissed as "hate speech" or homophobia. The entire society needs to be sensitized to the normality and inevitability of inborn "gayness".  Inevitably, children are seduced and recruited into homosexuality, in conformance with the "conventional wisdom" as promoted by the gay activist.

Steve Baldwin's new study, Child Molestation and the Homosexual Movement, to be published in the Regent University Law Review, and reported by Jon Dougherty at, shows that homosexuals molest young boys at a rate vastly higher than heterosexuals molest young girls, even though the absolute number of heterosexual molestations are greater. This is the same conclusion of Dr. Satinover, who put the rate of child molestation as more than three times more common among homosexuals than heterosexuals, taking into account the fact that heterosexual males outnumber homosexual ones by roughly thirty-six to one. David Bresnahan at WND reported on the research of Dr. Judith Reisman and Dr. Eugene Abel which indicates a molestation rate of five to one for homosexuals compared to heterosexuals. Further, considering the number of youths molested per offender, the rate is seven to one for homosexuals compared to heterosexuals. Baldwin notes one study, Archives of Sexual Behavior, in which 86% of child abusers described themselves as homosexual or bisexual.

In short, child sexual abuse is far more common among homosexuals than heterosexuals, and the homosexual culture actively promotes sex with children, terming it "Male Intergenerational Intimacy." Baldwin notes that the Journal of Homosexuality had a recent special issue on this subject, with one article stating that parents should look upon the pedophilic man who "loves" their young son "not as a rival or competitor, not as a theft of their property, but as a partner in the boy's upbringing, someone to be welcomed into their home." This is certainly not to indict all homosexuals. Ephebophiles and pederasts are typical of only a segment of the gay community, but one cannot deny that the historical image of ancient Greece, where adult males took adolescent boys (ephebi) as lovers, plays a large role in the homosexual world-view. Many homosexuals have themselves been critical of this aspect of gay culture, in which organizations such as NAMBLA (North American Man-Boy Love Association) espouse pedophilia with their slogan "sex before eight or else it's too late".

While sex with prepubescent children is rejected by the larger public, the idea of homosexual adolescent seduction is seemingly not unpopular, if the hit stage attraction The Vagina Monologues is any guide. Therein, a girl of fourteen is seduced by an older woman, to whom the girl gives thanks. This is not liberation of an inborn sexual self as the play suggests, but rather is child sexual abuse; it is astonishing to me that audiences applaud it. That they do so is tribute to the power of the "born, not made" axiom, and the minimization of the role of sexual seduction in forming sexual identity and orientation.

That axiom has had a pernicious influence on development of sexual mores in this country in the twenty-one years since Alan Bell's study was published. Few could argue that its effect on our society has been desirable. It is truly a time for another evaluation.

Carl Pearlston


May 29, 2002