Monday, September 10, 2007

Ooops! NARTH caught... a lie. or at least a gross distortion. NARTH for those people unfamiliar with this group is the so called National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. This group has in the past been a proponent of so called reorientation therapy, which claims to be able to change one's sexual orientation say from gay to straight. Now I am all for therapy, and it is not my intent here to get into this whole issue. But back in May 2007, the blog Ex-Gay Watch caught NARTH in a distortion of Francis Collins' beliefs about homosexuality. The NARTH article currently at claims that Collins says that homosexuality is NOT hard wired. The problem is that Collins' said no such thing. When asked about the NARTH article, here is what Collins said according to Ex-Gay Watch:

"The evidence we have at present strongly supports the proposition that there are hereditary factors in male homosexuality — the observation that an identical twin of a male homosexual has approximately a 20% likelihood of also being gay points to this conclusion, since that is 10 times the population incidence. But the fact that the answer is not 100% also suggests that other factors besides DNA must be involved. That certainly doesn’t imply, however, that those other undefined factors are inherently alterable.

Your note indicated that your real interest is in the truth. And this is about all that we really know. No one has yet identified an actual gene that contributes to the hereditary component (the reports about a gene on the X chromosome from the 1990s have not held up), but it is likely that such genes will be found in the next few years."

NARTH of course conveniently conflates, non genetic with something that is a choice. It would seem to me that if NARTH is really interested in helping people and interested in the truth about homosexuality it would pull or at least rewrite the original article so as to not distort what Collins actually said and believes.

But no. Taking a page from the creationists and intelligent design advocates they have left the article intact. Sounds like NARTH understands what those propagandists have long known. If you repeat a lie enough people will begin to believe it.

I wonder what NARTH would make of this article from Scientific American. The article notes:

"In the past, people thought that…[political leanings were]…all environmentally influenced, a combination of biological dispositions as well as cultural shaping," says David Amodio, an assistant professor of psychology at New York University. However, a new study, led by Amodio, indicates that political bent "is not just a choice people have, but it seems to be linked to fundamental differences in the way people process information."

Does this mean being a Republican can't be fixed with therapy?
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