In reaction to my post “Say No to Same-Sex Pseudo-Marriage,” commenter “The Man Who Was…” objects to our claim that homosexuality is largely caused by one’s upbringing. He says no evidence exists for this claim.
The truth is rather different. That homosexuality is largely due to the environment in which one is raised is very nearly true by definition, and is therefore not subject to either proof or disproof by empirical means. If The Man Who Was… objects that “studies” don’t prove that homosexuality is induced by a disordered environment, he’s probably failing to notice that “studies” also don’t disprove it.
The proof of my claim proceeds as follows. Homosexuality is a form of character, meaning a settled disposition to behave in a certain way. As such, it is midway between behaviors over which we have full control, such as what dish we order at a restaurant, and behaviors over which we have no control, such as squinting at a bright light. Homosexuality is one value of a character variable that is vulgarly called “sexual orientation.”
“Sexual orientation” is malleable when being formed, but once in place it is hardly malleable at all. Once your character is set, you generally can’t help yourself, barring an act of God (which can happen.)
But character is formed by thousands of small actions and interactions (and occasional major ones), almost all of which are induced by the environment. True, the environment interacts with the individual and his already existing character as well as his biological endowments. That’s why there may be a biological component to becoming homosexual. But character, by definition, is not primarily determined by biology. Human biology sets wide limits, and within these limits, character is set by the sum total of one’s experiences and choices, especially those occurring when one is young and especially malleable. Therefore homosexuality is largely caused by the environment in which one is raised.
One important point remains: Is homosexuality caused in large measure by being raised in a disordered environment, or can we say no more than that it is “caused by the environment?” To answer this question, one must develop a moral intuition. Things have moral qualities, and the immoral tends to be associated with the immoral. If homosexuality is immoral (and it is), then, speaking statistically, it has to be correlated with an upbringing that is at least somewhat immoral. If it were really true that no such correlation existed, then reality itself would not make sense. But since reality does make sense, the correlation does exist.
It must be emphasized that I am speaking statistically. The individual cannot fully be understood by a chain of causal relations. But the overall pattern of human society is broadly intelligible, including the cause of immoral character.
And all of this has a wider significance. All of us are being tyrannized by the “experts,” who tell us (at least implicitly) that we have to accept their pronouncements. And since their pronouncements invariably support liberalism, we allegedly have no right to object to liberalism.
But there is something more fundamental than “expertise.” The fundamental realities, and especially the moral realities, are grasped by intuition rather than by scientific technique. We do not have to accept the “experts” when they tell us that our knowledge of homosexuality is invalid. If they cannot acknowledge reality, it is their thinking that is invalid.