Speaking on Chris Fabry Live! last month, Exodus President Alan Chambers made this astonishing declaration:
The truth is, when we look at the issue of homosexuality, the only thing that we do know at this point in time is that it is developmental. There has never been a study that’s been done that replicated, or proven sufficiently, that there is any genetic component to the issue of homosexuality…
Chambers is the president of the largest ex-gay organization in the world, Exodus International. While one might imagine he carries his share of bias to the table, it seems incredible that he could so completely misrepresent the current state of research on his key issue. Even a cursory scan of the literature tells us that sexual orientation is a mixture of nature and nurture, with the nature becoming more prominent all the time.
A recent statement from the American Psychological Association (APA), praised by no less than the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) — a group to which Exodus refers — states the following about why some people are gay or lesbian:
There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.
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.
Two strong studies have just been added to the debate, giving even more convincing evidence to the biological component. One finds that the brains of gay males are structurally similar to those of straight women, while both are different from those of straight men. The other indicates that the external views of a society have virtually nothing to do with those to whom we find ourselves sexually attracted — gay or straight. These studies, added to the mounting evidence for physical traits common to gay men and women, indicate not only a genetic/biological factor but possibly a strong one. Certainly most of this information was available before Chambers made his statement last month.
At the moment there is only one honest reply to any question about what determines sexual orientation. It appears to be a combination of genetic, biological and environmental factors, possibly set very early in life. As a prudent addendum, the case for the involvement of genetic and biological factors is becoming stronger with each serious study. So with all this only a Google search or two away, it strains credulity that Chambers is unaware of these facts.
We are left with two scenarios; either Chambers is totally unaware of vital information pertaining to homosexuality, the focus of his entire organization, or he is aware and stated otherwise to the audience of the Chris Fabry show.