William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Update On Sexuality Wars

What is this dog's orientation?.

What is this dog’s orientation?

Item: What if—don’t panic—there is no such thing as sexual orientation in any biological sense (save heterosexualism) where a person is born and “condemned” inescapably to lust after one fixed object (so to speak). Searches for “gay genes” or other biochemical markers have been in vain, therefore it’s rational to suppose none exist and that environment plays a large role. What if human sexuality isn’t as cut-and-dried as modern (and only modern) interpretation has it and that “orientation” is entirely man-made?

Celebrated denizen of the left Michel Foucault said:

In his Histoire de la Sexualité, Michel Foucault argues that homosexuality is a social construct, and one constructed terribly recently at that. “As defined by the ancient civil or canonical codes,” he writes, “sodomy was a category of forbidden acts; their perpetrator was nothing more than the juridical subject of them.” The late-nineteenth century saw this classical view displaced, however, when the sodomite was set up as the bearer of a distinct and pervasive psychological persuasion. “Homosexuality appears as one of the forms of sexuality,” Foucault writes, “when it was transposed from the practice of sodomy onto a kind of interior androgyny, a hermaphroditism of the soul.”

Item: The categories which define “orientation” are increasing, too. LBGTQIA—more?

Item: The Very Reverend Gary Hall, chief of the Washington National Cathedral and member of one of the protesting Christian sects, recently said, “Homophobia is a sin. Heterosexism is a sin…Only when all our churches say that clearly and boldly and courageously will our LGBT youth be free to grow up in a culture that totally embraces them fully as they are.”

Of course, “homophobia” is a fluid word, but this is the first I’ve seen “Heterosexism” (which might in other words be called natural law) called a sin. Hall also said that people’s attitudes towards homosexuality are based on “a misreading of the Bible.”

Thus we have, at least with Hall, who surely has many imitators and who preaches to a grateful media, a complete reversal of classic theology.

Item: A now 11-year-old boy, who with the help of his two lesbian guardians, decided at age 8 that he was “really” a girl, has completed three years of chemical injections to make his male body more resemble a female one.

Psychiatrists “diagnosed” the boy with “gender identity disorder”. A modern disease, one only recently “discovered.”

Item: Argentina’s government has granted a 6-year-old boy an ID that corresponds the boy’s claim that he is a girl. His proud and energetic mother even managed to have the government an amended “birth” certificate which claims the boy is a girl. This was fully legal. From the relevant law:

Gender identity is understood as the internal and individual way in which gender is perceived by persons, that can correspond or not to the gender assigned at birth, including the personal experience of the body. This can involve modifying bodily appearance or functions through pharmacological, surgical or other means, provided it is freely chosen. It also includes other expressions of gender such as dress, ways of speaking and gestures.

Interesting choice of words, “gender assigned at birth” and “freely chosen.” How “free” are the choices of pre-teens regarding sexuality? The modern presumption is “Perfectly so.” Does it follow puberty is a choice?

Item: A boy pretending to be a girl at Florence High School in Colorado was reportedly

harassing girls in the bathroom. When parents complained, school officials said the boy’s rights as a transgender trumped their daughters’ privacy rights.

As the controversy grew, some students were threatened with being kicked off athletic teams or charged with hate crimes if they continued to voice concerns.

This news arrives from an interested source, and I could not discover corroboration. The story mentions the Pacific Justice Institute, a traditionalist (the modifier, as we learned from above, is now needed) Christian organization which had involved itself in California’s new law to allow children to access whichever bathroom accorded with their “gender identity.”

So the story has some plausibility. But even if it’s false or exaggerated, it’s of interest to note its direction.

Item: California Governor Brown “signed a new law that will allow the state to recognize more than two legal parents for a child.”

One of the catalysts for the bill was a case in which one lesbian in a relationship was impregnated by a man, and later fought with her lesbian lover. One woman was jailed and the other went to the hospital, and the daughter wound up in foster care because the sperm donor did not have parental rights.

Conclusion? The first lesson is you are not who you are, but you are what you want to be. And not only that: others must acknowledge not who you are, but who you claim to be. If they do not, it is they who are troubled, not you.

The second lesson is that people have absolutely no sense of humor or proportion about these things.

Of course, the real trick is not to compile these stories, but to say where they are pointing. Readers should recall that not the whole world is acquiescing, Russia and large swaths of Africa hold to older ways.

40 Comments

  1. That dog definitely is oriented with his teeth attached to your flesh if you get too close. But then animals usually are more rational then people.

  2. The funny thing happens when you get these groups simultaneously telling you that sexuality is a social construct, and also that many men are genetically “trapped” inside women bodies (or vice-versa). Those two ideas are contradictory, but what does that matter anyway?

  3. (However to point to Russia and “swaths of Africa” as paragons of virtue, etc. is really the key paragraph that makes you really wonder if there’s any virtue at all with the “old ways”)

  4. There already is a soon-not-to-be (since it would be a mean) diagnosis called “Peter Pan Syndrome” that closely resembles one’s “right” not to go through puberty. Look for the diagnosis to be called pedophobic and removed soon.

    Then we have from Dr. Phil:
    “Brett says that from the outside, his life looks very normal. He works the night shift at a nationwide retail store and has a degree in business management and a girlfriend of six years. “Most people who would meet me would think I’m a normal guy,” Brett explains. But Brett says those people don’t know the whole story; during his off-hours, Brett dresses and acts like an 18-month-old baby. He says his condition, sometimes referred to as a lifestyle, is commonly called “adult baby,” “infantilism,” or “adult baby syndrome.” Brett says he wears diapers and baby clothes and even sleeps in a custom-built crib. “I love to be treated like a baby,” Brett gushes.”

    The Adult Baby Sydrome is also financially advantageous: http://michellemalkin.com/2011/05/20/adult-baby-syndrome/
    I’ve seen other examples.

    As for the California law, if parents agree with the law, and obviously they do because they keep sending their children to these schools, then it’s just part of the changing face of parenting. If the parents believe it’s okay to have boys in the girls restroom, society says parents can teach their children whatever they like (up to and including violence, in many cases). California parents have decided their five year old will learn to love watching the evolution of a sexless, yet dramatically oversexed, society. Parents have that right–society gave it to them. One supposes that right is handy, since the parents will not live to see if their parenting makes their kids lives hell later on, and allows the parent to avoid any bothersome “judgmental” training of their children.

  5. I want to be 18 again but I’m afraid of the lobotomy.

  6. It would seem that if natural selection selects for ANYTHING, it selects for heterosexuality. Disdain for procreative sex doesn’t just decrease your chances of a genetic legacy, it ends it with certainty. Full stop.

  7. Don’t wanna overreach, but this seems like the logical conclusion of nominalism in philosophy. Things don’t have essences, therefor we have full control over what is and what isn’t. A wanted unborn child is a person. An unwanted unborn child is ontologically equivalent to an appendix, or maybe a wisdom tooth.

    If I can decide to be a woman, can I also decide to be Japanese? Surely culture and race are just as much social constructions as gender.

  8. Nullius in Verba

    15 October 2013 at 4:40 pm

    “It would seem that if natural selection selects for ANYTHING, it selects for heterosexuality.”

    That depends on where it is. Suppose you had a gene that in a woman made her more feminine and therefore more successful, but in a man made him more feminine and therefore less successful. Does the decrease in the success of the men outweigh the increase in success of the women?

    Or to take another example, consider the gene for sickle cell anemia. If you have one copy of the gene, you are healthy, and also immune to malaria. If you have two copies of the gene, you get sickle cell anemia. The disease is particularly common in areas of Africa where malaria is endemic. Why would a genetic disease be evolutionarily successful?

    There are people with defects in other parts of their bodies. And sexuality is innate, built-in, something you cannot change by an act of will. So what would happen if that part of you that caused that innate sexuality was ‘deformed’, in the same way you could get an albino child or one with a cleft palate? Just because society said they were a particular sex because of the shape of their external genitals, that doesn’t mean the switch in their head can therefore be changed – by an act of will, or by society’s dictat. They are what they are. And if what they are is something society doesn’t tolerate, their lives will be miserable indeed.

    (I recall seeing a TV interview with the albino daughter of black parents in apartheid South Africa – society apparently did often treat her as white, which she had very mixed feelings about.)

    As for Foucault, there’s no point in forbidding something that nobody ever wants to do. The Bible reports entire cities given over to the practice, such as Sodom itself. What’s this nonsense about it being a recent invention?

  9. NV: Recessive gene traits don’t seem to effect survival rates much. Maybe it would in a very small population where marriages were between closer relatives–I’m not sure. It also matters if the affected individual lives long enough to reproduce. If most die before age 5, there’s no net effect.

    I disagree that sexuality is something we do not have choices in. First, if we have no choice about orientation, why believe we have choices about acting upon the impulses? Why call something rape when it’s just the way it is? Sure, you can argue it hurts people, but if it’s not a choice, should we not rewrite the laws and just call it normal behaviour? Who hasn’t seen drawings of cave men dragging their woman home for some mating? Maybe the drawings are true, maybe not, but if a behaviour is not within our control, how can we outlaw it? As you say, how the person turn off the switch that says to have sex with anyone you can literally drag home and mate with?

    Anyone who is not what society expects has a miserable life: pedophiles, serial killers, pathological liars. Do we just allow all behaviours so no one feels persecuted? There’s no point in forbidding things we are born to do, is there?

    This is not an extreme view. It is the logical outcome of starting to label behaviours as “uncontrollable” or arguing that people should not have to control behaviours they have no choice in. It’s no different to deny the psychopath his need to kill and torture than to deny someone their choice of sexual orientation. If these things are innate, then we have no choices.

  10. Nullius Verba, you’re mistaken about sickle-cell anemia. Sickle-cell trait [heterozygous A/S inheritance] is not entirely benign.

    There’s an increased risk of death, from long plane rides, forex.

    JJB

  11. Nullius in Verba

    15 October 2013 at 6:18 pm

    “Recessive gene traits don’t seem to effect survival rates much.”

    A gene may have both dominant and recessive characteristics. The sickle cell anemia gene is dominant when it comes to malaria immunity, but recessive when it comes to anemia. The real world doesn’t fit into neat categories.

    “Maybe it would in a very small population where marriages were between closer relatives–I’m not sure.”

    “Recessive” is not the same thing as “rare”. Incest is only an issue for rare recessive genes, where they are unlikely to find a match in the general gene pool (and therefore selection pressure to weed them out is weak) but are much more likely to find one in close family.

    But a common recessive gene would be quite likely to meet a match in the general population. If 1% of people were homosexual due to a recessive gene, that would mean 10% of people were carriers. And if that gene had other advantageous effects for which it was dominant, the 10% who benefit outweigh the 1% who don’t. Hypothetically, of course.

    “First, if we have no choice about orientation, why believe we have choices about acting upon the impulses?”

    Because people can very obviously control their impulses – we observe it every day – but observably do not have the same sort of control over their sexuality. There isn’t a sharp boundary, though.

    “Anyone who is not what society expects has a miserable life: pedophiles, serial killers, pathological liars. Do we just allow all behaviours so no one feels persecuted?”

    Yes they do, and yes it’s the same sort of thing. And no we don’t. I haven’t said anything about whether we should or should not *allow* such behaviour. All I’ve said is that the *desire* (not the act) is something the person involved cannot control, and that society’s intolerance will result in a miserable life for them.

    There is another moral principle, called the Harm Principle, that says that society has no right to interfere with the freedom of an individual to do what they want except to prevent harm to others. It’s not a principle everyone believes in, and religious morality in particular generally does not. But it’s the reason why heterosexuality is not a crime but heterosexual rape is, and it’s the reason why we still outlaw active pedophilia, but we don’t today outlaw active homosexuality. If you want to make the case for outlawing sodomy, it’s the Harm Principle you’ve got to argue against. It’s best to leave biology out of it.

    Society has in the past persecuted Christians, too. Some might therefore say “do unto others…”, but as far as I’m concerned I don’t think people can help feeling disgust for such acts any more than those other people can help feeling the desire for them. I don’t think we should be intolerant of people who don’t like it, either, and if they want to exclude it from their religious ceremonies or not do business with such people, that’s their choice, too. Society doesn’t have to *like* homophobia, but so long as it isn’t harming anybody else, society ought to leave it alone.

  12. Nullius in Verba

    15 October 2013 at 6:21 pm

    “There’s an increased risk of death, from long plane rides, forex.”

    Is that a major evolutionary pressure for sub-Saharan Africans, do you think? :-)

    But your correction is noted. The main point still stands.

  13. Ye Olde Topologist

    15 October 2013 at 7:09 pm

    The Bible reports entire cities given over to the practice, such as Sodom itself. What’s this nonsense about it being a recent invention?

    Foucault was making a distinction between those who practice sodomy and those who are homosexual. The former has been done since time immemorial — in men’s prisons, for example — but the latter was socially constructed only in the 19th century. But even so, same-sex attraction need not express itself with sodomy. Men have a gross tendency to jolly Mr. Johnson by whatever means necessary, and some will not care whether the receptacle is a woman, a younger man’s butt, a shoe, or a sheep. That’s why the ancient Greeks tolerated having an ephebe for sexual use, but despised grown men taking on that role.

  14. “The first lesson is you are not who you are, but you are what you want to be”. Maybe, I am not so sure about that. Just finished reading “Alan Turing: The Enigma The Centenary Edition”, and although I cannot prove it,I got a strong gut feeling old Alan did not choose to be inclined to an attraction to men. I get the same impression speaking to some homosexuals I know (that they have no choice to which gender they are attracted to.

    Cheers

    Francsois

  15. Francois–Whether or not an attraction to a specific sex is chosen, acting upon it is always chosen. The same as being married and then being attracted to another person other than one’s spouse. You can’t help who you are attracted to but you can choose to not act upon that desire.

  16. Sheri- no doubt it is true what you say. In the same way alcoholics (or persons inclined to alcoholism)can choose not to drink. I suspect that some people are inclined to homosexuality, which makes them more likely to engage in homosexual behaviour. Much in the same way alcoholism inclines one to drinking. Remind me again why one should choose not to engage in homosexual behaviour?

    Cheers

    Francsois

  17. NV:
    I understand that “recessive” does not mean “rare” in many cases. My understanding of the English language and use of it seems the problem here. My bad.

    Marriage between closer relatives does not mean incest. I should have stated that any area where a small number of people live in some isolation, inherited genetic diseases can be an issue.

    Your hypothetical example may be correct, but first we need to find a “homosexual” gene, which we have not. Genetics may not matter at all when it comes to sexual preferences if the assumption that genetics are involved is incorrect.

    Harm Principle: First, homosexuality has resulted in far more cases of AIDS than with heterosexual couples–this is a fact reported by the CDC. I would consider this alone sufficient to consider the behaviour harmful. (By the way, the reason promiscuity and multiple partners is problematic is the spread of disease. This is biology, not morality. Monogamous couples do not spread sexually transmitted disease. If you want to argue that spreading disease is okay, have a go at it.)

    Biology does not say sexuality is not a choice. There is no evidence to that effect. Even the beloved Wikipedia states the evidence is weak. Twin studies are flawed, no gene has been found (as I stated above). Until definitive proof is found for the “biology” aspect, I can and will most certainly will argue against that theory.

    Homosexuals are the ones who shoved their live style down people’s throats and demanded it be accepted. They are the ones who chose to not allow people the right to disagree. Your comment on society and Christians seems inappropriate–just because we did things wrong in the past does not excuse current bad behaviour. And pointing out inappropriate or sinful behaviour should be something that is praised, not condemned. It is amazing to me that people lament how violent and intolerant our society is while encouraging all the behaviours that lead to the situation. (Homosexuals do not increase tolerance, they are among the most intolerant groups in society. They will not be crossed and they will advocate punishing anyone who disagrees with them. They are the ones who hate and condemn.)

    Francsois: Remind me, Franscois, why I should not lie or steal if I can get away with it. Remind me why I should not take every advantage of my fellow man to increase my wealth and status. Remind why I should not do drugs or be an alcoholic. Remind why I should not teach my children to the same. Remind me why people should not engage in behaviours that benefit them whether or not society approves or benefits. Cheers.

  18. Genetics is more complicated than has been stated here. There is rarely a single gene for anything. Multiple genes are involved as well as interactions and triggering events (gene expression). It is also not an either/or of gene versus external environment as fetal development can be very important. The latter can be either stochastic events or can be influenced by the hormonal environment of the womb which is sensitive to the mother’s health. Even twins can have asymmetric effects on each others development. Then there are viruses! So lets not excessively simplify a very complicated question. This applies to both sides of the issue.

  19. “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves.” I remember thinking as a child, “No kidding,” yet that is precisely what is being denied in the cited incidents. We not only want to be like God, knowing good and evil, we want to define good and evil, and we want to create ourselves.

  20. Sheri, just because aids is more commonplace amongst homosexuals dies not mean homosexuality should be outlawed.This iis silly. Death from falls is more common amongst rock climbers, does not mean we should ban rock climbing! As for the rant in your last paragraph, how is homosexuality like stealing, murder, rape etc.? Except for it being sins in the bible, Torah and Koran etc.?

    Cheers

    Francsois

  21. Francsois (Why not Francois?)

    Homosexual behavior is like stealing, rape and murder in that it is bad for humans.

    Some think nature determines what is good for humans. Others think that its arbitrary. This post shows us an example of the bizarre conclusions that the latter position leads us to. The link below provides a simple explanation of the former.

    http://ncbcenter.metapress.com/app/home/contribution.asp?referrer=parent&backto=searcharticlesresults,1,1;

  22. Francsois: So you are arguing that spreading disease is no more damaging to society than rock climbing?

    It’s not a rant–all of those behaviours are considered acceptable in various societies. If we go by what is harmful to society, these behaviours are going to be acceptable in some places on the planet. Forget the sin part–we’re looking at the “Harm” here and many places consider rape, murder (time honored method of changing Roman emperors), stealing, etc just part of their culture.

    What about Russia objecting to homosexuality because it lowers their birth rate? That harms their society, at least in their minds, so they are right to outlaw it.

  23. “So you are arguing that spreading disease is no more damaging to society than rock climbing?” No. I am arguing that you cannot outlaw a thing just because it is associated (or even cause) with harm. We cannot outlaw alcohol drinking because it is associated with liver cirrhosis. It impinges on peoples freedom. I people want to drink, let them take the consequences. If people want to shag persons of the same sex, let them.

    many would agree promiscuity is not a good thing. You can get all sort of nasty STD’s from it. Should we outlaw it? Of course not. If you get gonorrhoea from shagging around, that is your business. I think you get my drift: Just because something is stupid, unpleasant or even immoral does not mean we should outlaw it.

    “What about Russia objecting to homosexuality because it lowers their birth rate? That harms their society, at least in their minds, so they are right to outlaw it.” Wow. I have been to Russia, a nation of drunks. By your reasoning, why don’t they outlaw booze? Why stop there. Make a long list of things that could harm society, and ban them! Like the good old days of communist Russia.

    Curio-”Francsois (Why not Francois?)”. Because that is how my name is spelt. Why not Kurio?

    Cheers

    F.

  24. I bet you could calculate the odds of a catholic male priest(or whatever they are called)that shows odds of a catholic priest molesting a child would be higher than the odds of a fire-fighter or cop or teacher molesting a child. If this is true, one could argue that the catholic priesthood should be banned because it is bad for our children (and society). that is, if you use the line of reasoning of Sheri, which is a bit silly.

    Cheers

    F.

  25. Ye Olde Topologist

    16 October 2013 at 7:51 pm

    @F
    Except the odds are not higher.

  26. Ye Olde Topologist, how do you know?

  27. I don’t know if it is true, I certainly don’t know the odds, but I would not be surprised if my hunch is true. Where there is smoke, there is often fire http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_sex_abuse_cases#Prevalence

    Love and kisses,

    Francsois

  28. Briggs

    16 October 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Fancsois,

    I’ll try to dig up these stats (next week). It’s actually well known, and a little work from Google ought to get you the answer. But the rate of abuse is higher for (public) teachers than Priests.

  29. Well, perhaps we should outlaw public teachers and perhaps catholic priests too! Thanks Briggs. But I bet the odds of child molestation for priest is much higher than many other professions. I bet it is in the top 10%. A hunch.

    Cheers, F.

  30. Ye Olde Topologist

    16 October 2013 at 8:35 pm

    @F

    from Nussbaum and Nussbaum’s review of Marci A. Hamilton’s Justice Denied

    In Child Maltreatment 2006, a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, we’re told that around 66 percent of those who sexually abuse children are parents, other relatives, unmarried partners of parents, friends, or neighbors, and that only 0.5 percent are “professionals.” And clergy are a subset of “professionals,” and Catholic priests are a subset of clergy. Neither Child Maltreatment 2006 nor any other study identifies clergy (much less Catholic priests) as a statistically significant class of perpetrators. Statistically insignificant and taken from years and decades past, cases of abuse involving Catholic clergy—though profoundly troubling—are nonetheless few compared to the cases involving, for example, public-school teachers.

    Thus, for example, in both actual numbers and percentages, sexual abuse of children by teachers, coaches, and employees in public schools exceeds anything that occurred in Catholic institutions. Furthermore, in contrast to Catholic institutions, sexual abuse of children in public schools is still occurring in significant numbers. Prof. Carol Shakeshaft, an expert cited by Hamilton, told Education Week, “So we think the Catholic Church has a problem? . . . The physical sexual abuse of students in [public] schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.”

    The difference between the problem in the Catholic Church and the continuing problem in public schools is likely greater than that. The 2007 Annual Report prepared by the Catholic bishops identifies fifteen allegations of childhood sexual abuse in the American Catholic Church from 2000 to 2007—an average of less than two per year. The 2007 Associated Press investigation identifies 2,570 public school teachers who, from 2001 through 2005, had their teaching licenses “taken away, denied, surrendered voluntarily, or restricted” as a result of sexual misconduct with minors—an average of 514 per year.

  31. I never said “outlaw”. I said call immoral and wrong. I have never advocated returning to laws against sodomy. I asked if Russia was justified to outlaw the practice. I asked if a behaviour is not within our control, can we outlaw it? I did not answer my own question–I left it out there for anyone to answer.

    The problem with your argument is one we have discussed here repeatedly–someone pays for the bad behaviour and it’s not just the person committing the act. There’s insurance, emergency room visits, etc. Someone who did not participate in the act pays for it. If you are willing to say that people who commit dangerous behaviours have to pay for it themselves, we can proceed on the “none of anyone’s business discussion. (Courtesy of Obamacare, smokers will pay 50% more for their insurance while AIDs people will not. We can and do persecute those whose behaviour we don’t like, except, it seems, when it involves sex.)

    You again rewrote what I said about Russia. I was making the point that if we use the “Harm Principle, that says that society has no right to interfere with the freedom of an individual to do what they want except to prevent harm to others” as state by Nullius V. then Russia is justified in outlawing homosexuality because it harms their society in their view. Drinking does not appear to have that reputation. Every society will use different values.

    My line of reasoning is not silly if you actually read what I write. Your example is completely flawed–we don’t outlaw an occupation because it attracts child molesters. We do a much better job of supervising and hiring for that occupation. Again, I did not advocate outlawing anything–I asked if we should. I will put you down as a “no”.

  32. Thanks Ye Old Topologist. Amongst “professionals”, if you made a “top 100 of child molester jobs” list, where would the Catholic clergy rank? A grim list that would be. I wonder if there are more up-to-date stats.

    Anyway, I have managed to create a sideshow. The point I am trying to make is that one should not outlaw the clergy if it is true that they tend to molest more children than say paramedics or lawyers. Sheri thinks it is a good idea that Russia outlawed homosexuality, and I think it is a bad idea to outlaw things that have a tenuous link with harm, especially if it takes away peoples freedom.

    Cheers

    F.

  33. Sheri, excuse my heated reply earlier. I regret it.

    “If you are willing to say that people who commit dangerous behaviours have to pay for it themselves”. I do believe people should pay for their own stupidity. The problem, especially in Australia where I live, is the government pays for much, it then uses that as an excuse to tell us how to live our lives, so they don’t have to foot the bill. Now I don’t like seeing to dudes kissing. Gives me the heebie-jeebies. But that is their business. And saying that harms other people is bullsh_t. let us not forget what happened to Alan Turing.

    Cheers.

    F.

  34. Ye Olde Topologist

    16 October 2013 at 9:14 pm

    The point I am trying to make is that one should not outlaw the clergy if it is true that they tend to molest more children than say paramedics or lawyers.

    Only if they do so because they are clergy. We did not outlaw the Democratic Party because Democrats tended to lynch more black men than Whigs or Republicans. The Late Modern is strangely averse to the distinction between essence and accident.

  35. “Item: A boy pretending to be a girl at Florence High School in Colorado was reportedly”

    “So the story has some plausibility. But even if it’s false or exaggerated, it’s of interest to note its direction.”

    Well, since all attempts att corrobarating it has failed in indeed many of her classmates have spoken out saying that the claim is bunk I am unsure why you claim that even if(and it seems to be) it is false, it’s still of interest.

    The “no smoke without fire” argument always lead to horrible places so I’m unsure why you think we should go there.

  36. Francsois:

    What happened to Alan Turig was because he did not live by the laws of the day–period. What about the person who commits suicide because they believe children should be sexual partners with adults and are persecuted for that behaviour? What about the polygamist’s child that commits suicide when his classmates find out his father is married to six women? (And just so we don’t get stuck in the “sex” arena, what about the overweight girl who commits suicide because she can’t live up to Michelle Obama’s ideal of a proper weight?) The argument you present works from many angles, not just pro-gay.

    I don’t like the idea of people having sex in the park at noon on blanket for all to see, but if that’s what they want, why outlaw it? I don’t like the idea of people having sex with sheep, but if that’s what they want, at noon in the park, why not let them? It’s not hurting anyone, right? Think about what your argument of “too bad it bothers you, get over it” actually says.

    (Your previous reply is excused.)

  37. Sheri

    If you shag a sheep in plain sight, say in the park at noon, everyone sees it and most people would be bothered by it. A law against that kind of thing is okay by me. Also, the sheep could not give his consent!!! This is funny stuff indeed. Kissing someone in public is another matter perhaps. most would agree that although that is poor manners, it should not be outlawed.

    Alan Turing did not abide by the law of the day because the law was stupid at the time. There are many stupid laws.

  38. Again, excuses to allow behaviour you want allowed and denying that right to others. To some people, perhaps more than you realize, kissing in public between same sex individual in a sexually suggestive way is just as disturbing as seeing someone shagging a sheep in a park. On the other hand, there may be a large number of people who would enjoy watching a sheep and a guy going at it in a park. Then it should not be illegal, right? (Consent is not necessary when dealing with sheep–they don’t give their consent to be sheared or to be eaten, but we do that anyway.)

    The fact that the law was “stupid” by your estimate does not change the fact that the law existed and Turing broke the law. Everyone has the right to break laws if they are willing to accept the consequences. If you have sex with a child, you go to jail, and they put your picture on the internet for all so see and label you a “sex offender” when you’re released. They do that for urinating on trash bins, too, which is stupid, but you’re still getting labelled. Either you do the time, or you get the law changed. You don’t get to break the law “because it’s stupid”. That would lead to anarchy.

  39. Sheri

    Do you think that Britain was morally right in prosecuting Alan Turing for homosexuality? Also, do you think they were right to give him a chemical castration?

    Cheers

    Francsois

  40. Francsois: Interesting question. People have choices about following laws–he could have left the country and gone elsewhere rather than break the law. If the person does break the law, then prosecution should be undertaken. I don’t know if this is a moral thing or not–maybe just logical. I suppose I would ask is it immoral to make a law and then ignore it? It’s certainly illogical, but I really don’t know whether “moral” fits.

    No, I do not think the punishment was appropriate. I believe he should have been banished to where his sexual orientation was not a problem. Perhaps the most appropriate “solution” would be to have homosexuals living in their own state/country where they can do whatever they want without offending anyone. But chemical castration was over the line.

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