from "Born that way" theory and Parenting & Family
Canadian Psychiatrist Joseph Berger, M.D., is a Distinguished Fellow with the American Psychiatric Association, a member of NARTH's Scientific Advisory Committee and author of The Independent Medical Examination in Psychiatry. In a preliminary response to the study, based upon media accounts, Dr. Berger observed:
This study is yet another claim based upon superficial research that may be purely coincidental to or entirely unrelated to the conclusion that the researchers are proposing.
There is a conceptual leap based upon nothing other than an obvious personal wish/bias, from what may be an interesting chance finding based upon a small population sample to a generalization about the etiology of homosexuality.
There is no substantive basis for any such link. It is far too early to do anything other than speculate about the possible causes of such a finding, if indeed repeated surveys with larger populations confirmed its accuracy.
There are obvious possible "environmental" explanations for such a finding, such as the tendency in many families to "baby" the younger or youngest, often thus "delaying" their maturity into an adult masculine identity. The tendency of many such younger/youngest children to play up the "cute" "wishing-to-please" baby-aspect, which can take on an almost feminine charming/seductive demeanor.
There are many alternative explanations to the findings. It is totally inappropriate for anyone to claim certainty in a study like this because such a claim is obviously political, not scientific in nature.
After reading the Bogaert study, Dr. Berger's reaction was even more strongly negative. He wrote:
It [Bogert's study] is rubbish. It should never have been published. I suspect it was not peer-reviewed properly or was reviewed by someone so biased and ignorant that they were unable to see the huge flaws and [are] essentially ignorant of the literature.
The first major glaring flaw is that the author starts by presuming "evidence" for some sort of biological causation of homosexuality, and what is the author's evidence? All the first references are to people such as Hamer, LeVay, Bailey, etc., whose work has been assessed and critiqued, and there have been no follow-up studies confirming the claims of any of these people.
They remind me of Bailey's quote some years ago following the paper in the British Journal of Psychiatry (Eckler, et al, 1986) on the adopted-away Minnesota twins, which found zero correlation for women and one pair for men, and that pair was twins with recognized developmental disturbances who found each other in their twenties and whose relationship was with each other. On the basis of that one bizarre exception [the report] concluded that there was strong evidence for a biological genetic component!
The next -- and absolutely fatal flaw is the author's assertion that siblings in the same family are exposed to identical environments in growing up.
Absolute utter rubbish.
Even identical children are treated differently from birth. [In families,] this one is said to be more assertive, or calmer, or louder, or more anxious, etc, etc.
When we come to children born at different times there are an ENORMOUS number of possible factors that might make for significant differences in upbringing that might effect how a child develops a sense of his identity and sexuality.
Sometimes parents' financial situation has improved between child 1 and 2 or 3, etc., and sometimes it has deteriorated. Sometimes the relationship between parents is wonderful, sometimes it is tense, or disastrous and pregnancy was an attempt by one or both to 'save' a deteriorating marriage.
Sometimes a woman becomes pregnant and during pregnancy or soon after birth a parent of her or her partner becomes ill or dies.
A very close friend in Israel just lost a son in his early 20's, a previously very healthy sturdy young man, to a nasty cancer. During this time a daughter had her fourth child, and a brother married two weeks after his brother died. What do people suppose might be the effects on the mother regarding this latest child or on the brother and his wife in terms of any child they might have in the next year or two, and even more so on a younger sister about to become engaged?
I could go on and on, but psycho-dynamically-oriented clinicians have learnt these things from long experience, while activist-propagandists produce ignorant papers with quite bizarre speculations based upon nothing more substantial than fantasy -- such as this absurd notion of some maternal 'immune response.' Absolute drivel.