Monday 28 November 2022

A War on Reality (2)

In the first post in this series, I raised the question of how we got to a situation when intelligent people of good will could subscribe to the mantra Trans women are women, particularly when 'transwomen' includes a very diverse range of people, from those deserving our sympathy, to those deserving to be locked up.

One of the ironies of this situation is that many of those who are pushing back against this are people who identify as feminists, and particularly as lesbian or gay. For, amongst other things, the trans activists' manifesto undermines what it means to be a woman, what it means to be same-sex attracted, and so on.

I say this is an irony, because it seems to me that the trans activists have followed precisely the same path as the Pride movement before them.

The Pride movement has been remarkably successful in changing social attitudes to same-sex attraction, and it has done so by promoting untruths (not least with skilful sloganeering), by institutional capture, by using salami slice tactics, and by exploiting public sympathy for atypical (but appealing) examples.

Few people now will dare to dispute the idea that some people are 'born gay.' But there is no evidence to support this claim: there is no gay gene. There may be a slight genetic disposition in some individuals, but how genes are expressed is very much a result of environment. As far as patterns of sexual attraction are concerned, nurture (in the broadest sense) is a much larger factor than nature.

Few people now will dare to acknowledge that same-sex attraction is a disorder. Yet it was in the DSM (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) until relatively recently, and was removed, not because of any advances in scientific or medical knowledge, but as a result of a political campaign. It is certainly clear that active male homosexuals have worse physical and psychological health outcomes on a number of measures: this is not healthy behaviour. Yet to raise such issues is to be met with howls of 'homophobia' just as surely as questioning the appropriateness of a (trans-identifying) man winning a female sports competition will be greeted by cries of 'transphobia.'

Further, there is a massive conflation of meanings hidden under the word 'gay.' Activists love this ambiguity. Thus they claim that it was a crime to 'be gay' until recently, which is simply not true. Certain actions were criminal, but not same sex attraction itself. But the elision is deliberate, both because it serves the purpose of creating a victim-myth, and also it implicitly denies the possibility of being same-sex attracted and also chaste. 

As a result of this, few people will dare to point out that adopting a gay identity and lifestyle is in fact a choice. There are other possible responses to same sex attraction.

But does any of this matter? you may wonder.  Isn't it kinder not to raise these issues? After all, what business is it of ours what people do in their bedrooms?

Well yes, it does matter. For a start, any research into helping, or worse still attempts to help, people to free themselves from unwanted same sex attraction is entirely beyond the pale. The rhetoric around 'conversion therapy' is every bit as vehement as that around 'trans rights.' It may well be true that some people have been hurt by attempts at helping them in this way. But that is true of all therapies as they develop. We do not abandon the search for cancer therapies merely because initial trials show that some approaches risk doing more harm than good: we seek to learn from the trials and improve the therapies.  No, the reason for the hostility to such a therapeutic approach is two-fold: one is that it acknowledges that (at least) unwanted same sex attraction is a disorder that may be capable of being cured; and the second is a fear that an effective therapy may indeed be found. But in the current climate that is almost unthinkable.

Further, children are taught that they 'have a sexuality' and must be 'true to themselves;' with the real - and often realised - risk that a passing phase, such as having a crush on someone of the same sex, means that they believe that they are homosexual. And such a belief risks becoming self-fulfilling.  It is no coincidence that so many homosexuals report early sexual liaisons with people of the same sex; and it is no coincidence, either, that those promoting homosexuality so often campaign to reduce the age of consent; and that a staple of homo-erotic literature (until they cleaned up their act in the pursuit of their political agenda - see Kirk & Madsen After the Ball for details) was the seduction of boys by homosexual men.

Moreover, the kind approach to this issue laid the foundations for the kind approach to the trans issue: with the result that thousands of young women have now had unnecessary double mastectomies, for example. How kind is that?

As to what business is it of ours?... it is clear that private behaviour affects public behaviour, and that those who want rights in private today, want to be proselytising for them tomorrow.  It is also clear that caritas and veritas are never truly opposed. 

It results in lies being embedded in the law and society, such as the lie of equal marriage; when it is clear there is no real equivalence between a homosexual pairing, and the marriage of a man and a woman that will give rise to a family. These two things are different in kind, and to pretend that they are not is dishonest, and undermines our ability to understand what marriage truly is.

And all of this proceeds by way of salami slicing.  I remember the outrage at Section 28 in the 1980s.  It was alleged to be homophobic, as it implied that people might want to promote homosexuality in schools, which was, we were told, a complete lie.  Fast forward 30 years, and we see books promoting homosexuality in our schools.  And so on.

For the curious, who wish to know more about this, see The Global Sexual Revolution, by Gabriele Kuby, and Making Gay OK, by Robert Reilly, as starting points.

But I don't want to stop my analysis there: my agenda is not to blame same-sex attracted people. Rather, I think we need to look in the mirror, and that will be the subject of my next post in this series.

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