Could it be that nearly everything we have been told about sexual orientation and gender identity is wrong? A report published in the journal, The New Atlantis, seems to challenge conventional secular perspectives on these issues. The paper by Dr. Lawrence Mayer and Dr. Paul McHugh surveys over 200 peer-reviewed studies done in various social science disciplines.
Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation summarizes the paper’s results. He says the major takeaway is that “some of the most frequently heard claims about sexuality and gender are not supported by scientific evidence.” Here are four of the most important conclusions from the paper.
First, the “belief that sexual orientation is an innate, biologically fixed human property” is not supported. In other words, people are not “born that way.”
Second, the “belief that gender identity is an innate, fixed human property independent of biological sex—so that a person might be a man trapped in a woman’s body or a woman trapped in a man’s body—is not supported by scientific evidence.”
Third, “only a minority of children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behavior will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood.” It goes on to say that children should not be encouraged to become transgender. They also should not be subjected to hormone treatments or surgery.
Fourth, people who are homosexual or transgender “have higher rates of mental problems (anxiety, depression, suicide), as well as behavioral and social problems (substance abuse, intimate partner violence), than the general population.”
The paper only focuses on the scientific research, but it obviously has implications for public policy. Incorrect scientific claims have been used to justify court rulings, government policies, and medical practices concerning sexual orientation and gender identity. They have not been based on sound science.