By Brittney McLaws
A BYU professor presented biological evidence and testimony supporting his view that homosexuality is not an acquired tendency and lifestyle.
In an off-campus lecture held Thursday, March 25, 2004, William Bradshaw, a professor of micro and molecular biology, discussed scientific data that he said proved homosexuality is a result of biological orientation.
“Biology absolutely has a role in causing homosexuality,” Bradshaw said.
To prove his statements, Bradshaw offered data ranging from clinical evidence, brain anatomy, birth order and genetic studies.
Bradshaw presented results of these studies that link biological and environmental conditions to homosexuality.
According to a study on handedness in the Psychological Bulletin, homosexuals are more likely to be left-handed than heterosexuals, he said.
“There is a clear correlation between homosexuality and non-right-handedness,” Bradshaw said.
Bradshaw said statistics show that homosexual individuals have a 39 percent greater probability of being left-handed than right-handed.
Other studies he cited said that homosexual men go through puberty significantly earlier than heterosexual men, homosexuality in men is linked with having at least two or three older brothers and finger length in homosexual women is increasingly masculineized.
After stating the causal effect of biology and homosexuality, Bradshaw spoke candidly about his personal convictions concerning his “Latter-day Saint brothers and sisters” who struggle with homosexuality.
“My gay brothers and sisters would say at this point in the lecture, ”Brother Bradshaw, we could have told you that before you did all of those experiments because our life experiences show us this relationship. Homosexuality is not a lifestyle we chose,”” Bradshaw said.
He expressed his deep concern about the harmful opinions and actions of the LDS community.
“In our LDS community there is not much discourse on this issue,” Bradshaw said. When there is, it is “not usually civil and it”s not always informed.”
Bradshaw said the LDS community must reach out and include those who are homosexual, because no encouraging evidence suggests the possibility of behavioral and biological changes.
Traditional means employed to overcome homosexuality include therapy, psychoanalysis, hypnosis, group therapy and religious group therapy.
Bradshaw said many of those people who have experienced success with these methods for a period eventually revert to homosexual tendencies. He said it is virtually impossible for many to change their orientation, despite their righteous lifestyle.
Bradshaw referred to an article in the “Ensign” that says the atonement is a sufficient means to resolve the problems of this world.
Bradshaw said though he is absolutely committed to the atonement of Jesus Christ, he feels this attitude is detrimental to those who will cope with homosexuality for the remainder of their lives.
Bradshaw estimated there are 132,200 gay members of the LDS church, or six members in every ward. Consequently, homosexuality affects 500,000 Latter-day Saints who have gay family members.
Bradshaw said he hopes the LDS community will change its attitudes towards homosexuality and spend some time worrying about those 130,000 members of the church.
Bradshaw”s lecture and statements left an impression on many students.
“He made a lot of good points,” said Tim Fife, a neuroscience major from Merced, Calif. “I definitely think the LDS community needs to look at this more closely instead of rejecting homosexuals. But we need to give heed to the counsel of the prophets and hopefully we can receive some understanding.”