Where’s the evidence on the homosexual research?

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    “Professor gives scientific evidence of homosexuality,” an article on Professor William Bradshaw’s research, needs some serious clarification. The article was a summary of a lecture Professor Bradshaw gave explaining the results of research he had done to show correlation, not causation, between ‘biological orientation’ and homosexuality.

    It seemed that Professor Bradshaw went on to say that we need to have more compassion on those suffering with homosexuality because that is just how they are – there is nothing they can do about it. Bradshaw claims, “no encouraging evidence suggests the possibility of behavioral and biological changes.” We found this an interesting statement considering Prof. Bradshaw’s background in micro and molecular biology – not in behavioral psychology.

    According to Prof. Bradshaw, having the attitude that the Atonement will help these people overcome these weaknesses is “detrimental to those who will suffer with homosexuality for the remainder of their lives” because “it is virtually impossible for these people to change their orientation, despite their righteous lifestyle.” (emphasis added). How does this compare with what Elder Oaks said in a 1995 General Conference talk on the issue: “Most of us are born with [or develop] thorns in the flesh, some more visible, some more serious than others. We all seem to have susceptibilities to one disorder or another, but whatever our susceptibilities, we have the will and the power to control our thoughts and our actions.” “… Beware the argument that because a person has strong drives toward a particular act, he has no power of choice and therefore no responsibility for his actions. This contention runs counter to the most fundamental premises of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” “We are responsible, and if we argue otherwise, our efforts become part of the propaganda effort of the Adversary.” (“Same-Gender Attraction,” Ensign, Oct. 1995, 7)

    We find it disturbing that a professor at BYU would use his position and circle of influence to perpetuate personal ideas that are directly contradictory to the teachings of the church he is supposed to represent. Prof. Bradshaw’s research was on biological correlations to homosexuality, but he went on to inappropriately make claims beyond his realm of research or experience, delving into the worlds of behavioral psychology and the basic doctrines of the Atonement. Prof. Bradshaw is correct in saying that we, as an LDS community, need to work better at helping our brothers and sisters who are struggling with homosexual tendencies. However, given his comments concerning the shortcomings of the Atonement and its power to heal, it might not be a bad idea for Prof. Bradshaw to spend less time studying homosexuality and more time studying the gospel. While none of us claim to be without weaknesses, we do seek to embrace and uphold the truth as it has been revealed to us by the prophets. Maybe this is just a big misunderstanding; maybe the Professor was misquoted, maybe we can’t read, maybe…but if not, we want answers!!

    Brad Miner

    Mesa, Ariz.

    Ryan Sorenson

    Chico, Calif.

    Brad Lowe

    Vancouver, Wash.

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