The Nature of Sexuality

Todd just found a youtube video of the documentary Legacies about the treatment of Mormon gays by their church:

Spencer Kimball’s attitudes about sexuality, unfortunately, can only be characterized as superstition.

In the Mormon case, superstition is intertwined with claims to personal revelation. The latter is defined such that the superstition cannot be legitimately questioned but is buttressed by wishful thinking, suspension of disbelief, and hindsight attribution.

To break through the cycle of self-deception, I consider it critical that proponents of gender equality refer to homophobic religious assertions as superstition.

The nature of homosexuality is not a matter of faith but an empirical question that has been answered on the merit of the evidence.


6 thoughts on “The Nature of Sexuality

  1. I was so disgusted by the first video that I didn’t want to watch the other two.

    Unfortunately the church hasn’t changed all that much since then. They may not engage in reparative therapy (officially) anymore, but they still expect gays to be in heterosexual relationships and deny who they are.

  2. They certainly do not consider gays human beings. It is my understanding, however, that Gordon Hinckley instructed Mormon officers to cease from recommending straight marriages as a ‘cure’ for homosexuality.

    “4 Apr, 1987 – First Counselor Gordon B. Hinckley tells priesthood session of general conference that “marriage should not be viewed as a therapeutic step to solve problems such as homosexual inclinations or practices…” This reverses decades-long church policy formulated by Spencer W. Kimball.”
    http://www.i4m.com/think/sexuality/mormon_sex.htm

  3. Great videos. Thanks for posting them. I may use them in my class today.

    Alas, lest you think attempts to “cure” homosexuality were strictly in the past, I caught this news article this morning talking about current attempts to “treat” homosexuality in the UK:
    http://esciencenews.com/articles/2009/03/25/therapists.still.offering.treatments.homosexuality.despite.lack.evidence

    The practice isn’t widespread, but a significant minority of therapists in the UK participate or have participated in it.

    The article also mentions this site:
    http://www.treatmentshomosexuality.org.uk

    That site includes some of the stories of people who underwent such treatments.

  4. What really gets me is the absence of evidence that the cruelty helps anyone. In my opinion, professional associations and state regulators ought to withdraw accreditation from physicians and psychologists who torture their patients needlessly.

    If you torture, you can’t be a doctor.

  5. You can get much of the transcript for the documentary here.

    I hope you don’t mind if I post these videos on my blog with some more extensive comments on them. I’m feeling researchy now. And very pissed off.

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