Monday, September 19, 2011

Sexual Fluidity

Description: piedpiper

Sexual Fluidity: How You Too Can Become Gay or Bisexual

By Eric Holmberg

 

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned…

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

THE SECOND COMING, William Butler Yeats

 

Description: Diamond2In the twenty months I spent researching homosexuality, or more broadly the LGBT movement[1], for a series of videos we are producing on the subject[2], I read all manner of books, scholarly papers and articles. More than half of them were written by people either inside the movement or supportive of its cause.  Among the most fascinating and revelatory in this latter category – although for the reasons the author surely didn’t intended – was Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire by Lisa M. Diamond. 

 

Dr. Diamond earned her Ph.D. in Human Development from Cornell and is presently a very popular professor at the University of Utah, where her research lab is considered “one of the hottest academic domains on campus.”[3]  She has received numerous accolades, awards and research grants, including ones from the National Institute for Mental Health and the Templeton Foundation, and has become, in the words of the New York Times, a “newly prominent sexologist.”  She is, in other words, the future.

 

In 2008 she authored Sexual Fluidity (Harvard University Press), a popular book that has placed her on everything from USA Today to a televised audience with the undisputed queen of pop culture/religion, Oprah.  (She entered her Highness’ presence to the strains of Jill Sobule’s hit song, “I Kissed a Girl.”) The book was based in large part on her unprecedented thirteen-year longitudinal study of one-hundred lesbian, bisexual, heterosexual, and “unlabeled” women, whom she has been interviewing every two years since 1995, tracking changes in their sexual identities, attractions, and behaviors over that time. In a nutshell, Diamond sought to make sense of a curious and growing phenomenon she noted in the book’s opening paragraph:

 

Description: Sexual FluidityIn 1997, the actress Anne Heche began a widely publicized romantic relationship with the openly lesbian comedian Ellen DeGeneres after having had no prior same-sex attractions or relationships. The relationship with DeGeneres ended after two years, and Heche went on to marry a man.  The actress Cynthia Nixon of the HBO series Sex in the City developed a serious relationship with a woman in 2004 after ending a fifteen-year relationship with a man.  Julie Cypher left a heterosexual marriage for the musician Melissa Etheridge in 1988.  After twelve years together, the pair separated and Cypher – like Heche – has returned to heterosexual relationships. In other cases, longtime lesbians have unexpectedly initiated relationships with men, sometimes after decades of exclusively same-sex ties (examples include the feminist folk singer Holly Near, the activist and writer Jan Clausen, and Deborah Sundahl, a founding editor of the lesbian magazine On Our Backs).  What’s going on?  Are these women confused?  Were they just going through a phase before, or are they in one now?[4]

 

Because this book has become so influential and further because it is so representative and thus revealing of the worldviews that are guiding and empowering the LGBT movement – and are now being rapidly mainstreamed – I have written the following fairly in-depth analysis; focusing on seven key points that every person who supports traditional[5] sexuality and marriage seriously needs to understand. 

 

Description: gaydar-testNo. 1: No bias here! Actually this first insight was not found directly in the book.  And that is precisely what is significant.  Nowhere did Diamond mention her own sexual “orientation” or preference.  Curious, I did a Google search.  The first twenty or so links, most of them rooted in academia, revealed nothing one way of the other.  Finally, I stumbled onto a Salt Lake Tribune article (2/14/2011) where she was quoted asking herself: “Can a lesbian who studies sexuality really be happy in Utah?”

 

After two years of studying all things LGBT, I know what the movement’s response to her being a homosexual will be and why Diamond and her reviewers neglected to mention it.  It is precisely the same thing that was said when it was revealed (having gone unreported by the mainstream press for days) that Vaughn Walker, the judge who ruled that California’s Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage in California was unconstitutional, was himself involved in a ten-year long homosexual relationship.  It’s irrelevant!  Gay judges or sexologists are quite able to check their sexual proclivities at the door and do their jobs with excellence, honesty and equitability, thank-you.

 

As we will see later in this article, the implicit – and sometimes even explicit – presumption here is that homosexuals and other valiant explorers of the sexual and gender-identity frontiers are more enlightened than the rest of us.  No bias here; no rainbow-colored glasses that can skew the data points they are evaluating.  We can and should put our full faith in the rightness and righteousness of their pronouncements.

 

But turn things around and have a Christian judge decide in favor of DOMA[6] or an orthodox, pro-traditional marriage Jewish sexologist cite evidence suggesting that children who have been physically or sexually abused or are victims of detached or abusive parenting are more likely to develop same-sex attractions and suddenly a chorus of voices from the LGBT movement are condemning them and claiming bias.

 

 

 

Description: Born Gay 2No. 2: The “born-gay” hoax.  Diamond acknowledges – presenting her own research as well as citing studies conducted by others – that an individual’s sexual orientation is determined by a confluence of biological, cognitive and environmental/experiential factors and is further subject to change.  Now because this is a position that goes against the received traditions of the LGBT movement (to quote Lady GaGa’s hit song, we are all supposed to have been “Born this Way”) and worse, that could also be used to support some conservative positions on issues relating to homosexuality, she is somewhat cagey in the way she presents her case.  Points are made and then qualified to explain why – contra the logic of the point she just made – they don’t really provide any support for the idea that homosexuality is not innate or immutable or that people can willfully engage in behaviors or associations that can provoke same-sex inclinations and therefore potentially introduce some element of personal responsibility. (I will address this in more detail in No. 4.)

 

Perhaps the most concise statement she makes that refutes the “born-gay” myth was found in relation to a study conducted by two sociologists in the 1970s:

 

They concluded that early childhood influences on sexuality (whatever they may be) were not immutable (emphasis mine), and that most individuals were unaware of their own capacity for change in sexuality over time.[7] 

 

As she presents her own research throughout the book, she essentially makes this same point over and over again.  And then towards the end she makes a startling admission.  After again stating one of her primary theses – that we “simply need to shift from treating (sexual) orientations as rigidly fixed to viewing them as multidimensional and dynamic” – she drops this bombshell:

“Some (gay) activists feel that the climate is not yet right for such a shift in our thinking about sexual freedom. Given the recent resurgence of conservative antigay activism (much of it focused on banning same-sex marriage), it may well be that for now, the safest way to advocate for lesbian/gay/bisexual rights is to keep propagating a deterministic model: sexual minorities are born that way and can never be otherwise. If this is an easier route to acceptance (which may in fact be the case), is it really so bad that it is inaccurate?”(emphasis mine)[8]

 

When Diamond was on Oprah, it was fascinating to watch – as the fallacies behind this “useful lie” began to emerge – how the host suddenly looked at Diamond with an expression of clear consternation and asked, “But I always thought that people were born either gay or straight?”

 

You might not yet get it Oprah, but the thoughtful viewer should.  An old, shop-worn paradigm – one without the support of science and also not in sync with the end-game of the continuing sexual revolution – was being discarded.  And a new one was beginning to emerge.

 

More on that in No. 7.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description: aNo. 3: Defining deviancy down.  For the sake of both the record and clarity, I quote Dr. Diamond’s definition of sexual fluidity:

 

Sexual fluidity, quite simply, means situation-dependent flexibility in women’s sexual responsiveness.[9]  This flexibility makes it possible for some women to experience desires for either men or women under certain circumstances, regardless of their overall sexual orientation.  In other words, though women – like men – appear to be born with distinct sexual orientations[10], these orientations do not provide the last world on their sexual attractions and experiences.  Instead, women of all orientations may experience variation in their erotic and affectional feelings as they encounter different situations, relationships and life stages.[11] 

 

as they encounter different situations, relationships and life stages.  Grab that thought and put it under your hat.

 

Diamond then cites another study conducted in San Francisco during the 1980s of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual subjects:

 

They came to the conclusion that some degree of fluidity was a general property of sexuality (emphasis mine), a view that already had a steady group of adherents at that time, and which continues to be influential.[12] 

 

It may shock some to hear me say this, but I largely agree, adding the following Biblical-worldview-based qualifier: all this is a “general property of fallen sexuality.” 

 

The fact is that each of us was created by God to be heterosexual.  Furthermore, God being the infinitely creative and diversity-loving Unity that He[13] is, we were also created with differing temperaments and cognitive abilities that respond differently to the various stimuli/situations we encounter in our journey through life.  Because of the fall of man into sin and the spiritual entropy that entered our cosmos as a result, each of us is also now born a sinner and into a fallen world.  As a result, we are born with varying degrees of heterosexual inclinations, meaning an innate attraction to the opposite sex of our gender as defined by our chromosomes and corroborated over 99% of the time by our physiology (genitalia, hormone ratios and hundreds of other gender-specific differences).  That congenital orientation towards heterosexuality (which again varies in intensity from person to person) can then be impacted by a broad range of environmental influences that, depending on their type, frequency and magnitude, can incline a person towards all manner of deviant sexual practices as specifically defined or alluded to by scripture.[14]  Some are volitional, connected to the choices an individual makes; many – particularly when the person is young – are involuntary, are things that happen to them

 

With all this is mind, anyone can potentially become almost anything as far as their sexual appetites and practices are concerned

 

The million dollar question then becomes: Do we want to hold to the standards as defined by God, to the notion that there is a narrow spectrum in which our sexuality can operate that produces true and long-lasting happiness and health for both the individual and society?  Or do we want to throw up or hands and simply say that anything goes?

 

Description: FluidityNo. 4: My “emergent moment” made me do it.  Here we enter the real wild and wacky, nitty-gritty.  In Chapter 8, the good doctor suggests we reject the “slavish adherence to a rigid and obviously ill-fitting model of sexuality[15]” that is sexual determinism.  You know, thinking that boys will be boys and girls will be girls; that men and women (and yes, a penis and a vagina), well, they just go together.  Or as George Jones and Tammy Wynette sang:

 

We go together like the storm and rain

Just like the fire that needs the flame

Just like the picture needs the frame

We go together

“We Go Together” (Sammy Lyons;Danny Walls;Norris Wilson)

 

By the logic of Diamond’s thesis, that song and sentiment – if limited to a male/female relationship (can anyone imagine George singing it as a duet with Waylon Jennings or, for that matter, Jack White?) – might still play in the Deep South and/or among poorly educated Christian fundamentalists.  But for progressives and sexual pioneers it is high time we step into the 21st century and embrace a new model.  And that would be dynamical systems theory.

 

“A dynamical systems approach challenges (sexual determinism), suggesting that development is never truly complete, and hence additional transformations are always possible, whether at age sixteen or age sixty. Such transformation is called emergence. This term refers to the coming-into-being of novel behaviors or experiences as a result of dynamic interactions between people and their environments.[16]

 

Because emergence can take place at any point in the life course, dynamical systems theory would maintain that we can never definitively identify the end state of a woman’s sexuality.”[17]

 

Got that? 

 

Well let’s require of the doctor’s model the same thing we would expect of any thesis that purports to be truly scientific: repeatability and consistent applicability to a broad range of behavior that falls within the definitions outlined in the model.  What other “coming-into-being of novel behaviors or experiences as a result of dynamic interactions between people and their environments” can we legitimize using her dynamical systems approach?

Description: Date Rape

A popular college athlete is approached at a party by a girl that is infatuated with him and has had one drink too many. He accepts her advances and they eventually find themselves upstairs in a private room.  She willingly goes along with the foreplay but suddenly, on the cusp of the big moment, comes to her senses and tries to stop his advances.  Embracing the momentum of their “dynamic interaction” he proceeds anyway.

 

That’s not rape…just an emergent moment.  

 

Description: ashley madisonAway from home on a business trip, a husband is having dinner alone in a nice, quiet restaurant.  He begins thinking about how the fire has left the marriage, how his wife has become overweight (three kids can do that to you), distracted, disinterested in the romance and erotic energy that once made their marriage so exciting.  Suddenly he senses the gaze of a stranger, looks up and locks eyes with what seems to be the most attractive, interesting woman he has seen in years outside of a movie screen. A conversation ensues and a wave of amour and lust rolls over him that makes him feel like he’s eighteen again.  Suddenly he has an epiphany:  I might be sixty but my development as a person is not yet complete.  Additional transformation is still possible.  He invites her back to his room for a drink and is thrilled when she says, “Yes.”[18]

 

The irrationality and moral depravity of our culture can be seen in that a slight majority of people (hopefully) will condemn this man’s actions in relation to committing adultery with another woman.  But if it was a man he chose to have sex with – coming to terms with the yet unexplored territory of his own fluid, sexual potentialities – many (particularly in the LGBT community) would applaud his bravery and honesty.  And if the tables were reversed and it was the wife who was away from home and then fell into the arms of another woman, her foray into lesbianism would be celebrated by millions of women, homosexual and straight alike, and could very well land her on a talk show or the pages of O (Oprah’s magazine).

Description: Gay Change

No. 4: Change doesn’t really mean change.   In 1997, researchers in Canada published a peer-reviewed study in the International Journal of Epidemiology.  The study sought to analyze mortality rates among gay and bisexual men.  Among other things it found that:

 

“Gay and bisexual men in this urban centre are now experiencing a life expectancy similar to that experienced by all men in Canada in the year 1871.”[19]

 

After the study was published, the researchers were nonplussed to learn that some people and organizations that were concerned about the normalization of homosexuality dared to cite their study as evidence that maybe this wasn’t such a great idea, either for homosexuals or the larger society.  The researchers then published a statement condemning such applications of their research, calling them “homophobic.”

 

Diamond’s research – confirming as it does other studies that demonstrate that people’s sexual “orientations” can and do change – anticipated a similar problem on the horizon.  Might people use her data to suggest that homosexuals can become straight?  Worse, that therapists and ministries can actually help facilitate that transformation?  And worst of all, that certain situations and stimuli can bend people towards being attracted to the same sex, perhaps introducing an element of choice and responsibility? 

 

We can’t have that!  And so the book is dotted with statements by Diamond insisting that her data absolutely can’t be used to support    such ridiculous and troubling applications.  Why?  Well because she says so!

 

Of course, a number of people (like me) have had the temerity to connect the dots in these ways anyway.  And so Diamond became “livid over what she characterized as ‘a willful misrepresentation of (her) findings.’”[20] Multiple statements to that affect – in the press, in interviews, on video – followed.  Explaining why such interpretations and applications were wrong, she told the Salt Lake Tribune:

 

“Experiencing one’s sexuality as fluid and variable is not the same thing as choosing a lifestyle,” she said. “The women I talked to had no control over changes to their sexuality over the years. They couldn’t predict or control them.”[21]

 

“No control” over their sexuality; no ability to “control” the new desires they were experiencing?!  If it was a man suggesting that women were unable to control their sexual desires (the nature of them and their focus are irrelevant), he would no doubt be accused of chauvinism.  And again, our sixty-year-old adulterer referenced above would no doubt love to be able to trot out that excuse and have it hold water. “I just couldn’t control these new desires!”

 

The bottom-line here?  Diamond simply sees no need or moral imperative for these same-sex desires to be controlled.  If a woman finds herself suddenly attracted to another woman sexually she absolutely should embrace this “emergent moment” and explore this “novel form of sexual and emotional experience,”  “broadening (her) individual opportunity for joy and pleasure over (her) life’s course instead of cutting them off.” The fact that Diamond is herself a lesbian is, of course, completely irrelevant.

 

In addition, her book, articles and interviews are peppered with data suggesting that there are all manner of controllable situations and social dynamics that increase a person’s openness or susceptibility to same-sex inclinations. One of them, not surprisingly, is simply being around people who approve of homosexuality and are interested in experimenting with or pursuing it.  In a fascinating interview with the New York Times, Anne Fausto-Sterling, a professor of biology and gender studies at Brown University was refreshingly honest about her own journey into lesbianism:

 

Description: AnneFaustoSterling_000"My interest in gender issues preceded my own life changes. When I first got involved in feminism, I was married. The gender issues did to me what they did to lots of women in the 1970's: they infuriated me. My poor husband, who was a very decent guy, tried as hard as he could to be sympathetic. But he was shut out of what I was doing. The women's movement opened up the feminine in a way that was new to me, and so my involvement made possible my becoming a lesbian.”[22]

 

Again, let’s break the logic of this apart by putting the same shoe on another foot: e.g. the married boss with the sixty-hour work week who is surrounded by attractive women at his office who want to unwind after work, are fine with sex that has no strings attached, or perhaps want to “sleep” their way up the corporate ladder.  Any good pastor or counselor would warn him that he had better take control of his circumstances before his circumstances take control of him.  And there is enough residue of Biblical morality floating about (or maybe it’s just disdain for successful men) that few people will buy the excuse if he did start committing adultery with one or more women at his office that he “just couldn’t control the unpredictable desires that surprised and then overwhelmed him.”

 

Description: Mother Jones 2In fact, Diamond in an interview with Mother Jones, a liberal, pro-gay rights magazine, even acknowledged that people could control their sexual proclivities by taking charge of their environment:

 

"…but you can change the structure of your social life, and that might lead to changes in the feelings you experience."[23]

 

In her book, Diamond uses another tack to try and counteract any hint that fluidity/change could involve any aspect of choice, control or responsibility:

 

“These assumptions are illogical, unscientific, and just plain wrong. Change, choice, and control are three totally separate phenomena.  Individuals undergo plenty of drastic psychological changes that they did not choose and over which they have little control. Consider puberty: Who would choose the perplexing, confusing, sometimes overwhelming changes in sexual feelings that come with that stage of development? Can they be stopped? What about the notable decline in sexual attraction that often happens in a failing marriage? Most individuals feel powerless to rekindle their former passions (or to extinguish attractions for a new and more desirable partner). And what about the well-documented declines in sex drive that often accompany late life; are those chosen?”[24]

 

First, puberty is a completely normal stage of human development – one without any moral implications – that is driven by significant biological changes in hormone levels and physiology.  How, pray tell, is this even remotely analogous to fifty-year-old divorcee’s sudden interest in her female yoga instructor? 

 

The other two examples she raises are bit more applicable.  But tellingly, Diamond misses the point with both of them.  The decline in sexual attraction that can either damage a marriage or is the result of a failing one is not a good thing that any sensible couple or society should just roll over and accept, much less embrace or celebrate (as Diamond and her ilk want to do with women’s forays into lesbianism).  The majority of couples – as they navigate life and its many ups and downs together – will have to come to terms with those seasons where the emotion of love and/or erotic feelings wane.  Are they to then just call it quits?  And when they do, are we to applaud?  How many successful, life-long marriages would have failed if one or both of the partners hadn’t held on and worked through the vagaries of their feeling and passions? As for “declines in sex drive that often accompany late life”: of course they aren’t chosen.  But again, this is not a good thing, something we celebrate, but rather a fact of life: we all grow old and as we do so our ability to play sports, have sex and eat whatever we want to, among many other things, diminishes (though not, thankfully, the capacity to love).  What this has to with “changing sides” sexually is beyond me. 

 

Sadly, this type of illogical and amoral nonsense now passes as “science,” is being taught in our schools, and is being used to disciple a whole generation of young people growing up on shows like Glee and that are now open to all manner of sexual experimentation. 

 

Description: Rose glassesNo. 5: Diamond (and presumably people like her) are the only ones who can really discover the truth concerning alternative sexualities.  Why? Because she is apparently not hobbled by an agenda born of her own personal presuppositions and worldview!

 

Check this out:

 

“Such an approach (“brushing (her discoveries) under the rug” to keep people from misinterpreting them) offers no real protection against political distortion: the truth is that any scientific data on sexual orientation can be – and pretty much have been – appropriated to advance particular worldviews (emphasis mine)… In short, there are no “safe” scientific findings – all models of sexuality are dangerous in the present political climate.  The only way to guard against the misuse of scientific findings is to present them as accurately and completely as possible, making explicit the conclusions that they do and do not support.  This is my goal in this book.”[25]

 

Implicit here is that she herself is somehow magically immune from any “particular worldview” that could potentially cause her to “appropriate” – meaning twist – the scientific data to advance her own political, sociological or sexual agenda.  She alone can present the scientific findings “accurately and completely” and give her audience “conclusions” that they can then take to the bank.  Amazing!

 

Or consider this observation from the last chapter of the book:

 

“Teenagers can readily find unbiased information that treats same-sex orientations as normal variations of human sexuality rather than as illness or spiritual failings.”[26] 

 

So every therapist who believes that homosexuality can be rooted, for example, in emotional and/or sexual trauma is biased?  Every Christian who sees sex outside of “husband and wife for life” marriage is a bigot?  We’re to believe that the only people who are “unbiased” (read educated and enlightened) are those who view “same-sex orientations” as completely “normal?”  Wow!

 

As I have demonstrated throughout this article, the good doctor has her own worldview (in spades not diamonds) that has colored her research and created a “model of sexuality” that is the antithesis of “safe”, not to mention “scientific.”

 

Description: rumor_of_angels-200x317In his book, A Rumor of Angels, sociologist Peter L. Berger demonstrates how socially-conditioned worldviews inevitably impact everyone, including those who discount certain worldviews because they are socially-conditioned.  People like Lisa Diamond are quick to raise the specter of relativism in relation to others, particularly with whom they disagree.  Anyone who holds to notions of truth and moral absolutes based upon religion or received traditions, they say, are hobbled by the fact that they have been socially conditioned to believe as they do. Therefore, their assertions can be marginalized, discounted and even mocked as anti-intellectual or unscientific.   Berger himself, as a “methodological atheist,” once smugly operated on the same premise.  But one day he realized that his own beliefs were equally impacted by his own historical and cultural context; that is the relativism/deconstructionism of liberal academia.  And one of the foundational axioms of that community – that “all truth is relative” – is only meaningful if they exempt themselves and this axiom from their own “razor,” their own truth claim.  Berger had the intellectual integrity to see the hypocrisy of this and then write a book exploring, among other things, this fallacy.   

 

Diamond can try to exempt herself from the charge that her assessment of the data that she and others have assembled has been colored by her own social conditioning.  But the fact is that she is every bit a fundamentalist as the old-school Baptist who when confronted with the specter of homosexuality responds, “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!”

 

Description: MeadSamoaNo. 6: The “noble savage” returns.  First, some background:

 

In the new documentary film I Am two of life’s most important questions are explored:  “What is wrong with the world?” and “What can I do to make it better?”[27] For non-Christians and particularly those of a humanist bent, the problem with mankind is not intrinsic to man and human nature; they way we are born.[28]  Rather it is extrinsic, caused by something that happens to us after we enter the world.  Emerson, Marx, Freud, Nietzsche, among many others, postulated their own theories as to what went wrong as well as suggested their own particular solutions.   But their theories were rooted in a broader idea that came into vogue during the Renaissance and flourished in the Romantic Era. Perhaps best summed up in the memorable quote by Rousseau – “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains” – the grand postulate was that the unfortunate accretions of civilization, most notably Christian civilization, had taken man from his natural state, the way he was born, and forced him to adapt, to accept a variety of manners and mores that were not only unnatural, rooted as they were in revelation rather than science and rationality, but crippling to human health and happiness.  From the Earl of Shaftesbury (1671-1713) to anthropologist Margaret Mead (1901-1978), many “intellectuals” since have been fascinated by the notion of the noble savage, primitive cultures living in a supposed state of natural grace that can help us moderns get back in touch with our true selves.

Description: Richard_Frances_BurtonNot surprisingly, sex and sexual mores were a common focus of study. Sir Richard Francis Burton, for example, analyzed Indian culture extensively and admiringly and was responsible for publishing an English edition of the Kama Sutra and helping launch a sexual revolution that challenged Victorian sensibilities.  

 

Description: MargaretMeadAndSamoa2With the publication of Coming of Age in Samoa (1928), Margaret Mead continued in the same vein as Burton and added significantly to the revolution.  A student of Franz Boas – a key architect of cultural relativism and a “noble-savage-oriented” anthropology – Mead’s book went on to become a huge best-seller and help spark and shape the sea-change in sexual mores that occurred in the 1960s. 

 

Mead spent all of nine-months studying the people of Samoa, looking for evidence to support her and Boas’ worldview.  Not too surprisingly she claimed to have found it.  In this South Pacific paradise the people, she wrote:

“…scoff at infidelity...believe explicitly that one love will quickly cure another...adultery does not necessarily mean a broken marriage… divorce is a simple, informal matter...Samoans welcome casual homosexual practices...In such a setting, there is no room for guilt.”

 

Progressives, of course, loved all this and quickly began using her “research” to first question and then attack the moral standards that had been, in their minds, imposed upon the West by the Judeo-Christian ethos. And even after Mead’s work was exposed as largely fraudulent – a victim of preconceived ideas she set out to confirm, Description: Mead Hoaxpoor methodology and some locals who decided to prank the young Westerner[29] – the damage was done.  Coupled with Alfred Kinsey’s equally skewed and biased research, the “scientific” underpinnings for the sexual revolution were established in the minds of millions of people who were looking to justify in their minds what their hearts and their genitalia had chosen.

 

It is fascinating and revealing that Mead’s (bisexual) and Kinsey’s (bisexual, voyeur, sado-masochist, fetishist and advocate of open marriages and sexual experimentation among his staff) personal sexual proclivities are rarely mentioned by fans of their research.[30]

 

Dr. Diamond (lesbian) continues this troubling tradition.  She opens Sexual Fluidity with a noble savage anecdote that supposedly supports one of her book’s – and the LGBT movement’s – primary theses: “that sexual identities (do) not exist as fixed types but were created and given meaning through social interactions and cultural ideologies.”[31]

 

“In 1984 the anthropologist Gilbert Herdt published a now-famous account of ritualized homosexuality among adolescent boys in Melanesia.  What was notable about this practice was its developmental specificity.  Unmarried men pursued only same-sex encounters during their adolescent years out of a belief that this practice was necessary for them to reach full maturity as men.  Once they were adults, same sex activity ceased (with a few exceptions); they then married and pursued only other-sex activity.  Herdt’s account of such an abrupt developmental transition from same-sex to other-sex sexuality showed that our Western notion of “fixed” sexual “orientations” was culturally specific.  We might view homosexuality as an inborn predisposition, but other cultures expected and even arranged for drastic changes in same-sex and other-sex desires and practices over the life course.”[32]

 

Like Burton, Boas, and Mead before her, Diamond wants us to learn an important lesson from the simple people of Melanesia: that we should “expect” and even “arrange” for same-sex desires and practices to occur over life’s course.  And the good doctor, of course, is here to help show us the way.

 

Well let’s have some truth in advertising, shall we?  What can we really learn from the men of Melanesia?  Well, for starters that the world is charged with spirits and occult magic.  And among magic’s most foundational principals is that of sympathy or imitation: that through a ritual action that imitates the likeness, character or movement of something, that thing can be affected or its energy absorbed into the person(s) enacting the ritual.  And what was the focus, the nature of the “same-sex encounters” these Melanesian adolescents ritualistically engaged in?  The ingestion of semen through oral or anal copulation.  Were they ingesting this semen because they were enjoying the inherent fluidity of their sexuality; free as they were from “Western notions of fixed sexual orientations?”  

 

No, they were taking semen into their bodies under the occult and profoundly unscientific belief that it would make them more virile as adults. 

 

Isn’t that special? 

 

And what in the world does this have to do with anything that is being debated in our culture about homosexuality?[33]

 

 

 

 

 

Description: RevolutionNo. 7: Fashioning a brave, new world.  We now close with the real crux of the matter.  Sexual Fluidity purports to be first and foremost a scientific treatise; a book based upon clinical, dispassionate research that then presents a number of ways people and society can better think and act in order to harmonize with its findings.  In doing this it further suggests, as we’ve already seen, that it is free of any ideological agenda.  As Sergeant Joe Friday famously declared in Dragnet, “All we want are the facts.”  

 

Well the real fact is that Sexual Fluidity is a classic example of just how “soft” a science sociology can be.  Brimming with conjecture, qualitative analysis, cherry-picked “facts” that are spun to serve the author’s thesis (e.g. homosex among Melanesian adolescents) and reliance upon questionable survey groups[34], Diamond’s personal a priori commitment to the normalcy, healthfulness, and transformative power of homosexual relationships has created a book that is far more a manifesto than a work of hard science.  With it she joins the ranks of the many other influential homosexual writers – from Gore Vidal to Patrick (nee Patricia) Califia – in trying to create a brave, new world of sexual freedom by taking a sledge hammer to any vestige of Biblical morality and sexual determinism.  The only difference is that at least the latter group is not trying to cloak their advocacy under the guise of scientific research.

 

Note the not-so-subtle editorializing and boosterism in the following excerpts from Sexual Fluidity; just a few of the many I could cite.  (The emphases are mine.)

 

“Perhaps instead of arguing that gay/lesbian/bisexual individuals deserve civil rights because they are powerless to change their behavior, we should affirm the fundamental rights of all people to determine their own emotional and sexual lives.[35]

 

In the final analysis, perhaps the most important characteristic of human sexual natureis its capacity for expansion, for broadening an individual’s opportunities for joy and pleasure over the life course instead of cutting them off. Female sexual fluidity heightens this basic capacity, facilitating the development of unexpected, situation-specific desires that might not change a woman’s overall sexual disposition, but just might change her life. In open, accepting environments, fluidity can create unprecedented opportunities for self-discovery and reflection. Not a single one of the women in my sample, not even those who have re-identified as heterosexual or made commitments to male partners, regrets her same-sex experiences. To the contrary, the vast majority were grateful for having had the opportunity to reflect deeply on their emotional and physical desires and to explore their own capacity for intimacy. Whether society chooses to support or punish such opportunities, of course, is up to us.[36]

 

As a society we have made tremendous strides in fostering tolerance and acceptance of sexual diversity Attitudes toward same-sex sexuality have improved dramatically over the past decade… Sexual minorities populate television shows, movies, magazines, and books. Teenagers can readily find unbiased information that treats same-sex orientations as normal variations of human sexuality rather than as illness or spiritual failings.[37] 

 

Some people will embrace such changes because they involve more expansive understandings of all individuals’ sexual possibilities.[38] 

 

Rather, we require an altogether new type of model… (that) makes no assumptions about authentic sexual types or normal developmental pathways.”[39]

 

Even Aldous Huxley would likely be running for the exits at this point.

 

Diamond sums up her agenda – for surely that it what it is – well in a comment she made to the pro-gay, online magazine Queer Gnosis:

 

“We need to get over this anxiety about sexuality.  It would be an amazing thing if a thirteen year old went into health class was told, “You are at the beginning of an incredible journey.  I’m going to give you some tools and strategies for figuring out what you want and how to get it.[40]  But you are in the beginning of an adventure and it’s going to be great!”  That would be a really profound transformation.”[41]

 

If all this was just the loopy thinking of small cadre of sexual revolutionaries operating in what were once the fringes of society, we would have reason enough for concern.  But we need to understand that these activists have all but won the day; that all of this is now playing itself out on the “Main Street” of our schools, courts, legislative bodies, entertainment industries, etc.; that what was once a marginal sexual cult is about to redefine our culture

 

I began this article by stating that Diamond and the worldview she represents is “the future.”  And the future is here now.

 

Americans, and particularly Christians, need to wake up and realize that “a rough beast” has been born, fed and is now slouching towards the “public square” with more power to destroy the remaining vestiges of Christian freedom and civilization in America than even the twisted economic policies of the messianic State.   Marriage, progeny and family is both the first and last thing mentioned about man in the Bible because it is the most important thing relative to human culture.  If we get this wrong, there is no political, economic or military stratagem that will save us.

 

deusregnum@gmail.com

 



[1] Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender

[2] . TEN THINGS…Every Christian Needs to Know about Homosexuality will be the first release.  When it is complete you can learn more at www.tenthings.tv or order it from Amazon or your favorite Christian online retailer.

[3] The Salt Lake Tribune, 2/14/2011

[4] Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire, Lisa M. Diamond, (Harvard University Press, 2009), p.1

[5] I use this term instead of the more accurate descriptive “biblical” so as to include the many people who are not Bible-believers.  Because biblical values were so thoroughly inculcated into our culture by previous generations, they have become popularly known as “traditional.”  But understand that without the influence of scripture, traditional morality can and has come to mean almost anything in non-Judeo/Christian cultures, including fornication, polygamy, misogyny, child marriage, clitoridectomies, temple prostitution, etc.   

[6] Defense of Marriage Act, a bill passed by the Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

[7] Sexual Fluidity, p.4

[8] Ibid, pp. 256,257

[9] Both her research and other studies strongly indicate that this phenomenon is more prevalent in women than men.  Diamond offers no clear conclusion as to why this is the case.  But anyone with a Biblical worldview, a little common sense and a grasp of human nature and the differences between men and woman can easily intuit the answer.  Men, taken as a whole, were designed by God to be goal and performance oriented.  They are wired in a broad, analogical sense to “take dominion and subdue” and, in their fallenness, can easily forget the joy of experiencing and savoring the process.  Women, again on average, are more relational, experiential and nurturing; savoring the journey for them is as or even more important than reaching the destination.  This is wonderfully – although for many, frustratingly – imaged in both the act of making love as well as with one of its intended consequences, begetting children.  Men are often “raring and ready to go,” women normally need to “warm up to it.”  Left to themselves, men are content to climax fairly quickly and roll over and go to sleep; women more slowly and then they want to savor the emotional “afterglow.”  Mature people seek to understand these natural tendencies and compensate for them.  (And here Christian couples have a leg up, at least epistemologically, because they know they are to consciously seek to “become one” (Gen 2:24),  to “esteem the other more highly than oneself” (Phil 2:3; 1 Cor. 13:4,5), and to understand that their bodies belong to the other (1 Cor. 7:4).)  And when children are produced, the man naturally aspires to work and  provide for his family (which, yes, does include love and nurture both before and after the baby is born) while the woman is tasked with carrying the baby for nine months, nursing her and then providing the love and care for life that only a mother can provide.  Add it all up: women are wired to be more into the person, into the emotional and relational aspects as far a coupling is concerned.  A so when a woman, particularly one who has been hurt or left generally dissatisfied with her relationship with men (sadly, a lot of knuckle-headed men bear much of responsibility for this angst) and who then finds a woman with whom she can emotionally connect, the potential for sexualizing the relationship increases significantly. (This becomes even more likely when the culture becomes more accepting of same sex relationships, a point that is examined in more detail later in this article.)  And this is precisely what Dr. Diamond heard from her subjects over and over again.  The entire 6th chapter of the book (Attractions to “the Person, Not the Gender”) documents cases of women who were attracted to each other first as persons, then became intimate friends…and then “lovers.”

[10] This is an example of the muddled thinking that pops up from time to time throughout the book; a case of trying to have one’s cake and eating it too.  One minute she says that a person’s sexual orientation is a product of both nature (born that way) and nurture; here she states that we are born with a certain orientation already in place.  Which is it?  Author, teacher, social critic and lesbian Camille Paglia, famous for being refreshingly indifferent to politically-correct thought and speech, is much more straightforward and helpful here.  She has repeatedly stated the obvious: nature (Christians would say God) designed us to be heterosexual; no one is born “gay;” that something has to happen to someone at some point in a person’s life to cause them to be attracted to the same sex (a point that Diamond makes over and over again in her book) and/or to not be attracted to the opposite sex.  (Not that there is anything wrong or immoral about that, Paglia would quickly add.)

[11] Sexual Fluidity, p.3

[12] Sexual Fluidity, p.6

[13]  I use the male pronoun “he” in reference to God because the Bible does and because Jesus, who “is the image of the invisible God” (Col. 115) was incarnated as a male. But the Triune God in whose image we are made (male and female) is beyond gender relative to our human experience.

[14] Biblically proscribed practices would include voyeurism (live or pornography-based), fornication, adultery, homosex, incest, rape and bestiality.  Furthermore, God’s stated intent for human sexuality – one man, one woman becoming one flesh for life (marriage) – coupled with the general ethos outlined throughout the Bible would further preclude a thousand-and-one other perversities that humans can degenerate into.  Among the more tragically common: pedophilia, sado-masochism, fetishism, group sex, public sex, coprophilia, necrophilia…etc.

[15] Sexual Fluidity, p.259

[16] Sexual Fluidity, p. 242

[17] Sexual Fluidity, p. 243

[18] In 2002 I led a Christian outreach meeting at the University of Melbourne that was shut down by a group of bullhorn-yelling, fire-alarm-pulling LGBT activists.  My crime?  Even though my subject for the evening never touched on human sexuality, they had found some articles I had written online where I mentioned homosex – along with fornication, adultery, etc. – as a sin. So by virtue of the fact that I held this belief, I was not to be allowed to talk about anything on their campus.  Anyway, once it became obvious they weren’t going to leave and the campus police weren’t going to stop their protest, we switched gears and began a back-and-forth discussion before the assembled audience.  I raised a variant of the above scenario, using myself (married twenty-one years at the time with five kids and, for the record, my wife is still attractive and exciting) and the stewardess who waited on me on the plane flight the day before as the protagonists.  I also pointed out to the protestors that from a strictly biological perspective, my natural orientation – the way I felt hard-wired inside – was to be interested in having sex with attractive women any time I could and had some degree of confidence I could get away with it reasonably unscathed as far as negative consequences were concerned.  If the stewardess and I had a discrete, one-night interlude – and nobody besides the two of us ever knew about it – would it be wrong?  And if so, why?  It was interesting that they started yelling again and refused to answer the question.  

[19] http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/26/3/657.pdf

[20] The Salt Lake Tribune, 2/14/2011

[21] Ibid

[22] Claudia Dreifus, “Exploring what makes us male or female” New York Times, Science Section, 1/2/2001

[23] “Gay by Choice? The Science of Sexual Identity” by Gary Greenberg, Mother Jones (8/27/07) (http://motherjones.com/politics/2007/08/gay-choice-science-sexual-identity

[24] Sexual Fluidity, p.139

[25] Sexual Fluidity, pp.15,16

[26] Ibid, p.235

[27] The title of the film comes from G.K. Chesterton’s famous two-word response when the British newspaper The Times asked him the first question, “What is wrong with the world?”  I wish the otherwise excellent and thought-provoking movie did more to explore the Christian worldview that lay behind Chesterton’s response.  Man’s fallen nature (sin) and the grace ushered into our world by the Atonement are never explored.

[28] This is, of course, in complete opposition to the Bible’s anthropology.  While secondary causes are examined and taken into account, the primary problem according to scripture is with us; with our fallen, sinful, self-referential natures.  (See James 4:1-3) This is precisely why Chesterton answered The Times in the way he did.

[29] “Years later, Samoan students studying at American colleges would denounce Mead for grotesquely distorting the truth about their culture. Anthropologist Derek Freeman, who completed over six years of field work on Samoa, concluded that Coming of Age in Samoa stands as the worst example of “self-deception in the history of the behavioral sciences.” Freeman clearly documented that almost everything Mead said about Samoan behavior was dead wrong.” (Excerpt from “The Margaret Mead Hoax” which was in turn taken from The Fateful Hoaxing of Margaret Mead by Derek Freeman)

[30] The degree to which so-called scientific research into human sexuality has been conducted by people who themselves are engaged in sexual practices that from a Judeo-Christian perspective are deviant is astonishing and troubling.  For example, in 1928 the first international tribunal of “experts” in the emerging field of sexology, The World League for Sexual Reform, was founded.  Among its presidents and key leaders were Magnus  Hirschfield, Havelock Ellis, Auguste Forel and Norman Haire.  Two, Hirschfield and Haire, were homosexuals.  Havelock Ellis, one of Margaret Sanger’s (herself a participant in the Congress) lovers, had an open marriage with his lesbian wife and invented the medical label undinism for one of his fetishes (arousal through urination).  Only Forel, a lapsed Calvinist who consciously set out to deconstruct Christian morality relative to sexuality, lived what appeared to be a “normal” married life.

[31] Sexual Fluidity, p. 5

[32] Ibid, pp.4,5

[33] A similar approach is taken by homophiles when they invoke – as they often do – the specter of homosexuality in the animal world.  If penguins or dolphins can engage in same-sex activity or if hyenas or seahorses can blur the lines of gender identity, the logic goes, then humans need to be less uptight about their tidy and up-tight binary distinctions.  But once again, things are slanted and characteristics are cherry-picked in order to serve the LGBT agenda.  If what other species do is to serve as a model for us, then we need to jettison prohibitions against murder, cannibalism, rape, infanticide (wait, we’ve already done that) and sniffing a person’s private parts upon meeting them. 

[34] Alfred Kinsey’s research has been shown to be deeply flawed for a number of reasons, one of them being that the type of people who volunteer for these kinds of studies tend to be more sexually adventurous than average.  (Kinsey, in fact, used a large number of prisoners and sexual-deviants in his research.)  The one-hundred women that volunteered to be part of Diamond’s research and that she dedicated her book to were, in her words, “lesbian, bisexual, heterosexual, and ‘unlabeled’”.  Sound like a representative cross-section of women to you?  Diamond’s “sexual fluidity” is almost certainly a minor eddy – but one that she hopes will eventually impact the entire sea.

[35] Sexual Fluidity, p.138

[36] Ibid, p.170

[37] Ibid, p.235

[38] Ibid, p.236

[39] Ibid, p.237

[40] We can just imagine what these “tools and strategies” are that Diamond and her ilk have dreamed up.

[41] Sexual Fluidity: The Lisa Diamond Interview, by Troy Williams, 8/6/ 2009  http://queergnosis.com/2009/08/06/sexual-fluidity-the-lisa-diamond-interview/ 

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