091: Making Sense of the Research on Homosexuality— Biological Factors Part 3
(Shared from Mormon Matters podcast at MormonMatters.org) With the renewed conversation in Mormonism about homosexuality initiated by the November 6th policy changes, it has become clear that many Latter-day Saints have never really been exposed to the breadth of research conducted in the past several decades about the biological and social factors involved in human sexual development, attraction, and identity, including homosexual orientations. It is also evident that many currently hold to older and largely disproved explanations about the causes of homosexuality and an individual’s ability to change her or his sexuality. In this four-episode arc of the Mormon Matters podcast, host Dan Wotherspoon is joined by microbiologist William Bradshaw, marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist Natasha Helfer Parker, and psychiatrist Daniel Parkinson in an attempt to suggest the scope and summarize the findings of research into these questions. Parts 1 & 2 focus on the preponderance of research into the biological factors that play a huge role in our sexual orientations and identities, including sexual fluidity. Parts 3 & 4 tackle the sociological and psychological research. Part 3 addresses ideas that are often held by Latter-day Saints and others that homosexual orientation is caused by factors such as sexual abuse or early sexual experimentation, or certain personality traits of one’s parents. The panelists also address issues surrounding attempts to change one’s sexual orientation. Part 4 includes a continuation of these same issues as well as a focus on what’s happening in Mormonism today and what the panelists see as being the healthiest options given the new policies that do not, at this point, seem likely to change anytime soon.