John Tierney in the NY Times reviewed a new book by Thomas Maier regarding 'sex-perts' Masters and Johnson's claims of having successfully 'converted' homosexuals to a striaght orientation. The point seems to be that such research and evidence may have been faked.
It seems as if one of the few unquestionable truths of existence is this–homosexuality is not a choice. It is universal among all cultures, all places, all times and perhaps within other fellow creatures in the animal kingdom as well.
Now to be more accurate, anyone can engage in homosexual activity for whatever reason they choose and 'inherently' may or may not be gay in their sexual orientation. In other words, faced with a choice of equally attractive partners, which is the sexual partner du jour?
I will not even debate the nature of bisexuality–there may very well exist a spectrum of sexual attraction. It really doesn't matter.
The issue, I believe, is that sexuality in general has traditionally been regarded as a 'dark' drive–a demonic force. Religions, for the most part, have regarded themselves as God's sexual enforcers, decreeing what the nature of the sexual drive is, and how to curtail it. Was the Original Sin disobeying God, or having sex anyway?
The notion of sexual abstinence, celibacy, restriction which arises throughout mankind's religious history and cultural practices, reflects that negative perspective.
The sexual drive is unquestionably one of our most powerful drives–on a scale, somewhere less that eating, sleeping and breathing, but only slightly. It may be understandable that such power engenders fear–fear that one may easily loose control and plunge into chaos.
As physical beings, after all, we are the decendants of the most sexual creatures around–the less 'horny' did not pass those 'pious' genes down the evolutionary trail.
But why regard sexuality as anything less that a gift from Divinity? Since I believe that ALL religion is man-made,most concepts as well, why not choose to elevate sexual feelings to what I believe to be true–a mirror of the creative urge of the universe. There have been religious doctrines throughout history which have done so. Unfortunately they seem to have been the exception. [no space to elaborate here]
There is no question that sexuality can be used for 'dark' purposes–war, rape, control, pain etc. But that is not the fault of sexuality. Within human relaionships, sexuality can be a gift or a curse to those involved–but this has nothing to do with being straight or gay . Neither orientation has a monopoly on contributing to physical and emotional suffering.
Clearly sexuaility is morally neutral . It can be corrupted by human intention and activity but can be the source of the most beautiful and uplifting of human activity as well.
No institution has been linked with brutality, hatred, genocide and evil more than religion—but this is not the fault of religion per se. Religion also teaches love, respect and compassion. Human choices are the source of evil–period, exclamation point!
Why should anyone care about the sexual orientation of another? If sexuality alligns itself with love, caring, compassion and companionship then it is a blessing–regardless of the source or object of that affection.
Whether Masters and Johnson 'faked' their reports on sexual 'conversion' or not is irrelevant. Sadly, I suspect they did.
I would pray that we look to the nature of our relationships with others based on what brings people together and promotes the Golden Rule- for-all of us regardless of sexual orientation. It should not matter and to me, it doesn't.