Friday, December 10, 2004

Good Lord, they're everywhere:*

Pregnant women who take slimming pills 'are more likely to have gay children'

Women who take slimming and thyroid pills during pregnancy are substantially more likely to have homosexual children, according to research.

Prof Lee Ellis and colleagues at Minot State University, North Dakota, traced the mothers of more than 5,000 American and Canadian students and members of gay and lesbian support groups, looking for links between prescription drugs taken during pregnancy and the sexual orientation of their children.

The researchers found that the mothers of homosexual women were at least five times more likely to have taken synthetic thyroid medications during pregnancy than mothers of heterosexual women, and eight times more likely to have used amphetamine-based diet pills such as Dexedrine and diethylpropion....

--Telegraph, 12/5/04

Lee Ellis? If this is accurate (scroll down), he's linked to the Human Biodiversity Group run by Steve Sailer, the racist who was a source for David Brooks's recent column on "natalists."

And here's Ellis asserting that there are "significant positive correlations" between brain size and intelligence -- a pet theory of racists and eugenicists since at least the nineteenth century, currently advanced by J. Philippe Rushton, a well-known academic racist (see some of his work here). Note that what follows Ellis's message is a positive response from Rushton.

I haven't found the article the Telegraph is writing about, but here's another example of Ellis's work: "The Religiosity of Mothers and Their Offspring as Related to the Offspring's Sex and Sexual Orientation." It contains this passage:

Among males, homosexuals were especially prone to subscribe to a religious belief other than that of their mother (only 51% choosing the same denomination). Since the main direction of switching religious preference for male homosexuals was toward the non-Christian category, this could partly explain why most Christian denominations have had a long-standing objection to homosexuality (Greenberg & Bystryn, 1984, p. 33; also see Time, June 7, 1986, p. 88; Newsweek, September 14, 1992, p. 37).

Curious wording in that last sentence -- shouldn't "could partly explain why" be "could partly be explained by the fact that"? That's how I'd put it -- gay children of devout Christians flee Christianity because Christianity isn't very gay-friendly. (And I'd probably omit "partly.")

Maybe that's what Ellis meant. Or maybe he meant exactly what he said: that some homosexuality-linked aversion to Christianity, an aversion that's shown up regularly across the generations, is the reason that Christianity rejects homosexuals. Christian churches shun gays because gayness -- perhaps the biology of gayness -- compels gays to flee Christianity.

I may be leaping to too many conclusions about Lee Ellis. It's clear, though, that he is at least loosely affiliated with the Steve Sailer crowd, and the current article dovetails nicely with Sailer's theory that homosexuality is a disease caused by a "gay germ."

(Incidentally, if you want to see more of Sailer's deep thoughts on homosexuality, check out "Why Lesbians Aren't Gay.")


UPDATE: I want to make it clear that I'm not an absolutist in the other direction -- I think biology is an important determinant of who we are; I certainly don't think we're all shaped exclusively by experience. I think homosexuality is innate. But I don't trust the work of the hardcore biology-explains-everything crowd, which clearly includes Sailer and Rushton, and may include Ellis.


*I've since heard from Professor Ellis, who pointed out that I misinterpreted his thinking in some significant ways. See this post for clarifications.

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