Is It My Fault
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Is It My Fault

David C. Maynard,  Masters in counseling from Asbury Theological Seminary, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor.

David “works with individuals, families, friends and community leaders sorting through sexual identity and behavioral challenges since 2004. Private practice also includes other challenges, such as: spiritual issues, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and more."

 David has from what he indicated little or no experience with the transgender community his practice involves primarily dealing with those that are homosexual and all of the research quoted deals only with those that are homosexual. My personal feeling however is that it essentially while the outcome is different the causes of being transgender are closely related.

 The title of David's presentation was Is It My Fault?

In my personal feelings David is the one who got it most correct and it starts with one of the early paragraphs and he has is a quote in his power point presentation.

“Each of us will at some point in our lives look upon a loved one and ask a question; we are willing to help Lord but what can we do?  For it is true that we can sell them help those closest to us-either we don't know if what part of ourselves to give, or more often than not that part we have to give is not wanted. And so it is those we live with and should know the best who often elude us.  But we can still love them.  We can love them completely without completely understanding.” 

The etiology of why an individual is homosexual or in our case transgender can be divided according to him into three categories.

·         Essentialist: Innate or inborn.

·         Constructionists: Acquired.

·         Waited interactionist: A mix.

SS: In my not so humble opinion this is essentially correct using words that I normally would not. The way I would put it is that we are a combination of genetic and epigenetic, operant conditioning, all affecting our internal ecosystem.  

David then goes on to quote a number of studies all having to do with homosexuals and unfortunately the reprint that I have of this PowerPoint presentation as the references so small that I can't check them so I have had to try and find them on line (I succeeded for the most part). 

The first study quoted was a LeVay study and the outcome of that study which was done using deceased individuals was inconclusive because apparently that all 19 of the homosexual males died of AIDS complications.  It did however conclude that "sexual orientation has a biological substrate". 

The second study quoted was the Bailey and Pillard study which I was able to track down, and below is the abstract from that. 

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1991 Dec;48(12):1089-96.

A genetic study of male sexual orientation.

Bailey JM, Pillard RC.

Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill 60208.

Comment in: Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1993 Mar;50(3):240-1.


Homosexual male probands with monozygotic cotwins, dizygotic cotwins, or adoptive brothers were recruited using homophile publications. Sexual orientation of relatives was assessed either by asking relatives directly, or when this was impossible, asking the probands. Of the relatives whose sexual orientation could be rated, 52% (29/56) of monozygotic cotwins, 22% (12/54) of dizygotic cotwins, and 11% (6/57) of adoptive brothers were homosexual. Heritabilities were substantial under a wide range of assumptions about the population base rate of homosexuality and ascertainment bias. However, the rate of homosexuality among nontwin biological siblings, as reported by probands, 9.2% (13/142), was significantly lower than would be predicted by a simple genetic hypothesis and other published reports. A proband's self-reported history of childhood gender non-conformity did not predict homosexuality in relatives in any of the three subsamples. Thus, childhood gender nonconformity does not appear to be an indicator of genetic loading for homosexuality. Cotwins from concordant monozygotic pairs were very similar for childhood gender nonconformity.

SS: Conclusions from this study parallel closely a twin study of the transgender population done by Dr. Milton Diamond with a 51% concordance between monozygotic twins.  What this tells us quite clearly is that there is not a single genetic cause, as monozygotic twins are identical in their DNA. There is however still the potential for epigenetic things happening during gestation.

The next study quoted was the Hammer study and involved pairs of homosexual brothers looking at particular markers on the X-chromosome. And the conclusion was "the pedigree study failed to produce what we originally hoped to find: simple Mendelian inheritance in fact, we never found a single family in which homosexuality was distributed in the obvious sort of pattern"

The next study quoted is Evans study and David's notes were that it

·         Replicated and improved upon the 1962 Bieber study by self-report, no therapy.

·         42 homosexual and 142 heterosexual males.

·         Reported similar results: poor parental relationships during childhood.

SS: comment when you take these two studies, one involving twins, and the other involving presumably unrelated individuals you can see that there is a potential conflict in interpretation. Twins are presumably raised under similar conditions and while they will try and differentiate themselves from each other there are going to be more similarities than not.

Bell, A. P., Weinberg, M. S., & Hammersmith, S. K. (1981). Sexual preference: Its development in men and women. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

SS: This is a book so I don't have access to the original information from that book. 

The information from David's presentation.

·         Approximately 1500 homosexual males were in the study, SS note, all from the San Francisco area which skews results. 

·         Mothers influence on Sun's homosexuality week.

·         More homosexual males reported detached fathers or not affectionate than heterosexual males.

·         40% of white homosexual males reported negative feelings, like anger or fear or resentment toward their fathers.

·         29% of heterosexual males reported the same.

Jones & Yarhouse

Source:  Ex-Gays? A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation.

SS: note this is from a study that has a number of inherent flaws.  The participants came out of Exodus so are not a representative sample.  This is been a problem with other studies including one by Spitzer.  It'll also not peer-reviewed and there has been substantial criticism. 

  • Some studies present a different picture of the parent-child relationship, although most point to poor parent-child relationships of some kind.
  • Still some studies do not point to any one consistent parent-child dynamic still some studies do not point to any one consistent parent-child dynamic that is consistent across homosexual persons
  • Environmental (peer group influences, same-sex experimentation, and early sexual debut).
  • Adult(willful or purposeful experimentation with same-sex behavior and subcultural disinhibition)


Factors involved according to David include, heredity, temperament, same-sex parent, opposite sex parents, siblings, family dynamics, body image, sexual abuse, same-sex peers, opposite sex pierced, cultural, other.

Discovering the cause of homosexual is difficult and their various types of homosexuality is complicating why homosexuality exists.  

In the discussion following David's presentation I was able to bring forth a number of points.  One that he had not factored in epigenetic effects and that similar results have been found in twin studies within the transgender community.  

SS: All in all I felt the David got it right and other than the fact that he's speaking about homosexuality rather than being transgender figures in an ecological approach to the internal causes.  Interestingly enough this directly contradicts what James Phelan said in his presentation that blames all of causation on Elizabeth Moberly’s theory that it is a result of poor parenting.

When you have a theory the natural tendency is to bend the facts to fit, this is one reason that I try to use multiple theories and to closely investigate where the theories come from to begin with.

Last modified: 12/24/13