Last week, President Barack Obama announced his personal support for same-sex marriage for the first time. While this may be considered as shocking for an incumbent president gearing up for another election, the revelation that being gay is “okay” is really nothing new. Those in the fields of medicine, psychology, and statistical analysis have been proving again and again that homosexuality is both heritable and permanent.
According to Dr. Neil Cannon, certified Sex Therapist & Couples Counselor: “Sending gays to therapy to become “un-gay” has been a hotly debated topic within the mental health community for many years. The American Psychological Association (APA) representing its’ 150,000 professional members, said that after an exhaustive review of 50 years’ worth of studies, even if gays wanted to become straight there is no credible evidence concluding that reparative therapy is effective. As a clinician who has worked with countless people of every sexual orientation, I can say with confidence that sexual orientation is not a choice, but rather a clear case of nature over nurture. The only people that need repair are the people who impose their moral values on others, pathologize those who are different than themselves, and claim there is only one way to live in this life.”
Same-sex marriage has also been examined in terms of evolution. What value could this sexual orientation have, that it has persisted for eons even without any discernible reproductive advantage? One possible explanation is what evolutionary psychologists call the “kin selection hypothesis.” What that means is that homosexuality may convey an indirect benefit by enhancing the survival prospects of close relatives. Specifically, the theory holds that homosexual men might enhance their own genetic prospects by being “helpers in the nest.” By acting altruistically toward nieces and nephews, homosexual men would perpetuate the family genes, including some of their own.
Ultimately, public attitudes toward gays and lesbians are becoming more accepting, especially by younger generations, according to research by NORC at the University of Chicago. The results show a clear trend toward greater tolerance regarding homosexuality.
The rise in support for same-sex marriage has been especially dramatic over the last two decades. It went from 11 percent approval in 1988 to 46 percent in 2010, compared to 40 percent who were opposed.
All and all, anti-gay attitudes may eventually become all but antiquated.