The Ethics of Genetic Research on Sexual Orientation
Yeshiva University - Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
July 15, 1997
Hastings Center Report, Vol. 27, No. 3, pp. 6-13, 1997
Research into the genetic component of some complex behaviors often causes controversy, depending on the social meaning and significance of the behavior under study. Research into sexual orientation-simplistically referred to as "gay gene" research-is an example of research that provokes intense controversy. This research is worrisome for many reasons, including the fact that it has been used to harm lesbians and gay men. Many homosexual people have been forced to undergo "treatments" to change their sexual orientation. Others chose to undergo them to escape discrimination and social disapprobation. But there are other reasons to worry about such research. The very motivation for seeking an "origin" of homosexuality reveals homophobia. Moreover, such research may lead to prenatal tests that claim to predict for homosexuality. For homosexual people who live in countries with no legal protections these dangers are particularly serious.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 9
Keywords: homosexuality, origin, ethics, sexual orientation, geneticsAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: July 16, 2010
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