My Genes Made Me do It

by Neil and Briar Whitehead , Huntington House Publishers
PO Box 53788, Lafayette, LA 70505, 1999, 233 pages

If you have ever wanted to have a book that was not designed to justify behavior on a genetic basis, this may be what you are looking for. Neil Whitehead is a research scientist with a PhD in biochemistry. His wife Briar is a writer. This is a very readable book with a great deal of useful information.

The basic question this book deals with is whether things like homosexuality are genetically caused or not. If a person is genetically programmed to be gay, be an alcoholic, be violent, etc., our approach to helping them will be much different than if their behavior is chosen.

This book is divided into twelve chapters, each headed by the questions people ask in their subject area. Examples are:

There are also some technical questions addressed such as Path Analysis, Pre-Natal Hormonal Exposure, and Instincts. As a math major, I have always been highly disturbed by the sampling techniques of people like LeVay and Hamer who have promoted genetic and physical arguments to explain gay behavior. The Whiteheads do an excellent job of showing the sampling and statistical errors to which I am alluding. There is a unique approach dealing with cultural relationships to gay behavior in the book which is quite useful.

The conclusion of the authors is that the genetic contribution to homosexuality is minor. This is a complex issue and no one is saying that there is not a genetic contribution, but behavior is something each of us must take responsibility for, and this book helps point us in that direction.

Back to Contents Does God Exist?, JanFeb00.