Reflections on Ethics 63
"Born that way" is not what makes it right
To open a discussion on this article, please use the contact page to provide your comments.There is an increasing body of evidence that suggest homosexuality, both male and female, is at least in part due to genetics. Homosexuals now have a legitimate basis on which to claim that their sexual preferences and desires are innate. However, this is not a valid justification for claiming homosexual activity is not immoral.
The source of homosexual inclinations is a matter of scientific interest, and a matter of personal interest to many homosexuals and their families. But that source has nothing to do with morality.
Many predilections have a genetic basis, but that does not make following up on them moral. For example, and staying in the sexual realm:
- pedophilia may have a genetic basis, but sex with a child remains wrong, because a child is not capable of informed consent.
- a desire for violent sex may have a genetic basis, but rape remains wrong, because one of the participants does not consent.
If we argue that it is the genetics that make homosexuality activity moral, we open the gates to claims that realizing any innate preference is moral. But having innate desires is not justification for acting them out, particularly when other individuals are adversely affected without consent.
From a moral aspect, the source of homosexual desires is irrelevant. It does not matter whether a same-sex orientation is innate, learned, or a matter of arbitrary choice. What does matter is that the activity is between consenting adults. And that is in itself sufficient justification that homosexual behaviour should not be considered immoral.
- Elsewhere on this site in earlier articles, you may find arguments to the contrary.