Born that way

I have been watching the debates on both sides of this blog. One concerns homosexuality the other transgender. The assumption in all cases is that the behavior is not voluntary. It is innate, hardwired. Homosexuality is no lifestyle choice. If it is not strictly speaking inborn, it is largely determined before adulthood. If a woman is trapped in a man’s body, s/he has to change the plumbing of that body; she can’t just change her mind.

I don't disagree. I have recently finished two really good books re. One is Nature via Nurture the other the Blank Slate. I recommend both. People are not hardwired by genetics, but tendencies and talents strongly influence behaviors and outcomes. Humans are not a blank slate. They come to some extent pre-baked. Any parent knows this. If you have more than one kid you should be certain.

So how is it that Lawrence Summers is getting in so much trouble for even suggesting that innate differences may (MAY) account for some of the achievement differences between men and women. If we believe our transgender friend has the mind of a woman, even though nature provided him with outdoor plumbing, we must think that there is such a thing as a female mind. And if gayness is determined before people are consciously aware of their sexuality, what does that say about lifestyle choices?

Maybe Summers deserves better than he is getting.

He didn't really say anything that we haven't written.

Posted by Jack at March 11, 2005 5:20 PM