The unknown origins of sexual orientation
The March 6 article “Schools review policy on fliers” repeated as fact what are actually mere opinions of those critical of the flier distributed in Montgomery County high schools by Parents and Friends of Ex-gays and Gays (PFOX).
In particular, the statement, “mainstream medical and mental-health associations say that homosexuality is innate” was unsubstantiated. Here is what the American Psychological Assocation says about the origins of sexual orientation:
“Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors.”
The statement in the Montgomery County Public Schools curriculum that homosexuality is “innate” was added by the Board of Education; it was was not recommended by MCPS staff. In other words, it is a political statement, not a scientific one. This simply illustrates why students in Montgomery County need access to alternative sources of information about the choices they have in responding to same-sex attractions — alternatives like those offered by PFOX.
Peter Sprigg, Germantown
The author is a member of the PFOX board. He served on the MCPS Citizens Advisory Committee for Family Life and Human Development from 2005 to 2011.