The Yahnke Tapes: If You’re Gay Its Your Parents Fault.

A post by Neil Hart on homosexuality, LGBT, lesbian and gay stuff and the Lutheran church of Australia.

Regular readers will know that I have been following up on a seminar entitled Clear Conscience Courageous Living that was held at the Mannum Lutheran Church in August this year. The seminar which included discussion on  homosexuality was sanctioned by the LCA College of Presidents and was conducted by members of  ”Doxology” a service arm of the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church in America. The visiting speakers also made presentations to pastors’ gatherings in both South Australia and Queensland.

As has been shown in previous posts much of the information presented at the seminar is factually inaccurate and presents views that have been condemned by relevant health authorities.  It is disappointing, therefore,  to see that these videos are being promoted by our church right now on the LCA website.

Dr Yahnke who presented the sessions on homosexuality addressed the question of the causes of homosexuality. We join the discussion as she explains the “shock” , “horror” and “disgust” that parents feel when a child comes out.

and her answer…

So, to paraphrase, homosexuality is caused by an overly engaged mother and an emotionally distant father. This nonsense certainly isn’t new. Yet, i’m sure if  I challenged Dr Yahnke on this she would protest.

“I am just making clinical observations”. “I specifically said that this is not always the case”, “I specifically said that it is not causal”

All true. Here is what she said.

She specified that there are no genetic or prenatal factors. Then she set the presentation into a context that strongly suggests that homosexuality is caused by environmental factors. She then goes on to describe environmental factors placed into the gay child’s life by his or her parents.

True to the established pattern in her presentations,  Dr Yahnke  places the listener in a corridor with only one door. She places several signs pointing to the door. She then opens the door and invites the listener to walk through. Can you really blame the listener for walking through the door? Wasnt that the intent of her presentation?

I have little doubt that any concerned parents of gay children who attended this seminar heard the following…

Its your fault. Its your fault. These things are not necessarily causal. Its your fault. Its your fault. Its your fault . Its your fault.

…and wheeled a barrow load of guilt home with them.

Dr Yahnke: How dare you cause that harm. LCA Officials: How dare you continue to offer this harmful nonsense to the rest of your members.

As I listen to her I realise that every criticism of the father that she gave could apply to my father, me and every other father that I know. In regards to my children I have certainly, at times, been distant, unavailable, critical, harsh and emotionally detached. I have had different interests to my children. I am sure that, at times, my children considered me unloving, uncaring and disapproving when compared to their mother. I have, at times, even deliberately, presented myself as a powerful figure. I challenge any father to place his hand on his heart and say that he has never been any of those things.

It seems to me that Dr Yahnke has drawn on common parental insecurities and twisted them to serve her own ends. But she’s not alone. She stands in a long line of supposed experts who have said and done the same things at the expense of vulnerable and confused  families.

One thing is certain. It aint science.

Just for the record… here is some real science presented by real scientist.

First, a statement from the American Psychiatric Association.

No one knows what causes heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality. Homosexuality was once thought to be the result of troubled family dynamics or faulty psychological development. Those assumptions are now understood to have been based on misinformation and prejudice.

Next, Dr Francis Collins. He is a respected geneticist who provided leadership in the international Genome Project. He was appointed Director of the National institute of Health by Obama.

The evidence we have at present strongly supports the proposition that there are hereditary factors in male homosexuality — the observation that an identical twin of a male homosexual has approximately a 20% likelihood of also being gay points to this conclusion, since that is 10 times the population incidence. But the fact that the answer is not 100% also suggests that other factors besides DNA must be involved. That certainly doesn’t imply, however, that those other undefined factors are inherently alterable.

Then there is Molecular Biologist Dean Hamer who has done pioneering work in the field since the 1980’s. His early research is often misused by special interest conservative religious groups as a basis of the claim that “there is no gay gene”

There is more and more evidence that sexual orientation has a strong biological component. …there have been 2 (recent) very large population based studies of twins that show that genes are the single most important factor in whether a person is gay or straight or somewhere in between. (Harmer)

Dr Harmer also reminds us that while it is true to say that there is no “gay gene” it is also true to say that there is no “height gene” or “eye colour gene”. That doesn’t mean that genetics do not play an important part in these factors. Genetics is a complicated interplay of genes that interact with one another and interact with their environment to bring about certain traits.

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Perhaps the real question is…”Why does this matter?” What is so important to Dr Yahnke here  that she ignores valid, current, universally recognised and readily available scientific research and draws from out of date, inaccurate and discredited sources to make her point?

Could it be that if this  horrible, shameful and disgusting gay child was formed that way in the womb…

that…

maybe…

God did it?

Hmmm… considering how Dr Yahnke appears to feel about my gay friends I can see how that thought would be impossible for her to entertain.