NEW YORK (Reuters) -- A man's sexual orientation appears to be determined in the womb, a new study suggests. ...
Bogaert found that the link between having older brothers and homosexuality was present only if the siblings were biologically related -- this relationship was seen between biological brothers who were not raised together. The amount of time that a man was reared with older brothers had no association with sexual orientation.
"These results support a prenatal origin to sexual orientation development in men and indicate that the fraternal birth-order effect is probably the result of a maternal 'memory' for male gestations or births," Bogaert writes in his report in PNAS Early Edition.
A woman's body may see a male fetus as "foreign," Bogaert explains, and her immune response to subsequent male fetuses may grow progressively stronger.
"If this immune theory were correct, then the link between the mother's immune reaction and the child's future sexual orientation would probably be some effect of maternal anti-male antibodies on the sexual differentiation of the brain," he suggests.
Question is - if homosexuality is caused, at least to some extent, by an abnormality in fetal development then theoretically that abnormality can be accounted for and prevented or adjusted for by technological or medical intervention. In fact, if it is so mechanistic then homosexuality, theoretically, can be avoided with proper medical surveillance and care. It can be "cured."
Yet, if it can be "cured," does that mean that medically homosexuality can be considered as a physiological illness - the same as if we could avoid having children with other congenital physiological maladies. Or should homosexuality be viewed as natural variation like blue or brown eyes and ensuring that the child is heterosexual is on the same level as ensuring the child has blue eyes - though this study clearly indicates that homosexuality has a non-genetic component. If the latter, then most people would consider it unjustified tampering with the natural process. If the former, then most people would take it for granted that children should not be born with congenital maladies if it can be avoided.
The real question is - suppose the technology already existed that made this all possible and it was reliable and it wasn't overly expensive, would you ensure that your child be a heterosexual or would you let the dice fall as they may?