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Banned book: "My Genes Made Me Do It"

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posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 06:56 AM
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I'm surprised this didn't hit the front page at ATS after reading many comments about book bannings/burnings that frequently crop up:



But if you're looking for a book that refers to the possibility that homosexuality can be "reversed," a Chicago-based group says your best bet is the banned books list.

So a book like "My Genes Made Me Do It!: A Scientific Look at Sexual Orientation" — which argues that sexuality is shaped by a variety of factors, not just biological — can't get a spot on the school library shelf.

Neither can "You Don't Have to Be Gay," which describes author Jeff Konrad's struggle to overcome his unwanted same-sex attractions.

But "Baby Be-Bop," the coming-out story of a gay teen, which includes descriptions of his sexual encounters in bathroom stalls with men he never talks to, makes the stacks.

So does "Love & Sex: Ten Stories of Truth," which describes a gay teen's relationship with his tutor with excerpts like..." - www.foxnews.com...


I'm not against disallowing books in school, actually, I don't think there's any room for things like pornography in a school library, but do you think there's a double-standard here? Why or why not?

(apologies if this thread already exists, I didn't find anything in a search)

[edit on 23-10-2009 by saint4God]




posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 07:43 AM
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The entire concept of "my genes made me do it" can be used as an EXCUSE for anything.

I am a murderer... my genes made me do it.

I did "whatever"... my genes made me do it.


Well, our "genes" tell us to "DO" allot of things but we don't.

My "genes" tell me to "procreate" with any "desirable" woman that I see. My genes outright tell me to "perform" the so called 7 deadly sins.... Often.

My "MIND" and "Morals" prevent me from doing what my "genes" have programed me to do.... Just as most people over-ride their animal instincts..... Otherwise we would all have a pretty bad society.


So, for whatever justification topic I disagree. Our genes and instincts are constantly being over-ridden by our minds, morals, and willpower.



posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 07:46 AM
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Here's a list of famous books that someone, somewhere, at some time, decided should be banned. Some of my favourite books are there, and some of the best books ever written.

The point is, there's always going to be somebody who feels offended or threatened by a book. What millions of other people enjoy and love, someone will fear and hate. Should that be a reason to ban a book? Or maybe to burn it? I can think of a point in history and a political regime that enjoyed very much banning and burning books. We don't really think much of those guys nowadays.

Knowledge is never dangerous. The way we use that knowledge can be potentially dangerous.



posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 07:56 AM
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reply to post by saint4God
 


I think that like the book says your sexuality is based on far more than your genes.

I am not sure if you can cure it, but i think if you trust people you could pretend. I think lots of males are pretending they like females, just because they think its norm.

I do not go as far as saying that religion can cure people being gay, but i do not think its 100% genes either.



posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 08:26 AM
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the plasticizers that help make plastic that we use for food purposes are the cause of most homosexuality. end of story. period.



posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 08:39 AM
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Originally posted by prettyflowers
the plasticizers that help make plastic that we use for food purposes are the cause of most homosexuality. end of story. period.


Care to explain further? I read something about plastics a long time ago but can't remember if it was related to homosexuality or estrogenization. I'm interested in all points of view/data.

We certainly live in a toxic world that has many effects on humans but even if this was a cause, it's not the only trigger. I'd imagine it's a multitude of them including genetics.

IRM



posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 09:39 AM
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That list is amazing! I can't believe these get banned in a modern day USA! There were at least 4 books on that list that were required reading at my school in England, including Huckleberry Fin, Lord of the Flies and Animal Farm. All great books!



posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 07:26 PM
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Originally posted by infolurker
My "MIND" and "Morals" prevent me from doing what my "genes" have programed me to do.... Just as most people over-ride their animal instincts..... Otherwise we would all have a pretty bad society.

Our genes and instincts are constantly being over-ridden by our minds, morals, and willpower.


I believe that was the point of the book, though I hadn't read it. Glad to have your clear thinking contribution here, sets a good precedent for the discussion.



posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 07:44 PM
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If "our genes made us do it" is a concept that can be supported strongly by scientific evidence, then what role does punishment play in the legal system?

Seems like so many those people in jail are mostly guilty of being stupid, desperate, or mentally unstable. How does adding the insult of punishment aid in any positive way to the injury of a "crime" strongly influenced by genetic factors?



posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 09:35 PM
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I think it's stretching things to be calling the book banned.

The article says they offered free books and brochures to public universities. They said "no, thank you".

That's not a ban. That's a refusal.

And it's not all that uncommon. There are a lot of groups that use this route to get their publications out. Scientology does similar mailings of books every couple of years. Quite a few industry, environmental and ideological lobby groups do it as well, in addition to a number of vanity publishers.

They tend to be refused or sent to be pulped if they arrive unannounced.

Libraries aren't bookstores. There are criteria for getting the book on the shelves. Not meeting those standards does not constitute a ban.

Saying it was banned, on the other hand - that's good publicity.



posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 10:21 PM
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Originally posted by 30_seconds
If "our genes made us do it" is a concept that can be supported strongly by scientific evidence, then what role does punishment play in the legal system?

Seems like so many those people in jail are mostly guilty of being stupid, desperate, or mentally unstable. How does adding the insult of punishment aid in any positive way to the injury of a "crime" strongly influenced by genetic factors?


Unless there was new evidence, I'd not heard of a 'homosexual gene', at least not since I got my biology degree. Do you have some supporting sources with data?



posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 10:23 PM
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Originally posted by vox2442
There are criteria for getting the book on the shelves. Not meeting those standards does not constitute a ban.


Comparing what was allowed with what was disallowed per the article, do you see a double-standard? By allowing some books that support one opinion and not another, does this seem like an attempt to influence the opinion/perspective of those who are still learning in school? I'll have to look into it more regarding the differences between banned and disallowed, thanks for that observation.

[edit on 23-10-2009 by saint4God]



posted on Oct, 24 2009 @ 04:15 AM
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reply to post by saint4God
 


I don't see a double standard.

Libraries reject books all the time. They pretty much have to, because there's only so many books that the average building can hold. So they develop criteria - what books they should have, what books they need, the background of the authors, academic merit, and so forth. The criteria varies from library to library, but it's always there.

Think about it this way: if you self publish a book, and it gets refused by your local library, is it a ban? If wal-mart declines the chance to stock it on their shelves, has it been banned? If Oprah doesn't add it to her club, has it been banned?

Libraries are under no obligation to represent every single facet of a given debate or issue. It would be nice if that were the case, and perhaps someday with the advent of e-books it will be possible, but at this point it's just not reasonable to expect that.

I relied on inter-library loans for about 50% of my thesis work, because the stuff I needed just wasn't on the shelves at my school. In some cases, it wasn't on the shelves in the same country. No conspiracy, no double standard - they were just books that the library didn't have.



posted on Oct, 24 2009 @ 08:23 AM
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Originally posted by vox2442
I don't see a double standard.


So these books:

"But "Baby Be-Bop," the coming-out story of a gay teen, which includes descriptions of his sexual encounters in bathroom stalls with men he never talks to, makes the stacks.

So does "Love & Sex: Ten Stories of Truth," which describes a gay teen's relationship with his tutor with excerpts like: "Matt had one leg locked between mine, so that his d—- was smashed between his stomach and my thigh. And as his hand jerked up and down on me his hips humped with the same rhythm." - www.foxnews.com...

Are okay for a school library then?


Originally posted by vox2442
Think about it this way: if you self publish a book, and it gets refused by your local library, is it a ban? If wal-mart declines the chance to stock it on their shelves, has it been banned? If Oprah doesn't add it to her club, has it been banned?


The dictionary says this about banning:

": to prohibit the use, performance, or distribution of `ban a book` `ban a pesticide`" - www.merriam-webster.com...

Sounds like a ban to me.


Originally posted by vox2442
Libraries are under no obligation to represent every single facet of a given debate or issue. It would be nice if that were the case, and perhaps someday with the advent of e-books it will be possible, but at this point it's just not reasonable to expect that.


Okay, so you disagree with the following statments?:

"Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval."

"Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas." - www.foxnews.com...

It's certainly your right to do so, just seems a bit unfair to the kids to me to only represent the political viewpoints of the faculty. To me that's not educational facility, that's a factory. Even as a parent I don't do that to my child.


Originally posted by vox2442
I relied on inter-library loans for about 50% of my thesis work, because the stuff I needed just wasn't on the shelves at my school. In some cases, it wasn't on the shelves in the same country. No conspiracy, no double standard - they were just books that the library didn't have.


I didn't see any response in the article that said "our shelves are full" and these books were being donated.

[edit on 24-10-2009 by saint4God]



posted on Oct, 24 2009 @ 07:08 PM
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Originally posted by saint4God

Originally posted by vox2442
I don't see a double standard.


So these books:

"But "Baby Be-Bop," the coming-out story of a gay teen, which includes descriptions of his sexual encounters in bathroom stalls with men he never talks to, makes the stacks.

So does "Love & Sex: Ten Stories of Truth," which describes a gay teen's relationship with his tutor with excerpts like: "Matt had one leg locked between mine, so that his d—- was smashed between his stomach and my thigh. And as his hand jerked up and down on me his hips humped with the same rhythm." - www.foxnews.com...

Are okay for a school library then?



Depends on the school, I suppose. I assume we're not talking about an elementary school. The article isn't clear on what level of swchool they're making this accusation over. Is it a junior high school? A High School? They mention Universities, are those books with the highlighted naughty bits to be found there?





Originally posted by vox2442
Think about it this way: if you self publish a book, and it gets refused by your local library, is it a ban? If wal-mart declines the chance to stock it on their shelves, has it been banned? If Oprah doesn't add it to her club, has it been banned?


The dictionary says this about banning:

": to prohibit the use, performance, or distribution of `ban a book` `ban a pesticide`" - www.merriam-webster.com...

Sounds like a ban to me.


Except it's not.

For something to be prohibited, there needs to be a legislating body behind it and a specific legislation relating to it. IF the school board were to explicitly say: "no school library shall have this book on the shelves", that would be a ban - both in the legal sense and under the colloquial definition you provide above.




Originally posted by vox2442
Libraries are under no obligation to represent every single facet of a given debate or issue. It would be nice if that were the case, and perhaps someday with the advent of e-books it will be possible, but at this point it's just not reasonable to expect that.


Okay, so you disagree with the following statments?:

"Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval."


No, I agree with that. But there are limits to what libraries can do under that guideline. As every individual piece of authorship technically represents a unique point of view, all books published on a given topic should be provided.

In the case of, say, Roman History, that would require turning most of the average high school into a library dedicated to Roman Studies. It's not possible to follow that guideline to the letter.



"Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas." - www.foxnews.com...

It's certainly your right to do so, just seems a bit unfair to the kids to me to only represent the political viewpoints of the faculty. To me that's not educational facility, that's a factory. Even as a parent I don't do that to my child.


I think you might be being a little harsh here. We're talking about libraries in general - and that covers quite a lot of ground, when we're looking at the entire USA. Even poorly-equipped high school library collections running into the thousands. Is it fair to say that there is NO library in the entire USA that deals with the subject covered in the supposedly banned book?

I can't see that. There are numerous journals devoted exclusively to human sexuality. Any university with a psychology department, sociology department, or anthropology department will likely offer a handful of courses dealing with the topic, at the very least. Sex is a popular topic for academic research. If, in all of those universities, there is not a single work exploring the topic of this book in detail, then I would say that this book has a right to be on the shelf, as it's a unique piece of work.

However, as this idea - that homosexuality is something that can be reversed - has been around since the 19th century, I have a hard time accepting that this can be the case. This debate - over the classification of homosexuality as a mental illness, over aversion therapy, surgical manipulation, coaching, et cetera has been played out extensively since the 1960s, and both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association have long since weighed in on the issue.

If their research, pro and con, has been removed from the shelves, then this book should be allowed a place. But I'm wiling to bet that it hasn't.



posted on Oct, 25 2009 @ 12:14 AM
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Originally posted by vox2442
Depends on the school, I suppose. I assume we're not talking about an elementary school. The article isn't clear on what level of swchool they're making this accusation over. Is it a junior high school? A High School?


"Despite the graphic sexual content, Assistant Superintendent Linda Erdos said "Love & Sex," "Baby Be-Bop" — and a host of other controversial books — "have been reviewed by publications that specialize in reviewing materials appropriate for the PreK-12 school environment." So, they're available to Arlington students."

This part puzzles me. Appropriate for PreK? Really?


Originally posted by vox2442
...while a search of the Fairfax online library catalogue shows it too has "Love & Sex" and "Baby B-Bop" in its high school libraries."


Sounds like High School


Originally posted by vox2442
They mention Universities, are those books with the highlighted naughty bits to be found there?


I doubt Universities are an issue due to the legal adult age.


Originally posted by vox2442
Except it's not.

For something to be prohibited, there needs to be a legislating body behind it and a specific legislation relating to it. IF the school board were to explicitly say: "no school library shall have this book on the shelves", that would be a ban - both in the legal sense and under the colloquial definition you provide above.


Thanks for clarifying, the dictionary doesn't seem to go into that much detail. I agree the legal definition is what matters and perhaps the word 'ban' was a sloppy usage.


Originally posted by vox2442
No, I agree with that. But there are limits to what libraries can do under that guideline. As every individual piece of authorship technically represents a unique point of view, all books published on a given topic should be provided.


Good deal, we agree here. It seems not even two opposing positions on a topic (homosexuality in this case) are being provided, however.


Originally posted by vox2442
In the case of, say, Roman History, that would require turning most of the average high school into a library dedicated to Roman Studies. It's not possible to follow that guideline to the letter.


At least 2 books, one saying Rome was a great empire and another saying it was an oppressive dictatorship, no?


Originally posted by vox2442
I think you might be being a little harsh here. We're talking about libraries in general - and that covers quite a lot of ground, when we're looking at the entire USA. Even poorly-equipped high school library collections running into the thousands. Is it fair to say that there is NO library in the entire USA that deals with the subject covered in the supposedly banned book?


It's a good question, one worthy of research I think. The article suggests there's an imbalance.


Originally posted by vox2442
I can't see that. There are numerous journals devoted exclusively to human sexuality. Any university with a psychology department, sociology department, or anthropology department will likely offer a handful of courses dealing with the topic, at the very least. Sex is a popular topic for academic research. If, in all of those universities, there is not a single work exploring the topic of this book in detail, then I would say that this book has a right to be on the shelf, as it's a unique piece of work.


This is about public school however, highschool or as the Assistant Superintendent Linda Erdos says, "PreK-12 school environment".


Originally posted by vox2442
However, as this idea - that homosexuality is something that can be reversed - has been around since the 19th century, I have a hard time accepting that this can be the case. This debate - over the classification of homosexuality as a mental illness, over aversion therapy, surgical manipulation, coaching, et cetera has been played out extensively since the 1960s, and both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association have long since weighed in on the issue.


I have a book that suggests that this debate goes well over two thousand years, but yes, recently there's been a lot more published works on the topic.


Originally posted by vox2442
If their research, pro and con, has been removed from the shelves, then this book should be allowed a place. But I'm wiling to bet that it hasn't.


I don't think there's a deletion of works, but an attempt to sway children's opinion on the topic (propagandize) rather than actualize the situation. I don't think "Love & Sex" nor "Baby Be-Bop" is elementary school appropriate despite what Ms. Erdos' opinion is, probably not middle-school appropriate, and dicey (at best) for free high school access. Perhaps if I were to get a job as an Assistant Superintendent, I could force my opinion upon children and their parents as well? Something for me to consider...

Thanks for your thoughtful and candid dialogue, I do appreciate your time in advancing the discussion.

[edit on 25-10-2009 by saint4God]




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