Meet Carol Grever

  • Carol Grever has been a successful businesswoman and English professor. From personal experience, she's authored two books and produced a documentary on straight spouse recovery. A recognized spokesperson on straight spouse issues, she's appeared on major network TV shows, including "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and "Good Morning America." You can read more about Carol here.

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June 30, 2008


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Eve, God's word was sadly written by men. I am sorry you would rather cling to an even more false sense of safety: religion. Sorry, I am with science, it is repeatable, verifiable, rational and condemns no one, except of course imaginary creatures like archaic sky gods, fairies and elves. Nature defines us, not Thor, Apollo, Zeus, Allah or Jehovah. Take your pick, they are all the same. Moral tales, some good, some bad, but many only relative to the time and place of their creation. Sorry, this kind of stuff is what got us here in the first place and we will never move forward as a species while some of us still live in the stone age.

Thank you for these interesting ideas. Though I've alerady met such things about nature of sexual orientation in a psychology book , you explain everything in a good and understandable way.

Yes Eve, this is one study - out of many who agree with the concepts Carol Grever has written about. Being gay or straight is not a choice. Do you remember reaching a cross-roads where you made a decision to be straight? I would say that most (not "some" as you stated) would say you are being very judgmental!

I expect that you believe that God's guidance comes from the Bible. Therefore in His infinite wisdom He has also professed the following:

Whenever children get out of line we should beat them with a rod (Proverbs 13:24, 20:30 and 23:13-14). If they are shamless enough to talk back to us, we should kill them (Exodus 21:15, Levitious 20:9, Deuteronomy 21:18-21, Mark 7:9-13, and Matthew 15:4-7).

We must also stone people to death for heresy, adultry, homosexuality, working on the Sabbath, worshiping graven images, practicing sorcery, and a wide variety of other imaginary crimes.

If any of your brother, son, daughter, or friend entices you to "go and serve other gods", you shall kill him by stones (Deuteronomy 13:6, 8-15)

The Bible also says that the creator of the universe clearly expects us to keep slaves (Levitious 25:44-46). The Bible also makes it clear that every man is free to sell his daughter into sexual slavery (Exodus 21:7-11). Slaves be obedient to those who are your earthly masters, with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as to Christ.......(Ephesians 6:5). Let all who are under the yoke of slavery regard their masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be defamed (1 Timothy 6:1-4)

I say that the Bible consists of many books and stories that were written by many people, translated many times, and then only the bits and pieces that have supported a selfish and narrow agenda of fundamentalism are claimed to be "the word" by narrow minded people. One with an open mind should question more that what they read or what they hear is not necessarily true just because it comes from a popular book.

The best retort I have to people who insist that sexual orientation is a choice is one I have heard from many gay friends, especially my dear, departed friends Bob and Steve: "Who on earth would choose to be gay? It is torture."

Dear Eve, you raise many important issues in your post, and I hope to respond to some. I am one of those sociology teachers who look at issues of brain structure, hormonal predispositions, and behavior as well as many other things to understand gender and sexuality. Humans are very complex, to say the least. Maybe we could at least agree on some common language. Sexuality, at least the way I define it, is whom you desire, whereas, sexual behavior is what you do with those you desire. Sexual orientation is how you identify, gay or straight.

Can we be absolutely sure that sexuality is inborn; that is, is who we desire sexually biologically based? No, but there is very good research to suggest that it is one of many things that a human is born with. In addition, those who identify as gay and those who identify as straight consisently report that they have known since they could remember that they knew they were gay or straight (I will leave aside the question of bisexuality for this discussion). The earlier something occurs in one's life (for instance the ability to suck or the ability to walk and talk), the more likely it is that it is biologically based rather than socially reproduced. Therefore as a sociology professor and as a friend of many gays and straights, I believe that being gay and straight is biologically shaped and maybe even determined. Behavior is clearly socially reproduced; kids learn to speak a particular language, even though they have the in-born capacity to speak any language. Thus the difference between sexuality (not learned) and sexual behavior (learned).

This however begs the question of what humans do with their God-given (I would argue as a Christian) sexuality. In other words, what kinds of behavior should both gays and straights engage in in order to be healthy, happy, and in line with God's will?

I believe that Jerry is correct in his interpretation of the Bible and what it (mostly) does not say specifically about homosexuality but what it does say very specifically about love between and among people. Particularly I read the New Testament Jesus as making very few prescriptions about behavior and many prescriptions about living a love of love and forgiveness. Do straight people stray from the "way" Jesus recommended? Of course, and of course gay people do as well. But fundamentally, gay people can (and many do) live a life of love and commitment to one other person as do many straight people. They cannot however behave as a straight person, any better than a straight person can behavior as a gay person. Gays can (and many do) try as Carol and Jim's long marriage illustrates, but in the process they are miserable. I would argue that Jesus (and thus God) does not want that for any humans. God wants us (I believe) to identify sexually as we were created.

One other comment: God does indeed condemn things that are human nature. Murder, lying, stealing, adultery, and jealousy are all condemned in the 10 commandments, but they still continue to occur even today; are
these human nature, I think so. But again as a Christian, I would argue that all humans have the potential to both lie and love (as one example), and thus are in need of forgiveness. That's what Jesus' life means to me; that all of us have the potential to live lives like Jesus modeled: love and forgiveness

I am glad you are in this for the long haul, as am I, as one of those who participated in the civil rights movement, the women's movement, and now the gay rights movement. I do not feel that I (and of course many many others) have thrown out God's word by participating in these movements, but rather provided living examples of God's love and forgiveness as represented in God's Word.

Dear Eve:

I can only imagine the pain you are experiencing, even though I'm unaware of all the details of your situation. Your reference to what God's word says about homosexuality is in a long list of Old Testament directives found in Leviticus; according to theologians, these directives that you believe reference a condemnation of homosexuality were not specifically condemning homosexuality but rather Temple prostitutes who engaged in this activity. If you will look carefully in those chapters of Leviticus, you will read how the Bible (God's word in your view) says it's OK to sell your daughters into slavery, how women must never show their hair, and a few other practices that we don't see people following religiously today (even though God has commanded these).
Rather than looking to the Old Testament for guidance, I'd strongly encourage you to look to the words that Christ speaks in the New Testament. He said, "Love one another;" and "Do to others as you would have others do to you;" and then remember all the things He said in his parables and sermons about what is truth and love. I believe you must be Christian; and as such, you are instructed to look to the New Testament for how to guide your behavior and actions morally. If you read completely the words of Christ, He doesn't mention homosexuality even once.

And in reference to Carol's discussion of the study on brain structure, yes, this is just one study but there are at least a dozen studies of these same brain structures as well as others that come up with the same conclusion: there's something different in the brains of heterosexuals and homosexuals. There are also studies that have been published on genetic markers that are different in homosexuals and heterosexuals. The evidence is growing to support the statement made by Dr. Rahman (above).
New information corrects as well as fine tunes what we know about ourselves and our human nature. This is shown for you in the refinements shown in the New Testament of your Bible in relation to what was stated in the Old Testament. Christ himself said that He was bringing about a new covenant between God, his Son, and his people. It is this new covenant that I would encourage you to embrace in your search for strength and comfort.

This is just one study, correct? And, of course, one's gay friends would endorse this.

I can remember reading in my sociology courses that there were no differences between male and female brains, but now more research has indicated there are major differences in male and females brains.
I hate to be a voice in the wilderness, but folks, God's word condemns this and God wouldn't condemn something over which someone has no control. Comeon!

I'm still dealing with this issue and I know some will say I'm being too judgmental. Scientific studies unless replicated many times mean nothing, and even then still should be looked at with a grain of salt. Look how long it took for science to catch up with male/female brain differences.

All I have to rely upon right now is God and His guidance. No matter how awful I feel, it's Him and whatever support I can find on this earth that will get me through this. Not scientific studies which change every few years. I'm just not that liberal. Throwing out God's word gains us nothing but a false sense of safety. I'm in this thing for the long run, not short comfort and what is popular at the time. Remember the bra burnings?

Thanks for letting me vent.

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