All posts filed under: Brain Pick

The gay community should stop attacking anyone who dares suggest sexuality is a choice

Adam Jowett, Coventry University In her new book Straight Expectations, radical feminist writer and campaigner Julie Bindel has recently and very publicly claimed that she’s not convinced by the scientific argument that sexual orientation is innate, and that she feels she chose to be lesbian. She received a vitriolic response from the gay community on social media, with comments calling her “stupid”, “confused”, and “an awful human being”. One reader comment on Pink News stated that “Julie Bindell’s [sic] suggestion that being gay is a choice is downright offensive to me!” This fury at claims we “choose” our sexuality is nothing new. Aside from the controversy that Bindel has courted for years, back in 2012, Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon received a similar response from LGBT activists when, in an interview with the New York Times, she explained that being gay was a choice for her. Nixon and Bindel are by no means the first to claim that lesbianism, in particular, can be a choice, though they are perhaps the highest-profile women in …

What does Russia want from Donald Trump?

There are several explanations for why relations between Russia and the United States having been in decline since 2010, from Russia’s increasingly aggressive postures (especially regarding Ukraine) to US support of regime-changing revolutions (especially during the Arab Spring). The fact is, we are quite far today from the the “reset policy” attempted by the Obama administration in 2009 to bring the two countries closer. All-time low For the past few months, US-Russia relations have been a roller coaster ride. Though presidential candidate Donald Trump seemed to be praising Russian President Vladimir Putin during America’s 2016 election campaign, everything changed quickly once he was elected. The US media started to investigate even more potential “Russian connections” to the president-elect, and the FBI launched an investigation, putting Trump on the defensive. Then, following the suspected sarin gas attack on the Syrian village of Khan Sheikhun that killed more than 80 civilians, Trump decided to strike the Assad regime on April 7. This provoked a strong reaction from Moscow. Whichever side you are on, everybody can agree that …

Why anti-gay sentiment remains strong in much of Africa

Members of a breakaway faction of the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe protest against homosexuality. Reuters Harry Dugmore, Rhodes University This article is part of a series The Conversation Africa is running on issues related to LGBTI in Africa. You can read the rest of the series here. Of the 76 countries that still criminalise same-sex relationships and behaviour, 38 are African. Recent surveys also show that the overwhelming majority of people who live in Africa strongly disapprove of homosexuality. This is even the case in South Africa, the only country on the continent that has legalised same-sex marriage. Last month, socially conservative Ireland voted convincingly to legalise same-sex marriage. It became the first country where the people, as opposed to the courts or parliament, decided to legalise same-sex marriage. Ireland is now one of 20 countries globally that permit gay marriage. Fifteen years ago, such marriage was not legal anywhere in the world. What the science is saying Africa’s strong anti-homosexuality sentiment, harsh laws and active discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) …