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What is sexual difference? These questions are left unanswered by the three authors Roberts engages with, and this is crucial to the critique of their positions. In sum, Roberts provides a useful primer on the Christian tradition about sexual difference in relation to marriage. However, his chapters on Thomas Aquinas and Pope John Paul II are not entirely satisfactory even though they make some important points. These are in fact the shortest chapters in the book, and they leave out sustained discussions about important aspects of their respective anthropologies. For instance, in relation to Aquinas, there is very little discussion about his views on the doctrine of creation, metaphysics, freedom, and natural law.

As we will see, other issues unfortunately tend to take center stage in these debates. These will be the subject of the next few books under review here.


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Therefore, while I want to acknowledge that her argumentation in the book does rely on more than psychosexual development and social science, these are nonetheless her principal resources. Her answer is to explore the psychological origins of same-sex attraction, propose a path of healing based upon those findings, and then re-cast the debate on same-sex attraction in light of those findings. She posits three approaches to the origin of same-sex attraction: essentialism, constructionism, and developmentalism pp. Essentialism posits that same-sex attraction is solely biologically determined, either by hormones or genes.

Constructionism proposes that it is shaped only by societal forces and, as such, may be deconstructed as one chooses. It therefore holds that same-sex attraction can and ought to be prevented and treated.


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  • The next four chapters trace the psychosexual and developmental origins of same-sex attraction, and possible treatments. Importantly, she alludes to the fact that certain cultural ideas can play a role in promoting same-sex attraction. For instance, some radical feminists teach women to distrust men and form same-sex relationships as an answer to the oppression and violence inflicted by men.

    Here genuine friendships with those of the same sex can really undo the damage of feeling alienated from their sex at earlier ages, and then help them develop a proper attraction to the opposite sex. She also argues that it would hurt society because it would weaken the institutional benefits of marriage, such as fidelity. Social science has shown that many gay relationships do not aspire to sexual exclusivity, even while they profess emotional fidelity. This in turn devalues the importance of sexual union for marriage, reducing it to a recreational activity that can be enjoyed with impunity outside of the relationship.

    Children do best when raised by their own biological father and mother in a committed, life-long marriage. Even adopted children undergo trauma by being separated from their biological parents.

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    Sexual difference matters for parenting too. Moreover, these relationships are more at risk from psychological problems, given that same-sex attraction is often rooted in some type of trauma. This could negatively affect children placed in these situations. Further, she notes how, historically, those seeking radical changes to sexual mores have always downplayed the consequences, in the face of predictions made by opponents of the change. Yet nonetheless, a few decades later, the opponents are vindicated. Her review of the different sociological data in regard to same-sex relationships and parenting are especially valuable.

    But one has to ask if she relies too heavily on evidence drawn from social science. The bulk of her work is concerned with such evidence, and her treatment of the tactics employed by gay activists, who likewise make ample use of this type of data, suffers from the same limitation. One has to question which anthropological presuppositions might underlie sociological research.

    But she never fully delves into the philosophical issues surrounding that research. Who is man to the social scientist? What is his nature? His sexual difference?

    Answering the Best Arguments for Same-Sex Marriage

    The document broke little new ground in casting doubt on gender theory and promoting traditional Roman Catholic teaching on the intrinsic biological differences between men and women. But for some Catholic advocates for a more inclusive and understanding approach to L. In , Francis reported at a news conference that he had met at the Vatican with a Spanish transgender man who had undergone gender reassignment surgery and been ostracized by his priest.

    They warned that the church was inviting discrimination, and that in delivering an anachronistic message on human sexuality, it had apparently decided to take on esoteric theories rather than the lived experiences of L. DeBernardo wrote. A defense of traditional marriage. With clarity and force Dale O'Leary tackles the many myths surrounding this contentious issue. One Man, One Woman, the first book of its kind written for Catholics, shares knowledge and experience of every facet of the gay-marriage debate: politics, psychology, biology, religion, and social science.

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