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An Hypothesis Hyperbolized

Sports cause homosexuality.

imgThats an odd proposition for someone who has consented to allow cable TV in his house for the sole purpose of watching football (my wifes vice, not mine) to make, I know. And you probably know Im speaking hyperbolically (thats exaggerating to make a point, for the more avid sports fans among you; for WWF fans, it means . . . oh, never mind).

Have you ever wondered why there seems to be a larger percentage of homosexuals (and those you suspect might be) in the arts than in the general population? Well, I am going to tell you why. That is, Im going to throw out an opinion Ive come to based on my observations and personal experiences over the years. I have no statistics or expert opinions to support my thesis. Still, Im convinced Im right, or Id keep it to myself. My only unanswered question is, to what degree is this true? In what percentage of cases is this a factor?

Sports do not actually cause homosexuality, or therapeutically confronting the Ghost of Phy.Ed. Past would cure many homosexuals. The cause of homosexuality is the same as that of every sin: the sinfulness of the sinner (James 1:1315). The cure for every sin is the gospel. Yet there are environmental factors that push our sinfulness in one direction or another. Boys without fathers, for example, are more likely to end up in prison. What I really think is that the place of sports in our society, and the universally understood link between sports and manhood, are contributing factors for some. Boys who do not identify with others of their own sex will identify more with the opposite sex. That is, they will be feminized.

Unless you are someone like me, who has only a limited interest in a couple of sportsso limited that I never bother to watch any of them anymoreand who was born with all the speed and coordination of a kitchen chair with a missing leg, whose top bowling score of 109 represents the absolute zenith of his athletic career, you dont have a clue what Im talking about. Let me explain.

imgI cant speak for the world, but for Americans, to be a man is to like sports. The nominally male person who doesnt spend some portion of Sunday afternoon or Monday night watching manly men mannishly manhandling manly men is not a real man. Running into that attitude as an adult hasnt bothered me much; apathy towards ignorant opinions is one of the greatest privileges of age. As a kid, though, it was an entirely different matter. Try being the boy who would rather read Hardy Boys during recess than play basketball. Or maybe hed like to play, but hed rather read than be ridiculed because he cant dribble and walk (forget running) at the same time. There is something wrong with that boy. Hes a sissy, a wimp, maybe even a fag. Hes going to get into fights after school just for being different. Hes not going to have many friends when What do you want to do? is always answered with Play/watch football.

And what of his literaryor other artisticinterests? Who is going to recognize and encourage them? His teachers, probably, most of whom are women. A few girls will like him. His parents will encourage him, although his father will always be a little disappointed. So the people with whom he will identify most strongly will be his mostly female teachers, a few girls, and his mother. Why shouldnt he grow up to be like them? Why wouldnt he? If no men come into his life who value intellectual pursuits as admirable and manly, what will become of him? You already know my answernot that they will necessarily become homosexuals (most will not)but that they will tend towards femininity.

Now, to correct a misconception I might have caused, I do admire physical prowess as a masculine trait. One of the sports I used to enjoy, before it was stolen by cable and pay-per-view, was boxing. I like tennis, and unlike you Monday Night Football neanderthals, I can sit and watch eighteen holes of golf, if I dont have anything better to do (but I always do). I respect almost any butt-kicking ability. (And dont get me started about my own former deadlydeadly!proficiency with firearms of all kinds. We dont have that kind of time.)

My objection is to the place the physical side of masculinity has been given in our culture. Who is most admired in your local school, the winner of the spelling bee, or the quarterback who took your beloved football team to State? You know the answer without even thinking. Physical prowess is by far the primary measurement of masculinity. Intellectual prowess is valued much lower, if at all. And its worse than that. A pot-bellied couch potato with a totally awesome fantasy football team can consider himself more manly than his weird coworker who has nothing sports-related to say around the water cooler, but can quote Shakespeare. A big screen TV and a refrigerator full of Bud Light is manly. A wall full of books, not.

What will become of manhood in such a culture? Will all the intelligent, creative men become homosexual artists? Will they all be feminized? No, not by a long shot. But I believe it pushes in that direction.

Posted 2010·10·11 by David Kjos
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