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"The Making of Me" John Barrowman (2008)

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An Interesting Look, But Falls Short

Author: Obscure Omen from United States
12 December 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

(Note: The spoilers in this review are very minor. They speak more of general trends in the episode, not specific happenings.) Sexuality is definitely a hot-button issue at the moment for the nature-nurture debate--but current trends in science and social thought (specifically the focus on nature) render this attempt biased, leaving the episode with a kind of bitter end for those who question.

Barrowman goes into the entire investigation with his mind already made up: He, and everyone else, was born gay. And, since he is the head of the investigation, he crosses out the validity of the nurture part of the debate pretty quickly; most of the episode is focused on the nature side. His definition of "nurture" is also very narrow: He seems to define it strictly as parental influence, not how culture/society might've influenced a child.

As a result, the question of the episode quickly turns into "What part of our biology makes me gay?" instead of "Is it nature or nurture?" The episode is still interesting and enlightening, Barrowman still entertaining and relentless in finding answers, and intriguing questions still raised, but it doesn't do the nature/nurture debate full justice--and at times it spits in the face of science thanks to the rampant biases and lack of questioning of results/experiments/data.

All-in-all, the show is a good introduction to the science of the nature side of the debate and it encourages people to act on healthy curiosity, but it doesn't quite reach the question is claims to answer.

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