Regarding Hollingsworth v Perry: An Open Letter To The Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States: The Sexual Imprint And Its Implications For Law and Social Policy

Your imminent ruling, in the matter of Hollingsworth v Perry, requires of you a theory of sexual orientation and preference, for to rule in this matter without an understanding of the science underlying human sexual orientation and preference is to opine with no durable foundation. When a court of last resort considers overturning the repeated formal declaration of the citizenry in support of a tradition of longer standing and service than our constitution and laws, then that court must indeed be wiser than the electorate, and wisdom requires a scientific as well as legal foundation.

Sundry briefs have been filed in this matter regarding the letter and spirit of the law, but none have provided the required scientific foundation for this decision. To say we are born with any sexual orientation and preference is contrary to both science and experiential learning. The individual's sexual orientation and unique preferences are in fact and indeed determined through a process called imprinting.

We experience a succession of imprints, brief time exposures during which individual consciousness, emotional repertoire, mentality, and sexual orientation and preference in turn are fixed in patterns of synaptic transmission, subsequently narrowed by synaptic pruning, and made durable over time through repetition.

During the first three days of life a newborn doesn't react to but rather stores and relates stimuli to either safety or danger. The conclusion of this first imprint period is indicated by the newborn's eyes, which, during the imprinting period, had functioned similarly to a camera lens, but now show reactions to stimuli, but indirectly - each stimulus is reacted to not in its own right, but rather as though it is the imprint period stimulus the new stimulus most closely resembles. The individual reacts to, rather than individual stimuli, classes of stimuli, classes established by the individual, or by his or her environment, during imprinting.

The more positive stimuli presented (associated with safety) during the first imprint the more open and inquiring the individual, and the more negative stimuli presented (associated with danger) the more withdrawn.

The second imprint occurs when the child raises him- or herself up against gravity and first toddles into the family politic and his or her emotional repertoire is established. This imprint determines the individual's sense of self in relation to others. The tone and actions of others toward the child during this critical period determines his or her degree of self-esteem and so social manner and place in the family and social hierarchies.

Emotional reactions range from self-abasement to violent aggression, and most individuals imprint a mix of classes of emotional stimuli and reactions to them. At around three years or age, when the child first coordinates a thought with a verbalization of that thought and a related manually precise manipulation, his or her mentality is imprinted. Until our third imprint, developing speech is emotional, not yet mental, in nature, but thereafter speech serves ideation as well as feeling. Likewise, actions are no longer motivated only by achieving safety and then expressing one's emotions, but also by ideas.

The result of this third imprint ranges from a high to low intelligence. A good education cannot improve a dull wit nor can a poor education prevent a fine intelligence from learning, but an unfortunate mental imprint may be overcome by due diligence and a fortunate mental imprint may be squandered by sloth.

My secondary school valedictorian had only an average intelligence quotient, while both our salutatorian and historian had far above average I Qs. The performances of the latter two students were at least expected. The performance of our valedictorian, quite differently, was rather unexpected. Just because our valedictorian's mental imprint was disadvantaging to him, this student deserved and received our respect and more admiration.

Imprints range from fortunate to unfortunate in relation to our social ideal. When imprints are fortunate, we expect the fortunate individual to be a high achiever and as well humble and helpful to others. When imprints are unfortunate, we may likewise expect the individual, rather than pretending his or her imprints are fortunate, to take the disadvantaging imprints as a challenge to be overcome. It is by how the individual acts in relation to his or her imprints, in terms of both his or her best and the best interests of others, that determines his or her character.

The social ideal - an aware, socially adept, mentally acute married father and mother and their children with other families personifying civil society - continues indispensable in that this concept of individual and collective perfection provides endless motivation to be all that we can be, to assert ourselves over our imprints, enabling us to, if not laugh in the face of adversity, at least live so well as to place children and their future above our imperfections. When we strive for the social ideal, individual and society benefit, and, while we acknowledge achievement by the fortunate, we reserve special praise for the overachiever, the underdog for whom Americans root.

There is no justification for any display of prejudice toward anyone soley because he or she achieves less than another; no one proves perfect in life, we are all relative to one another and our social ideal. The social ideal is inherently inclusive. It is only lack of achievement for lack of trying or diminishing by selfishness others', especially children's, probabilities of being all they can be in relation to our social ideal that warrant disapproval or condemnation.

"Just do your thing, you'll be king / If dogs run free" - from 'If Dogs Run Free' by Bob Dylan

Likewise, to discriminate against anyone for their genetic makeup is unjustifiable. A woman is equal to a man, and all races are equal to one another. To discriminate against someone for a quality determined by genetics, to display prejudice over mere appearance, is to violate another's and to betray one's own civil rights, which come with obligations as well as freedoms.

It is genetics that provide our capacity to imprint, as a computer hard drive bestows capacity to software, but the imprint itself, the program, is malleable. While race and gender discrimination rise to civil rights issue status - because they are not malleable - imprints do not. Leaving aside reimprinting, imprints may be constructively or at least harmlessly channeled, transcended, or suppressed by conditioning, faith, or individual character.

"I have a dream, that…little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

The fourth, the sexual, imprint is perhaps too obvious, it is commonly referred to as one's sexual fantasy. Our sexual fantasies, no matter how baroque they become over time, are repetitive and all derivative of our initial sexual experiences. Since sexual like all imprinting still occurs randomly, imprints are not only unique but also, with the increasing lack of discretion in society, increasingly widely varying and often divergent from or even antagonistic toward the individual's general self-conception and our social ideal.

Today's unprecedented divergence of sexual imprints from the social ideal is a function of social policy. Imprints that are not merely divergent from but in fact and indeed challenge the social ideal are now presented as benign and the social ideal, rather than these unfortunate imprints, as problematic. This false premise rests entirely upon the fallacious argument that we are born with a sexual orientation and preferences, and to the degree this false premise is believed the social ideal is called into question, initially by those who prefer pretending they're fortunate when in fact they're unfortunate, who decline to accept their misfortune as a character-building challenge, despite their pretense being indeed harmful to children who have yet to sexually imprint and to the social ideal serving their best interests.

Adding the bandwagon effect - parents who wish for their children mere happiness, for their offspring to be spared the burden of developing character, media profiteers and their performers (among the professions with the highest percentage of divergent sexual imprints) and their trend hound followers, and so politicians wanting swing votes - to advances made through the calculated protracted campaign against the social ideal, in this case traditional marriage, brings us now to our court of last resort.

"To each his own, it's all unknown / If dogs run free" - Bob Dylan

Wise men have reminded seekers of the truth that the answers they receive are dependent upon the questions asked, and even Everyman knows social change is not always progress.

The sexual imprint is prefigured in both genders by increases in height and weight and the appearance of pubic hair, in females by breasts taking shape, hips widening and uterine and vaginal growth, and in males by growth of the testes and penis, enlargement of the Adam's apple, and deepening of the voice. Then, during a brief time period, sexual orientation and preference are imprinted when the individual's initial sexual arousal is associated with who and what is in the immediate environment, when synaptic transmissions lay out what will become repeated patterns. Stimuli associated during imprinting with sexual arousal thereafter trigger a sexual reaction, and stimuli not so associated do not arouse the individual thereafter.

Using a biological robot model in which the brain uses the body, rather than the other way around, dispensing with the fear and conceit limiting humanist theories, proves useful in gaining an increasingly necessary deeper understanding of how human beings operate.

"…users generally prefer systems similar to those they learned on and dislike unfamiliar systems." - from 'Baby duck syndrome: Imprinting on your first system makes change a very hard thing' by Peter Seebach (IBM DeveloperWorks)

Imprinting, noted in birds by observers from Sir Thomas More ('Utopia') to Konrad Lorenz (Nobel Prize winning founder of Ethology), is universal in beings with synaptic transmission-operant brains. A giant panda, Chi Chi, raised alone by London zookeepers rather than with other pandas, refused to mate with a male giant panda, An An, but did fully present herself for mating to a male zookeeper. There are a great many such dramatic examples of imprinting in non-human as well as the human species. Fetishes demonstrate that sexual orientation and preference imprints can attach arousal to literally anything, even inanimate objects.

Sexual imprints may be prematurely activated due to parental neglect and irresponsible sexual expression or sexual predation, or may be complicated later by infliction of sexual trauma. Society recognizes the obligation to protect the individual, particularly the child, and social ideal as well as the freedom of individuals to express themselves.

Society rightly condemns non-consensual sexual activity, including molestation, rape, and bestiality, and incest and other sexual activities that weaken the gene pool or endanger life. Civil society also requires individual sexual discretion. Sexual exhibitionism where others present have not consented or cannot consent, for example, is not allowed. Anything that prematurely activates sexual imprints is child sexual abuse, and much abuse in the absence of knowledge of sexual imprints is committed, without consequence for the perpetrators, sometimes with and sometimes without their awareness that they've harmed a child, sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly. At every turn today children are increasingly sexually abused, even as this fact is increasingly decried.

The false belief that we are born with a sexual orientation and preferences is already resulting in children being presented with sexual stimuli before they have sexually imprinted. The now rampant lack of sexual discretion in our society increases the sheer quantity of unfortunate as well as fortunate imprints in the environment, increasing the probability of youth imprinting an unfortunate sexuality, too, even if they somehow successfully run the gauntlet of indiscretion until they sexually imprint at the time appropriate for themselves.

Enemies of our way of life, from Friedrich Engels ('The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State') to Islamic terrorists animated by fear of Western permissiveness to exalt Sharia law, have long recognized and exploited this self-inflicted weakness, this assault on our own highly successful and compassionate social ideal. One would hope we may yet prove wiser than our enemies…and deprive them of that which makes them such.

All sexual imprints are not equal, and some are and will remain unacceptable, and it is the same with all our imprints. When an individual acts out an imprinted emotional repertoire including violence, for instance, a court may compel such a perpetrator to complete anger management therapy, and if that therapy proves ineffective may deprive the offender of his or her liberty. We not only can't shoot theater goers, we can't even start yelling, "Fire! Fire!" No court will entertain exempting such an offender from being held responsible for the consequences for others of such acting out for the argument that such a perpetrator was born that way. While there is no circumstance in which gender or race discrimination isn't a violation of civil rights, very differently, there are many circumstances in which restriction of the acting out of an imprint, including the sexual imprint, is required by civil society.

A sense of social responsibility should outweigh acting out any imprint undermining our social ideal, and when personal responsibility doesn't carry such weight, then we must learn why and act on what we learn or we'll next face a much more difficult, at best, remedial task. Concern for children and their future must take precedence over self-expression, and there is no more grating an opinion, nothing more hypocritical, than those citizens who pretend to having this concern while actually doing nothing about or even contributing to the very problem decried.

"The training in virtue, which the medieval state left to the Church, and the polis made its own concern, the modern state leaves to God knows what." - from 'The Greeks' by H. D. F. Kitto

Good science is our best counsel, and bad science the worst. Between faith in codes of conduct serving humanity through religions since before the dawn of history, in full recognition of all the harmful unintended consequences thereof, and bad contemporary science, religion is clearly preferable. Since freedom of religion removes articles of faith from your deliberations even as the right to believe in them is guaranteed, we must have entered an Age of Conscience, yet find ourselves, now, on the verge of yielding to a willfully ignorant tantrum at its gate as our children watch how we deport ourselves…and do likewise...

The sexual imprint is the only one of their imprints our youth can significantly influence for themselves, and society should be educating students, at the appropriate age and in an appropriate manner, about imprinting and our social ideal, increasing the probability that sexual imprints will be harmonious with the social ideal, and that those that aren't so will be, if not harmful, acted out with discretion, or, if harmful, be suppressed. Like all of us, you know from experiential learning what your sexual fantasies, what your sexual imprints, are, and in detail no other knows, and you know therefore that you were not born with your sexual orientation and preferences, that sexual orientation and preference is not a civil rights issue.

"Let me remember the things I don't know / / Walking along the river road at night / Barefoot girls dancing in the moonlight" - From 'Green River' by Harlan Howard

Each of you know that in your own lives you have, innumerable times, suppressed your sexual imprint, just as you have other of your imprints. And each morning you stand before a mirror and you see, as does everyone else who sees you, the same gender and race you were the day before and will be tomorrow. But, unless you were indiscreet, no stranger would know your sexual imprint.

Due diligence in surveying the scientific literature familiarizes one with the following facts: There is a higher incidence of coercion and violence in bisexual and homosexual relationships than in heterosexual relationships; rapes of males far exceeds rapes of females in the United States armed services; alcohol and drug problems are more prevalent among non-heterosexuals than among heterosexuals; the divorce rate for same-sex couples (in Europe) is much higher than that for heterosexual couples, and children of non-heterosexual parents are dramatically more likely to be non-heterosexual than are the children of heterosexual parents, among many other telling findings.

Fumbling efforts at reparative therapy for those with same-sex imprints are criticized and even being outlawed. At the same time, where is there any effort toward a reparative therapy for heterosexuals who wish to be otherwise to criticize? LGBT activists insist that those who disapprove of openly acting out divergent sexual imprints protest too much, that they harbor same-sex desires but lack the courage to as they say be themselves, despite this argument leading to the patently false claim that everyone is born with same-sex orientation. LGBT activists relentlessly attack those who seek through some form of reparative therapy or faith to control rather than act out their sexual imprint - to bring those praiseworthy individuals who accept their unfortunate imprints as challenges down to the level of those who prefer a life of pretense to a life of striving, to rejoice in the setbacks suffered by the striving as supposed evidence that there's no point in striving.

It should be noted that across this country we've seen those who support traditional marriage branded as homophobes and bigots. We've seen respected scientists upon whose findings we must depend relentlessly attacked when those trying to tear down our social ideal can't fit objective findings into their socio-political agenda.

Individuals with divergent sexual imprints have no doubt been bullied and worse, and so have others, and in all bullying cases justice should be sought. Bullying may be an expression of discrimination rising to a civil rights issue, or it may not. In California, in the wake of Prop 8 voting, it was those against Prop 8 who bullied and worse those who supported Prop 8, not the other way round. To portray honest disagreement as motivated by hate or bigotry is to be dishonest, and to suggest the contrary party suffers a phobia smacks of defamation and nothing more, excepting an inexcusable lack of the very civility wanted for oneself. Make no mistake: Defending Prop 8 involves personal and professional risk, while attacking Prop 8 involves neither personal nor professional risk.

African-Americans, voters with recent civil rights movement experience, and with the highest percentage of their race incarcerated in same-sex prisons, supported Prop 8 more strongly than did any other class of voters - because they discern a civil rights issue from a faux civil rights issue, and because they know best the sexual and social trauma derivative of same-sex segregation.

'Gay Will Never Be The New Black: What James Baldwin Taught Me About My White Privilege' - Title from article by LGBTQ activist Todd Clayton

From diligence and introspection a clear picture emerges that suggests characterizing other than heterosexual imprints as unfortunate is a generally accurate characterization. From those so-called mental health disciplines in general no longer providing any empowering help to those with self-control problems, from those who merely peddle pharmaceutical drugs, trying to define a seemingly intractable misfortune out of existence is as expected as it is consequentially absurd.

To strike down Proposition 8 would in effect redefine our social consensus so that acting out LGBT imprints would be equally acceptable, equally desirable, with heterosexual imprints in law and social policy. In California, where no books in school libraries used to address noteworthy persons' sexual imprints, books presenting LGBT activists as heroes are already in public elementary schools libraries, pre-sexual children are already being presented with not only sexual material, but sexual material that diminishes the probability of their enjoying fortunate sexual imprints themselves. Surely this Court is aware of the full import of this case…

This court is being asked by those who want traditional marriage struck down to allow all of us to be misled down into unknown territory, and to ignore so many conspicuous red flags at the outset. Science and self-knowledge and common sense, absent which no legal argument can or should endure, confirm the sexual imprint as the mechanism through which individual sexual orientation and preference are determined, that we are not born with any sexuality at all, only the capacity to imprint our sexual orientation and preferences.

Each of us is obligated to place children and their future before our desire to express ourselves, all our imprints are malleable and ultimately our individual responsibility; and our institutions, certainly including this court of last resort, are obligated to make certain the individual's sense of responsibility ensures his or her freedom and the prospects and freedom of future responsible generations.

Bart Brown earned degrees in Experimental Psychology and Film Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he wrote a column, Mind-at-Large, for the campus Daily Nexus, and at Los Angeles, and has been a Screenwriting Fellow at the American Film Institute - Center for Advanced Film Studies in Hollywood. Mr. Brown previously coordinated The American War Resister In Sweden periodical in Stockholm, and has subsequently directed non-profit organizations focused on youth development in the Los Angeles Basin.

"...there must be some public fools who sacrifice private to public interest at the certainty of ingratitude and obloquy - because my vanity whispers I ought to be one of those fools and ought to keep myself in a situation best calculated to render service." - The poor architect of our economy Alexander Hamilton quoted by Gordon S. Wood in his work 'Revolutionary Characters: What Made The Founders Different'