Is Soy Making You Gay(er)?

I cringed at the headline, “Soy is Making Kids Gay“. We’ve blamed homosexuality on just about everything, so I guess it was only a matter of time before plants took some of the heat.

Jim Rutz, the author of said article, isn’t a dietician, nutritionist or even a personal trainer. He’s a minister, and yet doesn’t hesitate to pen articles about a subject on which he’s uniquely unqualified to speak. Rutz writes:

There’s a slow poison out there that’s severely damaging our children and threatening to tear apart our culture… When you eat or drink a lot of soy stuff, you’re also getting substantial quantities of estrogens… Soy is feminizing, and commonly leads to a decrease in the size of the penis, sexual confusion and homosexuality.

Before you start slipping soy to unsuspecting attractive straight guys, know that Rutz is a bit misguided. And by a bit misguided, I mean totally wrong.

First things first, soy doesn’t contain estrogen, the female sex hormone. This isn’t a theory or a speculation, but an actual fact. Soy does contain phytoestrogens, and though some properties are similar to estrogen, it’s a very different cup of tea. In actual human testing involving actual scientifically validated studies, the preponderance of evidence (including a meta-analysis or recent research in Fertility and Sterility) shows that soy neither lowers testosterone nor raises estrogen levels. Nine separate studies confirmed this.

Since the claim that soy foods result in feminized characteristics are based on the the mistaken belief that these foods contain estrogen (or even something similar), the misconception quickly falls apart in the light of real science.

As a side note, soy has no effect on sperm count, as is often rumored:

Three clinical studies have examined the effects of either soyfoods or isoflavone (the type of phytoestrogen of which soy contains high levels) supplements on sperm and semen parameters and none have found any adverse effects

If you read between the lines, it seems like Rutz is painting a picture of homosexuality as something that can be controlled. Like blood pressure and obesity. WTF?

Moreover, if soy makes you gay, it’s amazing that Japanese people (with high soy diets) have managed to reproduce for all these centuries. And somehow, despite not eating soy until age 21, I managed to become a full fledged homosexual.

The reality is that soy provides a number of benefits for men. These benefits including prostate cancer risk and blood cholesterol level reductions. Soy is also a great source of protein. Of course, it doesn’t mean you need to drink 6 cups of soy milk a day – as your mother said, everything in moderation. 🙂

P.S. Though Mr. Rutz doesn’t provide us with any actual science to support his article, I’ve included 16 references to support mine:

  1. Khosla S, Melton LJ, 3rd, Atkinson EJ, O’Fallon WM, Klee GG, Riggs BL: Relationship of serum sex steroid levels and bone turnover markers with bone mineral density in men and women: a key role for bioavailable estrogen. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 83, 2266-74 (1998).
  2. Greendale GA, Edelstein S, Barrett-Connor E: Endogenous sex steroids and bone mineral density in older women and men: the Rancho Bernardo Study. J Bone Miner Res 12, 1833-43 (1997).
  3. Sayed Y, Taxel P: The use of estrogen therapy in men. Curr Opin Pharmacol 3, 650-4 (2003).
  4. Franke AA, Custer LJ, Wang W, Shi CY: HPLC analysis of isoflavonoids and other phenolic agents from foods and from human fluids. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 217, 263-73 (1998).
  5. Pinkerton JV, Goldstein SR: Endometrial safety: a key hurdle for selective estrogen receptor modulators in development. Menopause (2010).
  6. Hamilton-Reeves JM, Vazquez G, Duval SJ, Phipps WR, Kurzer MS, Messina MJ: Clinical studies show no effects of soy protein or isoflavones on reproductive hormones in men: results of a meta-analysis. Fertil Steril (2009).
  7. Messina M: Soybean isoflavone exposure does not have feminizing effects on men: A critical examination of the clinical evidence. Fertility Sterility (in press) (2010).
  8. Chavarro JE, Toth TL, Sadio SM, Hauser R: Soy food and isoflavone intake in relation to semen quality parameters among men from an infertility clinic. Hum Reprod 23, 2584-90 (2008).
  9. Mitchell JH, Cawood E, Kinniburgh D, Provan A, Collins AR, Irvine DS: Effect of a phytoestrogen food supplement on reproductive health in normal males. Clin Sci (Lond) 100, 613-8 (2001).
  10. Beaton LK, McVeigh BL, Dillingham BL, Lampe JW, Duncan AM: Soy protein isolates of varying isoflavone content do not adversely affect semen quality in healthy young men. Fertil Steril (2009).
  11. Messina M, Watanabe S, Setchell KD: Report on the 8th International Symposium on the Role of Soy in Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention and Treatment. J Nutr 139, 796S-802S (2009).
  12. Casini ML, Gerli S, Unfer V: An infertile couple suffering from oligospermia by partial sperm maturation arrest: can phytoestrogens play a therapeutic role? A case report study. Gynecol Endocrinol 22, 399-401 (2006).
  13. Yan L, Spitznagel EL: Soy consumption and prostate cancer risk in men: a revisit of a meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr 89, 1155-63 (2009).
  14. Lakshman M, Xu L, Ananthanarayanan V, Cooper J, Takimoto CH, Helenowski I, et al.: Dietary genistein inhibits metastasis of human prostate cancer in mice. Cancer Res 68, 2024-32 (2008).
  15. Xu L, Ding Y, Catalona WJ, Yang XJ, Anderson WF, Jovanovic B, et al.: MEK4 function, genistein treatment, and invasion of human prostate cancer cells. J Natl Cancer Inst 101, 1141-55 (2009).
  16. Zhan S, Ho SC: Meta-analysis of the effects of soy protein containing isoflavones on the lipid profile. Am J Clin Nutr 81, 397-408 (2005).
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  1. Yay Davey! I love the ‘here’s my sources’ info! Now call yourself a minister and your article will be taken as fact by the religious and fox news.

  2. My goodness, some people are touched in the head. It is amazing how some peoples beliefs are so far from reality. I believe that if you know not of the subject you should not spread the information.

  3. The Japanese are grown in test tubes! They’re all ghey over there. It’s a big, gay, Asian test tube paradise.

  4. Oh davey you are my god, if only people were like you 🙂 like my god damn dad who tried to kill me when he found out I am gay. I hate life.
    thanks for the great article

  5. Great job with the sources! I personally have developed a lactose intolerance and have been looking at vegetarian/vegan options. And I am with you, I didn’t have soy until I was 25 and I was still gay long before that.

  6. As a nurse student and gay im “WTF is wrong with that dude?!” i mean seriously?! I cant belive ppl as stupid as him excist and i dont mean stupid as the insult but as an actual lack of IQ!

  7. Suppose, for a moment, one can manage homosexulity, as one can manage weight or blood pressure? I don’t want to manage mine; you can’t make me! 🙂

  8. You use asians (Japanese to be specific) as an example of not being gay but having used soy for a long time (over generations even), but what about the feminine features that many asians have?

  9. Wow, this dude needs to get real. I love Soy! Since I can’t drink regular milk, Soy has become my best friend. And why do people always think that if you are Feminine then your gay? I’m gay, but not that Feminine… I might not like sports, and the outdoors but I am still a dude that just likes to shop, and wear nice clothes. I know a lot of people like me, and they are not gay… Ugh.

  10. Chris Mooney says:

    Great article Davey! I hope you’re going to forward it to the minister in question…?! If you haven’t already of course!

  11. I am constantly amazed at the absolutely ludicrous things these people will say/print/repeat to support their bigotry. The sad part is that so many people just accept these things as the truth, without question, and then repeat them. Oh, did I just quote Fox News’ corporate motto?

  12. Dean Cuthbert says:

    The church will do anything to taint us!
    I can’t wait until the day science discovers that being gay is genetic, that way if they say homosexuality is wrong, they they will be saying that being black, or chinese or african is wrong too.

    And this is one of the most outrageous claims I have ever read!

  13. I guess my small penis size, being caused by soy products which my Mom, and Dad probably NEVER ate during the period prior to my birth, surely had something to do with it. I mean, genetics and other biological considerations certainly couldn’t have had anything to do with the size of my penis.

    I know who’s responsible….Jim Rutz!! OMG! He must have snuck in there somehow and made me gay and shrunk my penis! 😉

    (in case you or any of your readers couldn’t tell, my commentary is to be taken as humor.)


  14. I’m betting this Rev. Bozo also believes in creationism, disbelieves climate change and doesn’t think Obama is an American. In other words, a follower of Glen Beck.

  15. Well, with no credible sources or background…and the usage of terms like “soy stuff”, I’m never touching soy products…er I mean stuff…again!

  16. Not just Japanese people eat soy products, but also Chinese, Koreans, Thais, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Malaysians, Singaporeans, Cambodians, Indians, Nepalese, Burmese and Filipinos. That’s about half of the world’s population that have been eating soy products. They’ve been eating soy products for a very long time. In fact Chinese and Koreans been eating soy before Christ was even born. He’s a minister but come on. Is it really going to kill spiritually if actually uses scientific facts that soy does not make a person gay.

  17. Crazy people say crazy stuff. Meaning that Jim Rutz is crazy thus …

  18. “Soy is feminizing, and commonly leads to a decrease in the size of the penis, sexual confusion and homosexuality.” ~ Jim Rutz

    funny how the first place his pervy little mind went was penis size…. hehehe..

    ~ cheers….

  19. So women that drink soy milk must be really feminine… what about drinking women’s milk straight from their breast… does THAT make you gay too?? Amen.

  20. christopher says:

    soy milk is prominently displayed in many varieties at Mitsuwa Mkt-all i need is a low sugar variety.this preacher-as most fringe back door churches-is a kook.thats why organised religion has no place for nuts like these.

  21. I don’t have the time or attention span to look up your sources so I’m just going to ask a followup question in the off chance you might respond. All I’ve ever heard about soy is that it may cause impotence; and just the possibility of that was enough to warrant permanent banishment from my house. Unless you honestly believe otherwise, that’s how it’s going to stay. xoxo

  22. Thank you for this article. I didn’t know your site until then but I’ll definitely come back as you provided me great content supported by a bunch of articles.

    Also, check out my blog if nutrition is a topic you find interesting.


  23. Kevin Calhoon says:

    I emailed this guy about how ridiculous he was. I was so blown away, I cannot believe it! You should email him with your references and ask for his. 🙂

  24. r dennis leveridge says:

    Just wondering if you left out a word in the last paragraph. “These benefits including prostate cancer risk…” Does soy reduce cancer risk?

  25. ok, I’m gay, I don’t eat soy at all… dislike it’s taste and I have a rather large penis for a 16 year old 😀

  26. Kenneth says:

    Soy makes men gay, they got to be kidding me. Japanese are not the only ones that eat soy products. In fact a lot of Asian people use soy as part of their diets. Chinese, Koreans, Taiwanese, Singaporean, Thais, and Vietnamese to name a few. Can this minister really be that dumb?

  27. Haluaa mennä syvemmälle omissa fantasioissaan, tai kokeilla
    jotain täysin uutta villiä. Minkälainen оn sinun mielestäѕi
    seksikäs nainen oikeastaan. Ѵoi myös olla, että muussa tapauksessa
    еlämä voi ollla täysin ilman paria.

  28. Oh, Davey, you don’t have a single piece of hard evidence that shows you were not fed neo-mull-soy as an infant. Your momma could have given you anything and told you anything. You can’t use your own anecdotal experience to prove anything. The fact that you tried to shows your place in the hierarchy of research.

    Your list of reference citations might look impressive to someone who does not take the time to read them, however not one touches on the topic of infant soy milk ingestion, all of them are completely tangential or deal with effects in adults.

    Read this, at least it give a picture of what’s going on inside an infant wrt this issue:
    Setchell KD1, Zimmer-Nechemias L, Cai J, Heubi JE. Am J Clin Nutr. 1998 Dec;68(6 Suppl):1453S-1461S. – Isoflavone content of infant formulas and the metabolic fate of these phytoestrogens in early life.

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