UPDATE: Google has apparently pulled the app from the Android Market, following pressure from advocacy groups. Neither the French nor the English version is currently available for download. Developing.
"Is My Son Gay?," a new app available in the Android Market, has a rather simple premise: It claims to determine, through a series of 20 questions, whether or not the survey-taker's offspring is, in fact, a homosexual. And yet despite this simplicity of purpose, the app is--surprise!--incredibly controversial.
The Android app was made by French developers "Emmene Moi" (Eng.: "Bring Me"), whose only previous work was on "Mon Fils Est-Il Gay?" (Eng.: "Is My Son Gay?"). The English version of "Mon Fils Est-Il Gay?" looks to be a straight translation from the French, as the app's description in the Android Market appears to have been ripped from a computerized service like Babelfish. Here is the description:
You're questioning yourself? 20 questions to know more about your son. After this test you'll have the proven answer to a question you might have since maybe a long time.
The app itself is a 20-question survey of "Yes" or "No" questions designed to identify your son's sexual preference. Via rue89, and translated into English by resident HuffPost French speaker Alice Hines, these questions are:
1. Does he like to dress up nicely? Does he pay close attention to his outfits and brand names?
2. Does he like football?
3. Before he was born did you wish he would be a girl?
4. Has he ever gotten into or participated in a fight?
5. Does he read sports magazines?
6. Does he have a best friend
7. Does he like team sports?
8. Is he prudish/modest?
9. Does he like diva singers?
10. Does he spend a long time in the bathroom
11. Does he have a tongue, nose or ear piercing
12. Does he spend time getting ready before being seen in public?
13. Have you asked yourself questions about your son's sexual orientation?
14. Are you divorced?
15. Does he like musical comedies?
16. Has he introduced you to a girlfriend ever?
17. Is the father (you) very strict or authoritarian with his son?
18. In your family is the father absent?
19. Was he shy as a child?
20. Is he close to his father?
Reaction around the Internet has not been kind. Gay-friendly Instinct Magazine said that the app is based on the "science of tired and offensive stereotypes," while Jezebel laments the app's "horrible, stereotypical questions." The app is not entirely homophobic, apparently, as Jezebel reports that, if your son is determined to not be gay, the app says "No need to look the other way! ... He is gay! ... ACCEPT IT! ..."
So, silver linings. This conclusion may also protect the app from expulsion from the Android Market, as the Developer Program Policies state that content may be removed for several reasons, most relevantly for
Hate Speech: We don't allow the promotion of hatred toward groups of people based on their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, or sexual orientation/gender identity.
So, does this app promote hatred against a sexual orientation? Neither Google nor Emmene Moi immediately responded to request for comment, though with the amount of media attention this app has gained in America, Google should decide soon.
Controversial apps seem to pop up every now and then, the most high-profile ones coming from Apple's App Store. Earlier in September Apple pulled the (also) French-made "Jew Or Not Jew?" Jewish celebrity identifier from its store after complaints; in March, Apple yanked a "Gay Cure" app that used Biblical teachings to help homosexuals become straight. Google has had its own app controversies, too. The Android Market came under fire in March 2011 for not pulling virtual dogfighting game "Dog Wars" from its digital shelves, despite a public outcry from prominent animal rights activists.
UPDATE: Developers Enneme Moi have responded to request for statement in French. This is the statement from "the person who order the development of the application to the agency," according to the developers.
"This app was conceived with a playful approach," they wrote. "It is not based at all on scientific research... Through humor, "Is My Son Gay?" and the forthcoming novel have the sole objective of toning down/improving the situation and helping mothers to accept their sons' homosexuality."
Do you think the "Is My Son Gay" app should be banned from the Android Market? Weigh in via our QuickPoll. Then, check out nine of the most controversial apps removed from the Apple's App Store (below):