General Question

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

Me and my friend have been arguing about whether or not homosexuality is a choice or genetics can you help me out?

Asked by xxporkxsodaxx (1386 points ) April 18th, 2008

my friend also thinks that it also has something to do with how you are raised, I strongly doubt that but I could be wrong. Just cover all aspects of the question

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

34 Answers

netspencer's avatar

I think your just born that way. Maybe if u were raised in a antihomo family ur feelings would change because u were nvr able to think freed and would end up strait. I think that its genetics but its ur choice to let it be ur true identify of if u will not tell anyone.

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

yea im not gay and neither is he, its just a discussion

spendy's avatar

Very interesting question! I believe it’s genetic, my husband believes it a choice. However, when I asked him if he made a choice to be straight…he said, “No, that’s just the way it is.” lol Seems that many of the straight people who believe it’s a choice also believe they are straight because “that’s how people are born.” Terrible double-standard. I’m from the genetics-camp, myself. I fully believe it’s a pre-wired orientation. However, I believe some people struggle with self-discovery due to environment, ie. family, friends, surroundings, etc., and make the “choice” to either acknowledge or hide it.

shared3's avatar

Genetics, definetly not a choice, but as for environment, that is impossible to determine.

Riser's avatar

I believe the variables that determine a person’s sexual make-up far outweigh the “cold hard facts” necessary to prove homosexuality is genetic.

Psychologically, it is not impossible to develop behavioral tendencies in all aspects of life, including orientation. This does not prove nor disprove being born homosexual or heterosexual, it does however suggest that not all gay people are born equal.

Until a laundry list of babies are documented as being gay, their parents are not given this information (so as not to influence them) and end up aware of their homosexuality, I cannot believe in being born gay.

However, it is not impossible to consider certain genetic tendencies toward abstract thought.

I believe we experience a sexual birth, much like our physical one, that develops steadily, around the age of six. Until then we are essentially a-sexual, requiring no distance or intimacy toward the opposite sex. It is at the age of six that most young boys develop a bonding toward one another and a unified distance from females, using kid-dom’s most infamous disease, cooties, as an excuse. Eventually this sexual behavior evolves into a new found bonding with the opposite sex and a desire to pursue them, however with the introduction of certain experiences, such as molestation or sexual contact from the same sex at an age that does not allow certain processes to completely mature, can and I believe do change someone’s sexual make-up. Before anyone attacks me for my theories, let me say that I am not suggesting it requires molestation or other traumas to predispose someone toward homosexuality, but rather suggesting the possibility that if our first sexual experience is homosexual, whether it is infatuation, molestation, attraction or sexual contact with a peer, could it be that, because of immaturity in the psyche, our sexual birth forever unifies us with our orientation and in that way, suggests we are born homosexual.

Highest Regards,

A proud, engaged, homosexual

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

Well the thing is, i was also watching a tv program about people going under sex changes and in some cases when the individual is gay to begin with, for some reason they switch orientation to the same sex after the operation to the same sex again. like if it was a male changing to a female, he would originally be attracted to males as a male and after the operation she would be attracted to females, which to me seems that it would be the way that their body absorbs the hormones, and because you are right and no two homosexuals are the same, there might be more that one “type” or just how their brains and neurological receptors interoperate the information that they are receiving, I am also sorry if you think that i was excluding you in the conversation but it just helps me a little to not include direct people into the conversation

Riser's avatar

Abstract vs. Concrete. I would love to go into more detail than this but I fear it would stir controversy.

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

well im not quite sure what you mean by abstract vs. concrete, but to be honest i love to argue and will carry on conversations for a long time and annoy the people around me from the intense conversations i have, if you dont mind i would enjoy continuing but then again you might regret it because i am known for carrying on things for weeks until i have the most logical answer

Riser's avatar

Abstract vs. Concrete is my way of generalizing thought processes. Let me give you food for thought. A study was made (looking for link now) that showed 80% of homosexual men are involved in the arts, either professionally or for a hobby.

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

well im still not really seeing the whole picture you’re trying to paint for me (no pun intended) im not sure what your getting at by that, like as i was saying earlier, the way they might think is the way they interoperate things, the way hormones are absorbed, and the way the brain functions. Maybe in some cases they might have an increased artistic ability

Riser's avatar

I am suggesting that it requires an abstract mind to to attach sexual experience with sexual birth.

spendy's avatar

@Riser – would it stand to reason, according to your theory, that someone who is straight that is molested by the opposite sex (as their first sexual experience) might also become gay as a result of the influence on their sexual birth? It would seem to make sense, but my problem with this is that I know a multitude of people on both sides of the sexual fence who have been influenced in this way, with no distinct correlation between this type of event and their sexual orientation. I’m not intentionally focusing on the scenario of molestation, it could truly be any of the situations you mentioned. My point is that there would also have to be an in-depth study/report regarding gay/straight people and their past sexual experiences to support this as well.

Riser's avatar

Of course, which is why I give it only the credibility of opinion and theory, however I believe the glue is in observing the “abstract” and “concrete” thought processes. That is not to say every person who has experienced sexual activity homosexually and is abstract minded will be gay, but their conditioning, family atmosphere could detour that development.

wildflower's avatar

I think it’s mostly genetic, but your environment and cognitive conditioning will certainly play a part in how much you can/will admit it and embrace it.

isb3's avatar

I think there are a lot of dimmensions to homosexuality that are not included in the genetics vs. choice debate. Not everyone is the same some people feel that they’ve been attracted to the same sex since they can remember others might feel differently. One way of thinking about it is to consider when you “knew” that you were heterosexual. It’s a difficult question with many components that go beyond genetics and choice.

boffin's avatar

” Me and my friend have been arguing…...”
Should read…
“My friend and I have been arguing…..”

spendy's avatar

@isb3, the same dimmensions, then, would pertain also to heterosexuality as well. Physical attraction to someone of particular sexual orientation seems not to be something that one could choose, per se. That said, it also seems to be a pre-determined attraction that is developed and further molded by one’s surroundings and experiences. Psychological conditioning would undoubtedly play a role in the development or distruction of one’s sexual orientation, ie. environment may promote denial, experiences with individuals of opposite orientation may cause a withholding of acceptance. IMO, it’s much less complex in this sense…so as to say that “choice” might not be conscious, but more a deep-rooted psychological lean toward either acceptance or denial according to environmental conditioning.

syz's avatar

My best friend during my college career was a young, black gay man (we were coworkers). He was a product of public education (poorly educated but not dumb), painfully shy, and incredibly sweet. It is my firm belief that he had no more choice about being gay than he did about being black.

You will never convince me that he “chose” to be gay ensconce in the Bible Belt in the Deep South. He suffered from bigotry every day of his life. Unfortunately, hanging out with me (a white female) only increased the incidence of degrading and frightening comments and actions directed against him.

Sadly, I lost contact with him when I graduated and moved.

toolaura4ya's avatar

I dont think its choice but I wont accept the genetics theory until I see concrete scientific evidence and even then my opinion may stay the same. They say alcoholism can run genetically through families. So i think that those people have a choice of how they are going to live their everyday lives. So I think that homosexual people have a choice. I just can’t justify homosexuality in my mind. Men are plus signs and women are minus signs and they naturally fit together. Two men together or two women is like a double negative.

wildflower's avatar

There is a choice…...the choice is whether or not you’ll be true to how you feel. Aside from gender, do any of us choose who we’re attracted to? We just know when we are, but we do have a choice whether to act on it or not.

Personally don’t think anyone should ever feel compelled to suppress such an important part of who they are.

spendy's avatar

@syz + wildflower, my sentiments exactly. I’m just not sure how anyone would believe that a gay person (or straight, for that matter) has any control whatsoever over who they are attracted to physically.

@tool – if you are straight (which I’m assuming), did you make a conscious choice to be attracted to men? Or do you believe that’s just how you are, no questions asked (ie. born that way)?

ironhiway's avatar

I agree with Riser’s well formulated response in the difficulties in finding the answer to the question.

I also believe personal experiences may influence the out come.

Here are some links to check out for some research done on the subject.
University of Chicago research brain differences

Two sides of physiological difference studies

Simon LeVay study

breedmitch's avatar

What does it matter how one gets to be who they are. Looking for cause is paramount to looking for blame. Doesn’t matter.

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

@breedmitch, it was just a conversation that my friend and I were having because he mentioned something about it and I then I added a statement which he believed to be false, leading to this question on fluther

spendy's avatar

@breedmitch…blame and explanation/exploration are different things. ;)

We’re not saying that anyone is wrong for being homosexual. We are simply theorizing the hows and whys of same-sex orientation.

breedmitch's avatar

@spendy: I know that. I’m just saying it’s a slippery slope. If you believe it’s a genetic cause (nature) then how long before someone is trying to “cure” it. If you believe it’s environmental (nurture) than you invite pity or (as Riser points out) the idea that somehow homosexuals are “damaged goods”. I was trying to point out that a more reasonable discussion would be to move beyond cause.

As for my beliefs, I tend to feel that homosexuality is just another step in evolution (forward that is) that nature sometimes uses to combat over-population. I guess that puts me in the nature camp. We gays are more evolved than you breeders.

spendy's avatar

More evolved? I would tend to say THAT is your slippery slope, my friend. I’ve never debated the right or wrong of homosexuality. I have numerous gay friends and no qualms whatsoever in associating with anyone of same-sex orientation. We’re only discussing the topic of nature vs. nurture (as you are aware). IMO, it’s natural, and as you have mentioned, probably the course that Mother Nature has opted for as the next logical step in evolution (AKA solution to over-population). I believe you’re right. I also believe discussing it as an evolutionary manifestation designed to allow evolution, itself, to continue without over-population would be off-topic for the posted question.

spendy's avatar

Great idea for a new thread though – have at it! :)

Riser's avatar

I prefer the idea of choice over genetics probably because I tell stories for a living and, to me, the story leading to how I met my fiance is much more intriguing and beautiful than the simple fact that I have a mutation in my cerebral outline.

I don’t see the importance in proving genetic theory. I know who I am and am comfortable with many choices I have made in my life, if it so happens to be I chose to unveil the curtain of orientation in order to see I am most compatible with a same-sex companion, so be it.

I relate to men better and enjoy their company more, not that I don’t have female friends but I can only relate to them on platonic levels. This has nothing to do with genetics.

spendy's avatar

@Riser, you threw me for a loop w/the new pic. So, you made a choice to be attracted to men? I’m having a hard time with that one. Personally, I can’t just make a choice as to who I’m attracted to (or connect better with) on a platonic or sexual level. From as young as I can remember, I was drawn to the opposite sex (in more innocent ways at a younger age, obviously). But, there was never that draw to the same sex…and I have to believe that wasn’t by choice.

Riser's avatar

Spendy: I’m not saying that I chose to be attracted to men. I was making the point that whether I chose, or not, isn’t important to me.

spendy's avatar

Gotcha…in general, I don’t believe it matters either. I’m a “live and let live” kind of person. As long as someone isn’t force feeding me what’s on their plate or poking me with their fork, I don’t care what they eat or how. :) Just debating the question.

Riser's avatar

of course and I love a good debate. :)

berocky1's avatar

I think that you are born with a preference but it can change with enviroment.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther