Social Question

spiritual's avatar

Where does homosexuality come from?

Asked by spiritual (1271 points ) January 14th, 2010

Where do you think homsexuality comes from? Do you think it is genetic? From someone’s upbringing? Or a choice? Do you believe it it should be frowned or embraced? Ps I’m gay myself just wanted to know opinions!

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

41 Answers

MagsRags's avatar

I’m guessing that you’re heterosexual? Where do you think that comes from? Do you think it should be frowned upon?

El_Cadejo's avatar

Simply put, did you choose to be straight? No? didnt think so. Homosexuality is the same thing.

Frowned on or embraced? You’re an asshole if you frown on others lifestyles, especially those lifestyle choices that dont effect anyone other than those making them.

delirium's avatar

Obviously it’s genetic and gay parents will have gay children, since straight parents only have straight children…

spiritual's avatar

No I’m actually a homosexual myself and I’m sitting with two male friends who are a couple. I was just wondering what the opinions are.

Qingu's avatar

First of all, homosexuality isn’t this concrete “thing.” It’s a range of behaviors and identities. Are you including heterosexual males who occasionally think guys are hot (which is a huge percentage of people)? Sexuality is naturally quite fluid. Sexual preferences exist on a spectrum, not black-and-white categories.

To answer your question, I doubt they’ll ever find a purely genetic cause for homosexuality. I doubt they’ll ever find a genetic cause for my preference of chocolate ice cream over vanilla ice cream either. Or my shyness. Most of our traits—both trivial and important—are the result of a combination of genes and cultural influence.

The important thing is to realize that when it comes down to it, homosexuality is just that: a trait—regardless of whether it’s genetic, cultural, or both. Gays don’t “choose” to be gay anymore than straights “choose” to be straight.

And obviously it shouldn’t be frowned on. “Embraced” is a little strong and bizarre-sounding; how about accepted and treated normally?

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Obviously homosexuality comes from the planet Neptune!

Everybody knows that it does not occur naturally on Earth!

asmonet's avatar

It’s been said before, but not a single one of my genderqueer, trans, gay whatever the hell beautiful people they are have ever said they’d have chosen to be gay. You are who you are. It’s a lot of pain, harassment and fear sometimes going through life for them. Who the shit would opt in unless it simply was who you were by nature?

Fuck the people who think otherwise.

fundevogel's avatar

I’ve read that there are some studies that link irregular hormone exposure of the fetus during pregnancy with transexuality, but I’m not aware of any studies that come close to being able to come up with a good explanation for the cause or causes of homosexuality.

filmfann's avatar

It’s common. It isn’t a disease. It isn’t a choice. It is a physical and emotional yearning.
And it is nothing to be ashamed of.

Jude's avatar

Not a choice (gay girl, as well).

dpworkin's avatar

There are some credible evolutionary models that account for homosexuality in all species that mate. It’s kind of late, and I don’t have any citations at hand, so I will come back tomorrow and try to sketch something reasonable out for you. The main takeaway is that it is a normative part of our nature, has nothing to do with illness or genetic mishap or any other kind of morbidity, and that one day human beings will look back and marvel that any gender orientation was ever discriminated against.

fundevogel's avatar

@pdworkin I remember my anthropology prof talking about that but I can’t remember how it functioned. Something about there being an advantage to having non-procreating members in social groups? I can’t remember.

dpworkin's avatar

Here is a brief quote from Daniel Pouzzner that summarizes this thinking:

_Because the loss of a few males – even quite a few – often results in no significant reduction in the number of the next generation, and because for a male the procreative dividend of heroic excellence tends to be immense, on average males exhibit less strategic conservatism than females. If an able male were to engage in coldly rational risk analysis, this is precisely the strategy he would pursue: the dividend and expectation of success in a heroic pursuit is so huge that the penalty and expectation of failure is overwhelmed.

Because the number of the next generation is mostly insensitive to the number of males engaging directly in procreation in the current generation, males are in fact instinctually more free to dedicate time and energy to matters wholly divorced from their own direct procreative prospects. Males are simply under less evolutionary pressure to procreate successfully. A male is nearly as effective at propagating his genes indirectly, by attending to the logistical and strategic interests of his congenetic community, as by actually procreating directly. In some cases this may even be more effective than direct propagation. Upon close examination, it is my impression that male homosexuality is a bona fide physiological condition in most cases. This is quite congruous with the reduced evolutionary pressure on males to procreate directly. In fact, it can be argued that the incidence of male homosexuality is evidence of a selection for community members who contribute only indirectly to the evolving genetic corpus of the community.

This incidence is created in a particularly clever way. With each subsequent pregnancy with a male fetus, the likelihood of a homosexual phenotype increases by about a third. This may be because a woman tends to subject successive children to increasing concentrations of testosterone in utero, which in utero has feminizing effects (estrogen has masculinizing effects in utero). Or it may be an effect of the mother’s immune system activity. Whatever the cause, with progressing probability, the male children of prodigious mothers have an attenuated or wholly lacking instinct to procreate (with a drive to engage in superficially similar acts remaining as a largely inconsequential residue, venereal disease notwithstanding). The particularly clever aspect of the mechanism is that it tends to offset the mother’s genetic over-representation, caused by a plethora of male offspring, with effectively inhibiting distortion of the procreative instinct._

Source: The Evolutionary Psychology of Human Sex and Gender Daniel Pouzzner, 2000-Apr-11/12

lilikoi's avatar

I think it has something to do with hormonal imbalances.

Qingu's avatar

@lilikoi, why do you think that?

delirium's avatar

It all has to do with hormonal imbalances, because there’s really no such thing as a hormonal balance.

fundevogel's avatar

@delirium There is a wide range of “normal” in hormone levels but you can get outside of it. But I’m thinking that’s schizophrenics and people with chronic depression and such, not homosexuals.

I apologize if my understanding of brain chemistry is off though.

ETpro's avatar

CVS Pharmacy, Isle 7A, second row on the top shelf. If you get theere before Saturday, theyhave a buy 1, get a second bottle free on the 365 caplet size bottles.

delirium's avatar

My point is just that we have a very broad definition of normal and it’s pretty stupid to declare one sliver of it to be the absolute correctness. And to imply that there is something ‘wrong’ in homosexuality, be it hormonal or genetic or who cares, is just silly and naive.

dpworkin's avatar

I think we know that it isn’t hormonal in the generally accepted sense, and is almost certainly genetic.

fundevogel's avatar

@delirium That makes more sense.

@pdworkin Do we know that? I know a bunch of scientists have been looking for a “gay gene”, but that’s starting to seem more of a fashion than a reality. At least in the sense of there being one magic gene that makes a person gay.

dpworkin's avatar

There is no single gene responsible, that is certain. It is complex polygenic phenomenon.

fundevogel's avatar

Well that probably puts it above my science comprehension level.

evandad's avatar

Where does webbed toes come from?

ratboy's avatar

It’s a gift from God.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I don’t know where my homosexuality came from, but I’m glad I got it.

Bieng gay is faaabulous.

daemonelson's avatar

I’d say it’s a combination of genetics and environmental factors. More so genetics.

Nullo's avatar

There is no evidence of a genetic link to homosexuality that they’ve been able to reproduce in other experiments, so I’d say that it’s not genetic, nor (given that there are those who have “quit,” so to speak) is it an immutable state.

DominicX's avatar

No one knows. That’s what makes it a beautiful mystery. :)

One thing I do know is that I most certainly did not “choose” it. No homosexual I have ever met has ever claimed to have chosen it. It is what it is and it’s always been that way for me.

Like I always say, no one who says it’s a choice has actually sat down and logically thought about it. Ask them to explain how to choose it and they will not be able to answer you. Because it isn’t possible.

It may come from hormones/genetics/upbringing/culture, who knows. All I know is I wouldn’t want it any other way. :)

mattbrowne's avatar

The INAH 3 is the third interstitial nucleus of the anterior hypothalamus. The INAH has been implicated in sexual behavior because of known sexual dimorphism in this area in humans and because it corresponds to an area of the hypothalamus that when lesioned, impairs heterosexual behavior in non-human primates without affecting sex drive. It has been reported to be smaller on average in homosexual men than in heterosexual men, and in fact has approximately the same size as INAH 3 in heterosexual women.

A scientific paper authored by Simon LeVay and published in the prominent journal Science suggests that the region is an important biological substrate with regards to sexual orientation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INAH_3

octopussy's avatar

Studies suggest that there’s an inheritance factor that male homosexuality is passed from their mother (X chromosome) to son and usually it’s the younger siblings in the family. I have a few gay male friends and they have been aware of being gay since adolescence. Try to change your own sexual orientation and you will see how hard-wired it is, if it wasn’t why do preachers who rant and rave against homosexuality sometimes get caught in gay situations, they couldn’t change even if they wanted to.
Embrace who you are, you don’t need anyone’s approval, it’s only the religious folk who frown upon what they ‘see’ as abnormal. The basic christian belief is that God created all humans to be inherently sinful, so why do they frown upon homosexuals? Love the sinner, hate the sin is a thin veil and just doesn’t wash.

Qingu's avatar

@Nullo, nothing is an immutable state. Your gender is not an immutable state; it can be changed for a couple thousand dollars.

MagsRags's avatar

@Nullo when you say there are those who have “quit,” I suspect you are talking about behavior rather than orientation. Some folks are determined enough for whatever reason to tightly control all aspects of the face the present to the world. They may even convince themselves. But the heart wants what it wants.

I see it the way @Qingu described – a range of attraction. Bisexuals can go either direction – they are truly able to “choose” based on attraction to an individual. As you go in either direction from there, there is less and less choice involved regarding gender orientation. A bisexual could also fit into your theory of mutability.

fundevogel's avatar

@Qingu That’s sex, not gender.

wmspotts's avatar

gay guy here. It’s 100% genetic. Something was different from me even when I was three years old. At six all of my best friends were girls, at eleven I was looking at boys. It’s not a choice and I feel bad for all those poor guys who go to those church retreats to “become straight”. Doesn’t work that way. You are what you are. Accept it, then embrace it, then move on.

liminal's avatar

I think it was my partner’s cute butt.

TheJoker's avatar

I just see it as another aspect of human behaviour. I suspect, but dont have anything to back this up, that it’s biological rather than environmental or upbringing. & personally I suspect that there is no real clear line defining peoples sexual orientation. I tend to think of it as people have their preferences, however, given the right circumstances they might dable.

MeinTeil's avatar

Musical theatre.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I’ve known quite a few and I think for most it is not a choice.

Who would choose to be despised or disowned by their families, friends, co-workers and a lot of society for fun. Suicide rates are higher and you get no spousal benefits like hetero marriages. Sounds great doesn’t it?

SecondHandStoke's avatar

HomoFresh Farms.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.
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