Nature vs. nurture

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  • #9740

    Rick M.
    Member

    Are homosexuals born homosexual, or do they “learn” their sexual preference?

    User Detail :  

    Name : Rick M., Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Christian, Age : 19, City : Gary, State : IN Country : United States, Occupation : Student, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class, 
    #31192

    Thom24762
    Participant

    The best way to think about your question is to change it a little: Are heterosexuals born heterosexual or do they learn their sexual orientation? When the question is framed this way, most heterosexuals find the question absurd. They never learned how to be heterosexual. They insist that they were born that way. So too gay people. In fact, think about all the ways that our society teaches people from infancy to be heterosexual: learning what’s accepted behavior for boys v. girls, how boys and girs are supposed to be attracted to each sexually, how boys and girls are supposed to handle this attraction, and so on. There are NO lessons on how to be gay. There are NO lessons that gay people even exist. Think then how strong must be a homosexual orientation. . . that in spite of all these social pressures (we won’t even mention the threats to physical surviva), gay people still end up gay. No matter what the preachers say, being gay is a fact of nature, God-given, just, say like being black or tall or female.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Thom24762, Gender : M, City : Washington, State : DC Country : United States, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, 
    #32985

    Rick, you have asked a big question. I am gay, and am comfortable with the position that I was born that way. Why? In grade school, I knew I was different. Didn’t know exactly what or why, but something was off. I played some sports, and wasn’t picked on at all, but something was off. My Dad was a pretty strong presence in my life. He was a military officer, and was gone a lot in my early life, but by early gradeschool he was around most of the time. My mother was also a strong figure, but not in the ‘domineering’ sense. My parents openly disparaged gay images and never considered any other options for anyone. My older brother came out gay when I was 14, and he was pretty quickly thrown out of the family. He moved to San Francisco and was no longer loved or accepted. I became sexually active with guys early on. But, hearing about my brother from my parents kept me VERY in the closet. I got a girlfriend in high school as cover. We eventually got married (big mistake). I was born gay. There was never any doubt about what I was and wasn’t attracted to. The part I ‘learned’ was to act hetero and try to live the hetero life. It didn’t work because it was never who I was meant to be. As a straight man, did you have to ‘learn’ to be straight; i.e., did you have to let go of your homosexual leanings and learn to be straight? Probably not, huh? It’s the same with us gay folks. Hope this helps!

    User Detail :  

    Name : Mark Bentley, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Gay, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : UFMCC - Cathedral of Hope, Age : 39, City : Dallas, State : TX Country : United States, Occupation : Financial analyst, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class, 
    #15759

    sw27518
    Participant

    My understanding is, and science has proven in many cases, homosexuals, like heterosexuals, are born that way. However, homosexuals, like heterosexuals, can learn or adopt certain behaviors tied into either orientation as they grow up. So, the basic element is already there (genetics); but, behaviors such as effeminate gestures, etc. appear to be adopted and voluntary behaviors. Last I heard, there seems to be a gene or genetic makeup that determines homo- or heterosexuality. I am not sure if the scientific community has completely accepted this particular conclusion yet, as there are more studies to be done. But, one thing’s for sure…society doesn’t seem to want to accept it, even if it is proven. Maybe someone who knows more about the studies into the genetics of it can verify or negate this info.

    User Detail :  

    Name : sw27518, City : detroit, State : MI Country : United States, 
    #31028

    Michael20666
    Participant

    Are heterosexuals born that way or is it a learned behavior? Certainly it can be argued with the amount of socialization pressure brought to bear on children — particularly in being exposed continuously to heterosexual influence, public displays of affection, a legal system geared to reinforce the behavior, tax breaks, etc. — that heterosexuality MUST be a learned behavior (Much like religion). For the record — and I wonder how long it’s going to take for those that won’t accept this — I was born gay. Always have been. Always will be. And have no wish to undergo behavior modification to become ‘situationally straight’. God made me just the way I am, and I, for one, don’t intend to argue with Him.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Michael20666, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Gay, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Methodist, Age : 39, City : Houston, State : TX Country : United States, Occupation : Web / E-Business Manager, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #40719

    Ariann23773
    Participant

    People are born with their sexual orientation, as all scientific evidence on the subject has shown. It is most common to exhibit some degree of bisexuality than to be 100% hetero or homosexual.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Ariann23773, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Bisexual, City : Cleveland, State : OH Country : United States, 
    #24210

    Chuck A.
    Member

    While there are all sorts of choices to be made in terms of one’s BEHAVIOR, one’s sexual orientation (whether Gay, Straight, or Bi) is innate. My being Gay is as fundamental to me as being right-handed. It is not something I learned, since I had no Gay role-models while growing up. Nor is it something I was ‘seduced’ or ‘recruited’ into, since I knew quite well that I was Gay years before I became sexually active. I am 41 years old, and I have perceived the world, other people, and relationships through the same eyes and the same mind God gave me from birth. As far as I can tell, God made me Gay. I believe that God created the genetic factors responsible for my sexual orientation. I am also coming to believe rather strongly that if the genes responsible for a homosexual orientation are expressing themselves more often in the human population, it’s probably God’s way of saying that six billion people on this Earth is TOO MUCH.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Chuck A., Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Gay, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 41, City : Spring Hill, State : WV Country : United States, Occupation : AIDS Educator/Part-time radio announcer, 
    #30615

    Martin
    Member

    I suppose it depends who you ask. I try and think logically about it without getting emotive, and I have come to the conclusion it is probably nature. A great many gay people have come from homes where being gay was either not discussed at all or was seen to be ‘deviant.’ Therefore, they weren’t conditioned into being gay, they just were. Gays, in my experience, when asked the old chestnut, ‘When did you realize you were gay?’ say, ‘I didn’t realize, I just was.’ It’s like asking a straight person, ‘When did you realize you were straight?’ It may have been some time before they learned the word ‘straight’ in terms of sexuality, but they have always ‘known.’

    User Detail :  

    Name : Martin, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Bisexual, Disability : Partially sighted, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 21, City : Glasgow, State : NA Country : United Kingdom, Occupation : University Student, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class, 
    #37018

    Mike20396
    Participant

    Born that way, definitely. Consider this: I am gay. My mother’s sister’s son is also gay. AND- so is my partner’s mother’s sister’s son. And, in all likelihood, my grandfather on my mother’s side was gay- but conventions at the time meant getting married and having kids (he committed suicide after living through years of depression). Coincidence? Maybe, but I doubt it. It’s pretty much a proven scientific certainty that the homosexual brain is different chemically than the heterosexual brain. I did not wake up one morning a decide to be gay. I was raised in a very traditional, religious family (no ‘domineering mother and weak father’) complete with Boy Scouts, Little League, high school sports- you name it. When I entered puberty I just found myself not at all attracted to females. All my fantasies were about males, all my wet dreams involved males. I found myself taking more than a quick glance at other boys in the locker room. I was the one who initiated ‘experimenting’ with my male friends…

    User Detail :  

    Name : Mike20396, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Gay, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Humanist, Age : 41, City : Santa Cruz, State : CA Country : United States, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #25923

    Well, I had never known another gay man until I was 20, and exposure to gays and lesbians came from trash TV — not exactly a positive immage of homosexuals to say the least. The subject was never braught up — I was never really exposed to it. Yet I know for a fact I’ve been gay for as long as I remember. My partner comes from a fairly religious family. Even now they have a hard time adjusting but again, there was no gay influences on his life either.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Gregory Grondin, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Gay, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Atheist, Age : 27, City : Saint John, State : NA Country : Canada, Occupation : Software Developer, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
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