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Homosexuality: environment or genetics?

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Homosexuality: environment or genetics?

Old 10-23-04, 04:28 AM
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Homosexuality: environment or genetics?

HUGE discussion about this on another forum..

So, are ppl born gay or do they choose it? Or both? And can both exist? If so, why choose it/why born with it?

If possible only rational posts, no emotional/personal laden responses please.

If too heavy of a discussion, delete.
Old 10-23-04, 05:14 AM
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So, are ppl born gay or do they choose it?
Neither.

The use of the word "choose" implies concious choice, which is clearly not true in the majority of cases.

Similarly, the idea that it is "genetic" in nature implies that the person has no control over their feelings and that they are merely an automaton controlled by their genetic code, which I also reject.

Truth, as usual, is somewhere in the middle. Genetics clearly plays a major role in sexual preference, if only by selecting the sex of the person. Guys tend to be attracted to girls, most of the time. However, environmental factors play a large part in the emotional and mental development of any person, and this applies to basically every part of a person's character. Sexual preference is part of a person's character.

So my opinion is that gays who claim they have no control in the matter are just as full of shit as the religious fundamentalists who claim that gays have chosen to be evil and sinful and such. Reality lies in between the extreme concepts.

Last edited by Otto; 10-23-04 at 05:16 AM.
Old 10-23-04, 05:18 AM
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Let's assume that people are born gay and that someday scientists find the gay gene. Would gay people allow that gene to be altered to a straight gene or would they choose to remain gay?
Old 10-23-04, 05:51 AM
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Neither. It's a choice. Enviroment does indeed imply that no matter who the person is, if they grow up in a given enviroment, they will be gay. I think it's a choice, a preference. simple as that.
Old 10-23-04, 05:55 AM
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Originally posted by Tandem
Let's assume that people are born gay and that someday scientists find the gay gene. Would gay people allow that gene to be altered to a straight gene or would they choose to remain gay?
Well, if it were altered, it likely wouldn't make a difference until the next generation, because the gene had already done its work over years of development. So the gay people would have to have the alteration and then have kids-- Wait a second!

In any case, the ludicrousness of that example is enough, at least for me, to disprove that homosexuality is 100% determined by genetics; if so, it would almost never be passed on, and gay people would have disappeared a long, long time ago.

I personally think that there is probably a biochemical predisposition--whether genetic or not, it's there physically--but that's all it is, a predisposition. People with a gay predisposition would be more likely (depending on their environment and their choices) to become gay than someone without the biochemical predisposition... but they wouldn't be fated any more than someone with a weak tolerance for alcohol is "fated" to become an alcoholic, or a person is "hard-wired" to become a serial killer. The probability is higher but that's it. In the end, though, it's a choice.
Old 10-23-04, 06:02 AM
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never cared. that's the homosexuals problem and i'll still accept them as a human being and respect them as long as they do the same to me.
Old 10-23-04, 06:39 AM
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I don't care.

As long as hot girls in the college environment get drunk and choose to kiss on camera I'm a happy guy
Old 10-23-04, 06:57 AM
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Originally posted by Jackskeleton
Neither. It's a choice. Enviroment does indeed imply that no matter who the person is, if they grow up in a given enviroment, they will be gay. I think it's a choice, a preference. simple as that.
I don't think it's a choice at all. My christian friends would disagree with me, but I don't know of one heterosexual who just decides they want to be attracted to the same sex and then it happens. Find me one guy who craves female flesh and see if he for even a moment can think of another guy sexually.
Old 10-23-04, 07:13 AM
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Instinct. Just as most preferences/actions are based on. Pure human instinct. It's the same reason Heterosexuals are attracted the opposite gender. You want what you want. There isn't always a "why?"
Old 10-23-04, 07:52 AM
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Originally posted by Duder
In any case, the ludicrousness of that example is enough, at least for me, to disprove that homosexuality is 100% determined by genetics; if so, it would almost never be passed on, and gay people would have disappeared a long, long time ago.
Have you heard of recessive and dominant traits?

Like all things, there are environmental and biological factors that play into homsexuality. It's not a simple matter of either or.

There is some very interseting scientific evidence that might imply a genetic factor in homosexuality. Probably one of the most famous studies was the one done by Simon Levay, a gay scientist. I can't remember the specifics of the study, but he disected the brains of heterosexual men and compared them with the disected brains of homosexual men (some of whom had died of, if I remember correctly, AIDS). There was a certain neuron group in the hypothalamus that was smaller in the homosexual men than the heterosexual. HIV/AIDS could have accounted for the difference in size of the neuron group, but the study is interesting nevertheless. Levay even said so himself, it wasn't what the study found, but what the study did not find. It didn't find a specific genetic cause for homosexuality.

There was also another study that found a correlation between homosexual men and the number of older brothers they have. The more older brothers, the more likely it was that the youngest would be homosexual. It's hypothesized that after each male birthed, some chemical or something builds up in the uterus, which could affect male development, leading to that male developing homosexual traits.

There have been some other studies, but I can't remember them right now. Anyways, just because concrete examples haven't been found, genetic causes can't be ruled out.

Last edited by beefjerky; 10-23-04 at 07:59 AM.
Old 10-23-04, 07:59 AM
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I don't know - none of the theories have been proven or disproven, so I can't settle on one. I think it's funny when people talk like they know the answer though.
Old 10-23-04, 08:49 AM
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I have a theory, and it is only that.

This idea came to me while taking some child development classes last year. Research has shown that very young children who watch a lot of TV permanently alter their brains, possibly causing attention problems like ADHD.

It seemed to me that this was possible with other things, too. And since the brain scans of gay men show fundamental differences than that of straight men, I wondered what might cause that. My theory is that possible gender roles are not clearly defined at an early age for various reasons (single parent, neglect from a parent, abuse, etc.). When the child's brain "gels", there is no solid gender identification, or even a gender identification of the oposite sex. This in itself doesn't lead to any problems until later in life when such identities become important in socialization.

Anyway, just a theory.
Old 10-23-04, 09:58 AM
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Originally posted by Duder
In any case, the ludicrousness of that example is enough, at least for me, to disprove that homosexuality is 100% determined by genetics; if so, it would almost never be passed on, and gay people would have disappeared a long, long time ago.
Originally posted by beefjerky
Have you heard of recessive and dominant traits?
Or gay people in straight marriages for that matter.
Old 10-23-04, 10:05 AM
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Gay men are like that because they just love the cock. That simple.
Old 10-23-04, 10:56 AM
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Does the "cause" matter?
Old 10-23-04, 11:46 AM
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Originally posted by sracer
Does the "cause" matter?
I agree. Never discuss this.
Old 10-23-04, 11:57 AM
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The funny thing about this argument is that no one will be convinced. People who decide that it's a choice will not be convinced by any amount of scientific evidence. It took the Vatican until the 20th century before it conceded that Galileo was right. American Prostestants won't accept evolution.
Old 10-23-04, 11:58 AM
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Originally posted by Nick Danger
American Prostestants won't accept evolution.
Yeah, but that's just becuase the evidence is weak
Old 10-23-04, 12:00 PM
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Old 10-23-04, 12:01 PM
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Originally posted by Nick Danger
American Prostestants won't accept evolution.
Speaking of which, if homosexuality is purely genetic, is that a genetic step towards extinction of a gene pool? Nevermind... let's not go there.
Old 10-23-04, 12:15 PM
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Best thread on this topic ever....lots of good posts. Thanks!

I think individual psychology, which of course has both organic and enviornmental influences, is the central determinant of sexuality. There can be no sweeping generalizations made, but there are probably tendencies that predispose an orientation one way or another.
Old 10-23-04, 12:18 PM
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Originally posted by Big Quasimodo
There can be no sweeping generalizations made,
This is Other....feel free
Old 10-23-04, 12:26 PM
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Originally posted by sracer
Does the "cause" matter?
Well it does to a lot. If homosexuality is a "lifestyle choice" then laws can be made to discriminate against them. If it's genetic, then they would be afforded the same protections as those discriminated against for race or gender.

What's interesting is that those who are strongly in favor of disriminatory laws against homosexuals (under the ground that it's a choice) would go bezerk if similar laws were passed to discriminate against them for their own choices (namely their religion).
Old 10-23-04, 12:34 PM
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Based on a very limited pool of subjects (okay, 2!) I would say that home environment plays a large part.

Julie Walker has described his/her home environment in previous threads, and it sounded like a pretty bad place to grow up, IMHO.

Also, my best friend "came out" to me when he was around 15-16, and a bit later to his family. He was in a blended family (mother and stepfather,) but there was a lot of hatred for his mother from his biological father, when he would spend time with his father. To me, that is one factor that *could* have made him dislike women. Before he came out, he was hanging out with some older friends who were lesbian, and they *could* have influenced him in some manner. He told me he had begun to imagine a male co-worker or fellow student in the nude, and he would masturbate to the fantasy. It is pretty hard for me to say he was born gay, but I can't say that he was born straight, either, as this was during adolescence, and he may not have thought about either sex much before.
Old 10-23-04, 12:38 PM
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Originally posted by Groucho

What's interesting is that those who are strongly in favor of disriminatory laws against homosexuals (under the ground that it's a choice) would go bezerk if similar laws were passed to discriminate against them for their own choices (namely their religion).
That might have a lot to do with one being the First Amendment in the Constitution.

We may have gotten a little use to that since it was written

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