a reply to: Skyfloating
The question is what extent do nature, nurture and our experiences in adulthood drive us to explore the vast spectrum of sexual behaviors human beings
Is homosexuality a choice? Yes and no, but mostly no.
The issue lies in the question: "How much say do we have over who we are attracted to?"
As a straight person I didn't decide to be straight, I didn't decide to go through puberty and into adulthood attracted to women. Calling it a choice
in that context simply makes no sense. At the same time some people like to experiment, studies typically show women have a greater chance of being bi
or developing bisexual tendencies. Human attraction is not something we have complete conscious control over, in fact from what I've seen, experienced
and researched who we are attracted to is largely outside of our control.
I will draw a slight parallel with religious belief. Some people say belief is just a choice, as if it's like what kind of breakfast cereal you want
to eat. But belief is often not a choice, it's the result of becoming convinced and people can become convinced of things without putting conscious
effort into forcing themselves to make that choice. In many ways sexuality is far far LESS of a choice than belief because we are compelled by our
biology to want sex, be that with the opposite, same or both sexes.
I can understand, entirely, why people would get angry when someone says its a choice. Human attraction is not a choice in the way the word is usually
used. Here's another example - women (and men) who return to an abusive lover. How much sense would it make to ask "Why did she choose to fall in love
with him?" chances are there wasn't a point in the relationship where she said to herself, "I choose to love this guy" as if it was a simple binary
choice. In the same way it doesn't make sense to say someone just goes "I think I'm gonna be gay for a while".
Prior to marriage I could also increase or decrease sexual and romantic desire for certain types of people at will.
Congratulations but I don't think many people can relate to that experience. Oh sure to an extent human beings can regulate their desire but to simply
flip a switch, turn on a dime, as you describe, is something I don't think most people can relate to. At any rate there is a big difference between "I
can dull my own sexual desire" and "other people should be able to dull their own desire to avoid being gay" - not that you said that. Also you're
talking mainly about your level of desire, not about the form your desires took/ who they were directed at. At no point during your time dulling your
desire were you no longer attracted to the opposite sex, merely because you developed some mental immunity to keep your eyes from wandering.
As I said above I do think that choice enters into it on some level because, as you mention, people can make choices to repress their desire... but I
think nature has far more to do with it than nurture for numerous reasons. One such reason is that homosexuality occurs in animals that most people
would not ascribe the idea of making a conscious choice to such as the famous gay penguins at the Central Park Zoo. It doesn't really fit to say they
made a "choice" to be gay, selecting a mate in the animal kingdom doesn't really involve choice in the sense we humans use the word. We've observed
homosexuality in dozens of species and chances are in exists in thousands of species that we wouldn't say make a "choice" regarding their desire or
who they mate with.
Now obviously that doesn't mean for humans choice isn't a factor but where you seem to think its mostly choice with a biological factor possibly mixed
in (let's say 80% nurture/choice 20% nature) I'd put it the opposite (80% nature 20% choice/nurture). So from where I stand on it it's not honest to
say its a choice for most gay people but at the same time not every gay or bisexual person should claim to be born that way. From your anecdote,
others I've heard and discussions with gay friends and family I don't think every gay person claims to have been born that way anyway.
23-9-2015 by Titen-Sxull because: (no reason given)
edit on 23-9-2015 by Titen-Sxull because: fixed minor spelling
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edit on 23-9-2015 by Titen-Sxull because: (no