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On Choosing Your Sexuality

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posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 07:57 AM
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Darth_Prime
Why is it hard to accept that I and others did not select our sexuality?

i've wondered why so many people refuse to accept that and insist that we selected to be Gay or Straight?


Because it goes agaisnt their beliefs.

Christians are mostly the ones that will say you chose to be like this, and that's because they cant accept that god creates homosexuals. Their only conclusion is to believe that we are all born heterosexual.




posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 12:41 PM
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reply to post by danielsil18
 

Sigh. Some folks just need blind faith to provide a soft landing to whatever real life throws them. I don't think attempts to dissuade them adds to the OP. It's all been said.



edit on 8-10-2013 by JohnnyCanuck because: Pictures are everything!



posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 03:08 PM
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reply to post by Darth_Prime
 


People in general do a bad job contextualizing their statements; this is partly dueo to ignorance, partly due to laziness, and partly due to the limitations of language.

Earlier, I explained how even a season (homosexual) neuroscientist like Simon Levay acknowledges that with enough motivation and wherewithal, someone who experiences homosexual feelings could learn to experience heterosexual feelings.

Now, when someone says you "choose" to be gay, this is curt and poorly thought out. For someone to "choose" something, they need to know they have a choice. In addition to having the awareness of choice, there's the problem of the viability or ease of a choice. If all you've ever known is homosexual attraction, you haven't got a clue where to begin in overcoming this feeling. So, in effect, you have very little traction in being able to "choose" a different way of being.

Conversion therapy does work, but it is an arduous and lifelong effort. While sexuality will eventually be directed in a heterosexual way as default possibility, you will always from time to time experience the preexisting same sex attractions; Obviously, not as often, and probably not as intensely, but they are bound to reoccur.

The problem I see is lack of honest debate. Political liberals who acknowledge the logic/science of sexual malleability are afraid that admitting to this might provide fuel to the conservative position. They want a moral and philosophical openness; sexuality "shouldn't" be limited by traditional Judeo-Christian prejudices, but explored and experimented in a safe and spiritual way. This is fine - I can't refute this position. However, if someone WANTS to overcome their homosexual attractions, for example, they deeply want a family and children, they should know that it is possible.

A tolerant society requires mutual tolerance, which begins first and foremost with a sense of intellectual humility: that none of us know; liberals aren't anymore in the know than conservatives; the closest we can come to knowledge is acknowledging how limited our capacity for complete philosophical truth is. So, we should let the Christian/Jew/Muslim/Conservative with a differing metaphysics to choose to live the way they want. Thats my view anyways.



posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 03:10 PM
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I have always thought it is easier for straight women to choose to have homosexual relationships..... I am not saying all homosexual people choose it, but I do think some do. I have always been into dudes. But I have recently realized I could probably date a woman. I told my husband I thought I might be bi, he confirmed that he already thought that. I can get turned on by women, though maybe not as easily as by men. Also, women can fulfill emotional needs for each other, simply through friendship. I have seen women get burned by men too many times and "decide" they are lesbians. But I think women are also more open sexualy than men, which can make it a choice for females more than men. Again, I do not believe most people choose sexual orientation, but I think there are a few who do.



posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 04:05 PM
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reply to post by colbe
 


Your holy father is very adept at PR. That is what you are hearing; a clever political spin designed to bolster the spurious views of a religion as opposed to welcoming all into its fold. I would rather put 'faith' into the 'overview effect' to bring about a 'oneness' amongst humankind.



posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 10:03 PM
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reply to post by Astrocyte

I think I'm not clear on the point of "conversion therapy."

The human body is biochemical, so nearly anything is "temporarily" possible if you stuff enough chemicals into it, particularly hormones. Thanks to various moments of hormones I've experienced everything from overwhelming spiritual love for a tree, to the overwhelming desire-via-rage to murder someone, and depending on my age and time of month my interest in even the most glorious manly-man ranges from "less interesting than my spreadsheet" to orgasms without even touch or more than 15 seconds of imagination. These are all hormonally, biochemically driven, and it's easy to see that one could pretty dramatically "forcibly affect or mold" someone's personality by making them a guinea pig of chemical experimentation.

Since human beings also have a powerful neurochem-association as we see in everything from learning theory and extinction paradigms to aversion therapy, probably the mega-chemical approach, if creatively tailored enough, could even affect a human's sexuality -- in either direction.

Pretty sure this could be used as much to incline someone to homosexuality as against it.

As you imply, pretty sure it would require ongoing coercive drugging, and even then would not be 100% effective... but perhaps mostly, if everything was as good as planned on paper.

I'm pretty sure that we could make all women closer to stepford wives with this approach. Pretty sure we could make aggressive men into docile submissives with enough of it. There's all kinds of things one can do if you wish to take a biochemical life form and muck about with enough of the biochemicals. For that matter, just a little bit of chem and some creative psychology and you can even make entirely new personalities separate from the one 'dominant' in the body, personalities which have fairly radically different perspectives and behavior. There is no doubt that humans are "able to be forcefully and intentionally modified" with sufficient effort of various, but especially chemical, kinds.

So... what would be the point of this?

I realize that once in a while there is some person who feels so profoundly different psychologically than their underlying biological norm that they may choose something such as hormone therapy for example; not sure if that is nearly as powerfully-changing as what you're talking about though it IS pretty powerful.

Would this 'conversion therapy' be something people would seek out on their own because they've been raised to find homosexuality so staggeringly hideous (and/or their family does and they cannot separate from that need for their acceptance) that they want to forcibly change themselves in this regard? Given in this case the issue seems far more psychological than physical, it seems like getting them psychotherapy to deal with and accept their sexuality would be easier and less biologically damaging in the end (drugs are seldom good longterm results) than the biochemical force approach. Though it's everyone's own right to decide I suppose.



posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 10:59 PM
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reply to post by RedCairo
 





Since human beings also have a powerful neurochem-association as we see in everything from learning theory and extinction paradigms to aversion therapy, probably the mega-chemical approach, if creatively tailored enough, could even affect a human's sexuality -- in either direction.


Take recent research into trauma and OCD. 10 or 15 years ago, the consensus was, these people need the right "chemicals" to help think better. They have a "chemical" imbalance, the theory goes.

But in the last 10 or 15 years, our knowledge of how the brain, the pathology of mental illness, and the relationship between mind-body through the nervous system, has been almost completely redrawn. No more do we believe that the brain is "hardwired" to be a certain way. The new truth is, there is a mutual exchange of influence between mind and body; the body influences the mind by biasing attention via the release of certain biochemicals, yet at the same time, the mind - via the dorsolateral cortex, where executive function in concentrated - can manually direct the mind.

Dr. Jeffrey Scwartz of UCLA has achieved great success in helping people who've been suffering with OCD to overcome their obsessions; the therapy is partly informed by recent research into neuroaffective processes, and ancient practices like Buddhist mindfulness.

Also, trauma therapists (my area of research) like Stephen Porges, Peter Levine, Pat Ogden, Alan Fogel and Laurence Heller (amongst others) have utilized knowledge of what Porges calls the "polyvagal theory" to help undue the effects of both developmental and shock trauma. Again, in this case, the brain is being coaxed to relearn and rewire aberrant pathways.

In this area of research, we speak both of the cognitive and physical effects. Cognitively, the client is taught to recognize cognitive distortions; is taught to recognize how overly aroused his nervous system is (via the breaking down of the vagus nerve), and through steps and stages, incrementally learns to experience higher levels of emotion.

If a human being has such power over his emotional reality, I fail to see how sexuality couldn't also be brought under conscious control.




As you imply, pretty sure it would require ongoing coercive drugging, and even then would not be 100% effective... but perhaps mostly, if everything was as good as planned on paper.


Drugging? No. Again, the mind-body connection works both ways. The mind is not some puppet-toy of the body. The mind ALSO influences the body. For example: I have a massive urge to tell my boss off: my brain is releasing testosterone, cortisol and other chemicals that prime the mind to want to say a certain thing; but do I say it? No. I choose a different approach. By choosing differently, those chemicals dissipate, and more calmer, gentler chemicals, like seretonin, oxytocin, dopamine and endorphins, begin to influence my perception.

Since this feedback works both ways, it is wrong to assume that conversion therapy would require any medication.




So... what would be the point of this?


Fortunately, I'm not even talking about that.

If someone decides to undergo conversion therapy, it's likely a philosophical or religious decision made by the individual; not something forced upon him.



posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 11:25 PM
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I'd like to point out that I'm not encouraging conversion therapy; I'm merely pointing out that it is possible.

In the case with OCD or someone who has experienced trauma, their lives are being ruined. There is no earthly reason to believe that OCD of trauma has helped them; eventually, all come to understand that they need to work on themselves if they want a normal life.

Conversely, someone who is gay can more or less live a normal life with no serious social or personal disabilities. Many people balk at even calling it unnatural, and are dismayed when people suggest that it is "something that needs to be overcome". There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding sexual orientation, and the politics surrounding it, in particular, make taking any strong positions against it extremely dangerous.

The incentive for getting better is thus far clearer for people with OCD/trauma than for someone who is gay.

Because it ultimately is a personal decision, I don't want to pass any moral judgements on people. If you want to be gay, good for you; if not, and you want to endure the rigors that changing sexual inclinations requires, good for you. Live and let live; and deny ignorance.



posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 12:19 AM
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I appreciate your sharing the details, and I don't think an emotional bias about the subject should make one avoid or deny measurable things like say, neurochemistry.

However, your suggestion that merely by choosing, with no medication, that one could rewire their brain chemistry to be 'healed' of homosexuality (I understand you are not suggesting it be done, merely that in your view it could be), seems to make a lot of assumptions:

Including that for example OCD is a similar cause/solution to homosexuality; that homosexuality is some kind of neural pathway to be healed or at least changed (most things are including our desire to eat the foods we need to for survival, so I don't expect this to be an exception but who knows); and that anybody without impending threat of beheading or a life ruined by the minute the way OCD can cause, is likely to have the profound fear or misery based incentive which may be required to pull such a thing off.

Something being 'theoretically possible' is a rather distant armchair look at it, particularly since there may be different reasons for it in the first place, which might mean different ways of affecting it, and different degrees of success with that, not to mention the incentive issue noted above.

I spent a dozen years somewhat obsessed with hypnosis and a field of people equally obsessed with that and related "intentional change" of psychology and physiology based on that, including neural approaches (not with drugs but with for example photic/sonic stim). There are some amazing things that can be done, certainly, but the most powerful of those are usually more exceptions than the norm for most, and often require truly extensive and excessive amounts of very persistent practice/time put into them.

So sure, if you all but make anything a religion, it can help -- monks do it with avoiding sex all the time, for example -- but as even that field shows, it obviously doesn't work so well for everyone trying it, even when they are absolutely dedicated and in the midst of an incredibly 24/7 controlled environment, given the torturous angst many writings reflect in such people (and the infamous church scandals, and the fact that a good % of that population in many countries like south America have a wife and kids just not 'officially').

It boils down to saying: Well people can change their neurochemistry based on things like meditation or brainwave technology as well as drugs (we'll leave those out since you did), so if they don't change, it's merely that they don't want to badly enough. "Which is ok." While your personal lack of concern with what people choose is better than the alternative, the perspective you provide on the anyone can change their body via their mind, they just need to try hard enough road isn't much different than the religious road, even if it's for alleged neurologic reasons. I think it still comes down to mostly armchair theory (on this topic as opposed to OCD) about something incredibly improbable (even if very rarely not impossible).

There are uber ectomorphs that can live on pizza and occasionally work out and look like muscle gods, and their existence sells a lot of hype to a world of people who fall on a spectrum, only the tiniest percentage being like them, and the vast vast majority being from somewhat to completely unlike them, even if they pursue the same food, supps, and workout plans. And this is something even vastly more easy, overt, measurable, long-term studied, than something as seemingly complex as homosexuality.

Biochemical individuality is a huge thing and any time we are expecting people to "be able to do X" I think it has to be considered. I suspect since we cannot even get things like basic human health straight in our culture, that the more subtly complex elements are probably a long way down the road from genuine understanding.



posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 11:47 PM
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reply to post by Astrocyte
 


"Chemicals" are a modern piece of absolute BS. There has to date been no proof that brain chemistry causes OCD, depression, homosexuality.There is plenty of proof that brain chemicals are altered with repeated behavior, but no proof that the brain did it first. It could happen, sure, maybe, but there is no proof - whatsoever. Any psychologist or psychiatrist innately knows this.

The fact remains that no one knows a hell of a love about what causes anything. We should come up with a cure or a pill or something that alleviates your urge to see homosexuality as something to fix.



posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 11:51 PM
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thebtheb
reply to post by Astrocyte
 


"Chemicals" are a modern piece of absolute BS. There has to date been no proof that brain chemistry causes OCD, depression, homosexuality.There is plenty of proof that brain chemicals are altered with repeated behavior, but no proof that the brain did it first. It could happen, sure, maybe, but there is no proof - whatsoever. Any psychologist or psychiatrist innately knows this.

The fact remains that no one knows a hell of a love about what causes anything. We should come up with a cure or a pill or something that alleviates your urge to see homosexuality as something to fix.


What we currently understand as "brain chemistry" is, at best, yearning to be sophomoric. We just don't know much.

One thing we do know for certain: neurochemicals are how the body communicates with itself to perform physical duties. Whether the brain is the memory or not, it cannot be argued that altering various chemicals in various ways will alter your perceptions of the world around you.



posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 11:55 PM
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reply to post by luciddream
 


Don't you think they already would have figured out homosexuals have different hormones? They don't, except in rare cases, and those are men that actually LOOK like women to a degree.



posted on Oct, 10 2013 @ 12:03 AM
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reply to post by Astrocyte
 


I grew up with people who discouraged any Homosexuality, all i knew wasn't 'Homosexuality' but that is what i am and that is how i was born.

i'm trying to comprehend fully what you are saying, but are you saying that then they could convert anything into something else? pedophiles? serial killers? ect...



posted on Oct, 10 2013 @ 12:17 AM
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Darth_Prime
reply to post by Astrocyte
 


I grew up with people who discouraged any Homosexuality, all i knew wasn't 'Homosexuality' but that is what i am and that is how i was born.

i'm trying to comprehend fully what you are saying, but are you saying that then they could convert anything into something else? pedophiles? serial killers? ect...


For what it is worth, you can create/alter just about any behavior that a human has using a mixture of the right chemicals, and various types of psychotherapy. These methods go all the way up to what some would call "brain washing".

It isn't to say you will be happier having it done. Only that it can be done, in just about all cases.

That's right....i could be made to believe I am a chicken, living out my life in a human chicken coop.



posted on Oct, 10 2013 @ 01:09 AM
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reply to post by thebtheb
 


Ummmmmmmmm, why did you decide to write this?

If you read my particular post, I distinctly pointed out that the mind-body dichotomy works both ways: the body primes (influences, or predisposes) the mind to think certain things; but the mind can also choose not to think those things. Therefore, the mind is more than the influence of the chemicals released by synapses.

The nano-sized area between neurons called the synaptic cleft leaves neuroschemicals: we know this because we have studied tissue samples of these areas.

Through decades of pain-staking research, brain researchers have learned a GREAT DEAL about brain chemistry. Of course, there is still so much more to understand - particularly in the mechanism of action department - but as of now, we do know and understand that neurons use particular chemicals to communicate with one another. We have "main neurotransmitters" like glutamate and GABA which act as the pedal and brakes of brain function. All other brain chemicals are neuromodifiers: they add particular compound to the mix to influence the brain in a particular nondescript way.



posted on Oct, 10 2013 @ 01:15 AM
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reply to post by thebtheb
 


It's not about having different hormones.

I don't know what you've been reading, or what has influenced these twisted views you hold, but how we feel is neurologically mapped in the brain: ie. for every emotion, there is a particular mish-mash of biochemical actions happening in our brains..

The brain of homosexuals, in an area of the anterior hypothalamus called the INAH, is the same size as that of the INAH in women (it is smaller in women, larger in men). Dr. Simon Levay as well as many other neuorscientists believe this area of the hypothalamus (an area responsible for sexual excitation) either determines or influences sexual orientation.

Happy Reading



posted on Oct, 10 2013 @ 01:34 AM
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reply to post by Darth_Prime
 





i'm trying to comprehend fully what you are saying, but are you saying that then they could convert anything into something else? pedophiles? serial killers? ect...


I'm not sure what you mean by this.

What I've tried to describe psychologically is built upon neuroscientific evidence that shows the brain is never static: it is constantly being changed by it's experiences.

A simple example with demonstrate this: London cab drivers have to pass a rigorous memory test that requires them to memorize all the cities streets. Drivers who've been working for 20 years were compared with drivers who've been working for 5 years, along with non-cab drivers. The sMRI scan showed a vastly larger area of the hippocampus in the 20 years drivers verse the 5 year drivers, who in turn had a larger area than non-cab drivers. In short, neural-mass is added to the brain when we work it. More nerve-fibers grow; more synapses sprout out to accommodate the many connections being made.

So in theory, can rapists, pedophiles and murderers be changed? Can they acquire the awareness that allows them to overcome their particular malaise? Yes. Is it easy? Not at all.

just because something is theoretically possible, doesn't mean it can be effectively implemented all the time. Sometimes people resist change; sometimes they haven't reached an emotional or spiritual maturity that allows them to take control of their emotional experience.

As I mentioned before, I wasn't advocating that a gay person undergo conversion therapy. I was merely pointing out that everything we've learned about the brain, and from research in various other areas, indicates that it is possible.

Also, since conversion therapists claim success, and people who were formerly homosexual claim to have experienced genuine heterosexual feelings, there is no reason to doubt them. It wouldn't be consistent to claim obsessions can be overcome and trauma can be reduced and yet insist that sexual feelings towards one particular sex is completely constant. No. We humans are far too complex to be limited to being attracted to just one sex.

The orientation part is the mental aspect to the libidinous experience of sexual arousal. Orientation usually becomes "channeled" towards a particular sex and generally stays there. But absent worrying and fear (which prevent effective reorientation; anybody who has a stutter understands that thinking about the stutter or the stress underlying the stutter will cause you to stutter; you need to COMPLETELY REFRAME YOUR EXPERIENCE in order to change it) sexual orientation can be manually controlled, albeit, with restrictions here and there.



posted on Oct, 10 2013 @ 02:11 AM
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reply to post by Astrocyte
 



It's rather intriguing, thank you for being detailed...

What about the other parts of it though? take my highly effeminate qualities that i don't 'consciously' make myself act like, it was a part of me... or even Transgendered if that is not far off topic



posted on Oct, 10 2013 @ 02:37 AM
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reply to post by Darth_Prime
 

Darth, if you are interested in this subject, I suggest you watch 'what the bleep' It's a doco about the human experience and explains about what drives the human psyche very well. Basically we are just a complex chemical reaction and things like certain peptides created by the hypothalamus in our brain influence who we are greatly.

The answer it gives to your question is that the way we are is part nature, part nurture i.e. our personalities and traits like sexuality are extremely complex and the suggestion that we can just change or choose things about our selves is not that straight forward. For example ask people about giving up smoking. Some will tell you they went cold turkey and never looked back. Others will tell you it was an epic battle, but they eventually won and still more will tell you that they have been trying to give up for years without success.

Quite simply, there is no one single blanket cause or 'cure' if we were to seek to change our sexuality, because we are all different.



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 07:00 PM
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I'm almost 50 and have been gay since I became sexually aware. I am in every way, "straight" acting, played and loved sports, loved cars and all the "manly" things in life. Nobody ever suspected me as being gay which made my life miserable. You see, when your like a lot of gay men I know, rather effeminate, not liking sports and have lots of girlfriends, people accept you as a gay man. I had to fight to make people believe me! All my friends in high school and my family would tell me that all I needed was a good lay with a woman. I never wanted to be gay! But I am gay and I'm a happy man nowadays. Why would some one choose to be different from most everyone else and in such a way that alienates the people you love the most?






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