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Do you choose your sexuality, or do you choose to act upon it?

Here is a hot-button question. I had a debate with a friend. The debate is about sexuality and choice. I must confess, I believe there are not any right or wrong answers. I only ask to gain a perspective. be that as it may, here is the debate:My friend's position: Sexuality is not a matter of choice, nor is it something that can be openly controlled and manipulated by the person in question. Nevertheless, it is something that is defined as the person develops to maturity and is acted upon. Long has this been controlled and curtailed by the religious community by their strict moral codes and values that they enforce upon society. If it were not for that, it quite possibly could be more widely accepted that people are diverse, even in their sexual orientation.My Position: It is not provable whether or not it is a predetermined orientation of the person's sexuality. However, it is something that could be developed over time due to experiences. In my eyes, all children are a blank slate, only to be written upon based upon their experiences. Therefore Homosexuality can potentially be learned due to experiences throughout life. However, it can not be accurately proven or otherwise. Likewise, you can probe a baby's brain with an MRI and conclude the child's sexuality at adulthood. However, aside form religious points of view, there were all sorts of societies that did not approve of homosexual activities. More or less, they had to choose to live the truth or live a lie. In the past, there were plenty of people (to include even J. Edgar Hoover) that publicly lived a life that was considered socially acceptable opposed to living as they see fit.Those were conclusions to the debate. The debate started when something I said was misinterpreted. It came off as me saying that I believe that it is a choice. Conversely, I say that it is a lifestyle that is chosen to be acted upon. I have nothing against homosexuality other than I am heterosexual. However, I just wan to see the varying opinions of this subject.Do you believe sexuality is a matter of choice, or do you believe that it is a predetermined point in a person's life?Please give details!

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Most Helpful Opinion

  • it's neither something you choose orsomething predeterminedI believe ones upbringinghas to do with the outcome....parents/friends and other peopleyou meet throughout your childhood

    • I would have to agree. However, the underlying question is this: Do think that acting upon one's sexuality is a choice, provided the societal views of it? I mean, that problem is not as evident as it were 10 or 20 years ago. There is a lot of liberty associated with being open about it. However, given the situation as it were, do you believe that people can choose to act upon their sexuality, or choose to not, and resort to self denial for the sake of a societal viewpoint?

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    • Good answer! I hope that others would give me answers as detailed. I can appreciate your point of view!

    • if people can come up withan interesting questions such as yoursthen I'll do my best to satisfy theirthirst for answers.. ^-^

What Girls Said 3

  • (Making my own post so that I can write more and I don't hijack someone else's answer). Well, thus far, no one has come up with anything conclusive to what "causes" someone to be gay. People generally fall into four different camps of thinking: people are "born" gay; enviornmental factors cause someone to be gay; a combination of the former (i.e. perhaps certain things make you more predisposed to being gay, but environment plays a role as well); or that being gay is a choice.There are studies that suggest that people are born gay. This study is one of them ( link ). What they're unsure of is whether or not it's caused by genetics, or caused by the environment of the womb. Either way, it suggests that a person is born gay (or at least born with a higher predisposition to being gay). Another study found that the more older brothers a boy has, the more likely he is to be gay. The mechanism is unknown, but it's thought to have to do with the mother's body seeing male fetuses as foreign and developing an immune response to them (which would become greater which each subsequent male fetus). link This is, of course, suggestive that it is related to the environment in utero. Your view is that all children are a "blank slate" and that homosexuality can be potentially learned due to experiences throughout life. When you say "children", I assume you mean at the time of birth. These studies suggest that there are things going on before birth, while the fetus is still developing. Even if we were to describe a fetus (at the time of conception) as a "blank slate", certainly we know that the environment in-utero can have an effect on the fetus' development (diet, hormones, habits, etc.). These studies would back up either a) people are born gay; or b) people are born predisposed to being gay (but environment will ultimately determine whether they are or aren't). They do not support the ideas that being gay is a choice, or that being gay is based solely on (post-utero) environment.

    • So in other words, it is based upon experiences moreso than a genetic predisposition? My point being the awkward situation of a woman born with male Chromosomes... Most of them turn out to be heterosexual albeit their features often are more masculine than most women. If what is researched is correct, there should be more lesbians born of that phenomenon. Therein, it is my question. However, I believe in nurture over nature, and one can be nurtured into a point of what they like or dislike.

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    • No problem, I just think you might not remember the details correctly.

    • Yeah, it has been about 2 years since I seen that.

  • Sexuality is something you are born with. Chances are you don't develop it until puberty or even later, but I don't know any homosexual teen who would choose to go through all the horrible bullying and judgment that many homosexuals go through. As for upbringing, I think your family can influence your own OPINION on your sexuality, but not your sexuality itself.My older brother is gay, and my whole family is hugely supportive except my father. My brother actually admitted that our dad's lack of support for homosexuality helped to keep him in denial about his sexuality, but it didn't change the fact that he is attracted to men.

    • Is there a way to prove it is something you are born with? I want MRI, I want brainwave analysis, and I would like to see a CAT scan... And evidence that can be incontrovertibly proven.I just ask, because that is a bold statement. It sounds as if you know what you are talking about.Conversely, your second paragraph is a conclusion I have reached. However, did he for a while have to pretend otherwise, in order to appease your father? Thank you for your input!

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    • My point being, it is fringe science t best. It is understandable that chemical balances in the brain also affect development of the brain as well, right? Chemical balances in the brain can be the result of hereditary and or reactions with cognitive functions, not to mention outside chemical effects... Not saying Gay people are crazy or are the result of brain tampering, but this can lead you to believe that there must be multiple causative factors. Even that article pointed that out...

    • That being said, my question is this, is it possible to scan the brain of an infant, and prove that they have the mental makeup to be homosexual later in life? Or is the brain not well developed enough to establish the links required to determine sexuality? As far as a Freudian standpoint, such has not been explored yet, and therefore sexual orientation is not developed at that early stage in development... Your position here is?

  • idk I know personally, I've just always loved guys. It's just something that has always been apart of me I don't know why it just is

    • Okay, but it does not answer the question. I understand you can only speak for yourself. However, is there a point? Sorry to sound rude, but your answer is a bit more laconic than I would like to read.

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    • Oh pleae, chill the hell out.I could care less about some silly, pointless XPER on GAG, so stop making assumptions about my actions seeing as you don't even know me. I didn't say I just answered it for the sake of answering and even if I did...so what? Not every answe on GAG needs to be in essay form. Stop acting like you are entitled to details. You're throwing a fit when you already got a handful of answers with tons of details.

    • *Oh pleasE*Not every answeRSeriously, you are acting like an arrogant, entiled teacher who's pissy because I didn't give you a long ass answer. You will be okay, I promise :) :P

What Guys Said 3

  • I think sexuality is not a choice, but some people try desperately to control it through their actions.Specifically now I'm thinking of Republicans and right-wingers who desperately hate homosexuality as an affront to God, but are gay themselves. They can join the church, try to pray the gay away, get married, have children... and yet still get caught in a bathroom with a male prostitute.They have so much to lose, and a life time of heterosexual actions... and yet that over-riding since-birth homosexuality will not be denied. No matter how hard they try, no matter how hard they pray.

    • My question is this: How can it be determined at birth? Is there a way to determine one's sexuality at birth, incontrovertibly? Or is it so fringe that it is impossible to determine?

    • There isn't yet a way to determine it at birth. If such a method existed, I'm sure the Chinese and certain reactionary religious elements would use it as another reason to endorse abortion.

  • I have never understood people in thinking that sexual orientation is a choice. I'm attracted to the female body. There was never a conscious decision making process in this, that's just my mentality. Likewise, why would someone think that someone would make the conscious decision to be attracted to the opposite gender? There are plenty of younger kids that feel ashamed of their sexuality due to the stigma and pressure put on them by society and family (IE all the kids committing suicide). I'm sure in those cases the opposite is what is happening. They are attracted to the same sex, and I'm sure to some degree they wish they weren't as to simplify life.Studies have shown that hormone levels between homosexual and straight humans differ, so this could lead to it. I don't think it's different than any other preference. Ice cream is my favorite food, you like steak. We never made a conscious decision to like one or the other, it's just our brains preference.I don't think sexuality in and of itself it determined by the environment and such. There are plenty of church going people in very conservative families that are homosexual, with everything in their environment going against this.I don't believe sexual orientation to be a matter of choice. To some degree society could affect it a little. If that is the norm as in ancient European society (Spartans were all gay), one might be more disposed to go along with it because it is their culture and is what is expected.In general though,I think in large part it is determined by brain chemistry.

    • Saying that all Spartans are gay is akin to saying that all Amazons (Of the Lesbos Islands) were Lesbian (Well they were called Lesbian but that did not mean their sexuality, moreso their National Origin). In Sparda, Homosexuality was accepted. Likewise in ancient Rome, and likewise during the Feudal era in Japan.My real question is, despite brain chemistry, Is it possible to say that it is a choice to be acted upon?We choose what we are attracted to in the opposite gender, can it be

    • possible that even despite one's predisposition to choose to adhere to one's instinctual desires, or rather adhere to what societal views demand is correct, opposed to one's instincts.Not comparing apples to bananas here, but in my case: I am heterosexual, but I have chosen a path of asexuality, due to the fact that I don't agree with society's conditions to a "Normal" relationship, for religious reasons. My point is, is it possible that a lot of homosexuals choose to "do" or "do not"?

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