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!

 

What's Your Opinion?

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Most Helpful Opinion

  • it's neither something you choose or

    something predetermined

    I believe ones upbringing

    has to do with the outcome..

    ..parents/friends and other people

    you meet throughout your childhood

    • if people can come up with

      an interesting questions such as yours

      then I'll do my best to satisfy their

      thirst for answers.. ^-^

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

    • people wants to be accepted, and will do

      almost anything to reach acceptance

      I believe that it's in our nature to

      hide "flaws" i.e. what the media have

      been telling us is "wrong" or "uncommon"

      hence we will act in the way

      that we find the most advantageous

      to get by "untouched"

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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.

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

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

    • Unfortunately, my source was Discovery Health Channel, BEFORE that Gestapo, Phrase Winfrey changed it to OWN... I hate that... DHC was my favorite network... :(

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  • 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.

    • 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?

    • 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...

    • Answerer: Understandable.

      selfishstars! Haven't talked to you in a while! Well, my favorite debate partner is here, let this waxball roll BEGIN! The part that concerns me is the last statement: "But as Savic herself acknowledges, the study can't say whether the brain differences are inherited, or result from abnormally high or low exposure in the womb to sex hormones such as testosterone." So there is a level of reasonable doubt in the research, no?

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  • 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

    • *Oh pleasE

      *Not every answeR

      Seriously, 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

    • 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.

    • You just answered it, just for the sake of answering?

      No offense, but read my details of my question, before answering please... I indicated, that I want details. Answers like this, make me believe you just answered to gain XPER and really don't care of the subject matter.

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What Guys Said 2

  • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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?

  • 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.

    • 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"?

    • 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

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