Homosexuality: The Nature vs. Nurture Debate


Homosexuality: The Nature vs. Nurture Debate
First off, I just want to say that one of my closest friends is gay, so I'm in no way using this MyTake to trash homosexuality. The reason I think it would be interesting to talk about the nature vs. nurture debate is that 1) has been struggling with his sexuality (and still is), and 2) I've come across material that deals with this argument (which I find interesting).

I do believe that people can naturally have homosexual tendencies. In fact, I think nearly all of us have moments where we're at least curious about the same sex. A lot of young teens come to online forums such as GAG asking if other users think they're gay, lesbian, or bi. Being a teen is weird, confusing, and difficult. Your hormones are all out of order and you're beginning to change until a sexual being. With that said, these hormones can cause urges, arguably towards either gender. Additionally, young teens are often naturally curious about same sex friends' bodies because they're going through a period of change. I've seen a lot of questions from people in this age group asking if their bodies are normal in one way or another. When these teens grow closer to adulthood, they become more drawn to one gender or another. This is the nature side of the debate.

The nurture side is more difficult to prove, but I have some ideas on it. It seems that there is a correlation between people who identify as homosexual (or bi) and gender/sexual surroundings in their lives. Most homosexuals I meet either experienced sexual trauma at a young age or grew up in a home with divorced or separated parents. For instance, my friend's dad left when he was young. He never had a good relationship with either of his parents. However he was raised by his mom and is now struggling with sexuality.

In my psychology class, we talked about how when children are born, they're drawn to their mothers. As they grow older, boys tend to connect more with their dad (providing the father is actively part of their lives) while girls identify more closely with their mom (again, providing the mother is a part of their lives). When one parent is absent, the children have no choice but to connect with the one parent they have. Therefore guys can become more feminine while girls can become more masculine. This accounts for the confusion a lot of homosexuals have about their sexuality. They more closely identify with the opposite gender yet still feel some sort of tendency to identify more closely with their own gender. They crave closeness from the same gender because they've been deprived of it. This can also work the other way around. My parents aren't together and have had problems since I can remember. I live with my mom and I'm not close with any male relatives so I'm finding myself curious about relationships with guys and crave a close bond with a guy.

So I think it's a bit of both nature and nurture, but I think I'm leaning more towards the nurture side. Again, i'm not against homosexuals (after all I have a gay friend who I love to death!). I just find this topic interesting, especially after learning about it. What do you think? Feel free to comment, but be nice to one another! This is a touchy subject for some people.

Homosexuality: The Nature vs. Nurture Debate
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Most Helpful Guy

  • evenlift
    Humans have free will, which means that sexual orientation (of any variant) is not biologically determined. However, that does not mean, as the anti-gay people often say, that it is a choice. That is a false alternative. Many aspects of someone's personality are clearly the result of 'nurture' but were never chosen, such as accent. They were accepted subconsciously, especially during childhood. And many such aspects cannot be changed at present, because psychology simply is not advanced enough yet. Sexual orientation is therefore not a moral question at present and is very unlikely to be one in the near future. Each person should pursue consensual sexual relations with whichever sex attracts him or her.

    I do think that this subject has been bizarrely politicized by the pro-gay lobby, which seems to be under the impression that, if it can be 'proven' that being gay is biologically determined, then gay people will not be oppressed. Yet, history shows that people are very likely to be oppressed because of their unchosen features, such as race. Someone with an 'undesirable' feature that is deemed chosen might simply be sent to a 're-education' camp.

    But, yes, anyway, interesting article.
    Is this still revelant?
    • Zeanobia

      Yet Exodus had to close because their founder came out of the closet

    • If men being attracted to men isn't biologically determined... then men being attracted to women isn't biologically determined either

    • evenlift

      @Zeanobia 'Yet' implies a rebuttal. What you say doesn't contradict what I say.

      @mistixs Indeed, it's not.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • somebodysaycheese
    Well, I think everyone has the capability to act in homosexuality I. e men go gay in prison. But its not natural because they don't have the biological need for homosexuality. In nature homosexuality is practiced as a male dominating a male , essentially whoever is alpha is on top. But those same animals aren't attracted to the male pheromones but female. However, if we where to claim homosexuality is natural because Iys in nature than we also ha e to claim rape is natural, those same animals rape and gang rape. I too took psychology, and it's interesting how science wants to say one thing because of its findings but is afraid of backlash. However, their has been no statement by science that it is wether it's nature vs nurture, But then again would it matter to people? Last year science said being trans is a mental illness and gender is not biological or neurological yet we are still catering to the trans community. So honest, it really doesn't matter unless they say oh we have a cure.
    Is this still revelant?
    • People dont realize how political "research is" really sad for those who dont think for themselves.

    • @FatManLovesPie people don't realize science is a business, they need funding from groups and government to continue what they do. Fa t is money has power and if a group want a you to keep quiet about findings you will so that for funding

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • Spiorad_Aisce
    What I would say is that a person who is naturally homosexual may tend towards more shall we say "Gay" influences in life so if they are homosexual as an adult you can point to the fact they did this or that as a child.
    Really these arguments fall flat because they can never be proven either way unless you get identical twins put them in a sensory deprivation chamber for first 18 years of their life, release them and see what happens.
    I am not totally convinced by the social conditions arguments. I would say it is either 100% nature or a high 90 percentile nature, anyway I don't care why a person is whatever sexuality they are, at the end of the day it is up to them. If they are happy and comfortable with it, fair enough - If they are trying to work it out, leave them to it.
    Honestly I feel research like this only feeds the religious nuts who think if they get a "Homosexual" early enough to poke them with electric cattle prods and waterboard them then they can be convinced to "renounce" their sexuality thus being cured, Seriously I am fairly sure I would prefer any son of mine to be gay rather than a torture victim.
  • bluenose1872
    The only way you'll ever know is taking a control group from birth and don't allow any media influences or social ones. No peer pressure system or pc nonsense. No exposure to anything like mirrors or fashion. Anything that builds the self image and promotes self consciousness. Make the control group mixed race and equal gender and let them grow up without any worldy influences apart from basic family values. It's unethical but it's the only sure way. You'll find out if racism and gender identification are natural evolutions as well. Personally I think all of the above are learned behaviour from the media and peer pressure. There's cause and effect. Embracing certain characteristics cause certain effects like a seed growing into a tree. It's branches spreading out and owning the space. Homosexuality comes from vanity I think. There's a correlation between women's vanity and prevalent Homosexuality and bi-sexuality. A lot of bodybuilders are gay. Dancers too. It's happens when your mind is introverted instead of naturally extroverted. This is just my opinion though. I've seen enough to think it's a sound theory
  • Tromba
    The identical twin studies which have been done certainly point to environmental or prenatal conditions being more influential than just genes. The topic is so politically charged it's difficult to separate the good science from the bad. The fact that not all genetically identical people have the same sexual orientation is not denied by anyone, though the exact percentage is disputed.
  • slatyb
    There's nothing to debate, this is a settled fact. All the evidence makes it clear that sexual orientation is not a choice. Sexual behavior may be a choice but sexual orientation is not. Even people who have every incentive to be heterosexual are unable to resist their same sex attraction, e. g. Larry Craig, Ted Haggerty, and many many others. The only people claiming that sexual orientation is a choice are those who have accepted religious mythology as truth.
    • ThatGuy98

      Then explain to me how people that previously were 100% gay are able to change to hetero?

      I'm not denying the fact that sexuality can be very hard to control, and I know that it might be even biological. Still, there has to be some kind of personal choice involved, if people are able to change sexuality, right?

    • slatyb

      @ThatGuy98 Really? Who are all these gay people who have changed to be heterosexual? Even many leaders of the ex-gay movement have apologized and said it was all bullshit.

    • ThatGuy98

      Haha you really believe everything they are feeding you?

      I did read a book about a man who lived half of his life as a homosexual, but managed to change to hetero, get a wife and eventually a family. According to him he still has to battle his old feelings sometimes, but he is much happier with his heterosexual relationship than he ever was as a homosexual.
      He also writes in his book that the gay community is absolutely disgusting against homo ->hetero converters. He had to take a lot of crap from the gay community for openly coming out as a hetero again, and he lost many friends in the process.
      I think that there are a lot of gays that secretly would want to be hetero, just like there are "closet-gays". It's only mathematically rational that there has to be people that want to change both ways. I however find it disturbing that the "open-minded and loving" gay community treats gay->hetero converters like some kind of "traitors", and refuse to give them the attention they deserve

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  • Josht11
    Good take there's is of course always gonna be some nature and some nature, some retards think it's some kind of choice or not natural that's annoying cos I genuinely wish I wasn't bi but it is what it is.
  • jacquesvol
    There seems to be no valid proof yet for any theory right now but in my opinion :

    *-Some are born gay and can't change that or have it changed by others
    *-More are born straight and can't change that or have it changed by others
    *-Some are born bisexual and can chose the lifestyle (gay or straight or bi) they prefer. These can be forced, brainwashed, lured to adopt one of the three lifestyles or to reject it later.

    I suppose some are more easily 'convinced' than others.
  • dominiquois
    While I don't care if people are gay or not there is no biological purpose for homosexuality. Its like being born sterile expect you choose to breed yourself out. The reality is, is that humans as well as the majority of animals reproduce heterosexually. You need both male and female to reproduce with the exception of amoebas and the like who undergo mitosis. These are scientific FACTS and there is no way anybody could possibly deny them without being severely mentally ill or in denial.
    • People will believe about anything that will ease thier conscious. Its reverse peer pressure. We as people tend to except the opinion of our friends, colleagues, school mates etc... if the LGBT movement can make others except them, then they will be able to except themselves without actually finding thier own piece. They will accept thier choice because now the majority of people do too. Its weird reverse psychology, that is why they get so upset when someone doesn't except it and they call you a bigot who needs to get with the times.

    • Yep. People will call a bigot for anything.

    • *call you

  • Hasaboyfriend
    It is found that homosexuals have chemical imbalances in the brain. A homosexual make brain will produce more estrogen, which makes him think more feminine. And a lesbian brain produces more progesterone. It is bot nature and nurture but it really isn't a choice. People born with depression or born paraplegic did not choose that lifestyle. Neither did homosexuals.
    • It has also been found that all women have very 'fluid' sexualities which means that almost all women are Bisexual or have fantasized about being with another women, but this may be evolutionary in a sense that the closer women are to each other the more the man can impregnate, which kinda also states that polygamy is also natural even though morally wrong.

    • And sorry for all the grammar mistakes lol male* both* woman*

  • aliceinwonderland69
    It's interesting that liberals think everything is nurture except sexuality. This is presumably becuase they don't want people claiming its a choice that people are morally responsible for or the result of mental illness that can be treated.
    • Mental illness? Go fuck a cactus🖕🏻

    • @rileypantera
      Ah, there's that famous liberal tolerance in action!

    • @galloway875 I'm not a liberal, just someone with half a brain.

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  • Jersey2
    If it is nature, meaning DNA related, then I would expect gays to die out to a large degree as they won't be compelled to hide their sexuality and marry as in the past. Without having kids, their condition will self eradicate.
    • Prof_Don

      I never thought about that angle, but you are so right. In 1-2 generations if non-heterosexuality drops off the map entirely, then we will know for sure... but we won't be alive to see the results. Especially seeing that you're 99 ;-)

    • Jersey2

      @Prof_Don Well, I have lasted this long... so far so good! 8)

  • OlderAndWiser
    One of the problems with this debate is that people assume that the answer is either one or the other when it is entirely possible, and probably likely, that both factors play some role in the development of homosexuality.
  • BusinessBasketball
    I do not know how they become gay. It's a choice. I do hate (this is nothing that you said) that gay people are gay, because they have a mental illness. I'm not gay, but I will not go around and telling people that gay people have a mental illness. People who think like that should go back to the 18th century.
    • "It's a choice." Ooooohhh so you can CHOOSE to become gay?
      That means that a man can CHOOSE not to be attracted/aroused by women.
      Are you able to choose not to be attracted/aroused by sexy women?

  • orphan
    only child raised by a single mom... love pussy.

    perhaps when called upon i can be a bit more objective of other males than most... i can tell if another guy is 'universally' good looking. i'm certain most guys can do this as well, however; there's those guys who'll pretend they can't... cuz they're not gay.

    i'm sure the brain can alter 'attraction'. we just haven't harnessed that spectrum of self control yet.

  • MrShinyPants
    To be honest, it is procreation not reckreation. I dont mind gays and lesbians and bis themselves, i have known good ones and bad ones, but i dislike the act in ititselfI care about them, but not what they do.
  • Kylesar
    I feel that nurture plays SOME role in sexuality and it's not just black/white nature or nurture.

    Who knows or honestly cares at this point? Accept them for them
  • ThatGuy98
    I really like this!

    A lot of people claim that homosexuality is something that's only in the genes, and that it has nothing to do with your surroundings. There is however extensive research that proves the opposite.
  • skeptic007
    I have plenty of gay friends doesn't mean I have too agree with them on the subject, it's a choice
    • "It's a choice." Ooooohhh so you can CHOOSE to become gay?
      That means that a man can CHOOSE not to be attracted/aroused by women.
      Are you able to choose not to be attracted/aroused by sexy women?

    • skeptic007

      damn right I can

    • Then why do religious and conservative people always say "girls must be modest because boys are visual and can't help getting aroused?"

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  • John_Doesnt
    Since gay people come from all types of households around the world I'd put my money on it all being nature.
  • zagor
    That would make more sense if there were some kind of data showing that kids with one parent of a particular gender were more likely to be gay. I have seen no such study.
  • ThatJarHead
    Wait wait wait... There's still an argument about this? Seriously guys? No. Take this whole post down! We don't need a regression to the 80s again. Oh god it's like 2006 all over again... Hide your daughters here come the politically correct social justice hippies! I kid obviously but seriously though? Who ever you're fucking is your own business. I don't care. You're gay? Cool. Good for you. I'm not. Therefore I don't give a damn. Who people do and don't sleep with is their own fucking business. Stay out of it.
  • randomhobo
    You're assuming that homosexuality is nurtured like that merely from a handful of anecdotal scenarios which would be backed by confirmation bias. (You ignore all the scenarios where single parents don't lead to homosexual children)

    It is almost certainly biological, whether it be neurology (homosexuals have different neurological structures in certain areas), geneology (Xq24 gene) or hormonal influences throughout puberty.

    If it was nurtured and not nature then why would there be homosexuals in cultures where it's punishable by death and culturally it is looked down upon. Those children and nurtured and taught that it is bad and horrible and would surely by influenced by this to not be gay if it was nurture. But that is not the case.
  • smølf
    The fact is, we don't really know, it mostly theories and speculations at this point. Nor does it really matter, adults can have whatever consensual sex they want, regardless of sexual morals.

    The only true problem in our free countries are free abortion, since it's not consensual, it doesn't just impact the woman's body, but the unborn child as well. So, unlike homosexuality this is actually a crime against humanity, regardless of the law of the land.

    Homosexuality on the other hand, is just a question of morality, a very subjective matter indeed.
    • How did this become an abortion debate?

    • smølf

      @Hasaboyfriend It didn't but of all the "controversial" issues (homosexuality, feminism, abortion, religion etc.), then non of them is actually a problem as long as people can be free to think. say and live as they like.

      The only exception is abortion, regardless of how you feel, abortion is a crime anyway you, it have innocent victims unlike the other controversial issues that are all personal choice.
      Abortion must be recriminalise, it's violation or the human rights and many constitutions in our countries as well.

      So although homosexually is equally divisive and emotional issues, then it is a basic human right, so debating it is really not necessary. Regardless of how people feel about it, it's the right of the homosexuals to live as they see fit.

    • But a woman has a basic right to her body. You can't give the fetus rights without taking the woman's. Do you know how crazy you sound? You are saying that a dead body has more rights with autonomy than a woman does! The fetus doesn't breathe, doesn't feel, doesn't think. The reasons they decriminalized it was 1. A woman should have more rights than what's inside of her and 2. They wanted to stop the huge death toll of women who were getting back alley abortions and women being accused of having an abortion when she had a miscarriage! This law would also affect women who just went through a traumatic miscarriage and they would have to have an investigation done on them and relive the experience by telling the police what happened over and over again. You are cruel

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  • Zeanobia
    The nurture point was debunked by the suicide of David Reimer. Next time you draw the psychology card, think about John Money.
  • Cice713
    I was raised around girls and women a lot and somehow didn't end up gay from it, however I did develop both my male/female brains to the point I'm using both halves of my brain and it's really scary at how I'm more feminine for some things. I can see this becoming an issue for newer generations of guys who are raised by only moms with no father figure interactions to the point that sons will grow up as sociopaths without really even knowing it. I can see these men growing up and really upsetting the whole "equality" topic, becoming lawyers/judges and politicians and overturning previous laws that protected women I. e: getting rid of the need for alimony, child support.
  • GreatnessRevamped
    For men: it's nature
    For women: it's nurture

    Case closed
    • Why is it nurture for women but not men?

    • @mistixs I saw a study that hetero men could only be turned on by hetero porn (guy-girl or girl girl, basically anything with a girl in it.) while homo men could only be turned on by homo porn.
      Women on the other hand, could be turned on by any porn, hetero or homo.
      So, really it's a choice whether they want to go one way or another.

      Bi's just don't make no sense. PICK A SIDE!! LOOL.

  • BaileyisDarcy
    This... makes a lot of sense.
  • Sabretooth
    i think it's both.
  • WombRaider