Disclaimer: I should say I am not a psychologist or biologist, though I have a few college level courses in the prior which probably color my view. In addition, I am not sexually a homosexual and have no personal experience with that aspect of it, though it piques my intellectual interest. Also, I am European (this is apparently a synonym to many).


Question: Do you tend to support a psychological or a biological explanation to why some people are homosexuals? Do you have a "pure" or a "mixed" view of the two, and why?


My opinion: I tend to support the psychological explanation of sexuality due to it being more parsimonious. Being "born" a homosexual doesn't immediately ring clear as a biological explanation requires a number of a priori assumptions of future state of the social environment as one grows up. Two people of the same sex cannot biologically reproduce and thus face extinction. Becoming a homosexual through the psychosocial environment is to me a simpler explanation as this would imply it being either a learned behavior, which may account for homosexual couples having a higher probability of raising a homosexual child, or as a response to other environmental factors such as sexual competition.

I'll stop explaining here and rather see where the discussion goes off to.


(Two notes to add: I don't think homosexuality should be treated even if it is "treatable". It is no more a condition than preferring beer over vodka. Also, I tend to support a twin explanation of both inherited and environmental causes, though with the latter overwhelmingly more explanatory, i.e. 90%)



Tags: biology, environment, homosexuality, inherited traits, psychology

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You treat the sick, not what is!


Knowledge looks at us as a whole group of one.  It does not differenciate between us and teaches us this through its inspirations.  Therefore when anything is spoken against it is the individual who breaks one into parts by way of pointing fingers, knowledge reminds you of the three pointing back.


As there are snow flakes without identicals, there are so humans repeating that formation. 


When referring to the physical you will without doubt come across a blend of female genes and male bodies and visa versa.


When referring to the mental state the same rules apply.


Now these two by themselves will effect the nature of a child, if it develops or produces a homosexual result in unknown.  A child may simply more or less aggressive in nature.  However it would be logical to assume when these blends at their peaks cross within one child the averages for that change increase.


Therefore to state one over the other as an influence is illogical and can only be done through individual "opinion".


Bless the child, we are all children...to hell with the rest!



Can you give me the recipe to that kool aid your drinking?

I believe it's all in the genes as is most things, natures way of ensuring a species doesn't explode, as other animals are also gay. I think it depends only on how liberal an environment is, as to how many gays feel open enough to be gay. I personally believe most people are probably Bi they just like one more than the other as most 'straight' girls have experimented as it's a lot less taboo than man love and I think a lot more men would too if there wasn't so much stigma attached to it!!!

I appreciate your point but I am not sure that a liberal environment is more likely to produce homosexuality. It can certainly add to an individual's comfort and happiness in their own skin but I think most of us have heard stories of tortured souls knowing exactly who they are but find themselves surrounded by family and friends that condemn them for it. It is almost as though they are homosexual in spite of their environment. I suppose that is why I go back to the biological explanation as I have yet to see any common thread in homosexuals (i.e. victims of abuse, gay parents, etc.) that would tie all of it together in any real way.


This thread has inspired me to do some research though. I am interested to know if the prevalence of homosexuality is high enough now that it can no longer be seen as an anomaly. Of course, this may be a hard thing to pin down since the first question that comes to my mind is whether or not the prevalence is seemingly higher because our culture has begun to make it acceptable to admit to homosexuality. I imagine if the numbers would be vastly different if some sort of study was performed in the 50's versus today regardless of how many people were/are actually homosexuals.

Check out the prevalence of homosexuality in humans across cultures.  Comparisons are fraught with difficulties because of the differences in penalties for admitting being sexually atypical  from society to society.  Nevertheless, there is a clear trend that suggests that the rate of homosexuality among humans is relatively consistent across nations and generations.

Check out the statistics on homosexuality in animals. There are thousands of species where it has been documented and hundreds where it has been studied in some depth.  Ten percent of domestic male sheep are exclusively sexually interested in other male sheep.  The rate does not change from generation to generation in spite of the fact that these sheep do not pass their genes to the next generation.  Ergo, whatever is causing their homosexual orientation is not in the genes that they would pass on but in genes that their parents pass on. 

You're still going to have same sex attractions in a conservative environment, even if you're intentionally suppressing it in your thoughts and actions.  Source:  I live in Cincinnati, Ohio and I tried to pray away the gay for about 15 years, from second grade to college.  I pretended to be straight.  I'm bisexual and it has nothing to do with my ability to experiment.

Oh which also explains why gay parents have gay kids, tis all in the genes folks, plus they probably feel a lot more comfortable about coming out than if they had oh lets say muslim/catholic parents lol!

I should have specified that it wasn't gay couples having children on their own, but rather gay couples adopting children which are not directly related to them. That takes biology out of the picture.

However, I'd like to issue an erratum on this point as it appears that newer studies have not found this correlation.

Consider the possibility that the genes that create homosexuality reside in the parents that produce the homosexual child, not in the homosexuals themselves.  Or that something in the parental environment at the time of pregnancy produces the orientation differences.  Then it makes sense.

The genetics involved is more complicated than the simple stuff you know from popular science or simplified high school and college classes.

" which may account for homosexual couples having a higher probability of raising a homosexual child"

I think that's much more to do with the fact they'll be more comfortable coming out than children of heterosexual parents.

I definitely think it is mainly biological, but can be effected psychologically

Homosexuals who have children for which they have supplied half the genetic code do not have a higher probability of producing homosexual children  The genes that produce homosexuality appear to reside in the parents of the homosexual, not in the person who is pheno-typically homosexual. 


While it is not a perfect analogy, the phenomena of the Queen Bee has similarities to what is going on here.


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