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%)
As my postings show, that is also my model, Kasu.
How does one define homosexual? Is it a man (setting lesbians aside) who can only become aroused for another male? Is it a man who simply prefers sex with another male but can manage sex with a woman? Is a bisexual, who can function equally well with men and women and has no particular preference a homosexual or a half homosexual? What about someone who only has sex with women but wishes they were men? And how do we deal with people who are psychologically homosexual but refuse to admit it to themselves. I don't think it's very simple even to decide what a homosexual is.
We have to go through the discussions and the evolution BUT WHY someone is homosexual is not important. I am a practicing heterosexual. I have been seduced psychologically by a woman and felt a physical attraction - I don't know to this day what was her sexual orientation. We were in a bar with a mutual friend and a little alcohol brought down the defenses. As far as I'm concerned, we can all find a relationship with another, regardless of the gender. With whom one lives or has a physical relationship is a personal choice and nobody else's damn business. // Jean Clelland-Morin
I have a theory - but I really don't have anything to back it up, just based on my observations of my LGBT friends. I believe a person's sexuality is genetic; however I do think some people "experiment" sometimes, often trying to find their identity. Anyway, here's my theory:
I think a person's sexuality is like a line. At one end is heterosexual, 100%; at the other end is homosexuality, 100% You could say that full-blown bisexuality is in the middle. So, people fall somewhere on the scale. There are bisexuals who gravitate towards their own sex, and there are others who gravitate towards the opposite sex - and it depends upon where they are on the scale. You could also have a heterosexual who's not quite in the bisexual range, but they may have a desire to experiment.
So, like I said, I don't have any scientific study to back this up; it just seems to be the way my friends are. Oh, and I do think your sexuality is almost 100% genetic, although there could be people who are, say, at the 65% heterosexual range on my scale who may, through environmental pressures or situations, decide to try having a relationship with the same sex.
That's just my opinion; I could be wrong.
BTW, to add another data point to the discussion... Homosexuality has been observed in many other mammals. Cetaceans (e.g. dolphins, porpoises, orcas) have demonstrated this, as well as many primates such as chimps, bonobo apes, etc.
I believe this would give more credence to the genetic argument.
I don't understand why we need to decide the why!!!!!!! It's a personal choice. And nobody's business but the consenting adults.
I think the word "choice" needs some clarification. I don't like celery or peanuts, indeed I have a physical gag reflection to the taste, yet I am not allergic thus no genetic predispositions to not "liking" it. Somewhere in my psychology there is a reason, yet I would hardly call it a conscious choice not to like those things.In addition, I have no objections to other people enjoying their celery or peanuts, as long as they don't try to force me to eat it.
It's much like homosexuality, the mere thought of having sex with a man is disgusting to me and I assume the same reaction for having sex with opposite genders apply to homosexuals. It doesn't mean that it is 100% genetically caused (nor 0%) or that psychology is a free willed choice.
People are free to be attracted to whatever (within reason) they damned well please, whether it be the same sex, the color neon pink, celery - even peanuts (though that might be pushing it in my book).
OK Let me put it this way: However consenting adults conduct their private sexual lives is nobody's business. choice schmoice! My only problem is that, too often, heteros don't think about the consequences and resposibilities of bringing a baby into the world. Yes, I'm guilty but I'm 73 and it took awhile to get out from under the attempted brainwashing that a woman wasn't worth anything unless she got married an made babies ( I love my "babies" dearly - it wasn't their fault). Oh for the day when sexual orientation will no longer need to be haggled about.!
"Oh for the day when sexual orientation will no longer need to be haggled about.!"
This is pretty much it.
I am amused that people care so much instead of just being intellectually interested. I mean, what if the irrefutable argument came across that we should all behave bisexually? Would make Saturday nights much more interesting. ;)
In the past i though it was biological.... many animals that have sex for pleasure and not pure procreation do it (although im not sure if any are exclusively homosexual or bisexual) and we are such animals so there's no reason why it wouldnt be natural for humans as well.
However, i was recently informed by a med school student (so im assuming they have more knowlege on the subject than i do) that sexuality is a spectrum, and different individuals fall into that spectrum at different places...homosexuality being on one end, straight on the other, and bisexual falling in the middle. also, he mentioned that it may be a possibility that we are all inherently bisexual, but our environment and societal influences cause us to move along the spectrum toward one end or the other. He also said so far it has not been proven that anything affects the spectrum other than environment, but i know some homosexuals that say they've known since they were three so that might suggest something biological going on there.