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).

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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?

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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.

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(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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Had to go to the Dictionary for 'disputatiously'. Live and learn.

English is my first and only language. You guys put me to shame :) so thanks Albert.

Here is the definition of preference excerpted from wikipedia: In psychology, preferences could be conceived of as an individual’s attitude towards a set of objects, typically reflected in an explicit decision-making process (Lichtenstein & Slovic, 2006). This is not the sole definition of the term. I think you have assigned a personal connotation to the word and have chosen to base your entire interpretation of my response around this. Unfortunately, I think you have missed the point of that sentence entirely. When I made the claim that environmental stimuli may cause "indefinite shifts in sexual preference and behavior" I was referring to the fact that a persons own experiences may push them towards OR away from homosexuality. I am, however, very sorry that you had negative experiences with illogical and apparently nonscientific therapeutic processes.  

wikieepodia is not a real reliable source becuase it can be changeed by anyone...in the dictionary it states "to set or hold before or above other persons or things in estimation; like better; choose rather than: to prefer beef to chicken."   http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/prefer  the dictionary states that "preference' is defind as "preferring"  which means you "choose" between two things.  its not a choose


Wikipedia is fine as long as you check the citations properly.  Dictionary.com, on the other hand, is okay as a general resource, but is less reliable than most of the major dictionaries.

That said, that definition is not stating that preference necessarily means 'to choose'.  The core meaning is to like one thing over another; that's what it means to prefer.  To choose based on what we prefer is to show preference, so in that sense, choice and preference can be directly related. 

this is my perspective but Wiki is icky...I don't use that website

Rich I did not state that someone would choose to be part of a hated minority...I have no idea were you got that from...I am gay and I never choose to be gay...its just the way I am...

It's both, as it always is.  But nurture aka environment tend to have a greater influence than genes on human behavior by far. I notice that many, not all, of  gays were abused as children.  This might set different sets of norms or sexual preference in the abused child.  Gender behavioral roles are for the most part learned. If a child is abused it really affects that child sexuality in the future.  It expresses itself in many ways.  I hate to refer to behavior as anything but biological because behavior=brain and the brain is what creates behavior.  The brain is a physical organ and subjected to the same influences as the body.  Prenatal environment can also influence a child's development.  Differences of the hormonal prenatal in environment can lead to physical changes in the body and in the brain. 

 

In reality we learn most of our behavior from the world around us. If there are stigmas and norms then you will get people behaving in a certain way being seen as different.  They might be different from the norm but the norm is subjective to the society.  In ancient Rome homosexuality, pedophilia, Polygamy, group sex, etc. were all acceptable.  People need to understand that evolution just is, it unfolds and there is always cause and there affect.  DNA is the foundation for making a organism.  The variations and expressions of the genes can be so amazing and diverse.  That is beautiful to me.  I think human sexuality is awesome and should be celebrated.  It is a way for people to connect with each other on an intimate situation.  Imagine a utopian world, and we'd all be having guilt free sex with everyone.  Pansexuality.  I think we are all born panasexuals but are pulled out of the womb and told to pick a side, girl or boy, then you are labeled with a gender role and to be with the opposite sex than you by society.  

 

We have developed the ability to enjoy sex because of the sensations it brings to us.  Physical pleasure that releases dopamine blah blah blah.  Anyway, we have sex because it feels good.  Now it's more about pleasure than procreation.  Who has sex just to procreate anymore other than Catholics?

I think that it is both as well but I think for the vast majority of the homosexual population - it is primarily biological. But - there is a subset which involved sexual abuse when younger - but these are not the majority of the cases.

In fact, we have evidence from the genetic and biological components - i.e. amounts of the different neurotransmitters inside of the body.

Sassan,

Have you any evidence to back up your assertion about there being a subset of people who were homosexual because of sexual abuse? I haven't found anything to suggest this and it appears to one of those unfounded myths that modern society could do without.
"And note: I stated for the vast majority of cases it is almost purely biological."

Indeed you did and there is evidence to back up such statements, however the one about sexual abuse has no credible evidence that I can see.
As someone who practised for many years as a licensed specialist psychologist I would be extremely surprised to learn that the university you attended actually taught this nonsense unless it had a psychology department with an extremely poor record of educating competent psychology professionals.  I would not be in the least bit surprised to learn that you had misunderstood what your read or heard or that the program you took was not a program that is accredited for professional psychology licensing purposes.
OTOH, it is known that extreme stress can switch on genes or change how they are expressed (in both mothers and their progeny) so I suppose that what you contend is at least possible.  Even if it were, however, it does not seem to occur in the vast majority of cases.

As you said in the latter part of your statement, extreme stress can turn on genes in how they are expressed - but away from this fact - it has been demonstrated that through genetics - the brains of gay males tend to be more like the brains of females and the brain of lesbians tend to be more like the brains of males in what I believe was the size of the hypothalamus on the left side of the brain - I will now have to go find the exact notation in my text book - but again, this wasn't a major emphasis of the text or emphasized that this is fact - but rather that it is postulated through brain imaging studies and genetic comparisons - that the vast majority of the gay population it is more "automatic" through genes and in the very minority of the cases in which there was child molestation from the very young - these differences in the brain were not very apparent - there is nothing contradictory as postulations are always discussed in text.

Therefore, please do not try to put down my education or my text by calling it "nonsense", thanks. And it was in I believe my psychology human sexuality class rather than the aforementioned class - I will try to find the exact passages in my text shortly.

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