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%)
Actually very well thought out answers from what appears to be random people at the street. And the other one was absolutely hilarious. :)
As for when people "choose" their final sexual orientation, I'd hazard a guess at around the onset of puberty, 10-12 years or so, when the hormones start really kicking in.
"This fact in itself makes this a homophobic forum."
No, this makes it a liberal/progressive forum where difficult subjects can be raised and discussed with people sharing their knowledge and attaining new information.
If you are uncomfortable with the topic you might have a choice to answer or not, depending if we look at it from a biological or psychological standpoint. ;)
Democratic forum? It's the silliest thing I've ever heard!
The intended discussion is not whether or not homosexuality is right or wrong, but rather an attempt at gaining insight into why it occurs. If it was a homophobic forum we would be discussing how bad it is, and no one has made any such claim (yet).
By your "democratic" rules we should not address homosexuality because it's homophobic or Islam because it's racist.
I guess I should post a new question to ensure no sensibilities can get bruised: The weather here is lovely today, how is the weather where you are?
Perhaps you don't quite understand that a forum discussing the reason for one's existence might possibly bruise the discuss-ee's sensibilities. As one of the gays who's reason for being this discussion is trying to determine, I find the whole thing exasperating.
There was never a choice involved for me, I was gay before sexuality was even a concept to be considered. As for psychological/environmental factors that supposedly turned me gay, what could they possibly be? There's no advantage or "benefit" to being gay, and very few, if any, cultures/societies that don't treat gays with scorn, so why would factors that "turn" people gay exist?
I can certainly understand the curiosity from a scientific point of view, but beyond that I'm baffled as to what the layperson's interest is. There's a certain insolence in even bringing up the topic for discussion. I think there's more merit to discussing why straight people "are the way they are," and the complete lack of benefit so many of them bring to the world.
Beautiful: "Perhaps you don't quite understand that a forum discussing the reason for one's existence might possibly bruise the discuss-ee's sensibilities."
I can understand why it could, but I don't really see why it should. I am also of the belief that discussing sensitive topics is the only way to defuse them, and gays (like straight) should have no issue in discussing their personal sexuality. I do not like it when people moralize with emotions about sexuality, it should be treated amorally with reason.
I am open for that debate too, but there's much less mystery in heterosexuality to me. If you'd like to ask me a question regarding being straight, I'll give you a "straight" answer. ;)
It's always so easy for those who haven't spent their life being discriminated against, mistreated by society at large, and told in no uncertain terms that there's something wrong with you, to say "geez, what's the problem, lighten up, why be so upset about it?."
The problem isn't with discussing my sexuality, it's the notion that it's perfectly ok to have a fun little forum chat about the reason for my existence. Whether or not I'm beneficial evolutionarily speaking, a biological mistake to be studied in a lab, or poor broken thing that didn't quite turn out right because of a bad childhood. Unless you're onto an answer, and ready to rock the science world with your knowledge, a discussion like this is pointless.
And your right, there's not much mystery in straight sexuality, Tab-A goes into Slot-B, pull the lever and a baby comes out. I'm more interested in the purposeless, uncontrolled breeding by the ignorant and entitled, and what we can do to curb this behavior. So yes, hetero, religious, baby-machines are much more in need of study than gays in my opinion.
No one has had fun on your expense here. No one has claimed that homosexuality is not beneficial. No one has made a suggestion to study you in a lab. No one has claimed you didn't turn out right or alright. No one has even called it wrong.
The purpose is not naming and shaming, but an attempt at building understanding such that those who daren't come out because of the reasons you listed have less issues than you had when they decide to do.
In addition, I do not think defining your existence purely based on your sexuality is healthy. Indeed, there is no greater reason for your existence at all apart from the existence itself.
Silencing the discussion to spare feelings is the worst thing anyone can do.