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%)
We don't bestow the requirement of "consent" on animals to be pets, for example. A dog or cat might prefer to be out playing in the outdoors, exposed to traffic and other hazards. We don't ask them if they want to wear a collar. We don't ask them if they want to be groomed.
Attitudes toward animals aren't written in the sky BY GOD. There are no "animal rights" given to us by an all-knowing deity who loves and cares about animals.
We even pretend there is an objective basis for human rights, when in fact they are just what we believe or want now, while in another time and place and time we'd be reciting a totally different script.
Kasu, WHAT IF the traditional two-parent heterosexual family were actually the best family form for bringing up children? One needn't hate homosexuals or even want to prevent homosexual sex or pair-bonding to maintain that the traditional intact hetero family is nevertheless the one that most often works best for children vs all the alternatives, including single-parent families, "communal" families, and father/father, mother/mother families. A very famous Atlantic Monthly article asks some very tough questions about "alt" family styles: Dan Quayle Was Right.
Read the article. There IS evidence. She set out assuming that the form of the family meant little and that good intentions could overcome everything, only to discover that she was wrong. By every measurable dimension (health, psychological adjustment, educational attainment), kids from "normal" hetero families did better in the stats.
Of course, you can argue that statistics aren't destiny, but is it right to bet a child that you can beat the odds?
But family structure determines or at least influences those "other factors." It's part of the modern script most of us have learned the love conquers all, but maybe we're wrong.
In "Dan Quail Was Right" there's at least an order of magnitude more speculation and anecdote than relevant social science data. It's a very long rant with predetermined conclusions.
Umm, no. She offers evidence and it's very un-rantish. If you found it a rant, your threshold for rantishness is set extremely low.
Just an aside here, I really hate when people call the modern "nuclear family" a "traditional family." It isn't. The current form of "family" has existed for not even 2 centuries. For the vast majority of human civilization, children were NOT raised by a mother and father and did not even remain with any "family" much past puberty. Our "traditional family" is a relatively new invention and its current form is mostly the result of the industrial revolution.
Hate it if you must, but that isn't proof that it isn't the best family form for our period in history.
@kasu... I sympathese with both yours and unseen's point view. I agree that the historical anthropology and evolution of the human genome simply has not prepared humans for 'nuclear families', our biology is simply not evolved that way. Nuclear families may be the mathematical 'norm', but they are not healthy, they're an artificial concoction.
However, I have become of the mind in recent years that the human race is entirely too obsessed with improving the human condition. This obsession plays to those in power, not to the masses, and it causes and endless cycle of more and more and more and more humans, and endless cycle of non-viable growth. Thereby sanctioning of a weak human race in constant need of psychological and medical maintenance and supervision, incapable of fending for ourselves, cubicle bound apes. Cubicles are not healthy for any ape, we are no different.
@Kasu 'The usage of "consent" has been complicated by the existence of laws establishing (and taking away) the absurd "right" to consent to sex, as if the existence of a law can actually affect a person's willingness. This also leads to the confusing usage of "rape" and "molestation," where it should mean a person is unwilling, but in the case of statutory law, it doesn't.'
Ironically, the feminists have interpreted consent so as to imply that men are more responsible in sexual relationships than women. For example, if a man and woman have sex, even if they are BOTH drunk, they tend to describe the encounter is such a fashion that holds the male the more responsible party, thus treating women as if they are children incapable of making a choice whether to drink and have sex or not without a parent-like more responsible male present. This infantilizles women.
@Kasu A conversation, like an ocean, has bays and inlets and fjords.
If someone wants to hate, they can twist either interpretation to suit their hatred, especially if they subscribe to religion. If you view homosexuality as bad, then the psychological proposition implies it is a psychological disorder. If you take the biological view, then it is like a cleft palate or blindness. Something to be fixed or overcome through strength of will.
This is the way hatreds operate in general and why it is so difficult to get people to change their minds.