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%)



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Kin selection would not require procreation. More colloquially: "Me and my brother against my cousin; me, my brother, and my cousin against the other."


But how can evolution "think" of the assistance of homosexuals as a means of producing it? It seems far fetched as evolution is worried about the immediate reproduction and propagation of genes, don't you think?

Yes, but some of the same arguments as Dawkins presented in favor of altruistic behavior could potentially be applied and the trait may survive in low levels (as observed in virtually all societies and the animal kingdom). In additon, prenatal environmental influences can affect the offspring.

For instance, Ramadan is coming up in September, which will lead to a statistically significant increase in the level of birth defects in children born to muslim mothers in the next 6-9 months. Likewise, low levels of stress increase the amount of testosterone (vs high levels), and as previously presented, the amount of prenatal testosterone seemms to be correlated to homosexual behavior. Population stress can be caused by resource access, thus the behavior may be more prevalent when the population has good access to resources, and less so when resource access and stress is high. This could be related to the conclusions in this Nature article, if one attempts to transfer the conclusions to humans.

I've heard male dolphins engage in homosexuality to form bonds that help them work together for protection. I'm not entirely sure but I think on rare occasions male lions have appeared to do the same. 

Biological all the way!!!

Just stumbled on this from Science Daily.

I'll say it's biological; I'm a homosexual and I didn't just wake up one day thinking I like men, I just did. You don't decide to be homosexual more than you decide to be a heterosexual; it's just who you are, there's nothing to decide.

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.


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