Human sexual orientation
The question whether human sexual orientation is genetically predetermined or is a product of rational choice has been actively debated in the scientific community for many decades. The question whether a person is born or becomes homosexual is surrounded with controversy and causes much discussion in scientific circles as well as among general public. Indeed, it’s hard to give a definite answer here, because homosexuality is an issue that concerns a significant number of biological, physiological, psychological, religious and ethical aspects.
Before recently, the prevailing opinion viewed homosexuality as a deviant behavior that could be filly attributed to person’s genes. However, the approach to this issue has changed a lot in the last few decades. Numerous scientific studies of the question of homosexuality were conducted, and they showed that people choose their sexual preferences themselves. In this paper, I will therefore argue in favor of the proposition that homosexuality is a choice. I’ve done much reading about the problem and came to a conclusion that people become homosexual in the course of their life.
Homosexuality is rather a lifestyle and an outlook, and I believe it’s not genetically caused and biologically predetermined. But I must acknowledge some biological and physiological factors that influence person’s choice. Now let me explain my position and support it with evidence from scientific theories and study findings. The so-called ‘genetic and unchangeable’ theory has been actively promoted by gay activists and the popular media, but it lacks scientific explanation and support. None of the research itself claims there is direct linkage between genetic material and homosexual nature of a person.
Scientists have failed to find the so-called ‘gay gene’, although they have been making constant and persistent attempts to prove its existence. But the major part of the scientific world is presently in strong opposition to this idea, and the research in this direction has almost stopped. There is even a theory that ‘gay gene’ was discussed for so long for the mere reason it was surrounded by media hype in early 90s – in reality, no serious studies could prove the existence of this gene (Conrad & Markens, 2001).
One of the undisputed proofs of homosexuality being a choice concerns the fact that humans can change their sexual identity in the course of their life. Furthermore, it has been proven to be caused not by biological factors but psychological ones. It’s important to mention that the environment pressure, psychological peculiarities, and previous experience are the factors that play a considerable role in the development of homosexuality. Nowadays teenagers often experiment with different sexual partners before taking the final stance on their sexual orientation.
In order to determine or change one’s sexual preferences, a person should solve his or her identity crisis. This can be only done through deep self-reflection, which results in arriving at a decision about the gender of preferred sexual partners (Beckstead & Israel, 2007). It’s necessary to comprehend the difference between heritable and inherited traits. Almost all human features are to a certain extent heritable, and so is homosexuality. But it’s wrong to conclude, that homosexuality is inherited and that people are born either homosexual or heterosexual.
It has been proven scientifically that although there exist genetic associations and linkages with homosexual orientation, genes do not directly define the sexual preference. While genetics play a certain role in predetermining this or that sexual orientation (genetic evidence suggests a heritable component and putative gene loci on the X chromosome), but actual homosexuality develops through a conserved neurodevelopmental mechanism (Rahman & Wilson, 2003).
Generally speaking, there is a vast consensus among scientists on the fact that person’s sexual orientation id determined by his or her choice. It’s widely believed that homosexuality is a lifestyle not illness, and psychologists have to acknowledge that pathological thinking has been harmful to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens (McCann, 2007). To sum up, I would like to clarify my position once again. I agree with those scientists, who consider that homosexuality is not directly inherited and inborn.
There may be some predisposing factors, which make some people more receptive to the idea of homosexuality, and a biological correlation with human behavior is undeniable, but the influence of environment and self-reflection are more significant factors in determining one’s sexual orientation.
1. McCann, Damian. (Feb 2007). ‘Review of Nurturing Queer Youth: Family Therapy Transformed. ’ Journal of Family Therapy, Vol. 29(1), pp. 88-89, Retrieved February 18, 2007, from http://web. ebscohost. com.ezproxy. library. arizona. edu/ehost/detail? vid=5&hid=7&sid=e29e688b-3f00-449e-8fe6-b36d9d902c46%40sessionmgr7 2. Beckstead, Lee and Israel, Tania. (2007). ‘Affirmative Counseling and Psychotherapy Focused on Issues Related to Sexual Orientation Conflicts. ’ In Bieschke, Kathleen J. (Ed), Perez, Ruperto M. (Ed), DeBord, Kurt A. (Ed), Handbook of counseling and psychotherapy with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender clients (pp. 221-244). Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association, 2007.
Retrieved February 18, 2007, from http://web. ebscohost. com. ezproxy. library. arizona. edu/ehost/detail? vid=5&hid=7&sid=e29e688b-3f00-449e-8fe6-b36d9d902c46%40sessionmgr7 3. Conrad, Peter and Markens, Susan (Jul 2001). ‘Constructing the ‘gay gene’ in the news: Optimism and skepticism in the US and British press. ’ Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine, Vol 5(3), pp. 373-400, Retrieved February 18, 2007, from http://web.
ebscohost. com. ezproxy. library. arizona. edu/ehost/detail? vid=11&hid=7&sid=e29e688b-3f00-449e-8fe6-b36d9d902c46%40sessionmgr7 4. Rahman, Qazi and Wilson, Glenn D. (Jun 2003). ‘Born gay? The psychobiology of human sexual orientation. ’ Personality and Individual Differences, Vol. 34(8), pp. 1337-1382, Retrieved February 18, 2007, from http://web. ebscohost. com. ezproxy. library. arizona. edu/ehost/detail? vid=14&hid=7&sid=e29e688b-3f00-449e-8fe6-b36d9d902c46%40sessionmgr7Sample Essay of UkEssays