Author Topic: What makes a person gay?  (Read 9125 times)

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Offline redpaw

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Re: What makes a person gay?
« Reply #50 on: September 06, 2012, 11:22:04 am »
Quote from: Wikipedia
Biology and sexual orientation is the subject of research into the role of biology in the development of human sexual orientation. No simple, single cause for sexual orientation has been conclusively demonstrated. Various studies point to different, even conflicting positions, such as a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences,[1] with biological factors involving a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment,[2] or no genetic influence.[3]

End of debate then I guess? ;) They were the first 3 sentences taken from the link Vararam posted. I think that everyone will agree that there there is no simple or single cause for sexual orientation. What seems to be in contention is the degree to which the various factors contribute towards sexual orientation.

With that said please could we restrict the debate to discussing what determines sexual orientation and not the morality of homosexuality. :)

Offline Kael

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Re: What makes a person gay?
« Reply #51 on: September 06, 2012, 12:04:24 pm »
THANK YOU... getting uncomfortable here
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Offline Mylo

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Re: What makes a person gay?
« Reply #52 on: September 06, 2012, 12:54:15 pm »
Quote from: Wikipedia
Biology and sexual orientation is the subject of research into the role of biology in the development of human sexual orientation. No simple, single cause for sexual orientation has been conclusively demonstrated. Various studies point to different, even conflicting positions, such as a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences,[1] with biological factors involving a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment,[2] or no genetic influence.[3]

End of debate then I guess? ;) They were the first 3 sentences taken from the link Vararam posted. I think that everyone will agree that there there is no simple or single cause for sexual orientation. What seems to be in contention is the degree to which the various factors contribute towards sexual orientation.

With that said please could we restrict the debate to discussing what determines sexual orientation and not the morality of homosexuality. :)

But wouldn't that make the debate over?  Now it's just a matter of science rather than opinion.

Offline redpaw

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Re: What makes a person gay?
« Reply #53 on: September 06, 2012, 01:56:31 pm »
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But wouldn't that make the debate over?  Now it's just a matter of science rather than opinion.

As of yet there is no conclusive scientific explanation, so you can still discuss any thoughts and theories and explain why you think that way (be it from personal experience or articles that you have read).

Offline Avan

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Re: What makes a person gay?
« Reply #54 on: September 06, 2012, 02:15:12 pm »
Debates are not a matter of 'opinion'. Opinions can be pulled out of thin air, and are by definition purely subjective statements such as "I like pie". Saying something that cannot be proved such as 'there exists an elementary particle that interacts with nothing thus cannot be detected by any means' is NOT an opinion, it is an unsubstantiated claim.

Proper debates are over various hypothesis ('educated guesses' - based on VALID evidence); not opinions (except in very specific contexts, such as debating what flavor pie to get in which certain opinions actually rightly carry weight in the conclusion), and definitely not unsubstantiated claims.
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Offline Rocket T. Coyote

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Re: What makes a person gay?
« Reply #55 on: September 11, 2012, 08:18:33 pm »
I have a gay relative. His parents divorced. His Dad was rather distant and his Mom was a dominant influence in his upbringing. She is married to her third husband btw.

Some claim to be gay because it seems like the cool thing to do.

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Offline Avor

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Re: What makes a person gay?
« Reply #56 on: September 12, 2012, 01:10:47 am »
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What makes a person gay?

A combonation of biology, society, and idvidual experience.

Quote
For those people who say they were "born" gay, I don't believe that. Nobody is born gay.

Then you would be somewhat mistaken, because the the state of a sexual orientation requires biological compenents that developed before birth. With out with out those certain biological predetermination, nothing could develop from the choices and other factors that cause some people to blossom.

My two cents, I think genetics puts the potential there and life experience does the rest. 


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Offline Kael

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Re: What makes a person gay?
« Reply #57 on: September 12, 2012, 05:28:09 am »
Agree with above
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Offline Fenny the Fox

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Re: What makes a person gay?
« Reply #58 on: September 20, 2012, 09:52:46 am »
For those people who say they were "born" gay, I don't believe that. Nobody is born gay. There's no medical test or ultrasound, etc. that can determine if a baby is gay before it is born.  :P

Nor do we have a test for things like schizophrenia, but we know there is a very large genetic correlation involved. Frankly, we only have genetic testing available like that for a small number of the disorders and conditions that we know are genetically linked.
A good link covering gene testing rather quickly: http://www.caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/content_node.jsp?nodeid=403


I also point out that if we do go down the path of if sexuality is genetically influenced or now we have to take into mind that most of genetics (past very simple traits and biomechanical pathway disorders) are not that simple. Many genes also rely on other factors to create the seen phenotype - they require certain triggers or accomplices which may be chemical and /or environmental in nature. And many many genetically linked traits and the like are linked to not one gene but several!

Genetics, in reality, is rarely as simple as high school bio class makes it seem. It gets extremely complicated.

So, regardless of having a known and found genetic linkage, it could still be there. And it is highly likely that it results in a specific sexual proclivity ONLY when many conditions [environmental, chemical, etc] are met in a certain way - which is to say, it is likely not purely any one factor.

tl;dr: it is very likely that sexual orientation (straight, gay, bi, whatever) is a result of both nature and nurture - in varying degrees depending on person.

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Offline Blackrose13

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Re: What makes a person gay?
« Reply #59 on: January 30, 2013, 07:56:58 pm »
Well from a religious standpoint, I have never read a bible that states "And he/she who loveth another man/woman shall be sent to everlasting torment." Or anything even vaugely like that. And also, while I dont worship god, if he does exist (and I am fairly ceartin he does), and he loves mankind so much, why would he punish someone for finding someone they enjoyed being with. Love is blind. How can it be sinfull to find pleasure in being with another person? As for why people become gay, I really think it is sort of a random factor. You cant tell if a baby will grow up to be gay. You dont bump into a gay guy, or a lesbian, and wake up the next morning a homosexual. I am bi, with slightly more gay leanings, but the reason I feel equal attraction for both genders, is because I was brought up taught that there is nothing wrong with that. My aunt is a firm beleiver that gays are going to hell, but both of my parents are fine with it. I have meet a couple gay people, and a lesbian or two, and there is nothing different about them then about us/you. We learn the same, can do the same things, and are exactly like you, just they like people of the same gender.
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Offline Mylo

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Re: What makes a person gay?
« Reply #60 on: January 30, 2013, 10:47:21 pm »
Well from a religious standpoint, I have never read a bible that states "And he/she who loveth another man/woman shall be sent to everlasting torment." Or anything even vaugely like that. And also, while I dont worship god, if he does exist (and I am fairly ceartin he does), and he loves mankind so much, why would he punish someone for finding someone they enjoyed being with. Love is blind. How can it be sinfull to find pleasure in being with another person? As for why people become gay, I really think it is sort of a random factor. You cant tell if a baby will grow up to be gay. You dont bump into a gay guy, or a lesbian, and wake up the next morning a homosexual. I am bi, with slightly more gay leanings, but the reason I feel equal attraction for both genders, is because I was brought up taught that there is nothing wrong with that. My aunt is a firm beleiver that gays are going to hell, but both of my parents are fine with it. I have meet a couple gay people, and a lesbian or two, and there is nothing different about them then about us/you. We learn the same, can do the same things, and are exactly like you, just they like people of the same gender.

You have to look at it from the perspective of the Christian and the perspective of the non-Christian.

From the perspective of the Christian:
The Christian bible does actually forbid homosexuality explicitly.  "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination" (Lev. 18:22 ). Now, this is in the Old Testament; one can argue that Christians take things like forbidding sexuality and the ten commandments into account while ignoring things like animal sacrifices, but that is not true to them. To Christians, Jesus gave them a new covenant that fulfilled the prophecies of the old testament, thearby eliminating the relevance of this old covenant. Violence is no longer used, but Christians still must abstain from sin.
To Christians, marriage is intended for a man and a woman, so that they can follow God and procreate. The only way to procreate is if marriage is between a man and a woman; to Christians, that's why there are corresponding parts. Christians do not believe that, even if two men or women love each other and act according to God in every other way, they should be married. Arguing that homosexual men and women are like everyone else, and therefore that constitutes righteousness, does not apply.  This is because it takes just one sin to be a sinner, and therefore separate a sinner from non-sinner.  That being said, sins can be forgiven if one acknowledges those sins to God. God is all-loving, not in the sense that he loves everything you do, but that he will always welcome you with open arms if you recognize that you sinned and relinquish it.
Arguing that you felt attraction to both genders based solely on the fact that you were brought up in an environment where homosexuality wasn't condemned is actually bad for your case, because this suggests that homosexuality is learned and brought out by the environment. Some Christians may then condemn this because they may believe that if you were brought up with the idea that homosexuality is wrong, you may have become straight. Most would believe that you are putting your own personal satisfaction ahead of morality.

From the perspective of the non-Christian:
The government shouldn't base its moral values on Christian values, nor any other religion. All people are equal, no matter their race, wealth, sexuality, etc, because we are all human beings. There is nothing wrong with who you love, so long as you love and cherish and respect that person with all your heart.
While man and woman were designed to procreate, that does not forbid humans from sexually satisfying themselves in other ways, so long as it doesn't infringe on another person's intentions. Marriage is about love and honoring each other, no matter what gender each other is. Love is blind, as you said. Since the government protects the rights of all people, it is the civil right of any citizen to marry any other citizen (so long as they are of age).
The bible was written at a time when procreation was important (the society being largely agrarian). In today's world, procreation is not nearly as needed (in fact, some places suffer from over-population), and homosexuality can even be argued to be suited for this type of environment, as a homosexual couple cannot produce babies and can therefore adopt them from other impoverished places. Acting upon homosexuality can stop unwanted pregnancies for that person, in this way.
If one does believe in God, one cannot argue that God loves everyone the same. Jesus said nothing concerning homosexuals, so therefore, why is it a sin?
Homosexuality may be biologically or environmentally caused. It is natural for some humans to feel homosexual thoughts, and if it doesn't cause harm to anyone, why is it wrong? Why should any government care about who you sleep with or pleasure yourself, if it does not harm anyone? Homosexuality may be both a birthed instinct and/or a choice. Either way, it is not a grounds to discriminate on. A relationship can bring happiness and productivity whether heterosexual or homosexual (or whatever else there might be). One's sexual life is one's own.

I wrote this just because, whether or not you (referring to a collective you, as in 'one') think another person's opinion is absolutely ridiculous or the opposite, I believe it is necessary to look at things from all perspectives. I believe it is necessary to listen to all of a case before nitpicking at details or constantly emphasizing your own opinion. This is something that everyone, including myself, is guilty of from time to time, and I think we'd all grow collectively if we learned about each other. I don't understand how a person can call a Christian ignorant when they themselves have the ignorance to not understand where Christians are coming from. That would be like going to China and expecting to converse with the locals in English. You have to understand the language, and then you can converse.

Back to homosexuality. I believe that it is a combination of biological and environmental factors that give rise to your sexuality. I wonder though what would happen in a world where the majority shifted to homosexuality. Would something in our minds change so that we suddenly see the opposite sex as desirable, considering the population damage that would arise? Or would we see sex as both an act of pleasure and an act of utility. Would women be required to have children? Would society then again shift to the exclusive advocacy of heterosexual behavior? Would something change in our minds, mental blocks so to speak, making homosexuality more difficult to discover?

On the same note, what would happen in an overpopulated society? Would homosexuality be glorified in movies and television shows, society in general, to avoid more pregnancies than society could sustain? Or, would abortions and birth control become required or encouraged?

You have to wonder though...how many people have had positive homosexual thoughts only to be conditioned by the mind and society that these thoughts were wrong? How many people have found satisfaction with the opposite sex after being conditioned that homosexuality was wrong? Have homosexuals ever felt love for the opposite sex, hetero for the same, only to omit it because of exclusivity?

There are definitely more bisexuals than we think there are, but these are all just terms. We as humans love to categorize things. Had there only been the word "love" in the language, instead of "homo," "hetero," etc, who knows what people would be known to be attracted to. The societal variable is almost impossible to remove from any experiment or study done today, so we can only ponder these questions in discussions like these.

I often wonder why we don't separate the many meanings of love. Love for a family member. Love for a friend. Love as a sexual attraction. With this linguistic anomaly, we place equivalent importance on all of these because they are all one word, unless of course we have to explain ourselves. But still, love is a single word in our culture. It also poses difficulty with the question: Is sexual attraction synonymous with love? It can be. They can also be unique.

I brought this up because I also want to know. Can a homosexual man still love a woman? In the future, or even today, is sexual attraction (this kind of love) so mutual and unique that it must lead to a relationship of love, to marriage? When one is attracted to another person, is one only motivated by a subtle liking or a desire to have intercourse? Must a relationship have intercourse, or is there a difference between a sexual relationship and a non-sexual relationship (when involving couples). Will it ever be accepted in the future to separate the sexual and non-sexual parts of one's love into two different relationships, or two different processes? When our minds become less enclosed by societal traditions, will we discover and accept even more radical ideas than what we hear today?

It really all comes down to this. What is sexuality and what is love? What creative ways will we discover in the future that allow us to express the two, whether together or separated?

Offline Aakosir

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Re: What makes a person gay?
« Reply #61 on: January 31, 2013, 09:32:10 am »
My last college class actually touched on this a little bit. The book states that religion, culture/society, genetics, nature and nurture all play part in whether or not a person will be homosexual or heterosexual. I agree with that. There are so many different factors to take in to consideration and the fact that you cannot, absolutely cannot, turn a straight person gay or gay person straight, unless they have been giving false information and lying to themselves, but that's different. If a person has been passing themself off as straight, but are not sure with their sexuality then that person never really has been straight. They just have not had the nerve or opportunity to experiment with their sexuality. And it's not so black and white, there are tons of grey areas, which would be bisexual. But I'm getting off topic.

Yes, there are many different factors which will effect a person's orientation. I believe the strongest influences are their own mind, which could also be genetics, and their family. I do not believe religion is such a large factor because I have met many gay Christians and have heard of a few gay Muslims. There is one famous Muslim lady, her name I cannot remember though. Also, I do not think culture is such a large part because I look at what is going on in Africa. Men and women are being murdered for their orientation. But there will also be those who are lying and claiming to be straight so they do not die.

So many loop holes, so many people who are afraid to "come out" and so many who are in denial or just do not know. The studies may actually get somewhere if no one judged another based simply on this.
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Offline Ziel

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Re: What makes a person gay?
« Reply #62 on: January 31, 2013, 10:03:25 pm »
I brought this up because I also want to know. Can a homosexual man still love a woman? In the future, or even today, is sexual attraction (this kind of love) so mutual and unique that it must lead to a relationship of love, to marriage? When one is attracted to another person, is one only motivated by a subtle liking or a desire to have intercourse? Must a relationship have intercourse, or is there a difference between a sexual relationship and a non-sexual relationship (when involving couples). Will it ever be accepted in the future to separate the sexual and non-sexual parts of one's love into two different relationships, or two different processes? When our minds become less enclosed by societal traditions, will we discover and accept even more radical ideas than what we hear today?

It really all comes down to this. What is sexuality and what is love? What creative ways will we discover in the future that allow us to express the two, whether together or separated?

One theory relating to this actually surfaces very quickly if you look into the asexual community. As you suggest, this model splits the physical attraction apart from the emotional attraction. It pretty much means that if you try to describe your overall orientation, it's going to be in two parts. So you might be a heteroromantic-heterosexual (typical straight), or homoromantic-homosexual (typical gay).  In the case of asexuality, one might still be emotionally attracted to one of the two sexes. They could also be bi-romantic or aromantic (not to be confused with aromatic :P).

In some sort of attempt at a segue back to the topic...
I actually identify as AA (aromantic-asexual).  I can only assume in my case that I've been this way my entire life. It almost feels like I just kinda skipped that part of my mental development or something like that. It didn't really dawn on me at the time, but looking back, I realize that when everybody at school started showing interest in dating, I just... didn't. It didn't click for me, and I've never really felt a need or desire to form relationships beyond friendship to this day.

So based off my experience, I'm left feeling like a large part of it is a born trait. Or perhaps you could call it a born pre-disposition. I do believe that environment plays a role, because it's difficult for it not to have an impact in some way or another. But I really don't think it's something that can be learned or conditioned without the person already being pre-disposed at birth.

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Offline Avan

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Re: What makes a person gay?
« Reply #63 on: February 01, 2013, 12:16:47 pm »
[Kaira]

Ziel - it gets even more fun when the relationship is between two identity clusters (legal entities/summative minds that contain multiple dissociated identities) who both pretty much all identify as demiasexual/demisexual to fully asexual, varying by identity, and don't even acknowledge the shared body as being any of theirs, ie, being fully species-dysphoric. Our avatar-bodies are direct expressions of our identities, artistically created yet also engineered works that show and express who we are, and in that context 'what we are'; however we also acknowledge that we are actually just identities, data encoded into neural states and whatnot as well, ie, we are anchored in the reality of what we actually are.

As far as we are concerned, Love is purely something that stems from Emotional Intimacy - the capacity to completely open one's self up to another, to care for their well being and perpetuated existence as a discrete identity, and sacrifice for the sake of the others. Sexuality does not enter into it.

Quite simply, we don't need sex, the promise of sex, or even the desire for sex, in order to have our relationship. It can be used as one of many possible expressions of love, but in no way, shape or form is our relationship founded, driven by, or otherwise contingent on sex or sexuality. In fact, the very notion of "love" that is contingent on sex or sexuality to us (the Kairavan cluster at least) is both incomprehensible and repulsive. Its insincere - from our perspective, its A LIE, plain and simple. Because its not truly and completely about the other person. For the other cluster, its more painful than repulsive, but still as much a lie, because they've been hurt many times in the past by people falling in 'love' with them only to leave them when they discovered they were not going to be able to sexually love them back.

On top of that, given our identity-driven detachment from our shared bodies, our identity-genders or lack thereof may completely not align with the shared body's as well, let alone species (no alignment in any cases here - heck, our Thavdyn is a machine for crying out loud). AND EVEN THEN we have no preferences.

And although we have plans to live together, its not about sex at all, rather about being able to look out for and care for each other. Heck, um, to be entirely honest, human bodies at least for me.. especially this one (for I guess obvious reasons), are.. a little disturbing...

And... our relationship is even more atypical to those in your society, but I think I've rambled on enough for now..
« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 12:22:05 pm by Avan »
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Offline Jackie

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Re: What makes a person gay?
« Reply #64 on: May 22, 2013, 01:20:53 pm »
I have always thought that almost all of your personality has to do with life experience and upbringing, whether you are homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual, whether you are good or bad, your political views etc... if you strip it to the base, it all boils down to your experiences. For example if you are brought up in a gay household, you may be gay because it is what you are used to or you may be straight because you want to be different. Hope that made sense.
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Offline Avan

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Re: What makes a person gay?
« Reply #65 on: May 23, 2013, 07:01:53 pm »
nope; there are a LOT of ways that personality can be influenced by genetics and chemical structure:

Look at higher functioning autism spectrum individuals, and people who are under the influence of psychoactive pharmaceuticals, if you want some examples that can be shown here - there is someone here i know rather well who can attest to psychoactive pharmaceuticals causing a lot of changes in personality
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Offline Arashi_Calunata

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Re: What makes a person gay?
« Reply #66 on: May 24, 2013, 07:43:54 pm »
I believe it can be a mixture of all of those factors stated at the title of the thread. It's supposedly probable to be the genetics, but I don't believe that the answer will be as clear-cut as genetics or social situations or fear of the opposite sex.

It was a mystery since the first recorded case, it's a mystery now, and it will likely be a mystery in the future.

And overall, it'll likely be A) Unexplainable or B) Some mixture.
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Offline Jackie

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Re: What makes a person gay?
« Reply #67 on: May 25, 2013, 04:08:22 am »
As a scientist i agree with the genetics as well, but pharmaceuticals are more of an external factor.
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Offline Avan

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Re: What makes a person gay?
« Reply #68 on: May 25, 2013, 07:17:44 pm »
Whats the significance of it being an external factor vs. an internal one?

Oh, and 'old news', but some scientists discovered some chemicals that directly control sexuality.

Not exactly [/thread], but, it does narrow it down a lot to 'what causes said chemical variation?' - genetics? external chemical exposure? not sure yet...
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Offline Mylo

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Re: What makes a person gay?
« Reply #69 on: May 25, 2013, 10:31:52 pm »
I think its safe to say that most mental "things" (if not all) are caused by chemicals.  I mean, genetics is just code for what chemicals get used and made.