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Homosexuality
Posted: 19 August 2012 12:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 106 ]
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Scott Mayers - 18 August 2012 07:42 PM
TimB - 18 August 2012 03:00 PM

I think that it is possible that developmental experiences may shape some into preferences other than what they are biologically predisposed to, but my guess on this is that it is more of the exception rather than the rule.

Genetic sexual preference, a condition that you are ‘born’ with, seems like claiming that someone can born with a genetic preference for someone with red hair, green eyes, and an income of $110,000.00/yr. It’s too complex a thought. Yeah, some birds and fish have simple genetic forms that innately make them to react to a shade of red. But to assert genetic inheritance of sexual orientation is not only unjustified scientifically, it is seriously detrimental to those people who have physiological aptitudes that fit a genetic prototype that others think they should be that they in fact do not. Maybe some flamboyant effeminate man may credit his preference for a strict gay lifestyle empowers him, but what about a man with the same characteristics who can’t get a date with a woman because he’s automatically assumed that he must be gay! He or she either gets with the program and acts according to social expectations or becomes silent and alone with the contradiction.

Also, is it true that if you are heterosexual, does that mean if you are male, that you are indifferent to which female in half the population of the world that you would care to be with? The so-called sexual orientation or preference is actually more of a description of what you do not prefer. Heterosexuals would better be described as those who do not prefer or eliminate sexual relations with the same sex, While strict homosexuals are those who do not like opposing sexual relations.

Biological determinates include more that sheer genetic inheritance.  For example it is very likely that in some cases of homosexuality that there are hormonal factors that occur during prenatal development.

Certainly, individuals actual sexual behaviors (and a lot of their other behaviors) are strongly influenced by social and cultural factors.  In our society, however, your humanistic concern for effeminate heterosexual males seems stilted, as there are surely many more homosexuals who experience aversive social pressures than there are effeminate heterosexual males who can’t get dates with women.

Granted that effeminate males are very often assumed by others to be gay, but I would think that most effeminent heterosexual males would not buy into others’ assumptions and start having sex with guys.

Would some effeminate heterosexual males have trouble getiing dates with women? Very likely so, but not all of them. Plenty of effeminent males are even married to women.

Anyway, a lot of heterosexual guys have trouble getting dates with women for various reasons other than seeming effeminent.  What should we do to help those poor souls?

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Posted: 19 August 2012 12:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 107 ]
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An interesting facet.  Apparently, if people are too far apart in gender role they have trouble relating to each other.  I once had a neighbor who was a super-masculine police officer and his wife was a petite, beautiful, very feminine lady.  I could tell they really liked each other, but they just didn’t understand and couldn’t communicate with each other.  They eventually got divorced.

The research project found that many of the very masculine homosexual athletes found males who were rather effeminate.  Similarly, many very feminine females who were homosexual tended to connect with rather masculine women.  Similarly, when I was quite young, I had an older boss who was quite effeminate. and who was married with five children.  When I met his wife, I was surprised that she also was an extremely feminine lady. 

I know that there are many couples who don’t fit these parameters, but it’s something interesting to consider.

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Posted: 20 August 2012 09:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 108 ]
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To people who deny a biological basis for homosexuality: why are you attracted to members of the opposite sex? Why are you not attracted to members of your own sex? Can you make a decision to change your preference?

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Posted: 20 August 2012 09:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 109 ]
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TimB - 19 August 2012 12:38 AM

Biological determinates include more that sheer genetic inheritance.  For example it is very likely that in some cases of homosexuality that there are hormonal factors that occur during prenatal development.

Exactly right! We know that identical twins are more likely to be both gays than siblings. If it weren’t for biological reasons, the numbers for identical twins and siblings would be the same. If it were a result of genetic inheritance only, both identical twins would always be gay (or none would)—and they are not. We have no idea what causes homosexuality, but we know the reasons are biological, which as Tim correctly said, doesn’t mean “genetic.”

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Posted: 20 August 2012 07:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 110 ]
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TimB - 19 August 2012 12:38 AM

Biological determinates include more that sheer genetic inheritance.  For example it is very likely that in some cases of homosexuality that there are hormonal factors that occur during prenatal development.

I find this kind of a cheat. I don’t disagree with genetic and environmental biological life experiences as possibly playing a part in some cases. The claim that one is “born” with it though excludes regular psychological environmental experiences which is bull. Even regular psychological experiences can hardwire neurons in time.

TimB - 19 August 2012 12:38 AM

Granted that effeminate males are very often assumed by others to be gay, but I would think that most effeminent heterosexual males would not buy into others’ assumptions and start having sex with guys.

FreeInKy - 20 August 2012 09:11 AM

To people who deny a biological basis for homosexuality: why are you attracted to members of the opposite sex? Why are you not attracted to members of your own sex? Can you make a decision to change your preference?

Actually, social pressures do cause people to try things they would never have before! I’ve personally known quite a few. And to FreeInKy, why would you presume that only a heterosexual would claim that there is no biological basis? Preferences can change due to experience and time. Wasn’t there ever a food, for instance, that you didn’t like when you were a kid but now crave? Many people grow out of the preference for sweets, for example.

Like I said, if you set a precedence for a biological basis for homosexuality, you are going to enhance the stereotyping of people who have certain physical characteristics because to claim a biological connection, you must be basing this judgement on their physical make-up, which cannot exclude what they look like.

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Posted: 20 August 2012 08:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 111 ]
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Someone who has a biological predisposition to be left handed can be forced into living his/her life right handed if enough environmental contingencies are brought to bear.  But chances are his/her life would have proceeded better for them if their natural predisposition was nurtured rather than forced away.

Yet, it happens that some kids who would do better primarily using their left hand are sometimes forced into becoming right handed.  Social pressures are generally more brought to bear against those in the minority to become more like the majority.

So Scott, where is your concern for persons who have a gay preference being subjected to social pressures, as in our society, this is more often the case than the reverse?

If you read my posts carefully, you would see that I am not ruling out post birth, social environmental factors as possibly playing some part in individual’s sexual preferences.  I, as you, think that would be incorrect.  Where we differ is that I think that biological determinates are primarily in play, and you think that social environmental factors are primarily in play.

Either way, I think that society’s role should not be to try to influence individual’s sexual preferences. (Ideally, the societal message for adolescents would be that whether they find themselves more attracted to females rather than males or vice versa, is no big deal.)  The fact is that society does, however, bring compelling forces to bear, often times, on some individual’s sexual preference.  (Again this happens a lot more against homosexuality than pro homosexuality.)  But when social factors do come to bear in contradiction to individual’s underlying sexual preferences, I suggest that it generally does not change the person’s underlying sexual preferences, but rather tends to make their lives more difficult than need be.

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Posted: 20 August 2012 09:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 112 ]
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First of all, I am absolutely for an open sexual society that allows anyone to be and do what they choose to do. Those who claim their nature as “from birth” are reacting to the extreme religious people who try to argue against it by claiming that it is “not natural” but rather something that they were influenced to do through their psychological experiences. It seems that it is more of a claim for political justification which I don’t think is necessary for a good argument for sexual rights and freedoms. Much of the debate circles around the legal definition of “marriage” that the political establishment differentiates from “unions”. The religious argue that gay people can still have all the same rights guaranteed through an official union. It is usually gay people who are religious who want to get married within a traditional religious ceremony who want to be officiated as being married, rather than just a secular union. If, and only if, the laws are identical, do I think that it is important either way if you get the same official advantages. I think the solution would be easier to make if the government just took marriage, as a legal term, and just use union for everyone. Then everyone religious or not who ‘ties the knot’ would be considered a legal union but may personally call themselves, married, if they want.

People are also not just either gay or straight either. I find this treatment of black-or-white preferences demeaning to the actual reality of most people. It is likely that if society were more open, sexual preferences would just be a matter of who you are presently with at the time. I already mentioned it before that the classification scheme is actually a negative delimiter in that it actually tells people who you certainly do not prefer rather than who you do. If not, does every gay man arbitrarily like every and any man? No, nor does every heterosexual person arbitrarily like every or any person of the opposite sex. Declaring one’s sexuality in that sense is kind of prejudice sounding if you think of it this way.

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Posted: 20 August 2012 10:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 113 ]
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The title of this thread is Homosexuality, but sure, in the population of humans, there is a spectrum of sexual preferences from exclusively gay preferences to some level of bisexual preferences to exclusively heterosexual preferences.

The most important and over-riding common ground seems to me to be that we each believe that society should avoid putting any pressure on individuals simply because of their sexual preferences, whether the preferences are for persons of one gender or the other or for persons of either gender.

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Posted: 21 August 2012 10:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 114 ]
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Scott Mayers - 20 August 2012 07:49 PM

Actually, social pressures do cause people to try things they would never have before! I’ve personally known quite a few. And to FreeInKy, why would you presume that only a heterosexual would claim that there is no biological basis? Preferences can change due to experience and time. Wasn’t there ever a food, for instance, that you didn’t like when you were a kid but now crave? Many people grow out of the preference for sweets, for example.

Like I said, if you set a precedence for a biological basis for homosexuality, you are going to enhance the stereotyping of people who have certain physical characteristics because to claim a biological connection, you must be basing this judgement on their physical make-up, which cannot exclude what they look like.

I don’t accept or reject facts because of possible consequences. Truth should be the only criteria. And the best evidence we have is that sexual orientation is mostly biological. I’ll grant you some people are no doubt willing to explore the boundaries and maybe even choose to live a lifestyle that is not their natural preference. But the people I know who are gay all tell me they never made a conscious decision to embrace that. They just realized at some point—or they always knew—that they were attracted to members of their own gender. And all of the straight people I know that I have asked this question of express shock or even revulsion at the thought of “changing sides.” I just don’t’ see how it can be learned behavior.

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Posted: 21 August 2012 10:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 115 ]
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TimB - 20 August 2012 10:10 PM

The most important and over-riding common ground seems to me to be that we each believe that society should avoid putting any pressure on individuals simply because of their sexual preferences, whether the preferences are for persons of one gender or the other or for persons of either gender.

Absolutely!

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Posted: 21 August 2012 11:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 116 ]
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FreeInKy - 21 August 2012 10:47 AM

And the best evidence we have is that sexual orientation is mostly biological.

Mostly biological? Where are you, guys, getting this from? What evidence is there that homosexuality may be caused by anything that is not biological? Please do tell me.

Just because we may not know yet which biological factor is causing it—people like Bill Hamilton and Robert Trivers thought that the pathogen explanation idea made sense, for example—it doesn’t mean that we need to bring nurture into the equation.

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Posted: 21 August 2012 11:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 117 ]
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I was trying to be cautious and charitable. It should be obvious that I am not in the nurture camp. However, I don’t know that we can completely rule out environmental factors that might conceivably play a role.

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Posted: 21 August 2012 11:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 118 ]
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Okay, not wanting to “completely rule out environmental factors” sounds cautious. Fair enough. Implying that we might actually have some evidence, though, is wrong. We don’t.

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Posted: 21 August 2012 12:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 119 ]
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George - 21 August 2012 11:57 AM

Okay, not wanting to “completely rule out environmental factors” sounds cautious. Fair enough. Implying that we might actually have some evidence, though, is wrong. We don’t.

I didn’t say that we did, George. I just think this is a very complicated issue that we are far from completely understanding. In the meantime, we should be very careful about making absolute statements, other than, as TimB said, to accept people for who they are and not pressure them to conform to the majority behavior.

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Posted: 21 August 2012 12:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 120 ]
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Okay, maybe I misunderstood. When you said that “the best evidence we have is that sexual orientation is mostly biological,” it sounded to me as if you were saying that the same best evidence shows that the rest (the total minus the the most) may include some other factors.

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