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Is sexual preference a choice?


Peter BE cimp
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I think this works for ethics, but I wanted to open a new discussion on this, and for future references, I'm not homophobic, I'm not racist, and I don't segregate against any religions. I've heard people try to connect being gay to being black, in that being gay, or having any sexual preference, is not a choice. That you are born gay and you can't change that, and that's people's arguments on why gay people shouldn't be segregated against (witch I think is extremely insulting to black people because they went into slavery, gays aren't even close to that). I want to know what people think, because personally, I think (and I'm pretty sure) that it's completely a choice to be gay or lesbian or bisexual or strait. My argument is that there are no defining characteristics about a gay person that make them gay (besides their own personal preference). But personal preference is not genetic, it doesn't have a specific DNA code, and you can't genetically and scientifically prove why someone likes one thing over another. You can use back ground information to prove why someone might like something, but you can't prove it exactly, and preferences always change.

 

So what are some arguments against that (I'm open to criticism to the extent of the rules)?

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When I started going to school and saw that girls are attractive, and that's the way my parents taught me to be. But my parents teaching me isn't a genetic part or me, nor is my thinking girls are pretty, it's just the way I grew up and my surrounding influences. My question was sorta why people compare gays to blacks (along with other things). Also, all the people that I know that are LGB chose it later in life when they started to think for themselves, not genetically when they were conceived.

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Did they choose it, or did they discover it? You might want to ask them again. As for your parents "teaching you" to be straight; what about the tiny amount of people who were "taught" the same, then still discovered they were gay? Faulty teachings? This is sexual preferences we're talking about, not math.

 

As for it not being an inborn trait, read up.

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10405456

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15539346

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8332896

http://news.sciencemag.org/evolution/2012/12/homosexuality-may-start-womb

Edited by pwagen
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How do you discover your sexual preference? Do you just one day have an 'AHA!' moment and say your gay? Also, if a person was taught to be strait, but then went against their teachers and became gay, doesn't that mean they chose to be gay over being strait? As for all those citations, none of them were exact; they were all undetermined, in that they are open for further research. Not to mention that the first three were all by the same people, so there are some biases there, and the fourth one has that last sentence that definitely leaves it up for debate. Also nothing I said had anything to do with math, so your correct, it's not math.

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Why use a physical characteristic to help prove a mental preference? This is why I question why being black is compared to being gay. They didn't choose to be black, and they didn't choose to be left-handed (although you can change that though it takes a long time). Anyone that has any preferences over something else has chosen to like that thing better then something else (besides allergies). But even allergies isn't a perfect exception because I know people that love the food they're allergic to. It's true that you can think that you 'discovered' you were gay, but that means at one point or another you chose to think that way, and it's taken how ever long to realize that you like the decision you made.

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I've heard people try to connect being gay to being black, in that being gay, or having any sexual preference, is not a choice. That you are born gay and you can't change that, and that's people's arguments on why gay people shouldn't be segregated against (witch I think is extremely insulting to black people because they went into slavery, gays aren't even close to that).

I don't think the argument for embracing homosexuality is that it is hard to change, it is that no harm comes from it and much harm comes from fighting it. The reason it should be stressed that it is difficult/impossible to change is for people to understand that they aren't just trying to be difficult or irritate everyone and that it is damaging to make people hate themselves.

 

I haven't heard anyone compare gay rights to slavery, but sometimes compared to civil rights struggles of the past. Of course there are differences - one being that many homosexuals could hide their true selves from society - this both avoids and causes different problems. Another is that African Americans usually were not hated by their own families for being black.

 

My argument is that there are no defining characteristics about a gay person that make them gay

You expect a tail or something?

 

Read this and please understand that when they mention 40%, don't read that as meaning 60% choice. Far, Far from it.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/10637532/Being-homosexual-is-only-partly-due-to-gay-gene-research-finds.html

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Then what is the 60%? And no genius, I wasn't expecting a tail, but a defining chromosome might do. And to define it as a mental preference, or a preference in general, a choice is an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities and a preference is a greater liking for one alternative over another or others. If you are gay, that means you prefer your gender over the opposite gender, and I'm sure someone can say 'there's so much more to it then that', but that's a true and over all definition. Thus making it a preference, and a preference is something you yourself agree to think of, and that's why I called it a mental preference. I forget exactly what the story was, but on the news was where I heard gays being compared to blacks.

 

Just as a little side note, which also connects to this, are people born racist, or do they choose to be racist because an external source influenced them?

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If it is a choice, then you should choose to be gay for a week. Try it out and see how you like it. BTW, I am hetro and find the idea of bedding a same sex person something I absolutely do not want and probably could not force myself to do for a fortune. I'm not sure which is worse, the idea of bedding a same sex person or eating a cockroach. And, unless you are gay or bi, I think you will also not consider bedding a same sex person.

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How do you discover your sexual preference? Do you just one day have an 'AHA!' moment and say your gay?

Some do. However, I'd bet for most people, it's something that has emerged over time. Like it or not, but society at large teaches us to be straight, as you correctly points out. And because of that, a lot of people think there's something wrong with them, since they are not attracted to the gender society wants them to, so they deny it to themselves. Some do it for a lifetime, others realize the issue and acknowledge their preference to themselves. Tragically, some people also kill themselves because they themselves or their friends and families can't accept who they are.

 

Also, if a person was taught to be strait, but then went against their teachers and became gay, doesn't that mean they chose to be gay over being strait?

No. All it means is that they realized their "teachers" (and I use that word loosely in this context) are wrong in trying to teach them something that goes against their nature.

 

As for all those citations, none of them were exact; they were all undetermined, in that they are open for further research. Not to mention that the first three were all by the same people, so there are some biases there,

All three were also abstracts to scientific studies. Unfortunately, you need to purchase the papers (as is common with scientific studies) to read all of it. Which, I guess, is a reason way too many people have to resort to pop-sci. And being wrong.

 

You say not to compare homosexuality to slavery, because gays don't have it nearly as bad. If that's your only issue, fine. Homosexuals are persecuted around the world on a daily basis. john5746 rightly brings up the point of comparing the issue to civil rights fights. But what you also have to remember is that the planet consists of more than the western world.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uganda_Anti-Homosexuality_Act,_2014

http://www.interaksyon.com/article/6916/afraid-killings-of-lgbts-in-philippines-on-the-rise

http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Persecution_of_Homosexuals_(Saudi_Arabia)

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/07/24/gay.iraqis/index.html?_s=PM:WORLD

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmoud_Asgari_and_Ayaz_Marhoni

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iraqi-police-killed-14yearold-boy-for-being-homosexual-476917.html

 

What was the issue you had with comparing the struggle with homosexuality to slavery again?

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When I started going to school and saw that girls are attractive, and that's the way my parents taught me to be.

 

You've contradicted yourself here entirely, you was asked when you decided to be straight; you responded with 'when I went to school and noticed girls are attractive'. That's not a choice, that's an incidental revelation; you've just established that your sexuality was already pre-determined, without even realising.

 

Also, science doesn't care about your opinion, the matter of fact is, sexuality is not something that comes about by nurture or choice, it's nature. For example some animals are homosexual, are you implying that animals are able to make concious decisions regarding their sexuality? As well as that, are you implying that we as animals are different from every other species that exists?

Edited by Iota
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but a defining chromosome would do


It's not just a matter of choice vs. genetics.

How much choice does one have if the entire culture one lives in only accepts straights ?

Being gay is only a choice as in so far people turn gay when they get the (belief they have the) choice.

 

The genetics have more to do with "what that choice would be," and if that choice would be to be straight, such a choice is usually not made, because it has already been made by social expectations.

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I forget exactly what the story was, but on the news was where I heard gays being compared to blacks.

 

Just as a little side note, which also connects to this, are people born racist, or do they choose to be racist because an external source influenced them?

 

Two false dichotomies.

 

If something isn't 100% genetic, that doesn't mean it's 0% genetic. (your cholesterol level, for example, has a genetic component and a dietary component)

 

Just because something isn't genetic does not make it a choice. You can develop an allergy as a result of a disease, or from other non-genetic causes (IOW, identical twins don't share all allergies). Your subsequent allergic response is not a choice. If you eat some bad piece of food and subsequently have a bad association with that food, it is not a choice that it makes you ill.

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sexuality is not something that comes about by nurture or choice, it's nature.

If sexuality is a nature, then why does homosexuality exist, because it completely goes against the basic need for parents to ensure the survival of the next generation. You can all agree with me that in nature, the main thing that all parents want is to ensure the survival of their children, so they can grow up and have children and so on. Being gay, or lesbian, eliminates the ability to have your own natural kids (being gay eliminates it all together), so doesn't that go completely against the need to ensure the survival of the species, by making there no next generation?

 

No. All it means is that they realized their "teachers" (and I use that word loosely in this context) are wrong in trying to teach them something that goes against their nature.

And again with that; if the nature of any parent is to make babies so they can make more babies, then homosexuality can never be "natural".

 

If it is a choice, then you should choose to be gay for a week.

Obviously it's not going to take a week, but if I really wanted to be gay, then I could become gay. It may take a while, but I, and anyone else that really wanted to, could do it. And that goes vise versa as well; if a gay person really thought that they shouldn't be gay, they could, and it may take a while, become not gay.

 

If it's not a natural urge, but it's not a choice, then what makes people gay? I could say sin, but all of you would jump down my throat, so you tell me, what drives people to become gay?

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If sexuality is a nature, then why does homosexuality exist, because it completely goes against the basic need for parents to ensure the survival of the next generation. You can all agree with me that in nature, the main thing that all parents want is to ensure the survival of their children, so they can grow up and have children and so on. Being gay, or lesbian, eliminates the ability to have your own natural kids (being gay eliminates it all together), so doesn't that go completely against the need to ensure the survival of the species, by making there no next generation?

 

And again with that; if the nature of any parent is to make babies so they can make more babies, then homosexuality can never be "natural".

 

Obviously it's not going to take a week, but if I really wanted to be gay, then I could become gay. It may take a while, but I, and anyone else that really wanted to, could do it. And that goes vise versa as well; if a gay person really thought that they shouldn't be gay, they could, and it may take a while, become not gay.

 

If it's not a natural urge, but it's not a choice, then what makes people gay? I could say sin, but all of you would jump down my throat, so you tell me, what drives people to become gay?

 

 

You are aware that homosexuality is present in nearly all species that have sex? It's not just in people...

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If sexuality is a nature, then why does homosexuality exist, because it completely goes against the basic need for parents to ensure the survival of the next generation. You can all agree with me that in nature, the main thing that all parents want is to ensure the survival of their children, so they can grow up and have children and so on. Being gay, or lesbian, eliminates the ability to have your own natural kids (being gay eliminates it all together), so doesn't that go completely against the need to ensure the survival of the species, by making there no next generation?

 

And again with that; if the nature of any parent is to make babies so they can make more babies, then homosexuality can never be "natural".

So what you're basically saying is that if it weren't for people making the active choice, homosexuality wouldn't exist? In other words, only species that can make a choice can be homosexuals? And since humans are the only species able to make such a choice, humans are the only species with homosexual individuals?

 

Obviously you're wrong, as homosexuality has been observed in an astonishing number of various species.

 

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual_behavior_in_animals

As of 1999, nearly 1,500 species, ranging from primates to gut worms, have been observed engaging in same-sex behaviors; this is well documented in about 500 species.

Would homosexual tendencies be selected against?

 

From http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13674-evolution-myths-natural-selection-cannot-explain-homosexuality.html

 

Homosexual behaviour has been observed in hundreds of species, from bison to penguins. It is still not clear to what extent homosexuality in humans or other animals is genetic (rather than, say, due to hormonal extremes during embryonic development), but there are many mechanisms that could explain why gene variants linked to homosexuality are maintained in a population.

 

...

 

It has also been suggested that homosexuality boosts individuals' reproductive success, albeit indirectly. For instance, same-sex partners might have a better chance of rising to the top of social hierarchies and getting access to the opposite sex. In some gull species, homosexual partnerships might be a response to a shortage of males - rather than have no offspring at all, some female pairs raise offspring together after mating with a male from a normal male-female pair.

There's more in that article than what I quoted.

 

If it's not a natural urge, but it's not a choice, then what makes people gay?

But sexual preference IS a natural urge, on the fundamental level. Edited by pwagen
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If it's not a natural urge, but it's not a choice, then what makes people gay? I could say sin, but all of you would jump down my throat, so you tell me, what drives people to become gay?

 

What drives people to be left-handed?

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Obviously it's not going to take a week, but if I really wanted to be gay, then I could become gay. It may take a while, but I, and anyone else that really wanted to, could do it. And that goes vise versa as well; if a gay person really thought that they shouldn't be gay, they could, and it may take a while, become not gay.

 

If it's not a natural urge, but it's not a choice, then what makes people gay?

OK, so you think the people jailed, persecuted and killed for their sexuality have chosen that fate?

 

Seriously?

They wanted to make their own lives difficult- or even terminal?

 

And sexual attraction is a natural urge. In some casese it's an urge towards homosexuallity.

 

You are missing the fact that you are wrong about this

"If sexuality is a nature, then why does homosexuality exist, because it completely goes against the basic need for parents to ensure the survival of the next generation"

and, from that you are deriving a mistaken belief that it's unnatural.

 

It's a glib point, but homosexuallity has been discovered in many species. It's perfectly natural.

on the other hand, homophobia only occurs in one species.

Why are you apparently engaging in this unnatural behaviour?

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If sexuality is a nature, then why does homosexuality exist, because it completely goes against the basic need for parents to ensure the survival of the next generation. You can all agree with me that in nature, the main thing that all parents want is to ensure the survival of their children, so they can grow up and have children and so on. Being gay, or lesbian, eliminates the ability to have your own natural kids (being gay eliminates it all together), so doesn't that go completely against the need to ensure the survival of the species, by making there no next generation?

 

For someone so intent on holding their own theory on the topic, it astounds me to see that you clearly not bothered learning any of the science surrounding the matter.

 

-Sexuality being natural in no way or form contradicts its ability to occur or exist.

 

-Being homosexual may result in many homosexuals not having children of their own, that does NOT mean the genes resulting in homosexuality won't be passed on. The gene that results in homosexuality occurring can be recessive in the siblings of a gay person, and therefore be passed on by their heterosexual siblings.

 

Prenatal hormonal exposure affects the development of a foetus (obviously), and if a male foetus is exposed to a lot of female hormone in the womb, it can cause them to develop more feminine traits. The same is true for female foetuses.

 

Another example of how the gene could be passed on; as we all know, there are a lot of priests and religious followers, for example, who will form relationships with the opposite sex, despite being gay due to fear of persecution. In Islamic countries gay muslims are stoned to death, so they might choose to have children to avoid being murdered. In the Catholic church a lot of homosexual religionists may fear persecution, because homosexuality is viewed as a sin in their religion, and will therefore have children with the opposite sex, despite being gay, and pass on the gay gene. Or alternatively carry out their acts of homosexuality by preying on vulnerable children in secret (for example).

 

So as you see it is very possible for homosexuality to be passed on genetically and if, as you suggested, it is a sin; ironically religious people are responsible for passing on the gay gene.

 

Obviously it's not going to take a week, but if I really wanted to be gay, then I could become gay. It may take a while, but I, and anyone else that really wanted to, could do it. And that goes vise versa as well; if a gay person really thought that they shouldn't be gay, they could, and it may take a while, become not gay.

 

Well, science doesn't back up these wild theories of yours, nor intuition. So I'm wondering, how is it that you're so confident spouting this nonsense without anything other than your gut instinct, while you're so quick to completely overlook every science driven fact thrown your way?

 

 

 

If it's not a natural urge, but it's not a choice, then what makes people gay? I could say sin, but all of you would jump down my throat, so you tell me, what drives people to become gay?

 

It IS a natural urge, it's NOT a choice. It is known that what causes to or atleast contributes towards people turning out gay is a combination of genetics and prenatal hormone exposure.

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Why do you engage in conversations that will never effect you in life?

 

 

My final thing to say about this (mostly because this is getting me no where and it's getting boring), the thing that mostly confuses me about homosexuality, is that it doesn't work. Penises don't fit inside of penises, nor vaginas inside of vaginas. The Bible tells me it's wrong so obviously I'm going to be against it, but it also confuses me because it doesn't work, at all, what so ever. Monkeys do "gay" things to show domination, but in humans it's not like we're fighting for territory. Penguins do it because they're stupid and can't tell the difference between their own genders, but we're not that dumb (unless we are). Dogs do it because they're dumb and they just like humping stuff, but humans don't like to go around humping things, as far as I know. So why? Why do it if it doesn't make any sense to anything about your life?

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Why do you engage in conversations that will never effect you in life?

 

 

My final thing to say about this (mostly because this is getting me no where and it's getting boring), the thing that mostly confuses me about homosexuality, is that it doesn't work. Penises don't fit inside of penises, nor vaginas inside of vaginas. The Bible tells me it's wrong so obviously I'm going to be against it, but it also confuses me because it doesn't work, at all, what so ever. Monkeys do "gay" things to show domination, but in humans it's not like we're fighting for territory. Penguins do it because they're stupid and can't tell the difference between their own genders, but we're not that dumb (unless we are). Dogs do it because they're dumb and they just like humping stuff, but humans don't like to go around humping things, as far as I know. So why? Why do it if it doesn't make any sense to anything about your life?

 

 

I would beg to differ, it works quite well for homosexuals, just because it doesn't make sense to you is irrelevant. Catrary to what you seem to think sexuality is not an on off switch, yes or no, it is a spectrum and people are all along that spectrum and homosexuals can and do have sex with the opposite sex. Suggesting they cannot is just showing ignorance of the subject. In some species at least homosexula behavior allows the less dominant individuals to have access to females they would not normally have access to. I'm not sure this occurs in vertebrates but it does in invertebrates.

 

Saying that it's unnatural then saying that animals are too dumb to know better is dumb... I would suggest that your understanding of sexuality in general and human sexuality in particular is the real problem here. I suggest you quit trying to judge others and stigmatize those you don't approve of by going to a book of old myths and fairy tales and pay attention to the real world, treat others as you would like to be treated yourself and leave that which you don't understand to the people who do and maybe one day you will acquire the wisdom to at least understand that you do not understand..

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