Gay? Straight? Undefined? Your choice.

Each person has a right to choose his or her preferences. You are not gay nor straight nor bisexual but simply choose as you wish. You choose who to have all types of relationships with, including those of a sexual nature. You could be sexually attracted to either gender at any time based on your current perspective. There is no "gay gene". If that were the case, then you could, theoretically transplant the gay gene into a straight person and they would "magically" turn gay. If there was a gay/straight gene, then we could predetermine whether a baby will (or actually) be gay or straight.  Our preferences are learned as our perspective is formed from all of our experiences throughout our complex lives. We don't always understand how our belief system has shaped our perspective. If we change our perspective, then our preferences may change as well. What attracts or arouses a person is not genetically "preprogrammed" but is formed through their part shared, part unique perspective. Otherwise, being straight or gay or bisexual or non-sexual would be your destiny from birth - so perhaps might pedophilia, as well as other manifestations.

RESPONSE:
 Yet not everyone agrees with this. ‘Sexual orientation is not a matter of choice, it is primarily neurological at birth’. Such were the comments of Jerome Goldstein, director of the San Francisco Clinical Research Centre. The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of psychiatric disorders in 1973 and the World Health Organisation followed suit in 1992. Nevertheless, psychiatrists continue to offer their services to homosexuals hoping to alter their sexuality. So is it a choice?


All the No points:

Gay? Straight? Undefined? Your choice.
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Gay? Straight? Undefined? Your choice.
Yes because...

Childhood Development and Perception

RESPONSE:
I see a complex soup of factors are involved, and though I do not believe they will discover a homosexual gene, I believe hormone levels in vitro play some vital role in how one’s perceptions are determined. And since perception takes place on a subconscious level and is based on neurological responses to sensory stimuli, each of our perception is, in fact, our personal reality. So, is our perception a “ choice “ from birth? It is not, but ultimately, yes, there is a time when personal choices must be made. I believe it would be extremely advantageous to see more studies on childhood behavioral development in individuals who are living a “ homosexual “ lifestyle. I could definitely see how individual childhood circumstances and perceptions based on personal experience are a major contributing factor as to how one’s sexual orientation may ultimately be “affected”. How does the child relate to the same gender parent and vice versa? For example, a female child that experiences very strong and very positive paternal influences may relate more, personally, to the father’s “ nature “ and want to be more like the father than the mother. If the father nurtures and affirms his daughter in this direction for the first several years of the child’s development, it could reinforce positive feelings of self-worth and accomplishment. In addition, if the father did not take part in housework, changing diapers, etc., but more traditionally, worked outside the home, went on business trips, attended social events and worked in the yard as his routine lifestyle, this female child could very possibly perceive that the father had “ more fun “ and “ more freedom “ than a traditional mother, who was left to clean, cook, stay at home with the kids, etc. It may, therefore, not be unusual for this particular female child, based again, on personal perception ( which cannot be pre-determined I might add), to conclude that she wanted to be more like her father than her mother at a very early age. The child may perceive the mother as the “ weaker “ role and the father as the “ stronger “ and begin to copy the father’s stronger characteristics. And as the child matures, again, their individual perception may steer them in a direction of stronger sexual feelings toward “ females “ than toward males. Mind you, this is but one of many different childhood behavioral development scenarios, but I do believe it to be a major contributing factor in one’s ultimate decision to adopt a “homosexual“ lifestyle. So, did they choose it? My best answer is that they did not choose their perception as a child but they did, ultimately, choose to say “ yes “ to a homosexual lifestyle. How? Well, even if they had feelings toward the same sex, they could have chosen not to act on it. Contrary to popular opinion, we do not have to choose to be led around by our raging hormones. Last time I checked, I don’t think anyone has ever died, to date, from choosing to be celibate. There, I said it, the other “ C “ word!

No because...

Agreed that we are not slaves to our hormones and conditions play a pivotal role in whether we 'choose' to proclaim ourselves to be homo or heterosexual.

That said the orientation to which our hormones drive us is not within our control, some people are aroused by both sexes, others only their own. While acting on our instincts and natural inclination is a choice, the inclinations themselves are not borne of choice.

So, the rhetoric on the left is suggesting that the choice to be open, honest and true to ourselves and others, should not be given/taken. Or simply natural-born homosexuals should not have the right to be open about their inclinations while heterosexuals should have the freedom to choose to be with mates/partners of the opposite sex. This is unfair to both to the homosexual who by the gratitude of the writer of the left hand column is free to be celibate for life, to any other homosexual who under better circumstances would be free to be with the first and also any Hetro-sexual who may be coupled with either homo A or B to 'keep up appearances."

To claim a birth mark is a birth defect is a luxury of free speech but that claim does not turn the mark into a defect.

Gay? Straight? Undefined? Your choice.
Yes because...

Response to childhood development and perception

Excellent analysis. Your example of the child perceiving the father as stronger and the mother as weaker is one that could easily play out in either direction. The child could perceive either the father who works a 9-5 job as stronger, or the mother who runs the household as stronger - and the result could be different in each scenario and based soley on the child's perception. In addition, just as one person can have an insatiable sex drive, another could be completely uninterested in any type of sexual activity. How would you then characterize that person? Hormone levels may indeed be a factor in determining a persons sex drive but perhaps not their preferences, gender or otherwise. The important point in terms of tolerance is that it is a choice and should be a choice to be gay on Monday, straight on Tuesday and neither on Wednesday. How can that be predetermined?

RESPONSE TO "NO" COUNTERPOINT:

I hold that the topic is appropriately titled with regard to the word "choice". The person who "chooses" to incorporate some degree of sexual variety is considered "perverse" only within the context of a given paradigm. Within a single culture, and certainly across cultures, many paradigms can exist leading to a myriad of conclusions. Your references to morals and ethical judgements are mostly subjective and are related to specific pockets within a diverse population. Polygamy could be acceptable, normal and desireable to many people and considered perverse by others, as could bisexual activity. Both would be considered "preferences" and neither would seem to be hormonally predetermined. In fact, the degree of acceptance of certain behaviors can be different depending on what point in history we choose to focus on. The area of focus of this debate in not on morals, but is centered on choice and preferences vs biology. 
To further address your point on the use of the word "choice", you could conclude that a bisexual has not made a choice, when the choice is "to be bisexual". Using that which is considered "orthodox"as being determinative of "normal" behavior could have limited application. For instance, a majority of golfers use a golf glove and it is considered orthodox to do so. Yet, if a golfer chooses not to wear a golf glove, it is not considered abnormal. My example of straight on Monday, gay on Tuesday and neither on Wednesday is certainly not normally observed behavior as it represents an extreme application of choice. Some level of this behavior is seen to a lesser degree, but is rooted in the same desire for sexual variety. Some will even make judgements as to how much variety is considered normal within a singular sexual relationship. 
By quickly categorizing my day by day example as a shifting lifestyle, you may have missed the point that the lifestyle is defined as "sexual variety" that allows the freedom to choose day by day or even within the same day. I did not mean to imply that a person adopts a straight lifestyle one day and a gay one on the next. I was indicating that they may be attracted to and  choose different gendered partners over days, weeks, months or years or as long as their minds remain open to these attractions. My extreme day to day example could be applied to a less extreme example of someone whose gender preferences/attractions change after years. The studies you cited would need to follow a person through the years to increase their validity. They do, however, contribute to the conversation and are quite interesting.

No because...

First, I would characterize a person who is uninterested in any type of sexual activity as asexual or non-sexual. Since this is not your primary question, I would add that asexuality only constitutes about 1% of the population and is usually considered a lack of sex drive or a lack of a defined sexual orientation. It is not, however, defined on a day to day basis, but rather on a ” lifestyle “, in other words, over a proven long period of time. Second, let me clarify my response, relative to your comment about hormones affecting a person’s sex drive but , perhaps, not their sexual preference. My initial response dealt specifically with hormones “ in vitro “ or during fetal development and a very recent ( 2010 ) endocrinology study by Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab concludes that intrauterine exposure to hormones is in fact largely determinative. This study further states that at first, sexual organs are differentiated, and then, the brain is sexually differentiated "under the influence, mainly, of sex hormones such as testosterone, estrogen and progesterone on the developing brain cells and under the presence of different genes as well. This study finds that in humans, the main mechanism responsible for sexual identity and orientation involves a direct effect of testosterone on the developing brain. Furthermore, in another study, on some two million pregnant women, where diethylstilbestrol (DES), an estrogen-like substance, was prescribed, findings substantiate a documented and substantial increase in the number of bisexual or homosexual girls born to these mothers. So, yes, “ in vitro “ hormones do, in fact, affect sexual orientation, but I concur that post-natal hormones have not been proven to have any substantial effect on sexual orientation. Next, I will address your statement, “ The important point in terms of tolerance is that it is a choice and should be a choice to be gay on Monday, straight on Tuesday and neither on Wednesday.” Let me start by addressing “tolerance”, which I did not see anywhere in the original post , but will assume it was alluded to in some manner. I am adamantly opposed to the last statement in your response with regard to tolerance and choice. It is apparent that this expanding on the original post begins to cross the line from personal perspective, preference and perception to yet another “p” word, I specifically define as “perversion” and ultimately leading to an even worse scenario defined as “ paraphilia”. Let me explain, I am defining perversion here as “sexual perversion “ or a human behavior that is a serious deviation from what is considered to be normal or orthodox. The idea that a human being would be “ gay “ on Monday, “straight” on Tuesday and “ neither “ on Wednesday transcends human logical, biological and psychological reason, leaps over “ casual sex” and races toward “ psychosis “, the term for a mental state often described as involving a "loss of contact with reality” resulting in bizarre behavior. It is not normal for human beings to change sexual orientation and I presume partners day by day unless they have been conditioned over a very long period of time to disregard moral values, ethics and ultimately life threatening consequences or have suffered a traumatic brain injury, namely affecting the area of the frontal lobe. This scenario presents a noted disregard for the term freedom of “choice” which consists of the mental process of judging the merits of multiple options and selecting one of them, which was, in fact, the original question and begins to teeter on the edge of hyper-imagination or fantasy in which nothing “real” is taking place at all. If the individual begins to “ act out “ these imaginations or fantasies, they are acting on “ feelings” and ignoring their own “choice” of applying self-control. Furthermore, this lack of self-control could lead to precisely the situation eluded to in the first post which is namely pedophilia, and is not genetic, but is a form of “paraphilia” which the American Journal of Psychiatry describes as "recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors generally involving children, non-consenting persons, the suffering of humiliation of oneself or one’s partner and even non-human objects. Lastly, to address your question as to how can that be pre-determined? This type of random behavior cannot be predetermined but may be predicted if the individual has already acted out in a manner consistent with “sexually perverted” behavior. For example, if a pedophile has been convicted, the court system could use “ cognitive neuroscience” , which involves an analysis of the structure and function of the brain, to explain why individuals engage in violent, aggressive, and impulsive behavior. They can evaluate the individual through fMRI, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging for a brain injury that caused damage to the frontal lobe or “ limbic system” , which can cause individuals to lose control over their behavior. They suffer from serious defects in reasoning, judgment, and self-control, which have implications upon both their culpability and the nature of sentences they should receive. Some might think this is a perfect “ insanity” defense, however, research has demonstrated that individuals with frontal lobe disorder and/or limbic system damage still know “right” from “wrong” and still retain the ability to form the requisite intent prior to committing a particular criminal offense. However, their judgment and reasoning are so impaired such that their knowledge that a certain act is wrong does not prevent them from doing it. This inability to control their actions often leads to violent or aggressive behavior, including “rage” attacks, creating a biological blueprint for criminal behavior. We can now demonstrate that most offenders with damaged or impaired frontal lobes (1) suffer from a cognizable mental illness; and (2) remain a danger to themselves or others upon release. Since the state can now prove these two factors, it has a legitimate basis to confine “high risk” offenders involuntarily either during or after completion of their sentence. So, with regard to” tolerance”, do you think that choosing to be gay on Monday, straight on Tuesday and neither on Wednesday shows an inability to make a “ choice “ at all ,by definition, and is in fact more along the lines of lacking self-control, dignity, self-respect and moral values? If this is about a choice, make one! If not, the topic should be changed to “ Why Do We Need A Moral Compass” or ”The Weak-Minded Do Whatever They Please”.

Gay? Straight? Undefined? Your choice.
Yes because...

Hormones do not drive our preferences

I am addressing those who have stated or implied that hormones are responsible for our attractions/preferences. Hormones might create a physical drive for sex but I don't believe they determine our attractions or preferences for redheads, blondes, brunnettes or gender. I think that the term "physical attraction" has played a part in distorting this reality. Our attractions are "mental" attractions that then manifest themselves into physical responses. Conversely, physical stimuli might result in an emotional, ie; mental attraction. We have many metaphors that reinforce this idea of a physical attraction: he's a chick magnet, I was physically drawn to her, etc. Two real magnets are physically drawn together, but humans have mental attractions to physical appearance. A person could develop a sexual response simply by imagining an idea and without even visualizing a human body. Hormones do not restrict the imagination in any way, nor do they validate or invalidate a response. Assuming that they do would be to resign one's mental resolutions to be at the command of shifting hormones. It might not be such a large step to subsequently assign responsibility for our preferences, choices and ultimately our actions to hormonal activity - essentially putting hormones on trial. Could/should this be a common legal defense for things like pedophilia, or should the individual accept responsibility for his actions. People have had sexual addictions that have been cured - without hormonal intervention. People have changed gender preferences - without hormonal intervention. People have developed sexual attractions where there once were none - without hormonal intervention. I believe that our preferences are formed over time, through our conclusions and beliefs. How or whether we choose to act on them is entirely up to us. If we grow to perceive things differently, that might, in turn change who and what we are attracted to regardless of what our hormones are telling us at that particular moment. Hormones can change. If hormones are driving our preferences, we might want to change those wedding vows to, "until hormones do us part".

No because...

For why make the issue more complicated then it needs to be. Your preference is your preference there is nothing to debate about . To involve a RIGHT to a preference is just superfluous and it is to speak of a preference as "an object" that could or not be taken a away, in the form of a RIGHT. For preference is the idea(mental conception) that we enjoy something more then another thing. How it came about is another topic.

It was best in an ancient Greek framework in the sense that sexuality was not who you are but something you just did. There no need for it to be disquishable as an identity of person hood, mabye you will have a change of preference maybe not. for let it be something you do.The is no moral arguement that does depend on some fundementalist frame. Drop the fundementalist framework.. and you drop the problem. if you remain it is .. well what else do you what ?.. that is what it means to be irrational.

The battle is fundamentalist ideas. That is beliefs that are considered as truths by no means in particular. Such ideas do not lend themselves to change upon refuting information. So how could you expect the problem too.

The Fool On The Hill.

Gay? Straight? Undefined? Your choice.
No because...

choose life

I am with the no vote. I think your ‘yes’ is basically the ranting of an prepubescent child who doesn’t understand that having multiple sexual partners of which ever gender you choose robs you the individual from real emotional maturity and development; and that with each encounter a part of your identity is compromised. Variety is greatly over estimated. There is an emptiness from having many sexual encounters with different people because sex for sex sake is very empty without vested love and compassion for the other person. Don’t kid yourself choosing variety is not choosing life.

Yes because...

RESPONSE TO "choose life":

Your assumption that I would favor this lifestyle simply because I have indicated that a person's attractions are driven by perceptions and choice is a leap of logic. I support an individual's right to his own preferences with food, fashion and yes, even sex. That does not mean that I am in favor of his choices. While I may agree with some of your conclusions, I don't accept them as facts that should apply to everyone. Your statement that variety is greatly [overvalued] is an opinion. Variety could just as easily be undervalued. They are both valid opinions, but are not truths that apply to everyone. It could be one's opinion through observation and/or personal experience that having relationships with multiple partners, sexual or otherwise could lead to 'greater' emotional maturity. Perhaps the only people who can really judge are those who have experienced those types of relationships. As to your reference to the prepubescent stage, I assure you that I am, thankfully, well past that.

Gay? Straight? Undefined? Your choice.
No because...

The answer of question can be solved be anayzing the presumption the debate in question. It is not belief or agreement related.

For why make the issue more complicated then it needs to be. Your preference is your preference there is nothing to debate about . To involve a RIGHT to a preference is just superfluous and it is to speak of a preference as "an object" that could or not be taken a away, in the form of a RIGHT. For preference is the idea(mental conception) that we enjoy something more then another thing. How it came about is another topic.

It was best in an ancient Greek framework in the sense that sexuality was not who you are but something you just did. There no need for it to be disquishable as an identity of person hood, mabye you will have a change of preference maybe not.The is no moral arguement that doesnot depend on some fundementalist framework. Drop the fundementalist framework.. and you drop the problem. if you stick with it .. well what else do you expect?.. that is what it means to be irrational.

The battle is fundamentalist ideas. That is beliefs that are considered as truths by no means in particular. Such ideas do not lend themselves to change upon refuting information. So how could you expect the problem too.

The Fool On The Hill.

Yes because...

...everything the participant on the right said ------->



Gay? Straight? Undefined? Your choice.

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