Can one choose their sexual orientation?

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There has been a debate for a very long time over whether gay people choose their sexual orientation. A study by Simon LeVay did a study in 1981 examining the brain of homosexual and heterosexual men to examine any slight differences. His findings show that the neurons in the hypothalamus are less than half of the size in gay men as compared to heterosexual men. While there were a few criticisms of LeVay's study, however newer studies have shown that the hypothalamus plays a key role in one's sexual orientation. People that believe homosexuals are choosing their sexual orientation are backed by very little scientific evidence and are typically raised in families that have negative feelings towards gays. Personally, I believe that gays cannot choose their own sexual orientation and are born that way. I have developed this viewpoint for myself through experience with friends that happened to be homosexuals and stating that from a young age they knew they were different from other boys. There is a significant amount of evidence that shows homosexuals did not choose to be the way they are to convince any rational person in my own opinion.

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I agree with your view point that gay people don't choose to be gay. Which then of course means that they were born that way, so it is more a nature than a nurture aspect of things. I think the study on the hypothalamus is very interesting because I've heard of a lot of research done surrounding that. Whether or not it has to do with the hypothalamus or not isn't exactly clear but either way I think it is very interesting!

I agree completely because I actually have a cousin that is homosexual and we had some idea way back when he was younger that he was homosexual. It's hard to explain but we knew it way back then and it wasn't until he graduated from high school that he finally came out and said he was gay. I don't think there is anything wrong with homosexuality but I will say that people who are gay have to endure a lot more criticism than people who are not gay. It seems to me, if people could choose one way or the other, wouldn't the majority of people choose the norm? I think much more evidence points to people not being able to choose their sexuality.

I agree with all of you in that gay people do not choose to be gay. I also have a homosexual cousin who just came out. His immediate family was not suprised and I think it's because he has acted in a way that would make it reasonable to assume he was gay his whole life. I think if you are displaying that at such a young age that you obviously did not make a concsious decision to be gay. I think that it is a little ridiculous that people think that people choose to be gay because of fact that there is no evidence and there is all the evidence you provided that support the idea that people do not chose to be gay.

I strongly agree with your opinion and feel that as technology continues to advance, we will start to find stronger scientific backing for this too. I also have many friends who are homosexual and I have actually been working on a research project for the past couple of months concerning violence in gay communities and have therefore had many encounters with numerous homosexual communities. One recurring theme is that none of them ever feel that they made a conscious decision to be homosexual and, as you mentioned, many have considered themselves gay for as long as they can remember, starting in early childhood.

I 100% agree with this. There is almost no scientific evidence though for either way! Speaking from a gay guy's viewpoint, I do not believe at all that I chose to be gay or any of my friends. I really do believe that people are born this way and it's definitely a tough thing to accept.

I definitely agree with you that people who are gay don't choose to be so. It would be very hard to image someone choosing to go through the torment experienced by people who are gay from those that don't understand. There are also sometimes signs from early age that someone may be gay. Restrictions in schools and the media can also conceal the existence of homosexuality from children, so choosing sexual orientation wouldn't even be imagined in a young age.

I wish that I could play the devil's advocate for this discussion, but I can't. I agree completely with your statement that people are simply born as homosexual or heterosexual. All scientific evidence aside, why would anyone choose to be constantly ridiculed by society? The evidence that you provided is helpful to your argument, but people who say that being gay is a 'choice' should think about whether or not they would choose to be ridiculed and criticized on a daily basis. I don't think that they would. It is simply a natural occurring phenomenon (for lack of better word) and not a matter of nurture.

I think that being a homosexual is definitely NOT a choice. People are simply born that way, and society has ridiculed those people for doing so. In the article in the book, it states that there IS evidence of homosexuality being linked to differences in the brain, as has been previously stated. Also, homosexuality can be seen across species, and even early in human civilization. The only choice one can make on homosexuality that MAY be influenced by environment is our openness and acceptance towards it, but we cannot choose to be gay. We can choose how we view it though.

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This page contains a single entry by gray0503 published on April 8, 2012 10:37 PM.

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