Homosexuality

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Homosexuality

Post  Hummingbird on Sat Sep 26, 2009 8:01 am

What causes homosexuality? There has been much debate about what causes homosexuality. Is there a gay gene? Is homosexuality caused by environmental factors, such as upbringing, child molestation, an absent mother or affectionate father? Or is it something we’re born with, an inherited trait, like skin or hair color?

Although there have been few studies on the cause of homosexuality, the debate seems to be divided, with scientists in one corner and religious fundamentalists in another.
What is Sexual Orientation?
The American Psychological Association defines sexual orientation as such: Sexual orientation is an enduring emotional, romantic, sexual, or affectional attraction that a person feels toward another person. Sexual orientation falls along a continuum. In other words, someone does not have to be exclusively homosexual or heterosexual, but can feel varying degrees of attraction for both genders. Sexual orientation develops across a person's lifetime—different people realize at different points in their lives that they are heterosexual, gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

They go on to say that sexual behavior is not the same as sexual orientation. Certainly gay individuals can engage in heterosexual sex, in fact many do before they come out. One needs to look no further than the prison population to see evidence of homosexual behavior in otherwise heterosexual individuals. (And I’m not including incidents of prison rape in this analysis.)

Also, the work of Alfred Kinsey in the 1950s determined that most individuals are not exclusively homosexual or heterosexual, but most fall somewhere in the between the two.
Why does it matter?
Does it matter if homosexuality is a choice or if it’s something one is born with? Shouldn’t gay people be afforded the same rights as heterosexuals whether being gay is a choice or not? Not all people think that way.

If homosexuality is caused by genetic or inborn traits, then gay and lesbian people would be unable to change their sexual orientation, even if they wanted to. But if homosexuality is caused by some environmental factor, then gays and lesbians could change and become straight with therapy. Or so some religious fundamentalists and other anti-gay crusaders would have you believe.
Is being gay a choice?
If you ask most gay people they will tell you that being gay is not something they chose. Why would anyone choose to be something that could cause them to be scorned by society, rejected by their families, deny them rights and subject them to possible violent hate crimes? That is not to say that all of being gay or lesbian is negative. In fact, most lesbians, once they come out, say they’ve never been happier or more fulfilled.

Some lesbians will contend that being gay is a choice, especially those who were once married or came out later in life. Others are angered to hear someone say that. Sheryl Swoopes received some scorn from the gay and lesbian community when she said she thought being gay was her choice., “I think there are a lot of people -- gays and lesbians -- who believe you are born that way. I think there also a lot of people who believe it's a choice. And, for me, I believe it was a choice. I was at a point in my life where I had gone through a divorce and was not in a relationship, and the choice I made happened to be that I fell in love with another woman” she said in an interview on Gay.com

Many gays and lesbians would argue that being gay is not a choice, but whether to act on it is. We don’t choose our sexual orientation, but we do choose whether or not to come out of the closet.

Most scientific organizations also believe that homosexuality is not a choice, that biology plays some role. The National Mental Health Association says, “Most researchers believe sexual orientation is complex, and that biology plays an important role. This means that many people are born with their sexual orientation, or that it’s established at an early age.”
What Twin Studies Tell us about Homosexuality
Scientists have studied twins to try and learn if being gay is biologically determined. Studies of identical and fraternal twins suggest that there is a genetic influence on sexual orientation. If being gay were strictly genetic, then in identical twins, there would be a 100% concordance rate for sexual orientation. But one study in 1995 found a 52% correlation for male identical twins and 22% for male fraternal twins. A study on females came up with similar results. If one identical twin was a lesbian, in 48% of cases, the other twin was also a lesbian. For fraternal twins, the concordance was 16%. (source Simon LeVay

These studies show that people with the same genetic make up (identical twins) are more likely to share sexual orientation than those with different genetic make up (fraternal twins.) Genetics alone cannot cause sexual orientation, but they do play a part.
Is there a gay gene?
Scientists have not been able to conclude that there is any gene or combination of genes that will make someone gay. Genetics is very complex and scientists continue to study both humans and animals chromosomes for linkage to sexual orientation.
What about the gay brain study?
A widely publicized study in 1999 found that a certain part of the hypothalamus was smaller in gay men then in heterosexual men. This study was widely touted at the time as “proof” that one’s sexual orientation is biological and not chosen. But it is not known whether these differences in brain are present at birth or if they occur over a lifetime.
In conclusion
Despite social science and biological research, it is still not known what causes someone to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or straight. Scientists and social scientists will no doubt continue to study the causes of homosexuality in both animals and humans.
No matter what they find, gays, lesbians and their supporters will continue the fight for fair and equal treatment.


Last edited by Hummingbird on Tue Oct 13, 2009 2:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Homosexuality

Post  Hummingbird on Sat Sep 26, 2009 8:41 am

I don't understand homosexuality nor do I agree with it. I have never experienced it. But I do have loved ones who are homosexual. Do I love them less? Absolutely not. Does God love them less? I don't think so.
In my opinion, I have to show unconditional love to them and that does not mean that I have to condone nor encourage their lifestyle. But if I disown them, will that win them back and make them "wake up"? No. What if someday they do win this war inside of them and get this straightened out. Will they be thankful that I was there for them no matter what or will their be bitterness and hurt because I shunned them? I choose the first option.

I am slowly learning about this by listening to why those I love are this way. They understand that it is not "right, normal, acceptable" as a Christian but they get tired of fighting it and give in to it. Only they have to answer for their actions. Just as only I have to answer for my actions. The ones that I love have told me that they did not choose this, they only chose to give in to it. It felt better than being in a battle constantly trying to fight it. Now they battle the feelings they have because of a broken relationship with the Lord just as anyone who commits any sin.

I have sinned. Many many times I have sinned. What gives me the right to say that someone else's sin is worse than mine? Nothing gives me that right.

I was in an unhappy marriage and my husband was abusive and cheated on me and it hurt so badly that I would never purposely make someone else feel that way. After 7 years of trying to make it work, I had to get out for the safety of my daughter and myself. We divorced and 3 years later I remarried. Is that a sin? Maybe. Will God forgive me for it? Yes, I believe he will and has.

I became very ill and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder during my second marriage. I was not in my right mind and family members could see it but no one knew how to help me. Just before this happened, I was closer to the Lord than I had ever been in my life and I had been saved since age 9. I don't understand why God allowed this to happen to me but does it make me any less his child? No. This illness caused me to do some really stupid and dangerous things that I would NEVER have done if my mind had been right. I cheated on my husband because he was not there for me when I needed him the most and Satan had planted someone (not a bad person, actually he was/is quite wonderful) to say all the "right" things and be there for me when I felt so alone and helpless. That does not make what I did right. Will God forgive me? I believe he has because even tho my mind was not right, God knew my heart still belonged to him. I know God loves me and still takes care of me and many people are going to be surprised to see me in Heaven because they seem to think they are ABOVE me as a child of God. These people have been stumbling blocks in my life because I had in the past had so much confidence and respect for them, but when I became sick, they shunned me and disassociated themselves with me lest I tarnish their perfectness. These people will answer for that someday.

This is why I choose to accept those I love who are homosexual. I do not want to stand before God someday and have to answer to why I treated my loved ones with less than unconditional love when I have no right to think I am better than they are.

Having said that, I do know people who have CHOSEN the homosexual lifestyle. They were not "born that way" and I feel that they have done it out of rebellion. That is a completely different story and I cannot even begin to comment on it.

Please pray for those you know who are homosexual. Please ask God what his will is for how you treat anyone who is living in sin because we all sin and your sin is no less a sin than mine nor is my sin any less a sin than yours. Don't judge anyone, that is not your job, it is God's job. Your job is to pray for people and try to help them. You can't possibly know what a person is going through unless you have experienced it yourself. And God may just give you the chance to experience it since you think you are above it.

God loves us all.
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