The causes of homosexuality (or any sexual orientation)

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What causes sexual orientations?

  • Genetics/Birth

    Votes: 55 84.6%
  • Choice

    Votes: 17 26.2%
  • Upbringing

    Votes: 22 33.8%

  • Total voters
    65

Joan Nyan

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What do you guys think causes people to have a specific sexual orientation?

The typical answer from those who support gay rights is that it's something you're born as, usually because of genetics. This is of course a convenient thing for them to believe, because most people would oppose discrimination over something genetic and therefore out of anyone's control. However, how this "gay gene" would spread considering it would make people much less likely to have biological children is a difficult question to answer. There's different speculations about how the "gay gene" could spread, but they're just that; speculation. Likewise, there are studies that may seem to indicate biological differences between different sexual orientations, but their scientific validity is sometimes questionable.

A common answer from those opposed to gay rights is that homosexuality is a choice. This too is a convenient belief for them, as it means that gays choose to be "deviant" and it's their own fault, so it's okay to disagree with it. However, this belief of course brings up the question of why anyone would choose to be homosexual in a culture where they can literally be taken to the gallows for it. And of course, if you ask almost anyone of any sexual orientation if they chose to feel that way, they would say no.

A belief that was common for a while (and was seen as progressive at the time) is that your sexuality is a result of how you were raised or the circumstances of your life. The traditional hypothesis is that having an overbearing mother and a distant father would cause one to become homosexual. One can find plenty of anecdotes in line with this idea but I don't know of any studies that have shown that this is actually the case. Sexuality could be based on upbringing without this exact theory being true, though. This seems to me like the only of the three options that doesn't necessarily benefit a certain group, and therefore wouldn't be believed for solely ideological reasons, so I guess it also has that going for it.

As controversial of a position as this might be for a homo like me to take, I think my sexuality was based on my circumstances and certain events in my life. I think that if I had been born in different circumstances or had different life experiences I would probably have a different sexual orientation. Then again, I'm basically still a child so what do I know about life experience or my sexuality?

So anyway what do you guys think?
 

NeverHappened

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A common answer from those opposed to gay rights is that homosexuality is a choice. This too is a convenient belief for them, as it means that gays choose to be "deviant" and it's their own fault, so it's okay to disagree with it. However, this belief of course brings up the question of why anyone would choose to be homosexual in a culture where they can literally be taken to the gallows for it. And of course, if you ask almost anyone of any sexual orientation if they chose to feel that way, they would say no.
Hasn't it switch again and now homosexuality is a choice and only bigots think you're born that way? I'm pretty sure a few gays are coming as choicers.

Irregardless, the level of sexual adaptivity is different from individual to individual. It can be a choice for some, but for most I think not.

The science is pretty much settled. Something about hormones and how many sons your mother had, except for left handed people. No point naval glazing when science already has answers.
 

Pikimon

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The science is settled when it comes to homosexuality being something you can't change willingly. Now the major research is going into what is the exact mechanism in the brain/endocrine system that determines sexuality. Some research points towards differences in brain structure, hormone differences, and even pheremones (although the existence of pheromones in humans is hampered by the fact that science hasn't yet proved the existence of a vomeronasal organ in the brain).

However there is some interesting research that points that sexuality does "flux" meaning that over the lifetime of a person, their sexuality may move up or down the Kinsey scale over time (without their choice of course). Sexuality as it stands right now is a very young and emerging field in Psychology and recently has gained huge strides since Kinsey started touring the country interviewing people about jerkin' it.
 

autisticdragonkin

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I think that it likely occurs by birth for pure homosexuals. I am skeptical though as to whether there is a real distinction between heterosexuals and bisexuals and think that likely in an uprising that values heterosexual marriage and childrearing as a form of self actualization they would be behaviorally heterosexual and not be conflicted about it despite their homosexual attractions
 

Doc Cassidy

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I remember reading about twin studies involving homosexuality and they showed that about 40-60% of gay identical twins share a sexuality whereas the fraternal twins was drastically lower. That shows a strong genetic component but if it was strictly genetic it would be closer to 100%.

I'd say genes play a large role but personality contributes to a lot of it.
 

Marvin

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I don't think it's that important whether or not it's literally genetic or if it's some sort of early childhood thing. That is, in most of the debates I've observed in which the issue is brought up, it's focused on whether or not to denigrate gays for their behavior based on whether or not homosexuality is a choice.

I think it's pretty likely that male sexuality is largely fixed at some point early in their lives. And that's not just for whether you like men versus women. Probably all fetishes get burned in pretty early on.

So when you're talking about adult homosexual men, it's too late for them to make the choice. It's a moot question at that point.

The only reason the nature vs nurture debate matters is if you're trying to figure out how feasible it'd be to inoculate your young children against the gay. And that's a pretty creepy/weird motivation.
 

Asandy31

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The only reason the nature vs nurture debate matters is if you're trying to figure out how feasible it'd be to inoculate your young children against the gay. And that's a pretty creepy/weird motivation.
I would say that inoculating them against homosexuality would do the exact opposite making them gayer and more confused.
 

Sperglord Dante

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think it's pretty likely that male sexuality is largely fixed at some point early in their lives. And that's not just for whether you like men versus women. Probably all fetishes get burned in pretty early on.

So when you're talking about adult homosexual men, it's too late for them to make the choice. It's a moot question at that point.
I recall reading an interesting fact in my old man's sexology books*:

A study found that a seizable number of men moved to concealed, but strictly homosexual lives for years at the time in their youth and then just came back to being straight later. Like, they fucked dudes for a couple of years and then started fucking women out of the blue.

(*my old man is really old and said book is probably over 30 years old. It'd be wise to take that study with a grain of salt)
 
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Marvin

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I recall reading an interesting fact in my old man's sexology books*:

A study found that a seizable number of men moved to a concealed, but strictly homosexual lives for years at the time in their youth and then just came back to being straight later. Like, they fucked dudes for a couple of years and then started fucking women out of the blue.

(*my old man is really old and said book is probably over 30 years old. It'd be wise to take that study with a grain of salt)
Culture probably has a lot to do with it. Like what you're describing sounds exactly like Saudi Arabia.
 

sugoi-chan

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I know that I, personally, do not remember making a choice to be gay. Whether or not that means that it was made for me because of genetics or if it was made on some primal, subconscious level, I dunno. I can't speak for any of my gaybros and sisters, but I do know that nobody of right mind would willingly choose the gay life, especially if you're living outside of the West.

The choice argument has always rung hollow for me anyway, even if I did believe that being gay was one. If two consenting, able-minded adults want to enter into a relationship and even marry, what business is it of society? In the example of marriage, specifically, it doesn't work for me because A: marriage has changed, plenty, and has survived just fine and B: legalizing it for people who chose to be gay doesn't change the fact that you need to be a consenting, able-minded adult to enter into the marriage contract. Nobody will be able marry underage boys or their cats as a result of legalizing gay marriage.
 
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Mesh Gear Fox

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I know that I, personally, do not remember making a choice to be gay.

Same here. Even as a young kid, I somehow knew I didn't like girls. Its hard to explain, I just knew. I definitely didn't choose it, and things were a lot different when I was in high school than they are now. You had to keep it secret otherwise your life would be miserable with all the tormenting. But honestly as an adult, I'm totally happy with it. I wouldn't change it, it's just who I am and I like being gay.
 

Totenkopf

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As a Christian, we're taught that G*d makes some people gay so we know that they are to be ignored and shunned. For some reason society seems to have moved away from that. Regardless, who is going to complain about deers that come out of hiding and walk around loudly right before (metaphorical) hunting season, right?

I respect other peoples points of view on the matter, so please be tolerant of my beliefs.
 

Frenda

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i genuinely believe i was born a lesbian and i am rather intolerant of others insinuating that it was a choice, mostly since i live in the Bible Belt and if i had been given the choice i think it would have been a rather easy decision

that being said, i do think some people turn out gay because of life circumstances, trauma, etc., i just wouldn't necessarily consider that a "choice."

otherwise i don't think it's possible to just completely erase your attraction to one sex or the other at will. meaning that i don't think making the conscious decision to ignore your feelings for members of the opposite sex and only pursue your attraction to the same sex makes one legitimately gay. being celibate and being asexual are two different things so i don't see why you wouldn't consider being exclusively attracted to the same sex and being attracted to both sexes but only actively pursuing the same sex to be two different things as well. you're still bi or pan or whatever

basically i think you can either be born gay or you can "develop into" being gay but i don't think it's possible to actively choose to be gay because choosing to ignore your feelings for the opposite sex is not the same as literally being unable to feel attraction to the opposite sex at all
 

Pikimon

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Regardless, who is going to complain about deers that come out of hiding and walk around loudly right before (metaphorical) hunting season, right?

What do you mean by this?
 

Philosophy Zombie

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I think it's pretty likely that male sexuality is largely fixed at some point early in their lives. And that's not just for whether you like men versus women. Probably all fetishes get burned in pretty early on.
I don't think fetishes are "fixed" or else everybody would be into the same weird shit they liked when they were like, 14. Some people's proclivities they say they always had interest in but a lot of the time they're phases, aren't they?

I'm curious about what you believe is the formative event in your childhood that led to your homosexuality, @Jon-Kacho, but nonetheless being gay is harmless to the end that even if gays were gay by choice, there's no "reason" to deny them equal protection of the laws on that basis. Ultimately it matters none whether it is or isn't a choice. The nature versus nurture debate is more prominent with things like bestiality and pedophilia, which are harmful, and whether they're static or not has implications in therapy and treatment for those afflicted.

Can't even bother to go get it right now but Jesse Bering, who is a writer at Scientific American, wrote a book called Pervert: the Sexual Deviant Within All of Us that proposed that since pedophilia is ingrained in the brain, there's no point in trying to change pedos to have normal preferences. He went on to say that perhaps child pornography should be legal because it would comprise a "safety valve" and an outlet for sexuality that can't be expressed otherwise and would inhibit pedophiles from harming real children.

Obviously that's highly controversial and following that line of thinking would be a great departure from how pedophilia s currently treated. So sayeth the progressive since pedophiles cannot change the urges they have, "virtuous pedophiles" who control themselves deserve support and not scorn.

However, if I possessed this opinion I'd come to a different conclusion. If pedophiles are born the way they are, it's essentially an insidious genetic disease. If the cause could be isolated, the question is can you isolate it at birth or prenatally? If you can then it follows that babies who grow up to be pedophiles should be castrated for their own sake, or maybe desperate times call for fourth-trimester abortions.
 

autisticdragonkin

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The only reason the nature vs nurture debate matters is if you're trying to figure out how feasible it'd be to inoculate your young children against the gay. And that's a pretty creepy/weird motivation.
nobody of right mind would willingly choose the gay life
I would say that likely there is an aspect of cognitive dissonance to advocacy for the position that being gay is not an inferior state to being heterosexual. There is nothing in this about denying any rights to gay people but rather that work should be put into treating the negative effects either through assisted reproductive technologies or through alteration of sexual orientation possibly in childhood. I think likely it will initially be through assisted reproductive technologies but that afterwards the cheaper thing to do will be to inoculate children as opposed to letting them grow up to be gay and then using complex and expensive procedures to allow them to still have children.
 

Marvin

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I don't think fetishes are "fixed" or else everybody would be into the same weird shit they liked when they were like, 14. Some people's proclivities they say they always had interest in but a lot of the time they're phases, aren't they?
Actually, that's precisely what I think happens. A common trope is that people can describe a specific moment in their childhood that caused their fetish.

That's not to say that's the only thing they can get off to. I'm sure lots of fetishists jerk off to normal porn too. But while normal porn is cool too, a good foot / pair of legs / distended anus will always get them going.

It's why we have terms like "ass man" or "tit man".
 

KingGeedorah

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afterwards the cheaper thing to do will be to inoculate children as opposed to letting them grow up to be gay and then using complex and expensive procedures to allow them to still have children.

Cheaper for who? Society as a whole? The gay couple who wants to have children? You realize that gay people can pay to adopt children that are not their own so it's not a far out concept to think they would pay for expensive procedures to procreate for real?
 

autisticdragonkin

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Cheaper for who? Society as a whole? The gay couple who wants to have children? You realize that gay people can pay to adopt children that are not their own so it's not a far out concept to think they would pay for expensive procedures to procreate for real?
It is cheaper for parents who want grandchildren (or just want their children to be able to choose and not have to pay enormous expenses) to make their children be heterosexual. The gay couple are already fixed in their orientation so for them it is cheaper to just go through the procedure.