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

*Asterisk*

Five-Percenter
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One factor I think that's changed things significantly in terms of an increase of gay visibility is the switch of courtship and marriage from being for the purposes of social and monetary matters to being about romantic passion. Relationships don't have to start based on romance or attraction to work out. But when you move to a society where they pretty much have to be initiated by romance or attraction, those mostly or entirely attracted to their own sex have no appealing personal reason to pursue heterosexual relationships.

Sex segregation as well plays a strong factor. The Ancient Greeks, for example, lived in one of the most heavily sex segregated societies ever, and homosexuality -- as well as far more unsavory practices such as pederasty -- were substantially more open and common than they are even today. Same for the Imperial Chinese, who lived in a society that was just as sex segregated and even more oppressive to women than modern Saudi Arabia.

Whatever the causes, and regardless of whether there is a way to actually change people's sexualities deliberately, I'm positive it must serve several valuable purposes in a wide variety of environments. In sex-segregated areas, the benefits are quite obvious, but I'm positive there's more to it than that.
 

autisticdragonkin

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Whatever the causes, and regardless of whether there is a way to actually change people's sexualities deliberately, I'm positive it must serve several valuable purposes in a wide variety of environments. In sex-segregated areas, the benefits are quite obvious, but I'm positive there's more to it than that.
What are the valuable purposes that you are talking about? I hear a lot of people saying that and I used to believe it myself but I have never heard anything to back it up
 

Asandy31

Even Stingers Can Be Feminine
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There's also homosexual nesting behavior in the animal kingdom, which is not dependent on sex or even identification. Animals don't have complex and Freudian imprinting behaviors human beings do.

Sex segregation as well plays a strong factor. The Ancient Greeks, for example, lived in one of the most heavily sex segregated societies ever, and homosexuality -- as well as far more unsavory practices such as pederasty -- were substantially more open and common than they are even today. Same for the Imperial Chinese, who lived in a society that was just as sex segregated and even more oppressive to women than modern Saudi Arabia.

The same can be said about the prison system, but without the misogyny. It's just mind blowing that these orientations were not heavily stigmatized until Christianity became the dominant way of life, unless you were the passive partner.
 

autisticdragonkin

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There's also homosexual nesting behavior in the animal kingdom, which is not dependent on sex or even identification. Animals don't have complex and Freudian imprinting behaviors human beings do.
The question is whether animals have exclusive homosexuality to the same degree that humans do, not whether they have it at all. It could easily be caused by a combination of genetics and upbringing. There isn't predictive power to choice so we can exclude that theory but if upbringing by parents who wanted a gay child would cause it then there would be a significantly lower incidence in animals even if there was still a genetic component
 

Sc4rface

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There are a couple of concepts here I think need a bit further discussion.

First of all, there is no reason why it should be nature *or* nurture. I've been thinking about this more in relation to what makes some people serial killers, though that often has a sexual element to it as well. Statistically a serial killer is more likely to come from a broken family and have suffered from poverty and general poor upbringing. But most people from such a background are not serial killers and there are also serial killers with picture perfect childhoods. The way I figure, from nature we get certain tendencies; impulse control, empathy, violent tendencies etc. These form the basis of the person, who is then built by upbringing. So, switching examples, I think some people are born with hardwired tendencies which make them almost certain to become gay, though some extreme experience could counter even them. Some people have very little natural tendency but something in their upbringing leads to it. In most people, becoming gay is more or less equal parts both, working in a complex-as-fuck interaction.

As to choice, a difference should be made between homosexuals (ie. people who have both romantic and sexual feelings towards people of the same gender) and people who fuck with people of the same gender due to circumstances and the general need to get one's rocks off. For example, I've been led to understand that in many conservative Arab cultures the sex segregation leads to quite a lot of sex between men which is never-ever acknowledged. But a majority of these men aren't homosexuals. So the way I figure, engaging in gay sex can certainly be a choice but being gay isn't.

Now, like others have pointed out, this discussion is really relevant only in the context of a) developmental psychology or b) people arguing that gays can be condemned and discriminated against if they are that way by choice. The first is an interesting question, though I think the processes involved are so individual and complex that they may never be understood to a meaningful extent. The second is just stupid.
 
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BZ 679

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Looking at it from an evolutionary perspective, it's interesting to think about how we as a species can certainly afford the (seemingly) rising numbers of queer people.
 

sugoi-chan

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Looking at it from an evolutionary perspective, it's interesting to think about how we as a species can certainly afford the (seemingly) rising numbers of queer people.

Probably just fine. Gay people have always been a statistical minority for all of history - it just seems like there are more nowadays because the stigma's going away and people are coming out of the closet. Gay people can, and do, reproduce (surrogacy, people who have marry/have kids before coming out, etc).
 

Vorhtbame

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While the twin study in 1991 tended to indicate a genetic correlation, eight studies performed in the last 15 years demonstrated otherwise, with a maximum concordance of 14%. This means that 86% of identical twins wherein one twin was homosexual, the other was not. This tends not to support the "prenatal/genetic conditions" theory.

The human mind is a complicated thing, and any one thing or number of things can influence what you like, what you don't like, and how you see the world and yourself. What's more, the brain constantly rewires itself in response to experiences and even thoughts, whence habits. The inclination might be a lifelong, immutable thing for any number of reasons, or it could be a short-lived fetish.

(That doesn't affect whether one should indulge said inclination, as with any inclination, but that's not the topic here.)
 

The Lizard Queen

Lizard boobs. Your argument is invalid.
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It makes me think of this quote from Jean Shepherd. AKA, Adult Ralphie from A Christmas Story. In the same book where he tells the story about the Red Ryder BB gun and the leg lamp, he also talks a bit about growing up...

"Life, when you're a Male kid, is what the Grownups are doing. The Adult world seems to be some kind of secret society that has its own passwords, handclasps, and countersigns. The thing is to get In. But there's this invisible, impenetrable wall between you and all the great, unimaginably swinging things that they seem to be involved in. Occasionally mutterings of exotic secrets and incredible pleasures filter through. And so you bang against it, throw rocks at it, try to climb over it, burrow under it; but there it is. impenetrable, enigmatic.
Girls somehow seem to be already involved, as though from birth they've got the Word. Lolita has no Male counterpart. It does no good to protest and pretend otherwise. The fact is inescapable. A male kid is really a kid. A female kid is a girl. Some guys give up early in life, surrender completely before the impassable transparent wall, and remain little kids forever. They are called Fags, or Homosexuals, if you are in polite society.
The rest of us have to claw our way into Life as best we can, never knowing when we'll be Admitted. It happens to each of us in different ways--and once it does, there's no turning back."

Blunt and male oriented though he may be, there might be some truth to the idea that homosexuals may be avoiding adulthood, at least in my eyes. I tend to the bisexual part of the spectrum, but in my same-gender relationships I can defiantly see that I'm avoiding things that some might consider "adult." For me, relationships with men imply responsibility and certain limitations, while I can do whatever with the girls.
While it may not apply to all with an orientation other than straight, some of the lolcows on this site are definitely avoiding adulthood by going gay.
 
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Mesh Gear Fox

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Blunt and male oriented though he may be, there might be some truth to the idea that homosexuals may be avoiding adulthood, at least in my eyes

I'm sorry, but that's absolute rubbish. :powerlevel: I'm in my 30s, educated and I own my home and vehicle. The guys I have dated are all similar; goal-oriented, driven and mature. Yes, there are immature gay dudes, but there's a lot of immature straight guys out there too. I'm not gay because I'm irresponsible, I'm gay because I'm only attracted to other men.

And I don't believe people turn gay just to avoid adulthood. Maturity level has nothing to do with sexual orientation. Its generally a physical and emotional attraction to someone of the same sex.
 

The Lizard Queen

Lizard boobs. Your argument is invalid.
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I'm sorry, but that's absolute rubbish. :powerlevel: I'm in my 30s, educated and I own my home and vehicle. The guys I have dated are all similar; goal-oriented, driven and mature. Yes, there are immature gay dudes, but there's a lot of immature straight guys out there too. I'm not gay because I'm irresponsible, I'm gay because I'm only attracted to other men.

And I don't believe people turn gay just to avoid adulthood. Maturity level has nothing to do with sexual orientation. Its generally a physical and emotional attraction to someone of the same sex.

Hey now, take it up with this guy...
6a00d8341ed39853ef0134886ef9bf970c-320wi

I specifically said it may not apply to everyone, but there are definitely some people who find the opposite sex intimidating, and prefer the company of the same gender because it's easier.
 

Marvin

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Hey now, take it up with this guy...
6a00d8341ed39853ef0134886ef9bf970c-320wi

I specifically said it may not apply to everyone, but there are definitely some people who find the opposite sex intimidating, and prefer the company of the same gender because it's easier.
I don't see the connection between easiness and adulthood though. The fact that some things in adulthood are difficult is a red herring; plenty of things in adulthood are also trivially easy.
 

bearycool

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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.

It's one of my research concentrations at the moment in the neuroanatomy of sexuality. As it stands right now, a myriad of system are intertwined in sexuality. This is why sexuality can fluctuate as changes in any one system can decrease or increase the percentage of different sexualities. These systems can change from societal pressures as well, and can cause the phenomenon of "internalised homophobia". Obviously, a hateful/stressful environment is going to cause certain neurotic behaviour and can explain certain "deviancies" that we all know and love that are connected to homosexuality.

tl;dr: blame the Christians for making this important research to take so long lel.