Nature or Nurture & Bisexualitygreenspun.com : LUSENET : Mundane Mania : One Thread
Do you believe that sexual orientation, or even gender identity, is determined by nature or nurture? Why?
Does true bisexuality exist?
-- Chris M (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 12, 2001
I believe that orientation is by nature. I can remember when I was very young 6-7 years old and I was more attracted then to males. I have a brother that is straight and we were raised closely together so "nurture" couldn't be the reason. If so why isn't he gay?
Does true bisexuality exist? Not sure on this one, but I think that you are right on when you say that many use it as an excuse. Hell, I was always queer and knew it. Never tried the bi excuse, but know several that have only to come out later.
-- Bill (HmGuy55@aol.com), February 13, 2001.
I think it's a bottom-heavy composite of the two, like someone's physical appearance. Nature determines the natural color & texture of your hair, nurture determines how you style it.
As for true bisexuality, it's existence seems perfectly reasonable to me.
-- Mr. Plutonium (email@example.com), February 13, 2001.
Over the past few months I've done a lot of soul searching to come to terms with who I am. There are still a lot of things I'm not sure of, but if there is one thing that I am sure of, its that sexual orientation is completely natural. For a while I wondered if my attraction to other men was just my way of trying to be different, some kind of non-conformist. Then one day I sat down and tried to think about all the relationships I've had and the ones that never were. I realized that at no point was I rever really attracted to a woman. I've had girlfriends in highschool. I've even had sexual relationships with some of them. However, I was never, at any time physically attracted to them. I was just going along with the norm. I can't explain all that bio-psychological mumbo-jumbo, but I do know myself (sort of). And if anyone else out there is like me ( and by that I mean human) they're not trying to go against nature just to be gay. You are who you are from day one.
As far as bisexuality goes, I think there are people out there who are attracted to both sexes. However, I also agree with Chris that some people used it as a crutch.
-- A. Keith (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 13, 2001.
Whilst the environment and the manner in which he is brought up may be a weighty contributing factor in a child's ability to integrate and interact in his adult life, it must be understood from the beginning, that where we may be able to acquire a considerable revelation on many aspects of his social behaviour through the circumstances of his childhood and the manner of his up-bringing, this is because he ACQUIRED emotion reactions to various social stimuli (ie - the ability to communicate well to more than one person) whereas sexuality is not something that can be acquired. It is not a reaction to a stimulus which he can acquire, develop into an inveterate habit and retain into adult life, it is an innate, entirely autonomous thing over which he has little control. On the other hand...why is it claimed that there is such a strong homosexual tendancy amongst boys brought up by single mothers...have they acquired a different role perception of men because thet lacked a father role during the nurturing period...(Sigh!) as always there are conventions and exceptions to the rule! I don't believe you can acquire a sexual tendancy...I certainly can't modify my homosexual desires whereas I can modify my social skills positively or detrimentally with pursued effort...hmm, none of this makes sense...I'm too tired...sorry Chris! I watched an experimes=nt on the nature vs. nurture argument conducted on children into their adult life during the sixties. Basically this experiment was a tv programme funded by the BBC (I think) which interviewed a selected set of children from very different social backgrounds every seven years and examined over the period (a long, long time if you think every seven years of their life) how much their social backgrounds, environments, etc affected who they grew into. The programmes were called in sequence 'Seven Up', 'Fourteen Up', 'Twenty One Up', at least I am more or less sure it was something like that...
-- FJM (email@example.com), February 13, 2001.
These are great questions, sweet Chris. And, I'm too tired/frazzled at the moment to contribute meaningfully to the dialogue.
So here's my whimsical two cents worth....
On nature vs. nurture - a conversation between two gay men:
"My mother made me a homosexual."
"Really? If I gave her some yarn, would she make me one too?"
On bisexuality: "Just for once, I'd like to see a bisexual who lives with his boyfriend and sneaks out to see women on the side." (Harvey Fierstein, Torch Song Trilogy)
-- Queerscribe (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 13, 2001.
I believe that I was born this way, I wasn't brought up as a girl or treated in any special way. I wasn't even molested. So why am I gay? Because nature intended it that way. That's the only answer that I can give. Even when I was younger I just knew what I was. I had crushes on boys even in elementary. When I hear of men who claimed to no longer be gay then all I can say is BULL! I believe it's a form of brainwash or something to that effect, and yes I believe that there are straight guys who have experimented with other guy and then realize that this is not for them...Am I making any sense?
-- Adam Castillo (AdamAntJr@yahoo.com), February 13, 2001.
Bisexuality DOES EXIST....people can be bisexual... I consider myself to be bisexual. How do you know? When I was little I was currious about both sexes about my boy-friends dick size during show and tell and also why the girls didn't have them... (no sister to check) At first I didn't understand how they could go to the bathroom...they must have to pull it out from inside or something.. LOL Then I got a hold of one of my dad's OLD playboy magazines and started my early attraction to women. I was corrupted...err... influenced by society, television, magazines, etc.. to lead a normal (straight) life. So I tried.. but I never seemed to relate to the girls well... Then the show and tell phase changed to the touch and feel stage and I became at first just wanting to get off by another boy touching me... Then I started to want to suck a dick... So my very first sexual experience was a gay one. I had my "private" friends we never told anyone about what we did to "get off" in private so as to keep our "manly" immages intact. At first it was just one friend, then it was many.. It seemed almost everyone in my neighborhood was keeping the same secret! LOL But then junior high started and also the advancing puberty, along with those things called muscles... so about half of the "jerk off gang" went on to "straighten" out which left the obviously gay boys and the closet "secret" holders... what was interesting for me at that time is that I was turned off by the feminine acting boys and pretty much just stuck to the few I knew could keep "my secret" Then the roof almost completely fell in for me...when I got caught with a friend of mine in the photography darkroom in high school... :( That was hard to get over... I didn't come out then...but rather turned inward and tried once again to get a girl... only to fail again. It wasn't until I got out of high school that I finally got my "straight virginity" busted...
I honestly can say I am equally attracted in sexual situations to both sexes... but, I know the question that is lingering... If my perfect guy and perfect girl were both wanting me at the same time...who would I pick... I would pick the perfect guy, because everyone knows there is no such thing as a perfect girl.... which means I am bisexual (leaning towards the gay side)...
In answer to your proposed question, I think sexual orientation is determined by a series of life events when you are young including parenting, friendships, rejections, media, education, religion, and just plain old chance circumstances... I do not believe it is genetic in origin, execpt in 'rare' cases of transgender issues.
hope this helps in this forum...
-- Jeff (email@example.com), February 13, 2001.
After many years of studying politics and nature, I agree that nature determines sexual orientation and that there are various degrees of sexuality. Therefore, bisexuality, which is the center of the scale does exist. One of the principles of Wisdom is that all nature is a continuum, and sexuality fall into that continuum.
In the case of politics, no one is really liberal or conservative. We are of various degrees. For me, I agree with the death penalty, but I disagree with holier-than-thous. I agree with the responsiblity of the individual, but I also think governmental intervention is necessary sometimes.
Sexuality has another dimension: how much we reveal it. One may be celibate or maniacal, yet this continuum is independent of orientation. Once one realizes that we are more complex than we pretend to be, then we become tolerant of each other. Case in point: Matthew Shepard. His appeal stems from that although he was gay, otherwise, he was very much like anyone else. It is a lesson I had to learn through his death. I'd rather have known him in this life to appreciate it.
-- Alfred (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 13, 2001.
Sorry Chris, I only have enough time to respond to the second question! ;)
I believe true bisexuality exists, but I believe that bisexuality in it's truest form is not as commonplace as 'practiced', however. While bisexuality may be used as a crutch in adolescence, bisexuality is still present in the independent generation. I believe that sexuality is the ability to truly feel love for a person, genuine caring love in a relationship sense. However, not the kind of love that leads to a sexual encounter, but rather the desire to be with someone of a sex that is so strong that sexual intercourse is not one of the reasons behind the particular desire to join. For example, if I am homosexual, then I have the desire to love and be with a guy and give them genuine care and affection and while sexual intercourse would be a great thing, my true attraction to this sex is the desire to be with their mind, body, and soul, not just their penis.
For heterosexuals, it is the same thing, only between a man and a woman (obviously). For true bisexuals, I belive that the man or woman would feel the same genuine affection and desire for both the female and male sex. While in practice, many people 'settle' for someone who they kinda like so they can have emotional, financial, and physical security, which is why we see so much bisexuality in the world, but is it because most of them are nymphomaniacs who simply are good people persons who like to please both sexes?
Am I making any sense?
-- Eric (email@example.com), February 13, 2001.
You already know, from reading my http://bigstevo.diaryland.com , my take on nature VS nurture, or at least my hope is that it is nurture. As far as bi-sexual goes, other than referring to what I think and hope about my own attraction to guys and apparent non- attraction to females, I think I used to be attracted to my wife. I still can get it on - and like it - with her - but accompanied with a lot of pain and humiliation. So I will have to say, if in my quest to find out the nature VS nurture thing, if it turns out I conclude it's nature, then I guess that there are bi-sexuals, too. Because "I are one" in that case. (I didn't mean that to sound like double talk, but it sort of came out that way!) Anyone confused?
-- Steve (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 13, 2001.
I think sexual orientation is a matter of nature. I suspect there is a genetic component that determines if one is straight or gay. I am confident that I have been gay since birth. I have never had physical or romantic feelings towards women. Sure, I love some of them, but not in the same way I feel for Rick or for men in general. Having said that, it seems logical to me that nurture may play an important role. Black and white exist and so does gray. There are also shades of gray and perhaps nurture affects us by moving us from black or white to some shade of gray. I suspect the shading can change and often does change depending on the level of nurture. Perhaps that gray area is bisexuality or at least the appearance of it. I don't think you can make a genetically straight person gay by nurture or that you can make a gay person straight by nurture. But you may, through nurture, influence a move from polar gay or straight into something approximating bisexuality.
So, does bisexuality exist? Yes and no. I suspect that most people who claim to be bisexual are really either straight or gay, with perhaps a better chance that they are indeed gay. Some may not understand they are gay. Others may be for whatever reason unwilling or unable to accept their true sexuality. Lets face it, there is no overall social stigma to being straight but there is for being gay. It stands to reason to me, therefore that someone gay might have a greater difficulty or reluctance to accept their homosexuality and that they might therefore hang onto a bisexual or even a straight image. That is not an indictment, I think it is reality. There are straight guys who for one reason or another periodically engage in gay sex. Some of it may be leftover from adolescent experimentation and some of it may be because even straight guys know that only a gay guy really knows how to give good head. :) But we do know that there are many people who are gay and who live a straight or bisexual life because of social pressure or what have you. Does that make them bisexual? In practice it might make them bisexual but perhaps not in reality.
Those are my immediate thoughts on the questions.
-- Tim (email@example.com), February 13, 2001.
I probably couldn't recognize "true" bisexuality if it came up and bit me on the ass. And if I could succeed in telling true bisexuals from false, I could probably get a job sexing pandas at the zoo. It's an art, they say.
-- The Boor War (boor_war@buy_sexual.org), February 20, 2001.