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06-25-19 12:40 AM

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Do you think people are born gay?
Or is it a learned behavior? Choice? Something else?
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Zeldisaster
03-10-19 07:20 AM
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Do you think people are born gay?

 

03-10-19 07:20 AM
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What's your thoughts on the origin of sexual preferences?

Personally, I honestly believe it's simply a developed attraction, and can change over time. Just like taste buds. As a child, I enjoyed the taste of spinach, but now I don't. A person could spend high school being attracted to one sex, only to go on to college contemplating trying out the other sex and they figure out they currently like the other side more. But then as an adult, they may start going back to the sex they desired originally, because their brain simply desires differing people as they get older.

Now, I won't just present my opinion on the side I support, I'll also present my rebuttals against the opposing sides:

Born: From what I know, this is impossible. Babies aren't "born" anything. Your personality is a learned behavior (even though everyone likes to argue otherwise). Your likes and dislikes are learned behavior. Babies are a blank slate. Babies aren't "attracted" to anything. That's why we make up the "cooties" idea until we reach our teens, because kids don't respond to sexual stimuli of any kind until around puberty.

Learned: In my opinion, preferences can't be "learned", they're entirely personal. Someone can tell you for days that pizza is disgusting, but until you try eating it yourself, you won't actually know. And if you eat pizza, and it disgusts you, then that's that. But if you like it, then it doesn't matter how long someone tries to "brainwash" you to think the opposite, you'll always know that you enjoyed eating pizza.

Choice: Personally, if your "preferences" can change on a dime, I don't think you "prefer" them at all. I would feel you treat preferences as if they're simply ideas that you can try when you want to and ignore them when you don't. I can't see how science would back up sexual preference as a choice, but then again I may be missing something.

Also, this is just my opinion. Open to hearing other opinions.
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03-10-19 02:52 PM
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I think it all boils down to how someone develops. I always point to one notable example, the stereotypical boys and girls on a school yard. Typically people envision rowdy boys playing ball and roughhousing in the field, and girls socializing or playing with X amount of dolls. I think this is the kind of thing that has an impact on how someone behaves when they age. Let's focus on two factors you already identified, their upbringing and personal preference, metaphorically speaking, the food given at the table versus the foods the kid outright loves or despises.

Going back to the stereotypical child archetypes, for a long time people had set views on what boys and girls liked. Running up trees and subsequently jumping off said tree, taking a huge blow to the ground, all the while with a smile on their face, versus raindrops on roses and mittens on kittens. This bias pervades into culture to the point where it just becomes accepted. I noticed something about children, this may be groundbreaking news, but young children are crazy. Always running, climbing around, you try and distract them with toys but they just bring them with them on their way to try jumping the child fence. That's an inherent part of early childhood, but it seems once they start aging they splinter out into the kids who like soccer, or the ones who like dress-up. I'd say it's bandwagoning, a kid sees what other kids like them are into, and the most obvious difference they see is whether kids are boys and girls, leading to these two factions so to speak. We've all seen toy commercials right? Hot wheels and build-able figures with rock music as a RADICAL narrator describes the fast paced action, and then a doll commercial, or littlest pet shop, what have you, where the narrator, by contrast, has the most infectiously annoying perky voice, everything is whimsy and rainbows, half the time she starts singing the script, not actually a song, just... lyrical sentences, which leads me to an example.

Let me tell you something from my childhood, back when I was 3 or 4, I don't remember much about the group in specific, my mom has a newspaper article somewhere in the house, but for narrative sake, I'll just call it the Sunshine Singalong. My mom forced me into a group of chorus kids, basically to practice singing as a toddler and performing like circus monkeys in front of an audience. Now I had no particular interest one way or another, but there was one glaring detail that made the whole process uncomfortable. There were like twenty of us, and out of all of us, I was the only boy. This wasn't like the kind of "chance to make friends" thing either, we showed up, practiced singing, and left. I felt very alienated, I didn't want to be there, and this all led up to my first, and last, live performance. For reference, imagine sitting in the plaza watching a group of girls in flowered dresses, but in the back to the left, there's one boy with a tuxedo mumbling his lines, what part of this image will stand out the most? I recognized this, I thought I stuck out like a sore thumb, and everyone kept looking at me, what did they expect from me? I wasn't special just for being the only boy, it's just that no one else like me took this position. Let me tell you, it wasn't until much later in my life (precisely the second day of 6th grade) where I became a shy kid, but one trait that stuck with me, I HATED singing, not just me, but other sources. I hated musicals, or when any other child film would break into song *heughseussmovies-augh*. After one day when I started reminiscing over my childhood, it occurred to me that it was probably because of the Sunshine Singalong.

That's one trait about sexual preference I can get behind, inclusivity. To me it isn't about whether someone is boy or girl or androgynous or whatever, putting the labels out of the picture, these are the kind of people who can like what they want confidently. That being said, take my story into context, I was placed into circumstances I didn't like, so I hated it, but remember when I said I didn't care at the time whether I was singing or not? Maybe if I felt more welcome in Sunshine Singalong, with my neutral attitude towards the singing itself, I would have turned out as more of a stage performer type? Applying a similar sense to other people, changing their identification may get them closer to the kind of people they prefer. In any case, this might just be one part of a more complex system, but it would make sense.
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03-12-19 05:54 PM
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While I get that for some people their sexuality label might change with time, I honestly think that has more to do with learning more about yourself and your preferences than it has to do with your sexuality actually changing, especially with how being gay was really looked down upon until recently. Of course you'd want to explore that part of yourself that you were barred from exploring, and of course there will be confusion about whether you're actually attracted to men/women or if you just managed to trick yourself into thinking that way since that was the only socially acceptable choice. It's just a lot of layers to go through, and it's hard to figure something like that out when there's just so much muddying up the waters.

The one exception that I can see is born from trauma. There are lesbians that are lesbians because they've had so many terrible experiences with men that they just can't be attracted to men anymore. But in my opinion that's still just an extreme exception.

I believe it's something that's ingrained in you when you're born. Yes, babies aren't attracted to anything. That's because they're babies, and sexuality doesn't really manifest until around like, age 5 where crushes happen and sexual feelings don't develop until puberty. That doesn't mean that being gay isn't something your born as, just that it won't manifest at all when you're a baby for hopefully obvious reasons. And you know, there's also several other aspects that you're born with that isn't apparent when you're a baby either.

Homosexual behavior has been observed in like, 200+ species so I highly doubt it's possible to be taught to be gay, and makes it possible that it's inborn.

I don't think there's any like, gay gene that will suddenly turn someone gay, but there's also studies that show that prenatal conditions (the womb, basically) can affect sexuality. There's nothing that's concrete as there's still much to learn about how the brain develops and how much to impacts things, but it's there.

One last thing though, can you explain why two of your counter-arguments to two different views are, well, contradictory?

"Your likes and dislikes are learned behavior."

"In my opinion, preferences can't be "learned", they're entirely personal."

Aren't preferences basically just likes and dislikes? I mean, the definition is literally "a greater liking for one alternative over another or others" so...
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03-12-19 10:08 PM
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This is really a complex issue. 

Disclaimer my views are not to offend anyone. I do have my own opinion due to my religious beliefs. 

Its really hard to say to be honest. From a religious perspective ( I am a Christian) A person may have attraction to the same gender or be attracted to both genders at a young age. Some people are but they never act on their preference. For whatever reason they chose not too. So in that case it could be a develop preference and choice. I have friends whose preference changed over time. Some people preference may change as they get older or until they get comfortable with their preference. 

Now I have some GLBT friends, and they will tell you that they were born that way. Some knew what they were as young as 7 years old. Again did they have those feelings all alone and they developed as they aged quite possible either way. But I am not going to argue with them if they feel like they were born like that it is really pointless to argue with them. 

Now here is were things get complicated we know a person can be born with tendencies toward preferring alcohol esp if there is a linage of alcoholism in a family. On the other hand sexual orientation does not appear to be inherited. 

At the end of the day my belief is a person can have preference or a sense of knowing at a very young age. However it is their choice if they act on these preferences or not later on in life. I also think its possible that sexual orientation can develop over time and even change. Look how many stages they are in physical and neuro development up into the age of 21. As I stated I have had friends that started off straight, then they were bisexual finally homosexual. I have friends that started out preferring a person of the same gender then they developed and became straight 

Again its a complex issue and this is a topic your going to get lots of different opinions. I think people with have a different opinion based on their perspective.  



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03-19-19 12:47 PM
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It's probably a combination of both, just like all aspects of who you are. Part of what makes you you is genetic, part of it is due to the environment in which you grew up. That being said, I don't think it really matters either way. Regardless of whether you are born with a certain sexual preference or it is developed over time, just mind your own business and let people do what they want.
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03-21-19 12:30 PM
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To the people that think it's a learned or chosen behavior, food for thought.
I get harrassed, teased, told off by many 'well meaning' people about being gay. In some areas, if people find out your gay, they'll beat the hell out of you, or kill you. Now, knowing that, and your families, friends, and everyone elses reaction....(this is all just the tip of the iceberg), WHO would choose to be gay? If I could, I would choose to be straight. Trust me. However. It don't work like that. If it did, a lot less folk would be gay, bi, or trans. We are born as we are. It is what it is.
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03-22-19 03:28 AM
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ZeroTails : Yeah when I typed them I figured it sounded contradictory. I'm basically referring to two different things but using similar wording. "Likes and dislikes" being the actual entities that create dopamine flooding in your brain. And "Preferences" being the general leanings you turn towards as a blanket answer to certain situations. I'll use food to explain this, as I'm currently hungry lol.

I like pizza. A lot. The reason I like pizza has to do with how my brain translated the different stimuli I had received across many years, as is the case with many people's specific likes. As a child in a poor family, Marco's and Little Caesar's were relatively easy to get, it was plentiful enough that it was an entire meal with one purchase, and didn't taste immediately disgusting to my mother and father. So, whenever extra money came around, and they wanted to "treat" their kids, pizza was a popular-enough choice among the other schoolchildren that we interacted with in public school, and it was cheap enough to my parents, that it was presented to me at first in a very favorable light by many different people. My brain learned that pizza = a good thing. My current situation (adult and poor because it's hard to be a good adult) shows me that pizza, as it was during childhood, is relatively easy to acquire when there's a few bucks of extra money, and it creates more than a single meal by itself. And it doesn't taste terrible. So I'll say to this day, my favorite food is pizza.

Preferences are the leanings of curiosity. You can't teach your brain to be curious. Again, as far as the food analogy goes, I was taught about pizza at a young age, but I then realized everyone else was calling it Italian Food. Well, what OTHER Italian food is there, if pizza tastes good? So I searched and discovered. And it turns out, I don't enjoy the taste of that much Italian food. I only really enjoy pizza. But I don't prefer Italian food. I also like tacos, and I've experienced enough Mexican food that also tastes as good as tacos that I can honestly say I prefer most Mexican food over most Italian food.

Put in the context of sex: I get aroused by women because I prefer women that are comfortable enough to be sexual around me. I find it a rare occurrence, most women I talk to are genuinely fun and interesting, and I want to eventually find one that I'm compatible-enough with to make our relationship lifelong. Men being sexual around me isn't comfortable to me because I haven't enjoyed the company of many men in my life to the point that I've ever formed an attraction even remotely sexual to him. So I can honestly say that I sexually prefer women as opposed to men. As for what my experiences have taught me to LIKE, that's the less descriptive "sex with a vagina attached to a woman that expressed interest in sex with the penis attached to me".

Was that an arousing statement? Didn't think so. But that's the difficult-to-explain psychology of it. At least, that's some of it. My mind can only translate "curious about sex" to "sex is enjoyable" after experiencing it. It was learned. There's a difference between dopamine created by the idea of something, and dopamine created through the experience of something.

Kinda like how one of most women's top fantasies is to be ravaged, but rape has a history of being undesired by almost every woman.

Does this explanation make any sense to you? I hope it does.
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04-10-19 04:25 PM
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I've known my fair shair of gay and bi people, and one thing is absolutely certain. They knew they were like that from a very young age. It came about before they could even tell what feelings were. That's not a "choice."

But in the end, whether you believe that you can be born gay or not, probably depends on how strongly you feel about genetics. I feel like a lot of people find genetics as a concept to be scary, because it takes away their feeling of free will.
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04-11-19 03:53 AM
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pennylessz : That's because they were too young yet to have internalized straight bias the family, school, religion, tv shows, whatever had.

To a kid, a friend is a friend. There is no reason they cannot be together if they wish to.

As an adult, they have the possibility of losing a job, being thrown out of their family, even treated as mentally ill.

Genetics affect many aspects of our health, but become irrelevant to whether or not a man wants to be with a man, or a woman wants to be with a woman.
No matter how horny you are, you wouldn't want to be with someone you hated.
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04-11-19 04:31 AM
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On3On : If being gay is a choice, why are there people who earnestly wish to be straight but can't?

Gay conversion therapy is laughable and not a solution. Just as it shouldn't need to be. Someone's sexual orientation is their own business.
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pennylessz : Not all relationships are for the sex lol

Don't ask me why, I don't get it either. There's more important things to worry about honestly.
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06-01-19 01:02 PM
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pennylessz : Psychologically, I might have an answer to your question. On average... it's because they themselves don't actually want to be straight.

Hear me out. You brought up Gay Conversion Therapy, which is another version of what I'm talking about. The brain enjoys what it's experienced to enjoy, and it doesn't enjoy what it hasn't enjoyed in the past. So when an outside force is telling you (for example a religious parent) that being gay is wrong, your brain understands the difference between:
- A trusted figure telling you that behavior is negative, and
- Your brain's actual lived experience of enjoying it.
The standard psychological compromise is "I still want to do this, just not in a way in which they'll find out."

Interestingly enough, this might also be how behaviors like kleptomania and rape-interest develop as well. At least, there's an argument for it.

Think about it. If you enjoy playing a certain video game, and your friend says "No that game sucks" then you'll typically just ignore that friend, right? After all, YOU enjoyed it. Who cares if they don't enjoy it? The best you'll do is just not mention it to them and not play it around them. But that doesn't mean you stop playing the game.

Same thing here. Pressure can come from every direction and from every person around you, but if your brain developed to enjoy one type of genitals over the other, then you'll only get aroused by THOSE. No matter what outside factors are telling you that's not ok.

I laugh just imagining a guy having sex with a girl, repeatedly failing to climax while shouting "Why am I not attracted to you?" but, like, he's the one who keeps trying.
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