One thing that psychological studies have been able to prove and establish concern is the differences in our behavioral attitudes. There are variations in the way we think, act, and in what we believe in. In recent times, various researches have been carried out with the aim of determining what accounts for these variations. In such a research, a controversial issue is chosen and studies are made on it. One of the issues that captured the interest of these researchers is homosexuality. By definition, homosexuality is the sexual orientation displayed by a person toward another person of the same sex.
Many people might think that this form of sexual attitude is a recent development in our world today, but it might be interesting to know that such is also evident in the past. Recently, much media attention has focused on the question of what causes some people to become homosexual and has been hotly debated and studied ever since. In this essay, focus will be drawn on the various positions whether homosexuals are born or made. In the next paragraphs we can see the debate over the genetic trait of homosexuality by professional people and organizations.
The people who support the genetic trait argue using scientific studies involving human brain activities and human pheromones instead of simply looking at the homosexual explosion. It has also been argued that the reason why people think it is learned is mainly due to religious, cultural, and educational factors. They believe that homosexuality is inherited, like skin color, eye color, and other physical factors. They believe that people are becoming more receptive to the rights of homosexuals. There are people who strongly oppose genetic homosexuality.
They point out that the genetic factor is yet to be determined and the gay rights activists and the popular media are responsible for giving incomplete and irrelevant ideas to the public. They think that the American society is accepting homsexuality because the minds of young generation lack a moral compass. In “People Do Not Choose Their Sexual Orientation,” John Corvino states that sexual orientation is not a choice. From his personal experience he says that he never turned down his “straight lesson” as a child, or never chose to “become gay.
Furthermore he states that homosexuality is a deep, important, and relatively fixed feature of human personality. Corvino cites that there are many undesirable traits that are genetically influenced. This includes alcoholism, violence, homosexuality. Lastly, he says that homosexuality does not have any bad effects whereas alcoholism does (Corvino, 2007). Stefan Lovgren, in his “Sexuality May Be Biological,” states that homosexuality is completely expected from the human genetics. He also states that it is only controversial because of the social and political controversies over it.
He thinks that homosexuality is due to genetic factors using two explanations: the reproductive behavior and biological explanation (Lovgren, 2007). Lovgren shows an experiment conducted on heterosexual men and women and homosexual men in 2005 to find if homosexuality is genetically based. The study was published on May 10, 2005 in the research journal Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences. In the study they exposed heterosexual men and women and homosexual men to chemicals found in male and female sex hormone and found that the brains of homosexual men respond like women brains when they smelled male sweat (cited in Lovgren, 2007).
Lovgren argues that, “people are born – not bred – gay” (Lovgren, 2007). He also cited another study to reveal the difference in the brain activity of gay and straight men, conducted by Swedish researchers. The study revealed differences in the brain activity of heterosexual and homosexual men to the same odors. According to Lovegren, the study emphasizes the statement that homosexuality is genetic, not acquired (Lovgren, 2007).
In the article, “Americans Have Become More Accepting of Homosexuality,” Jeni Loftus states that the past twenty years has witnessed a drastic change in the general attitude of people towards homosexuality. It has been alleged that in the recent years that Americans have been more liberal in their attitude towards homosexuals and homosexuality in general (Loftus, 2001). The reasons for this can be accounted from two different perspectives: the changing demographic makeup of the population and the shift in the ideologies of the people of America.
Loftus states that the demographic makeup explains the increase in level of education has made people more flexible and liberal in their attitudes towards homosexuality while the cultural ideological shift explains how more people are liberal in their attitude basically because of the changes in personal belief system about sexuality generally (Loftus 2001). Also, this change in attitude has had an indirect effect on how homosexuals are being viewed in American society. She states that negative shift in attitudes emerges from those who are older, less educated, religious, and non-white (Loftus, 2001).
However, Jeffrey Santinover in another article, “Homosexuality Is Caused by Societal Dysfunction,” claimed that homosexuality is merely a way of tolerating the effect of a negative influence in a modern society. He argues that homosexuality should be seen as a moral and spiritual sickness and that homosexuals have the ability to change (Santinover, 2002). He believes that they can atleast change to heterosexuals. In his paper, he asserted that homosexuality is just a means of indulging in an abnormality caused by lack of morality.
Santinover thinks that the recent statistic about the changing opinion of people towards homosexuality is affected by political pressures and that people have substituted truth to political pressure in America. For one, recently there have been several campaigns made by sexual right activists and these have allowed America to lose its moral compass on sexuality. He believes that most people say a morally outrageous act is okay because in the real sense, nobody actually knows what is really right and wrong (Santinover, 2002). Much attention is given to rights and freedom while we forget to check if such actions are really right in themselves.
For Santinover, young people now have access to several illicit materials that are corrupting their minds. The effect of this is a morally sick nation with cases of abnormalities in action and belief systems (Santinover, 2002). And for him, this causes homosexuality because they do not see a reason why they should not try it out and nobody is talking because there is the prevalent fear that the rights and freedom of such people will be infringed. He also points out that the people who claim that homosexuality is normal have not considered the genetic factors.
He asked if there was some form of genetic influence that causes homosexuality and what is in the genetic code that differentiates homosexuals from others (Santinover, 2002). He used a basketball player as an example. Basketball players do not have a specific genetic condition that makes them play the game but have genetic influences that cause them to play the game. Such intermediated traits include height, athleticism, and the likes. This does not mean that they are born to be basketball players. In addition to this, Santinover gave examples of homosexuals that he has met that were under therapy.
He informed of their struggle for acceptance. They were under an emotional cage where they have to fight for conformity (Santinover, 2002). One might think that this is victimhood but the truth is nobody fights who they are and ever succeeds. He also states that this was a choice that was made and can be reversed with time and therapy. The article, “There Is No Evidence that Homosexualilty Is Genetic,” published by National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuals (NARTH), states that, “genetic and unchangeable theory has been promoted by gay and popular media.
There is no evidence that homosexuality is simply “genetic” (NARTH, 2007). It also states that the researchers’ public statements to the press are often far-reaching but they are speaking cautiously to scientific community. According to NARTH, homosexuality cannot be inherited like physical features and the qualities that the homosexuals inherit are anxiety, shyness, sensitivity, and aesthetic abilities not homosexual genes (NARTH, 2007). The gay activists have been pushing for the civil rights of homosexuals. However, they have not considered the tolerance and acceptance given already by the general society.
Tolerating homosexuality is different from approving or accepting homosexuals. Majority of the opinions that Americans hold about homosexuality are due to h\their tolerance and respect towards homosexuals, as a human being. I believe homosexuality is a choice and the sin is debilitating, but homosexuals are in need of attention and assistance. We are to tolerate them and consider them as our fellow being, but never accept homosexuality. All people are valuable and they should be given love and attention without discrimination.
Homosexuality will still be a contoversial issue that raises concern in our society. There will still be cases of discrimination against them, but whatever position we hold, what we should realize is that we are all members of the same society. We must work with each other to make our society a better place. We should tolerate and assist people who do not have the same sexual orientation as we do and we need to understand that they too have something to contribute to the development of our society. Event though we have different views about life, we are all human beings created by the same God.
Courtney from Study Moose
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