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Old 03-28-2008, 01:22 PM #1
Sir Raph
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The Origin of Sexual Identity

I'd like to discuss/debate the idea that a person's sexual identity, or more specifically, their heterosexuality or homosexuality, is something that is decided largely by their genetic makeup rather than a matter of choice.

Point: There has never been any conclusive evidence that a "gay gene" exists.

Counterpoint:
First, the much criticized evidence of a "gay gene"
http://general-medicine.jwatch.org/c...ull/1993/806/1


Quote:
A team at the National Institutes of Health took family histories from 114 gay men and noted that the men tended to have gay relatives on the mother's side of the family, but not on the father's side. This tendency, confirmed in interviews with relatives, suggested a trait passed on by mothers exclusively, which in turn suggested a gene on the X chromosome. Using genetic mapping, the team found that a set of five genetic markers at the tip of the long arm of the X chromosome were identical in 33 of 40 pairs of homosexual brothers. This finding indicates with more than 99 percent certainty that a gene associated with homosexuality lies in that area of chromosome X.


I say that the study is "much criticized" because for some time, other similar tests were done which yielded less convincing results. Also, there were some conclusions made by some of the spokemen for the study which were unwarranted by the data.

Second, the findings of a study which re-examined the claims of the previous study. This study was done after the unraveling of the human genome in 2001. This allowed the researchers to "widescan" their test subjects, which allowed them to better search for trends or the lack there of.
http://www.drthrockmorton.com/article.asp?id=129

Quote:
• The researchers found 3 locations in the genome where self-identified gay and bisexual brothers share DNA sequences between 8-12.5% greater than expected by chance.
• In one location, 7q36, the gene sharing was great enough to be considered suggestive that the DNA sequence might be close to a gene that controls or influences sexual orientation.
• The other two regions where sharing was greater than chance did not reach a level of sharing that would permit the researchers to say the location may be linked to a potential gene influencing sexual orientation. However, the researchers reported these regions because they cannot absolutely rule out that a gene influencing sexual orientation might be involved or close by.
• In examining region Xq28, the study did not find linkage in the full sample. However, the reanalysis of the prior work of Hamer (1993) found a highly suggestive linkage in that sample of subjects. The authors speculate that perhaps Xq28 could implicated in the development of sexual orientation for some people and not for others.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
• The study did not find genes that directly organize the brain to respond sexually to those of the same sex.
• It did not specify what genes may actually be involved in sexual orientation.
• It did not provide any specificity in how the DNA locations identified could impact people to develop sexual attractions of any kind.


Conclusion:
Though we do not know if any one gene alone influences a person to practice homosexuality or have homosexual feelings, or where that gene may be located if it does exist; we can say that there are multiple genetic traits which homosexuals share to a degree that is too great to easily assume the trend is a result of chance. We can also say that while we've largely disproven the idea of a single gene or set of genes which cause homosexuality, we have found a "highly suggestive" set of genes which may cause homosexuality in some, but not in others.


Point: Homosexuals cannot reproduce, so if there were any genetic traits that caused homosexuality, they would be weeded out over time.

Counterpoint:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/...explained.html

Quote:
Camperio-Ciani's team questioned 98 gay and 100 straight men about their closest relatives - 4600 people in total. They found that female relatives of gay men had more children on average than the female relatives of straight men. But the effect was only seen on their mother’s side of the family.

Mothers of gay men produced an average of 2.7 babies compared with 2.3 born to mothers of straight men. And maternal aunts of gay men had 2.0 babies compared with 1.5 born to the maternal aunts of straight men.


Conclusion:
Though homosexuals cannot reproduce, the genes which have been linked to homosexuality have been found in the x chromosome, and are therefore carried and transmitted by the straight mother. Also, the above study yielded results that suggest that the mothers and aunts of homosexuals men, on average, have more children than the mothers and aunts of straight men.
Quote:
We think of it as genes for ‘male homosexuality’, but it might really be genes for sexual attraction to men. These could predispose men towards homosexuality and women towards ‘hyper-heterosexuality’, causing women to have more sex with men and thus have more offspring.
This also suggests that even if the homosexual offspring of a woman carrying this genetic trait may be an end to the genetic line himself, the mother is more likely to have more children, each carrying the x chromosome which might carry the genetic trait.


Lastly, I believe that it's unlikely that homosexuality is a result of choice, since the resulting effects of choosing homosexuality over heterosexuality expose a person to treatment which most humans would rather avoid.
Why would a person choose to be homosexual, knowing full well that he will be ridiculed, hated, shunned and possibly put in danger? There are examples of people choosing to act or dress in a way which welcomes ridicule, however, those people, in my own experience, are proud of their choice.
This is not necessarily the case for all homosexuals, because there are examples of self-hating homosexuals.
Examples of "closet" homosexuals, who commit suicide to avoid exposure to the aforementioned riducule and unapproval, or because they believe they're evil, expose that homosexuality is likely not the result of choice. I am unable to see why a person would choose to have certain feelings, but then end their life instead of choosing to return to heterosexuality.

If you choose to take the time to respond to my arguement, I'd like to request that you try to keep arguements or comments involving morality out of your rebuttal. Not that those feelings are right or wrong, but they don't serve to further an arguement.

Thanks for reading.
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Old 03-28-2008, 01:31 PM #2
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According to the latest information we have (and I know this is going to be breakthrough info that will be hard for some to swallow), nature and nurture may both, or individually, be responsible depending on the individual.
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Originally Posted by CrazyLittle: Sapiens is a species. NASCAR is a RACE!!!
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Old 03-28-2008, 01:33 PM #3
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I don't believe it's a choice. The animal kingdom is full of homos. I don't think they sit around the den and out of boredom make a choice to be homosexual. I think it's in their blood. Instinct. An act of dominance and pleasure.

Also, lots of homosexuals start to realize they are different very young in life. It may be a choice to "act" upon said homosexual urges, but I don't think it's choice to have those feelings.
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Old 03-28-2008, 01:37 PM #4
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I don't feel like posting up studies, but my general assessment is:

1) There is a small section of society where homosexuality is determined by a genetic mutation, recessive genes, or some abnormality that occurs. This would be the genetic or biological element.

2) Additionally homosexual activity can be internalized by an individual due to societal pressures, norms, and other factors. When an idea or concept becomes internalized it is a sociological, or psychological process that is not controlled by the individual. The concept becomes part of the individual even though there is no genetic or biological factor by which this is determined. This is similar people "being patriotic"... "i am an american".... why do you feel so strongly about america?... oh you can give glib patriotic, ethnocentric answers.... but the real reason is society shaped you into a flag waving american.

3) Society will not stop functioning due to homosexual behavior. Many ancient societies which our own language, governments, and knowledge are based upon has homosexual, heterosxual, and bisexual tendencies considered common place.

4) Since it will not destroy society, and we supposedly live in a free society, there should not be legislation against homosexual activity. Marriage should not be restricted due to the sex of the parties, or due to the number of parties involved. In a free and just society people should be free to do what they want, and government should be removed from legislating sexual behavior or marriage. The government should simply exist to enforce and honor the contracts people enter into.

Furthernote: This post has nothing to do with politics or policy. The question asked is both scientific, historical, and philosophical in nature. There are better subforums for it to be posted in.
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Old 03-28-2008, 01:39 PM #5
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I'm a christian, but if you post this thread in the religion forum, you're going to get nothing but nonsense on how God hates homos.
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Old 03-28-2008, 01:43 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmyt View Post
I'm a christian, but if you post this thread in the religion forum, you're going to get nothing but nonsense on how God hates homos.
I'm a frequent contributor to that ST and you sir, are quite wrong. Matter of fact, I haven't seen you post in that ST anyway unless it's been a recent occurrence. Also, it would appear that many of your posts are more trolls than actual constructive input on the topics being discussed here so I don't see where you have the quality of information to make a judgement on someone else's post being nonsense. I could be wrong though.......wouldn't be the first time.
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Originally Posted by CrazyLittle: Sapiens is a species. NASCAR is a RACE!!!
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Old 03-28-2008, 01:46 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaka zulu View Post
I'm a frequent contributor to that ST and you sir, are quite wrong. Matter of fact, I haven't seen you post in that ST anyway unless it's been a recent occurrence. Also, it would appear that many of your posts are more trolls than actual constructive input on the topics being discussed here.
Most of my "trolling" are in nonsensical threads entitled "whites are being held back!"

In my mind, they are warrented. If you like, you can create a thread about me and how I suck, but I believe I've given my 2 cents in this thread rather nicely.
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Old 03-28-2008, 01:47 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaka zulu View Post
I'm a frequent contributor to that ST and you sir, are quite wrong. Matter of fact, I haven't seen you post in that ST anyway unless it's been a recent occurrence. Also, it would appear that many of your posts are more trolls than actual constructive input on the topics being discussed here so I don't see where you have the quality of information to make a judgement on someone else's post being nonsense. I could be wrong though.......wouldn't be the first time.

Did you think my "love" thread in the religion forum was trolling? I'm sorry if you did.
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Old 03-28-2008, 01:48 PM #9
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Just to be an *******, homosexuality is always a choice, except in the case of rape or other forms of forced intercourse or sexual contact, just as heterosexuality or asexuality is a choice.

With that stupid semantic thing being said, I don't know if it genetic but I am fairly certain it is biological. In the end though the cause of homosexual behavior is irrelevent in my mind, as it is someone's personal lifestyle and morality should not be policed.

PS: Cool Commander, while there technically may be better subforums, R/P or OSST, it is relevant enough in nature to Politics and posting in either of those forums elicits a drastically different response, which the OP probably wished to avoid.
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Old 03-28-2008, 01:53 PM #10
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Adema: True, I probably shouldn't have said that, and this forum is likely to get intelligent responses.

I am really waiting for TimmyT to say something intelligent, maybe defend his post that white cops beat up black men all the time. Perhaps post some sort of conclusion (and basis for that conclusion) concerning homosexuality in here... probably all just wishful thinking on my part.
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Old 03-28-2008, 02:00 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Commander_Cool View Post
Adema: True, I probably shouldn't have said that, and this forum is likely to get intelligent responses.

I am really waiting for TimmyT to say something intelligent, maybe defend his post that white cops beat up black men all the time. Perhaps post some sort of conclusion (and basis for that conclusion) concerning homosexuality in here... probably all just wishful thinking on my part.
I can't. It was obviously a sarcastic remark in which you argued against quite eloquently.
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Old 03-28-2008, 02:11 PM #12
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It may not be the most intelligent thing to do, but I always look at nature to determine if certain aspects of humanity are natural. Again, we find many examples of homosexuality within the animal kingdom.

Birds do it, beetles, sheep, fruit bats, flamingos, fish, dolphins, and orangutans, just to name a few.

I know some will argue we're suppose to be above animals. I guess I always thought we were to be in sync with them.
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Old 03-28-2008, 02:35 PM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmyt View Post
It may not be the most intelligent thing to do, but I always look at nature to determine if certain aspects of humanity are natural. Again, we find many examples of homosexuality within the animal kingdom.

Birds do it, beetles, sheep, fruit bats, flamingos, fish, dolphins, and orangutans, just to name a few.

I know some will argue we're suppose to be above animals. I guess I always thought we were to be in sync with them.
I don't have a problem necessarily with someone looking to animals when looking for what is "natural" in human beings. I only disagree with how "natural" is frequently, and incorrectly IMO, attributed to morality.

But I agree that lifelong homosexual behavior in animals seems to lend itself to the idea that there is a biological basis for it. I guess that's because we assume that animals wouldn't actively choose to engage in homosexual behavior, since their behavior is more based on instinct.
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Old 03-28-2008, 02:42 PM #14
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regardless of what 'causes' homosexuality, it is a basic human right that has been around since the dawn of man. The only reason people worry so much about what causes homosexuality is because they want to feel comfortable that people they view to be 'morally wrong' are somehow inferior to themselves.
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Old 03-28-2008, 04:20 PM #15
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I just had an interesting thought...

How do we perceive taste? Have we found a particular gene that determines what tastes or smells we find pleasurable or offensive?

I was just thinking that it isn't too hard to think that sexual taste is controlled in much the same way. We don't know why we like certain tastes or smells, we just know that we do. The same could be said for sexuality.
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Old 03-28-2008, 04:27 PM #16
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My brother's gay and I'm not. We both grew up in the same family. As far as I know my parents didn't read him homosexual books to him and straight books to me.

What gives!??!
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Old 03-28-2008, 09:18 PM #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobeo View Post
I just had an interesting thought...

How do we perceive taste? Have we found a particular gene that determines what tastes or smells we find pleasurable or offensive?

I was just thinking that it isn't too hard to think that sexual taste is controlled in much the same way. We don't know why we like certain tastes or smells, we just know that we do. The same could be said for sexuality.
I've read that taste in diabetic/overweight people is slightly diminished.
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Old 03-28-2008, 09:36 PM #18
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Originally Posted by Furious Ge0rge View Post
I've read that taste in diabetic/overweight people is slightly diminished.
So then diabetic and/or obese homosexuals should be less, ummm, homosexual.
Just kidding...it was too easy.
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Originally Posted by CrazyLittle: Sapiens is a species. NASCAR is a RACE!!!
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Old 03-31-2008, 11:31 AM #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobeo View Post
I just had an interesting thought...

How do we perceive taste? Have we found a particular gene that determines what tastes or smells we find pleasurable or offensive?

I was just thinking that it isn't too hard to think that sexual taste is controlled in much the same way. We don't know why we like certain tastes or smells, we just know that we do. The same could be said for sexuality.
If I'm not mistaken there are only a few distinct tastes something can have: Bitter, sweet, salty, sour etc and like the different colors you achieve a flavor by mixing certain tastes.

I personaly despise black coffee, but if you put creme and sugar in it it's delicious. I used to wretch at the idea of eating Brussel Sprouts but they're actually pretty tasty these days.

I think that taste, to an extent, is part of our upbringing.
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Old 03-31-2008, 12:04 PM #20
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At what point in your life did you decide that you were going to be heterosexual.....I rest my case.

What causes it, now I believe its a little bit of nature and nurture. Even brothers coming from the same household (as stated above by another poster) are raised differently (though very similar). Everyone has different personal experiences before their sexual identity is even developed, that there is no way to completely duplicate another's experience.
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Old 03-31-2008, 03:27 PM #21
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Originally Posted by apunkjunkie View Post
At what point in your life did you decide that you were going to be heterosexual...
When I decided to stick my "Florida" in her "Grand Canyon".

The question you pose is flawed. It implies preference is dictated by action.

Personally, it doesn't matter to me, as long as all people are treated equally. Creating barriers of thought to explain sexuality never works.

I accept people are people, and whatever view they have of the world is correct to them. To scrutinize or break down these preferences into moral right and wrongs is impossible at best.

I believe origin is based on nature, nuture and everything in between. There is no ONE thing that turns someone straight, gay or asexual.
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