The Biological Perspective On Homosexuality

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The term “homosexuality” is a relatively new term coming into existence as recently as the late 1800’s , early 1900’s. For a long time, homosexuality was viewed as a disease or even a mental illness. The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual listed homosexuality within its pages until December of 1973. This change left people believing that homosexuality was a choice, as if they could choose the people who their bodies displayed feelings of attraction towards. Over the years, many questions have been posed on the relationship between biology and the environment. When it comes to studying homosexuality, people’s opinions are usually spilt down the middle forming two distinct groups of thought: the environmentalists and the geneticists. Environmentalists “acknowledge that genes help create a human being with the capacity to fall in love in homosexual as well as heterosexual ways, that genes create genital structures and many nerve connections, and that genes permit a great deal of cortical control over sexual impulses (Weinrich 165-166).” These people usually focus on explaining behaviors as learned and learned alone. They believe that the environment in which they developed affects people the most. The geneticists, on the other hand, are a whole different ball game. These are the people who stress the nonarbitrary, genetically determined nature of the connection between environment and behavior. They are often stereotyped as trying to explain behaviors in terms of genetics alone, with no effect from their surrounding environment. Geneticists are often the ones most interested in the biological perspective of homosexuality. Recently, homosexuality has been at the top of the list of public controversies. More and more people these days are “coming out” or admitting to themselves and the world that they have homosexual desires. What is
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