Sexual Orientation: Inborn or Choice Essay

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Sexual Orientation: Inborn or Chosen An Ongoing Debate Abigail Banister The subject of sexual orientation has been a touchy subject for a number of years now. Emotions run high and opinions are strong as far as this subject is concerned, and this has made finding information that is unbiased difficult. In this paper I will try to discuss the two main perspectives of sexual orientation. Those two perspectives, as I see them, are whether a person is born homosexual or chooses to be. Today’s research is unable to conclude that sexual orientation is determined solely by ones genetics. Let us first look at the terminology. Those that believe that who they are sexually attracted to is determined by their genetic make-up appreciate the use of ‘sexual orientation’. This supports their belief that what sex they are attracted to is not in their control. The term ‘sexual preference’ is used mainly by those who believe that sexual attraction is a choice. What if both sides are correct? From Dr. Dean Hamer, who has been labled the "gay gene" researcher, and professes himself to be a gay man: "Genes are hardware...the data of life's experiences are processed through the sexual software into the circuits of identity. I suspect the sexual software is a mixture of both genes and environment, in much the same way the software of a computer is a mixture of what's installed at the factory and what's added by the user." (The Science of Desire, 1994) Let us first consider the viewpoint of the ‘Born Gay’ group. They look at the research through eyes that want to prove to people that they are no different than anyone else and they will defend their beliefs adamantly. Homosexuals have (and still do) endured every level of prejudice. They view the information collected and zone in on the scientists and research that support their beliefs. Their beliefs, summarized,
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