Is homosexuality a choice?

Kimberly - posted on 10/03/2010 ( 110 moms have responded )

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A woman on FB posted that she lost a friend on there because she posted a status regarding being gay not being a choice. What's your take? I believe people are born gay. I have known my brother-in-law since he was a little kid and I knew back then before he probably did. He was an innocent little boy with two jock brothers, I am sure he didn't make the choice.

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[deleted account]

Well said Cassie, I'm also a Christian who believes that homosexuals are born that way (for the majority, there is always an exception to the rule). I agree that those who use their religion to beat others with are not true to their religion :-)

Dana - posted on 10/03/2010

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I could kiss you Cassie!
The very first debate I got into in DM was about a year and a half ago, it had to do with gays and religion and I said to someone, who was a Christian, that it disgusted me that they would use the bible as a backbone for their intolerance. I truly feel the same way as you do. Unfortunately, Christians have made me question my faith and go off on my own spiritual path away from them and any kind of organized religion. I kind of like it over here though. ;)

Cassie - posted on 10/03/2010

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Well.. (and this is probably an entirely different debate in itself) I believe that the majority of Christians who claim that it is a choice are not in fact living a truly Christian life. They are allowing their own insecurities and hang-ups to guide their faith and life rather than allowing what Christ taught (love, kindness and compassion) guide their life. They use their Christianity as a platform for bigotry and hate which is not how a Christian is to be.... I believe, and I know this will offend a lot of people, that many people claim to be Christians who are not actually Christians because they believe that they can use their faith as a reason behind their decisions....

(not sure if that makes sense but my entire family who are all Christians, all believe people are born gay and don't make the conscious choice).

Dana - posted on 10/03/2010

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Oh, I know they're out there and I'm glad you're one of them. ♥
I actually wonder why the majority who think it is a choice, happen to be Christians.

Cassie - posted on 10/03/2010

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Dana, I'm a Christian who believes that being gay is NOT a choice. I wholly believe that gays are born gay.

(sorry, just wanted to throw that in there)

[deleted account]

For a very few it is a choice, but for the MAJORITY it is NOT a choice. Who we are attracted to is not a choice, I am attracted to red heads, I have never made that choice but looking at my dating history many of my b/f (and my hubby) are red heads, what I find an attractive atribute many others do not. We do not choose what turns us on in relation to physical attributes, why is it so hard for some to realise that sex is just another attribute (physical and mental)?

Rosie - posted on 10/03/2010

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i guess i am saying that i don't think they have to think of it as a sin. i'm sure that's where she's getting it from, dana. i just don't get it, not even when i was a christian-hence why i'm not anymore. what if the bible said black people are sinners just for being black? i don't understand how anyone can sit back, look at that statement, and agree with it. let alone, a christian. it goes against everything that i was taught about christianity, and how christians are supposed to act.

i also don't get why they choose to ignore the part about how we're supposed to keep slaves, and women aren't supposed to talk in church, and all the other things that are mentioned in the bible, but somehow homosexuality is just this obsession with some christians. if they can ignore those other parts, why can't they ignore the part about homosexuality?

Johnny - posted on 10/03/2010

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Ah, nothing like a good gay debate filled with the usual bigots requesting tolerance. Makes for a lovely Sunday read. I suppose since I live amongst people who are all tolerant and accepting, these threads are just here to remind me that the battle for equal rights & respect is not over.

I'd like to put out a challenge to all who believe that sexuality is a choice. Next time you're thinking about sex, switch in the vag for the penis. Instead of fantasizing about your husband or Brad Pitt, think about your best friend or Angelina Jolie. Rather than the fellatio, imagine the cunnilingus. Then come back and tell us all how that worked out for you.

Dana - posted on 10/03/2010

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Yes, Cathy, being gay isn't a choice but, acting upon it is. Of course when all those who suggest that gay people don't act upon it also take a vow of celibacy then maybe they'll have room to talk . But they'll still be wrong, hehe...

[deleted account]

Being gay isn't a choice. Acting on those instincts is different. I can be straight and choose not to act on it, take a vow of celibacy and join a convent.
You can be gay, take a vow of celibacy and join the priesthood ... not sure where I'm going with this...

Dana - posted on 10/03/2010

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No one is saying you don't have to think it's a sin though. Where do you come up with that? You believe what you want to believe about what the bible says, that still doesn't have anything to do with gay people "choosing" to be gay.

Heather - posted on 10/03/2010

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Well frankly, if you're not willing to hear another opinion on a subject and have an honest debate, then don't post.

P.S. Yes, yes I do think you can choose to like vaginas or a penis all of the sudden, especially in the case of bisexuals, but this isn't neccessarily the norm. or the majority. And I don't think ANYONE in their right mind condones violence or intolerance against these people. For Christians, it's pretty specifically stated in the bible that you're not supposed to have same sex sexual relations. It also says that we're not to judge other people, so what people choose to do in their private life is their business and christians shouldn't judge them. LIKEWISE, people who are gay shouldn't MAKE people who don't agree with it say it's not a sin. It doesn't make people homophobic it just means they wouldn't live their lives like that.

Bottom line: If you KNOW you'll never see an issue any other way, once you've stated your opinion, you should really just leave it at that. You shouldn't attack other people.

[deleted account]

My son chooses to be autistic ...
apparently it's fun to be persecuted against for being different.

Serena - posted on 10/03/2010

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I think that many people who (not everyone) say it is a choice because their main source of rules to live by is the Bible. So with that said the idea of God creating people with the mindset to commit sin against Him (i.e.homosexuality) (I apologize because I know what I want to say I'm just at a loss for words) would be a paradox of sort.

But I believe that it must be a combination of both choice and biological, back to the whole nature vs nurture idea. I do believe that anyone who is gay has to be born with some type of hardwiring that makes the same genitalia attractive but the idea to act on it has to in some part be a choice. People who are born into "gay acceptance environments" are more inclined to accept themselves before someone who wasn't. So I think that to say it is just one or the other is too cut and dry. We humans are very complex creatures and thus our behaviors are too.

Now those who don't accept GLBTs choose to be ignorant. That is not passed down through our DNA...

Rosie - posted on 10/03/2010

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how can anybody sit back and think this is ok. please read this link on LGBT people, and think about it a bit. put yourself into that persons shoes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violence_ag...

people are being killed or tortured for just being who they are. and this one tops my list...On January 28, 2005, Ronnie Antonio Paris, a three-year-old boy living in Tampa, Florida, died due to brain injuries inflicted by his father, Ronnie Paris, Jr. According to his mother and other relatives, Ronnie Paris, Jr., repeatedly slammed his son into walls, slapped the child's head, and "boxed" him because he was concerned the child was gay and would grow up a sissy. Paris was sentenced to thirty years in prison.[160



now imagine you are the mother of that little boy.how can anybody honestly think that this attitude is acceptable? gay people are hurting NOONE. why can't they get the same back?

Dana - posted on 10/03/2010

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I would really like to know why Christians seem to be the only ones who think being gay is a choice too. Any Christians have an answer for that one?

Dana - posted on 10/03/2010

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Heather it has been proven though, people just refuse to see it. And why do you say bi-sexual's choose to like men and women? They're just attracted to both, they don't choose either.



*Edited to add, do you honestly think you can choose all of a sudden to like vagina's?

Rosie - posted on 10/03/2010

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i won't respect an alternate opinion on this one, sorry. too many people have been killed, or have convinced themselves that their homosexuality is something to be ashamed of because of attitudes like this, and they end up killing themselves. it's completely excusing bigotry and it's fucking ridiculous. i refuse to excuse someone else perpetuating hate, can't do it.

Heather - posted on 10/03/2010

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I really hate threads like these bc the second anyone says that it's possibly a choice for some(which is what Christina said originally) everybody bashes that person and calls them a homophobe and cries to the ignorance of Christians. Why can't people be born gay AND choose to be gay. There are bisexuals out there who were born straight and decide they like men/women as well...I just don't feel like it's fair to put up a post like this and then turn it into an attack of everyone who doesn't agree. My personal opinion doesn't matter bc the fact is, whether someone's born gay or chooses to be gay, THEY'RE GAY! Who cares? Nothing's been proven on either side, so every study done or interview made is just that. It's not proof that every person is the same. EVERYBODY needs to chill out and have respect for an alternate opinion, even if you don't agree.

Rosie - posted on 10/03/2010

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christina, how is someone who is gay saying to you that it's not a choice not evidence? how do i know you're straight? you could've been born homosexual and had some early life experience that turned you straight! do you see how ridiculous this sounds? and yes i know you feel attacked, but come on! open your eyes, stop letting some religious dogma keep you from seeing what is right in front of you. it's very unsettling to say the least. and if you believe that accepting homosexuality would make you somewhat less of a christian, i suggest you go read your bible a bit more. i thought that to be a christian you simply had to believe in god. never does it state having compassion for your fellow human beings is a sin. plenty of people can believe in god, and still think homosexuality is perfectly acceptable. what concern is this of yours anyway? what does someone else loving someone of the same sex have ANYTHING to do with you, or your faith in god?

[deleted account]

********Mod Warning*********
Please all remember the guidelines of COM. Back on topic people!

Kimberly - posted on 10/03/2010

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I had no idea that this would cause Christina to send me personal messages cursing me out but it has been a good one.

Dana - posted on 10/03/2010

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Kate don't you know that using rats for research is A-okay unless you're using it to tell someone their whole mind-set is wrong. Then...heaven forbid...

Dana - posted on 10/03/2010

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Seriously Christina there is evidence that people are born gay ALL AROUND. You just refuse to read it or research it yourself. Which is why people remain ignorant on the matter.
And of course you can have a differing opinion, you just happen to have a misinformed one. And I hope to God, we don't have to debate this topic much further into the future but, I imagine there will always be people who ignore facts and choose to remain ignorant.

C. - posted on 10/03/2010

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I may just do that, Sharon. Thanks for the suggestion. I am willing to open my mind if it needs to come to that.

[deleted account]

Christina, in all seriousness, you may want to observe on the Lesbian Moms board to gain a different perspective.

?? - posted on 10/03/2010

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I think that a reason SOME people cling to the idea that it's a choice, is because they're scared shitless of the possibility that their child could be born a homosexual. They (themselves) are scared shitless that they will have to deal with ridicule and hate from the people they know who spew hatred towards gay people because of their religious beliefs or their own insecurities in their own sexuality.

C. - posted on 10/03/2010

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Oh my GOD! Heaven forbid someone have a differing opinion around here! Good grief. None of you have shown concrete evidence supporting the theory that people are born gay, therefore I do not feel bad about not showing concrete evidence myself. This is something that is most likely ALWAYS going to be debated with people on both sides.

[deleted account]

This is really rubbing me the wrong way! For those outside of the U.S., there has been a serious string of teenage suicides because they were outed as being gay. It's been on the Internet, and viral on Facebook. So for someone to make the statement that people CHOSE to be gay is sickening! For all of you anti-homos out there, I PRAY that in 10 years from now, that if your child does have feelings for someone of the same gender that you will be compassionate and accepting, as opposed to driving your child toward suicide because of your hateful feelings towards gays. No one CHOSES this lifestyle!

La - posted on 10/03/2010

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If anyone is interested in seeing the show about testosterone that I was referencing it is on the National Geographic channel and it is called Explorer: testosterone Factor. I tried to find the complete episode online but could only find this 3 min clip



edited to add that after watching this show I definitely think that testosterone exposure plays a part in the physiology of homosexuality

Krista - posted on 10/03/2010

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He hasn't been exposed to gayness except when it comes to the teachings of his church and family.

...must....resist....snarky comment....about clergy.....

Dana - posted on 10/03/2010

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That's really sad, Tara, that he has decided to live that way. I grew up with a neighbor who was the exact same way. Thankfully, much later in life he accepted that it is who he is and so he has a partner.

Tara - posted on 10/03/2010

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yep and i think the only influence your upbringing, your environment, media and school etc. have are on how the person in question feels about their gayness.

For example.
I know a very right wing christian family who have always homeschooled, hung around other similar families, watched only "appropriate" tv, music. etc. etc. but they have one son out of a family of 3 boys and 1 girl who is and always has been gay.
He is now 15 and has recently come out to his family. It's been very very hard for them. He has had no gay influences in his life ever. He has never been sexually abused or manipulated. He hasn't been exposed to gayness except when it comes to the teachings of his church and family. He is a devout christian and is choosing a path that goes down the religious lines. He would never CHOOSE this. But he has accepted that this is who he is. He feels it would be a sin for him to act on his gayness and have a relationship but he says he is fine with being quietly gay. He wanted his family to know so they would stop thinking he would get married one day and have kids.
Weird but so not his choice.

Kimberly - posted on 10/03/2010

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"I think a huge part of it is learned behavior. Either they see it on TV, their parents had a lot of gay friends that were around all the time, etc."



You poor dear. I have to snicker at the unfortunate ignorance of this statement. Back when my brother-in-law was growing up, there were no "gay" programs on television nor did his mother have a multitude of gay friends over to the house all the time. His two brothers, one older and one younger, tried to rough him up and force sports on him and he was just an innocent little kid that didn't even know what the concept of "gay" was. That is so offensive to suggest.

Petra - posted on 10/03/2010

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Christina - if you've gone so far as to ask your friends if they were born that way or if they chose to be that way, then it most definitely is an issue as you sought clarification for the reasons behind their sexuality. If it really didn't bother you or matter to you, or if you didn't see it as a defining difference, you wouldn't need to ask. Ever ask your straight friends why they're straight? No? Maybe because heterosexuality isn't an issue to you. Homosexuality clearly is.

?? - posted on 10/03/2010

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Being homosexual is not a choice.

Having blue eyes is not a choice.

Having size 18 feet is not a choice.

Having 2 ears, 2 eyes, a nose and a mouth is not a choice.



Being ignorant and intolerant, those are choices.

Krista - posted on 10/03/2010

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I think a huge part of it is learned behavior. Either they see it on TV, their parents had a lot of gay friends that were around all the time, etc.



The thing is, though, we're talking about three different things here.



1. Consciously choosing to be gay.

2. Subconsciously becoming gay due to early influences.

3. Being born gay.



I think that the first one is flat-out ridiculous. No formerly straight adult is going to sit down one day and say, "Huh...I think I'll be gay now, despite my never before now having an interest in my own gender."



The second one, I CAN understand why some people would hold that theory (and if I'm not mistaken, I think that's the theory you hold, Christina?) The problem with that theory, however, is that there are too many holes in it. There were plenty of gay people around long before the advent of TV. We just never heard about them because they were all closeted. And there are plenty of gay people around who never knew another gay person until long after their own knowledge of their sexuality.



If it was ALL nurture, then why are there physiological differences between gay men and straight men? Why would straight people have gay siblings?



This is some interesting information, too:



While biologists look at hormones for answers about human sexuality, other scientists are looking for patterns in statistics. And hard as this is to believe, they have found something they call "the older brother effect."



"The more older brothers a man has, the greater that man's chance of being gay," says Bailey.



Asked if that's true, Bailey says, "That is absolutely true."



If this comes as a shock to you, you’re not alone. But it turns out, it’s one of the most solid findings in this field, demonstrated in study after study.



And the numbers are significant: for every older brother a man has, his chances of being gay increase by one third. Older sisters make no difference, and there's no corresponding effect for lesbians. A first-born son has about a 2 percent chance of being gay, and the numbers rise from there. The theory is it happens in the womb.



"Somehow, the mother's body is remembering how many boys she's carried before," says Breedlove. "The favorite hypothesis is that the mother may be making antibodies when she sees a boy the first time, and then affect subsequent boys when she carries them in utero."



"You mean, like she's carrying a foreign substance?" Stahl asked.



"And if you think about it, a woman who's carrying a son for the first time, she is carrying a foreign substance," Breedlove replied. "There are some proteins encoded on his Y chromosome that her body has never seen before and that her immune system would be expected to regard as 'invaders,'" he added.




And the REALLY weird thing?



"One of the things we've only found out lately is that older brothers affect a boy only if the boy is right-handed," Breedlove said. "If the boy is left-handed, if his brain is organized in a left-handed fashion, it doesn't matter how many older brothers he has, his probability of being gay is just like the rest of the population."



So to chalk it up as "a choice" is beyond simplistic. There are so many possible factors that go into the determination of a human being's sexuality. There are genes, there are hormones, there are other in utero factors, and yes, it could be that if a child is born with bisexual tendencies, that their environment will influence them one way or the other. But if a child is born straight as an arrow, no number of gay uncles will "turn" the kid gay.

Dana - posted on 10/03/2010

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The only people that have a choice are bi-sexual's. Sometimes I wonder if people who are actually bi-sexual think it's a choice. ;)



*Edited to add* that makes as much sense to me as the next person saying homosexuality is a choice.

La - posted on 10/03/2010

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I saw a show about the effects of testosterone exposure during fetal development and it basically said that fetuses exposed to more testosterone were more inclined to like "male things" such as trucks and cars and fetuses exposed to less testosterone were more inclined to like "female things" such as dolls and care taking games. Perhaps this lends to why people are"wired" to be attracted to either men or women.

Petra - posted on 10/03/2010

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If you really need to make the distinction then you obviously can't accept that homosexuality is just as real as heterosexuality, as well as bisexuality. If you have to ask someone why they would endure being mocked, beaten, bullied and suffer discrimination at every turn then you are failing to see that it is NOT a matter of choice. Black people were subjected to the same treatment and it wasn't a matter of choice any more than it was a matter of biology - it was arbitrary judgment, cruelty and discrimination by people who couldn't accept someone simply as they are. People choose to make it an issue and need to attribute it to something so that they can be more comfortable with their judgments about it. I get really fucking sick of hearing things like, "its not his fault, he was born that way". Really, it's a matter of personal or biological fault? More and more evidence is coming out about the physiological nature of homosexuality because of the need to prove to small-minded bigots that it is not a matter of choice, and to lessen the guilt that a lot of homosexuals feel because they've had it beaten into their heads that it is their "fault". If people could just accept that sexuality isn't a one-trick pony and that everyone who falls somewhere outside of the strictly hetero category is not a deviant, it wouldn't be an issue, as it shouldn't.

Sharon - posted on 10/03/2010

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Damn Christina you are so wrong.

So your small select group of drama mongering "gay" friends offer up specious statements about "choosing" to be gay means jack crap in the evidence of brain scans proving that homosexuals are wired differently.

How does NOT finding the opposite sex attractive and finding your own sex sexually appealing constitute a choice?

And to me - a homosexual person saying "I knew from a young age ..." carries a shit load more weight than your oppressed "gay" friends making a statement in an environment that CLEARLY does not welcome openly gay people.

I dunno about you - but growing up "gay" was not featured on tv. When I got older, when it was featured, it was NOT featured in a positive light. Gays were stereotyped and mocked. Who in their right damned mind would "choose" that?

[deleted account]

"I think a huge part of it is learned behavior. Either they see it on TV, their parents had a lot of gay friends that were around all the time, etc".

I'm am FLOORED with this statement! Sorry, but a kid does not LEARN how to be gay because they see it as modeled behavior. Yup, I'll come right out and say what a sad, and sheltered immature statement.

C. - posted on 10/03/2010

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@Petra.. I never once said my friends' gayness was an issue. ??

@Krista.. My friends don't tell me what *I* like. They know I support the fact that they're gay- they have no reason to lie to me about it.

I get that ("but anecdotal evidence is NOT data"). I also get that some people say they knew from a very early age. But knowing from a very early age doesn't necessarily mean they were born that way, does it? Of course not. Partly why I choose to believe that people choose to be gay. Just them saying they knew from an early age really doesn't mean anything. I'm not saying this WOULD happen, but suppose someone started saying that just so they wouldn't get beat up and it just caught on? I suppose that could be a possibility. Not very probable, but it's not impossible. I have yet to see concrete evidence that proves people are born this way.

Back to the knowing from an early age (just had a thought and didn't want to mess up the rest of the post). Children know from an early age how to pick boogers.. Doesn't mean they were born to know how. Many children potty train at an early age.. Doesn't mean they knew how to use a toilet at birth. Do you see what I'm trying to get at, or is this just lack of sleep that makes this make perfect sense to me? Honest question, BTW.

I think a huge part of it is learned behavior. Either they see it on TV, their parents had a lot of gay friends that were around all the time, etc.

One of my sister's dearest friends is gay. When he was very young, his male neighbor (not too much older than he was) sexually abused him. He dated girls for years and years, only to discover one day that he liked men. I think it has more to do with learning that type of behavior than being born with it. That's my opinion, and I get that you all think people are born that way. I was just trying to further explain my stance on the subject.

Dana - posted on 10/03/2010

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Exactly, Sharon C-F I don't think people really think that far into it, I think they're just "surface thinking" Hence, me saying they're ignorant.

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