I receive an email from one of my trans subscribers. She asked me to discuss my thoughts on the nature versus nurture debate as it pertain to homosexuality. This was an interesting request that I always wanted to talk about but I was reluctant to discuss. One reason is because of my differing views of most trans individuals. I do not think it is solely nature that determines behavior. That would be nice and effective in validating our being to bible thumpers since anything from nature is determine “god given,” but I dont think it is that simple. I am pursuing a masters in psychology so the nature versus nurture debate comes up quite often. I have never been comfortable with tha nature versus nurture debate because I disagree with the word “versus” I dont think it should be there. I feel it a matter of them working together. I think that certain genetic marker make us predisposed for specific behaviors. If our will and environment lend itself to that behavior with less resistance, then that behavior flourishes. If there is resistance, we adapt. The difficulty come with scientifically figuring out to what degree each force has in influencing behavior. This is so variable which makes it possibly impossible to measure.
From a biological standpoint, technology and science has not advanced enough to determine if homosexuality is a biological occurrence. There are studies that lean itself to that notion that people were born homosexual. There have even broken it down to certain areas of DNA. They cant pinpoint the exact gene, but they can pinpoint a specific cluster of genes that may cause it. There are too many unknown elements in most of the studies, therefore not very scientific. Sexuality is a very complex entity. Like genes, no two individuals will have the same genetic make up even twins. So I feel sexuality have various components that I do not think science can break down or no research is being funded in this field. What I do find interesting is how alcoholism and addiction is so readily excepted as genetically based by the public yet homosexuality is not. Both are behaviors but one has that religious based adversaries and the other does not. If we could prove that homosexuality was natural. It would change how homosexual see themselves. It would give them power to fight against the discrimination. Something that is natural is also God given. Therefore it would no longer give people a religious validation for their hate
The psychological perspective tends to imply that the environment plays a major part in homosexuality. I feel that Freudian theory is too deep in the unconscious and can not be measured or studies. I think the subconscious and unknown area of the mind are to mysterious of variable to be scientific on a realistic level. If I had to create a correlation between the perspective, the only one I can see is the connect between homosexuality and parents’ guilt feeling. The parent think that it something they did or how they raised the child that cause the homosexuality. The psychological theories lends itself to make them believe this. Freudian theory always blame the parent or some childhood conflict. I disagree with this perspective.
My own sexuality is simple to me. I am a male to female transsexual. I am attracted to men and sexually arouse by the thought of cunnilingus . The cause of this is beyond my scope of things. History didn’t play a part in my creation but it definitely played a part in how I expressed it. Everything I experienced prior to puberty that was sexual was clandestine. Some element suggest genetics. My dad is gay but I never met him until I was 12 years old. My mother was totally against homosexuals. When she found out that he was gay she totally cut him off from my life prior to my birth. Later on in life however, well after my transition to womanhood, my mother was in a relationship with a butch lesbian for a year. These event make me feel it was genetic on both sides. As far as my environment, I was never molested by men. My mother was molest as child by men so she was extremely overprotective about that. Men could not be alone with me as a child. However she was blind to women, I was fondled by my female babysitters. They would perform oral sex on me as well. I experimented with both my male and female peers. We would do humping with clothes on and oral sex. This started as early as 2 years old when my neighbor daughter who was 5 performed oral sex one me while playing “doctor” I was always aroused with the boys. The experiment with girls were strange, not bad, just strange. As I got older the situation with girls stop occurring and the situation with my male peer continued. I related to being a female prior to the sexual experience but these experience solidified it. Another element of my sexuality is that my family was full of people who hated homosexual yet there were people who were homosexuals in the closet that made sure I knew that they were “different” too and that they loved me. These sentiments came to me before I officially came out. I had been so effeminate that they all just assume that was the case. This made it easier for me to come out knowing that I had support even if it was “our little secret”. So I have elements of nature and elements of environmental influences.
Sexuality is so complex from a world view down to a individual view. I dont think that we will in my life time uncover all the secret that our genes and social environment have on our own sexuality. This comes with time and more research.
- The Pros and Cons of Being a Homosexual (socyberty.com)
- Does bisexual infidelity count? (psychologytoday.com)
- Born Gay? (time.com)