Homosexuality – The Difference Between a Genetic Pre-disposition and a Trait

I posted a link to a report about how mice were made grow up as lesbians by the deletion of a specific gene during fetal development. I claimed that it was another blow to the anti-homosexual crowd.

I got a response that said that plenty of people have genetic pre-dispositions to things like alcohol and drug abuse and violence and they manage to control their urges.

This thinking show up one of the most common misunderstanding about homosexuality and sexuality in general. It assumes that homosexuality is just sexual urges for the same sex, but that is a complete misunderstanding.

Being heterosexual myself, I can say for certain that a huge part of who I am and how I identify myself is related to my sexuality, not my sexual urges. I control my sexual urges all the time, otherwise, I’d be chasing after every woman I saw. But it’s my general attraction to women, my relationship with them, far beyond any sexual feeling, that help define who I am as a person. I’m a husband, so my general attraction to women is channeled into my relationship with my wife, which is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever experienced. Even if I, for some reason, could never have sex again, I’d still define myself as a man attracted to women, who enjoys the company of women, who is still a husband. So my capacity to have sex doesn’t change the fundamental concept of who I am, a heterosexual man. And this sexual indentification colors my entire life and is as much a part of me as my heart, lungs and limbs.

The same holds true of homosexuals. They are much more than their sexual urges. These sexual urges they can control, just as heterosexuals can. But in their case that attraction, the core concept of who they are expresses itself in being attracted to someone of the same sex. They just find them attractive just as naturally as I do the opposite sex.

That attraction is not an urge, it just is. And more and more physiological studies show that our sexuality is determine in the womb by not yet well understood genetic and possibly other factors.

I think we need to make this distinction about a person’s sexuality clear and stop using the phrase “sexual preference”. The gender that you are attracted to is no more a preference that is the color of your skin or the shape of your head or the dimple in your chin, or lack thereof.

Urges come and go, but our sexuality is formed before we even have sexual urges and it stays with us always. To condemn someone for being homosexual is the same as condemning them for having dark skin, or being a woman. Those things are just part of who they are.


3 thoughts on “Homosexuality – The Difference Between a Genetic Pre-disposition and a Trait

  1. !!

    Your resident gay lurker is going to chime in here to say: yes.

    There is a pithy truism in circulation among the gays, used in response to those who would have us stop having gay sex in order to stop being gay: I can hold my breath, but it won’t make me an ex-breather.

  2. Not just genetics, either. There is actually stronger evidence when it comes to hormones and brain development. Both male and female rats that received a testosterone (females) or estrogen (males) in utero at a critical point of development instead of the estrogen they were supposed to receive displayed homosexual behavior later in life. I forgot which day, but there is point very early in embryonic development where a flood of hormones helps differentiate sexual characteristics. If the hormones are off, then that can cause homosexuality, so there is double evidence.

    The genetic evidence I’ve read is usually kind of weak, but that could always change. I couldn’t find the link you were talking about to see if it was something new or not.

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