[Paper] What makes a homosexual, homosexual

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by EV0LUTION, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. EV0LUTION macrumors 6502

    EV0LUTION

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    #1
    I'm a little apprehensive about posting this thread as it is a very touchy issue for some, so here we go. Today I received my final paper topic for psyc 1 by email. I don't like the topic but I have about a 5% chance of getting a new one, so I'm going to stick with it.

    I have - like the majority of you - come to understand that you don't turn homosexual, but are born homosexual. However, I'm assuming that the topic wants me to dive a lot farther than just saying your born that way, and move research the way of birth order, sibling ratio, the way the person was raised, and childhood experiences.

    I have already found several articles on the topic, but It always helps if I have some input from a large pool of people. So I'm extending my topic question onto you guys, What makes a homosexual, homosexual?
     
  2. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #2
    I don't think you'll find any evidence that suggests one can be coerced or influenced when it comes to sexuality.

    Granted childhood experiences can produce turnoffs or turnons, but that's not the same as the gender you find attractive.

    What I find curious is that a Psyche 101 class is asking you to delve into the realm of genetics and human development with such an emphasis on science. Are you sure the prompt doesn't ask you to focus on something else? It's very unusual for an entry level psychology course.
     
  3. Vivid.Inferno macrumors 6502

    Vivid.Inferno

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    #3
    I am a 19 year old homosexual male from Canada. I did not make a conscious decision to like someone of my own sex (no more then heterosexuals choose to like someone of the opposite gender). As for the circumstances of my upbringing:

    - My father passed away when I was 5, after spending 4 years in the hospital
    - My mom remarried when I was 6
    - My grandmother and most of her family are strict Lutherans
    - I live in a small hick town (where I have been assulted [I hate to press charges for hate crimes] and went to a small High School)

    I don't really know what else to tell you. If you need more information you can email me. My half sister is straight (you mentioned sibling ratios).

    You can PM me with questions if you want too.
     
  4. EV0LUTION thread starter macrumors 6502

    EV0LUTION

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    #4
    I feel the exact same way and will be taking it up with my professor on Tuesday. I may be reading into the topic the wrong way, but if I'm not it's better safe than sorry.

    We did have a section on Sexuality

    Thank you very much for the information.
     
  5. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #5
    Can you post your prompt in this thread? :)

    We might be better able to help you if you do. :)
     
  6. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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  7. EV0LUTION thread starter macrumors 6502

    EV0LUTION

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    #7
    No he does not, At least that's what I took from the lectures.

    For anyone who is interested this is what was in the email.

    I'm hoping I can get the topic changed, but my professor doesn't normally allow a student to have his topic changed.
     
  8. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #8
    Well for starters, I wouldn't try to delve too deeply into the genetics. This is an intro class, and I doubt your professors wants you to be mapping genes. :p

    That said, a good basic guide to genetics and homosexuality can be found in the book Genome. One of the chapters (I don't remember which right now) discusses an evolutionary advantage to male homosexuality (namely the production of breast milk in the mother).

    It's only a junior high level book, so I wouldn't rely on it too much (plus it's quite old now), but it can be a good place to get some very basic understanding of genetics and homosexuality.

    Beyond that, I suggest you use your university's database subscription to find the latest information on the genetics of homosexuality (you could literally search for the terms "gay gene").

    Newer studies have also focused a lot on womb temperature and conditions, since there has been some correlation found in this area.

    What you won't find from any reputable scientific study is social influence. We can't be forced into being attracted to something, no matter how hard someone might try.
     
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #9
    In the sense that the gay bashers think, no, but I think the dominant view among geneticists, neurobiologists, and psychologists is that it is an epigenetic process, and that there are probably milieu variables like access to resources, social grouping sizes, the nature of basic resource acquisition among the group of people involved, etc, that probably do play a role in the epigenesis, in addition to more basic factors like womb temperature.

    This seems like a fairly good starting point for that...

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15645181
     
  10. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #10
    That was the line of thinking I was going after.

    Preaching to the choir here (I keep up with this stuff as much as possible), but I don't think a Psych 101 paper needs to be that in depth, so I didn't want to go down that road.
     
  11. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #11
    If you don't push 'em, they don't learn nothin'! :p
     
  12. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #12
    True enough! :p

    OP, I think some twin studies might also help here. They are usually the most direct source of genetic correlation, and with homosexuality they are a big help to the novice researcher.
     
  13. teflon macrumors 6502a

    teflon

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    #13
    Maybe the question meant what are the characteristics of a homosexual? Like what makes you, you type of things? Otherwise, this seems like an odd topic from a professor who doesn't think it's a choice, and for a first year course.
     
  14. iParis macrumors 68040

    iParis

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    #14
    Well I am bi and certainly didn't choose that.
    In case this helps you write your paper...
    - I have never lived with my dad.
    - I only live with my mom and sister.
    - My mom shielded me from the world most of my life.
    - The majority of my friends are girls.
     
  15. jmann macrumors 604

    jmann

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    #15
    Here is something to shake things up genetic-wise. I am a gay 19 year old male, and I have an identical twin that is gay too. Before either one of us came out we never even talked about what we were going through to each other, even though we were dealing with the same emotions. In my case I think my homosexuality is very related to genetics. :D
     
  16. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #16
    I'm wondering if he isn't looking for something along the lines of "is it thought or deed that makes someone homosexual"; ie. can you be a homosexual if you do not have homosexual sex, or if you experiment, or something like that.

    Weird, I know; but the alternatives seem weirder for a psych intro class. :confused:
     
  17. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    #17
    It's an interesting topic for psych though, because you can compare this rather touchy topic with so many other psych related personality development topics. Which parts of you are set at conception (genetics), which are set after pregnancy, which are set after the first few early years and which form in childhood or teens. You can pull in all sorts of different development theories, like for instance Eriksson's stages of social development of the human psyche.

    Edit: The highly unreliable source of Queer as Folk claimed that all serious research on the topic pointed to sexual orientation being set by the age of six, or something like that.
     
  18. iParis macrumors 68040

    iParis

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    #18
    Here are a couple things I'd like to add.
    - I grew up a Catholic.
    - I'm a 16 year old male.
    - My uncle is gay; everybody says I act just like him.
     
  19. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    #19
    You might want to look into how homosexual tendencies are observed in many of our animal species. Quite a few studies have been done on the topic.

    jon
     
  20. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #20
    You're not going to find any evidence from of psychological profile standpoint to indicate sexuality, because it simply doesn't exist.

    I was first born, my parents are still together, I was a jock in high school, and I had two brothers. I'm not super close to either parent though. None of us really see eye to eye on a lot of things- although, they're really beginning to come around. They've made so much progress it's amazing.

    Isn't it funny? My profile is almost the opposite of yours.
     
  21. Ivan P macrumors 68030

    Ivan P

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    #21
    Like the other people that have given information in this topic, I've had very little time with my father. He lives in the same house as me, but I've found I never talk to him and my role models tend to be my sister and my mother.
    My whole life I've found that I seem more comfortable becoming friends with girls, and in 17 years I've only had one really good male friend...who happens to be my partner.
    I don't know why but I've just always found guys to be fascinating and that girls are just better as 'friends'... I definitely know it's something that I cannot change because I've had my share of girlfriends while under the impression that it will make me straight; that's clearly not the case.
    A great piece of evidence to the fact that it isn't a choice someone makes is the fact that homosexuals still do not have the same rights as straight people in some regards - most places gays cannot be married and gays cannot have children or adopt. If it was a choice I'm sure most, if not all people, would decide to be straight so that they did have the same rights. If that was the case I'm not sure what I would choose though, because now that I'm out, I can say with certainty that I like being 'different'. I'm not one of those people that is in-your-face flamboyant, and I haven't even discussed my sexuality with anyone after coming out, but I honestly wouldn't change anything about who I am.
     
  22. iParis macrumors 68040

    iParis

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    #22
    That is funny, and a little ironic.
     
  23. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #23
    So strange- I know that all the "Christians" want to claim that this is why men are gay, but my experience was just the opposite. I always liked hanging out with guys much more. My best friends are guys, straight and gay. I only have a few girls I like to hangout with, and many of them are lesbians, and of the "bull dyke" variety.
     
  24. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #24
    Only the idiots. How people can think that is beyond me as if hanging out with girls more is going to make you gay. Maybe they are just jealous of the fact that they don't get the female attention they crave?
     
  25. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #25
    Stranger still is that I make good friends with both straight men and women (and teh gay ones too, but we're not talking about that now :p), and end up being the relationship guru because I talk to both parties in their language.

    We come in all different flavors! :)
     

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