Homosexuality: Environment vs. Genetics

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Kalene Needham
Wear
20 May 2011
AP Lang and Comp
Homosexuality: Environment vs. Genetics
In 1992, Vice-President Dan Quayle said that homosexuality "is more of a choice than a biological situation...It is a wrong choice." (PBS). Quayle's statement counters the sentiment of many homosexuals that their sexual orientation is neither a lifestyle nor a personal choice, it is innate and unchangeable. The question as to whether homosexuals are born gay, or through some experience or mere choice, choose to be that way is one that has brought about a significant amount of conflict throughout the last decade. There is a common belief according to liberals that people are either born gay or straight. Conservatives believe that sexual orientation is actually a choice made by the individual. Much of the current media presume that the answer to the question is a solved scientific problem in which all evidence points to a biological, most likely genetic, basis for a homosexual orientation. However this question has been researched very lightly, yet there is still evidence defending both sides. Also, many of the studies that have led people and the media to believe that sexual orientation has a biological basis, have been contradicted later by more in depth studies. The evidence covers 2 major studies; studies pertaining to the human brain including the possible differences in hormonal influences, and how environmental factors such as abusive childhood experiences can affect sexual orientation. Until recently, sexual orientation was simply deemed sexual preference. The two clearly have very different meanings which has led the term to be considered politically incorrect since the two terms vary largely regarding the manner as by which sexuality develops. A preference is a choice, whereas orientation is merely something that defines us and that we have no control over. These differences become important when their rights are put into the hands of the law, separate from...
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