Dept. of English
Is it possible to find the origin to one’s sexuality?
Student: Sean McVey Gillion
Supervisor: Viktoria Lindström
Homosexuals have under the course of history been one of the most heavily criticized groups in society; they have been harassed and declared sinners and as mentally ill for their sexual orientation. Solely for their personal sexual preferences have they been persecuted and murdered. It is understandable that scientific research aiming to discover the origin of homosexuality often is considered unethical, as there are still many religious fundamentalists and other bigoted, biased groups who would use the eventual discoveries to try to eliminate all heterosexual deviation with circumscribing means on individuals.
Today the view on homosexuality has generally improved and homosexuals are widely accepted in most modern societies as homosexuality is considered a normal sexual variety rather than an orientation emerged from evil or mental disorder. However, the question remains – why does homosexuality exist? Is homosexuality genetic or does the environment determine which gender one is attracted to? The purpose of this essay is to try to determine the cause for homosexuality.
3.1 Environmentally linked
The psychological school has since its birth been very interested in homosexuality. It is logical that psychologists working out of a psychodynamic perspective have such an interest in homosexuality with the perspective´s great focus on sexuality´s effect on the human psyche and thereby a certain interest in norm breaking sexuality. These psychologists have been leading the field with research in homosexuality, while there have been other psychologists working out of other perspectives besides the psychodynamic with more objective studies.
A classic explanation from the psychodynamic school is that homosexuality is a result of a dominating and overprotective mother and an absent or negative father, with emphasis on the father, which has a solid statistical basis. According to the theory the father becomes inadequate as a father figure and the boy will therefor have difficulties breaking the early childhoods bond to the mother and as a result of that he will identify with the mother rather than the father, leaving the bond to the mother overly strong. This identification is also enhanced if the mother is dominant. A negative father, for instance a violent one, also has a clear effect - a hatred towards the male nature is created and thereby a denunciation from the male nature. Identification is then made with the mother instead of the father. It is clear that the issue is more distinct with young boys. Out of a psychodynamic perspective, as with other psychologists whom emphasize the environments effect over the genetics, this is a consecutive explanation why exclusive homosexuality is more consistent amongst men.
The social psychological perspective highlights the cultures role in the forming of the human psyche and sexuality. Concerning homosexuality the social psychological school means that it is the culture in which the person was raised in who has made the person attracted to the same sex, rather than the persons genes. They base this on the fact that there does not exist homosexuality at all in several societies shielded from civilization. Acts of homosexual nature does happen but merely as a substitute to heterosexual ones. In some societies homosexual relationships simply does not exist at all.
Arguments for the environment/culture having a greater impact than the genes on the sexual orientation is that it does not evolve in the same way that for example eye colour, which has a direct genetic link, while behavioural patterns are effected by multiple genetic prerequisites which develop differently depending on environment. Sexual behaviour in human beings differs...