Are You Born Gay

Topics: Homosexuality, Sexual orientation, LGBT Pages: 2 (564 words) Published: July 9, 2009
This question is one that has sparked controversy among gays, lesbians and their supporters or friends. In the debate over the origin of sexual orientation, people have presented a variety of arguments for possible causes, ranging from genetic predisposition to individual choices about lifestyle to environmental factors. People’s views regarding gay civil rights do not necessarily indicate which of these possible causes they believe is the "right" one. The fundamental question remains, however, “why are we having this debate in the first place?” Questions about the biological basis of sexual orientation became an issue about a century ago when the British sexual liberators Havelock Ellis and Edward Carpenter argued that laws against same sex sexual activities should be dropped because people engaging in such activities were biologically different from those with opposite-sex partners, they called such people "inverts". The use of the word "homosexual" as a noun designating a certain kind of person, rather than an adjective referring to specific activities, dates from that period. However, the creation of this new, presumably biological, typology did nothing to reduce prejudice. Sexual orientation, like any other human behavior, is experienced in complex and variable ways, which possibly are influenced by both biological and societal factors. Some argue that a genetic component to sexual orientation will reduce discrimination. Yet, in our society, people are also subjected to discrimination on the basis of differences in biology, e.g.: sex, skin color, and culture, e.g.: ethnicity, religion; in different jurisdictions, various degrees of legal protection are provided or lacking against both of these types of discrimination. Rather than seeking a biology based defense against discrimination, it would be more productive to try to understand why some people find it useful to attribute genetic causes to behaviors. Attributing sexual orientation to genes appeals to...
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