Nature vs. Nurture: Homosexuality

Topics: Homosexuality, Sexual orientation, Heterosexuality Pages: 6 (1995 words) Published: August 28, 2013
'We do not even in the least know the final cause of sexuality. The whole subject is hidden in darkness’; this is a quote by Charles Darwin which illustrates the fact that your sexual orientation is unknown- this suggests that homosexuality is evolved through the upbringing and personal experiences. Many Social Theorists agree with this and they argue that Nurture is the main factor when considering the reasons behind human sexuality. They also suspect that upbringing and parental and family dynamics has a direct effect on a child's sexuality. However, Biological theorists disagree and say that humans are born with a 'gay gene', meaning that genetics are the reasoning behind sexual orientation meaning that we are born with our sexual preference. In this essay, I will discuss the main factors when considering what causes sexual orientation, this essay will however not debate whether homosexuality is right or wrong but rather to establish an understanding of the biological and social theories surrounding the cause of homosexuality.

Firstly, I will discuss the views of many Biological Theorists, who think the main factor when considering sexual orientation is the 'gay gene'- this means that nature meaning that genetics have a direct influence on an individual’s behaviour, meaning that we can't control our sexuality. This leaves us asking the question, is the 'gay gene' passed on throughout a family? Yes, this is the case- did you know that if two male twins are born and one is gay there is a 70% chance the other is also. In our body, everyone has a recessive 'gay' gene- during pregnancy your mother and father both pass on their genes to their children- many biological theories suggest that if only one gene recessive gene is passed on it causes homosexuality meaning people with two recessive genes are straight. Research is usually carried out by twins who have the same genetic information- an example for the effect of the genetic influence on human behaviour, Biologist's carried out an experiment on identical twins Gerald Levey and Mark Newman. According to Wade and Tavris(the researchers) , these two twins were separated at a very early stage in their life’s, they were brought up in different cities, and a completely different family dynamic with different personal experiences. What the researchers found out was that both of them have many similarities, they are both bachelors and have the same job as fire-fighters, even have the same hobbies and favourite food, they were also both straight. So from this study, it can be concluded that genetic influence does play a part in the development of human.

Moreover, biologists have found many noticeable differences between gay and straight people. Usually gay people tend to be left-handed, also length of limbs and hands of gay men are smaller compared to the length of the general population. The first published study that indicated a possible biological role for homosexuality came from Simon LeVay, who was at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California. In 1991, Dr. LeVay reported subtle differences between the brains of homosexual and heterosexual men . LeVay measured a particular region of the brain in post-mortem tissue of three distinct groups: (1) women; (2) men who were presumed to be heterosexual; (3) and homosexual men. LeVay reported that clusters of these neurons in homosexual men were the same size as clusters in women, both of which were significantly smaller than clusters in heterosexual men. LeVay reported that the nuclei were “more than twice as large in the heterosexual men as in the women. It was also, however, more than twice as large in the heterosexual men as in the homosexual men”. This difference was interpreted as strong evidence of a biological link to homosexuality. LeVay’s assumption was that homosexual urges can be biologically based.

Furthermore, ten years after Simon LeVay’s report, a group led by Dean H. Hamer of the...
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