Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Is homosexuality a choice?

This piece in The Guardian-

If we wanted to be straight, we would be

is a good example of how it is not just some on the Right who have a problem with evolution. There is still a strong social constructivist streak in many on the Left -
Attempts to identify a genetic basis for homosexuality refuse to accept that sexual desire is a social construct.
I was talking to a friend recently who is active in gay politics and we were talking about this issue. I gave a brief evolutionary psychology perspective but he brought up a point I had not considered.

Would people be less set in the sexual identity if there was no social pressure to be heterosexual? A mild form of social constructivism. So if, say, some one is inherently 80% gay, they may find themselves not exploring the other 20% because of a form of tribal loyalty.

I'm not convinced that this would make much of a difference. Many people go through a period of sexual exploration but finally settle down one way or the other.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there was nothing genetic encouraging us to be heterosexual we would all be bisexual.
So there must be some heterosexual gene - bisexuality could just be the absence of that gene, homosexuality might be a result of the fact that like attracts like - but there probably is somthing more specific.
GNZ

15 December 2004 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger Greyshade said...

If homosexuality is a choice then so ipso facto is heterosexuality and I don't personally remember ever making that choice. of course it might be a choice for some. In the highly artificial environment of "no social constraints" it's likely that most humans would experiment with a variety of sexual partners from both sexes and several species but we'd probably still form long-term relationships with the partners we raise our families with.

Evolution isn't going to shed that much light on human sexuality given that we practice a form of child-rearing that is associated with monogamy in any other animal species but our closest living relatives practise polygyny (gorilla), promiscuity (chimpanzee) and hyperpromiscuity (bonobo) respectively.

18 December 2004 at 10:31 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home