Choice And Sexuality
Questions and Answers
2013 and 2014 have been huge years in the world of Equality and general LGBT rights changes, the world is debating the issue of Marriage Equality. The Supreme Court are considering overturning the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and whether the decision on Marriage Equality should be a Federal Law or a State Law, in the United States. In New Zealand, 2013 marked the beginning of Marriage Equality after the passing of the Marriage Amendment Bill into law. The French are debated the same issue, with violent outcomes for some gay couples, however granted equal marriage rights to their LGBT in the end. Russia has passed a controversial "Gay Propaganda" law, and The Netherlands has shown Russian President Vladimir Putin just what they think of him on his recent visit (Netherlands being a country that legalized SS Marriage years ago), as did the rest of the world during the recent Sochi Olympics
Regardless of what your stance on the issue is, you cannot deny it has become a hot topic in the recent months. For some, this is an exciting time, where marriage equality may give them the right to marry the one they love and have been with for 50 years. For others, it is a disturbing time, feeling that "traditional marriage" is being destroyed, and claiming that a lifestyle choice should not be given rights.
Here in lies the topic of this hub - Is sexuality a choice? If so, when do most people make this choice - to be straight, gay, or bisexual? Why do they make this choice? Is it innate?
What Hubbers Say
In order to answer this question, I posed it to my fellow hubbers over 3 weeks prior to starting this article. During this time, many people have replied and discussed the answers given by others. Unfortunately, the people (whom I recognize by HP name) whom I have come across on HubPages who were adamant that sexuality was most definitely a 'choice', did not take this opportunity to make their case heard in an arena where their answer would not have been seen as disrespectful, or homophobic.
There were several different answers - from "No, not a choice." to "Possibly inherent, but I personally chose." The question was open to people of all sexual orientations - straight, gay, lesbian, bi, trans, asexual. Many who answered this question clarified that they were straight, but did not choose this as their sexuality, it just was. Others were gay and one Hubber acknowledged that they were asexual.
Choices, Choices, Choices
It was mooted by one hubber than perhaps sexuality itself is not a choice, but that the acting on of sexual attraction. An interesting way to look at this topic. In this particular case, the hubber was not trying to say either was wrong or right, but that the choice was in the acting upon it. As a human being, I am certain there are people out there who identify along all aspects of the sexuality spectrum who choose not to act upone certain desires and attractions that they may have. This is totally their decision, and I applaud their conviction in this area.
However, it is unfortunately a stance used by many of those who consider sexuality a choice, and are against people being or acting homosexual. The "Love the sinner, hate the sin" argument often uses this theory - Being homosexual itself is not wrong, however having homosexual intercourse is. This theory means that a person can be homosexual but never act upon it - a life of celibacy, or sexual relations with persons whom they are not attracted to in the slightest.
An opinion on this is that it is often used by people who do not like the idea of homosexual sexual relations - It's fine to be gay, just don't do gay things! Why? Because it makes them uncomfortable, or "God says it's wrong" etc. Unfortunately, in these cases, it is not the homosexual person making the choice, but the person who is 'against' them forcing decisions upon the person.
It Takes Work
The sole Asexual hubber that replied to the question stated that they personally made the decision to be as such - squelching all sexual feelings until they felt nothing after watching their friends and family go through puberty and turn 'crazy' - they decided they were not missing anything. Even now, as a married person, they are what they term 'demi-sexual" - only having sexual attraction to their marriage partner and no one else. So in essence, they did make the choice - not so much in the gender of their partner, but that they had one at all.
Another Hubber identified as pansexual - that is a person who finds attraction in male, female and intersex (including transgender) people - stated that they had a choice. But that this choice was not about who they were attracted to - there was no choice there. It was more about looking for love online - which "gender" do I put down that I want to find?
16 of the 18 answers to the question "When Did You Choose?" stated that for them, sexuality was not a choice and never had been.
Of the two others - One was the Asexual person discussed earlier.
Another stated categorically "I think it's a mixture of a lot of thing. Some of which are environment, peers, upbringing and of course choice" . However, when asked politely if they wished to elaborate, they declined to do so, so I am not completely sure why they think it is a choice, when they made their choice, or how they did that in order to come to the certainty that it is a choice.
So, as you can see, the majority of those who answered the question "When Did You Choose?", believe that sexuality, regardless of what sexuality you identify with, is not a choice but something that is within us from birth.
Unfortunately, those whom I've spoken with who believe it is a choice did not take the opportunity to answer the question and elaborate on why they believe. One person elaborated, and I am thankful for their input. Another provided an answer to a question that wasn't asked - which was "is it a Choice?" - and declined to elaborate on their answer to clarify their position. If those who believe that sexuality is a choice had answered, we would have an answer as to how they came to their conclusions, and perhaps an understanding of each others opinion. Therefore it is saddening that they did not choose to participate.
However, it has simulated further questions for me:
- For those who believe it is a choice - is it merely that they believe homosexuality is a choice, not heterosexuality? Eg, they didn't choose because they were born that way, and gay people have been lead astray?
- Since when did it become a bad thing to be different, and why do we strive to make others feel awful for being different to us? Particularly if they are a minority and do/are something we dislike?
I'm afraid, due to the lack of response from those people to my original question, these new questions will never have answers - as they appear hesitant to answer.
Thanks to those who provided answers, I do hope that I have done them justice. I thank you all for your honesty and openess in answering my questions.