When Did You Choose?

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  1. jlpark profile image80
    jlparkposted 11 years ago

    If you know me, or read my hubs, you'll know I tend to write on Marriage Equality and sexuality issues. Intially I was a little confrontational but in my time with Hubpages I have grown.

    I ask this from a "curious, really would like to know" place, not a "go on prove it to me" place.

    Many people have stated that sexuality is a 'choice' - yet provide no proof or even any ancedotal evidence.  So I have come to this question and would like a discussion on this topic.

    If sexuality is a choice, when did you choose? What made you make the choice? Was it a good experience? A Bad one?

    I ask this of all sexualities - hetero, homo, bi, asexual, pansexual.

    One thing I ask respectfully is that if you disagree with a person, you are welcome to comment, but don't resort to calling people names, liars or otherwise - yes, it's a discussion, but these are personal stories.

    1. Cardisa profile image89
      Cardisaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Good luck with this not turning into a battlefield. I am also curious to hear the answers myself as I have the same issue with people's reasoning about sexuality. I never made a choice. There was no moment when I had an epiphany and thought "I am going to choose men". It doesn't work that way.

      1. jlpark profile image80
        jlparkposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I figure that those who state that sexuality is a choice have been faced with this choice - to be straight or to be gay.  If this is so, I'd like to hear their stories, as they are different to my own.

        I've tried asking this as an 'answer' yet those who continuously tell me it's a 'choice' never come to tell me how they know this. I'm honestly curious.  I do like to hear about people's stories - how they came to the way they are, the opinions they hold.

        Smiles...I know what you mean re: battlefield.  I know it's a controversial topic, but after all this time, I'm actually curious.  I just hope people come and discuss, and HOPEFULLY respect each other.

        Otherwise we may just have to discuss why they haven't come to tell us their story of choice.

        1. Silverspeeder profile image61
          Silverspeederposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          A personal view

          We are born with a sex, male or female according to nature, at birth we function and from then we start to learn, we discover what we like or dislike, we make friends and bonds and some start to discover their
          sexuality. At this point the natural orientation of the body and brain will come through, heterosexuality is the norm as the majority of humans follow this course of life but as with life there will always be differences and as such some humans will be attracted to the same sex. It's not a conscious choice but an in built path.
          I don't believe that being homosexual is the norm, it maybe for those who are but in the big picture it's not the norm but hey some people are gay get over it. Whey should they be treated any differently than anyone else?

          1. jlpark profile image80
            jlparkposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Thanks for that silverspeeder.  Exactly - why should they be treated any different? I don't that we should be treated any differently - regardless of whether it was a choice to be gay, or it wasn't - I acknowledge that SOME people do make a choice, but that most gay people state that they do not make a choice in their attraction.
            I am curious as to how people come to the conclusion it IS a choice and a a CHOICE that all gay people must make.....if they haven't actually had to make a choice themselves...
            Because no one who states this has ever managed to answer me in "answers" or here (yet), we have to assume that they have had to make the choice...or how would they know? Or if they haven't, what makes them thing that we as gay people do??

            I know my own personal story - I know I did not choose. But I know my story is not the same as everyones - so I'm curious.

            Thanks for your thoughts

  2. profile image0
    Motown2Chitownposted 11 years ago

    Hiya, jlpark. 

    Here's my take on this.  I do not believe that one's sexual orientation is a choice.  By that, I mean to whom one is sexually attracted.  I may take some serious flak for this, but I believe that the majority (and I mean the vast majority) of people are ether sexually oriented or they are not.  It cannot be disagreed, however, that we generally experience a stronger attraction to one gender or another.

    What is a choice, IMO, is how we behave based on that innate sexual attraction.  For example, a man may have his head turned by every pretty woman/handsome man he sees, but he is in a committed and monogamous relationship.  Therefore, he chooses not to act on that attraction and bed every pretty woman/handsome man he sees.  He remains sexually faithful to his partner, in many cases for the rest of his/his partner's life. 

    It gets messy when people are taught that any sexual orientation other than one to the opposite gender is simply an abomination.  Then they see anyone different from them as choosing to be different.  And I think personally that those who struggle to accept themselves as anything other than heterosexual are usually among those who have been taught that way and have lived in an environment where they see nothing that even remotely resembles their own feelings and desires.

    I follow the doctrines of a church that officially teaches that the genesis of one's sexual orientation cannot be fully known.  But that church also teaches that any sexual activity outside of marriage is wrong, and so regardless of one's sexual orientation, we are asked to remain celibate unless we are married.  In addition, that church does not recognized homosexual 'marriage' because they do not see any biblical support for it.  BUT - I've been married for nearly five years and until last month, that same church saw my marriage as us 'living in sin' because we had been married in a strictly civil ceremony.  To have my marriage entirely recognized in that church, I had to ask for special permission from the church.

    This is one issue that I believe completely and totally depends on what kind of environment one has been raised in.  In my formative years (including my sexually formative years) my parents taught me many things, but I was never taught that I had to be heterosexual.  I experimented.  I never really made a conscious choice, but I did realize that I had a preference for heterosexuality.  I would still not hesitate to call myself bisexual, as I continue to find members of both genders sexually attractive.  I am married, however, and therefore, in my behavior, I am faithful to my husband and will be until one of us passes from this earth.  The biggest part of the issue is that one truly cannot choose whom they love.  They most certainly, however, can choose whom they sleep with.  Make sense?

    The ones who can't discuss the issue beyond 'it's a choice' have ultimately never been given one. IMO.

    1. jlpark profile image80
      jlparkposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Motown - THANK YOU.  Thank you for your thoughtful consideration on this topic. It is not the attraction that is the choice, it's the action.

      Unfortunately, many take this to mean as you have noted in your own way, that if one is homosexual thats okay as long as they don't act on it.  The old 'love the sinner, hate the sin' cop-out.

      I agree.  I may be gay - attracted to persons of a female gender - but this does not mean I wish to sleep with, or will sleep with, any girl who looks my way. I am civil unioned (to sign papers for marriage in Nov 2013 - using same Anniversary as it's after NZ's SS Marriage Certs are available in Aug 2013) to my wife - I look at no other, nor sleep with any other - nor do I want to.

      I find that some people often assume that because one is gay, then one is only thinking about the sex one will have with any person of the same gender who looks at them in the right way.  This is SO far from the truth it's absurd. It seems that those who think it is a choice often think more about the sexual practices of gay people, than gay people do!

      One truly cannot choose whom they love, but they can choose who they sleep with. I like it as it's very true.

      As a gay woman, it's insulting to me that people assume we are promiscuous - I have been with the one woman for 8 years - prior to that - no one. I know many gay people who are similar. I also know many straight people who are very much NOT the same, yet I do not place them all in the same box.

      Thank you for your in depth consideration of this - I appreciate the honesty and thought.

  3. jenniferrpovey profile image75
    jenniferrpoveyposted 11 years ago

    I'm going to be blunt.

    It's not a choice. It simply isn't.

    Studies have indicated that structures in the brain are similar in straight women and gay men, but different in gay women and straight men. (Nobody's yet looked at us bisexuals - and I'd cheerfully offer my own brain for scanning if asked wink).

    Just because I am in a committed relationship with a man does not mean I have "chosen" to be straight. It means I have chosen a lifemate - the same way we all do, the same mixture of chemistry, friendship and consideration.

    Now, yes, we have the choice when and how we act on our sexuality. That IS a choice. But the basics underneath? It's the way we're wired, affected by our genes and our epigenetics (the interaction between genes and environment). Homosexuality is not purely genetic, or birth order would not have an impact on it, as a number of studies have indicated is the case.

    Anyone who thinks they "chose" one way or the other was probably inherently bisexual - I know bisexuals who do specifically choose to go one way. In many cases they look only for opposite sex partners simply because they want to have children. I've also known at least one bisexual woman who "gave up men" after a bad experience (It's NOT true that a woman will "become a lesbian in disgust" but she's certainly the closest I've met).


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