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    Christian Theology - Thread: Sexual Orientation: Nature or Nurture?

    1. #1
      Jerlene is offline Participant Member
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      Sexual Orientation: Nature or Nurture?

      I was thinking about a study I read about years ago. The study showed that sexual orientation, specifically in men, is likely to be a biological (prenatal, in fact) occurrence. It showed that men are likelier to be gay if he has biological brothers through his mother. I thought it was interesting. But then there is a part of me that feels like if someone who received little to no attention in their childhood finds that attention with someone when they're older they are likely to form a romantic partnership, regardless of sex.

      What are your personal opinions? Is sexual orientation based on nature or nurture?

    2. #2
      hedrick is offline Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by Jerlene View Post
      I was thinking about a study I read about years ago. The study showed that sexual orientation, specifically in men, is likely to be a biological (prenatal, in fact) occurrence. It showed that men are likelier to be gay if he has biological brothers through his mother. I thought it was interesting. But then there is a part of me that feels like if someone who received little to no attention in their childhood finds that attention with someone when they're older they are likely to form a romantic partnership, regardless of sex.

      What are your personal opinions? Is sexual orientation based on nature or nurture?
      A lot of work has been done. It doesn't seem like there's any one cause. Here's the summary from the Wikipedia article. As far as I can tell, this is a reasonable summary of current opinion:

      "Although scientists favor biological models for the cause of sexual orientation,[3] they do not believe that it is the result of any one factor. They generally believe that it is determined by biological and environmental factors; they state that most people's sexual orientation is determined at an early age, and sexual orientation development involves a complex interplay between nature and nurture.[1][4][5] The biological factors are genetic and hormonal, both of which affect the fetal development of the brain, while environmental factors may be sociological, psychological, or involve the early uterine environment.[1][3][4] Scientists generally do not believe that sexual orientation is a matter of choice.[4][157]"

      See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality#Causes for more information.

      Note however that there's a spectrum. Not everyone is purely homosexual or purely heterosexual. Indeed I think a minority of people with same-sex attraction are purely homosexual. While you don't seem to be able to choose your orientation, you can choose to some extent how you respond to it. Particularly if you're not purely homosexual.

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    4. #3
      atpollard is offline Veteran Member
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      I note that almost every homosexual, man or woman, sooner or later seems to come forward with a story of abuse at a young age. Lesbians report past rapes and gay men report some sort of dysfunctional home.

      Strictly from a Darwinistic Evolutionary perspective, homosexuality is a significant reproductive disadvantage that should genetically extinguish itself (like having a genetic propensity towards still births). The fact that we see reported homosexuality on the increase strongly suggests more “nurture” and less “nature”.

    5. #4
      hedrick is offline Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by atpollard View Post
      I note that almost every homosexual, man or woman, sooner or later seems to come forward with a story of abuse at a young age. Lesbians report past rapes and gay men report some sort of dysfunctional home.

      Strictly from a Darwinistic Evolutionary perspective, homosexuality is a significant reproductive disadvantage that should genetically extinguish itself (like having a genetic propensity towards still births). The fact that we see reported homosexuality on the increase strongly suggests more “nurture” and less “nature”.
      If it's every person, you've got an unusual sample. But it's true that homosexual children are more likely to have experienced abuse. To the extent that cause can be determined, it appears that it goes the other way. That is non-gender conforming kids are more likely to be abused. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26619850. This one showed a possible bidirectional link https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3535560/.

      This kind of study is hard to do in retrospect, so there are limitations to the work, but it does warn against the danger of assuming that correlation implies causality in the direction you want it to.

      Note that in the second study about 7.6% of those with same-sex attraction were abused, so it can't be the major cause. However not all results are like this. This study https://journals.plos.org/plosone/ar...l.pone.0139198 reported 14% for gays and 7% for heterosexual. It's worth looking at the second chart, though you'll need skill with your browser to do so. They show varying measure of abuse. The non-sexual ones (which are more common) are actually less. It's not uncommon that different studies show different numbers, based on the details of questions, and the population. But this is far from all gays being abused.

      From Wikipedia:

      The American Academy of Pediatrics stated in Pediatrics in 2004:

      “ There is no scientific evidence that abnormal parenting, sexual abuse, or other adverse life events influence sexual orientation. Current knowledge suggests that sexual orientation is usually established during early childhood.[3][158]
      Last edited by hedrick; 07-05-2019 at 08:12 PM.

    6. #5
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      We are, by nature, sinful people. We seek to fulfill our pleasures. Without God's guidance we will ignore his guidelines regarding sexual pleasures. In this area of sexuality, God has clearly expressed what is pleasing and displeasing to him.
      I suggest people read what Rosaria Butterfield and Christopher Yuan have to say on this subject. Both came to faith while enjoying homosexual relationships. Both look at sexuality the same way we all look at sinful pleasures. We are in a position as to whether we will submit ourselves to God's will or whether we will feed our own sinful pleasures. May God give us the moment by moment grace to obey Him and put to death our sin.

    7. #6
      Andrew's Avatar
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      I was molested by a pedophile and I believe it caused a great amount of damage to me but it definitely didn't turn me into one nor did it give me any homosexual thoughts.
      I can't speak for the majority of victims tho.

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      Quote Originally Posted by hedrick View Post
      A lot of work has been done. It doesn't seem like there's any one cause. Here's the summary from the Wikipedia article. As far as I can tell, this is a reasonable summary of current opinion:

      "Although scientists favor biological models for the cause of sexual orientation,[3] they do not believe that it is the result of any one factor. They generally believe that it is determined by biological and environmental factors; they state that most people's sexual orientation is determined at an early age, and sexual orientation development involves a complex interplay between nature and nurture.[1][4][5] The biological factors are genetic and hormonal, both of which affect the fetal development of the brain, while environmental factors may be sociological, psychological, or involve the early uterine environment.[1][3][4] Scientists generally do not believe that sexual orientation is a matter of choice.[4][157]"

      See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality#Causes for more information.

      Note however that there's a spectrum. Not everyone is purely homosexual or purely heterosexual. Indeed I think a minority of people with same-sex attraction are purely homosexual. While you don't seem to be able to choose your orientation, you can choose to some extent how you respond to it. Particularly if you're not purely homosexual.

      I agree....


      It SEEMS there are many "reasons." It's both nature AND nurture. And I agree there seems to be a spectrum involved.


      What I DO think is a factor is how the very young are influenced. I think those around puberty (and a bit before) can be influenced; it can be a "confusing" time and sexuality can be "blurry." In the past, homosexuality for most that age wasn't even know, kids didn't even know that existed, and society presented them with the heterosexual option - and I think that impacted many. No, I don't think it was usually a case of forcing them into the closet, forcing them to deny themselves, but simply supplied nurture and encouraged a path. Some, OBVIOUSLY, were not so influenced (there have always been homosexuals). The "problem" I have is that KIDS are told (by the media, by liberal public schools) that they very well could be gay and what a gay and wonderful thing that is. Whereas society once put the light on the heterosexual path, it now seems to be doing that to the homosexual path.


      Thinking about the gays I know.... Some just seem to be gay. It's rarely (to never) an issue and they seem to have no "agenda" about it. I tend to think THEY are the ones "born" that way. But I know a couple who are angry, militant, a bit "in your face" and I tend to wonder if they are gay mostly for nurture reasons, as a response to stuff that happened, that "tipped" them in that direction. When I was a kid and involved in youth theatre, the two directors (and owners) were a male couple and very stereotypically gay (my first real exposer to such) but neither EVER mentioned it, neither EVER seemed to have an issue at all, neither had any agenda. I also remember a beach friend of mine who "came out" when he was like 13..... only to be totally straight a couple of years later.




      .
      We are justified by works - just not our own.

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      The issue is not vague with God. God calls homosexuality a sin in the Bible and he hasn't changed his mind

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    11. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by jsimms435 View Post
      The issue is not vague with God. God calls homosexuality a sin in the Bible and he hasn't changed his mind
      I believe it is an abomination
      Isaiah 40:31

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    13. #10
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      Be it nature or nurture. it is certain that in the vast majority of cases homosexuality is not a choice

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