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 .dej
Joined: 11/6/2007
Msg: 50
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Is sexual preference and orientation a learned behaviour or genetic?Page 4 of 4    (1, 2, 3, 4)
A TV show one time said that some character read that there is a gene in common with people who have trouble staying faithful or monogamous. Could be nonsense though. Never looked for the study.
 ForRumOnly
Joined: 3/16/2009
Msg: 51
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Is sexual preference and orientation a learned behaviour or genetic?
Posted: 7/7/2010 11:12:56 AM
Everything I've seen or read on this indicates that it can be influenced by genetics, and (especially for males) exposure to hormones in-utero. It does not appear to be a learned behavior, except when the tendency already exists for those other reasons.

Given that homosexuality has usually been looked on with hatred, bias, discrimination and still is to a considerable extent today, I doubt that anyone would gladly choose this orientation if there were not compelling biological reasons that they can't ignore. And since we observe homosexual behavior in most animal species, I think that mostly proves that it's a natural phenomenon.
 sarniafairyboy
Joined: 6/19/2010
Msg: 52
Is sexual preference and orientation a learned behaviour or genetic?
Posted: 7/7/2010 11:44:34 AM
I'm wondering why this question seesm so important to so many people. Does it really make a difference?

is it if, 'learned' more accpetable to discriminate/hate against gays? or..? or still OK if genetic?
 itsallinthesoul
Joined: 6/26/2009
Msg: 53
Is sexual preference and orientation a learned behaviour or genetic?
Posted: 7/12/2010 6:44:19 PM
Whenever I see questions like this posed, I try to remember the day I chose to be a heterosexual. I can't remember the day because I never made the choice....I just am.

I did take Human Sexuality as an elective post-secondary and from what I can recall, it is thought to be more genetic than learned behaviour. Being exposed to different types of sexuality/sexual behaviour can teach us to be more tolerant of those who are different in their sexuality/sexual behaviour though most definately. I'm not sure if being exposed to homosexuality or bisexuality increases the likelihood that a child will become homosexual or bisexual. I tend to believe it may with some and that those are more likely to have a genetic predisposition to it in the first place.

I remember watching a documentary about a set of twin boys...both were circumsized but the docs made a boo boo on one of the boys, forcing the parents to make a tough choice. The pen!s such as it was post circumcision was not expected to function normally. Some shrink convinced the parents to raise that son as a girl. He rebelled against all attempts to make him believe he was female later in life. Gender identity, sexual preference are both, in my opinion, genetic. In the end, he was told the truth and he chose to live as a man...not sure if his equipment functioned normally or not, don't think he was as concerned about that as he was concerned with being true to his gender identity.

I also seem to recall some medical tests done with respect to transgenders that indicated an extra X or Y chromosone present in the genetic makeup.
 arwen52
Joined: 3/13/2008
Msg: 54
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Is sexual preference and orientation a learned behaviour or genetic?
Posted: 7/29/2010 4:03:06 PM
Children of gay couples have no greater chance of being gay than children raised by heterosexual couples. If being lesbian/gay were "learned" behavior, children of gay couples should end up predominantly gay. They don't.

I knew by the time I was 16 years old that I was bisexual even though I had never even been exposed to homosexual behavior and barely knew it existed.

Since the greater culture teaches us that heterosexuality is normal and homosexuality is aberrant, how would anyone "learn" to be homosexual in that kind of an environment?

As for monomgamy - I think it's complicated. It serves the species because human children take so long to mature. But it is also somewhat unnatural. Very few species are monogamous. Geese may mate for life but they are the exception. I don't know of any primates that are monogamous. Bonobos, to whom we are closely related, engage in orgies.

Just for the record, I do not.


People are not born sexual. They achieve some semblance of sexual desire sometime in their first or early second decade of life.

Most people start stimulating their own genitalia by the time they are two years old. Humans are sexual. Period.
 xxxDINOxxx
Joined: 8/12/2009
Msg: 55
Is sexual preference and orientation a learned behaviour or genetic?
Posted: 7/29/2010 7:23:08 PM
Personally, I think that for people who are really predominantly (or completely) gay (ie, can really only ever fantasize about or get off with a person of the same gender) then it's probably more than likely something genetic and/or physiological (brain-related).

Bisexuality however probably falls into the category of natural (or maybe "acquired" or "learned"?) human behaviors, IMO. Some will engage in it, others will not. More than likely nearly everyone has some sort of "thought" of it at some point or another however.

Some are more inclined to try , and some enjoy it more than others (while still largely preferring people from the opposite gender for example -- which is probably why more men for instance won't ever own up to having tried much less openly claim bisexuality).

I guess it's because humans are so complex in their / our behaviors; bisexuality could be a passing phase, something to "try", or it could be something that goes on , on and off, throughout one's life I suppose.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 56
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Is sexual preference and orientation a learned behaviour or genetic?
Posted: 7/30/2010 9:07:30 AM
RE Msg: 72 by Bright1Raziel:
In response to the OP, I would ask you this question .

Is Hair Style Genetic or Social?

You see you are born with a set traits to your hair, but its posible to permanently change some of your hairs traits. In addition to that, some peoples hair traits change naturally over time. This is true of psychological traits as well. Most of our psychological make up is determined by our genes, but it is our enviroment that shapes how those traits are expressed and this can change over time.

We know enough about Genetics and Psychology to know that the old clasification system is quite simply wrong. We should look at everything as a scale. There is totally straight and totally gay and most people lie somewhere inbetween. Pretty much exery behavoiur is the same, it lies on a scale and where we fall on that scale is a mixure of our genetics tempered by our enviroment. The old Victrian notion of classifying something as either one thing or the other simply dose not work for behaviour, we are to complex for it.
Welcome back. You've been sorely missed.

FYI, your post reads beautifully. It fully explains to me how sexual preference and orientation might work.

There seems to me, to be a strong correlation between one's initial experiences of sex, and one's sexual orientation in later life, based on quite a lot of different reading, watching interviews of people, and people I knew IRL. At the same time, not everyone is affected in the same ways by the same types of one's first experiences of sex, again based on my experience.

I didn't know that one can permanently change the genetic make-up of your hair. But if one can do that, then it is certainly possible to change one's genetic sexual orientation, especially when sex is one of the strongest drives and produces the strongest emotions in us humans.

And now another question for you all.

If a Vegitarian is forced at gunpoint to eat ham, dose that mean they are no longer a Vegitarian?
I don't think so. But you might find out you like meat a lot more than you thought.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 57
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Is sexual preference and orientation a learned behaviour or genetic?
Posted: 7/30/2010 10:52:59 AM
RE Msg: 76 by Bright1Raziel:
Thanks. I would say good to be back, but i'm back because i'm single again, so no sex twice a day for a while!
Then good luck at getting off the site ASAP.

Anyway, to clarify a point. I did not mean that the genetics of your hair could be changed, but that the expresion of those genetic traits could be changed. For example, if you pull your hair constantly you can stop your hair growing, if you treat it with various chemicals, you can change the folicles so they produce straight or waivy hair instead, or so they stop producing mellanin (these are not comercially avaliable treatments because they actually quite dangerous, you are more likley to lose your scalp than change your hair) .

It should also be noted that the natural expresion of genes can change over time. FOr example, untill I was sixteen I had bright golden blonde hair and baby blue eyes, now I have dark brown hair and steel grey eyes. And so it is with the genes atached to psychology. It is entirelly posible for a person to be born mostly gay and move up or down the scale as they age. Few peoples sexuality is the same as when they were children, it may not differ much but it will differ.
So that is what biologists mean by "gene expression"? That genes have a natural way of acting, but can be overridden, and that the natural way of acting can change over time?

Is it possible, that with enough overriding of one's natural gene expression, that one's reproductive genes could change as well?

This is a biolgical adaptaion that is comon in the natural world. Its also socialy a good thing, because for example, when I was 14, I was atracte to girls with almost no breasts and small hips and no pubic hair, Girls the same age as me. Now however I am atracted to girls with large breasts, wide hips and a full bush, in otherworrds, girls in thier twenties. If my sexual preferances had not changed then I would have a big problem.
Yes. But not everyone's tastes change as they get older. Paedophiles for one.

I think it's very interesting how some change, and some do not.

A prime example of this sort of change in animals is in Bull Elephants. The african bush elephant males are forced out of the heard at the start of thier teens, when they become fully phisically mature. They often spend many years wandering in great heards of lone bulls, sometimes knonw as brother bands. In these bands, they will often form extreamly agressive homesexual relationships, which are clearly about othing more than one horny male showing dominance, however it has also been noted that some males will adopt a more mutual relationship with both animals being the top at difrent times and little to no agresion being shown. They will behave as if they are a mated couple, fondling and holding each other as is normally only seen between male and female. These realtionships rarely last very long though, most break up as the heards break apart and reform, and many of the males will go on to have normal hetrosexual relationships.
This reminds me very much of the homosexual relationships that can form in prison, some involuntary, and some voluntary, amongst inmates who were heterosexual before entering prison. Yet, when they leave prison, they return to their heterosexual lives.

AFAIK, the same sorts of things used to happen in the Royal Navy, on the quiet, when being on a ship meant being away from women for years.

By looking at the animal kingdom, we can find scant evidence for fixed static sexuality, nor can we find much evidence of set clearly defined boundries beween sexuality. For most of the animal kingdom, sex is just sex, there is no gay or straight. we are just animals and will one day have to accept that we do not have static fixed sexualities that can be clearly defined at all times.
From what I've seen, I think that's true of humans just as much.

But I think we have have a way of making taboos, that could be biological.

Take a woman, who falls in love with a man, and gets married. If she lacks self-control, then she might find herself easily seduced in the company of men. To protect her marriage, she might avoid making men her close friends. So she might make women her close friends. But if she allows herself to think of herself as bisexual, then she could find that her lack of self-control might lead her to have lesbian affairs with her close female friends. Then she could easily find that she wrecks her marriage. So she might develop a taboo against homosexuality, to keep her from falling into cheating on her partner.

Before we can abandon all taboos, we need to develop a strong sense of self-control, as a species, so that we can accept all sexual orientations, but only act in our best interest.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 58
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Is sexual preference and orientation a learned behaviour or genetic?
Posted: 8/3/2010 4:08:40 AM
RE Msg: 78 by ENRIQUECALOR:
I am amazed this discussion has got so far without mentioning Jesus as a case study so I will.

This is a "human being" with X chromosomes from his mothers side presumably ( and despite his Jewish father who allegedly did not have sex with the mother) Jesus was conceived by an entity who by definition does not have a Y chromosome.

Therefore XX woman XY man

Therefore X * A quasi historical being who liked to hang out with male Jews, walk on water, raise the dead, distribute fish and barleyloves, turn water into wine kick over tables and predict**** crowing three times in the morning. I cant imagine this is learned behaviour.

Could it be hermaphrodism?
It's possible that Jesus was intersex. It wouldn't stop him being considered male by most people, especially if no-one twigged, becauase he never got married.
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2843/can-hermaphrodites-get-themselves-pregnant
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
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Is sexual preference and orientation a learned behaviour or genetic?
Posted: 4/12/2011 5:27:48 AM
I'm convinced that orientation is biological, with the details being affected by DNA, chemistry, and even the damage and changes that result from sickness and injury. How someone goes about EXPRESSING their orientation is at least partially learned.
Someone else posted a link in another thread, to a study of some identical twins, one who is avowed gay, the other avowed straight. That made me adjust my own suspicions slightly, from thinking genetics would be the only factor in orientation, to adding other physiological parameters.
I think we also need to take into account how someone perceives themselves, from the inside, and what they might do to respond to what they feel. Even in these times, when being other than heterosexual is more accepted than it once was, there is still a huge adjustment required psychologically for someone who realizes they are not a part of the general population. They lose most of the cultural signposts of development and progress in their lives, the plots of most movies no longer apply to them, and everyone they relate to has to deal with them differently than they do with the majority of other people. How someone responds to all of that can affect how we perceive and define them as well.
In terms of expression, I've known lots of women, for example, who were only attracted to other women...some of them behaved in pursuit of their mates, exactly like heterosexual women do, with all the same behaviors associated with that; others behaved exactly like MEN, with all the aggression and directness, even the love of the Three Stooges.
How much of THAT variation is due to biology, and how much to learned behaviors? I have no idea. I can see that it's very possible that though we all DO exhibit lots of learned behaviors, but perhaps the core truth is that the behaviors we choose to adopt, are also guided by our biology. After all, we don't repeat EVERY behavior our parents exhibited. We select our behaviors, sometimes consciously, mostly not consciously. We often go through stages in our lives where we have to recognize that we adopted learned behaviors that are in conflict with our inner goals, and then we get therapy or self-adjust to change and become better integrated between the inside and the outside.
But the fundamental, basic fact of sexual attraction, can't be learned. No matter what the people say, who want us to think that advertising images and movies "cause " us to desire only Barbie Dolls, or Macho Men, when we actually get to the point where we are looking at someone and feeling "turned on," biology kicks in and takes the lead. That's my appreciation anyway.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 60
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Is sexual preference and orientation a learned behaviour or genetic?
Posted: 4/12/2011 6:47:52 PM
Had another thought on this: I've observed what might be called "gay" behavioral characteristics (I'm referring to the classic, over-the-top sort of candy voice speech patterns, and feminine-style posturing in some gay men) show up in all kinds of cultures, and even when there was no apparent "model" present for the person exhibiting those characteristics, to have learned and copied them FROM. People have been "acting gay" long before it was possible for them to derive the behavior from other gay people. That again, suggests something innate and biological, either DNA or chemical, or a combination of the two.
 ohwhynot46
Joined: 6/28/2009
Msg: 61
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Is sexual preference and orientation a learned behaviour or genetic?
Posted: 4/12/2011 7:45:47 PM

I am amazed this discussion has got so far without mentioning Jesus as a case study so I will.


In plain English: hogwash! You fail to make the distinction between the historical & the biblical Jesus.

Personally, I agree with igor; orientation & the expression of such are distinct.
 R_O_U_S
Joined: 3/20/2011
Msg: 62
Is sexual preference and orientation a learned behaviour or genetic?
Posted: 4/16/2011 12:48:21 AM
Sexual identity; agriculture (digression) fossils; dinosaur male to female ratio; fossil fuels in our atmosphere.
Flavins. Punctuation of will. Abnormal psychology and psychosis. Greek rise of plutonic love. Apropos. The amount of estrogen required in reptilian reproduction. Ross. Ha.
Tumble weeds.
Delta splitting of the gagnes and receding to sand. What is silica? Deterioration of the reef. Alexandria uses of oil blubber and the conquest of Persia. Ravins again. Religious practices and food routines.
The hunt for ore in china after the building of great wall and agriculture and rice fields.
All very abstract subjects but it's literally the form paradigmatic shift. Worlds getting heavy yo.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 63
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Is sexual preference and orientation a learned behaviour or genetic?
Posted: 4/17/2011 9:10:44 PM
I ran into the "homosexuality is due to a mismatch between the soul and the body" concept long ago. I've unfortunately lost the ability to believe in transmigration of souls, as much as I would very much like to (living forever would be a great comfort), so I don't give it any credence. I prefer the more measurable scientific mechanisms, which I am confident will be recognized in the future. And as I've already said elsewhere, I am equally confident that there will be a plethora of mechanical/biological elements found to affect sexual orientation as well as many other physical behaviors we currently think are up to us to decide about.
 qedeshim
Joined: 4/18/2008
Msg: 64
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Is sexual preference and orientation a learned behaviour or genetic?
Posted: 5/5/2011 12:26:01 PM
Its all learned, if learned is the right word, maybe fumbled into an acceptable for of competence maybe.

A guy called Harlow did quite a few experiments in this region and there have been a number of children discovered as adults in basements who had no contact with anyone, never learned to socialise, some not even able to talk, and they shared a similar reaction to the monkeys Harlow was experimenting on. The most interesting were the monkeys Harlow was playing with that were separated at birth from their mothers and who then lived in isolation. When older were introduced like the humans to their own species, and as for getting the sex act together, well not really,. Not interested, even when encouraged gave up.

The evidence suggests it is a learned behaviour, encouragement from peers, as well as education through the media, an expected behaviour from social animals. As for being hetro or gay, well its choice, as it always has been throughout history in urbanised cultures. Maybe the freaks want the gay gene or the straight one or even the bi-gene?
 FrankNStein902
Joined: 12/26/2009
Msg: 65
Is sexual preference and orientation a learned behaviour or genetic?
Posted: 5/5/2011 12:35:24 PM
How Many Gays Must God Create Before We Accept That He Wants Them Around?

Uploaded by UpTakeVideo on May 2, 2011

Representative Steve Simon (DFL Hopkins/St. Louis Park) says a proposed Minnesota constitutional amendment is largely about religion. He says if sexual orientation is innate as science is showing us, and not a lifestyle choice, then God created gay people. He asks how many gay people must God create before we accept that he wants them around.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXpOA3jPC04





The evidence suggests it is a learned behaviour, encouragement from peers, as well as education through the media, an expected behaviour from social animals. As for being hetro or gay, well its choice, as it always has been throughout history in urbanised cultures. Maybe the freaks want the gay gene or the straight one or even the bi-gene?

^^^^^^
Epic Fail as if that was the case there would not be observable homosexual behavior in nature.


 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
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Is sexual preference and orientation a learned behaviour or genetic?
Posted: 5/5/2011 8:13:10 PM
"As for being hetro or gay, well its choice"

It seems to me, that in order for an individual to really BELIEVE this, they would have to have directly themselves, found that they DID have to make such a choice. For this to be the case, they would have to have found that they were equally attracted sexually to both males and females. After all, it is not a CHOICE, if you are only attracted to ONE sex.

I conclude then , that someone who thinks that they believe that sexual orientation is a conscious CHOICE, are either failing to observe themselves at all, or are BISEXUAL (or perhaps ASEXUAL).
As for myself, my sexuality, which sex I found attractive, was a straightforward DISCOVERY, not a choice. What I DO about my attractions, now THAT is a matter of my choice.
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