Monday, November 7, 2016

"No one is Born Gay"

For a long time I've been wondering why it's so obvious to gay people that they were born gay. I don't know through sheer introspection that I was born straight. And not being born gay doesn't mean it's a "choice". It feels weird to remind the blue tribe of this, but environment is a thing.

Anyway, I read something very good on this today. Here are a few quotes. The first is him quoting the other side:
“Because implying that homosexuality is a choice gives unwarranted credence to roundly disproven practices such as ‘conversion’ or ‘reparative’ therapy. The risks associated with attempts to consciously change one’s sexual orientation include depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior."  
The problem with such statements is that they infuse biological accounts with an obligatory and nearly coercive force, suggesting that anyone who describes homosexual desire as a choice or social construction is playing into the hands of the enemy.
Just because an argument is politically strategic, does not make it true. 
Does culture effect how gay we are?
In Ancient Greece, sex between elite men and adolescent boys was a common and normative cultural practice. According to historians Michel Foucault and Jonathan Ned Katz, these relationships were considered the most praise-worthy, substantive and Godly forms of love (whereas sex between a man and a woman was, for all intents and purposes, sex between a man and his slave). If men having frequent and sincere sex with one another is what we mean by “gay,” then do we really believe that something so fundamentally different was happening in the Ancient Athenian gene pool?
Bias in science:
And, of course, there is the time-eternal question: why aren’t scientists looking for the genetic causes of heterosexuality? Or masturbation? Or interest in oral sex? The reason is that none of these sex acts currently violate social norms, at least not strongly enough to be perceived as sexual aberrations...
At the end of the day, what we can count on is that the science of sexual orientation will produce data that simply mirror the most crass and sexist gender binarisms circulating in the popular imagination.
Does gay conversion work? If it did it wouldn't prove there was something wrong with being gay or that being gay is a choice.
People like to use the failure of “gay conversion” therapies as evidence that homosexuality is innate. First of all, these conversions do not always fail; if you make someone feel disgusted enough by their desires, you can change their desires. Call it a tragedy of repression, or call it a religious awakening—regardless, the point is that we can and do change.
The whole thing is very good.