Do You Choose Your Sexuality, Or Is It Genetic?
The nature vs. nurture debate is one of the most enduring in the field of psychology because of the many different topics that can be attained in this single field. Psychologist have thought and asked questions of how far are human behaviors, ideas, and feeling, innate and how far are they all learned? These issues are at the center of the ongoing nature versus nurture controversy. The French philosopher Rene Descartes suggested that “the human soul at birth already comes equipped with an innate understanding of certain concepts, including the concepts of perfection, time, and (of all things) the geometrical axioms.”(Abbot, 2012) The idea that Rene Descartes has given us of not coming into this world completely devoid of any conceptions about it has given the background of nature in the debate. By stating the fact of the contrasting idea “that we come into the world completely ignorant and must learn everything as result of sensory experience” (Abbot, 2012) is absurd to me. On the other hand, we have the British philosophers Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, who suggested that the role of experience is fully contributional to behavioral development. He thought of “the human mind as a tabula rasa (a blank slate) on which experience writes and molds the individual thought his or her life.” (Pigliucci, 2002) Thomas Hobbes espoused a different opinion. In his book, and particularly in the famous Leviathan he proposed “that mechanical process control human actions, which are innately fearful and violent. Consequently, the only hope for humans is to submit entirely to an organized state, so to be forced to live in a reasonable way.” (Pigliucci, 2002) Even though, modern philosophers and scientists acknowledge that human traits are in fact the result of both nature and nurture, we continue to debate between the relations of both controversial topics.
The modern debate often centers around the effect genes have as opposed to the influence early environment and development have on human personalities. This brings my topic of sexuality to the nature vs. nurture debate, whether your sexuality is genetic or a personal choice. One of the most sought out arguments of our generation is the gender identity argument and sexual orientation. This is a heated debate that has been going on for decades. “Gender identity is defines as personal conception of oneself as a male or female. This concept is intimately related to the concept of gender role, which is defined as the outward manifestations of personality that reflects the gender identity.” (Ghosh MD & Pataki MD, 2009). On the other hand, we have sexual orientation which is defined as to what gender you are attracted to personally. With regards to gender and sexuality roles, for centuries it has been widely accepted that men are men and they are supposed to with women and that women are women and are supposed to with men. Through the clash of these ideals, we have come to the belief that homosexuality is unacceptable and consider it a serious sin; a crime against god to engage in sexual activity with another person of the same sex. Modern science and research, however, supplies us with substantial evidence that gender identity is not a conscious choice, but mostly the result of biological factors such as hormone levels, genetics and size differences in certain areas of the brain. The argument consists of the nature concept, which gives us the possibility of a specific gene or combination of genes are present at the time of birth that genetically predispose people to homosexuality. In other words, some people are born gay. While the nurture concept gives us the proposed idea that we are nurtured to what is around us; therefore, our sexual preference or identity changes.
For instance, modern science has proven with substantial evidence that gender identity is the result of biological factors