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< Back to question Are people born gay? Show more Show less

Few scientific questions generate as much intrigue and political turmoil as the origins of sexual orientation. Is there a clear genetic or hormonal link to sexual orientation that indicates gay people are, in the words of Lady Gaga, "Born This Way"? Can we ever know if same-sex attraction is determined before birth? Is this a question that should even be asked?

We don't know if people are born gay Show more Show less

No conclusive evidence has been found to settle the debate.
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People can't be born "gay" if the word itself is fluid.

The terms "gay", "straight" and "bisexual" don't have clear meanings. People change their sexuality and even "experiment" with relationships outside of their sexual preference. If we can't define the terms, how can we trace their origins?
LGBTQ
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Proponents


Context

The idea of sexual orientation and homosexuality is such a novel construction that we don’t really know what it is. If we don’t know what something is, how can we assess its causes?

The Argument

Being gay has been a concept used to describe sexuality frequently between the 20th and 21st century. In earlier times, the word "gay" meant being happy or joyful. Now, it means the sexual attraction to someone of the same gender as the individual. But as time passes by, the term "gay" has become confusing. Someone who describes themselves as gay is automatically assumed to have a sexual attraction to the same gender that they are. When people identify with this sexuality, it’s a part of them now. But, what if a person experiments with same sexual relationships but never commits? What if someone believes that they’re gay at first, but then they also like others of the opposite sex and become bisexual?[1] If someone likes the same sex attraction but doesn’t commit to the identity, does that make them gay? That’s why the word “gay” is so confusing. It’s used loosely for people who experiment or commit. Not to mention if someone is bisexual or even transgender. If someone transitions from one gender to the other and keeps their original genitalia, does that mean they’re gay? It’s all too confusing to pin down. Not only is it impossible to define this term, it also means that it is impossible to determine if people are born gay.

Counter arguments

Being gay is a concrete term. Being gay does mean to have a same sex attraction. The word is recognized in the LGBTQ+ community as well as the world. Therefore, it must be a term. In terms of a committed identity or experimentation, "gay" only applies to people who identify that way. Any person who is straight can have sexual experiences with someone of the same sex.[2] It’s not a committed identity because the person just wants to have fun. Someone who is gay takes the time to see if that’s their true selves. The reason why people who are gay become bisexual or other sexualities is because they realize their sexual preferences go outside of being gay. There’s a big difference between being curious about having an attraction, and owning that the attraction is truly a characteristic of one’s self. Sometimes it takes a long time to find out what one’s true identity is.

Premises

[P1] It’s uncertain if someone who experiments with same sex attraction is gay. [P2] It’s uncertain if someone is no longer gay because they change their sexuality.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Someone who commits to the identity of being gay is truly gay. [Rejecting P2] Someone who changes to a different sexuality find what their true identity is.

References

  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-bisexual#gender-binary
  2. https://www.glamour.com/story/women-share-their-first-hookup-with-woman

This page was last edited on Monday, 14 Sep 2020 at 12:15 UTC

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