Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 78 (8905 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 04-24-2019 5:50 PM
32 online now:
DrJones*, JonF, kjsimons, ooh-child, PaulK, RAZD, Taq (7 members, 25 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: WookieeB
Post Volume:
Total: 850,191 Year: 5,228/19,786 Month: 1,350/873 Week: 246/460 Day: 62/29 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Prev1234
5
67Next
Author Topic:   First Gay marriage, then Polygamy (its happening!)
nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 61 of 94 (250991)
10-11-2005 9:31 PM
Reply to: Message 60 by crashfrog
10-11-2005 8:13 PM


Re: what's the problem
There is no indication that there's a time when an English speaking person becomes English speaking.

Sure there is - their first word. My first word was "hot." I had touched a stove and burned myself. (Not a bright kid, really.)


Yet if, at the time of that first word, you were adopted by Chinese parents, taken to China, and brought up where only Chinese was spoken, you would likely have turned out to be a Chinese speaker and not an English speaker.

But here's the thing. While you have to have spoken English at some point to be considered a speaker of English, we regularly ascribe sexual preferences to persons who have never had sex; to persons who are not even sufficiently physically developed to be capable of sexual intercourse.

However, we don't do this arbitrarily. Presumably we base it on observed behavior.

Now, there's no known convergencies in the environmental histories of gay persons at that early age that would explain why they're gay.

That this is unknown does not prove that there is no environmental involvement.

And I'm supposed to take seriously the idea that "we don't know that people are born gay"? C'mon, already. There's more than enough data for us to come to a tentative conclusion. Unless you're already ideologically committed to the idea that our sexual preferences are entirely a matter of choice, not heredity.

You appear to be saying that on the basis of a false dichotomy. Sexual preference might be neither hereditary nor a matter of choice, much as a person's native language is neither genetic, nor a matter of that person's choice.

There was an extensive discussion in Focus on the Family Will Keep your Kid from Being Gay and in Determining genetic influence on sexuality. On my reading, the evidence pointed to genetics perhaps biasing the sexuality but not determining it.

I won't comment on the rest of your post, except to say that it is mostly a rant.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by crashfrog, posted 10-11-2005 8:13 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 63 by crashfrog, posted 10-12-2005 7:54 AM nwr has responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3929 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 62 of 94 (251031)
10-12-2005 4:25 AM
Reply to: Message 58 by crashfrog
10-11-2005 6:13 PM


Re: what's the problem
If there's no indication that there's a time when a gay person "becomes" gay, then its pretty obvious to me that the reasonable conclusion is that they were born that way.

That would be wrong. That is an argument from incredulity.

As it stands I guess I should have been clearer, though I thought I was clear enough here and in the other thread where this was discussed. The problem is not that there is no evidence at all, the problem is that there is conflicting evidence. No one has found a direct relation between anything and homosexual orientation, including early sexual behaior.

Genetics has pretty well been ruled out as a sole arbiter of orientation and so no one can be "born" gay, because of that. Perhaps gestational environment can heavily influence this, and so be born with a general guide to preference, but culture and experience will still shape you.

We don't balk at this construction for straight people, so I don't see a reason to deny it for gay people.

Who is "we"? I am repeatedly discouraged by how you claim to form your outlook based on science, yet reject it at most turns. That is at best a "common knowledge" claim based on nothing.

Yes for those that claim such things, it would make sense to allow it for gays. People should not make such claims.

Were that true, there would be no gay people - our society has, for many many generations, done all it could do to prevent homosexuality in people. Yet, there have been gay people for as long as there have been people.

Life is funny that way, it eludes capture and control. You will note that we have been trying to prevent theft, rape, murder, and even communism for some time... yet people end up feeling attracted to such behaviors.

That does not make people "born" that way. Given that our closest relative is "born" pansexual (that is they have no boundaries), is a strong argument that perhaps our prefs are born from environment more than strictly "nature".

Like what people?

I've already been over this. Homosexuality can become expressed when same sex populations are isolated for a period of time, even though being quite heterosexual. Though many revert after return to hetero community, some do not and some are bisexual.

In addition you will find cultures that allowed homosexual behavior, and in some cases expected homosexual behavior. They had more homosexuality within their communities. This would not be possible if you were born that way.

Here's an experiment you can run. Stop having sex with females and masturbating to female images. Try hanging out in exclusively male, and perhaps homosexual environments. I give you two months at most before you are tempted to try it, perhaps 6 before you totally give in. If you enjoy it, you will want to continue from time to time, even if your primary urge remains for women.

LB's comments alone should have been enough to indicate that it was spiritual or moral weakness to which LB was referring.

My mistake, though I am not sure that changes things. If you are designed to be weaker then you are not necessarily lesser. Though I agree at that point the reasoning is rather shifty.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by crashfrog, posted 10-11-2005 6:13 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by crashfrog, posted 10-12-2005 8:05 AM Silent H has responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 63 of 94 (251058)
10-12-2005 7:54 AM
Reply to: Message 61 by nwr
10-11-2005 9:31 PM


Re: what's the problem
Yet if, at the time of that first word, you were adopted by Chinese parents, taken to China, and brought up where only Chinese was spoken, you would likely have turned out to be a Chinese speaker and not an English speaker.

More likely, I would be at least partially bi-lingual.

However, we don't do this arbitrarily. Presumably we base it on observed behavior.

Presumably? How about you check on that and get back to me.

That this is unknown does not prove that there is no environmental involvement.

No; what it proves is that your side of the argument is an argument constructed entirely on ignorance.

On my side there is evidence; on your side, none. To reasonable people that's enough to settle the issue, at least tenatively.

I won't comment on the rest of your post, except to say that it is mostly a rant.

I've described the consensus view of the scientific community, which you would attempt to overturn on the basis of, what exactly? Certainly no evidence as far as I can tell from your posts.

If you want to call that a "rant" so that you can ignore it, that's fine with me. You've more than made my point for me.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by nwr, posted 10-11-2005 9:31 PM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by nwr, posted 10-12-2005 8:36 AM crashfrog has not yet responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 64 of 94 (251061)
10-12-2005 8:05 AM
Reply to: Message 62 by Silent H
10-12-2005 4:25 AM


Re: what's the problem
That would be wrong. That is an argument from incredulity.

No, Holmes, that's called "looking at the evidence and coming to a conclusion."

You know, what people do when they're approaching something rationally.

Genetics has pretty well been ruled out as a sole arbiter of orientation and so no one can be "born" gay, because of that. Perhaps gestational environment can heavily influence this, and so be born with a general guide to preference, but culture and experience will still shape you.

And, yet I repeat, there's no coherent model, no known influence that is a reliable predictor of future homosexuality. Your side asserts that just because we can't find it doesn't mean its not there.

I'm telling you that because you can't find it, there's no reason to take your side seriously yet. When you can come back with a coherent model of how experience shapes sexual preference, which takes into account the fact that many homosexuals had exactly the same experiences as many straight people, then we'll have something to talk about.

You're right that the lack of evidence doesn't mean that your position is wrong; the problem is that, as yet, there's no reason to believe that your position is right, either.

Here's an experiment you can run. Stop having sex with females and masturbating to female images. Try hanging out in exclusively male, and perhaps homosexual environments. I give you two months at most before you are tempted to try it, perhaps 6 before you totally give in. If you enjoy it, you will want to continue from time to time, even if your primary urge remains for women.

So, what you're saying is that (for instance) prisons make people gay? The phenomenon is known as "situational homosexuality" and contrary to your assertion, there's little evidence that persons who engage in same-sex activity in such a situation continue it after the situation changes.

If you are designed to be weaker then you are not necessarily lesser.

I can see some merit in your argument, but if all other things are equal - which I grant you may not neccessarily be the case - if you're weaker in one area, and only equal in all the others, then by simple addition, you're the lesser one.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by Silent H, posted 10-12-2005 4:25 AM Silent H has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 66 by Silent H, posted 10-12-2005 10:42 AM crashfrog has responded

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 65 of 94 (251069)
10-12-2005 8:36 AM
Reply to: Message 63 by crashfrog
10-12-2005 7:54 AM


Re: what's the problem
However, we don't do this arbitrarily. Presumably we base it on observed behavior.

Presumably? How about you check on that and get back to me.


The context here was crashfrog's assertion "we regularly ascribe sexual preferences to persons who have never had sex".

Personally, I don't go around ascribing sexual preferences to people. I presume you do, given what you have stated. My presumption that this is based on observed behavior was simply a presumption of rationality. If you would rather insist that you are arbitrary and capricious in your ascription of sexuality, then I will have to take your word for it.

That this is unknown does not prove that there is no environmental involvement.

No; what it proves is that your side of the argument is an argument constructed entirely on ignorance.


Thanks, crashfrog. I appreciate your judgement of "ignorance".

Thus far you have provided only assertions. I at least provided links to two previous threads where this topic was discussed.

On my side there is evidence; on your side, none. To reasonable people that's enough to settle the issue, at least tenatively.

Personally, I don't consider unbacked claims of evidence to settle anything. To each his own standards, I guess.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by crashfrog, posted 10-12-2005 7:54 AM crashfrog has not yet responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3929 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 66 of 94 (251103)
10-12-2005 10:42 AM
Reply to: Message 64 by crashfrog
10-12-2005 8:05 AM


Re: what's the problem
No, Holmes, that's called "looking at the evidence and coming to a conclusion." You know, what people do when they're approaching something rationally.

Your first sentence is correct and your second is incorrect. You cannot just look at evidence and draw a conclusion. There needs to be a logical connection between the two to make it rational.

You said that if we have no evidence one way or the other, it is rational to draw a conclusion. That simply is not true. That is a logical fallacy.

And, yet I repeat, there's no coherent model, no known influence that is a reliable predictor of future homosexuality.

The problem with your theory is that there is conflicting evidence. Not simply no evidence for being born gay but conflicting evidence. You asked me for it, I gave it to you, you totally skipped over it in this reply in order to reassert your claim. If this is how you want to proceed, then we might as well end it here.

So, what you're saying is that (for instance) prisons make people gay? The phenomenon is known as "situational homosexuality" and contrary to your assertion, there's little evidence that persons who engage in same-sex activity in such a situation continue it after the situation changes.

Little evidence? I already stated what you will find. There is evidence that most will NOT continue engaging in homosexual activity, but some will. One is enough.

And you need to think about this a little bit more. Why would it be that in an oppressive hetero culture, people that enter a homosexual environment engage in homosexual activity and then when returned to the oppressive hetero culture, mostly return? Think maybe this is indicative of something.

The fact that you can admit there is such a thing as "situational homosexuality" and still hold on to your theory that people are born gay is a bit surprising. That inherently means there are other ways than "nature" to become gay.

Again, you didn't even address cultures where men are expected to engage in homosexual activity and so have a higher rate.

if you're weaker in one area, and only equal in all the others, then by simple addition, you're the lesser one.

Technically that isn't true. Again it depends on what the measurement of higher/lesser is based on. Now I have no clue what God uses as that measure, but it appears LB does.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by crashfrog, posted 10-12-2005 8:05 AM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by crashfrog, posted 10-12-2005 4:42 PM Silent H has responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 67 of 94 (251223)
10-12-2005 4:42 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by Silent H
10-12-2005 10:42 AM


Re: what's the problem
You said that if we have no evidence one way or the other, it is rational to draw a conclusion.

But that's not the situation at hand. We have abundant evidence on one side, and a lack of evidence on the other. That's the situation, and drawing a conclusion from that situation - that the former side is probably right and the latter side probably not - is how rational people come to decisions.

The argument from incredulity is an argument that proceeds from a premise that a proposition is not credible. That is not what I have done.

What I have done is provide an argument for why I find your position to lack credibility.

You asked me for it, I gave it to you, you totally skipped over it in this reply in order to reassert your claim.

Really? Because I'm looking for it in the three rounds of posting we've done so far, and I don't see where you did that. I see where you asserted that evidence had been provided, and I see where you're asserting that again right now, but I don't actually see the evidence.

There is evidence that most will NOT continue engaging in homosexual activity, but some will. One is enough.

Only because you and NMR are talking about something different than I am. You're referring to homosexual acts, and you're quite correct - no gene in the world can make you do a homosexual act if you don't want to.

But I'm talking about preference. You've described a situation where people have no option but homosexual activity (or no activity at all) and so it's no surprise that we see persons not predisposed to homosexuality perform homosexual acts. The question is not what they do; its what they have a preference for.

And now you act like a single person who continues to occasionally engage in homosexual acts proves that you can be "trained" to be gay. But obviously it doesn't - that person to which you refer is bisexual. Remember that word? It refers to someone who engages in sex with both men and women. Can you give me a single example of someone who enjoyed sex with women who went into prison, or boy's school, or a rugby team, or whatever, and came out as someone who refuses to have sex with women and instead prefers only sex with men?

Think maybe this is indicative of something.

Yes. That we have a need for sexual enjoyment and release, and we're willing to make compromises in compromising situations in order to obtain that release.

The fact that you can admit there is such a thing as "situational homosexuality" and still hold on to your theory that people are born gay is a bit surprising. That inherently means there are other ways than "nature" to become gay.

No. Not to "become gay" - to have homosexual sex.

You and NMR continually conflate the two, but I don't see any valid reason for doing so. I kissed a guy in college, but it was to further my chances with an attractive woman. It was a homosexual act done by a heterosexual. Raping a lesbian doesn't make her straight, or even bisexual. Her (unwilling) participation in a heterosexual act doesn't mean she's not still a homosexual.

Again, you didn't even address cultures where men are expected to engage in homosexual activity and so have a higher rate.

Situational homosexuality. Cultural pressure makes people do things that they wouldn't otherwise choose to do based on their own preferences.

Seems obvious to me.

Let me introduce an additional argument. If human sexual preference is environmental and not congenital, why are the strongest predictors for eventual homosexuality physical and not situational or experiential?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by Silent H, posted 10-12-2005 10:42 AM Silent H has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 68 by Silent H, posted 10-12-2005 6:17 PM crashfrog has responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3929 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 68 of 94 (251259)
10-12-2005 6:17 PM
Reply to: Message 67 by crashfrog
10-12-2005 4:42 PM


generally not born fixed
We have abundant evidence on one side, and a lack of evidence on the other.

I am very angry and disappointed. I apologize if any of that comes across in what I am about to write. This is serious and so I am going to try and keep this very clean. Please read what I write, including the quotes.

You make the above statement, despite the fact that we already had a thread essentially on this topic which disproved the above statement. Rather than go back through everything I am simply going to cut to the chase, and show you a thankfully well bundled version at Wiki on Homosexuality...

What science says...

Various psychologists, anthropologists and sociologists, including Sigmund Freud, Margaret Mead, and Michael Foucault have held that all humans by nature are bisexual. In the same vein, writer Gore Vidal once remarked that "there is no such thing as a homosexual or heterosexual person. There are only homo- or heterosexual acts. Most people are a mixture of impulses if not practices, and what anyone does with a willing partner is of no social or cosmic significance"

Many modern studies, most notably the Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) and the Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953) by Alfred Kinsey have found that the majority of humans have had homosexual experiences or sensations and are bisexual. Only a minority of people were found (5-10%) to be exclusively heterosexual or homosexual. Conversely, an even smaller minority of people appear to have had equal sexual experiences with both genders indicating an attraction scale or continuum...

...his idea of a sexuality continuum still enjoys broad acceptance today and is supported by findings in the human and animal kingdoms including biological studies of structural brain differences between those belonging to different sexual orientations. His notable finding that four percent of humans are homosexual was replicated during the 2000 US elections in which four percent of voters identified as homosexual.

So let's start with this. General scientific findings suggest that human sexuality does not actually have easy boxes but is instead a continuum. There may be some who are exclusive hetero or homo, but they are the anomolies in the vast minority.

This suggests why culture plays a large role in shaping sexual practices we see. In the west where homosexuality has been repressed for ages, it was limited and you would get "situational homosexuality", which in actuality is reversion to natural state, before returning to normalized cultural expression. Yet in say some African societies you can have extensive homosexual practices as they are normalized OVER hetero acts.

With this in mind the idea that sexuality is fixed is already in trouble, but let's look at what is being sought as explanations for orientation...

Considerable debate exists over what biological and/or psychological factors produce sexual orientation in humans. Candidates include genes and the exposure of fetuses to certain hormones (or levels thereof). Freud and many others psychologists, particularly in psychoanalytic or developmental traditions, speculate that formative childhood experiences help produced sexual orientation. Other scientists and medical professionals, particularly those in biology-oriented disciplines, tend to believe that in-born factors—whether genetic or acquired in utero—produce characteristically homosexual childhood experiences (such as atypical gender behavior experiences), or at the least significantly contribute to them.

Got it? No abundant evidence. Even those that are pushing hormonal and genetic agents do not suggest "born gay" but rather recognize they can drive experiences which might then shape/determine general orientation.

But that is not all...

Most specialists, in any case, follow the general conclusion of Alfred Kinsey regarding the sexual continuum, according to which a minority of humans are exclusively homosexual or heterosexual, and that the majority are bisexual. The consensus of psychologists is that sexual orientation, in most individuals, is shaped at an early age; and is not voluntarily changeable.

Kinsey himself—along with current queer activist groups— focus on the historicity and fluidity of sexual orientation. Kinsey's studies consistently found sexual orientation to be something that evolves in many directions over a person's lifetime; rarely, but not necessarily, including forming attractions to a new gender. Rarely do individuals radically reorient their sexualities rapidly—and still less do they do so volitionally—but often sexualities expand, shift, and absorb new elements over decades.

This squares exactly with what I was trying to tell you about our state of knowledge. Personally I believe best evidence at this point, indicates that hormonal environment in utero, is a major factor in driving someone toward homosexuality. That would be pretty damn close to saying "born gay" in that it places some major influences before birth, yet that is still not clear and is undercut as solely important (the only factor) by clear evidence of cultural influence.

As shown above people can change, though it is slow going.

The fact that some animals can even change sex given purely post birth environmental factors, ought to give you a clue change of sexual pref might be possible in humans.

Situational homosexuality. Cultural pressure makes people do things that they wouldn't otherwise choose to do based on their own preferences.

Or is it that it opens up possibilities to do things which one could not have done elsewhere, gives one exposure to it and you find you do in fact have a preference? You see you are looking at this with an assumption that culture didn't do anything in the first place.

From the above scientific data it seems more likely that what Western culture is experiencing, if we are to take your definition of "situational", is situational heterosexuality. People normally desiring a continuum are forced to pick and choose one orientation alone, with emphasis on hetero.

In any case, whether temporary or not, the desire is most certainly there. Yes, you can kiss someone and not feel anything at all, but (barring some bizarre rape scenario or intoxication) there is no way that you go through full sexual acts to completion without some desire for that act.

Situational homosexuality is the same thing as homosexuality for my position. It is only a problem if I held your position.

If human sexual preference is environmental and not congenital, why are the strongest predictors for eventual homosexuality physical and not situational or experiential?

Well this is not exactly true. Check through the cultural breakdown on homosexuality. You will discover that situational certainly does play a part in homosexual expression and activity. If one looks outside the immediate West, one finds vastly different ways homosexuality is conducted.

As far as a strict lifetime one sexual preference only (hetero or homo), my guess is hormonal influences on the brain make a minority of people susceptible to a particular kind of bonding early on. Thus what makes one solely gay or straight may even be the same chemical, with the outcome set by early childhood experiences. Kind of a stubborness or exclusivity streak.

In the West homosexuality will likely be matched more to hormonal issues, since less people are going to practice homosexuality in general, due to cultural oppression, leaving mainly those with the absolute strongest urges.

Please tell me that you understand and agree with what is being said here.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by crashfrog, posted 10-12-2005 4:42 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 69 by crashfrog, posted 10-12-2005 7:59 PM Silent H has responded
 Message 71 by Scaryfish, posted 10-13-2005 1:24 AM Silent H has responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 69 of 94 (251292)
10-12-2005 7:59 PM
Reply to: Message 68 by Silent H
10-12-2005 6:17 PM


Re: generally not born fixed
That's your scientific evidence? Gore Vidal? Color me not impressed.

Well this is not exactly true. Check through the cultural breakdown on homosexuality. You will discover that situational certainly does play a part in homosexual expression and activity

No, it is exactly true. And your response doesn't seem to indicate that you understood the question. The significant predictors of whether or not a human being will be homosexual are things like finger length, genetic history, etc - and not things like child sexual abuse, drug use, foster situations, or other environmental situations.

Why would this be the case if sexual orientation were environmental? If it's environmental, why is it that the most accurate predictors can be assessed long before environment has had a chance to operate?

Look, you've made a sterling case, and I definately overstated the claim to say that we're born into our orientation. Clearly environment has a role to play in shaping experience and development. But its clear that the most significant influences are congenital, and I'm guilty of nothing more than oversimplifcation to assert to LB that people are born gay. Call it a shorthand, if you will, to avoid the enormous scope of dialog in the scientific community about influences on human behavior; a dialog that itself is many orders of magnitude larger than the piddling little discussion I was having with LB over whether or not it's "right" for gay people to have gay sex. The fact that he'd rather talk about that, and ignore the amazing depth of the question of the origin of human behavior, is simply further confirmation of the small-mindedness of the Christian moralist.

I made a mistake to assert that people are born gay. I should have refuted LB's erroneous assertion with the complicated truth, not the simple generalization. But that truth is way beyond the scope of the argument I was having with him, and I hope you'll agree that my basic point stands - claims that gay sex is "unnatural" are incoherent; nothing is more natural than people having the sex that they enjoy and want to have.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 68 by Silent H, posted 10-12-2005 6:17 PM Silent H has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 70 by Scaryfish, posted 10-13-2005 12:47 AM crashfrog has not yet responded
 Message 72 by Silent H, posted 10-13-2005 4:07 AM crashfrog has responded

  
Scaryfish
Junior Member (Idle past 4401 days)
Posts: 30
From: New Zealand
Joined: 12-06-2004


Message 70 of 94 (251341)
10-13-2005 12:47 AM
Reply to: Message 69 by crashfrog
10-12-2005 7:59 PM


Re: generally not born fixed
Why would this be the case if sexual orientation were environmental?

Ok, this may just be me being pedantic, but from a genetic point of view, anything non-genetic is environmental. This is one of the things that people often get confused about on this issue. If a geneticist talks about "environmental factors" that pretty much means everything excluding genes. For instance, finger length ratios are correlated with hormone exposure in utero, which is an environmental factor. Now, those hormone levels may be influenced by the mother's genes, and the effect those levels have will depend on genetic factors in the embryo. But it seems that a lot of people, when they hear "environment" automatically think of those old stereotypes of child-abuse, absent or "effeminate" father, or overbearing mother.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 69 by crashfrog, posted 10-12-2005 7:59 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

    
Scaryfish
Junior Member (Idle past 4401 days)
Posts: 30
From: New Zealand
Joined: 12-06-2004


Message 71 of 94 (251344)
10-13-2005 1:24 AM
Reply to: Message 68 by Silent H
10-12-2005 6:17 PM


Re: generally not born fixed
Various psychologists, anthropologists and sociologists, including Sigmund Freud, Margaret Mead, and Michael Foucault have held that all humans by nature are bisexual.

True, but I believe that more recently opinion has changed somewhat. There are several studies suggesting that, with men at least, sexual orientation is largely bimodal - ie. most men self-report as exclusively hetero or homosexual. Further, a recent study has suggested that even when men do report as bisexual on the Kinsey scale, the majority of the time they are still only physically aroused by one gender or the other. This study makes several important points: First, even for heterosexual or homosexual individuals their level of arousal was greater for images of the non-arousing sex than for the arousing sex. However, their arousal in response to the arousing sex was significantly greater. Second, self-reported bisexuality did not correlate with a bisexual pattern of arousal. NB: This study used a measure of genital arousal - this may be different from subjective arousal.

I also think the distincions used in this study may be useful:
Sexual orientation - the degree of sexual attraction or arousal.
Sexual behaviour - this can be quite different from orientation.
Sexual identity - labels such as "heterosexual", "bisexual" or "homosexual" individuals give themselves. Again, this can differ from sexual orientation.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 68 by Silent H, posted 10-12-2005 6:17 PM Silent H has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 73 by Silent H, posted 10-13-2005 4:48 AM Scaryfish has responded

    
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3929 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 72 of 94 (251365)
10-13-2005 4:07 AM
Reply to: Message 69 by crashfrog
10-12-2005 7:59 PM


Re: generally not born fixed
That's your scientific evidence? Gore Vidal? Color me not impressed.

The quote was that the opinions of scientists regarding human sexuality was mirrored by a statement that Gore Vidal had made, not that Gore Vidal was a scientist. You should have read that more carefully.

No, it is exactly true.

Physical characteristics are significant predictors where? In societies which have restrictive anti-homosexual behavior mores? In societies where this is not the case such indicators are USELESS. That is why I asked you to read the section on cultures.

And I will add that you are once again confusing correlation with causation. Let's take finger length for example. Finger length may be associated (we'll pretend for this example) certain hormonal environments during gestation. That may have many different effects including what hormones you put out or other indicators with which people are going to react to you. That may then result in more culturally feminine responses which drive you toward a feminine role which could make you homosexual.

We have already shown that genetics or genetic history is really way down if not off the list so I have no idea why you even mentioned it. If it was genetics based then homosexuality would be found using genetic models of inheritance and spread which it clearly does not. And this statement...

why is it that the most accurate predictors can be assessed long before environment has had a chance to operate?

is just ridiculous when one can state that in certain cultures homosexuality WILL be practiced, long before and in spite of lacking physical predictors that might be considered "indicative" in other cultures.

But its clear that the most significant influences are congenital, and I'm guilty of nothing more than oversimplifcation to assert to LB that people are born gay.

Given your overheated response to my simple statement of clarification, this is not true. And you still seem to be missing the greater point. I think it is clear and now we both are on the same wavelength that certainly there are some strong prenatal factors which help guide our sexual development.

But we have not cleared at all how they do so, and how they work with culture to form one's prevalent sexual makeup. Right now we are primarily learning how early chemical environments end up driving sexuality within our culture, which is pretty dramatic in its dogma and enforcement of stiff sexual roles/stereotypes.

The evidence is that barely anyone is actually gay at all, which is to say exclusive to same sex attraction. Just as barely anyone is heterosexual at all, which is to say exclusive to opposite sex attraction. Thus factors we are seeing may be factors of exclusivity, or as I put it "stubborness", which are rare. And certainly may have no meaning to any entity before birth.

I should have refuted LB's erroneous assertion with the complicated truth, not the simple generalization.

You could have been short and accurate. That's why I told you in my first reply I was correcting you. It is just as simple to say sexual orientation is beyond our ability to choose.

Whether before or after birth is irrelevant to the question of how much we can control what we are.

I hope you'll agree that my basic point stands - claims that gay sex is "unnatural" are incoherent; nothing is more natural than people having the sex that they enjoy and want to have.

Heheheh... of course I agree with that, and I thought I was suggesting that all along. I started by saying how laughable LB's position was. Almost all sexual orientations and acts are natural, and one would be hardpressed to find any that are unnatural (maybe PVC fetishes?).

One caveat, Xians can use another sense of the word "natural" that we generally would not use and then they would be correct. This is sort of complex, and yes it is semantics, though it is 100% correct. The problem of course is that Xians usually equivocate.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 69 by crashfrog, posted 10-12-2005 7:59 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 74 by crashfrog, posted 10-13-2005 7:29 AM Silent H has not yet responded

    
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3929 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 73 of 94 (251371)
10-13-2005 4:48 AM
Reply to: Message 71 by Scaryfish
10-13-2005 1:24 AM


Re: generally not born fixed
True, but I believe that more recently opinion has changed somewhat. There are several studies suggesting that, with men at least, sexual orientation is largely bimodal - ie. most men self-report as exclusively hetero or homosexual.

It is true that opinions have changed somewhat, but not exactly as you are suggesting, and if it was then we are moving in a wrong direction. Let me explain...

In the citation I gave, the idea that we are truly bisexual was pretty well shown to be an older idea. The more prevalent idea is that we are a continuum. Our practices would be bisexual, but our preferences would usually have a degree of certainty toward one or the other. That would make sense anyway as whose chemical or social environments which would influence our drive could be so even.

The idea of "bi-modality" is purely an artifact of culture and rather poor study design. In the West people are forced to think of themselves as one or the other. In other cultures and certainly in the past such an idea, and such questions, would have been met with a curious look.

If forced to answer a question on who I am then I would have to say "hetero". I am well aware that my greater attraction is to women. Indeed the difference in the way that I am attracted is significant to me (I only find specific portion's of men's bodies attractive, rather than the general whole body of women). However, that label would be wholly artificial, an artifact of having to choose to fit our culture's expectations that people are "modal".

I have sex with men and I do enjoy it. Frankly I wish I were farther along the continuum toward attraction to men as Amsterdam is a freaking unbelievable sex paradise for gay sex and I'd have a bit more fun here. But that just goes to show that a continuum, while undercutting concepts of bimodal, does not free us to choose at whim.

has suggested that even when men do report as bisexual on the Kinsey scale, the majority of the time they are still only physically aroused by one gender or the other.

Just to let you know, your link to a study was empty, so I cannot respond to that study in specific. I do not see the above findings conflicting with the idea of a continuum, though I would wonder how relevant such studies could be anyway without a very wide scope (many different cultures).

First, even for heterosexual or homosexual individuals their level of arousal was greater for images of the non-arousing sex than for the arousing sex. However, their arousal in response to the arousing sex was significantly greater.

This appears to be contradictory. A mistatement?

I also think the distincions used in this study may be useful:

I'm not sure if they are useful, though we can certainly make them useful for discussion. I worry that there is still an artificiality about this, which can disguise what is happening. How do you differentiate orientation from identity in a self-report? Even measurements of physical arousal may be hampered by inhibitions, and desires not to be found outside one's cultural norms. Of course being willing to be hooked up to a penile plethysmograph may already be moving outside norms.

As it is, arousal as indicative of sexual orientation is even being rejected in some quarters, heheheh simply to avoid cultural repercussions the findings may have.

Another most important reason not to make diagnoses or predictions based solely on arousal measurement data is that it appears that arousal responses to deviant stimuli are not limited to sex offenders.  As Dr. Pithers states "... there appear to be people in society who do have disordered arousal patterns who, to the best of my knowledge, have never sexually offended."

Intriguingly that is the very assumption being made in the hetero-homo question, now that we can comfortably label homosexuality as "nondeviant" or a "sexual offense". Heheheh, I love the above statement. We cannot consider that the results of our studies show that a deviation is not really a deviation, and we want to, therefore we must use something else!


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by Scaryfish, posted 10-13-2005 1:24 AM Scaryfish has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 76 by Scaryfish, posted 10-13-2005 4:23 PM Silent H has not yet responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 74 of 94 (251385)
10-13-2005 7:29 AM
Reply to: Message 72 by Silent H
10-13-2005 4:07 AM


Re: generally not born fixed
One caveat, Xians can use another sense of the word "natural" that we generally would not use and then they would be correct. This is sort of complex, and yes it is semantics, though it is 100% correct. The problem of course is that Xians usually equivocate.

LB seems to have bailed from the discussion, because it was my hope to plumb exactly what he meant by "natural", since in a statement like "it's neither natural nor Biblical", it's incoherent to be operating under a definition of "natural" that means "Biblical." It's circular.

It seemed like what he meant by "natural" was "what most people do", but such a definition obviously doesn't support his points.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by Silent H, posted 10-13-2005 4:07 AM Silent H has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 75 by Lizard Breath, posted 10-13-2005 8:55 AM crashfrog has not yet responded

  
Lizard Breath
Member (Idle past 4805 days)
Posts: 376
Joined: 10-19-2003


Message 75 of 94 (251402)
10-13-2005 8:55 AM
Reply to: Message 74 by crashfrog
10-13-2005 7:29 AM


Re: generally not born fixed
It seemed like what he meant by "natural" was "what most people do", but such a definition obviously doesn't support his points.

I haven't bailed from the discussion but I've been bussier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest with broken aircraft @ work, and tons of catch up work to do @ home. I've been out in the system a lot lately but I'll try to do better as soon as I'm semi caught up.

LB


This message is a reply to:
 Message 74 by crashfrog, posted 10-13-2005 7:29 AM crashfrog has not yet responded

  
Prev1234
5
67Next
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2019