The Sexuality Blog: What determines a person’s sexual orientation – nature or nurture?

Non genetic causes of Homosexuality in Nigeria? Now that’s a bold assertion, but where are we really in the conversations about sex, gender and sexuality in Nigeria?

One of the oldest argument, when it comes to gay, homosexuality and LGBT issues, is the wall between those who believe people pick the queer way of life from their environment and those who hold that some people are genetically programmed to be this way. Nevertheless, it remains that what determines a person’s sexual orientation is largely a mystery even as we notice more young Nigerians getting online to openly question their sexuality.

The current LGBT discourse stems from the notion that if a person has no choice over whether to be gay or not, society cannot demand that he or she be straight – and so the argument goes.

We previously explored the theory asking if the presence of a particular genital automatically makes you belong to a specific gender group and from science, we understood this is not always the case (see our argument here). So why do we as Nigeria parade a man for having fully matured boobs or drop a female athlete from her team because she appears too mannish?

Once more, we search science and social determinists to help prove if people are born gay or if people pick these things up from interaction. In this case, here are 15 Non-Genetic Causes of homosexuality by experts in the field.10 Claimed Non Genetic Causes of Homosexuality in Nigeria

  1. Last year,  University of California made known its research to prove homosexuality may be triggered by environmental factors during childhood and not from birth hence opening the discourse of the non genetic Causes of Homosexuality in Nigeria. The scientists studied 37 sets of identical male twins who were born with the same genetic blueprint and made sure in each pair, one of the twins was gay. They identified that only 20 percent of identical twins are both gay leading them to believe that there must be causes which are not inherited.
  2. They found that it was possible to tell whether a man was gay or straight by monitoring tiny changes in how his DNA functions AFTER birth – a field known as epigenetics. Epigenetic changes are known to be triggered by environmental factors such as chemical exposure, childhood abuse, diet, exercise and stress. So according to them, no one comes into this world gay or lesbian. “Homosexuality is a choice,” the experts say. You can’t be born gay!
  3. The sexual conduct of a man or a woman is determined by society claims some other experts who hold the premise that gay men usually have a dominant, supportive mother and a weak, absent or hostile father while lesbians usually would have had a dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship. Do you agree?
  4. If there were reputable scientific evidence that some people were born homosexual, I would have no problem accepting this. After all, my theology tells me that as human beings, we are all created in God’s image and yet we are a fallen race, and so all of us carry aspects of that fallen nature to the core of our being, and that could theoretically include homosexuality. But the fact is that there is simply no reputable scientific evidence that anyone is born gay says Michael Brown author of Can You Be Gay and Christian? Responding With Love and Truth to Questions About Homosexuality.
  5. Camille Paglia, a social critic, academic, feminist and lesbian famously stated in her book Vamps and Tramps, “Our sexual bodies were designed for reproduction. … No one is born gay. The idea is ridiculous … homosexuality is an adaptation, not an inborn trait.”10 Claimed Non Genetic Causes of Homosexuality in Nigeria
  6. “The queer community has been obsessed with cultivating the idea that we all have fixed sexual identities. We’ve crafted terrific narratives and political platforms based on the notions that all gays are ‘born that way.’ But what if sexuality is more complex? What if biology actually intersects with environment, time, culture and context?” says lesbian researcher Lisa Diamond.
  7. “Lots of adults worry that if we allow little boys to wear princess dresses and paint their nails with polish, they might later be more inclined to be gay.  Even some liberal parents (including gay and lesbian parents) worry that if they introduce their child to “too much” in the way of queer material, this could be a way of “pushing” homosexuality on them.  Similarly, many people worry that if young women are introduced to feminism in college, and if they become too angry or independent, they may just decide to be lesbians.  But if we all really believed that sexual orientation was congenital—or present at birth—then no one would ever worry that social influences could have an effect on our sexual orientation.  But I think that in reality, we all know that sexual desire is deeply subject to social, cultural, and historical forces,” says Jane Ward from Social (In)Queery.
  8. Pastor and writer, John Pavlovitz says yes, LGBT people are absolutely making a choice but it might not be what you think. “They are choosing to be the most honest, authentic versions of themselves,” he says. “They are choosing to be led by the unfiltered direction of their hearts, just as you and I are. They are choosing to relent to the things that in all of our lives, never can be chosen.”
  9. Many biological experts have published research materials correlating homosexuality with a measured biological trait, like the proportions of one part of the brain, or the length of the torso, or the number of older brothers a man has but results have remained inconclusive and there are more evidence that shows sexual orientation is changeable throughout a person’s lifetime, it varies from culture to culture, and varies even among animals when they are placed in different environments.
  10. Ronald Pisaturo, author of “Masculine Power, Feminine Beauty: The Volitional, Objective Basis for Heterosexuality in Romantic Love and Marriage concludes this piece. ”We all can recall many times when we struggled to hold back tears or hold in laughter. We did not choose to have these emotions; indeed, we were trying to choose not to have them. The emotions were there, automatically. But the emotions reflected our own, personal, chosen values. We may not remember when we chose those values. We may have chosen them at a very, very young age. But we chose them. A sexual response is not merely the response of one body to another body. The response is not caused merely by some gene or hormone that automatically triggers one body to feel pleasure from the look or feel of another body. A sexual response is the result of one person’s evaluation of the combination of mind and body of the other person and of oneself. These evaluations are choices. My sexual orientation is a system of personal, chosen values—not a mindless, biologically or socially determined response.”

The argument continues as this represents what one side believes and could help us understand the concept more – what part does personal choice play in a person adopting a homosexual lifestyle? Chat to us. Write in, or place your comment in the section below.

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