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The development of sexual orientation

Discussion in 'Sexual Orientation' started by Bastion, May 7, 2021.

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  1. Bastion

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    So I have been curious about the time of development of sexual orientation in human beings. If all the credible research indicates that it is fixed. At what period during a persons life will that occur? Childhood, adolescence Or adulthood?
    Is it fixed at birth due to genetic makeup and biological factors? Or does external factors like the environment in which a person is raised play an important role too?

    Thoughts.
     
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  2. Lemony

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    I like this question :grinning:
     
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  3. sojabohnenfeld

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    I am someone who has known for as long as I can remember. Everything about me was different. I was always very different from other boys, from my dad, from my grandpa. The environment I was raised in made me strongly dislike myself.

    I became aware of my orientation when I was 12, 13, 14, and 15. I'm lucky to have grown up now, where people are more accepting, and there are successful, out lgbtq people. But prior to this age, or time in my life, I didn't have sexual feelings so I don't really think the question applies to me here. I feel like sexual orientation is just one of the branches of me not being like other boys... I have always been more talkative, I have the gay accent, I get along better with girls, I'm not a hostile person.

    It's pretty wrong to say credible research. I'm not trying to attack this choice of words but I don't think this is a question of research... this is something I have lived for my entire life. But that's just my opinion.
     
  4. Nickw

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    @Bastion

    I posted an interesting article in the thread on fluidity that summarizes much of the research on sexual orientation. Have you read through that article?

    There are a number of source references to follow up also.
     
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  5. QuietPeace

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    Personally I believe that it happens early on. It is influenced by genetic factors, exposure to different things in the womb and by epigenetic factors in early childhood. I have not done a lot of research on the science about it because frankly I do not care why I am attracted to who I am or why I am who I am. The main things that I am concerned about are that people would just learn to celebrate peoples differences. Even if we had absolute proof of orientation and gender not being a choice the people who hate us will still hate us just the same as there are people who still insist that the universe is only a few thousand years old and/or that the earth is flat.
     
  6. PatrickUK

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    Genetics plays a part (an important part) in the development of our sexual orientation, but it's not the whole story. There probably are other factors that we are not fully aware of and it's not easy to pinpoint at what stage those factors come into play, although I would suggest it's early in life. In many ways, it's irrelevant, because same sex orientation is and always has been a normal and natural part of our human existence and even if it's not genetic, or fully genetic, it doesn't follow that it's a choice or something that can or should be changed. We know that attempts to change a persons sexual orientation are fruitless and doomed to fail, so whatever the causative factors may be, it's clear they are deeply embedded into our human make-up and no amount of crackpot conversion therapy will change that.

    Of greater interest to me are questions about awareness of sexual orientation and how we react and relate to that awareness. These are the issues we can work with and do something with and that's far more important to me than questions about development.
     
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  7. Nickw

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    Of course you are correct that it is that more important to accept our orientation than try and understand why our orientation develops. That makes good sense.

    But, the OP feels it is important to him to learn more about how his sexual orientation developed. Maybe this knowledge can help him accept who he is and develop as a non-straight man. I don't see the harm in a separate thread that discusses some of the science behind homosexuality. If this is not acceptable as a subject for this forum, then that is something that should be simply stated.

    I want to know more about the science of who I am. I accept myself and my siblings. But, I am still curious why my family is so gay.
     
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  8. PatrickUK

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    I didn't say anything about the acceptability of the subject Nick. I offered my point of view and I will leave it to others to discuss, if they wish. Personally, I think it's a bit of a rabbit hole question, but if people want to go there, it's up to them. I've said my piece.

    As long as the comments posted in the thread don't cross a line or promote false ideas it shouldn't be unacceptable.
     
  9. Nickw

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    Thanks. I wasn't sure if this subject is something that is a concern for the staff. There always is a possibility that folk science gets entered into these discussions and that is a risk.
     
  10. PatrickUK

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    In which case, we would intervene and counter what has been written.
     
  11. Bastion

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    Um I am confused a bit. I thought this would be a relevant question to ask. Especially in this section of the forum. Isn’t that what we are supposed to do? If we are looking for answers? If we are questioning why we feel sometimes the way we do? To my understanding is that we should seek the help of professionals or trust the science. Nowadays, we mostly get our information form the World Wide Web. But even if the information is false or misleading as I was supposedly told in another thread. How am i to know the difference? that’s why I asked.
     
  12. Bastion

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    My thanks to all the posters for replying to this thread.
     
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  13. Bastion

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    Special thanks to @Nickw. Man I don’t know. But you seem to really understand what am trying to say. to know or understand. Without judgment and for that am grateful.
     
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  14. QuietPeace

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    If you are concerned about it then it is a valid question. One thing to keep in mind is that many people who come here do not do so every day and you asked this question less than 24 hours ago. Give it some time and maybe others will chime in. I myself used to agonize over why I am the way that I am and what made me that way. I just do not care about that any more. There may be some credible research out there ( sojabohnenfeld it IS important that any research quoted is credible, we do not need to hear what 3 drunk guys with no qualifications in a bar discussing it decide or what random people with no education who poll 20 friends find come up with) and it may comfort you to find this out but for me as I said above, I no longer really care why most of the world hates me I just wish that they did not and that I could be safe anywhere that I need to live.
     
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  15. PatrickUK

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    If it's a question you wish to ask and discuss with others, it's fine, but it's a very difficult question to answer and we can go down many rabbit holes in trying to find an answer. Personally, I don't like to see people going down rabbit holes and would rather focus on helping people to understand what it means to be LGBTQ and accept who they are. For me (and for reasons I have already outlined) it is irrelevant, but I'm not everyone. People can choose to agree or disagree with my thoughts on this matter.

    As long as discussions are respectful, on topic and don't promote opinions as fact the thread can continue.
     
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  16. sojabohnenfeld

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    I meant, "all credible research indicates that it is fixed" ... any gay person will tell you it is fixed. That's it. Also I don't drink so I would prefer not to have that comparison made to me.

    As someone who has known forever and ever... I don't understand why it is bad to wonder why I am this way. I always thought no one knew how sexual orientation develops because it's taboo to study it for some people. My parents are religious and believe that homosexuality isn't real, as they aren't homosexuals. I thought that is why no one studied it... at least, no one well known. But obviously I am not a scientist so maybe I should just say nothing here.
     
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  17. QuietPeace

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    In your first statement you said this. (my emphasis added)
    You said this in answer to this question.
    Bastion is looking for some science to back the causes and when in life those causes occur, therefore that is what this thread is supposed to be about. While your own personal experience is perfectly valid for you anecdotal evidence is never considered proof in the scientific field. Studies need to be done and need to be repeatable. Scientific proof and details are what the OP are looking for.


    Actually no, there are LGBT+ people who believe that these things can change. There is an entire thread where some people have claimed this. I know people IRL who believe this. As an example ex vice president Pence is one such person.


    I never compared you or anyone in this thread or on this forum to that, please do not take anything I say as a personal insult as I work extremely hard at making sure to not be insulting. I was making statements to support the fact that credible evidence is what needs to be quoted in this thread because you specifically said that it was

    No one here has said that it is bad to wonder, I even admitted that I have wondered also. I have only said that I no longer care why I am this way. My not caring why is an entirely different thing from judging those who do wonder why. If you are curious then I think that it is perfectly valid for you to question and for you to search for studies that do seek to find out why.


    Mine were the same way and I was also raised in a very judgemental and ignorant atmosphere.


    There actually are studies and that is what the OP is looking for.
     
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  18. Bastion

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    Thanks @QuietPeace for your last post.

    Maybe this subject is more complicated than I thought and there is no simple answer because even science hasn’t completely figured it out yet. Basically what we do know in short is there are a lot of factors that come into play here. From Genetic to environmental and social factors. The study and link posted by @Nickw in another thread is very interesting and I think it should be referenced here as well.

    https://academic.oup.com/endo/article/152/8/2937/2457178

    I would also like to hear more views and opinions. Any person who wants to share even a personal journey is welcome too.

    Also I do see @PatrickUK point of view more clearly now.
    Maybe Acceptance and Awareness of one’s feelings, attractions, journey towards owning your sexuality, whatever it may be, can be more rewarding.
     
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  19. Chip

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    Naw, it's research. Men don't develop facial hair until they are in their teens, but that doesn't mean that they weren't men before then. The point being... something, such as sexual orientation, can exist and be hardwired and established long before it expresses, in much the same way that facial hair doesn't express until a bit later in life.

    The data I have seen on the origin of sexual orientation seems to point to part genetic, part things like hormone levels in the birth mother during gestation, and perhaps some other unknown pieces, such as epigenetic components. There appears to be a good amount of possibility that birth order might have something to do with it, and one theory I've read is that mothers secrete more hormones in later pregnancies than they do in first pregnancies, and this may increase the likelihood of a child being gay. If you think about it, that could be Mother Nature's attempt to control population in women that have too many kids.

    The quote I hear is "sexual orientation is affixed very early in life, if not before birth, very soon after." But there have been voluminous studies, including studies of identical twins where one is gay, the other is not, that point more strongly to prenatal or genetic possibilities over postnatal possibilities.

    And then it gets messy because you have people like Mike Pence, Lindsay Graham, and Marcus Bachmann who are all closeted poofs, but will never admit as such... which screws up the research.

    Long and short of it, the data's very clear that sexual orientation isn't define near, during, or after puberty. It's either before birth, or very soon thereafter.
     
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  20. Jared J

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    I thought I was straight until I was 19, and I slept with him for a couple of years. I wouldn't say I'm gay so much as I like other men's penises and being penetrated
     
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