Sexual orientation is an emotional, romantic or sexual attraction to people of the same sex, opposite sex, or both sexes. There are homosexuals, heterosexuals and bisexuals. Homosexuals are gays and lesbians who are attracted to people of the same sex, heterosexuals are attracted to people of the opposite sex and bisexuals are attracted to both men and women. The causes of sexual orientation have become a controversial topic among scientists and psychologists. There is no consensus among biological and psychological researches done on the causes of sexual orientation since different studies give their own views which contradict.
Studies done on sexual orientation have linked it to a combination of hormonal, genetic. Environmental, psychological factors, cultural and social influences. The biological factors include genes, brain structure and pre-natal hormones. Psychologically, it is argued that sexual orientation forms during the early childhood which is the developmental stage of a child. Many scientists share this view that sexual orientation is shaped in people at an early age. People develop sexual feelings of either same sex or of both men and women because of some social and emotional feelings that were never met in their developmental stage (Garnett & Douglas 1993). If a child grows up in an environment that has many gays, the child will end up being a gay because he was brought up in a gay environment.
Genetics play a very important part in the development of sexual orientation but these feelings are changeable and treatable. Many drug addicts have changed their behaviors and stopped using drugs and so people who are not comfortable with their sexual orientation can still change if they want to. Everybody has the power to control and change their destiny and so they can change from the struggles of being gay, lesbianism and bisexualism to a sexual orientation they feel is good for them and live a life they want to
I was so confused about how a person can be attracted to an individual of the same sex until I met a lesbian. I asked her why she chose to be a lesbian and she told me that she just found herself that way. She confessed that if given a chance to be normal, get attracted to a man, fall in love and start up a family, she could not think twice about it but quit being a lesbian. This left me wondering since I seriously thought that most of them made a choice of becoming either gay or a lesbian. Many people have always blamed sexual orientation on nature and nurture and I tend to support it because most people are either born that way or they developed it during their early childhood. The causes of sexual orientation vary from person to person because every person has a unique personality, different likes and moods (Jennifer, 1999). They can either develop them at their developmental stage or the environment they are brought up in, if one is born in an environment that is full of gays, the probability of them ending up being gay is very high.
I believe that more studies are being done and should be done to determine the definite cause of sexual orientation. Many people are struggling with it and if the causes are determined, it will be easier for individuals to understand why they are that way and how they can change from a sexual orientation they feel does not fit them. Otherwise for now, people should be able to understand the nature of sexual orientation and accept everyone’s sexual orientation.
Garnett, L., D. and Douglas, C., K. (1993). Psychological Perspectives on Lesbian & Gay Male Experiences. New York: Colombia University Press.
Jennifer, T. (1999). An American Obsession. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.