By Ras Abimelech
Being Gay Not a Choice:
A retired neurosurgeon and presidential hopeful, recently apologized for a statement in which he said being gay is “absolutely” a choice. In an interview on CNN, the potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate commented that “a lot of people who go into prison, go into prison straight, and when they come out they’re gay, so did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question.”
Since then, he has apologized for the divisiveness of his comments, but hasn’t backed down from the notion that being gay is something people choose.
Most scientists would disagree. Years of research suggest that people can’t change their sexual orientation because they want to, and that trying can cause mental anguish. What’s more, some studies suggest that being gay may have a biological basis.
Biological origins – see two male lions
Humans aren’t the only species that has same-sex pairings. For instance, Lions, chimpanzees, bison and dolphins have also been spotted in same-sex pairings. And nearly 130 bird species have been observed engaging in sexual activities with same-sex partners.
No studies have found specific “gay genes ” that reliably make someone gay. For instance, a 2014 study in the journal Psychological Medicine showed that a gene on the X chromosome (one of the sex chromosomes) called Xq28 and a gene on chromosome 8 seem to be found in higher prevalence in men who are gay.
We have extended our analysis of the role of the long arm of the X chromosome (Xq28) in sexual orientation by DNA linkage analyses of two newly ascertained series of families that contained either two gay brothers or two lesbian sisters as well as heterosexual siblings. Alink between the Xq28 and sexual orientation was detected for the gay male families but not for the lesbian families or for families that failed to meet defined inclusion criteria for the study of sex linked sexual orientation. Our results corroborate the previously reported linkage between Xq28 and male homosexuality in selected kinships and suggest that this region contains a locus that influences individual variations in sexual orientation in men but not in women.
And so if the science is right it’s like someone having a extra finger or toe therefore natural.
How such gay genes get passed down from generation to generation has puzzled scientists, given that gay couples cannot reproduce. One study found that gay men are biologically predisposed to help care for their nieces and nephews. Essentially, these gay uncles are helping their relatives to reproduce. “Kin therefore pass on more of the genes which they would share with their homosexual relatives,” said evolutionary psychologist Paul Vasey of the University of Lethbridge in Canada, in a past Live Science article.
Most people who are gay describe it as a deeply ingrained attraction that can’t simply be shut off or redirected. On that, studies are clear.
For men, studies suggest that sexual orientation is fixed by the time the individual reaches puberty. Women show greater levels of “erotic plasticity,” meaning their levels of attraction are more significantly shaped by culture, experience and love than is the case for men.
However, even women who switch from gay to straight lifestyles don’t stop being attracted to women, according to a 2012 study in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.
Those results suggest that while people can change their behavior, they aren’t really changing their basic sexual attraction.
Gay conversion therapy, as it is known, supposedly helps gay people overcome same-sex attractions. But mainstream psychologists say the therapy is ineffective, causeing self-hatred among those treated for what is not a mental disorder.
In 2013, two cases involving the therapy to convert gay people into heterosexuals hit the courts, with one seeking to sue counselors who offer the therapy and the other seeking to defend them.