Monday, March 13, 2006

Nature vs Nurture: It Doesn't matter

There was a very interesting news story on 60 minutes last night entitled "The Science of Sexual Orientation":

There are few issues as hotly contested, and as poorly understood, as the question of what makes a person gay or straight. It's not only a political, social, and religious question but also a scientific question, one that might someday have an actual, provable answer.
The story focused on the people doing the research and two sets of twins, one identical and one fraternal. What stood out about the young 9 year old fraternal twins, Jared and Adam, was how well adjusted they were (Leslie Stahl also interviewed their mother). Leslie asked them if they were proud of themselves and they said yes (a definite tribute to the raising of the children). Both boys were happy and playful. It appears that the boys have been shielded from the prejudice that will someday be afflicted upon them by a group in society obsessed with homosexuality/heterosexuality. I imagine that day when some sex obsessed bitty says to Adam "You're a boy, you're not supposed to wear nail polish, you are unnatural and abnormal".

Adam's behavior is called childhood gender nonconformity, meaning a child whose interests and behaviors are more typical of the opposite sex. Research shows that kids with extreme gender nonconformity usually grow up to be gay.
There are other theories too, however, the story explains that there is no proof yet that it is either nature or nurture, to many people it doesn't matter, there is NOTHING wrong with being gay. The problems arise when self righteous bigots take it upon themselves to ridicule and rally against people who are different from them.

When the episode was finished my husband remarked that it appeared to be a very complex process (how someone becomes gay) and clearly NOT a choice. He said it could only be achieved by Intelligent Design!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Before Amy calls you on it, 'biddy' has d's, like 'shudder.' Unless she's really tiny.

But you're spot-on when you say IT DOESN'T MATTER if being gay is a choice -- discrimination is still wrong. I've been telling people for years the argument is a red herring. People who hate us because we're gay will hate us whether "God makes us this way" or "God lets us choose it." They are not suddenly going to change their minds when presented w/ proof of a gene or some other data. Although to be fair, some people certainly will, but not the worst of the lot.

Thanks for saying it again. And for the record, it wasn't a choice for me. The only choosing I've done is choosing to be honest and open about myself and who I love, and that has made me a better person.