Is Sexual Orientation Innate?

Is Sexual Orientation Innate?

  • Yes

    Votes: 8 72.7%
  • No

    Votes: 3 27.3%

  • Total voters
    11
Mar 2013
9,174
9,897
Middle Tennessee
#24
Now, this thread provides another good example of why some gender balance would improve the quality of discussions around here!
Put it simply, I didn't answer the poll question because the question depends whether you're talking about male sexual orientation or female sexual orientation! From Psychology Today...about 7 years ago:

Does sexuality differ for men and women?
What can research show us about gender differences in sexuality?

It is an age-old question: Do men and women experience sexuality differently? For centuries, it was assumed that sexuality differed drastically between the genders but from the 1970's, as feminism rose up along with other civil rights movements, the pendulum swung in the other direction. Any sexual differences between men and women were attributed to the impact of society. Newer research challenges these assumptions, suggesting that men and women may indeed have different experiences of sexuality.​
What does psychological research show about the sexuality of men and women?
In William Masters and Virginia Johnson's pioneering work on human sexuality in the 1960's and 1970's, it was assumed that the sexual response worked the same for both men and women. All people followed the four stages of sexual arousal: excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. More recent work has shown that men and women differ dramatically in the nature of their sexuality. Compared to women, men masturbate more, use more pornography, are more reactive to visual cues, and experience sexual desire more spontaneously. Women on the other hand, are less likely to become spontaneously sexually aroused and their sexual desire is much more reactive to their surrounding circumstances. For example, the quality of a woman's relationship with a potential sexual partner greatly affects her feelings of sexual attraction. In this way, science supports the cliché that women like to be wined and dined and men like sexy outfits.​
What does Baumeister propose with regard to gender differences in sexuality?
In a 2000 article, Roy Baumeister proposed that women's sexuality fundamentally varies from that of men. Men, he suggested, have a fixed, biologically-determined sex drive that is relatively insensitive to context. Women, on the other hand, have a much more variable sex drive, far more responsive to the surrounding circumstances. He based these conclusions on a broad range of empirical findings. According to this research, women have greater variation both in the level of sexual activity and choice of gender over time. Moreover, women's sexuality is far more influenced by cultural factors, such as education, religion, and peer and parental attitudes.​
Do men and women differ with regards to sexual orientation?
An explosion of research into female sexuality supports the notion that sexual orientation in women is different from that in men. Men seem to be more categorical in their sexual orientation; they are more likely to be either heterosexual or homosexual. Women, on the other hand, tend to be more flexible in their sexual orientation, less categorically heterosexual or homosexual. This is supported by studies using the Kinsey scale of sexual orientation, in which women are more likely than men to fall in the middle of the scale, while men are more likely to fall on either end.​
Fascinating new studies of men and women's physiological response to various sexual images adds support to this theory. Meredith Chivers, Michael Seto and Ray Blanchard measured men and women's genital response to different sexual images. While men's physiological response was for the most part oriented to either adult women or men, women responded sexually to a much broader range of images................................​

What these studies never seem to take into account is the effect of religion on society. Even for those that are not religious we still get bombarded on an almost daily basis by "societal norms" that have their roots in religion. More importantly we get judged by them. It's unavoidable in western society. What they also not take in to account is the cost of identifying as outside the norms. The study mentions that men tend to fall at the extremes of the gay straight scale while women tend to fall more in the middle. What I don't think they take into account is how men are treated by society if they don't identify as strictly straight. Women are given a great deal more leeway than men. A women can have a same sex experience, even several and except for the extremely religious most others won't label her as homosexual. But by god let a man admit that once 20 years ago he had some sort of same sex experience and he'll be labeled as gay from then on. So I can see where any man that isn't a full out and openly gay is NOT going to admit to any fluidity in his sexuality out of fear of the repercussions such an admission would bring. For the average western male, in society it's better to have cheated on their wife than have, at any point in their life, had sex with another man.
 
Dec 2016
4,613
2,372
Canada
#26
Study anthropology! History just tells you which side one which war and when empires rose up and fell. Historians don't study culture and how people live their daily lives.

Women only have to "use sex as a tool to survive" in extremely patriarchal societies which in the west, traditionally only left three occupations open for women: wife, nun, or prostitute! In the state communist societies I referenced earlier, most occupations were open to women for about the same incomes, so most marriages came out of sexual attraction and just being comfortable with person....who would be earning the same income.

Most of human history follows a similar pattern; and we don't see patriarchies rise up until about 4000 years ago. So, which cultural norm would be innate? The recent past or the more distant past we spent over 200,000 years living as a species?
 
Dec 2016
4,613
2,372
Canada
#27
What these studies never seem to take into account is the effect of religion on society. Even for those that are not religious we still get bombarded on an almost daily basis by "societal norms" that have their roots in religion. More importantly we get judged by them. It's unavoidable in western society. What they also not take in to account is the cost of identifying as outside the norms. The study mentions that men tend to fall at the extremes of the gay straight scale while women tend to fall more in the middle. What I don't think they take into account is how men are treated by society if they don't identify as strictly straight. Women are given a great deal more leeway than men. A women can have a same sex experience, even several and except for the extremely religious most others won't label her as homosexual. But by god let a man admit that once 20 years ago he had some sort of same sex experience and he'll be labeled as gay from then on. So I can see where any man that isn't a full out and openly gay is NOT going to admit to any fluidity in his sexuality out of fear of the repercussions such an admission would bring. For the average western male, in society it's better to have cheated on their wife than have, at any point in their life, had sex with another man.
Western society is loaded with sexual hangups! I think most of us already knew that!

As for religion, how many times does God just happen to agree with what the most powerful men in a society want! But if society and modern culture is really changing...and not just for the wealthier, privileged few, then any religious institutions that carry on will have to shift with the times. After all, if American Christianity of the 20th century could flip its age old suspicion of the rich and concern for the poor to a neodarwinist survival of the fittest...as measured by money, then Christianity can be made pacifist/antiwar again, and pro-women like first century Christianity. Some liberal theologians are trying to reinterpret the Genesis command from God to Adam ....regarding his 'having dominion of all the creatures of earth' as a directive to take care of the environment and the creatures who fill their ecological niches, so anything's possible!
 
Sep 2015
13,624
4,962
Brown Township, Ohio
#28
Study anthropology! History just tells you which side one which war and when empires rose up and fell. Historians don't study culture and how people live their daily lives.

Women only have to "use sex as a tool to survive" in extremely patriarchal societies which in the west, traditionally only left three occupations open for women: wife, nun, or prostitute! In the state communist societies I referenced earlier, most occupations were open to women for about the same incomes, so most marriages came out of sexual attraction and just being comfortable with person....who would be earning the same income.

Most of human history follows a similar pattern; and we don't see patriarchies rise up until about 4000 years ago. So, which cultural norm would be innate? The recent past or the more distant past we spent over 200,000 years living as a species?

There is no pre-history unless you look at the mother goddess in paleo-history. A fat woman with big tits. Innate means instinct.
 
Dec 2016
4,613
2,372
Canada
#29
There is no pre-history unless you look at the mother goddess in paleo-history. A fat woman with big tits. Innate means instinct.
Well, what we can gather from the "Venus Statues" which predate any other similar artworks, is that they likely represent a mother goddess who makes life possible. So, what does it tell you that, by the time we get to Sumeria of less than 4000 years ago, we start getting religions that only have sky-warrior gods and create life themselves without the need of a woman....which is pretty much the story of Jesus the son of God......with no mother!

In prehistoric times, birthing children is a mystery shrouded in magic and symbolism. It's not even clear if any culture on the planet had a clear theory of paternity...or the male contribution to childbearing before about 4000 years ago also! What is clear is that after some men get the realization that one man/and only one man can father a child, then we start getting women being turned into commodities for making children! The worth and importance of women takes a nosedive for a long time until relatively recently.

*it is worth noting that several years ago, some archaeologists in Palestine, found a carving that was believed to have been part of a demolished temple which had an inscription honoring Yahweh, the ruler of heavens, and his queen - Asherah.