Heterosexuals: did you choose your sexual orientation?


Now, put the stick down because another beating, I’m going to be knocked unconcious.

I can tell you that it also means you get shot down by twice as many people. :stuck_out_tongue:

I vaguely remember some sort of form when I was very young…

I dislike the genetic sexual orientation idea on several grounds.
First of all it seems unlikely that sexual orientation is purely genetic, although I’ve not seen actual studies on this I would guess that homosexuality varies quite greatly from place to place and from one set socioeconomic conditions to the next. This is also unlike from the sheer varity of sexual orientation options that people seem to chose to espouse.
On the more … perhaps asthetic ground I find is personally abhorent because (while I’m hetrosexual … well I think I am :slight_smile: ) I would like to think that there is some set of circumstances out there that would change my sexual orientation.
Finally I dislike the idea because I believe that it sometimes gets used by the non heterosexual community as a defense since it it implies that the individual can have nothing to do with his/her sexual orientation and thus should not be ‘blamed’ for it.
I believe strongly in the freedom of choice I think that somebody who claims to be homosexual because thats all that he can do is selling himself short to those who would consider him different, wierd and aberrant.

I have fallen in love with people of both sexes. However, I am now married (legally, that is–I think that fact says it all). At any rate it was an interesting process, narrowing it down.

Interesting. I was checking out Meredith Baxter-Birney.

Oh, sure, I remember during my teen years, just about anything female would result in…


A man does not lead his penis. His penis leads him.

Well, I saw a Jean Harlow film as a child an thought, “Gotta get me some-a that!”

Well, not Ms Harlow specifically, but you get the idea.

I didn’t really choose. The thought of sleeping with men is less disturbing than with women, so I just slapped the hetro label on.

While I’m not sure if it’s genetic or something that is determined by events in childhood, I really can’t see someone choosing to be gay. I know it’s a handy dismissal of one’s own bigotry (it’s not so bad to descriminate against someone who chooses to deviate from the norm, of course) but it doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense. Why purposely make life much harder for yourself? Being unique isn’t that attractive when stacked against being misunderstood by other people, 9/10ths of whom are unlike you. I know I didn’t choose to be a leftie, and I’m sure that there wasn’t a whole lot of choice in the lives of my gay/bi friends either.

I think “gay” is a continuum, not an Either/Or. At one end of the continuum, there are people who have no choice and had no choice. Same at the opposite end of the hetero spectrum. As GMRyujin said, with absolute, Cecil-approaching wisdom, a man doesn’t lead his penis; his penis leads him. If from before the age of puberty it leads him to other men, and doesn’t stand up before women, he is gay and he didn’t choose that and there’s nothing he can do about it.

A lot of people in the middle of the continuum have a slight preference, but have no problem changing should circumstance require them to adapt. Those people have more of a choice.

Most heterosexuals know at once, on reflection, whether they are at the Can’t-change-it end of the spectrum, or whether they are closer to the middle, where it’s Well-prefer-opposite,-but-same-might-do.

I think, Noetic, when you judge people in the wrong who were born at the far end of the continuum, for saying they are unable to change, they were born this way, then you are making an error. And when you judge people in the middle, you are absolutely in the right.

Of course I had no choice in the matter. Jesus chose for me. Because he loves me and didn’t want me to be an evil, damned, immoral heathen homo-sexual! All because Jesus loves me. I know he loves me. He touched me and caresses me, and…nevermind.
This post brought to you by the letter “sarcasm” and the number “humor”. Laugh dammit, LAUGH!!!

“The thought of sleeping with men is less disturbing than with women, so I just slapped the hetro label on.”

Not a ringing endorsement either way.

Me? I happily bisexual and never made a choice of which sex I’m attracted to. I have made choices about who I form relatioships with (as do heterosexuals), but their gender wasn’t ever a deciding factor in my decision making process.

Define “choice”. If I fall in love with a man, I don’t have a choice; I’ll want him. If I fall in love with a woman, I don’t have a choice either; I’ll want her. I can’t go around choosing to be straight or gay. I’m neither.

By the way, could we skip the penis part entirely (and how many of you guys have heard those words from your SO?)? It’s not about sex primarily, it’s about attraction. It’s about who you fall in love with. Monosexuals cannot fall in love with people of the “wrong” gender (which I’ll never understand if I live to be a thousand, but that’s a whole 'nother thread); that’s what it’s all about. Not sex.

Oh no. I am compelled to stare at cleavage. I can’t help it!

My dad, who has always been pretty homophobic, once insisted during an argument that he made a conscious choice to be heterosexual.

So I asked him if that meant he could change his mind and choose to become gay.

He said yes, but that of course he never would because it would be sinful, etc.

I said, “So I guess when you happen to see a naked man, you feel a little tingle and think ‘Mmmm, I wish I could get me some of that … but it would be wrong!’”

He was shocked and disgusted and angry, and said of course not. But, he said, he could choose to be gay if he wanted to.

I said that was my point – “if he wanted to.” He wouldn’t ever have any desire to, because he has no intrinisc attraction to men.

He denied that and said that he could choose to be attracted to men if he wanted to.

Unless he has issues that I’m unaware of, I’m pretty sure he’s wrong about that.

But what is your answer to the poll question? Is your preference for the opposite sex over the same sex a conscious choice that you can change?

Don’t confuse environmentally forced homosexual activity with an emotional preference for the same sex. Obviously, if you’re stranded on a desert island with only guys and get horny, you’ll have to make do. But that isn’t what the question is about. (I think.)

The question is whether you could develop an attraction at an emotional level by deliberate choice for those guys on the island. When you close your eyes, can you choose to fantacize about Billy over Betty?

Re: The OP…

Do the Jerry Falwell types suggest that people choose their sexual preference?

From what I’d always heard, their point is you may not choose who you’re attracted to, as much as you choose who you actually HAVE sex with.

Often I’ve heard them say that a person is homosexual ONLY if they actually have sex with people of the same gender. If they don’t then they’re not.

I find that even creepier, personally. I can’t imagine being pressured, against my inclination, into having sex with a man. Ick. I imagine a gay man would say much the same thing about being pressured into having sex with a woman. “Ick.”


Yes. The choice was mine. But that doesn’t mean I remember it.

I also have a speech impediment. I’ve always had it. I chose to be that way. Were circumstances otherwise, I might not have formed it. I certainly don’t remember thinking “Hm… I think I’m going to like it like thith.”

I would probably rid myself of it if I could. But it was still a result of the choices I made, conscious or unconscious. It was a product of the way I developed. I do not play the victim, blaming nature for my poor speech.

What the hell is so complex about this concept?

I did not choose my sexual orientation. I like women, and have liked only women, as long as I can remember being a sexual being.

I did, however, choose my hair color, shoe size, and mole distribution.

The point I was trying to make was that there is, potentially atleast, a large set of environmental conditions that would perhaps make me change my ‘emotional’ sexual perference.

I think the question you are getting at is, whether people can choose as some sort of bizarre social experiment to conciously be attracted to, as you put it, “Billy over Betty”.

I believe that in the ordinary course of living, the incentive to change ones sexual preference (as opposed to have sex with the same sex :slight_smile: ) is usually quite small, and the potential costs are large which is why most people unless bet a very substancial amount would fail in this regard.

This however is not the necessary condition, all we need postulate is that people can and do change their sexual preference as a results of social conditions.

I think this is so hard to internalize because the vast majority of us are exposed to a heterosexual framework while growing up, thus the choice to be heterosexual is made implicitly for us. Changing orientation, therefore always seems to be the choice to make, not choosing heterosexuality.
I would liken it to religious preference, most of us grew up in households that espoused one religion and some of us descided to hop ships midlife. Does this mean that our new faith was some how the true faith that we were always predisposed towards ?

Quite simply the question at hand is not can heterosexuals with a prodigious effort of will find members of their sex attractive, but are sexual orientations preditermined.