What do you think affects sexuality?

As the title says, what do you think affects sexuality?

Do you think it’s totally natural and has nothing to do with life after birth?
Or do you think we’re born “neutral” and things develop from there onwards?

Personally i think sexuality is a scale from “totally heterosexual” to “totally homosexual”, and many things influence this, from the way we’re born, to things we experience growing up etc. and there’s a combination of nature and nurture with regards to sexuality.

I only ask this as i’ve got a whole bunch of “reasons” why my sexuality is the way it is. My dad wasn’t around a lot when i was younger, my first hetero partner partially accused me of rape (she was also a best friend), plus i was born with an undescended testicle, which never grew to its full size (possibly giving less hormoes etc since birth).

Now i’ve had my non-heterosexual feelings since before the “first hetero partner” situation, but i can’t say for sure that the other two didn’t contribute.


I’m not really sure, but I was curious about the “partially” accusing you of rape…how does that work?

I’d agree that it appears to be a mix of genetic/biological and non. Coming down on neither side tends to get you yelled at, though.

With no real personal qualifications, and no real rational explanation for my thinking, I think it’s about 90% nature and 10% nuture, maybe 95% / 5%. Some things just make sense, and your sexuality being, more or less, defined biologically is one of them. (I do have a degree in biology, worked in a genetics lab for 5 years, and my wife is a psychiatric nurse practitioner - all those taken together are where I get my opinion on this matter from.)

I can’t help noticing that all of these “reasons” are negative. What you’re implying here is that you’re gay because so many things “went wrong.” This is not a healthy attitude. Bad things happen to straight people as well, and they don’t “blame” their sexuality on these things. You are what you are, and you don’t need to justify anything.

Despite my belief in biological factors for homosexuality and 100 percent support of gay rights (including the right to marry), I can’t help but notice definite cultural influences when it comes to who gets to express their sexuality and how. Take girls who experiment with one another versus guys who do. One is hot and nothing to take too seriously, the other is often portrayed as the last stop to Gaysville. You hear about women’s ‘fluid sexuality’ as if no men have ever lived by the old code that ‘women are for babies, men are for sex.’

I’m not a die-hard Freudian, but I definitely see a case for particular kinks being tied to childhood events, though I do wonder how constant exposure to the mass media impacts this.

My general attitude toward any complex human behavior or personality trait is that DNA / biological factors / chemistry in utero / “nature” / whatever defines the range of [trait] where an individual may end up. Environment / “nurture” determines where on that range the individual actually falls.

Also, sexuality is fluid. I know I’ve shifted about on my personal range over the years, and have gone from one end to the other to the middle and back again over time. It just depends on what I’m needing and wanting at any given point, which changes from year to year, as it does with anything else I need and/or want.

I don’t believe it’s limited to sexuality either. I’m not an incredibly picky eater – the range of “foods I like” is very broad. Although I never liked fish too much, even when I ate it. I was most likely born with an adventurous palate, but my range didn’t include fish (nature). On the other hand, one really bad experience with okra, badly prepared, has made just the idea of eating okra nausea-inducing for all time to come (nurture). Some people have a much narrower range than me, so they are much pickier. (These are the people who will say with a straight face that they’ve never tried X because they don’t like it. :smiley: )

Anyway, I don’t think an individual can become gay, or straight, if they’re not genetically predisposed to it. However if their potential genetic range encompasses basically the entire scale, then environment has the potential to push them and keep them at one end or the other (and they may never know the difference); or they may end up in the middle; or they may travel across the scale multiple times during their life, depending on what’s currently going on. Someone born with a narrower range of potential won’t be doing that kind of traveling. And I imagine that there’s a few people born with minuscule ranges which allow for barely any movement at all.

Everything. Genetics. Hormones. Culture. Religion. Upbringing. Personal philosophy. Natural instinct. Libido. Mood. Time of life. Desire to experiment. Trauma. Money or drugs. Shyness or outgoingness. Demographic. Urban or rural. Political views. Identity. Self awareness. Personality. Environment. Situation. Acquired taste. peer pressure. Etc.

Beside the issue of what causes your attractions, there also the issue of that there are a million things to be attracted to in a person and not all of them have to do with gender. Hence the terms “bromance” and “mancrush”. You could have strong feelings for someone you are not physically attracted to and vice versa. And there’s many different types and levels of physical initmacy - a straight couple may not like oral sex for example, and two straight boys may enjoy circle jerks.

I think in the absence of our specific culture, there’d probably be more bisexuality and biamorousness, as well as a bit more polyamory. And just a lot more variety in categories of relationships in general.