Is gay a choice?

Many people in today’s society are very closed-minded, judgemental and ignorant when it comes to touchy topics such as sexual orientation.

For those of you who don’t know, sexual orientation is a person’s sexual identity. If someone is homosexual (being attracted to a person of the same sex), heterosexual (being attracted to people of the same sex), or bisexual (being attracted to both males and females), this is their sexual orientation. These are the main three categories when discussing sexual orientation.

Some people may say that your sexual orientation is determined by your conscious decision. Others argue that it is biologically determined.

I believe individuals do make the conscious choice to change their sexual orientation. They may find out at a young age or maybe later on in life.

I am under the impression that our mind starts off with a clean slate at birth, and I think we are taught many things. Society teaches us that a man is supposed to be with a woman. Books, movies and even cartoons teach us from a young age that opposite sexes are meant to be together. Nature as well as nurture seems to have a big part when determining a person’s sexual orientation.

I’m not completely disregarding the fact that there have been studies that suggest that there is a ‘gay gene’.

There is a part of me that believes that there may be cases where sexual orientation is biologically determined, such as in a study by Michael Bailey which showed that sexual orientation is not at all influenced by a person’s environment. Also, a news release from Stanford University shows that there have been many studies that indicate that homosexuality runs in families.

In that same news release, it was said that people who are homosexual have had differences in the brain, specifically the hypothalamus, than those who are heterosexual. A region in the hypothalamus in a homosexual man’s brain was seen as larger than that of a heterosexual man’s.

Even so, I believe that, with certain individuals, there’s more to it than just a gene. Many people are influenced by people, entertainment, politics, etc. They may feel that they don’t have a choice but to change their sexual orientation.

One has to become self-aware of themselves before they can actually ‘come out the closet’. Countless people may know their sexual orientation long before they tell anyone because they may feel like people will discriminate against them or judge them. Often people are afraid of losing friendships or relationships because their loved ones won’t agree with their decision.

At the end of the day, I believe that sexual orientation can be self-chosen, but can also be biologically determined. However, factually, there isn’t an exact reason for a person having a certain sexual orientation in the general population. I’m under the impression that it just depends on the person.