Nature versus Nurture: What if I Am Effed in the Head?

Early this morning, I had an interaction/discussion/disagreement with another Twitter user about the details of a report that was published a couple of months ago. The report was based on research about the genetics of sexuality. Truthfully, it’s a boring as read, unless you’re a geneticist – but the authors put together a website in terms the common person can understand. The essential and relevant conclusion of this research is that there is no “gay gene”. (Of course, you could also read the article that this Twitter user and I discussed here, in which it details some of the results of the study).

I’ve read, re-read and cussed and discussed. And I absolutely hate admitting when I’m wrong, but I just might be. I might have not been born bisexual. It seems this study is pretty specific about it’s findings that there is no specific gene that is common to a specific sexuality. It does show, however, that there are genetic markers that are common among people who have had same sex interactions, but those markers are also shared with other traits that have nothing to do with sexuality or sexual behavior. The report goes on to express that sexual behavior has much more to do with environmental or social interactions. In other words, the report, conclusively expresses that sexuality has more to do with the concept of nurture rather than nature.

And I have to admit, it has me triggered (God, I actually despise that fucking word). I’m slightly disturbed by this reality. It basically means that everything I have overcome within my own mind is a matter of self-delusion. I remember all of the times growing up when I tried to understand my sexuality all on my own – i.e. like telling myself the only reason I had same-sex attractions was from being molested or from being raised by women while I was young. It’s now making me question of some of the same-sex interactions I had were a distorted view of sex and sexuality and it makes me wonder if I am natural or a freak of nature.

My emotions are now going through this series of checks, rechecks, questions, introspection and need to understand more about myself. I have this idea that everything I have come to believe about my bisexuality is a farce. I’m going through this mental breakdown of thinking that I should have never had some to such an “acceptance” of my behaviors being okay. And now, I feel this urge to reject it again. I feel this need to go back into hiding and never come out like I have flirted with doing for the past couple of years. And worst of all, maybe I am weak for giving into any sort of hedonistic thinking.

Granted, this study implies that more research is needed that goes beyond what the researchers worked on, but it was reinforcement and fuel for the discussion I had on Twitter. Maybe, I’m not a natural born bisexual.  Maybe, everything I had to wash away about my thinking on the matter needs to be reassessed. Maybe I can just not worry about it anymore, because it’s been scientifically proven that sexuality is not hereditary. Apparently, there is a choice in sexuality.

I just don’t know what day I chose it.

And now, I feel like I have ignored any obligation I once had to the practice of faith.

Do I need to get right with God?

12 thoughts on “Nature versus Nurture: What if I Am Effed in the Head?

  1. Well, ah, if you’re effed, then you have a lot of company but I know I’m just fine inside my head. A gay gene? I recall a bunch of reports written after the human genome got decoded; one said there was no gay gene, another said there was, and yet another said that there might be one but they weren’t going to waste time looking for it.

    Nature vs nurture. It’s been a topic of discussion for quite some time – are we merely products of our environment or does nature really play into any of this but the camps are divided; some say it’s nature, some say it’s nurturing and there’s ample evidence to support both things… but a hereditary thing? Eh, probably not so much. Even I maintain that we are all born with the potential to be anything other than straight but despite what gay folks have been saying for decades, it’s still a choice and sometimes it chooses you or, famously, shit happens. If anything, it’s a behavioral trait that’s been displayed by humans and there are similar traits in other animals… so nature is quite viable as a possible reason.

    But we are also products of our environment. I grew up bisexual and damned near all my friends in my prominent environment were as well even though all of our parents, of course, told us to not go there which, um, we summarily ignored. But this behavior has been with us all along, hasn’t it?

    The problem here is trying to qualify and quantify sexuality in humans; there’s got to be some other reason why we behave like this other than, uh, we’ve always behaved like this and humans aren’t the only animal.

    Have you ignored your obligation to practice faith? Do you need to get right with God? No and no and more so when there are people who are damned faithful and right with God… and they’re just as bisexual as I am. But, sure – people experience this conflict and crisis of faith since the tenets of faith tells us not to be anything but heterosexual and, forever and ever, in the fact of the fact that this ain’t what’s been going on with humans. The social conditioning we all receive was designed to, for all intents and purposes, stop us from behaving like animals and religion is a part of that conditioning and it’s all a part of the nurturing thing.

    We are, quite possibly, the most intelligent organism on the planet and as such, things like this particular conflict can “easily” be taken care of because we can justify anything that we do… even if others don’t agree with us. It allows us to mitigate the crisis of faith by a commonly heard phrase: “If God didn’t mean for me to be this way, I wouldn’t be this way.” I’m sure you’ve heard it and you’ve probably said it as well… because I have, too.

    I love genetics; it was my favorite class in school and second only to music. Where did I learn this stuff? Psychology classes in college and I remember we spent two weeks having a great debate about this very same topic: Is non-heterosexuality nurture or nature? So one can argue in favor of both things and not be right… or wrong because sexuality in humans just is… but since that goes against the tenets of faith, again, there must be some other explanation… or is there?

    If there is a definitive answer, we haven’t found it and aren’t likely to find it any time soon; science seeks to explain this while religion seeks to prevent it and along with other known human behaviors and to see that, go read the Ten Commandments and see how many of them prohibit known human behaviors and I’m not even gonna get into the Leviticus stuff except to say this:

    We take it on faith that it’s right and true… and it clearly isn’t. Clearly. Definitively. Undeniably and despite us – humans – doing our level best to deny it. So, looking at it from a certain perspective, bisexuals aren’t effed in the head: It’s all the people who continue to believe and have faith in something that has never been true. And what gets overlooked or maybe even ignored is why the tenets of faith are worded the way they are… and you don’t really have to be a genius to see that, in particular, the Old Testament, is all about stopping or suppressing our basal nature in favor of a more directed approach and focus in several singular directions.

    It works for some – that “fear of God” thing that gets instilled in us. But for others? Not so much, huh? Have you broken faith? Not right with God and whatever that means? No… and no because the other thing that gets overlooked, glossed over, maybe even ignored, is that God gave us free will – that right to self-determination and it just so happens that women have borne the stigma for this happening when she let the serpent talk her into partaking of the forbidden fruit and she, in turn, conned Adam into partaking as well.

    Now, not everyone buys into the story told in the Book of Genesis but if there’s a human right we cling to and will literally kill others over, it’s our right to self-determination or, if you will, the right to go to hell in our own handbasket and God “lets” us do this and, as the story goes, He sent His only Son so that He would die for our sins and to forgive them. And you gotta wonder why… and if you’ve never questioned this, it’s because you take it on faith that it’s true.

    But you already know all of this and I know that you do… so why are you bugging?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I took a quick look at the report, and I didn’t interpret it as sexuality being a choice. I read it more along the lines of something like bipolar, where there’s a genetic element, but no specific bipolar gene and a whole lot of unknown. There’s also the issue of epigenetics, which looks at factors that occur in the womb and other environmental factors that impact whether or not genes are actually expressed. Or to think about it like elements of personality, there’s no introversion/extroversion gene, but we don’t choose our personality.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have so much to say:
    1) What does it matter if it is a choice or you’re born with it? I don’t mean this in a flip way. I mean how does this change who you are?
    2) Research changes frequently. This study could’ve proven this, while another study can prove something else. My point is, take it with a grain of salt.
    3) You’re perfect the way you are, whether it’s a choice or hereditary.

    Liked by 4 people

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