Do You Choose to be Homosexual? Essay

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Do You Choose to be Homosexual?

Is it possible for one to choose his or her sexual orientation? Is one's sexual orientation something that can be changed, or is it a fixed attraction? These are a few questions, among many others that have been raised by researchers and religious organizations, as well as everyday people. Particularly, over the last decade there have been various debates over whether sexual orientation is based on genetic factors or whether it is a choice.

Most researchers find that homosexuality, like many others psychological conditions, is due to a combination of social, biological, or psychological factors (1). Psychiatrist Jeffrey Satinover believes influences including a postnatal environment have an impact on
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He also found similar results among adult lesbians (3). Based on this study, one can further conclude that homosexuality is not a taught behavior, nor is it a copied behavior from other children in a family.

According to a study done by Simon LeVay, a former Associate Professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and current Adjunct Professor of biology at the University of California, sexual orientation is based substantially on biological makeup. LeVay found that the brains of a group of gay men differed from those of straight men (2). Specifically, the nucleus of the hypothalamus, which triggers male-typical sex behavior, revealed a small, but significant difference in the clusters of neutrons of homosexual men as opposed to heterosexual men. It was also found that the nucleus looked more like that of a woman's, which amounts to approximately half the size of a heterosexual male (4). In addition, LeVay discovered that the corpus callosum, which is an arched bridge of nervous tissue that connects the two cerebral hemispheres of the brain, allowing communication between the left and right sides, is significantly larger in gay men than that of straight men (2). Three years after LeVay's observations, molecular biologist Dean Hamer, of the National Institute of Health in Washington D.C., found evidence that a specific gene carried on the maternal line had an influence on sexual orientation in men. These observations, in

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