Is Homosexuality A Result Of Nature Or Nurture?

1708 words - 7 pages

The argument of nature v. nurture in regards to homosexuality is a topic of intense debate. Those for it, in this case the side of nature will be addressed in ‘for the argument’, defend their reasoning fiercely and there seem to be a significantly larger amount of them. Those against it, in this case the side of nurture will addressed in ‘against the argument’, also defend their reasoning with ferocity but there are significantly less of them. This paper will discuss both sides of the argument, citing peer-reviewed journals/articles, and discussing evidence used to support each side. In each case the evidence will be thoroughly discussed and in the conclusion the evidence will be summarized and my opinion will be stated in the conclusion. As stated in many other papers about this subject, the purpose of this paper is not to prove if homosexuality is right or wrong, but to establish a thorough and unbiased understanding about the biological and/or social source of homosexuality.
For the Argument
The first serious attempt to explain sexual orientation by means other than a person’s social interaction or religious influence was be Von Kraft-Ebbing. His argument, in its most basic form, was that it was ‘inborn’ (Ellis & Ames, 1987, 234). As we gained more knowledge on the endocrine system in the 20th century two men, Magnus Hirschfeld and Auguste Florel speculated that hormone imbalances could result in homosexuality. Genetic factors began to be considered in the 1940s. Since then there have been numerous studies attempting to prove the genetic predisposition to homosexuality. The earliest experiment in biological research began in 1938 with the research of Alfred Kinsey. Kinsey was studying human sexuality with the goal of discovering how many males engaged in homosexual behaviors and why they did. He found that 30 percent of college males had engaged on some sort of homosexual behavior. Based on his studies, which lasted 15 years, “homosexual sexual experience, at least from this study, seems to be confined to adolescence and isolated experiences in the latter years” (“Homosexuality: biologically or environmentally constructed”, n.d., Introduction, para. 1). There is a classification system now where a Kinsey 0 means solely heterosexual and a Kinsey 6 is solely homosexual, with everything in between being varying degrees of bisexual (Pickering, Homosexuality the Causes, para. 1). His studies were published and entitled Sexual Behavior in the Human Male and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female. In 1957 Karen Hooker performed the first test to find biological determinism. The Rorschach test, Thematic-Apperception Test, and the Make-A-Picture-Story- Test were used in this study and while it did not find any significant differences in answers she was able to conclude that there was a “zero correlation between social determinism of sexuality” (Johnson, n.d., para. 4). The next noteworthy test was by D.F. Swaab in 1990. He was the first to document the...

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