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The Significance Of Biology In Sexual Preference

1321 words - 6 pages

Throughout history, there have been homosexuals. In Ancient Rome, for example, Julius Caesar was thought to be gay, and in ancient Greece so was Socrates (Lambda). There have always been disputes on whether the decision to be homosexual or heterosexual was based on biological or environmental factors. These disputes are known as the Nature vs. Nurture argument. The two sides argue over how gender is chosen within a person. Based on reproductive organs, sex is easily determined at birth: male or female. Gender, however, is the sexual identity an individual takes on. It is possible for sex and gender to be different.There are pros and cons to each side of the argument. For example, an argument ...view middle of the document...

The scientists studied 19 homosexual men with a mean age of 38.2, 16 heterosexual men with a mean age of 42.8, and 6 heterosexual women with a mean age of 41.2. Simon LeVay, a scientist that deals with the physical structure of the brain, concluded from this research that "homosexual and heterosexual men differ in the central neuronal mechanisms that control sexual behavior"(AllPsych)--further indicating that the physiology of a human brain controls a person's gender.In researching DNA's role in gender identity, some scientists have identified the gene that determines a person's sexual preference. The results were collected by sampling the DNA from 40 homosexual men and identifying similarities and differences. The similarities were found on "5 genetic markers on section Xq28 of the X-Chromosome" suggesting the idea of a "gay gene"(AllPsych). Although there is mounting evidence of the existence of a "gay gene," the opposition denies its existence. A number of DNA strains have been found that were similar in the homosexual samples of DNA, once again supporting the idea of biology determining gender.People in support of the Nurture argument claim that it is an individual's conscious or subconscious decision as to his or her gender identity. While many claim that people may control their sexual orientation, they are actually being controlled by their brain, and not the other way around. It is a person's DNA and brain physiology that control sexual preferences.Hormones within people and animals play an important role in gender formation. For example, scientists tested the effects of hormones on rats. When androgen, a male hormone, is applied to male rats, they display a more aggressive behavior. When scientists castrated the rats, stopping the creation of androgen, the male rats became submissive. When the androgen was given to the female rats, they began to display masculine behaviors. This experiment resulted in the male rat being submissive and allowing the female rat to mount the male, unlike the normal male rat that would mount the female when engaging in reproduction (Lippa 102). Similar to humans, if a male does not have the proper balance of hormones within his body, he may show feminine traits. These hormones are a biological aspect of gender that affects the decision to be homosexual or heterosexual.Supporters of Nurture argue that it is possible to control a child's gender. For example, children can be brought up as the opposite gender if they change the sex of the child or raise the child as the opposite sex. They believe "roles imposed by family and friends upon children, such as the masculine and the feminine stereotypes" control the gender of the child" (Allpsych). For example, girls are taught and their behaviors reinforced to set the table and clean...

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