Homosexuality, Nature or Nurture? Essay

1911 Words 8 Pages
Homosexuality, Nature or Nurture?

Homosexuality has become a large issue in our lives today. Gay Rights activists have been making their voices heard; this has attracted the attention of the population making them take notice of their cause. The church has not been able to get away from the powerful political and social pressure of homosexuality. Some churches have accepted homosexuality but many still do not accept homosexuals, saying it is unnatural and not what 'god' intended of man. The church claims that what ever decision has been made, it has been done so on the basis of Christian moral principles. The Old Testament clearly forbids homosexual practices and in Leviticus 20:13 it reads:
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(Gross, McIlveen, Coolican, Clamp and Russell, 2000)

The question that is baffling psychologists is whether homosexuality is genetic or the result of upbringing. If nature or nurture (or both) are involved where does personal choice play a part in adopting this life style?

Nature Arguments

It is sometimes claimed that people can be naturally homosexual. It is thought that homosexuals possess different hormonal mechanisms, brain structure or genotype. These biological explanations may not be unrelated as genes do lay the blueprint out for hormones which in turn influence the body structure.

At one stage in history it was thought that homosexuals were hormonally different. This theory was abandoned when hormone assays became available and accurate measurements could be made. (Saunders and Pickering, 1997)

It was then thought that Brain structure was the cause. In 1984 evidence was found for a sexually dimorphic hypothalamic nucleus. However this did not give a link between size and sexual orientation though, so more research was needed. In 1991 it was reported that the hypothalamic nucleus was smaller in women and homosexual men than in heterosexual men. This was highly publicised but came with many criticisms
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