The Never-ending Story: Sexual Orientation and Genetics Essay

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The Never-ending Story: Sexual Orientation and Genetics

It is my observation that the average person gains insight into the nature vs. nurture debate when some particular human trait that is politically or socially volatile at the time is announced as having a specific genetic origin. This observation was confirmed when, in surfing the web, I came across an article entitled, "Female Inner Ear Comes Out of the Closet (1)." While reporting on a study published by a UT psychology professor who found that homosexual women exhibit tones in the inner ear similar to those of male test subjects, the Daily Texan journalist, with no explanation or sources, effortlessly mixes and confuses the social construction with the "science" of sexual …show more content…

In fact, all that any study can definitively say is that scientific "suggestions," that homosexuality and heterosexuality (bisexuality is far-less explored, or often placed within the former categories) can be partially determined by genetics exist; the essential contradiction of these suggestions and the definitive ideal that the public identifies with science is inherent within these studies. It was this perplexing contradiction that caused me to ask, what is the point of these studies, and do they really benefit us as a society?

The means by which studies themselves are carried out could play a part in the opposing conclusions of nearly identical studies that, by definition, should produce concurrent conclusions. It seems that the most common method for obtaining a sample population for relevant studies is to advertise in gay-identified magazines and newspapers, seeking volunteers to self-identify their sexual orientation, and if necessary, that of their siblings, etc.; information verification, if it is possible, is not always attempted (3). It is very probable that difficulty in obtaining an unbiased and random study sample has a large influence on a study's outcome. Also, when dealing with a politically charged issue, one must be aware of bias on the part of the researcher (3). The fact that certain groups can and will use studies to

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