As I read the above quote in another thread and it made me want to ask why anyone believes that sexuality is anything but a personal choice. Maybe I am missing something, but saying that someone is born gay or even born straight is a lot like saying that people are born into sin. How does "Original Sexuality" sound anymore reasonable to someone than does "Original Sin?"
ToT, I have three children, one of which has Asperger's Syndrome, a mild expression of autism. As a condition it was identified in the 1940's by an Austrian named Hans Asperger. At the same time, the diagnosis of autism was being formalized. The problem was, because of the war, these two doctors didn't know about each other's research and lots of time was lost. Asperger's Syndrome was noted again in the 1990's and since that time, the community who is made up of and works with people on the autistic spectrum have been very busy promoting information about this particular condition. We've made great advances with public policy, legal rights, humanitarian expectations. Gone are the days when a parent is told to kiss their retarded child goodbye and send them to an asylum and get on with their lives. Instead, research is constantly undergone to determine the minutest of details in hopes that the more we can chip away at the biology of the condition, the more we can help those who suffer. Part of doing this is through public awareness, letting the public who are ignorant of the autistic condition know that a child with autism doesn't *choose* to be naughty. There is a real, identifiable, physiological explanation to this condition, even if we don't yet know the details of the mechanics. This is a far cry from the days where mothers like me were accused of creating this condition by withholding love from the child. "Refrigerator Mothers" we were called, because we must have been so cold to ignore the needs of a child, thereby causing them to be autistic. Nothing could be further from the truth and until the truth gets out there, our kids and loved ones will suffer unjustly for the crimes against social expectations they simply don't commit.
Sexual orientation is on the same path today. With the work of some very courageous martyrs to the faith, people are working both in the biological field extracting as much information as they can as people in the public arena force the rest of us to accept the fact that what we think is steeped in ignorance and fuels aggressive reactions by inspiring contempt and fear. But the basic premise is the same and we get to watch it (and participate if we can) unfold. Homosexuality is but one of the many developments for sexual identity and orientation to which one naturally evolves. By naturally I mean exactly that - it is in their nature, in their physiological construct to adopt attraction to certain stimuli in the sexual arena. The environment can and certainly does contribute to this and perhaps its influence is stronger than we understand, but we do know that there is a measure of natural attraction that does not wait for the approval of the rest of the mind. This is simply the facts as we uncover the mystery, facts exposed by careful, scientific, logical research.
Here are some questions I have.
1. If you are a virgin, how can you be considered either gay or straight?
By virtue of what stimuli produces sexual arousal.
2. Why do otherwise reasonable people equate sexuality with race as if it is an apples to apples comparison?
Because, like race and like autism, it's not the choice of the individual to be attracted to certain stimuli sexually. We can condition a person to be attracted to certain morphological conditions. For example, in our culture women who are considered attractive generally have full hair, symmetrical faces, healthy bodies, etc. Consider the juxtaposition of this against women in Elizabethan era when women plucked the hair on their forehead to give them a very large forehead, being pasty white was so fashionable women would use toxic make up to apply to their faces to look nearly sickly on purpose, and being fit, like being tan, meant one had the unfortunate birth of a laborer so a little meat on the bones was far more preferable to the shape we tend to appreciate today. These are of course conditioned attractions. A man today is not likely to find Jessica Alba dressed in Elizabethan fashion to be nearly as attractive as she is when in today's style. Black women are more likely to get modelling and actress jobs when their physical features look more European. This is conditioned by our environment without a doubt, but the basic attraction to gender doesn't work like this. You'd have to do a lot of conditioning from a very early age to do this and that simply doesn't apply to people who grow up in safe, nurturing environments and identify as gay (or bi or transgender).
3. How is heterosexuality any more or less of a choice than homosexuality?
If you're heterosexual, you'll know that being attracted to the opposite sex isn't a choice - it's a response.
Oh, I think you're asking for the general stereotype. I think because most people are naturally heterosexual, and people generally assume their beliefs are universal, they assume people are heterosexual naturally. It's the same within the autistic community. Most people have kids who are generally compliant. They see kids like mine, too old to have a meltdown in public, and assume the blame belongs to me rather than assume there's a logical reason a child of that age is reaction in the way he is.
4. Why does it seem like people want to caste sexuality as a lifestyle as opposed to a personal and usually private behavior practiced by consenting adults?
That's the million dollar question and goes to the other conversation, should we eliminate religion? Religious beliefs are the *only* reason sexual identity is relegated to a second-class citizen status. Arguably, the early Hebrew community made such laws against homosexuality because being a small cult among other religions, they couldn't afford to allow any sexual energy be released without the benefit of a child to give strength to the next generation. Perhaps natural disdain for things weaker explains misogyny in general and homosexuality is likened to acting "like a woman" which is contemptuous to those who believe masculine traits are superior on a hierarchy of value. I think it's like autism - it looks different, it's not what the majority of the society are accustomed to and it's been taught for so long that it's "wrong" and that God's wrath is so bad, no one wants to take the chance of possibly pissing off the god of natural disasters and personal fortune. A generally private relationship affects the entire community if you're of the opinion that any Abrahamic religious idea has credence. Society can't afford to let a private sin punish everyone.