Sexual orientation | INFJ Forum

Sexual orientation

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by corvidae, Jan 14, 2009.

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  1. corvidae

    corvidae ohai internets
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    What causes sexual orientation? Genetics? Hormones? Godless liberals?

    What are your opinions on BDSM, zoosexuality, and pedophilia?

    Why are there so many terms used to describe sexuality/gender?

    Does sexual orientation have any more objective meaning, any more than ethnicity does? I don't think either is "chosen", but what is chosen is the way people categorize themselves. Take "Asian", for example. What exactly constitutes an Asian? Can Asians have blue eyes? In the same way, I think the distinction between straight and gay is misleading.

    I'm pretty sexually confused right now...
     
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  2. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    All of the above.

    The first one is alright as long as both partners are consenting, the second not so much because animals can't consent, and the third is not acceptable because of the potential harm to children.

    Because sexuality is fluid for most people. In same sex settings (navy, army, boarding school, etc.), homosexuality can jump up to 30%. And for some people, their sexuality is practically set in stone because of their particular biology.
    People choose to identify themselves as gay, straight, bisexual, etc. The attractions those labels represent are generally not chosen.

    Every individual has to decide for themselves what is best for them. Nobody can make that decision for you.
     
  3. IndigoSensor

    IndigoSensor Product Obtained
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    I really strongly believe that Homosexuality is caused by a different biology. I.E. Different wiring inside of the brain. Upbringing has nothing to do with it. As satya said, I only think BSDM is ok. The other two cause problems. Gay-Bisexual-Straight are not set terms, it is a contiuuium of sexual identity, you can be anywhwere on the spectrum. The best way to figure out your own sexuality is to just ask yourself "what am I attracted to most? What do I want?" Then simply test the waters. It might be easier said then done, but it is akin to doing soul searching.
     
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  4. Solus

    Solus Newbie

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    I may be splitting hairs but I think such interpretation is too narrow as it would not categorise as paedophilia those cases where it could be argued, at least in theory, that no harm would result from a particular child's decision to engage in a sexual conduct with an adult. The legal approach doesn't have that problem. Paedophilia is not acceptable because a child cannot consent to sex ie hasn't reached the age where they can give consent to enganging in a sexual conduct. So consent is here just as much an issue as it is with zoophilia.

    I've always considered one's ethnicity more of a cultural than biological concept. You mention Asians, but even with those groups one could argue are more "homogenous" there is the same problem. Is Björk Icelandic despite the fact that apparently she has so many physical features that one would not associate with her people?

    With regard to sexuality, are we homosexuals, heterosexuals or whatever because of our genes or our social environment? I don't think we have a definite answer to that question. And even if we had, would the explanation why we feel attracted to this or that sex change anything fundamentally? This question only makes sense if you want to do something about it. If you don't it really doesn't matter.
     
  5. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    As long as we are splitting hairs, the moral argument that is made against pedophilia is that since children are generally in a subordinate position to adults, it is inherently coercive for adults to engage in such a behavior with children. Children, technically, can willingly consent to sex, but it could not be considered informed consent since children lack the knowledge and maturity to make that decision.
     
  6. Pristinegirl

    Pristinegirl Well-known member

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    As Indigo said I believe it has got to do with the homosexual predisposition of the brain, however I must dissagree on the parenting ibecause it is also a factor. E.g. A child who is abbandoned by their father and grows up without a father figure. In such cases it has been found that they are more prone to seek out to date men.
     
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  7. KingOfSpades

    KingOfSpades Community Member

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    I don't think there's any one "answer" to what causes people to be sexually attracted to a certain category of others.

    Homosexuality has been practiced in almost every culture at every point in time, and is seen in the animal kingdom (Bonobo monkeys I think are very sexual and are as related to humans as their more militant cousins, the chimp). If you've ever read Plato's "Symposium," you know that Greek men used to sleep with little boys, and it was culturally OK for this to happen (although this depended as well on the city-stated as well).

    I think we all have a sexual power in us that needs to go somewhere, that needs to express itself. Freud called this the "libido". We are all sexual creatures -- we need to be, biologically speaking, so that we are motivated to reproduce and keep our genes expanding. However, in the case of humans, our consciousness allows us to express ourselves sexually even where reproduction may not happen.

    I think that terms like "heterosexual", "homosexual" and even "pedophilia" are culturally defined. I think at other times and in other places these categories may or may not have existed -- for better or for worse. In the case of hetero versus homosexuality, I do tend to think that this distinction has a lot to do with power (Micheal Foucoult is a good read for this theory). As you see the rise of powerful countries and especially the rise of modern states, you tend to see divisions of sexuality appear like this, and criminalization of any sexual conduct that does not lead to the man-woman coupling with the intention of procreation. As a result, homosexuality, prostitution, and even masturbation become criminal and morally "wrong". Sexuality is a powerful force, and if you can control it and make people feel bad about their behavior, you can manipulate them in a variety of ways. It's not a coincidence that powerful religions as well insist on only certain sexual relationships, again with the intention of making people feel bad about their sexuality and having more control over them.

    In the case of pedophilia, for most of human history people were marrying other people at ages that we would consider wrong today. Modern criminal sanctions against sex with children (statutory rape, in other words) is a result of at least two forces -- the extension of youth well into adulthood (even people in their twenties today are hardly considered adults); and some of the control aspects I spoke of earlier. But this is a sensitive subject, and I agree that the harms of forced child sexuality are very real and very long-lasting. I think people of either gender who are looking for a relationship with someone much younger than themselves may want to think about why that is -- and this is especially urgent if they are attracted to teenagers or children. In America, too, there is also a sexualization of young women at an early age with the mass media. I can't help but think that this plays a role in creating some urge amongst psychologically weak individuals to sleep with children.
     
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    #7 KingOfSpades, Jan 14, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2009
  8. Xenfinity

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    Studies have found that genetics do play a significant role in determining sexual orientation. However, there are many other things that factor into the equation. For example, some studies have found that after a mother has had 1 or more sons, it increases the chances that the next son will be gay due to the lack of some chemical in the womb that I can't recall. As Satya said, "In same sex settings (navy, army, boarding school, etc.), homosexuality can jump up to 30%." There are always environmental factors as well as genetic ones. Another thing to note is that our sexualities can change especially when we are going through puberty. It's been found that orientation doesn't really settle until the age of 18-21. It always has the possibility of going back and forth. I'm in an interesting position because I'm bi-sexual and I happen to have an older brother and I went to boarding school for 4 years where I spent most of my time around other males. I've always been interested in what caused me to become bi-sexual but it was always sort of a feeling from when I was really young which was simply re-inforced by several factors. So just as everything else in life, it's relative.

    I agree with Satya here.

    Because it is so indescribable. It's like trying to describe happiness. Everyone's view of it is different and due to the immense variety, there are more terms.

    Again, I agree with Satya.

    Sexuality has always confused me but that's because it's an innate feeling which can't really be described by words. I always avoid using words when I'm thinking about it. It's more like a feeling. You just know that it is.

    Hopefully in the future we will discover more about this confusing phenomena but for now we see it as chance. Not that either is good or bad, it just is.
     
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  9. TK*

    TK* Community Member

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    Gawd, I hate topics like this. It's such a loaded question. A friggin' powder keg waiting to explode, lol. But since I bothered to respond, I might as well throw in my two cents.

    Sexual orientation isn't completely genetic, nor is it entirely from nurture. Just like your genes may predispose you to obesity doesn't mean you're going to be obese. Just because your genetics predispose you to an athletic build/height doesn't mean you're going to be a basketball player. Your environment plays a big role in how these things play out, as well as your genes. Say, the kid with the basketball genes decided to go on a hamburger-and-french-fry-diet. Obviously he wouldn't be a basketball player, but his genes were set up for an athletic build. The kid with the obesity genes went on a vegetarian diet and didn't become fat.

    In regards to sexual orientation, I can see all sorts of explanations, variations of genes and environment for too many divisions to talk about. Pedophilia, zoophilia, rape, etc. are dysfunctions, be it chemical imbalances in the brain or a toxic family environment. S&M, homosexuality, whatever aren't "dysfunctions" but can be caused by the same things...just like vanilla heterosexual preferences. They're too many variables to explain without writing a whole book on the subject.

    *shrugs*
     
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  10. Solus

    Solus Newbie

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    Sorry I am a bore but would you equate maturity with mental age? If so, how about a hypothetical situation where a twelve-year-old whose mental age is twice as big seduces a twenty-year-old of average intelligence? She is intellectually superior to him and it may be difficult to assume that under such circumstances she is not making an informed decision by engaging in sexual activity. Moreover, is she really in a subordinate position to him? If not, I don't think that moral arguments would bring such eventuality within the limits of paedophilia. The law is therefore absolutely right in laying clear boundaries here: this is a question of consent and no consent can be given under any circumstance.


    I wouldn't want to sound patronising but for what it's worth I thought this was excellent. I may not agree with every thing you said but I enjoyed reading this.
     
  11. KingOfSpades

    KingOfSpades Community Member

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    well thank you! :mhula:
     
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  12. Tonic

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    Personally, I think that sexuality is much more fluid than most would like to think. I went from a restrictive religion that demanded I was either straight or gay...so when I was younger I tried being "straight," then tried being "gay" and came to feel that I was just me and that neither label fit nor was necessary. I have fallen in love with both sexes and been attracted to both. Everyone is an individual and has their own take on their own sexuality.

    I find that being ME, trumps being male, trumps sexual preference, trumps race...even trumps being human to a degree (as odd as that sounds).
     
  13. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    As I specified, I was making a moral argument. Morals are not determined from exceptions, but from everyone else. If you want to speak in psychological terms it is perfectly possible that...

    A: a child could have a completely positive sexual experience with an adult that causes them no harm.
    B: a child could have the knowledge and maturity to willingly consent to sex.

    But morals are inherently based on generalizations. What is expected to be true most of the time. The above two factors are possibilities, but are generally unlikely, as is your hypothetical situation.

    The law is ultimately based on the moral arguments, and the argument of consent is based on the premise that most of the time a child will be harmed by a sexual experience with an adult and most of the time will not have the knowledge and/or maturity to consent to sex.

    It would be rather unfortunate if you allowed your morals to be determined by laws and not the other way around.
     
    #13 Satya, Jan 14, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2009
  14. Solus

    Solus Newbie

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    Thanks for the clarification and apologies for leaving this post two days after your's.

    Indeed it would be unfortunate if one let laws dictate one's morals. In this case the law just happens to correspond completely with my moral standards. I like that it's absolute and that it covers all situations ie even those which may be, as you point out, unlikely.
     
  15. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    "May you live your life as if the maxim of your actions were to become universal law."

    -Immanuel Kant
     
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