- April 25, 2020
Recently,there has been an increase in the numbers of people who come out totalk about their sexual orientation because of the changed perceptionabout it. Sexual orientation is a “term used to describe enduringpatterns in emotional, romantic and sexual attractions to men, women,or both sexes (Gerrig & Zimbardo). It also describes personal andsocial identities based on those attractions.” It is majorlydiscussed in three categories, homosexuals, heterosexual, andbisexuals.
Accordingto studies, there are several biological factors that influencesexual orientation in a person (Vilain, 2013). Some of these factorsare specific gene profiles and prenatal hormones. Several studieshave shown that homosexuality tends to run in families, this showsthat the genes are hereditary and may be passed from one member toanother. Moreover, a study that was done on identical twins, whoshare the same genes, has been used to shed more light on the issuesof sex preferences (Vilain, 2013). The difference in preferencebetween identical twins who have similar genes is not genetic. Ifone of the twins is homosexual, then the other one should have thesame sexual orientation. Additionally, development of a fetus intoeither male or female is determined by the development of sexualorgans that produce different hormones, which have differentphysiological effects. During the perinatal period and after birth,hormones have irreversible organizing effects on an individual’sbody and the brain, which affects their sexual orientation (Vilain,2013). Therefore, most scientists approve that sexual orientation isa natural effect, which is deeply engrained in an individual due topersonal genes and hormones and is not a conscious choice.
Sexualorientation can, however, be affected by different social andcultural contexts. The way a person expresses their sexualorientation can be associated with the type of environment, they havebeen exposed to or raised in which is also affected by religion andpolitical elements. The environmental factors include physical andpsychological trauma, peer groups and sexual experiences, includingthe history of sexual abuse. According to studies, there is noevidence as to why there is a relationship between sexual abuse andsexual orientation since most people who are abused becomehomosexuals (Gerrig & Zimbardo). Moreover, studies have found outthat sexual desires are not strong enough to create a particularsexual orientation, such as homosexuality, but the culturalenvironment that allows or forbids it to occur (Gerrig &Zimbardo). Some communities such as in Crete homosexual relationshipis undertaken by every adolescent boy as a rite of passage.Additionally, parents and family members may also contribute to thedevelopment of a particular sexual orientation, depending on theirsexual inclinations and roles that children are given depending ontheir sex.
Sexualorientation, therefore, is an issue caused by various factors rangingfrom biological, psychological to cultural. People have differentsexual orientation not because they choose to, but it is natural.Just the way individuals are attracted to the opposite sex naturally,so are homosexuals and heterosexuals. Despite this, some people maybe homosexuals or heterosexuals depending on their environment. Someschools with students of one sex may affect a person’s sexualorientation as they may be subjected to such acts forcefully by theirpeers.
Therefore,the society should be educated about issues of sexual orientation soas to avoid stigmatizing those with undesired sexual relationships(Human Rights Campaign). Different sexual orientation are natural,and people should come out and talk about their behaviors so as tohelp them in developing normal behaviors.
Gerrig, R. J.,& Zimbardo, P. G. (2008). Psychologyand life(18th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.
HumanRights Campaign. (n.d.). and Gender IdentityDefinitions | Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved fromhttp://www.hrc.org/resources/sexual-orientation-and-gender-identity-terminology-and-definitions
Vilain, E.(2013). Biological Factors — LGBT Science. Retrieved fromhttp://www.lgbtscience.org/biological-factors/