Posted on 29 September 2012.
I’ve been working in the field of Genetics and Bioinformatics for many years now. What I’ve been taught most of my life is that homosexuality is an innate condition that people are born with. The genetics of this is very complicated so I will simplify. For example:
1. SRY (Sex-determining region Y) is a sex-determining gene on the Y chromosome (XX = Female; XY = Male). SRY is a single gene located on the Y chromosome that activates a complex array of male determining genotype and phenotype genes during the process of fertilization, differentiation, and development of an female egg into a baby.
However, during the mixing and cross-over of chromosomes, the SRY gene can be stripped from the Y chromosome and attach itself to the X chromosome. So some XX sex determining chromosome sets to from a woman can produce homosexual characteristics that can result in the birth of a Lesbian. The opposite is true for Gays.
2. Prenatal Hormones. If a lot of Androgen is present in the mother’s womb during the development of nerve cells and the brain, then a female baby can come to form as a Lesbian.
3. Androgen Absorption Resistance. Cells in a baby can be resistant to the absorption of androgen to produce testosterone. Without testosterone in the presence of a baby, the baby can also become homosexual.
Other genetic factors are too complicated to explain here. But take my word for it!
However, an interesting bioinformatics statistic came to my attention today: “Almost all of the homosexual children are born by heterosexual parents. And Almost all of the children raised by homosexual parents are heterosexual children.”
I did some research outside of my field of study on what other factors other than inheriting genes, proteins and hormones that can cause homosexuality. Can homosexuality be a choice or a lifestyle rather than genetics? I came across some literature on this subject today.
In a U.S.-based 1970s mail survey by Shere Hite, lesbians self-reported their reasons for being lesbian. This is the only major piece of research into female sexuality that has looked at how women understand being homosexual since Kinsey in 1953. The research yielded information about women’s general understanding of lesbian relationships and their sexual orientation.
Women talked about social conditioning, which made it “almost impossible for me to have a truly healthy sexual relationship with a man”. Another woman stated that because of their conditioning “women are much more sensitive to other people’s needs”, and so “sex is better with women physically and emotionally”, stating she preferred the symmetries of power and aesthetic between women. Some talked about preferring women.
“Personally, I like girls better, they are more tender and loving”, and some went into how they found that emotional relationships with women were more satisfying than those with men, with women making more creative and versatile lovers. One woman reported it was easier for her “to give myself emotionally to a woman”.
A woman who had been a lesbian for two years said she found that sexual relationships with women were more pleasurable on both psychological and physical levels than with men; this was “because the women I’ve had sex with have been my friends first, which was never the case with men. Being friends sets up a trust that I think is essential for satisfying physical intimacy.
Relating to another woman physically seems to me like the most natural thing in the world. You’ve already got a head start on knowing how to give her pleasure. Gentleness seems to be the key, and is the main difference between relating to men and women.’”
Women talked about women making better sexual partners and that was a dominant theme: “I find women better lovers; they know what a woman wants and most of all, there is an emotional closeness that can never be matched with a man. More tenderness, more consideration and understanding of feelings, etc.” This was because men were perceived as unliberated “sexually or emotionally or any other way”, and lesbianism was perceived “as an alternative to abstinence” and to men generally.
Men were perceived as usually juvenile, while a relationship with women was described as “more of a communion with self”. Sex as well as relationships with women were seen as a way of achieving independence from men; “sex with a woman means independence from men.”
Male sexual performance was another problem, “ten to twenty minutes for a man, at least an hour with a woman, usually more”, as well as attention to the sexual needs of women who themselves “seem to have a more sustained energy level after orgasm, and are more likely to know and do something about it if I’m not satisfied”. One understanding of the difference was that sex with women “is not an ‘exchange’ or a ‘trade’ or services”, and not focused on orgasm, with “more kissing and holding” and “more concern for my pleasure”, which was experienced as liberating.
Sex with women was also seen as a political act; “I see lesbianism as putting all my energies (sexual, political social, etc.) into women. Sex is a form of comfort and to have sex indiscriminately with males is to give them comfort.”.
Hite found the two most significant differences between respondents’ experience with men and women were the focus on clitoral stimulation, and more emotional involvement and orgasmic responses. Since Hite carried out her study she has acknowledged that some women may have chosen the political identity of a lesbian. Julie Bindel, a UK journalist, reaffirmed that “political lesbianism continues to make intrinsic sense because it reinforces the idea that sexuality is a choice, and we are not destined to a particular fate because of our chromosomes.” as recently as 2009.
The study’s senior researcher said that women’s sexual desire is less rigidly directed toward a particular sex, as compared with men’s, and women’s sexuality is more changeable over time. Men lack of knowledge about women’s sexuality. McCormick states that emotional, mental, and ideological connections between women are as important or more so than the genital stimulation. Women generally exhibit greater sexual fluidity than men and find it easier to become physically and emotionally intimate with the same sex than men do.
I also found research in what is considered attractive in women between lesbian couples VS. that of heterosexual couples.
Men’s shaping of women’s sexuality has proven to have an effect on how lesbians see their own bodies. Studies have shown that heterosexual men and lesbians have different standards for what they consider attractive in women. Lesbians who view themselves with male standards of female beauty may experience lower self-esteem, eating disorders, and higher incidence of depression. Lesbian women are more attracted to women with a higher body mass.
There are also a great deal of research, history, and culture relating Gender Roles and Career Choices with that of being a Lesbian.
Greek stories of the heavens often included a female figure whose virtue and virginity were unspoiled, who pursued more masculine interests, and who was followed by a dedicated group of maidens. Foster cites Camilla and Diana, Artemis and Callisto, and Iphis andIanthe as examples of female mythological figures who showed remarkable devotion to each other, or defied gender expectations. Choosing to be lesbian might be a woman’s choice to defy one’s gender role that is constructed socially as well as culturally.
There are even religious factors that causes women to sexually express themselves more freely to other women.
For ten centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire, lesbianism disappeared from literature. Foster points to the particularly strict view that Eve—representative of all women—caused the downfall of mankind; original sin among women was a particular concern, especially because women were perceived as creating life. During this time, women were largely illiterate and not encouraged to engage in intellectual pursuit, so men were responsible for shaping ideas about sexuality. Lesbianism was the only way that women can truly and freely express themselves, emotionally and sexually, to another person.
I read a book by one of the most famous Social Psychologist in the World as well as one of the most faithful Christian I’ve ever encountered: Dr. David Myers at Hope College. (In fact, I read every book and every paper this person has ever published.)
This following book has made the most impact on my views on gays and lesbians; which one is a choice and which one is not; which one is sinful and which one is not.
“What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage, Myers, D. G. & Scanzoni, Letha Dawson (2005), San Francisco, CA: Harper San Francisco. This is an effort to bridge the divide between marriage-supporting and gay-supporting people of faith, by showing why both sides have important things to say.” Buy the book from amazon.com. (You can read chapters from this book for free on Dr. Myers website.)
“What God Has Joined Together is an effort to bridge the divide between marriage-supporting and gay-supporting people of faith by showing why both sides have important things to say. By affirming marriage for all, What God Has Joined Together concurs with conservatives’ call for marriage renewal and a more marriage-supporting culture. And it concurs with liberals’ affirmation of everyone’s right, regardless of sexual orientation, to seal love with commitment and to participate fully in the church’s life and ministry.”
“With its traditional defense of marriage and its progressive embrace of same-sex relationships, this book cannot be pigeonholed, and that in itself is refreshing.”
Dr. Myers made ten Conclusions:
1. Our Reformed and ever-reforming faith tradition beckons us, with open minds, to discern and reconcile the truth in God’s word and God’s works.
2. All humans have a deep “need to belong,” to connect with others in close, intimate, enduring relationships.
3. As one potent example of such relationships, marriage contributes to flourishing lives—to happier and healthier adults, and thriving children.
4. Toxic forces, especially radical individualism and the media modeling of impulsive sexuality, are corroding marriage and the health of communities.
5. Sexual orientation is a natural (largely biologically influenced) disposition, most clearly so for men.
6. Sexual orientation is also an enduring disposition, which is seldom reversed by willpower, reparative therapy, or ex-gay ministry.
7. Out of 31,103 Bible verses, only seven frequently quoted verses speak directly of same-sex behavior—and often in the context of idolatry, promiscuity, adultery, child exploitation, or violence. We infer that the Bible has nothing to say about an enduring sexual orientation (a modern concept) or about loving, long-term same-sex partnerships. (One of our goals was to familiarize readers with biblical scholarship that offers alternative interpretations to the familiar proof-texts used against gay people.)
8. The creation stories focus on human companionship, on the importance of relationship and the formation of new kinship units (most of which will be heterosexual, but some of which, we now realize, may be gays).
9. A Christian case for gay marriage arises from the human need to belong, from the biblical mandate for justice, from the benefits of a culture-wide norm of monogamy, and from a refutation of popular arguments against gay marriage.
10. Although not part of our argument (and therefore in an appendix) we also note—for those who may wonder how history likely will judge us—that attitudes on this sexual issue are rapidly changing, and becoming more accepting of gay rights and relationships.
Moreover, there is a large generation gap, with most older adults opposing gay marriage and most younger adults supporting it. Given that the forces driving the attitude changes are likely to continue, and given generational succession, it appears that the culture war over gay marriage and gay ordination will gradually be resolved in the years to come, much as were previous culture wars over minority and women’s rights.
So in my simple conclusion, gay homosexuality may definitely be the result of genetic disposition since it is almost never fluid. So for gay people, homosexuality should not be a sin.
But as for some Lesbians who are not genetically programmed that way, if it is a choice and if you are a religious person, you might find the following advices helpful: a time for you to choose a better lover, choose a husband who is your best friend first, choose a more emotionally mature partner, choose a more ardent supporter for you career and your equality at home as well as your ambition, choose a husband with a more androgynous personality, and finally choose someone who want to please you in bed for hours.