Sexual orientation is something that people hear about daily in the news, media, and daily lives of others, especially when it comes to the field of psychology and the nature versus nurture debate. For being as commonly debated and discussed as it is, there are many questions that come along with it: what is sexual orientation, how do people know their sexual orientation, what causes homosexuality, is it normal, is it possible to change, and can wanting LGBT, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, youth to change lead to suicide?
The question of what sexual orientation actually is and how to define it is a very common question within itself. Sexual orientation, as a whole, is a pattern of various types of attraction including, but not limited to, emotional, physical, and sexual that is described as if it were any other human characteristic (“Sexual Orientation and homosexuality” 1). Labels are used to create an easier way to identify with a particular group of attractions. These labels are gay, lesbian, and bisexual (“Sexual Orientation and homosexuality” 1). Based on these attractions and labels, people are given a sense of identity and from there on come the relationships with the particular sex they feel most attracted to. This is where the most common debate comes up: is homosexuality a choice or is something people are born with?
How Do People Know?
Feelings of attraction to members of a particular sex, in both heterosexual (straight) and homosexual (gay) people, emerge starting in middle childhood to around early adolescence (“Sexual Orientation and homosexuality” 1). Typically in men, they start forming attractions to a particular sex (whether it be same or opposite) at about 13 years old and in women around 14-16 years old. However, most men and women will not come to terms with their sexuality, if they are gay, until around 19-21 years old, in men, and 21-23 years old, in women (Huegal 15). Sometimes the feelings of one or more of the various forms of attraction to someone of the same sex appear with sexual experience and encounters that one may have, but most commonly these feelings emerge without any previous sexual experience and this fact leads us to believe that being gay is most-likely not a choice (“Sexual Orientation and homosexuality” 1). The question, “How did you know you’re gay?” will typically result in the same answer every time, “I just know.” However, when an LGBT person is asking this question they can turn it around and ask the same question to someone who straight, “How did you know you were straight?” As a result, it is shown that being gay is like any other characteristics and is something that goes unanswered as to why it is the way it is.
What Causes Homosexuality?
There are multiple theories people hold on how they believe homosexuality started or is generally caused. However, after multiple studies and ongoing research the likelihood that it is nature, rather...