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Nature vs. nurture

Disclaimer: The views expressed in these columns do not necessarily reflect the personal views of the reporter or The Blue Print newspaper. Reporters have been asked to take a specific position on an issue in order to share its perspective.

Nature vs. Nurture is a debate that has been going on for quite some time. Nurture is the side that believes that a homosexual person chooses to be attracted to the same sex. Nature is the belief that homosexual people are born that way, and are just attracted to the opposite sex naturally. Who is right? Wrong? That decision is all up to you.

Nature

By Riley Johnston

"You can't punch the gay out of me anymore than I can punch the ignoramus out of you."-Kurt Hummel

Besides being denied the right to marry the one they love and to serve their country, gays are constantly ridiculed and remain the cultural slur of the day when someone wants to call something dumb, stupid, or lame. Why would anyone in the right mind choose that? The Nature vs. Nurture debate has been going on almost as long as there have been children and it doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

A popular study was conducted in 1990 by a man named D.F. Swabb who discovered that the hypothalamus in the brains of a homosexual man has a significant size difference than that of a straight man. This discovery was made again in 1991 by Simon Levay, and again by Laura S. Allen in 1992 who also found that the Anterior Commissure is also significantly larger in the brains of gays.

The amounts of androgens that a person is exposed to in the womb also affects their sexuality. If a female is overexposed to androgens, the baby will then be born showing very masculine traits, and she will be born a homosexual. The same is true for males that are under-exposed to androgens, showing very feminine traits and ultimately being born gay. A study to prove this theory correct was conducted at Stanford, in which they delivered a male-typical amount of androgens to female rats, later on the rats were very aggressive and had a stronger sexual drive than average females, as well as mounting other females. The same was true for males who were given low amounts androgens. The males were passive and had a lower sex drive and as the females the males engaged in sexual actions with he same sex.

One last argument I would like to leave you with is a simple story of seven year old twin boys named Patrick and Thomas. The twins met with Neil Swindey a writer for the Boston Globe.when Swidey met with boys he reported that he couldn't tell one from the other. However, after spending only a few minutes with the brothers, he noticed quite a difference between the two. Thomas was "all boy", rough housing, punching his brother and so on. While Patrick did continue to horse around with his brother, his punches were not as hard and his voice was higher. When the boys were about five, Thomas had stated "I want to be a monster for Halloween" Patrick then said, "I want to be a princess!" Patrick was exhibiting behavior of something called Childhood Gender Nonconformity, or CGN. CGN is when a young boy continually portrays very girl-like behavior. 75% of the young boys that show traits of CGN will find that they are gay later in life. So I could understand choosing to be gay if there were only one or two pieces of evidence in the biological debate, but with this many facts and studies proven to be factors of a persons sexuality, choosing to be gay doesn't make sense. People who are born different cannot help who they are so how does being gay make a difference?

Nurture

By Jesi Scott

In 1994, two decades after research on homosexuality as a mental disorder, the American Psychological Association (APA) stated, "Homosexuality is neither a mental illness nor a moral depravity. It is the way a portion of the population expresses human love and sexuality.

Homosexuality is not a birth trait, defect, or illness that a child acquires in the womb. The side of Nurture in the Nature vs. Nurture debate firmly believes that homosexual people are not born that way. Several things in a child's life can influence his or her attraction to the same sex. The child's upbringing and how he or she is treated by their parents plays a major role. How the child is treated in a social environment can also sway a child's sexuality.

According to the Christian religion, God did not create his children to be homosexual, because he sees it as a sin. The Christian religion's "proof" against being born as a homosexual: Leviticus 20:13 says, "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable." There are many other verses in the Bible that explains why God believes that homosexuality is wrong. Why would he create his children be unable to obey him?

For others who do not believe in God or the Christian religion, there is also scientific proof that children are not born gay or lesbian. Dr. Dean Hamer was asked by Scientific American magazine if homosexuality was rooted solely in biology. He replied, "Absolutely not. From twin studies we already know that half or more of the variability in sexual orientation is not inherited. Our studies try to pinpoint the genetic factors, not negate the psychosocial factors." Hamer also believes that environmental factors play a role if the child becomes homosexual. "There is not a single master gene that makes people gay. I don't think that we will ever be able to predict who will be gay from genetic and physical tests and studies."

This brings us to the conclusion that gay or lesbian children are not born that way. As Dr. Hamer stated, parental teachings and the child's upbringing is a way that a child can end up having an attraction to the same sex. Every person is different. The way a parent may act around their child could make him or her think that they are supposed to be attracted to the same sex. For example, if an adopted child's legal guardian is gay or bisexual, the child may grow up knowing that this is the way things are supposed to be, from a young age.

Another factor that may cause a child to become homosexual is how the child is treated in a social environment. Take a small boy, for example, in the third or fourth grade. There is a lot of pressure, especially at that age, for a male child to show no feminine tendencies, or he would be made fun of and mocked. Say that this child did act in a more feminine way, and this was shown to other children of his own age. People around him, more often than not, would make fun of him and call him gay. Not only would this tear down the child's self esteem, but would it also make the poor kid wonder if he really was gay? A child this young may not grasp the understanding of what was going on and begin to believe that he was gay, just because that is what everyone else said.

Mental beliefs are strong. Thoughts are strong. If this child grew up believing that he was gay, because of one mistake or another, wouldn't he be gay? All in all, being homosexual is a choice, a belief, which can be changed if a person really does not want to be gay.

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