Friday, October 13, 2006

Why Homosexuality Is Not A "Choice"

I don't imagine most people buy the idea put forth by the various fundie groups that you can talk people out of being homosexual. But I think it's fun to argue the point anyway.
First of all, background - there is a certain school of thought that people aren't born attracted to members of their own sex and therefore homosexuality is an irresponsible choice on their part, perhaps because they were enticed by the "homosexual agenda." I know a few homosexuals, and while they are better at putting together a wardrobe than I am, they're certainly not well-organized enough to advance an agenda.
But this argument that homosexuality is a choice, it's a crazy oversimplification which makes no sense. "Hmmmm... I'm not particularly attracted to men, but it might be fun... even though I am risking getting beaten to death by my Texas classmates. Aw what the hell, let's go for it. In fact, I'll keep a clandestine sex life going for years, just because it's such delicious fun." If these guys are such thrillseekers, why not come out of the closet?
The argument the fundies are trying to make, it seems to me, is this: no matter how much you want to sleep with members of your own sex, it's wrong and you mustn't. While this phrasing is consistent with their views, it's a very difficult position to argue from because it implies that you know how it feels. And the next thing you know, you're getting beaten to death in Texas.
And if you badly want to sleep with members of your own sex, then it's not a choice, it's a biological imperative, and fundies don't want to admit that some people are born wanting it. The refusal to admit this forces them in this ridiculous rhetorical position. But acknowledging it... well, I haven't quite worked out why that would be so bad. Basically a couple of Apostles were against man-on-man love, and the quotes got pinned to Jesus. I guess. Not my area of expertise.
It would be great for someone to shake this essay down for me. Am I wrong? How?


beepbeepitsme said...

Asking a homosexual not to have sex with the same gender, is like asking a heterosexual not to have sex with the opposite gender.

Danielk said...

Exactly! Suppose you confront a straight funamentalist (of any religion) with this scenario: there is a severe overpopulation problem, and we're not outlawing sex, just sex that can result in reproduction. So just learn to enjoy sleeping with another man, okay? I'm guessing he is going to take a few women into the closet with him from time to time.
Sexual frustration is the best tool organized religion has ever had - feeling guilty about sex, you channel your considerable energies into the religion instead. I bet the crusades got off the ground that way.

beepbeepitsme said...

RE daniel:

Homosexual behaviour exists in nature. We are part of nature, therefore human homosexual behaviour is not unnatural.

But even though homosexual behaviour exists in nature, it is not "the norm" That is, the majority of sexual behaviour is heterosexual.

A recent article suggests that the mothers and sisters of homosexual men had more offspring. Therefore, the same genes that give homosexuality in men could give higher fertility among women.

So, the homophobes should actually be grateful for homosexuality, it seems to increase fertility rates, and you know how important fertility and procreation is to the average religious fundie.

(Google this heading and you should find the reference - Birds and bees may be gay: museum exhibition)

Anonymous said...

I like the basic arguments you put forth, Dan but I think you're painting the loony right with an overly broad brush. Most "fundies" DO acknowledge some people are born homosexual. There's even a growing body of scientific evidence that gayness is nature, not nurture (which, interestingly, is more testable for gay men than lesbians, but let's not open that can of worms). What is being condemned is the act and the lifestyle.

It's the old Catholic thing: "Love the sinner, hate the sin." Remember, most religions except for the looney ones are in the soul-harvesting business. Your projected assumption that 'no matter how much you want to sleep with members of your own sex, it's wrong and you mustn't' hews to this.

If you calculate homosexuality as a statistical occurence (I've read everything from 2% to 15%, depending on who's counting) than gays will always be a minority. And minorities generally have the social mores of the majority culture imposed on them. So it kinda doesn't matter if anyone knows how it feels to have one's sexuality proscribed, some people are always going to try to impose those mores.


Jo said...

"What is being condemned is the act and the lifestyle."

Homosexuality isn't an action. What seems to be the biggest offense in the eyes of the religious fanatics who accept homosexual as humans is anal sex between two guys. Where's the justification in condemning a man for fornicating another man? Nobody can really say anything besides, "Oh, the book says so," or, "It offends me."

Homosexuality isn't a lifestyle either; it's a part of someone's life. The word 'lifestyle' encompasses a multitude of factors, including religious beliefs, dietary and exercise habits, work ethic, moral standards and economic status.