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Author Topic: Why am I gay? -- Nature? Nurture? (Straights welcome, too)  (Read 181603 times)

Offline CellarDweller115

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Re: Nurture vs. Nature ... how'd we get like this?
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2006, 10:03:12 AM »
I was born gay.  I have always been this way.

I spent much time in denial, and didn't admit it to myself and others until I was about to turn 28.  Looking back there were obvious signs that I should've seen and listened to.

I was not attracted to girls at all.  When I did date some girls, it was always pretty awkward.  I can remember watching tv and thinking, "he's good looking" or things like that about various actors, but never did that with actresses. 

I'm just glad that I finally came out, and I'm on the right track now.

cyoung

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Re: Nurture vs. Nature ... how'd we get like this?
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2006, 10:05:15 AM »
She is in a marriage to her best friend (a man).† They are virtually non-sexual anymore.† She has a hard time envisioning a life without him in it on a day to day basis as they [platonically] love each other.† They've been together for 15 years.† Her reluctance is understandable.† We have a good friendship and companionship too, but we have the passion and fire that she and her husband don't.† She has admitted that the intensity of her feelings for me scare her.† She thinks will shoot across the sky and burn out like a shooting star.† Shot down in a Blaze of Glory.


I hope it's okay if I ask these questions.... did she and her husband ever have a passion and fire? Because when you've been married for a very long time, it's normal for those feelings to die down some. So if she had those feelings for her husband at one time, her direct experience may be telling her, "this [too] will shoot across the sky and burn out like a shooting star." I think that many people crave the rush and intensity of those first-time feelings. I know I do. I'm always trying to find ways to recreate those days of heady first love.

Cara

Offline ImEnnisShesJack

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Re: Nurture vs. Nature ... how'd we get like this?
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2006, 11:18:38 AM »

I hope it's okay if I ask these questions.... did she and her husband ever have a passion and fire? Because when you've been married for a very long time, it's normal for those feelings to die down some. So if she had those feelings for her husband at one time, her direct experience may be telling her, "this [too] will shoot across the sky and burn out like a shooting star." I think that many people crave the rush and intensity of those first-time feelings. I know I do. I'm always trying to find ways to recreate those days of heady first love.

Cara

there is no tmi here I don't think.

No, they never had passion and fire.  She even asked him if there was a time when he felt like he had a "can't keep your hands off me, rip your clothes off" moment and he said, "No."  *sigh*

and we've always had that - plus the companionship and commraderie.
"And when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night."
~~Heath Ledger 1979-2008~~

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Offline Cat

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Re: Nurture vs. Nature ... how'd we get like this?
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2006, 11:22:11 AM »
Oh the fire dies down, that's for sure. If Jack and Ennis had ended up setting up house together somewhere, within a few years they would have been bickering about who takes out the garbage. LOL. But there's something nice, calm and happy about being with someone and enjoying being with them for the conversation, the camaraderie, etc, even once the "rip your clothes off" period ends.


« Last Edit: January 22, 2006, 11:27:43 AM by Cat »

Offline Lucee

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Re: Nurture vs. Nature ... how'd we get like this?
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2006, 05:37:11 PM »
I also believe it's Nature.† I think how we're nurtured though has everything to do with how we deal with our nature in life.† The more I learn and talk with people with varying views on sexuality it becomes so much more apparent that there are sooooo many greys.† I think being attracted to men or women is really no different than what you are attracted to in a person in general.† Are you a fan of blondes or brunettes?† Stick think or curvy?† Muscular or lean?† At the core there is something in us that sparks interest in us and I believe that's not something that can be learned or unlearned.†

I do also think, that like so many other aspects of humans, that these attractions can change over time.† I am similar to ImJackShesEnnis in that I was a late bloomer.† I have always been a very sexually charged inidividual (I think I even ran off a few guys in my time because of this† :o)† and as I got older...late teens early 20's....the thought of being with another woman crossed my mind more and more.† I was comfortable with a few of my female friends, found nothing wrong with the occasionally grouping or kissing to win us pitchers of beer in the bar (sorry, but 20 something male frat boys are such easy targets for that crap so we just took the opportunity and ran.)† Had I ever seriously been propositioned though by a female I think I might have tested the waters....I just didn't really revolve in social circles though were it was likely to happen.† As I reached my late 20's my attraction to women only increased, but I was (and still am) attracted to men.† Being stuck in a not so great marriage at the time I thought I was doomed to never be able to have an experience with a woman...and I don't know if I might have broken down if the right opportunity presented itself...thankfully I never had find out how strong or weak I was.† I have now had the chance to experience being with women and can honestly say that I definitely enjoy it just as much as being with men.† They both have their selling points ;)† I think I'm more likely now to notice women while out...but I think I'm just making up for lost years.† †So I do believe in some of us that nature just takes awhile to see it's self to fufillment (for whatever reason that might be!)
"Just the smile in your eyes, it can light up the night,
And your laughter's like wind in my sails. "

Offline afemaleJack

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Re: Nurture vs. Nature ... how'd we get like this?
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2006, 06:19:25 PM »


She is in a marriage to her best friend (a man).† They are virtually non-sexual anymore.† She has a hard time envisioning a life without him in it on a day to day basis as they [platonically] love each other.† They've been together for 15 years.† Her reluctance is understandable.† We have a good friendship and companionship too, but we have the passion and fire that she and her husband don't.† She has admitted that the intensity of her feelings for me scare her.† She thinks will shoot across the sky and burn out like a shooting star.† Shot down in a Blaze of Glory.


OMG...are we seeing the same woman??
† †>:(

Offline ImEnnisShesJack

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Re: Nurture vs. Nature ... how'd we get like this?
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2006, 07:38:39 PM »


She is in a marriage to her best friend (a man).† They are virtually non-sexual anymore.† She has a hard time envisioning a life without him in it on a day to day basis as they [platonically] love each other.† They've been together for 15 years.† Her reluctance is understandable.† We have a good friendship and companionship too, but we have the passion and fire that she and her husband don't.† She has admitted that the intensity of her feelings for me scare her.† She thinks will shoot across the sky and burn out like a shooting star.† Shot down in a Blaze of Glory.


OMG...are we seeing the same woman??
† †>:(

lol.  I don't think so.  And someone didn't like THAT post!
"And when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night."
~~Heath Ledger 1979-2008~~

Carol8159@yahoo.com

Offline afemaleJack

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Re: Nurture vs. Nature ... how'd we get like this?
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2006, 08:04:39 PM »
@I'mJackshesEnniss...

Kidding of course.but dang that sounded too familiar...

My Enniss is not married, but can't seem to leave the relationship (fear, scared of what she feels for me), passion beyond belief, so much love...too much fear...

angry... >:( >:( >:(

Offline Hmmmm

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Re: Nurture vs. Nature ... how'd we get like this?
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2006, 11:33:16 PM »

For "Nature" there are other possibilities that just a gene or genes.

Imagine a physical process in the early development of the body and brain.  Imagine that typically it results in result A.  Now imagine that occasionally small variations of conditions result in an outcome B. This would be a physical result but not controlled by genes.

By the way:
Watch out for genes vs. choice arguments because it is a set up so that when a gene possibility is undercut only choice is left.  AS in "There is no conclusive evidence there is a gay gene so it therefore cannot be argued it is anything but a choice."
Prejudice is not a family value.

Offline Parenthetical Greg

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Re: Nurture vs. Nature ... how'd we get like this?
« Reply #24 on: February 03, 2006, 05:27:00 PM »
For "Nature" there are other possibilities that just a gene or genes.

Imagine a physical process in the early development of the body and brain.† Imagine that typically it results in result A.† Now imagine that occasionally small variations of conditions result in an outcome B. This would be a physical result but not controlled by genes.

By the way:
Watch out for genes vs. choice arguments because it is a set up so that when a gene possibility is undercut only choice is left.† AS in "There is no conclusive evidence there is a gay gene so it therefore cannot be argued it is anything but a choice."
I don't mind the nature vs. nurture rubric so much. But, I completely agree with you on the genes versus other biological influences.

The absence of conclusive evidence of some collection of "gay genes" at this point demonstrates little more than our generally feeble scientific understanding of genes and complex behaviors like sexuality. Anyone who fails to appreciate that probably had his mind made up despite inconvenient facts.

Genes probably do play a part. Thereís increasing evidence that the uterine environment plays a very significant role too. Iím not so sure about infancy->toddlerdom. Doesnít seem to be much evidence of that, but I wouldnít rule it out either.

I find the ďevidenceĒ that the underlying sexual attraction/romantic affectation/whatever is a learned behavior to be terribly unpersuasive. Ditto for the notion that it subject to deliberate control (gay people can learn to be straight; straight people can learn to be gay).

How mutable it may be an interesting question. Particularly in women (Iím not sure why that would be, but it is intriguing).

The peri-pubescent curiosity in same-sex attractions (even among children who prove to be decidedly heterosexual as adults) is another interesting phenomenon. But thereís so much other stuff going on in kidís bodies/brains at that time that it doesnít seem all that remarkable.

Studies on genetic twins with discordant orientations have produced some surprising results thus far. Not sure what to make of that yet. Likewise, the preliminaries suggesting a connection between fecundity and a greater frequency of homosexual sons.

I guess that Iím in the probably 90+ percent biological camp. While Iím interested in the academic question, I think society knows more than enough to ďdo the right thingĒ even without a complete answer to this question. I guess thatís why I donít see any need to have pointless debates with fundies about nature vs. nurture. We know enough. Move on.

sactopete

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Re: Nurture vs. Nature ... how'd we get like this?
« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2006, 09:24:32 AM »
Greg,

Do you have a favorite link to a zygotic twin study?  As you suggest, that zygotic twins would have differing orientations at all is the surprise.  But I remember a study (with no link or info on it) that stated the rate of differing orientation is high but not more than 50%.    I've talked with the gay half of a couple of zygotic pairs.  What also surprised me was that they claimed the other half wasn't aware of their orientation.  I believed the myth that zygotic twins practically read each other's minds, so that just blew me away.

On the other had, I've met a few fraternal male twins where both turned out to be gay.  But again, they didn't come out to each other until they were in their 30's or 40's.

Pete

Offline Parenthetical Greg

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Re: Nurture vs. Nature ... how'd we get like this?
« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2006, 11:09:41 AM »
Do you have a favorite link to a zygotic twin study?† As you suggest, that zygotic twins would have differing orientations at all is the surprise.† But I remember a study (with no link or info on it) that stated the rate of differing orientation is high but not more than 50%.† †
Most of the work involved (or followed up on) the early 90s work from J.M. Bailey. The two works Iíve noticed the most citations to are from the Archives of General Psychiatry (48, 1089-1096; 50, 217-223), but there have been many since. I canít say that I have a favorite.

Note Bailey is a very controversial figure from many perspectives (including research methods, for which he got into ďofficialĒ trouble). Likewise,† most of the studies Iíve noticed have the usual array of problems that plague studying homosexuality generally.

For some reason, I thought that I saw something out of the AddHealth project too (a large-scale longitudinal study of adolescent health in general). Some amazing research has come out of the dataset. If memory serves, the AddHealth surveys oversampled for twins, but I donít recall if they coded by mono/dizygotic twins (seems likely given the purpose of the study). But a quick search didnít turn anything up. Perhaps my imagination got the better of me.

My general (and perhaps faulty) recollection of the research is similar to yours. Monozygotic twins have a significantly higher rate of concordance than dizygotic twins, but the ďidenticalĒ twins were of discordant orientation roughly half the time.†

Quote from: sactopete
I've talked with the gay half of a couple of zygotic pairs.† What also surprised me was that they claimed the other half wasn't aware of their orientation.† I believed the myth that zygotic twins practically read each other's minds, so that just blew me away.
Thatís wild! I tend to believe the same myth, so Iím quite surprised.

sactopete

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Re: Nurture vs. Nature ... how'd we get like this?
« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2006, 12:36:15 AM »
I've also known a couple of pairs of mono-zygotic twins who shared a homosexual orientation.  One pair was a drag act in the early 70's.  The other pair were highschool football stars who I had no problem telling apart: one was butch and into leather and the other was not.

Offline ImEnnisShesJack

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Re: Nurture vs. Nature ... how'd we get like this?
« Reply #28 on: February 08, 2006, 08:28:49 PM »
I suddenly feel quite small and REALLY unejamacated next to you two!!!
"And when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night."
~~Heath Ledger 1979-2008~~

Carol8159@yahoo.com

Offline Parenthetical Greg

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Re: Nurture vs. Nature ... how'd we get like this?
« Reply #29 on: February 08, 2006, 09:10:54 PM »
I suddenly feel quite small and REALLY unejamacated next to you two!!!
That might explain why Pete and I managed to shut down this thread altogether.

Maybe Jim will have to make a Major Nerd thread for us.† ;) You know, a place where people will understand why when Pete used the word "zygotic" I went all weak in the knees.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2006, 11:30:42 PM by Parenthetical Greg »