Homosexuals: Born or Made?
Homosexuality is a complex phenomenon defined as sexual attraction to or sexual relations with somebody of the same sex (Encarta Dictionary, 2008). It is often said that we are products of our environment, but quite the contrary is true, as our genetic makeup or the genes passed unto us by our parents also has a huge role to play in shaping our identities. A person’s self-identity is an intricate concept, defined as “Who am I”, it is an integrated image of himself or herself as a unique person and “What one is” as distinguished from other persons (Bailey, 2004). This dilemma raises one of the age-old questions: What causes a person to be gay? Some investigators believe that sexual orientation is determined by childhood experiences in other words learnt behaviour or socialization; while others are of the opinion that homosexuality is at least partly biologically determined or who a person really is from the moment of conception. Given the extreme views toward gays; who would happily choose to be stigmatized and ostracized? For that reason I believe the formation of an individual’s self identity is largely shaped by heredity and not their environment.
Research offers evidence that there may indeed be a physiological basis for sexual orientation. In a study of 41 brains taken from people who died before age 60, Simon LeVay, a biologist at San Diego’s Salk Institute for Biological Studies, found that one tiny region in the brain of homosexual men was more like that in women, than that in heterosexual men. This specific part is found at the front of the hypothalamus in an area of the brain known to help regulate male sexual behaviour. This area is called the interstitial nuclei of the anterior hypothalamus (INAH); the study also found that it is larger in men than in women (Gorman, 1991).
Another study found that the two sides of the brain also changed in symmetry depending on the person's sexual orientation, it was either symmetrical...