Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The development of human sexual orientation Part 2


In yesterday's article, I argued that sexual orientation in general (and same sex sexual orientation in particular) occurs as a result of a broad range of biological and environmental factors that interact and that ultimately crystallize at puberty to produce a person’s sexual attraction to others. Furthermore, I suggested that the course of sexual orientation development is the same regardless of one’s sexual orientation: heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, and even asexual orientations develop in the same way.
         
At the outset, let me note that the scientific community is some distance from knowing the specific details of how different factors interact to produce our sexual orientations. This observation may not be surprising; the scientific community (e.g., psychology, psychiatry, biology) is some distance from knowing the specific details of how different factors interact to produce a range of personality characteristics (e.g., intelligence) and disorders (e.g., schizophrenia). 

We do know that there is NO single factor or element that is only and unambiguously associated with a specific (e.g., same sex) sexual orientation. For example, we know that genetic factors contribute to same sex sexual orientation, but there is no known gene or set of genes which always and only produces same sex sexual orientation. Similarly, we do know that early childhood experiences (such as childhood sexual abuse) can contribute to sexual orientation, but it is not the case that child sexual abuse always produces a particular sexual orientation. If, for example, a younger male has been sexually abused by an older male, this may have a slight influence on the development of same sex sexual orientation by the young male, but the vast majority of males (and females) who have been sexually abused develop opposite sex sexual orientation. So, there is no individual factor that clearly leads to same sex sexual orientation.

The range of factors that influences the development of sexual orientation is broad. These factors include genetic factors, prenatal non-genetic factors (e.g., exposure to prenatal hormones), personal perceptions and experiences influences (e.g., relationships with other children, feeling different from others), and broader interpersonal/social influences (e.g.. urban vs. rural environments). These factors work together before puberty to set up a person’s sexual orientation. So, we do know that a broad range of factors interacts in a complex (and unknown) fashion to influence the development of all sexual orientations. We also know that this complex set of factors also tends to have a mostly predictable but strong influence on the development of sexual orientation. That is, however the combination of factors interacts, the combination tends to “push” the development of sexual orientation in a particular direction (e.g., generally toward opposite sex sexual orientation – heterosexuality). 
Surveys that examine sexual attraction/orientation generally find that about 2-5% of the participants of a survey report themselves as having a same sex sexual orientation (or report as bisexual). This is relatively consistent across a variety of surveys administered across a range of countries and times. To put it another way, in the vast majority of individuals (approximately 95-98% of people) the complex interaction of factors leads to the development of opposite sex sexual orientation at puberty. That is, most individuals are “pushed” toward opposite sex sexual orientation during the course of their development. The (unknown) combination of factors that lead to an alternate development route for sexual orientation (i.e., toward same sex sexual orientation) occurs relatively infrequently.

So, we know that a broad range of factors, both biological (i.e., nature) and environmental (i.e., nurture) interact over a period of time (from conception to puberty) to produce our sexual orientations. The most common pathway of development leads to opposite sex sexual orientation; less common alternate pathways lead to same sex sexual orientation or both sex sexual orientation (bisexuality). We also know that the pathways are “set” at puberty, when a pubertal child discovers that he or she is attracted to or has a crush on others. We are neither born with, nor do we choose, our sexual orientation – to whom we are attracted.

Dr. Steven Hayduk
Former Officer
Guardians of the Truth ’83-‘85
Canada

11 comments:

Kjell Edlund said...

This article is a mix of good academic science and biased views. If you ask a gay man, I'll tell you what he would answer:
For a gay man, its of no interest to know "how come I'm gay" - its "why am I'm not aloud to live and act on who I am?"

To claim as a fixed truth that no one is "borned this way" is in all ways a false statement that only bring sorrow and dispair to the LGBT community.

Kjell-Erik Edlund
Former officer of the Salvation army
God's messengers session 1980-82
Sweden

Anonymous said...

An article is generally regarded as 'biased' if the reader does not agree with its content. Heterosexual readers may view it differently. It's an unbridgeable gap of perspective, depending on one's 'orientation'.
Perhaps gay readers could ask themselves, if being gay is so right, why there is no natural opportunity for procreation within these relationships. If all people were gay, there would be no human race in a generation. Is that God's plan for His people?

Anonymous said...

Of course, there are many instances where hetero relationships do not wish to procreate or are not able to do so for all sorts of reasons.....could this also be part of the overall divine plan? It is all a matter of perspective!

Kjell Edlund said...

My intentions why I commented this in many ways well grounded articel was to make a point that its possible to be Christian and at the same time aknowledge the academic empirii.
It was not in any way grounded in my own personality in the way you imply.

Why is it that some are darkskinned, blue eyed, don't are able to give birth, not suited for partnership at all, discovering a diversed sexuality like being gay... and so on and on?
Only God knows my friend...

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Kjell Edlund, my comments were to readers in general, not you personally. But a person's interpretation of what they read IS dependant on their specific viewpoint. There are people who would agree with this article, and those who would disagree. They react according to their views on the subject - some are LGBTQ and some are 'straight'.
I agree that heterosexual people make the choices you state, and the decision NOT to have children is a lifestyle choice made by many heterosexual couples. But it's the word 'choice' that's important. They DO have the option of choice - a gay couple do not have that choice within their relationship. They have to rely on another's input and it is a sterile, non-perpetuating relationship without the other person's participation. As far as I know, this 'arrangement' for couples of the same sex is not mentioned in holy scripture.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Steven but I have to agree with Kjell-Erik on this one----particularly when it comes to males. There hasn't been enough studying done on females, due to patriarchy, so at the moment their orientations maybe either psychological because of molestation, etc. or biological--the jury is out until someone actually studies them in more depth. One day someone certainly will do so, and give a more definitive answer to their sexuality. This patriarchal prejudice also reveals what people are really upset about--namely what males do.

The subject also has nothing to do with where people are coming from and their individual perspectives how to interpret the data. In a sense, we all start out female, the whole mammal world does, but because of the Y chromosome males get, the process of differentiation into a male is a more complicated process then becoming a female. Since in utero factors are often involved, I don't know how you can make a blanket statement that no one is born gay. Not to mention that a statement like yours is what brings the demented out with their baseball bats. It can become a matter of injuries and life or death for many gay men in this world. Your work includes very good academic science, which is better than that of most Bible thumpers, but your conclusion is dangerous for those of a minority orientation. I think your wife has a better grip on the subject.

Daryl Lach
USA Central

"You Must Go Home By the Way of the Cross, To Stand With Jesus In the Morning!"

Anonymous said...

.....'I think your wife has a better grip on the subject.'......
Interpretation: she says more of what I want to hear.
I note you have neatly sidestepped the comment that the human race would be extinguished in a generation if everyone were gay etc and they could not rely on an external person's biological help. Plus, when outside aid is sought and implemented, it's not in essence a true physical family unit (with genes from both parents).

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

Oh, you again. I don't know what your problem is about how people got here and/or your obsession concerning the overwhelming importance of making sure that everyone gets here the proper, old fashioned way, but I suggest that it may be helpful to go see someone professional about whatever it is that's going on in that one track mind of yours.

When out of 7 plus billion people, 99.9% (if not more) got here according to your prescribed, approved, methodology and at least 90% of the world's population is straight, with hundreds of millions (if not billions) of heterosexual copulations occurring all over the world, everyday, it boggles my mind to try and understand why anyone would feel so threatened by such a small minority of people who don't fit into some particular mold. The whole thing sounds awfully pharisaical to me.

Unfortunately, for someone who I assume is a Xian, and claims that his/her opinions are Bible based (and thus God breathed), you sure do come across a lot like my agnostic 10th grade biology teacher Mr. C. In 1966 he told our whole class that the only reason why we were here, is to pass on our genetic material. I didn't buy it then from him, and I certainly am not going to buy into your cockeyed views either.

Anyway, all of this has been covered and answered for you in other posts on this site and even other unofficial SA sites if you care to research it.

Bless You anyway, dear proper Xian person.

Daryl Lach
USA Central

P.S. The world just seemed so much simpler back in 1955 when as a 4 year old, I asked my mom and dad how I got here and they said, "On a Greyhound Bus."

"You Must Go Home By the Way of the Cross, To Stand With Jesus In the Morning!"

Anonymous said...

Again from Mr Lach, no answer to my statement, which is irrefutable. And he assumes too much by my comments. I don't feel threatened in any way by the actions of this minority group of people. Why would I be? My issue was and is that nowhere in scripture does it state that this should be the way the human race is perpetuated. Perhaps Mr Lach, with his vastly superior knowledge of this subject, could provide that information.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous again,

The Bible also didn't say anything about other forms of hi-technology either, because the writers didn't know anything about it.

You're unfortunately, also missing the point of the Bible. It is a book about faith, God's love for the whole of his Creation and a Judeo-Xian worldview that says we don't find the meaning of our lives in the natural cycles, as the ancient nature religions and many modern day pagans believe, but rather in our relationship to our Creator God and our fellow humans. The Bible is not a manual on modern day human copulation.

Your question is not only bogus but on some level makes me want to spit up. It is dangerous for anyone to even think that it matters, as it is suggesting that babies who are born a certain way are more "right" and valuable than babies who come into this world via alternative methods.

Sorry, to bust your chops anonymous, but to me it smacks of ancient Jewish particularism and an even more recently contemporary Nazi propaganda.

Daryl Lach
USA Central

"You Must Go Home By the Way of the Cross, To Stand With Jesus In the Morning!"

Anonymous said...

I'm happy that no answer to my question has been given, and the verbal circumlocution by (almost) omniscient Mr Lach (God had better watch out) gives a 'second best' alternative to God's blueprint for humanity. There have been instances recently where the chosen donors for lesbian women have been incorrectly administered, and now there are court battles to sue the agencies because the girls didn't get who they originally picked. Designer babies - now THAT smacks of Nazi propaganda. I cannot and will not believe that my Creator wants that for His people.
I remain - Anonymous - with un unbusted chops (what a bizarre phrase).