The biology of being gay

Following the Richardson brouhaha, it might be worth revisiting this article from Queer Notes last spring that I previously linked to:

If anyone still thought the old biological “its not a choice” argument would solve the issue of gays rights, think again. It was a failed political strategy from the start, and is becoming more and more useless. It’s time for a change in political strategy. Why don’t gay people, and the media, pay more attention to SOCIOLOGY, and not just biology. The argument for an immutable biological “sexual orientation” is so full of holes (scientific, ethical, philosphical, and political) I can’t believe it is still being taken seriously by the gay movement, its opponents, and the media.

Scientific research suggests that “sexual orientation” is a very complex phenomenon with many factors (biological, psychological and sociological) contributing to its development. No single factor can explain why people are homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual, and there may be different determinant factors for different people. As Kinsey demonstrated, sexual orientation is best viewed not as distinct categories, but as a continuum from exclusively heterosexual desires and behavior to exclusively homosexual desires and behaviors.

As you might imagine, QN has some acerbic commentary on the Melissa Etheridge question:

Melissa Etheridge asked the worst question of the night when she asked Richardson if he thought being gay was a choice or not? Who Cares! I’m sick of that stupid question being asked of Presidential candidates! It doesn’t matter if people are born gay, choose to be gay, learn to be gay or listen to too many Madonna records… We should be all have equal rights! Human rights are not based on “biology”! I find the whole “its not a choice” argument to be demeaning. No one asks if being Mormon or Catholic is a choice? Or what about being straight, is that a choice?? What a stupid question, and the answers are always stupid. What a waste of time…

Queer Notes is one of the few in the gay community who is making these points at a time when they are difficult to make. Good for him!


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