This is still a hot topic nowadays as it was decades ago and researchers may have reached a consensus about this issue. We have published yesterday a study supporting the idea that homosexuality is an evolutionary feature that is essential when it comes to increasing women’s sex appeal and fertility and what the study claimed was that women having the gay gene seem to be a lot more appealing to men.
Now the problem that arose was how could gays procreate if they are exclusively attracted to the opposite sex? More or less this is the question that was at the foundation of another study that tried to shed light on whether gays can actually be “converted” to the straight world.
This has been a long time issue with various religious groups claiming that gays are either sick or made a choice regarding their sexual orientation. Whatever may be the case, they can stop and…move to the other side, or something like that. This seemed like an interesting topic for few researchers and they have conducted several experiments in order to clarify this aspect once and for all.
Her name is Heather Hoffmann and she is a professor of psychology at Knox College in Galesburg, one of the researchers involved in the neuroscience program. She said: “I think highly motivated people can change their behavior and they can clearly change their label.” Her previous studies focused on the arousal process and proved that some people can actually be influenced to manifest arousal under the right conditions, such as the exposure to a certain odor or an object and extended this to the actual sexual experiences claiming that people can actually learn to manifest arousal towards something or someone they have sex with. But does that work when it comes to conditioning an individual in manifesting arousal around a same sex partner, even if the individual is straight? Heather says yes, it is possible, under the right circumstances. She has used quails for her experiments and learned that they can indeed be conditioned to have sex with same sex partners, but it seems like the experiment did not changed straight quails into fully gay ones, but rather bisexual at most. They kept expressing attraction to the opposite sex as well.
However, it seems like this behavior is a lot more difficult to induce in humans, and even more difficult when it comes to men, rather than women. While men are sexually established at the age of puberty, a woman can manifest changes in her sexual behavior throughout their entire life. This is idea is also supported by the experiment that concluded that straight men only manifest arousal when watching images of women, whereas women manifest the same level of arousal when watching both men and women images. Lisa Diamond from the University of Utah said: “Their sexual orientation can be shaped by cultural influences, altered by positive or negative experiences and intensified by feelings of love or attachment” While these may also be true for men, women seem to be a lot more sensitive to this aspect.
The conclusion? It is known that gays aren’t 100% born that way. Their genes establish most of their sexual behavior, but there is also a great deal of factors influencing their development, such as the environment, various hormones that the fetus was exposed to in the womb, life experiences and so on. And while you can alter the most of the factors to have different results, you cannot alter the genes and a gay who was born with those genes will always manifest the predisposition towards a gay behavior.
In the end, let’s hear Lee Beckstead, a therapist who said that: “Our best efforts may not be in trying to change possibly immutable aspects of sexuality but in trying to reduce the misunderstanding, discrimination, and hostility that exist within non-heterosexuals and their social situations”. And this is something we totally agree on.