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FF_Canuck





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Without discussing any of the other issues, I'd like to comment that its' not necesarily 'Choice vs Genetics'. Current research seems to suggest that pre-natal hormone levels have a huge influence on brain structures, influencing not only orientation, but gender identification as well - In which case in Orientaition would be inborn (ie. not a choice), but not due to genetics either.

This fellow has collected a lot of peer reviewed research links, though his focus seems to be on transgenderism. I think there's an old thread around where I posted a few more links about this theory.
Craig
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stephen wrote:
Without citing scientific peer-reviewed articles on one side or the other, the only thing that is happening here is people stating opinion of what they "feel" to be the truth.


No. I think we asking pertinent and valid questions. You don't have to cite inconclusive peer-reviewed articles to have a valid debate. Sometimes logic will suffice.
Craig
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gc wrote:
Craig wrote:
If choice doesn't enter the equation then why do many straight people become gay and many gay people become straight? If it was controlled by genes they would not be able to do so.


Again, there are likely many genes involved. Those people probably only have some of the "gay genes", so they are in a grey area between being fully straight or fully gay.


Ah, so it is a choice for some gay people and for the ones who have a whole host of gay genes it isn't. Got it! :P
Stephen





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craig wrote:
Stephen wrote:
Without citing scientific peer-reviewed articles on one side or the other, the only thing that is happening here is people stating opinion of what they "feel" to be the truth.


No. I think we asking pertinent and valid questions. You don't have to cite inconclusive peer-reviewed articles to have a valid debate. Sometimes logic will suffice.


It's not the questions that are offside, it's the answers that people try and provide without any grounding in scientific evidence!

A real discussion that concerns genetics (as stated in the title of this topic) that could provide answers on this topic would involve the concepts of:
- genetic predisposition
- hormone-effected Transcription Factors
- embryonic development (fetal conditions which may lead to various tracks of development... including homosexuality)
- global genomic microarray analysis of genetic profiles (particularly in twin studies)
- mRNA transcript levels in response to certain stimuli (environment factors - ie. nature vs. nurture.)
Craig
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think those discussions are better suited to biology forums. Asking questions like...

If being gay is genetic then why do people switch from being gay to not gay and vice versa

Are much more interesting than having a discussion about ribonucleic acid. This topic hasn't been resolved so citing endless studies propping up both sides of the debate isn't going to get us anywhere either.
gc





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FF_Canuck wrote:
Without discussing any of the other issues, I'd like to comment that its' not necesarily 'Choice vs Genetics'. Current research seems to suggest that pre-natal hormone levels have a huge influence on brain structures, influencing not only orientation, but gender identification as well - In which case in Orientaition would be inborn (ie. not a choice), but not due to genetics either.


Yes, that's a good point. I probably should have included that in the title. The basic point is the same, which is whether it is a choice or not.
gc





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craig wrote:
Ah, so it is a choice for some gay people and for the ones who have a whole host of gay genes it isn't. Got it! :P


Why do some people choose to go out with one girl one week and another girl another week? They are genetically programmed to be attracted to both girls, but they choose one over the other. Being bisexual, for example, may be genetically programmed but choice to go out with a guy or a girl is no different than the choice of a straight man to go out with one girl rather than a different girl.
Craig
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gc wrote:
Why do some people choose to go out with one girl one week and another girl another week? They are genetically programmed to be attracted to both girls, but they choose one over the other.


Exactly. It is a choice.
biggie





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gc wrote:
FF_Canuck wrote:
Without discussing any of the other issues, I'd like to comment that its' not necesarily 'Choice vs Genetics'. Current research seems to suggest that pre-natal hormone levels have a huge influence on brain structures, influencing not only orientation, but gender identification as well - In which case in Orientaition would be inborn (ie. not a choice), but not due to genetics either.


Yes, that's a good point. I probably should have included that in the title. The basic point is the same, which is whether it is a choice or not.


Due to the fact that I am straight, I don't think I'm particularly capable of deciding whether it's a choice or genetics. I suppose that I could look at being straight as a similar situation... Is it Genetics, or is it choice. To be honest, I can't tell you. Certainly being straight is not a conscious choice; but that does not mean it is not a choice...

In reality, I think there are a lot of reasons for a lot of things; I think that for some it may be a choice, and for some it may be some sort of genetic trait(or in-born instinct). At the end of the day I don't really care... people are what they are and we can only really take their word for it because chances are, we will never know for sure one way or another. :?
gc





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craig wrote:
Exactly. It is a choice.


Well, I could argue that nothing is really a choice, but that's a whole different debate.
For the sake of this argument, I would say that the preference for the same or opposite sex is genetic and that bisexuals don't have much of a preference. Then it is a choice to act upon that preference. I could choose to date a man tomorrow if I wanted, nothing is stopping me from doing that, but I won't because I am genetically programmed to prefer women.
Stephen





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craig wrote:
gc wrote:
Why do some people choose to go out with one girl one week and another girl another week? They are genetically programmed to be attracted to both girls, but they choose one over the other.


Exactly. It is a choice.


Can't our choices be influenced by genetic predisposition?

For example, one might choose to smoke/drink and abuse those practices because of genetic factors which predispose somebody to addictive behaviour.

I might also prefer not to eat certain foods because of allergies. The reaction that ensues could be drawn parallel to the chemical factors (hormonal balance) in one's system when it comes to sexual orientation/preference.

"Preference" is a "choice" word... however, our choices can be influenced by our genetics, no?

Behaviour will always be relegated to the side of choice... unless it is involuntary behaviour.

If a gay person is gay because of genetics, they could still choose to be with the opposite sex. However, this is a gay person only acting straight. (genetics and choice)

A person's behaviour may be genetically predisposed to lean gay.

To act upon this predisposed behaviour (or not) is a choice... but how can we fault individuals for acting upon this predisposition if that's how they were made?
Mac





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A debate which can never be resolved: genetics versus choice versus environment. Where does one end and the next one begin?

-Mac
Stephen





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interestingly enough, environment can affect the pronouncement of our genetic characteristics via "Transcription Factors".

And, these TFs are also produced genetically and even their production/translation is influenced by environmental factors affecting other TFs, IIRC.
gc





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stephen wrote:
Can't our choices be influenced by genetic predisposition?


Good post. That is more or less what I was trying to say above.
FF_Canuck





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
To act upon this predisposed behaviour (or not) is a choice... but how can we fault individuals for acting upon this predisposition if that's how they were made?


Ultimately, this is one of those questions that has to be answered on a case-by-case basis. To use an extreme example, there is strong evidence to support a biological basis for predisposition toward pedophilia. While its fair to acknowledge this predisposition may be beyond someone's control, society rightly demands we hold people accountable when they act on such impulses.
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Being gay - choice vs. genetics

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