Does culture make you gay?

I know that my site usually focuses on guns, but I figured I would have what I call a ‘guest topic’ here today. Mainly because I need to get out my rantings or I’ll go insane.

A couple of days ago, my husband posted an article on his website about Ben Carson, Politifact, and Gay Prison Choices. He is much braver than I am and posts his argument-starting information on his Facebook. (The arguers name has been changed to ‘Nick’ to protect his identity).


Nick’s argument to my husband’s points was:

Carson and Politifact are both ignoring an important point. The human brain is changed by the environment that it’s in. People who grew up in the 80s are more likely to love 80s music than our kids do. People from Mexico are more likely to like Mexican food than people from France. People in a single sex prison are more likely to have sex with people of their own gender than people oustide of prison. Our likes and preferences define us and that all changes through time. People don’t choose their sexuality any more than they choose their tastes in music or food. All of these things are based the changing wiring inside our brains.

This was interesting and difficult for me to read, mainly because I wanted to argue immediately after reading the first couple of sentences. First, I don’t think that today’s generation likes 80’s music less than their parents because their brains have changed. I believe we like what is familiar to us. Songs that bring up memories or that you feel you can relate to. I sing to 80’s songs (which drives my husband crazy) because I grew up listening to it with my family and now it makes me remember them. I don’t believe that it has anything to do with my brain adapting to change over time and therefore not liking the same things as people in the past. I CHOOSE to like those songs, BECAUSE they bring me good memories. Just as I CHOOSE to not listen to songs that make me feel bad. Haven’t you ever liked a song before and heard it way too much, so you don’t like it anymore? You’re choosing to no longer want to play that song.

“People from Mexico are more likely to eat Mexican food than people from France.” This is true also, but is it true because they are CHOOSING to eat Mexican food or is it because some brain chemicals are telling them that they have to because they’re from Mexico?

With that being said, it leads me into his next statement.

“People don’t choose their sexuality any more than they choose their tastes in music or food. All of these things are based the changing wiring inside our brains”.

Basically, I am understanding this as ‘culture makes people gay’. I don’t believe the culture has a chemical effect on whether or not someone’s brain determines who they’re attracted to. The only thing that culture does is validate and accept actions that were frowned upon by previous generations. Culture can help influence you to make those decisions, but it does not force you to. We all adapt to changes in culture and if his argument is true, then we would all suddenly adapt to being homosexuals eventually. This argument doesn’t make any sense!

He then comments again saying:

Thanks, John. For some reason, environment is often ignored in discussions on this topic. Often, there are two polar opinions: 1)”People are born gay or straight and they can’t change it” and 2)”Gay people make a conscious choice to be sexually attracted to people of their own gender”. The first is debatable and the second is just silly.

The second is not ‘silly’.

What makes people gay? Is it that they’re attracted to other people of the same sex? Or is it the time that they MAKE A CHOICE to have sexual relations with someone of the same sex? (How do you even know you’re gay if you don’t have sexual relations?) You choose to have sex with someone. No one forces you to make that choice. Your brain does not force you to act on something that you do not want to do. Whether or not the brain makes you attracted to someone is debatable, but how you choose to act to those responses is entirely up to you. People CHOOSE to have sex with someone of the same gender. People CHOOSE to think about and lust after those they are attracted to. If he wants to say that people who are gay but don’t act on it is not their choice then fine. Yes that is debateable. But those who CHOOSE to have sex with someone of the same gender are making a choice to be gay.

The same goes for the people John mentions in his article. Straight men going into prison and ‘becoming’ homosexuals– THAT is a choice. It is not like anyone absolutely needs sex to survive, like food, water, and oxygen. They are choosing to have sex because they WANT to.


2 thoughts on “Does culture make you gay?

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