I read an article a couple weeks ago (I’d link to it here, but I forgot to bookmark it and I honestly can’t remember where I read it) where the author used the gay marriage in New York news story as an introduction to their feelings about how all sexuality is on a spectrum. Basically, there are two ends — 100% straight and 100% gay — and most of us fall somewhere in between.
I have to say, out of all the theories I’ve heard trying to explain why we’re attracted to who we’re attracted to, this makes the most sense to me. While some argue that you’re born with your sexual orientation and others remain steadfast by the idea that it’s a conscious choice, the logical conclusion seems to be that the box you decide to check on the sexuality SAT’s comes from a combination of nature and nurture.
But, if we admit that your placement on the orientation spectrum is dependent on myriad factors — a theory more and more people seem to believe — don’t you also have to accept the validity of more “dangerous” theories such as the belief that a person can choose to become “ungay” or even that prayer can influence sexual attraction?
I mean, a person who’s born, I don’t know, 90% gay or 90% straight (according to the orientation scale) probably isn’t going to be swayed by an experience or some really creative Bible study classes. But, if someone’s born in that 30 to 70 range, it’s not too far-fetched to suggest that people such as Dr. Marcus Bachmann (husband the horsemaiden of the Apocalypse, Michelle Bachmann) and Dr. Joseph Nicolosi (a psychologist with a really shitty website who believes that therapy is an effective solution for modifying sexual orientation) might be (partially) right.
Maybe there’s truth to the idea that, for some people, the environment they grew up in can definitely help decide their orientation, and maybe there are people who can genuinely be convinced not to be gay (or straight).
Now, I understand the danger of accepting this as truth. It would give fuel to each and every anti-gay doctor, pundit, politician, and person who believes that gayness is curable, and if some gayness can be “cured,” all gayness can be cured. But, what might be even more dangerous is us — the “enlightened and educated” populous — being just as intellectually lazy by completely dismissing the fact that some of us were (and still are) an experience or even a discussion away from being gay (or ungay).
Anyway, people of VSB, I’m curious: In regards to our sexual orientations, do you believe in the spectrum (the theory that our orientation is a combination of nature and nurture and that we all fall somewhere inbetween 100% gay and 100% straight), nature (we’re born the way we are), or nurture (a combination of experiences and conscious choices decide our sexual paths)?
For those who believe in the spectrum, do you also think that a person’s orientation can be changed? If not, why not?
Lastly, do you believe that women’s sexuality is naturally more “fluid” or that both genders are equally fluid but we’ve just been socialized to believe that women have more inherent sexually flexibility?