Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Do We Have a Choice?

Do you ever find yourself cringing when you hear, "they did studies on, blah blah blah" on certain controversial topics? For instance, they did studies on the "gay gene" and whether or not being gay was a choice or if people were born that way. I remember a show (of course I forgot which) where they took a cadaver of a lesbian woman and compared her brain to the brain of a man. The makeup was almost identical. When placed next to a heterosexual female's brain, it was much different. Scientific studies and findings have not been actual proof of finding a "gay gene", or else those who strongly feel it's a choice would stop their argument. I personally don't care whether it's a gene or if it's a choice. In a religious standpoint and through reading much of what the scripture says --- being gay is not a sin. It's the sexual nature, (promiscuity) for both heterosexuals and homosexuals. The "immorality" of any type of sexual behavior. I don't think that just because let's say, your dad was gay, so therefore you're gay. No. What I do believe is, there are many things in our childhood that may influence our "choices". Yes, there I said it. But I still have mixed views on the choice vs. genetics.

How about this scenario: they did studies on children who have at least one obese parent. Some studies point to a "fat gene". Many feel that genetics play a huge role in a kid's future of being thin or heavy. My personal opinion is that it's our choice. We develop the same or similar eating habits as our family, because most of us are all in one household. Some get off scott free, while others take on the shape of their heavier parent(s). I do believe that we form the same "shape" of our parents' bodies --- similar hands, arms, feet, calves, ear, nose, eyes, etc --- and while that may increase with size, we figure "Well, he's heavy so his kid took on his shape too. It was bound to happen."  But have you ever looked at a married couple who look a lot alike? They took on the same shape, and dare I say, similar size and weight? Think... Same with alcoholism. Habits are learned and periodically taken on. I don't understand when people say "there's alcoholism in our genes" ---- it's a habit, not a genetic fault. We consume alcohol - it isn't within us...or is it?  Did "studies" show that? Or is it just another scapegoat? How about saying we have an addictive nature, or perhaps, an "addictive gene"? Why does "alcoholism" come into play? I never understood that one. Are we placing too much blame on our parents, our genetics and pushing away our very own responsibilities for ourselves - our accountabilities? What about being accountable for our own actions instead of saying, "Well it was bound to happen..."  I will admit, as a lesbian woman, I don't think I could "choose" to be straight, only because my sexual preference is for the female gender. So I chose to marry a female. Voila. I can also go into when I was a child knowing all my life that I preferred the female gender. Hmm...

They did studies on our initial attraction towards whoever we "choose" to date. The pheromones were the number one reason why we picked our partners. After that, it's the physical characteristics. Then at least, can we say it's a chemical and not a gene per se? It's just as if I tell you, vanilla is my favorite smell and flavor, and you telling me that chocolate is yours. Preference. We all have preferences and choices...or do you think it's all in our genetic makeup?

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5 comments:

The Elephant's Child said...

Responsibility. Something which I believe that too few people accept. Responsibility for their own actions. It is so much easier to find something to blame - genetics included, instead of stepping up to the plate and saying 'ok, if I do x, y will be the result. If I don't want y - then it is up to me not to do x'. Which seems a reasonably simple concept to me.
Climbing down from my soap box.

the walking man said...

*shrug* We are what we are because of both nature and nurture. Is there a serial killer gene or does that person go on a spree due to some childhood abuse or dysfunction? Does it make a difference? The outcome is the same.

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Susan said...

Some people who are gay, choose to live a heterosexual lifestyle. So the choice doesn't lie with nature, but belief in institutional conformity that later on becomes a choice for personal unhappiness. I think people make choices like that all the time from small to large. If the choice is to ignore who you are and pretend that it will all go away, then the choice is a soul wound. And those fester and come back to haunt. Better to be who you are as in the end, it just isn't worth it to be anyone else.

Deb said...

I've heard of people having this part of the brain where it determines if you have the ability to be a serial killer -- strange, right? I guess there are many factors. A friend of mine brought up epigenetics and it made much more sense...

Susan, there are some people who actually choose to be gay due to their past experience with the opposite gender. For instance, if they were sexually abused, or had a horrific experience with an ex opposite gender --- then they may say, "Well I give up on men/women!" They then live a life of "contentment" -- meant in the negative way. But, I have zero tolerance for psychologists pinpointing every single homosexual for being sexually abused, but they've seem to have 'forgotten' about it. Like repressed memories, etc ---- hate that.

Who knows. Again, too gray to even say what's what anymore...