Homosexuality: Nature vs. Nurture
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Let me first begin by clearly stating our position: homosexuality is a product of nature. In other words, someone’s genetic makeup–their being in the physiological sense–strongly influences whether or not they will end up gay or heterosexual. Any role that the environment, or nurture, plays in the determination of someone’s sexual orientation is minimal at best, but the role of nature in this determination is drastic.
Take the case of Jamie Nabozny, a 21-year-old-gay-man who recently sued his former high school (Ashland High School in Wisconsin); three administrators were found liable for not protecting him from years of verbal and physical abuse for being gay. When he went to this high school, Jamie was constantly abused by fellow students because he was gay. Students pretended to rape him; one pushed him to the ground and did this as others laughed. They even spit on him. They knocked him to the ground, kicked him, and then he had to go to the hospital for surgery for internal bleeding. Four times he tried to commit suicide. All of this because he came out of the closet that he was gay. All of this because he was different; because being different in small-town Ashland was unacceptable and even punishable. The administrators did nothing to stop this horrific student-body treatment of Jamie, even after he repeatedly came to them for help.
He was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Nabozny grew up in this small town; this was his environment. He grew up in essentially a homophobic area, yet still came out of the closet when he was only eleven, revealing his true homosexual orientation. As sad as this story is, it is the quintessential example of nature in action. Nature determined Nabozny’s sexual orientation. Clearly, if sexual orientation is solely determined by someone’s environment, Nabozny certainly would not have ended up gay, for that would have been and indeed was detrimental to his health, self-esteem, and confidence. Obviously the environment wasn’t a factor in his sexual identity; this provides strong against the role of nurture and for the role of nature in the determination of Jamie being gay.
Here is an eye-opening quote from Jamie: “I was slightly more effeminate than everybody else… I wasn’t talking about dating girls like everybody else. I got labeled for a lot of the things that are typical in a small, redneck community that are not considered male — getting good grades, being polite. And I was a good target because I wouldn’t talk back…” Here Jamie reveals his true self..one that is innate, inborn, and certainly not influenced by his environment. Jamie grew up into the person his natural, biological self predestined–a homosexual man who acted differently than the people he grew up around. Even though his environment was hostile to his views, goals, and characteristics, Nabozny still turned into a homosexual.
Instead of focusing on the plethora of scientific evidence validating our point, as my co-debater will soon do, I wish to give you a dose of reality by looking at the behavior of children, which clearly shows homosexuality in later life is not caused by a child’s environment. Believe it or not, one can almost always predict whether a child will grow up to be a homosexual by examining their play. For example, there are many boys out there who are abnormal in the way that they do not conform to gender stereotypes; as a child, they engage in ‘gender inappropriate play’ by playing with dolls four times as much as regular boys, etc. In a study done by a UCLA psychiatrist named Richard Green, 75% of these effeminate boys grew up into homosexual adults. Now ask yourself, did these boys choose to become homosexuals?; or, did they become homosexual because of a weird family situation or because of their environment? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
Obviously, children did not copy the behavior of their ‘normal’ peers. Clearly, the boys were not taught this behavior. Furthermore, they were often under harsh persuasion from their parents to change; this hostile environment does not breed homosexuality. If anything, like in the case of Jamie, it breeds normalcy, a wish to fit in. The only reasonable conclusion is that they are driven to this behavior–and to being gay as an adult–by some innate trait.
Our world is clearly changing for the better in that it is becoming more tolerant and less hateful towards gay people. However, being a gay individual is still hard; it is still a tough road to take. One would think that one would not intentionally chose a life-style–a gay lifestyle–which provokes so much discrimination, violence, and hatred from other people. Why would anyone chose this road? They wouldn’t; homosexuality is a product of nature. Gays have a predisposition towards homosexuality; they did not choose this route, nor is it a product of their childhood experiences. These case studies and observations, along with the scientific evidence you will soon hear, should leave no doubt in your mind: in the nature vs. nurture debate, nature is the clear winner.