The Significance of Biology In Sexual Preference

Essay by yigsCollege, UndergraduateA+, April 2006

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Throughout history, there have been homosexuals. In Ancient Rome, for example, Julius Caesar was thought to be gay, and in ancient Greece so was Socrates (Lambda). There have always been disputes on whether the decision to be homosexual or heterosexual was based on biological or environmental factors. These disputes are known as the Nature vs. Nurture argument. The two sides argue over how gender is chosen within a person. Based on reproductive organs, sex is easily determined at birth: male or female. Gender, however, is the sexual identity an individual takes on. It is possible for sex and gender to be different.

There are pros and cons to each side of the argument. For example, an argument in favor of Nurture says there have been children who were either born with an injured or damaged reproductive organ, usually males, and raised successfully as females. In favor of the biological effect on gender decision, there have been scientific DNA studies that appear to prove that gender is a genetic trait.

In order to understand which factor is the deciding factor of a person's gender, both sides of the case must be fully evaluated.

Supporters of the Nurture argument focus on the psychological aspect of gender, placing emphasis on the way a child is brought up, whereas Nature supporters focus on inherited genes and physiology as the dominant factors of a person's gender. When both sides are considered to the full extent, it can be seen that while the Nurture approach provides some good arguments, it is Nature that primarily determines sexual preference.

Researchers have analyzed the makeup of the human brain of homosexuals and heterosexuals seeking a connection between gender and the brain's physiology. They found when studying the part of the brain directly related to a person's sexual drive, that...