D I S C U S S I O N
I firmly believe homosexuality and gender identity are tied into the brain by birth. I was exposed to pesticides a few times while in the womb. I have slight genital malformation, and a bisexual temperament. Interestingly, I have recently decided that such things called "endocrine disruptors," of which both pesticides and other man-made chemicals are a part, caused these things in me. While androgen exposure in the womb may lead to a male temperament, it is actually the conversion of testosterone to estrogen in the brain which causes typical male behavior according to recent studies.
The enzyme, aromatase, selectively transforms testosterone into estrogen in key parts of the brain and is more prevalent in male brains than female (but more so than both in homosexuals of either gender)! I've read elsewhere that homosexual men typically have higher testosterone as adults than heterosexual men. I believe this is caused by a lack of turnover in the brain of testosterone to estrogen, which affects the hypothalamus-pituitary-genital axis, and never puts as much a brake on testosterone production as would typically occur in hetero men. A good illustration of that action is when bodybuilders develop gynocomastia (man boobs) as some tissues in their bodies rebel against artificially high levels of testosterone from the drugs they take. While these men remain heterosexual if they were born that way, their bodies do respond negatively to the drugs.
In my opinion, the reason body builders do not become gay is that they have heterosexually functional aromatase in the brain. I have tried taking phenylephrine (yes it's an overthe counter decongestant but also an alpha 1 andenergic agonist), which should increase aromatase activity in my hypothalamus, but to no avail. I tried taking it along with fish oil, which can increase gray matter in parts of the brain, but either I didn't give it enough of a chance, or it just won't work.
I don't judge gay people, or straight people, but is it fair that I have to deal with a genital malformation and a conflicting sexual interest because my mom accidently stepped into a house too recently fumagated?
No, it's not. Though being gay is not a choice, for people all over the Earth, who just want what circumstance denied them, I think science should provide an answer. One day, I hope it does. One day, I hope I can be totally straight.
I am very religious but unlike the masses I always thought that religion and science could live together. So many people think one way or thee other but I've always felt that if I am to believe in god by only faith, I can believe in science as the backdrop to religion.. or for others vice versa. But my belief in god and science have never collided to pick one or the other until I read this article. So if homosexuality seems to derive from these chemicals that are made by the mothers stress levels, why are we taught as christians to look down on homosexuals when they themselves according to these articles had nothing to do with these outcomes? Am I supposed to believe god gave me instructions on how to feel about homosexuality when in reality their lifestyles were products of stress? Wouldn't he know that? SOMEBODY HELP ME UNDERSTAND, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER PLEASE!
As a homosexual man age 70, I found your article to be very interesting to say the least. I grew up in the forty's and fifties at a time when my so called "choice" was considered an illness and an abomination.
I "hid" quite well. I was in the military and during that time I was asexual. Oh yes, I was attracted to several guys but did nothing about it out of fear.
I am a bit puzzled that you made no comments about Klienfelters Syndrome. I was in my mid forties when I found out that I was XXY. It was then (when it was explained to me) that I thought back to my years of "puberty" and remembered that I had perfect skin. I used to dab an acne medication on my face (not that I needed it) in order to 'fit in' and be somewhat like my fellow classmates.
After getting an understanding of my condition (XXY) I started a regimen of testosterone shots and yes, I went through puberty at age forty five. I now use a trans-dermal patch. My doctor was somewhat amazed that I was in the military as my testes are non existent. I have a small sac with what feels like a patch of veins and not a trace of anything that can be described as egg shaped testicles.
I wonder if there has been a study of men who are XXY or XXXY and it's correlation to being homosexual?
I am a Open Hearted Male, I am in a gay relationship and would like to say that this article was one of the best I have seen scientifically to support the homosexual debate. It is known within the Scriptures of Light especially the 'Gnostics' that the soul is balanced in what we term male and female. What is important to see that it is not what the coffee cup looks like, but matters what is in it. For coffee is coffee in the long run, some may dispute it but it is just the way it is processed (made etc.) that effects the final product. We must look beyond the book cover and see the contents to really have a true grasp on this topic. If it where not for homosexuality, asexuality etc. in nature then the ecosystem would not be the way it is today. The same I believe for 'evolution', homosexuality steers the evolutionary wheel so that creation 'evolution' may take its proper course.
For it is lust and hurtful actions we must steer away from, to embrace the Divine Love that unifies all matter, time and space.
Enjoyed the article with the views and comments. I'm a open gay male age 48. I knew I was different even at age six than my male friends. Because of my own cowardliness towards myself and my constant battle between what I was being taught at church and home I hid my homosexuality. Junior High and High School were lonely years...I refused to get too close to people because they might discover my secret and there was no one to discuss this with. Away at college my freshman year I played with another guy one weekend and later felt so sick asking God, "What is wrong with me and why I have this desire so strongly". I tried to take my life a week later and thankfully it didn't work.
I never repeated this again and later fell in love with a women, served in the military, had four wonderful children and found my self divorced 22 years later after my xwife asked for one . This had nothing to do with my homosexual secret.
Three days later after my divorce, I walked into my first gay bar and found men from every walk of life and not the limp wristed sissy types that I believed I would find but men. I knew this was the life for me that I was gay and had always been, it was if a rock had been lifted off my shoulders, it was a wonderful relief to acknowledge my true self. I've been out now six years this May and I have a wonderful male partner for almost five years now.
I've lost all my past straight friends, including my parents and sisters who want nothing to do with me while I'm living this life. But this acknowledgment of self has granted my heart and soul such calm and peace I cannot describe and the lost of proposed friends and family is unfortunate but not worth my sanity. Take care to all of you.
Anthony Boutwell, New Orleans, La
As regards the subject on the basis of Homosexuality, there is an observation I've made that I believe fits available data. Admittedly my theory comes from carefully listening to the answers of one too many homosexual guests on some TV talk shows, but there is a commonality.
A large amount of homosexuals seem to claim 2 things. One, that they knew they were homosexual before the age of 10. The problem with this is that Everyone before the age of ten has little to no interest in the opposite sex (they got "coodies"), but that doesn't mean they're gay. The other thing a lot seem to say is that they had their first gay experience at some single-digit age.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but a "sexual experience" at age 6 is called child sexual abuse, in this case with a same-sex adult. Now, we all know the possible results of standard sexual abuse: girls grow up to either be everyone's "daddy's little girl" or frigid as ice; boys might grow up to brag that they "Had" their Aunt Jane when they were young and ain't that great.
But what about the effects of Same-Sex sexual abuse? We don't hear much about this because what kid is going to tell anyone what happened? It's not something anyone's going to tell or brag about. The long term effects? Well, let's see.
The offending adult will naturally tell the kid that it's only natural, to cover his tracks, leaving the kid to either believe him or not. If he believes the adult, then he grows up thinking it's natural (read as: gay). IF he doesn't, he'll still keep quiet and grow up really confused. What's the kid to do then? Find a way of dealing with it. One way is denial. If they can convince themselves that it was natural for them then they don't have to face the hard fact that they were abused as kids. Also, there's safety in numbers, so if there's a community of others that say this is natural for them then one might figure that joining in with them would make it seem for natural for themselves and thus less painful to deal with. In fact, the louder they shout about how great it is to be gay, how everyone should try it, and about gay rights, the more denial they're obviously in.
Summary: the bulk of homosexuality is the long-term results of same-sex child sexual abuse. The sooner a gay person looks back into his past for such an event and admits to himself that it's the real reason why he's gay, the sooner he just might find himself to be a heterosexual who was deeply hurt emotionally.
Your article was interesting and has made me aware of something that I had suspected for almost my entire life. I am not sure how I feel, though, to be the result of what you appear to be describing as some type of birth defect. Perhaps it is better than thinking that I am mentally ill or that someone in my childhood made a mistake and caused me to become a homosexual man.
I don't recall my mother as having any stress, and neither does she, during her pregnancy with me. Perhaps some mothers and babies are just more sensitive to this hormonal reaction than others and then there could also be a genetic predisposition to this phenomenon as well?
I can say that, if this research is ever validated beyond doubt, then it would also confirm something else I have known for many years. It seems that gay men seem to get along quite well with each other on a number of emotional issues aside from just sexual preference. My lover and I both enjoy good music, the arts and culinary skills and we seem to talk about more personal things with each other than do our heterosexual coupled friends. In many ways, we seem to be close in the way that women are often emotionally intimate with each other and we don't seem to have the conflicts of competition that usually comes with even the best of non-gay male relationships.
I guess this is a little "gift" that nature, or whatever, has given to us gay men in place of the joy of having offspring.
In any case, thanks for giving the issue some food for thought. As long as people continue to ask questions and look beyond the surface for answers we will all benefit from a better understanding. Thanks again for your article.
Brian Preston, Sarasota, Florida
I am a lesbian who has lived in a stable relationship for almost twenty years. My "other half" is a few years younger than me and was once married with children. She still loves her husband and children and they all seem to understand her need to be with a woman. We both read your story and were curious about how this theory could possibly explain our relationship and feelings.
I have always known that I preferred women since I was a teen. I have never dated a man and have no desire to do so. My partner, as I have explained, discovered her lesbian inclinations later on in her life and had a more difficult time in accepting this. Contrary to what has often been written, we have a very active and healthy sexual relationship, including jealousy and a dominant or "male-like" role in our sexual activity which I have assumed. I also prefer to dress like a man while my partner dresses like any woman of her age might dress. Although we both are women inside and out, we do not have any male thoughts or feelings, at least as far as I can tell.
One thought I had on reading your article was that early childhood may play a role in being a lesbian. Both my partner and I were raised in homes where our fathers died when we were very young. Perhaps our lack of a father could have had something to do with this? Anyway, thanks for the thought provoking article. I hope you continue to explore this issue-- especially with regards to female homosexuality.
Kathleen C. of Northampton, Massachusetts.
When I first noticed your article on homosexuality I was excited, but as I began to read it and realized that the article was going to focus on male homosexuality, I was disappointed. The facts that were presented in the article were not new to me, I have heard these theories before about year or so ago. I am happy that science may be able to explain why a man may or may not be gay, but I keep wondering why it could be possible that males could be gay before birth and not women?
I am a 28 year old woman and I have known I was homosexual since I was about six years old. As young as that seems, I was already feeling such intense feelings about females. I did not realize it was a sexual preference until I reached high school. I did not accept this part of me until about four years ago. It has been a bumpy road, I have two children and been married twice. I know my denial of my sexuality had mostly to do with society and it's over all opinion of homosexuality as being a sin and a perversion, I was raised in a very religious home. My parents were married for seven and a half years, so my father was present in my early childhood and when my parents split up, I continued a relationship with him.
I think in most of society female homosexuality is more accepted than male homosexuality. I am just curious as to what may have happened in my life which determined what gender I would be attracted to in my adult life. Another question is what if I felt attracted to both male and females? What about males who are bi-sexual? Just something to think about.
I'm the mother of a much-loved mature homosexual child. I was particularly interested in the article, "Is Homosexuality Natural"? It was never doubted by me. My sister has two gay children, supporting our own belief that homosexuality is genetic. The "prenatal stress" factor was most definitely present in this particular pregnancy.
I am a multiparous woman, having had seven live births (am also an RN, and specialized for years in Obstetrical Nursing.) My sixth pregnancy was stressful for many reasons, not the least being that my other five children had been born a year apart and the sixth child was expected within the year following birth of fifth child. (Don't get me started on Church's stance on birth control and my blind acceptance of such nonsense!) This fetus was very late in developing movement ("feeling life") and that was a concern. The child was born early, 3 weeks, and was under weight (5 lbs. 8 oz.), developed jaundice, and seemed delayed in development of some muscular skills. Early in infancy a physical manifestation of over-production of adrenal hormones was observed and subsequently disappeared in a short time. As for recognizing homosexuality, I had a "chilling" insight when our child was about six years old; and I was certain of it long before this quality was recognized by our child, who began to realize it (as far as I know) in high school.
This child became a certified genius - Phi Beta Kappa, Mensa, the lot - and musically gifted as well as loving, warm, dear and perhaps most loved of our children, if it is possible to love one child more than another. A mother will understand that reservation :)) (Oh, sorry, a father will too...) I have always been concerned about that pregnancy, and regretted that our child was subjected to undue stress. But I wouldn't change a thing, the world is a better place for the presence of homosexual persons! The sooner that is recognized, the better! They must be given their rights, but above all, they have a right to acceptance and privacy!
It would be terrific to have a definitive "cause" of homosexuality. Maybe then we could move on to other, more pressing problems in our society. However, I don't think that this will be the case any time soon. It's an unfortunate fact of life that some people cling to outdated information in the attempt to bolster their viewpoint. I can see this happening with homosexuality. We could find the exact biological reason why some of us are homosexual and some of us are heterosexual, and there would STILL be some straight folks who would continue infringing on the rights of gays by insisting that choice was involved. But should the "how's and why's" be all that important? Can't we just accept that some of us are homosexual and some aren't? What difference does it make as to why? The fact is that some people are gay, and some people are straight. The only choice involved concerns the identity of one's sexual partners. Choice in gender doesn't figure into the equation.
Evolution would or would not doom these people from survival with offspring into the future???? Do we train these different people that their only choice is to then act gay. We have cursed them by training them that this is their ONLY choice, to join the sodomy lifestyle. This is wrong, they can still have their own families. Male and female making families. Sodomy is unhealthy .
I agree with you about the sodomy, it does seem extremely unhealthy. Do you think it is possible that part of being "feminized" might include the desire to be "entered" in some way? I'm only theorizing about this. It seems that the gender roles dictate a large pattern of behavior, such as playing with dolls vs. trucks and cars, interests in sports and competition vs. dressing up in fancy clothes... these gender stereotypes seem to have nothing to do with the act of procreation, yet they are obvious indicators of gender behavior. Would it not make sense that something vital to the act of procreation, such as wanting to dominate vs. be dominated in the sex act could be expressed in the act of sodomy?
I really don't have the answers to these questions. But animal studies in primates have found that homosexuality is often expressed in the act of sodomy.