Sexual Orientation

Sexual orientation refers to emotions, romance as well as sexual attractions are expressed either to the members of the opposite sex, same sex or both sexes. The APA suggests that sexual orientation may also include ones personal and social identity based on those attractions, behaviors expressing them, and membership in a community of others who share them. The argument involving sexual orientation has always taken two dimensions on the one side is the social learning theorist who claims that sexual orientations are learned right from early childhood. Some of the factors involve in shaping ones sexual orientation are cited as parental caring or sexual abuse at an early stage in life. These factors together with some adverse life events would shape ones individual sexual orientation.

On the other side of the divide is the biological explanation of sexual orientation. Garnets and Peplau cite that Biologists claim that there are certain biological factors that are responsible for the development of ones sexual orientation. Although no single factor has been identified, some of these factors are said to be related to the brain structure, prenatal hormones as well as genes. Biologists prevailing view explains sexual orientation as biological phenomenon which involves various genetic factors influenced by the uterine environment of the child. To the biologists therefore, nobody chooses to be either homosexual or otherwise but rather one is born either gay or straight. This argument is quite contrasted by social learning theories that claim that sexual orientations are not sexual identities and are forms of romantic fantasies or attractions towards others that are actually learned by an individual in hisher environment.

Therefore, although there are no substantive evidence to show that certain genes are responsible for the different sexual orientations, the social theorists claim are yet to prove.


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