3 Answers

  1. Seriously? Sexual orientation is not chosen, so no one can simply become gay, lesbian, bisexual, or even heterosexual. It's impossible. How can you not know that?..

  2. I suspect that I will be painfully beaten for this answer, but I can't get past it.

    Short answer: there is not and cannot be a clear scientific answer to this question. Each case is unique, due to a set of factors, not just one, and any generalization leads to homophobic rhetoric.

    First, the difficulty is already in who is defined as a lesbian, so as to bring under it a biological or psychological background, since, in fact, there is no clear boundary.

    Orientation is not much like a toggle switch with two or three fixed positions, but, according to Kinsey's theory, it is rather a continuous set of different variations in sexual behavior and self-perception.

    This is an empirical model, which is quite easy to observe in women, since their homosexual manifestations are much less stigmatized than in men, and often on the contrary are considered something erotic.

    Therefore, women who are socialized as straight are more likely to admit to themselves and others in lesbian sexual fantasies and sexual experiences of various scales from “I kissed a girl and I liked it” to “I had an affair with a girl in my student days”.

    And on the one hand, women can lie about their experience in any direction, trying to appear sexually liberated or, conversely, not run into condemnation for lesbianism. On the other hand, similarly, men are primarily interested in hiding their homosexual intentions and experiences from themselves and others.

    From this, there are all sorts of hypotheses that women are bisexual by nature, and men have everything clearly. But only with the slow weakening of social stigma, there are more and more men who admit to their “bi-curiosity”, “hetero- / homosexuality with exceptions” and it turns out that their orientation is also floating, just like ours.

    There are, of course, extreme positions of the scale, when a woman has never in her life in any way regarded men as sexually attractive, did not fantasize about them, did not engage in any sexual practices with them, and generally does not accept sex with penetration in any form, but there are not so many such examples. And there are plenty of others where women may have already been (or been in the present tense) in a voluntary marriage with a man, have children together with him, and yet self-identify as a lesbian, because sex and romantic relationships with women feel “more real” and more meaningful to her.

    It turns out that “being a lesbian” is like “being Russian” or “being smart.” A social category with a large internal diversity, defined by self-determination and public opinion, which has different definitions in different sciences and social institutions, and does not have an unambiguous reference to specific biological or mental characteristics.

    Second, let's assume that we all equally consider lesbian women who, since puberty, voluntarily sleep exclusively with women. And we are trying to determine unambiguously, for such women: this is a voluntary conscious decision, an unconscious decision due to psychological processes, or a biological device determined by genetics or ontogenesis.

    Let me remind you that we are trying to pin this question on a social category, and we might as well try to identify the reasons why some men like skinny blondes.

    The key question here is: “Why do you actually need to know this, and what are you going to do with this knowledge?”

    In some circles, to this day, the dominant hypothesis is that homosexual behavior is a voluntary choice, that certain people are able to sit down on their own, under the influence of psychological trauma or malicious corrupters from the Internet, and decide that they really want social condemnation, problems with childbearing and legal registration of relationships, constant risks of losing their jobs, destroying relationships with their families, and being beaten or killed. And that they can simply be forced to behave differently or forcibly cured, for example, if you remind them, or rather show them what will happen to them if they continue to behave so badly, force them to enter into a heterosexual relationship or undergo harsh therapy. It is obvious that none of the LGBT people and sympathizers in such conditions will be ready to admit that there is even the slightest element of voluntary choice, and will try as much as possible to divert the conversation from a position that threatens them with a wide range of dangerous reactions, from admonitions and attempts to retrain to murder.

    But the position of complete denial of voluntariness does not correspond to reality. You can choose lesbian relationships because they are more psychologically comfortable; they may have fewer rigid role frameworks (although in some communities and minds they still bloom); more equality; less risk of abuse (although it still exists, both physical and psychological); direct reproductive violence is impossible; more opportunities to agree and understand each other, find a partner with similar interests and views on life; it is easier to agree on personal sexual preferences, there are fewer responsibilities to “work out the program”; the bar for choosing a partner for a relationship is completely different-the aesthetic framework is much wider and less significant, and more attention is paid to the individual. A separate role here can be played by positions of radical feminism and unwillingness to contact men on any issues, or narcissistic aspirations to feel their own uniqueness and rejection.

    But going back to the man who likes skinny blondes or the woman who “systematically chooses to save alcoholics and gamblers,” we give them the right to make their own choices about who to sleep with. Even if blondes are not like us personally, can be directly repugnant these white hairs on the pubic area; frankly stupid and straight after pathological to choose and try forcibly to cure dependent; not well contributes to demographic developments, the birth of children in families of alcoholics or heavy labor uscamera women's lack of body mass, we still do not consider it necessary to beat them, forced to retrain, to compel the other choice, to look constantly overwhelming evidence that they are not to retrain, although these phenomena are much more massive than homosexuality.

    Recognizing the possibility of voluntary choice of sexual behavior, provided that homophobia is rejected, we recognize the complexity and variability of each individual, their own unique experience and way of being happy, their personal right to control how to cope with psychological trauma and build their own personality.

    Another common position is to believe that homosexuality is due to genetic or embryonic development, and cannot be corrected either medically or psychologically.

    There is evidence for this – even without knowing about the existence of homosexuality and believing that “I am the only one in the world”, some people show homosexual tendencies from childhood and in adulthood adhere to persistent homosexual behavior.�

    But only the homophobic community is led to the idea that homosexuality is a deviation and a disease that can be prevented through genetic manipulation or during pregnancy, detected at an early stage and physically destroyed (including selective abortions), and still try to strictly correct or isolate it with medication. The only thing that saves LGBT people here is that the ideas of eugenics cannot be massively implemented in dark alleys, a solid social program and a certain level of technology development are needed, so for now it is safer to adhere to this position from the point of view of avoiding physical violence.

    The same hypothesis supports the idea of a two-position toggle switch. Bisexuals, bi-curious people, heterosexuals with exceptions, lesbians with non-traumatic heterosexual experiences are all urgently required to determine which side of the force they are on, because they either have the right gene or not; all their experience that does not fit into the strict requirements of “either this or that” is devalued, and they themselves are often recognized as “fake”. This increases the division of cultures, does not help, but prevents you from listening to yourself and your needs, puts you in the position of “if I love this woman, I should only love women always or immediately admit that I don't really love this woman.”

    For families with gay teenagers, clinching is very common, in which parents take the position “you chose it yourself or you were forced”, meaning “immediately give it up, whatever happens”, and the teenager, trying to defend his current position “this is really happening, this is how good I feel right now, and this is not something I can easily give up right now and it is not clear why I should do this”, is forced to absolutize it to: “mom, I was born this way and And instead of understanding yourself, experimenting and looking for the real you, all the forces rush to push yourself into a specific role and socialization in the closed LGBT community, and all the ambiguities are pushed under the carpet and waiting in the wings to begin to reveal themselves in ten, fifteen, twenty years. That is, the trauma here, which of the two categorical positions is not accepted, happens in any case.

    The question is why this is necessary, if you can perceive people as they are in the current moment, listen carefully to what they say about themselves, what they choose and how they define themselves, and not get involved in someone else's life.

  3. There are many circumstances that lead to alternative self-identification, and they are all unique, just like people. However, there are trends. Women who have not received a high-quality experience of family relations (for example, parents) sometimes decide on an alternative method of building relationships. It happens that unusual relationships in a relatively prosperous family lead to this. A person wants to be happy no matter what label society puts on him. Unsuccessful experience of relationships with men, and vice versa, the sudden discovery of the experience of understanding and love with a representative of the same sex does its job. Despite the fact that this is a natural deviation in each population, the higher the number of such people, the higher the disunity of society in fundamental issues and values.

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