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Homosexuality vs. Heterosexuality

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Poo. There is nothing at all artificial about heterosexuality
It depends what you mean by 'heterosexuality'. If you mean being attracted to, and having sex with, women then I agree. But words like 'homosexual' and 'heterosexuality' are normally taken to mean something more than mere behavioristic description - they're used to describe some kind of underlying identiy/nature. And its in this sense that you can say that heterosexuality is an artificical construct. Its not that 'having sex with women' is unnatural, its that defining yourself in terms of this is unnatural. An analogy I like to use here would be a culture which had a term "redphile" for people who were attracted to redheads. If you liked having sex with red-haired women, then you would be a redphile. People would be prone to saying things like "I am a redphile by nature" and self-identifying as 'redphiles'. There would also be widespread argument over whether being a redphile was a matter of genetics, or volitional choice. Also, there would be a significant number of people in the society who claimed that you could only be attracted to either red-heads, or non-redheads (one or the other). If you were attracted to non-redheads you would be a 'redphobe'. A minority of people admittedly claimed to like both redheads and non-redheads, but these bicolorites were viewed with suspicion, as if they were merely confused and unable to make up their minds. In other words, the single most defining sexual preference a person had would be whether he was a redphile, a redphobe, or a bicolorite.

Now, is the distinction being made here natural? Well, its true that some people like redheads and some dont, so in this sense we can say that it's recognising a fact of reality. But the unnatural part is the identity politics associated with the terms - the idea that it's even remotely important what a person thinks about redheads is nonsense. If you like redheads, great. If not, then thats also great. Who cares? Saying that a person's most important sexual outlook is his stance towards redheads is just as arbitrary as saying that the gender a person is attracted to is important. You dont need to self-identify as a 'redphile' just because youre attracted to redheads, just like you dont need to self-identify as a 'heterosexual' because youre attracted to woman. People should just be attracted to whoever they're attracted to, and stop inventing artifical identity terms to classify themselves with.

I'm a 'heterosexual' in precisely the same sense that I'm a fattyphobe.

Edited by Hal

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Its not that 'having sex with women' is unnatural, its that defining yourself in terms of this is unnatural.
The same can be said about all facts about oneself, not just the sex thing. It is artificial, well, really, it's silly to "define" yourself as being male, liking cheese, owning a car or whatever. Definitions are needed if you aren't sure what the meaning of a word is -- well, I need no definition. I yam who I yam. Owning a car is not artificial, and yet it is a fact that I own a car.
People would be prone to saying things like "I am a redphile by nature" and self-identifying as 'redphiles'.
Oh, yuck. Now you're using the politically offensive terminology of the diversophiles. When required by law to identify myself to others, I use my passport or driver's license; when not compell by law, I just speak my name; and I never have to identify myself to myself, because as I mentioned, I know who I am. So I don't know what it means to "self-identify". I know that it is important for the culturologists and studies-studies people to have this notion of "identifying", but that is just sick and disgusting collectivism. If you're disparaging collectivist ideologies, you've come to the right place, bub. But then that disparagement goes without saying here. Hence I am not ever prone to self-identify as a heterosexual, although if the question comes up and someone asks "Say, by the way, are you gay?", I say "Nay".
There would also be widespread argument over whether being a redphile was a matter of genetics, or volitional choice.
Right: you're talking about Sillyland again. It's really not a very interesting question, as far as I can see, whether one is a redophile or a manophile because of some genetic fact or because of some combination of childhood and conscious choice factors.
But the unnatural part is the identity politics associated with the terms - the idea that it's even remotely important what a person thinks about redheads is nonsense. If you like redheads, great. If not, then thats also great. Who cares?
That's as may be: the slobbering leftist collectivist politics associated with Xophile isn't actually part of the meaning of the term. Being a heterosexual does not mean that for some reason I think that my heterosexuality is my only important feature and that I must "self-identify" as a hetero in that fashion. It simply is a fact, and a perfectly natural one (not a miscreant perversion of humanity made possible by dint of man's volitionality). And therefore, being heterosexual is natural. At least for me, because it's in my nature. Ingok has a different nature.

So anyhow, "heterosexuality" means "the condition of having sex (or desiring sex) with a member of the opposite sex". It doesn't mean "and considering that fact to be the most important thing in the world, without which you are nothing".

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Carrying and giving birth to a child is the ultimate expression of femininity. If a woman choses not to bear children, I cannot comprehend how she would be able to live with the shame of such an unnatural, masculine decision...

But Ayn Rand chose not to have children...

There seem to be a lot of Judeo-Christian value-bias floating around this discussion.

You can't box the psychological characteristics of gender into one concrete definition - just like you can't box the physical characterisitcs of gender into one concrete definition.

For instance, the statement "all men are naturally stronger than all women" is false. I can think of several women that I know or have seen that are stronger than several other men that I've known / seen. It is true that men [in general] are stronger than women [in general] but you cannot express those statements as gender-specific absolutes - because there ARE exceptions.

I know we don't like to discuss any limitations to volition on this forum, but the brain is very much like the body - and they both have objective limitations. A man who is 5'2 and has no muscle mass can't miraculously grow to be 6'2" and ripped. Similarly, a man who developed sexually in a feminine environment (adolescent neural plasticity) can't miraculously grow to be more sexually dominant / more socially masculine. The point is maximizing your natural, individual potential and every INDIVIDUAL should try as hard as possible to maximize their own INDIVIDUALIZED human nature. Perhaps the 5'2" guy can't grow in height but can in muscle mass (thus reaching his maximum physical potential). Similarly, perhaps the sexually/socially feminine man might not be able to maximize his sexually masculinity but is able to maximize his social masculinity...

We are too quick to assume that "human nature" can apply universally to all humans and that we are all the same, when in fact we are most certainly individualized (physically, pyschologically, chemically, etc.). That is not to say that we can't make generalizations, but we always have to keep in mind that they ARE generalizations. Most humans are heterosexual, most men are sexually dominant, most women are sexually submissive, but there are exceptions and the best thing the exceptions can do is maximize their individualized human nature.

Being a man is an objective definition (a penis). Being masculine is a generalized description of men. Individual men aren't always masculine and some concepts of masculinity are, in fact, non-objective, social creations. The color blue, for instance, is not naturally masculine. I've actually found that most ultra-masculine men are actually pretty feminine ( For Instance ).

Edited by NewYorkRoark

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Should not a woman look up to a man for his strength in contexts where his strength is more virtuous and a man look up to a woman for her connectedness in contexts where her connectedness is more virtuous?

Hi Starblade. Hi everyone.

Um ... connectedness?

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If you like redheads, great. If not, then thats also great. Who cares? Saying that a person's most important sexual outlook is his stance towards redheads is just as arbitrary as saying that the gender a person is attracted to is important. You dont need to self-identify as a 'redphile' just because youre attracted to redheads, just like you dont need to self-identify as a 'heterosexual' because youre attracted to woman.
What gender I am attracted to is definitely not my most important attribute, but it's still important. When I'm starting a sexual relationship, it doesn't help me to say "it's not important which gender I'm attracted to," when it is very important to the person I start the relationship with, not to mention that it's very important to me. In the end, I will be having sex with someone or I won't, and I have to have my reasons why. So there must be words to effectively communicate "with a man" or "with a woman." Or at least some sort of gesture or dance, which I would almost prefer.

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I'm writing from a non-western, non-heterosexual country, and I have worked with men on the issues of gender and sexuality for the past 11 years. Here are some of the things I have to say:

1 Heterosexuality and homosexuality are both artificial/ unnatural western concepts, found only in a society which is artificially heterosexualised.

As somebody who has tried homosexuality but did not particularly care for it, I can say this is entirely false. I thought, for a long time, that I was bisexual because I could appreciate male beauty and I was attracted to certain personalities I found in men. When it came to sexuality, though, I just didn't feel it, whereas with women I most certainly do. And I think you'd be very hard-pressed to convince me that I just wasn't open to the experience.

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Or at least some sort of gesture or dance, which I would almost prefer.

Almost makes you long for those primitive days of loin clothes and clubs, eh? :o:lol:

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Well, I suppose this matter has nearly been debated to its bitter end, but I guess its just disappointing for me that after all the years I've been aware of my homosexuality, and all the years it has taken me to accept it, it still hurts when my father turns to me and calls me "psychologically flawed" and threatens that I either change my way of life or otherwise be rejected entirely by him.

This can pose a problem, considering that I am 17 and will have to remain at home for another year. He's already saying that if I don't change, then I can just forget about any support in paying for my college tuition.

Certainly there must be something wrong with this type of exploitation.

-J.

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This can pose a problem, considering that I am 17 and will have to remain at home for another year. He's already saying that if I don't change, then I can just forget about any support in paying for my college tuition.

Hmmm.. You know, I wouldn't be suprized if there were some kind of scholarship available for someone in your type of situation. I don't know how you would go about looking for that, though.

You have every right to feel hurt by your father's position. I hope things work out for you.

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I didn't read 52 pages of this, but I have to say that on this thread and other threads around here, I've seen some horriable views on homosexuality displayed by some members of the board.

Well, I suppose this matter has nearly been debated to its bitter end, but I guess its just disappointing for me that after all the years I've been aware of my homosexuality, and all the years it has taken me to accept it, it still hurts when my father turns to me and calls me "psychologically flawed" and threatens that I either change my way of life or otherwise be rejected entirely by him.

This can pose a problem, considering that I am 17 and will have to remain at home for another year. He's already saying that if I don't change, then I can just forget about any support in paying for my college tuition.

Certainly there must be something wrong with this type of exploitation.

-J.

I'm really sorry to hear your father is a dumbass who doesn't understand what love is. You could always get loans and scholarships.

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As a gay man myself, I actually found this thread to be very enlightening (though I too didn't read all 52 pages). But All the discussion of gender roles and hero-worship really made me start to think about how I view myself and my own role as a gay man and how I might choose to fill those roles in the future.

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i didnt read 52 pages of this either but I can say that while I completely agree on Rand's theory of sex in its basic premises, psychology is a field in diapers, with a lot of discoveries to be made but some already accepted, i.e.: sexual orientation is determined at an extremely early age. And that which is outside choice is outside the province of morality.

I still don't know whether homosexuality, or objectophillia, or any other utter incompatibility between mind and body is a disease or an evolutionary stage. But it is certainly not inmoral.

Perversion for example applies to straights and gays, men and women alike (don't show me statistics) and that might derive from some basically faulty moral principles.

Why is this thread on ethics? It should be in psychology.

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It is in ethics because the essential question is an ethical one, not a psychological one. The psychology isn't important - all sex is a volitional act, so any volitional man can choose whether or not to engage in homosexual behavior. It doesn't matter if the cause of the preference for same-sex romance is biological or psychological or whatever. It is all still subject to volition. The only important question is whether it is morally necessary for a homosexual to refrain from homosexual behavior.

~Q

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It is in ethics because the essential question is an ethical one, not a psychological one. The psychology isn't important - all sex is a volitional act, so any volitional man can choose whether or not to engage in homosexual behavior. It doesn't matter if the cause of the preference for same-sex romance is biological or psychological or whatever. It is all still subject to volition. The only important question is whether it is morally necessary for a homosexual to refrain from homosexual behavior.

~Q

you meant to say whether refraining from sexual activity is in the homosexual's best interest? Or are you overtly stating that volition makes no difference between conscious and insconscious thinking and primary or ellaborated premises?

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you meant to say whether refraining from sexual activity is in the homosexual's best interest? Or are you overtly stating that volition makes no difference between conscious and insconscious thinking and primary or ellaborated premises?
The first question is whether it is moral or immoral which is an ethical question. That explains why it started in Ethics. The basis for the answer might be psychological, but the question itself is pure ethics.

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you meant to say whether refraining from sexual activity is in the homosexual's best interest? Or are you overtly stating that volition makes no difference between conscious and insconscious thinking and primary or ellaborated premises?

The former. Sort of. Specifically, whether homosexual behavior is of such an anti-value that all rational men must categorically refrain from it. Like evasion. Or self-sacrifice. Whether homosexuality is of psychological or physiological origin is irrelevant, because all human behavior is volitional. Volition makes all the difference.

~Q

Edited by Qwertz

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But that would depend on what the definition of homosexual is....

If sexual orientation is not a choice (though it mighht be a long term choice), then the question reads whether it's in the homosexual's best intererst to engage in sexual activity.

If sexual orientation is something individuals decide on later in life, then it is a matter of choice and then it is an ethical issue.

I can't see the question and its answer in different categories.

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It does depend on clarifying the meaning of "homosexual." Here, you're using "sexual orientation" to mean two different things. In the first instance, you're talking about the homosexual preference. In the second, you're talking about homosexual behavior. But the origin of the preference is irrelevant. What matters is only the behavior. It doesn't matter if you're physically addicted to tobacco or only psychologically addicted. It can (but needn't necessarily) be immoral to smoke either way, e.g., if doing it will kill you. In the same way, the homosexuality question is an ethical one. If homosexual behavior is an anti-value, neither biology nor psychology can excuse it.

~Q

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well you might have a point there for example:

in the case of a pedophilliac, even if the person can't help nor chose his her desires it WOULD be inmoral to act on them.

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Is there any evidence whatsoever that engaging in homosexual acts with another consenting adult is an anti-value?

As such, no, I do not think so.

~Q

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Specifically, whether homosexual behavior is of such an anti-value that all rational men must categorically refrain from it. Like evasion. Or self-sacrifice.

"Must" ? "Categorically" ?? "Refrain" ???

I feel it to be my ... ahem ... duty to point out that this is not the language Miss Rand used, nor anyone agreeing with her on this thread.

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"Must" ? "Categorically" ?? "Refrain" ???

I feel it to be my ... ahem ... duty to point out that this is not the language Miss Rand used, nor anyone agreeing with her on this thread.

Indeed, the only language Miss Rand did use on this topic is that homosexuality is disgusting and immoral. I'd have to agree.

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