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Can We Really Choose Our Sexuality

By: Peter James Field
Our sexuality is an integral part of the person we are

When people wonder about whether or not a person can choose their sexuality, they are often wondering about if they can choose or change their sexual orientation.

Sexual orientation is how a person identifies in relation to what gender(s) they are attracted to. As a rough guide, a person's sexual orientation may be heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or asexual. Nowadays, the letters LGBT are used - lesbian, gay, bisexual, and Trans - as a more inclusive abreviation for what once was simply called 'gay'.

We are not yet sure why someone has a particular sexual orientation as opposed to another, but one thing is certain: we aren't able to choose or control who we are attracted to.

Experts think sexual orientation is influenced by a combination of environmental, emotional, hormonal, and biological factors, but no one is completely sure. We all pass through different experiences as we grow and mature, and we are formed and shaped by various factors. There is no one thing that causes a person to be straight, gay, bisexual or asexual. It's just part of life's wonderful mystery.

When people question choice in sexuality, they are most often referring to whether or not gay people choose to be gay. People rarely ask themselves whether they chose to be straight, or heterosexual. Most straight people just take it for granted.

If you identify as straight or heterosexual and have wondered if gay people choose to be gay, take a moment to consider the following questions:

- Are you sure this isn't just a phase you're going through? - If you've never tried it, how do you know you're not gay? - When was the first time you realized that you might be straight? - What is your earliest memory of being straight? - Have you ever thought you might be confused regarding your sexuality? - Have you ever tried being with the same sex to see if you might like it?

These are all common questions that people often ask gay people when they learn of their sexual orientation. To a straight person these questions might sound ridiculous. You might have thought, I never woke up and realized I was straight--I just am. Some people may even feel offended at the suggestion that they try to be anything other than straight. If you yourself felt any kind of offence because of any of those questions, consider for one moment how a LGBT person feels when asked the same kind of thing.

A gay person can't change who they are attracted to anymore than a straight person can, and why should anyone be expected to try to be something that they are not?

There are certain types of 'therapy' that promise to change a person's sexual orientation; they are called 'reparative' or 'conversion therapy'. The American Psychological Association (APA) and the British Psychological Society (BPS) has taken an official stand denouncing this kind of therapy. Both have categorically stated that there is no evidence that this sort of therapy is effective and it can lead some people to develop depression and suicidal tendencies.

Rather than attempting to alter a person's sexual orientation, it is much wiser for them to learn how to accept it. Here good counseling or an experienced therapist can offer guidance and support. Family and friends of the gay person who are struggling with acceptance can also find support and acceptance through therapy or support groups for the family and friends of LGBT loved ones.

When everything is considered, life itself is crammed full of difference and diversity. Sexuality is a simple reflection of this.

Tags : Choose ,Sexuality ,person ,people ,straight ,orientation ,sexual ,choose ,therapy ,sexuality ,questions
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Article Number : 213706
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