[This post was originally written by site member Omnes et Nihil on March 13, 2008]
The real question is why people are looking for a “cause” of sexual orientation, or specific sexual orientations, to begin with. Proof or no proof is completely beside the point. If we’re going to talk about scientific evidence, we should consider all the interpretations of the data, not just some that appear convienent. But I don’t for a moment think that it is helpful–or even makes sense–to talk about scientific evidence surrounding the “causes” of sexual orientation. In fact, I think that argument is inherently problematic.
Arguing that sexual orientation (of any kind) is genetic / learned / socialised / set in the womb / ordained by some higher power / otherwise caused… basically all boils down to accepting the premise: if people can be made heterosexual, they should be made heterosexual, and if people can’t be made heterosexual, then society should accept everyone as they are.
It’s a brilliant tactic to avoid challenging heteronormativity, because no matter what cause of sexual orientation people believe, and no matter what legal and social rights people believe people should have as a result, we’re still protecting heterosexuality’s pedestal.
Personally, I’d rather see that pedestal fall, and give people social and political rights regardless of whether their love for other people is caused by genes, their mother or the spaghetti monster.