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Changing Your Sexuality

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Posts

  • elkataselkatas Registered User regular
    wandering wrote: »
    Can a person's sexuality change over time? Probably. Is a person's sexuality affected by their environment? Quite possibly. Can a person consciously alter their own sexuality? Well, I don't know, maybe. Would it be healthy for someone to try and make themselves more straight because they don't accept their own sexuality? Probably not. Should you accept yourself and your sexuality? Yes.

    Yes.
    Yes.
    Yes.
    Nope.
    Yes.

    When I have been tackling with sexuality issues, it has been always learnt beliefs that has caused conflicts in experssing that sexuality. However, I have never, ever found out anything that would point towards homosexuality being learnt ability. It is natural. Of course, I have seen several cases where subject has been little confused about his sexual preference because being raised in unusual enviroment (i.e. hetero raised by gay family), but those are rare exceptions, and can't be used as any kind of proof of "dangers" of gays raising children. Our minds just tend to pick strangest stuff sometimes.

    Hypnotically inclined.
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    EggyToast wrote: »
    A homosexual CAN have sex with anyone of any gender, which is why I personally believe people against homosexuality put up such a big fight. What the argument is really about is personal happiness, in my opinion. If a person identifies as homosexual, their personal happiness is defined as being in a relationship with someone of the same gender, their sexual health and happiness are fulfilled in that way, and so on. The sad thing about trying to change someone else's sexuality is that you're trying to place your own views on happiness on to someone else.

    This is exactly what's going on.

    The sexually-restrictive, moralistic point of view comes out in all sorts of public venues. People have all sorts of sexual urges that are morally and socially unacceptable: adultery, pedophilia, zoophilia, etc. Who cares if these urges make them happy? They're outside of the realm of acceptable sexual behavior. This is why Michelle Bachmann compares gayness to pedophilia; why Rick Santorum compares it to polygamy. In this moral framework, it doesn't matter how the sexual misconduct makes you feel. The onus is on the individual to repress their aberrant urges and live a sexually virtuous life.

    In this moral framework, sexual orientation "cures" work in that, in the best-case scenario, they result in an individual who is functionally asexual, celibate, or chaste. You can get somebody to suppress their desires so deeply that they will no longer act them out. In the moralistic repressive framework, it doesn't matter if you've failed to replace the homosexual desires with heterosexual desires, because desire doesn't matter. Desire is merely temptation. Only actions matter.

    Similarly, it doesn't matter in this framework whether you choose your desires or not. You choose your actions.

    Where we manage to gain ground is by showing that there is a disconnect between the Michelle Bachmanns and the Rick Santorums of the country vs mainstream Americans. The former are basing their expectation of proper sexual conduct on a Puritanical interpretation of the Bible that's really only a few centuries old. Most people don't really care. What people care about is outcomes, even if they aren't expressing it in a rigorous or scientific way, they want to see people in happy healthy stable consensual relationships, raising happy healthy stable families. This just means dismantling some of the old stereotypes of gay people as promiscuous, sex-addicted, disease-ridden, fetishist, and neurotic. The more examples people see in the media and in their personal lives of happy stable gay couples, the more popular opinion shifts.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    I'm not sure I understand how this is a valid question. I mean, it's gramatically valid and I suppose sort of interesting as a thought experiment, but I'm not sure I see how you can distinguish the product here from the means.

    There isn't any known way (that I'm aware of) to change your sexuality. If you're homosexual and decide that you're also actually kind of into the opposite sex then I imagine that means you were actually just bi all-along and didn't realize. If you're homosexual and decide you'd like to be into the opposite sex, I don't think there's actually anything anyone can do for you at the moment. I've never seen any evidence that any of the religious 'treatments' actually work, and we certainly don't have a medical science method of reassigning sexuality.

    If there were a method of changing sexuality then I'd imagine that the morality of the process would depend, at least to some extent, on what the process involves. If it's just taking a pill and now you're into dudes instead of just chicks then, hey, good on you, go get you some of the man-meat. If it requires substantially altering your personality via psychotherapy and/or neuro-surgery, it seems somewhat tantamount to killing your prior personality, so should (I'd think) be considered roughly on-par with suicide, morally. Especially if it's not reversible. Unlike transsexuals undergoing reassignment, you aren't performing a procedure to better match your physical person to your mental identity; you're undergoing a procedure essentially cosmetically. You'd like to be something you aren't, so you're doing something to stop being who you were and start being someone else.

    I don't personally see anything morally repugnant there, but I'm largely neutral on the morality of suicide, as well.

    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Bethryn wrote:
    I'm going to stick a few ground rules in here to prevent the debate diverging in rather tired directions. For the purposes of this discourse, it is a given that: The sexuality you're born with is not a matter of choice, but is influenced by natural factors.

    I'm sorry, I can't really leave this unanswered.

    By "sexuality" we might mean a few different things. We might be talking about sexual preference, or we might be talking about sexual behavior, or we might be talking about relationship preference, or we might be talking about social identity. For the most part, when we say "sexuality" or "sexual orientation," we mean "sexual preference."

    It is an assumption in our (mostly North American & European, mostly liberal, modern) culture that these things are congruous. If you are a man who sexually prefers men, then you have sex with men, you date men, and you present yourself as gay. If one of these things is not in congruity with the other, we are likely to come to the conclusion that the person is bisexual, confused, or responding to repressive social forces. Sexual and social behavior and sexual and social identity are all subordinate to sexual preference. And we presume that personal and emotional intimacy should occur with the same individual (or individuals) with whom we find sexual compatibility.

    Historically and cross-culturally, that's not necessarily the case. That's not even necessarily the case for all individuals in our culture. There are lots of people who find incongruity there - who have social reasons to present as gay even though they enjoy sex with women, or who find emotional intimacy with one person and sexual compatibility with a different person of a different sex.

    But let's say I assume you mean "the sexual preference you're born with is not a matter of choice." Well, hmm. Just because something is resistant to change doesn't mean you're born with it. There are rare (but very interesting) examples of people whose sexual preferences have changed as a result of brain injury or hormone therapy. Some peoples' sexual preferences change slowly over time - popularly, we just categorize those people as "bisexual" and assume that their point on the bisexuality line just migrated from one side to the other, but IMO it's kind of silly to call a man who is currently uninterested in sex with men "bisexual" because of some historical aspect of his past.

    In this way, sexual preference is largely similar to other personality traits. They are resistant to change, but not completely immutable, responsive to environmental conditions but limited in scope and range by inheritance, and probably affected early in life by complex epigenetic factors that we don't really understand.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • BethrynBethryn Registered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    There are rare (but very interesting) examples of people whose sexual preferences have changed as a result of brain injury or hormone therapy.
    I've never ever said it was immutable, and I don't believe for a second in the immutability of self. Just because something's natural rather than chosen doesn't mean it's immutable. ^^

    bethryn.png
  • MrMisterMrMister Valuing scholarship above all elseRegistered User regular
    edited April 2012
    A few things--first, taking down those ex-gay adverts was clearly a case of censorship. Boo to censorship! It's especially awkward because the tagline ('ex-gay, post-gay, and proud!') isn't even a slur on gay people, but rather the expression of pride from a post-gay person. Are post-gay people now forbidden from publicly expressing pride in themselves and their choices, because such pride might implicitly reflect negatively on other people who have different lives and have made different choices? Here as always, I find that particularly British urge to censor disturbing.

    Second, therapy for curing homosexuality is often brutal and ineffective. I think there is a basis for restricting speech of such conversion camps to the extent that they ought to be forced to acknowledge the brutality and inefficacy of their methods. But this is just another version of the prohibition on fraud. When advertising their services they should not be allowed to paint misleading pictures of what those services involve. Of course, some people might be interested nonetheless: some people are so alienated from their sexuality that they are willing to undergo brutal and potentially fruitless therapies in an attempt to change it.

    Third, in a liberal society we should defer to individuals when it comes to their vision of the good life and the manner in which they pursue it. It is lamentable that some people reject their sexual orientation on the basis of false religious and moral beliefs; doing so causes them great pain. But it is not anyone else's place to impose the correct religious and moral beliefs on them. So: on the question of whether it is okay to get such therapy, it seems clear to me that the answer is--it may be imprudent and unfortunate, but it certainly ought to be allowed.

    MrMister on
  • JeedanJeedan Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Viskod wrote: »
    Of course it accounts for bisexuals, who did not choose to be attracted to both sexes.

    But they have a choice in who they choose to express that attraction to.

    Thats my point, many gay-curing-through-prayer type groups already accept that you didn't CHOOSE to be turned on by by the same sex, but they reinforce that you shouldn't ACT on that desire.
    Jeedan wrote: »
    I have two problems with the "being gay isn't a choice" narrative.
    Those are the types of people who'd feel the same way about cancer. Do you also have two problems with the 'cancer is not a choice' narrative?

    I dont see how that analogy is supposed to work, please illustrate it further.

    To be clear, I'm not talking about whether homosexuality is biologically a choice or not (for some people it clearly isn't. For others, I don't think it's so clear cut). I'm talking about how effectively that functions as a moral argument, ("homosexuality is not a choice, therefore, it should be accepted") it and for those purposes I don't think it's as solid as it needs to be.

    Actress Cynthia Nixon had a minor controversy over this recently:
    “I gave a speech recently, an empowerment speech to a gay audience, and it included the line ‘I’ve been straight and I’ve been gay, and gay is better.’ And they tried to get me to change it, because they said it implies that homosexuality can be a choice. And for me, it is a choice. I understand that for many people it’s not, but for me it’s a choice, and you don’t get to define my gayness for me.”






    Jeedan on
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User regular
    Bethryn wrote:
    Transexuals are morally Okay, and the process of becoming a transexual is morally Okay.
    Bethryn wrote:
    Secondly, is it okay to change your sexuality?

    Your rules have defined it to be ok. Unless Transexuality is qualitatively different than other kinds of sexuality.

    Bethryn wrote:
    The sexuality you're born with is not a matter of choice, but is influenced by natural factors.
    Bethryn wrote:
    Secondly, is it okay to change your sexuality? We're steadily growing to accept people who want to change their sex; should sexuality be any different, assuming it is possible?

    Why would anyone want to change their sexuality, if they are born with a sexuality that is not a matter of choice?

    As other people have pointed out, we haven't clearly defined "sexuality".

    It seems like you are talking about "one's preference for whom one fucks." But preferences tend to be subject to one's ability to make choices and decisions. You stated in the rules that sexuality is not a choice. So, that would mean it isn't a preference...or at least it's a kind of preference that it outside of one's own control.

    At some point you'll need to clarify this point of tension: Is sexuality a choice, or is sexuality not a choice? Do I choose to want to fuck ladies, or am I naturally / genetically predisposed to seek out ladies for fucking?

    You could say that it's "both"; we are born with preferences but can modify those over time. But then you've lost your hard-line defense against religious institutions that seek to make people stop choosing to fuck men.

    I think you've thrown the proverbial baby out with the bath water. If we assume that persons have free will, then there seems to be a wealth of empirical evidence to suggest that people's preferences change over time. The problem you would have with this, though, is that it means that people CAN CHANGE THEIR PREFERENCES, which means that religious fundamentalists aren't entirely dismissible in their quest to make people stop being homosexuals.

    Seriously J not only are you a monumentally umpleasant person when you start uttering the nonsense that passes for philosophy in your mind (shame on whatever institution you graduated in, and shame on your tutors for creating such a monster), but your sense of humor, such as it is, is awful.
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User regular
    Bethryn wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    There are rare (but very interesting) examples of people whose sexual preferences have changed as a result of brain injury or hormone therapy.
    I've never ever said it was immutable, and I don't believe for a second in the immutability of self. Just because something's natural rather than chosen doesn't mean it's immutable. ^^

    The reason people make the distinction between "natural predisposition" and "choice" is that the natural predisposition is taken to be immutable.

    If you grant that one's sexual preferences can change, then why are you maintaining the "sexual preferences are a natural disposition" position?

    It seems like you're trying to argue that people don't choose to be gay...but can choose to be gay. Or, persons start as a particular kind of sexuality, but can change.

    Which is the religious person's position: You can choose to not be gay.

    Seriously J not only are you a monumentally umpleasant person when you start uttering the nonsense that passes for philosophy in your mind (shame on whatever institution you graduated in, and shame on your tutors for creating such a monster), but your sense of humor, such as it is, is awful.
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    Similarly, it doesn't matter in this framework whether you choose your desires or not. You choose your actions.

    If we take this seriously, then perhaps we could simplify the conversation by dismissing any concern for desires or natures or natural dispositions and simply talk about actions.

    Is it permissible for a male and female to have sex? Sure.
    Is it permissible for a male and male to have sex? Sure.
    Is it permissible for a female and female to scissor or whatever they do without penises? Sure.

    Is it permissible for a male who had sex with a female at Time-1 to have sex with a male at Time-3? Sure.


    Why bother talking about questions of self-identity (an incredibly difficult topic) when the actual point of contention is over actions?

    Maybe it'd be healthier to do away with "heterosexual" and "homosexual" and instead talk about "John tends to prefer being with ladies."

    I mean, unless we really like our Platonic self-conceptions.

    Seriously J not only are you a monumentally umpleasant person when you start uttering the nonsense that passes for philosophy in your mind (shame on whatever institution you graduated in, and shame on your tutors for creating such a monster), but your sense of humor, such as it is, is awful.
  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Similarly, it doesn't matter in this framework whether you choose your desires or not. You choose your actions.

    If we take this seriously, then perhaps we could simplify the conversation by dismissing any concern for desires or natures or natural dispositions and simply talk about actions.

    Is it permissible for a male and female to have sex? Sure.
    Is it permissible for a male and male to have sex? Sure.
    Is it permissible for a female and female to scissor or whatever they do without penises? Sure.

    Is it permissible for a male who had sex with a female at Time-1 to have sex with a male at Time-3? Sure.


    Why bother talking about questions of self-identity (an incredibly difficult topic) when the actual point of contention is over actions?

    Maybe it'd be healthier to do away with "heterosexual" and "homosexual" and instead talk about "John tends to prefer being with ladies."

    I mean, unless we really like our Platonic self-conceptions.

    people really, really do

    it causes problems, in and of itself, that.

    i generally avoid stating my sexual orientation by the most accurate label because that label has associations that are wildly outside my control or prediction when it comes up with people

    so i just skirt the whole issue with generics

    it's helpful, but not a fantastic measure for dealing with society

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User regular
    Pony wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Similarly, it doesn't matter in this framework whether you choose your desires or not. You choose your actions.

    If we take this seriously, then perhaps we could simplify the conversation by dismissing any concern for desires or natures or natural dispositions and simply talk about actions.

    Is it permissible for a male and female to have sex? Sure.
    Is it permissible for a male and male to have sex? Sure.
    Is it permissible for a female and female to scissor or whatever they do without penises? Sure.

    Is it permissible for a male who had sex with a female at Time-1 to have sex with a male at Time-3? Sure.


    Why bother talking about questions of self-identity (an incredibly difficult topic) when the actual point of contention is over actions?

    Maybe it'd be healthier to do away with "heterosexual" and "homosexual" and instead talk about "John tends to prefer being with ladies."

    I mean, unless we really like our Platonic self-conceptions.

    people really, really do

    it causes problems, in and of itself, that.

    i generally avoid stating my sexual orientation by the most accurate label because that label has associations that are wildly outside my control or prediction when it comes up with people

    so i just skirt the whole issue with generics

    it's helpful, but not a fantastic measure for dealing with society

    Yeah.

    It's interesting to me that persons will argue against eternal forms, fixed essences, and all manner of Platonic conceptions in philosophical discussions.

    But then when we start talking about personal identity the Platonic toolbox comes out, and Billy IS heterosexual at all times, in all ways.

    It's even more interesting when that language appears when talking to trans-persons. A person will self-describe as being female, trapped in a male body, as if there were such a thing as "maleness" and "femaleness". with respect to either selves or bodies.

    Very strange. People don't want to be Platonists...unless they're talking about their selves.

    Seriously J not only are you a monumentally umpleasant person when you start uttering the nonsense that passes for philosophy in your mind (shame on whatever institution you graduated in, and shame on your tutors for creating such a monster), but your sense of humor, such as it is, is awful.
  • VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    You can choose who you fuck, but you can't change what you prefer to fuck.

  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    Pony wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Similarly, it doesn't matter in this framework whether you choose your desires or not. You choose your actions.

    If we take this seriously, then perhaps we could simplify the conversation by dismissing any concern for desires or natures or natural dispositions and simply talk about actions.

    Is it permissible for a male and female to have sex? Sure.
    Is it permissible for a male and male to have sex? Sure.
    Is it permissible for a female and female to scissor or whatever they do without penises? Sure.

    Is it permissible for a male who had sex with a female at Time-1 to have sex with a male at Time-3? Sure.


    Why bother talking about questions of self-identity (an incredibly difficult topic) when the actual point of contention is over actions?

    Maybe it'd be healthier to do away with "heterosexual" and "homosexual" and instead talk about "John tends to prefer being with ladies."

    I mean, unless we really like our Platonic self-conceptions.

    people really, really do

    it causes problems, in and of itself, that.

    i generally avoid stating my sexual orientation by the most accurate label because that label has associations that are wildly outside my control or prediction when it comes up with people

    so i just skirt the whole issue with generics

    it's helpful, but not a fantastic measure for dealing with society

    Yeah.

    It's interesting to me that persons will argue against eternal forms, fixed essences, and all manner of Platonic conceptions in philosophical discussions.

    But then when we start talking about personal identity the Platonic toolbox comes out, and Billy IS heterosexual at all times, in all ways.

    It's even more interesting when that language appears when talking to trans-persons. A person will self-describe as being female, trapped in a male body, as if there were such a thing as "maleness" and "femaleness". with respect to either selves or bodies.

    Very strange. People don't want to be Platonists...unless they're talking about their selves.

    as this thread shows, discussing gender, sexuality, sexual identity, gender identity, and how they interact with a person's self-image is fraught with all kinds of logical collapses and weird connections

    it makes the science of studying these subjects especially troublesome because in order to do it with honesty and scientific rigor, you have to set aside platitudes, slogans, and respect for people's feeeelings for the sake of the raw data.

    which, as Arch pointed out on the first page, can disarm argument vectors that are currently politically convenient to the cause of the oppressed

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User regular
    Pony wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    Pony wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Similarly, it doesn't matter in this framework whether you choose your desires or not. You choose your actions.

    If we take this seriously, then perhaps we could simplify the conversation by dismissing any concern for desires or natures or natural dispositions and simply talk about actions.

    Is it permissible for a male and female to have sex? Sure.
    Is it permissible for a male and male to have sex? Sure.
    Is it permissible for a female and female to scissor or whatever they do without penises? Sure.

    Is it permissible for a male who had sex with a female at Time-1 to have sex with a male at Time-3? Sure.


    Why bother talking about questions of self-identity (an incredibly difficult topic) when the actual point of contention is over actions?

    Maybe it'd be healthier to do away with "heterosexual" and "homosexual" and instead talk about "John tends to prefer being with ladies."

    I mean, unless we really like our Platonic self-conceptions.

    people really, really do

    it causes problems, in and of itself, that.

    i generally avoid stating my sexual orientation by the most accurate label because that label has associations that are wildly outside my control or prediction when it comes up with people

    so i just skirt the whole issue with generics

    it's helpful, but not a fantastic measure for dealing with society

    Yeah.

    It's interesting to me that persons will argue against eternal forms, fixed essences, and all manner of Platonic conceptions in philosophical discussions.

    But then when we start talking about personal identity the Platonic toolbox comes out, and Billy IS heterosexual at all times, in all ways.

    It's even more interesting when that language appears when talking to trans-persons. A person will self-describe as being female, trapped in a male body, as if there were such a thing as "maleness" and "femaleness". with respect to either selves or bodies.

    Very strange. People don't want to be Platonists...unless they're talking about their selves.

    as this thread shows, discussing gender, sexuality, sexual identity, gender identity, and how they interact with a person's self-image is fraught with all kinds of logical collapses and weird connections

    it makes the science of studying these subjects especially troublesome because in order to do it with honesty and scientific rigor, you have to set aside platitudes, slogans, and respect for people's feeeelings for the sake of the raw data.

    which, as Arch pointed out on the first page, can disarm argument vectors that are currently politically convenient to the cause of the oppressed

    Hence the problem with anything grounded upon self-report.

    There was a story a while ago on the BBC about a self-described asexual teen. Let's see if I can find it...here we go: What is it like to be asexual?

    The problem is that in order to "scientifically" assess this, we have to sit down and let the 21 year old girl tell us the ways she feels about stuff. Which, you know, perhaps isn't the most reliable source of data. Further complications result from anyone questioning the phenomena, because doing so is questioning the girls self-narrative, which is verboten!

    I tend to not think that gender, sexuality, sexual identity, gender identity are all that complicated. What complicates the process is when we attempt to discern what is going on while, at the same time, maintaining the self-imposed inability to tell people that their self-conceptions are incorrect or fallacious.

    So we end up with this wishy-washy pseudo-science that strives to factually understand all of these topics without pissing anyone off. It's a very difficult thing to do.

    Which is why I think it's sensible to junk the whole enterprise, and simply talk about acts, or maybe habits of action, rather than try to figure out whether or not the 21 year old girl "is" asexual. Let's just say "she isn't interested in sex" and move on.

    Because anything further than "she tends to not want to fuck people" is moving into the realm of very absurd inductions and abductions based upon naught but self-narratives related to very touchy subjects.

    Seriously J not only are you a monumentally umpleasant person when you start uttering the nonsense that passes for philosophy in your mind (shame on whatever institution you graduated in, and shame on your tutors for creating such a monster), but your sense of humor, such as it is, is awful.
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    I think that you could choose to change, but noone has any idea how you'd go about doing that. What you like is a random summation of things that happen during your life. It's like choosing to roll a 6 on a fair dice. You can choose all you want but you can't control that dice, even though there are things you are doing that DO affect that dice.

    Your puny weapons are useless against me
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User regular
    Vanguard wrote: »
    You can choose who you fuck, but you can't change what you prefer to fuck.

    Does this hold with anything else?

    You can choose what you eat, but you can't change what you prefer to eat.
    You can choose what you drive, but you can't change what you prefer to drive.
    You can choose when you sleep, but you can't change when you prefer to sleep.
    You can choose how you walk, but you can't change how you prefer to walk.
    You can choose where you live, but you can't change where you prefer to live.

    Liberals have been conditioned to maintain the preference / act distinction with respect to sexuality. But when you try to play that out in other realms it starts to be quite goofy.

    Perhaps this indicates that the distinction is, itself, goofy.

    Seriously J not only are you a monumentally umpleasant person when you start uttering the nonsense that passes for philosophy in your mind (shame on whatever institution you graduated in, and shame on your tutors for creating such a monster), but your sense of humor, such as it is, is awful.
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    Vanguard wrote: »
    You can choose who you fuck, but you can't change what you prefer to fuck.

    Does this hold with anything else?

    You can choose what you eat, but you can't change what you prefer to eat.
    You can choose what you drive, but you can't change what you prefer to drive.
    You can choose when you sleep, but you can't change when you prefer to sleep.
    You can choose how you walk, but you can't change how you prefer to walk.
    You can choose where you live, but you can't change where you prefer to live.

    Liberals have been conditioned to maintain the preference / act distinction with respect to sexuality. But when you try to play that out in other realms it starts to be quite goofy.

    Perhaps this indicates that the distinction is, itself, goofy.

    It's a question of complexity. The more complex a preference is, the more complex it is to change. Changing how you prefer to walk is probably even MORE complicated than choosing to change your sexuality.

    Your puny weapons are useless against me
  • AntimatterAntimatter if you want to talk to me look elsewhere.Registered User regular
    Transsexuality, despite the name, has nothing to do with sexuality/attraction.


    it has to do entirely with GENDER IDENTITY, what you think you are. which is itself different from gender expression, and physical sex.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User regular
    Antimatter wrote: »
    Transsexuality, despite the name, has nothing to do with sexuality/attraction.


    it has to do entirely with GENDER IDENTITY, what you think you are. which is itself different from gender expression, and physical sex.

    Doesn't gender identity have to do with sexual attraction?

    Seriously J not only are you a monumentally umpleasant person when you start uttering the nonsense that passes for philosophy in your mind (shame on whatever institution you graduated in, and shame on your tutors for creating such a monster), but your sense of humor, such as it is, is awful.
  • AntimatterAntimatter if you want to talk to me look elsewhere.Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    Antimatter wrote: »
    Transsexuality, despite the name, has nothing to do with sexuality/attraction.


    it has to do entirely with GENDER IDENTITY, what you think you are. which is itself different from gender expression, and physical sex.

    Doesn't gender identity have to do with sexual attraction?

    Not really? It's a separate thing. Gender identity is how you feel. I have the gender identity of a female, though I was assigned male at birth due to having male sexual characteristics. I am attracted to females. My gender identity isn't linked to that.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User regular
    Antimatter wrote: »
    Gender identity is how you feel.

    This seems problematic, given that feelings are changeable.

    Seriously J not only are you a monumentally umpleasant person when you start uttering the nonsense that passes for philosophy in your mind (shame on whatever institution you graduated in, and shame on your tutors for creating such a monster), but your sense of humor, such as it is, is awful.
  • AntimatterAntimatter if you want to talk to me look elsewhere.Registered User regular
    okay. maybe not the correct word.

    but, it's a very hard concept to explain. my male body does not feel right. i have dysphoria, and i hate my body. i hate how bulky it is, i hate my genitals, i hate having masculine physical traits.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User regular
    Antimatter wrote: »
    okay. maybe not the correct word.

    but, it's a very hard concept to explain. my male body does not feel right. i have dysphoria, and i hate my body. i hate how bulky it is, i hate my genitals, i hate having masculine physical traits.

    I'm curious.

    Was there a specific point at which you started feeilng this way? I don't imagine that a 2 year old would hate its body.

    Seriously J not only are you a monumentally umpleasant person when you start uttering the nonsense that passes for philosophy in your mind (shame on whatever institution you graduated in, and shame on your tutors for creating such a monster), but your sense of humor, such as it is, is awful.
  • LawndartLawndart Registered User regular
    MrMister wrote: »
    Third, in a liberal society we should defer to individuals when it comes to their vision of the good life and the manner in which they pursue it. It is lamentable that some people reject their sexual orientation on the basis of false religious and moral beliefs; doing so causes them great pain. But it is not anyone else's place to impose the correct religious and moral beliefs on them. So: on the question of whether it is okay to get such therapy, it seems clear to me that the answer is--it may be imprudent and unfortunate, but it certainly ought to be allowed.

    One big caveat I have to this approach to Christian gay "conversion" therapy is that in many places parents have the legal power to force their (presumably or actually) gay children to undergo this brutal and pointless "therapy".

    There's a difference to me between adults choosing to engage in stupid and self-destructive activities, and parents forcing their children to undergo them.

  • MrMisterMrMister Valuing scholarship above all elseRegistered User regular
    Parents have a pretty wide latitude to force their children to do all sorts of unpleasant things. I do agree that is a more difficult case, however.

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    Why bother talking about questions of self-identity (an incredibly difficult topic) when the actual point of contention is over actions?

    Maybe it'd be healthier to do away with "heterosexual" and "homosexual" and instead talk about "John tends to prefer being with ladies."

    That's the way people in the west used to talk about it, before the latter half of the 19th century.

    There was definitely awareness that these preferences were largely consistent across a person's lifespan, but it wasn't an aspect of identity in the same way nationality or patronage was.

    Whether homosexuals were actively persecuted or whether homosexual sex was something you did quietly in a back room despite having a wife and fathering children differs from one milieu and era to another, but the idea that it directly informs who you are as a person is relatively modern.

    _J_ wrote: »
    Pony wrote: »
    i generally avoid stating my sexual orientation by the most accurate label because that label has associations that are wildly outside my control or prediction when it comes up with people

    so i just skirt the whole issue with generics

    it's helpful, but not a fantastic measure for dealing with society

    Yeah.

    It's interesting to me that persons will argue against eternal forms, fixed essences, and all manner of Platonic conceptions in philosophical discussions.

    But then when we start talking about personal identity the Platonic toolbox comes out, and Billy IS heterosexual at all times, in all ways.

    This is largely what I was trying to argue against.

    _J_ wrote: »
    It's even more interesting when that language appears when talking to trans-persons. A person will self-describe as being female, trapped in a male body, as if there were such a thing as "maleness" and "femaleness". with respect to either selves or bodies.

    Very strange. People don't want to be Platonists...unless they're talking about their selves.

    Well, body image is one of the areas where Platonic forms are a good metaphor. It seems like human beings have a neurological 'body map' that is part of a whole system of proprioception and self-awareness. Usually, this map is a pretty good approximation, but it can be incongruous with the reality in a number of uncommon ways - phantom limb syndrome, alien hand syndrome, body integrity identity disorder, etc. Those particular examples are well-associated with specific organic injuries; strokes that affect certain specific parts of the brain can cause alien hand or alien limb syndrome.

    Could there be a comparable body schema disorganization at play with gender dysphoria? It's quite likely. The way some transsexual people describe their genitalia is similar to the way a brain injury patient might describe an alien hand. However, it's not just a body schema problem; if it were, it wouldn't cause the wide range of problems with mood disorders and intimacy and self-esteem that it does. It's more likely that the body schema problem is caused by... whatever causes gender dysphoria in the first place.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Lawndart wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    Third, in a liberal society we should defer to individuals when it comes to their vision of the good life and the manner in which they pursue it. It is lamentable that some people reject their sexual orientation on the basis of false religious and moral beliefs; doing so causes them great pain. But it is not anyone else's place to impose the correct religious and moral beliefs on them. So: on the question of whether it is okay to get such therapy, it seems clear to me that the answer is--it may be imprudent and unfortunate, but it certainly ought to be allowed.

    One big caveat I have to this approach to Christian gay "conversion" therapy is that in many places parents have the legal power to force their (presumably or actually) gay children to undergo this brutal and pointless "therapy".

    There's a difference to me between adults choosing to engage in stupid and self-destructive activities, and parents forcing their children to undergo them.

    Yep. Also, because they're children, the 'caregivers' have more power to abuse them.

    To (legally) hold an adult against his or her will, you need some formal legal proceeding - involuntary commitment, declaration of incompetency, criminal conviction. In most states, there's no such process for children. Consequently, there are many unregulated 'residential treatment facilities' or 'outdoor programs' where kids are held against their will and forced to perform labor, punished for misconduct by being denied food and water, required to sleep on the floor or the bare ground, forced to stand in one place for hours on end while being denied sleep, physically restrained to a chair or bed, denied communication with the outside world, etc. They're completely unregulated on a federal level and mostly unregulated by the states.

    Kids are sent to these programs for all sorts of reasons - sexual orientation reversal happens to be a common one.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • LawndartLawndart Registered User regular
    MrMister wrote: »
    Parents have a pretty wide latitude to force their children to do all sorts of unpleasant things. I do agree that is a more difficult case, however.

    I'd say that forcing a child to undergo organized psychological (or even physical) abuse for no proven benefit goes beyond "unpleasant" and into the realm of child abuse.

    I am curious as to how the age demographics of "conversion therapy" patients break down, since it does seem to be a scam primarily aimed at the parents of (presumed or actual) gay children and to a lesser extent at gay adults in crisis.

  • VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2012
    _J_ wrote: »
    Vanguard wrote: »
    You can choose who you fuck, but you can't change what you prefer to fuck.

    Does this hold with anything else?

    You can choose what you eat, but you can't change what you prefer to eat.
    You can choose what you drive, but you can't change what you prefer to drive.
    You can choose when you sleep, but you can't change when you prefer to sleep.
    You can choose how you walk, but you can't change how you prefer to walk.
    You can choose where you live, but you can't change where you prefer to live.

    Liberals have been conditioned to maintain the preference / act distinction with respect to sexuality. But when you try to play that out in other realms it starts to be quite goofy.

    Perhaps this indicates that the distinction is, itself, goofy.

    Grammatically, the logic of those sentences are parallel, but the specifics are false equivalencies. Choosing your lunch, car, etc do not have the same social ramifications that sexuality has.

    To start, not everybody drives, so we can scratch that one off the list.

    Food is kind of a nature/nurture example, and is interesting, because so much of what we find good is cultural and based on what we're exposed to when we're young. Nature dictates we must eat. I see some parallels here because our attitudes are entirely culture driven, but I think when someone identifies themselves as one sexual persuasion, it's less, "this is what I prefer" and more "this is what feels right." The dissonance people who identify outside of the heteronormative lifestyles feel is between this feeling and the social cues telling them it is wrong. I don't feel anyone faces this same cognitive dissonance when deciding between hamburgers and falafel.

    Sleep is irrelevant because there are no controversies about when you lay down, but who you lay down with. Let's stay on topic.

    No parallels to walking.

    No parallels to preferring the seaside or the mountains, urban life or rural living.

    I'm not even sure that sexuality is a real thing beyond the construct we've made it out to be. I think people have sexual needs and find people to fulfill them who they care about.

    I guess this is to say I agree? Thinking about this in terms of straight/bi/gay/transis always going to trap us within this awful matrix where the baseline is heterosexuality and everything else is abnormal. If you look at the history of sexuality, we're all freaks.

    Vanguard on
  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    The sexually-restrictive, moralistic point of view comes out in all sorts of public venues. People have all sorts of sexual urges that are morally and socially unacceptable: adultery, pedophilia, zoophilia, etc. Who cares if these urges make them happy? They're outside of the realm of acceptable sexual behavior. This is why Michelle Bachmann compares gayness to pedophilia; why Rick Santorum compares it to polygamy. In this moral framework, it doesn't matter how the sexual misconduct makes you feel. The onus is on the individual to repress their aberrant urges and live a sexually virtuous life.

    That brings up the issue of what exactly the people with sexual desires that we (as a liberal-skewed community) consider unacceptable should be expected to do. Should pedophiles and zoophiles and the like be expected to actively attempt to change their desires? Should they accept what they are but commit themselves to never acting upon it? If we're talking about sexuality as being inherently ingrained, we can't just dismiss cases we dislike out of hand. We certainly can't call them metal illnesses that need to be cured, since that puts homosexuality in exactly the same position, with the only debate being whether it should be treated or not.

  • lizard eats flieslizard eats flies Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    Antimatter wrote: »
    okay. maybe not the correct word.

    but, it's a very hard concept to explain. my male body does not feel right. i have dysphoria, and i hate my body. i hate how bulky it is, i hate my genitals, i hate having masculine physical traits.

    I'm curious.

    Was there a specific point at which you started feeilng this way? I don't imagine that a 2 year old would hate its body.

    I tried to crush my testicles when I was 3 because they felt so wrong to me... so alien. I also would subconsciously try to scratch them off in my sleep. I mean, it tends to hit most trans people around puberty SUPER hard since thats when the sexes really start to diverge... but yeah, most people have a sense super young.

    Also, it doesnt have anything to do with sexuality really. Its about innate sense of gender. Sexuality is about the innate sense of who you are attracted to.

  • lizard eats flieslizard eats flies Registered User regular
    Also: I think sexuality is much more mutable than people think. I do know a LOT of people (me included) who's sexuality has changed over time. Some of that is in regards to how I am viewing people and gender and whatnot. I really dont agree with the line "you are born this way, and your sexuality doesnt change ever" that is used in all the pro-gay arguments. However, I abhor the ex-gay movement because of how damaging it is. I guess I see sexuality is fluid and you just have to kind of go with it. If you find someone you are attracted to, cool! Doesnt really mater what sex or gender they are.

  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    Also: I think sexuality is much more mutable than people think. I do know a LOT of people (me included) who's sexuality has changed over time. Some of that is in regards to how I am viewing people and gender and whatnot. I really dont agree with the line "you are born this way, and your sexuality doesnt change ever" that is used in all the pro-gay arguments. However, I abhor the ex-gay movement because of how damaging it is. I guess I see sexuality is fluid and you just have to kind of go with it. If you find someone you are attracted to, cool! Doesnt really mater what sex or gender they are.

    That's the ideal, I think, as long as you aren't hurting anyone you can do whatever and it doesn't matter. I hate how we have to essentially drop down to "well, okay, homosexuality is wrong, but they can't help it and so shouldn't be punished" just to have a debate.

  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    Vanguard wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    Vanguard wrote: »
    You can choose who you fuck, but you can't change what you prefer to fuck.

    Does this hold with anything else?

    You can choose what you eat, but you can't change what you prefer to eat.
    You can choose what you drive, but you can't change what you prefer to drive.
    You can choose when you sleep, but you can't change when you prefer to sleep.
    You can choose how you walk, but you can't change how you prefer to walk.
    You can choose where you live, but you can't change where you prefer to live.

    Liberals have been conditioned to maintain the preference / act distinction with respect to sexuality. But when you try to play that out in other realms it starts to be quite goofy.

    Perhaps this indicates that the distinction is, itself, goofy.

    Grammatically, the logic of those sentences are parallel, but the specifics are false equivalencies. Choosing your lunch, car, etc do not have the same social ramifications that sexuality has.

    To start, not everybody drives, so we can scratch that one off the list.

    Food is kind of a nature/nurture example, and is interesting, because so much of what we find good is cultural and based on what we're exposed to when we're young. Nature dictates we must eat. I see some parallels here because our attitudes are entirely culture driven, but I think when someone identifies themselves as one sexual persuasion, it's less, "this is what I prefer" and more "this is what feels right." The dissonance people who identify outside of the heteronormative lifestyles feel is between this feeling and the social cues telling them it is wrong. I don't feel anyone faces this same cognitive dissonance when deciding between hamburgers and falafel.

    Sleep is irrelevant because there are no controversies about when you lay down, but who you lay down with. Let's stay on topic.

    No parallels to walking.

    No parallels to preferring the seaside or the mountains, urban life or rural living.

    I'm not even sure that sexuality is a real thing beyond the construct we've made it out to be. I think people have sexual needs and find people to fulfill them who they care about.

    I guess this is to say I agree? Thinking about this in terms of straight/bi/gay/transis always going to trap us within this awful matrix where the baseline is heterosexuality and everything else is abnormal. If you look at the history of sexuality, we're all freaks.

    Actually, I think Sleep is an excellent example of something we understand better about ourselves and thus CAN change with effort. So the example itself is wrong.

    You can choose when you sleep, and you can choose when you prefer to sleep.

    There are all kinds of simple and effective ways to change your circadian rhythm a bit using light, sound and routine to educate your body to prefer a different sleep cycle. Since we understand them, you actually can change your sleep cycle. if there was some huge scandal about sleeping after 11 AM then you really could do something to your body to make it fall in line with society. Sleeping late would be a real choice.

    Techniques like this probably do exist for sexuality and gender identity too. The thing is that they are VASTLY more complex and we don't understand anything about how to control them. So you can choose to try to change, but you've got no way of enacting the change and nor does anyone else. Lets not fall into the real trap of pretending that anything our bodies do is more than a bit of random electrical impulse, coupled with a bit of chemistry and moderated by biology. There's no magic to any of your mental preferences. With the correct tools they could be changed. With the correct tools your personality could be erased, and replaced with something else entirely. We just don't have any of those tools.

    Your puny weapons are useless against me
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Actually, I think Sleep is an excellent example of something we understand better about ourselves and thus CAN change with effort. So the example itself is wrong.

    You can choose when you sleep, and you can choose when you prefer to sleep.

    There are all kinds of simple and effective ways to change your circadian rhythm a bit using light, sound and routine to educate your body to prefer a different sleep cycle. Since we understand them, you actually can change your sleep cycle. if there was some huge scandal about sleeping after 11 AM then you really could do something to your body to make it fall in line with society. Sleeping late would be a real choice.

    It's interesting that you bring up sleep as an example of something you can change with effort.

    Maladapted circadian rhythms are associated with all sorts of problematic outcomes. Look at people who do graveyard shift work -many of them show signs of chronic sleep deprivation, even if they've been holding to the same sleep schedule for years. There's evidence that suggests that every individual has an endogenous, "natural" ideal sleep schedule and the more you deviate from that schedule, the worse off you'll be.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    jothki wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    The sexually-restrictive, moralistic point of view comes out in all sorts of public venues. People have all sorts of sexual urges that are morally and socially unacceptable: adultery, pedophilia, zoophilia, etc. Who cares if these urges make them happy? They're outside of the realm of acceptable sexual behavior. This is why Michelle Bachmann compares gayness to pedophilia; why Rick Santorum compares it to polygamy. In this moral framework, it doesn't matter how the sexual misconduct makes you feel. The onus is on the individual to repress their aberrant urges and live a sexually virtuous life.

    That brings up the issue of what exactly the people with sexual desires that we (as a liberal-skewed community) consider unacceptable should be expected to do. Should pedophiles and zoophiles and the like be expected to actively attempt to change their desires? Should they accept what they are but commit themselves to never acting upon it? If we're talking about sexuality as being inherently ingrained, we can't just dismiss cases we dislike out of hand. We certainly can't call them metal illnesses that need to be cured, since that puts homosexuality in exactly the same position, with the only debate being whether it should be treated or not.

    Well, the primary criterion for something being a mental illness is whether it's associated with distress or harm. If one behavior can be shown to cause distress or harm, while another cannot, then only the distressing or harmful behavior can be classified as a mental illness.

    Differentiating between distress caused by unfair social expectations versus distress caused by the behavior itself is a challenge, which is exactly why homosexuality was considered a mental illness for decades. But given our current level of knowledge, it's clear that homosexuality is not intrinsically harmful.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • WinkyWinky Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    Vanguard wrote: »
    You can choose who you fuck, but you can't change what you prefer to fuck.

    Does this hold with anything else?

    You can choose what you eat, but you can't change what you prefer to eat.
    You can choose what you drive, but you can't change what you prefer to drive.
    You can choose when you sleep, but you can't change when you prefer to sleep.
    You can choose how you walk, but you can't change how you prefer to walk.
    You can choose where you live, but you can't change where you prefer to live.

    Liberals have been conditioned to maintain the preference / act distinction with respect to sexuality. But when you try to play that out in other realms it starts to be quite goofy.

    Perhaps this indicates that the distinction is, itself, goofy.

    _J_ these are all extremely different behaviors that are controlled by completely different neural substrates, they are non-equivalent on even a purely biological level.

    I could say "You can choose when you breathe, but you can't change when you prefer to breathe."

    mjoa2p.jpg
  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Registered User regular
    How about the opposite question?

    If it were possible to change one's sexual preferences would one be morally obligated to expand it for the purposes of inclusiveness and non-bigotry? Particularly I am thinking about expanding one's preferences to at least include transpeople of one's preferred gender(s). The way that the topic of trangender dating has been spoken about in the forum, in the past it's not a huge stretch to conclude that it would at least be endorsed to the level of "don't be a dick."

    Provide sample data to the Traitor project here || What is Traitor?
    SODOMISE INTOLERANCE
    Tide goes in. Tide goes out.
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User regular
    Lawndart wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    Parents have a pretty wide latitude to force their children to do all sorts of unpleasant things. I do agree that is a more difficult case, however.

    I'd say that forcing a child to undergo organized psychological (or even physical) abuse for no proven benefit goes beyond "unpleasant" and into the realm of child abuse.

    If parents can legally refuse medical treatment for children on religious grounds, it's consistent to allow them to force "medical treatment" on their children on religious grounds.

    Now, we can argue that neither of those should happen.

    But, at the moment, it's all legal and whatnot.

    Seriously J not only are you a monumentally umpleasant person when you start uttering the nonsense that passes for philosophy in your mind (shame on whatever institution you graduated in, and shame on your tutors for creating such a monster), but your sense of humor, such as it is, is awful.
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