Nature Versus Nurture

In: Philosophy and Psychology

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Homosexuality: A Case of Nature versus Nurture
By
Robert L Smith

Instructor: Mr. Simbarashe Chiduma

A RESEARCH PAPER

Submitted to
Baker College in partial fulfillment of requirements

For class: Soc 201

Winter 2012 Homosexual is defined as: “of, relating to, or characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward another of the same sex” (Webster’s Dictionary, 4th ed., 2003) The nature approach is based on a chance that humans are born with a specific gene that determines if they will be homosexual. "In other words, some people are born gay." (Johnson, 2003) The nurture approach tells that people are influenced by their surroundings. In this approach, "A nurtured gay person is one that is 'made' gay." (Johnson, 2003) Originally the American Psychological Association (APA) had deemed homosexuality a mental disease. The debate now- a-days revolve around if sexuality is based on nature, a person’s environment, or based on nurture, a person’s upbringing. Alfred Kinsey pioneered one of the earliest experiments in the 1930s. Kinsey’s research resulted in little besides putting the word homosexual into the common language. Karen Hooker completed the first psychological test in 1957. The research was put together to investigate the relationship between homosexuality, psychological development, and illness. The subjects were given three tests, the Rorschach, TAT, and MAPS. She determined that there was no link between social determinism of sexuality. As an outcome of Hooker’s research, the APA released a statement in 1975 saying that homosexuality was not a mental disorder. According to a recent brochure from the APA, they have “called on psychologists to take the lead in removing the stigma of mental illness that has long been associated with lesbian, gay, and bisexual orientations.” (American Psychological Association 2008 )
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