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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Identity » turning into a lesbian because of that ?

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Author Topic: turning into a lesbian because of that ?
cool87
Activist
Member # 29292

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I'm truly sorry if there is there has been threads/articles or things like that on the subject but it's still a concept I either haven't read enough about it or haven't quite get 100 % yet.

What I am wondering is : can your sexual orientation be influenced by your past experiences ? Is your sexual orientation something totally in your genes (so something you already have fixed at birth) or is it something that shapes/is determined with your life experiences when you were a kid up until adolescence where your orientation usually gets revealed ?

Can a girl for example be lesbian because of let's say physical or sexual abuse she suffered from in her childhood or such or was it something she already had fixed at birth ?

I've also heard cases where some girls turned into lesbians after like being abused or such in their adult life, not childhood. Is that a total coincidence or can the abuse have something to do in that ?

I may sound like a total weirdo or something [Smile] but I just don't quite get the whole orientation concept/ how it can be explain. I'm just trying to make more sense out of it, if this is possible.

So what fixes/determines our orientation ? And if experiences can contribute to shaping our orientation, can it also be the case with changes that occured AFTER childhood ?

[ 03-22-2007, 07:33 PM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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Posts: 3598 | From: Canada | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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The only true answer to this is that all we know -- as a whole -- right now is that there are clearly elements of sexual orientation (for everyone, not somehow just lesbian women) which are fixed, and clearly elements which are mutable. There is no either/or here.

We also can clearly say that one very strong heterosexual bias we see in our culture is a constant looking to some trauma that would "change" someone from heterosexual to homosexual (ostensibly, and clearly implied, because being anything other that heterosexual is considered abnormal). There are SO many flaws in all of that, one could write a novel, but the one that shows that up to be as ridiculous as it is, is that it also makes the clear -- and false -- statement that everyone must be born heterosexual, an idea which not only stands counter to what we do know about much of orientation being fixed, but which is utterly baseless, since no one announces ANY orientation at the moment of birth, heterosexual, homosexual or otherwise.

But it might help, in trying to make concepts of orientation make more sense to you, to try thinking about them differently. In other words, when you think about them, not to think about only one orientation with these questions, but about all of them.

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cool87
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Yeah I understand a bit more now.

I wasn't necessarily talking about lesbians in particular although it did seem like an easier example for me to use. So that's why I used it, but I didn't want it to came across the way it did.

And yeah your second paragraph makes a lot of sense and states true facts which can be easily forgotten from time to time. [Smile] So thanks for reminding me that.

[ 03-23-2007, 10:37 AM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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cool87
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And, hey, I don't know if you are open to other questions but if so, when you say part of sexual orientation is mutable what do you imply exactly ? That it can be shaped through childhood experiences only or that it can also be through adult life experiences or do you totally mean something else ? That part is still a bit unclear for me.

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echomikeromeo
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Experience in discovering one's sexual orientation is different for everyone. I didn't see myself as bisexual until I was around 15, but I know that other kids who I have talked to say that they've always known that they were something other than straight. Some folks say that their orientation had some element of choice; some say that it's hard-wired. Myself, I think that although I didn't make any choices concerning my bisexuality, I have chosen to act on it, by pursuing girls in addition to guys and finding a place within my school's tiny queer community.

But as Miz Scarlet said, the concept that non-heterosexuality must be the result of some trauma is a greatly flawed one - and I think such results must only occur in a minority of cases.

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