Male Sexual Orientation is Fixed by Age 15; Female Sexual Orientation is Apparently Changeable

Neil McConaghy was a famous sexologist from Australia. His book Sexual Behaviour, Problems, and Management is considered a minor classic in the field. I read the book shortly after it came out and then reread it many times afterwards.

One chapter deals with homosexuality.

Over the years, McConaghy had many people, male and female, approach him wishing to change their orientation. For the males, he tried every technique known to man, going far beyond the “pray away the gay” nonsense used by Christian therapists such as the NARTH people. He used the most modern and up to date behavior therapy techniques, including aversion, electric shocks, etc. He also measured his subjects with a penisthograph, which measures arousal in the male.

Subjects ranged in age from 15 on up into adulthood. They also ranged widely on the Kinsey Scale. McConaghy had his own numerical scale which went something like this:

100-0 completely heterosexual*

90-10 mostly straight with minor gay attraction

80-20 strongly straight but with some lesser gay attraction

70-30 bisexual, more straight then gay attraction to a significant degree, but considerable gay attraction.

60-40 very bisexual, but stronger straight attraction than gay attraction.

50-50 fully bisexual. Maximal attraction to both males and females.

40-60 very bisexual, but greater homosexual attraction than heterosexual attraction.

30-70 bisexual, stronger gay attraction than straight attraction, but strong straight attraction.

20-80 mostly gay but with some lesser straight attraction

10-90 mostly gay but some minor straight attraction

0-100 completely homosexual**

Note: All scores from 50-100 = maximal attraction. All scores from 0-40 indicate less than maximal attraction to one degree or another.

*in practice, 100-0’s tend to score “maximal heterosexual attraction, minimal homosexual attraction” in the lab. This implies that even pure heterosexuals may have a tiny bit of homosexual attraction that is trivial and unimportant.

**on the same basis, 0-100’s tend to score “maximal homosexual attraction, minimal heterosexual attraction” in the lab. This implies that even fully gay men have a tiny bit of heterosexual attraction that is trivial and insignificant.

McConaghy found that 35% of all males had some non-trivial degree of homosexual attraction. Most of these males were 90-10’s. I believe that the percentage of males from 50-50 to 80-20 may be around 13-17%, but I’m not sure, and I don’t have the book with me. It’s clear that more or less pure gay men are about 4% of the population.

McConaghy found that over decades of work with many men, not only was he not able to change one single gay male to straight, but he was also not able to change their numbers on the scale above. Wherever they were on the scale above, they were 100% fixed, and even after extensive cutting edge work, they could not be moved.

He also had a number of males who were in the 90-10 and 80-20 range who were bothered by these minor gay feelings and wished to get rid of them. He was not able to remove these minor gay feelings.

Now, to be fair, McConaghy did not have any males who were straight and wished to turn gay, nor did he have any mostly gay men trying to get rid of their small straight attraction.

But if it works one way, it must work another. If you can’t turn straight, you can’t turn gay either. Homosexual attraction cannot be some weird infection that can only be increased and never decreased, and heterosexual attraction cannot be some strange weak force that can only be decreased by never increased. That would make no sense.

In a journal called Archives of Sexual Behavior, I did see one case report prior to 1987 called “Ego-Dystonic Heterosexuality.” This was making fun of the “ego-dystonic homosexuality” diagnosis in earlier versions of the psychiatrists’ DSM.

It presented a case report of a male college student aged 20. At this young age, a mere boy yet, he had already had quite enough of females and their nonsense, a stage most of us males only reach much later in life. Let’s say he was a quick study. The man was completely heterosexual and had a strong attraction to females. He didn’t have a partner, but he masturbated regularly to thoughts of hot chicks.

He wanted nothing at all to do with women, and he very much wanted to be gay. He spent most of his time in the company of gay men at the college, and they accepted him well. I do not believe he was engaging in any gay sex with them. He was trying very hard to develop gay attractions and lose his attractions to women whom he hated, but this was not successful.

He sought therapy, miserable at being a straight man and wanting badly to become a gay man. I don’t remember the outcome of the therapy.

This single case implies what we ought to know, that you if you can’t turn gay men straight, you can’t turn straight men gay either. Gay feelings in the male probably cannot be increased, and straight feelings probably cannot be decreased.

Reports indicate that in cases of situational homosexuality in prisons, on ships, in the military and whatnot, when the situation is over, that is, when the man is out of prison or the military, he reverts completely to his previous straight behavior and abandons whatever gay behavior he had in prison or wherever.

McConaghy also worked with females who wanted to change from straight to gay. He found that using the same techniques that had failed for men, he was able to change lesbians to straight if they were strongly motivated to change. He concluded that sexual orientation in the female was quite changeable and could move around to various different places in life.

McConaghy’s youngest male patient was age 15, so I concluded based on his work that male sexual orientation was fixed by age 15 at the latest.

Whether or it is fixed earlier or if so, when, is not known, and it runs into serious problems of showing pornography to minors while hooking them up to penisthographs to test the question. It might be hard to get permission to do such a study, and one might even be breaking the law if they did so.

McConaghy concluded that sexual orientation in the male was biologically derived and lacked a psychological etiology. I believe he thought it was fixed at birth. I am not sure that is true, and there may well be psychological factors that go into male sexual orientation before it gets fixed at age 15 at the latest.

The take-home point is that sexual orientation in the male simply cannot be changed past a certain date. In females, it apparently can be changed, if they wish to change that is. That doesn’t necessarily mean that lesbians are choosing to be gay, but some of them (political lesbians) definitely are.

Perhaps many lesbians simply “get wired up that way” somehow, are happy with their orientation, and do not wish to change. But the notion lesbians are “born that way” certainly must be rejected.

And without better data, the notion that gay men are “born that way” also must be rejected as unproven so far -possibly true, possibly false. At any rate, by adolescence, gay men certainly cannot be changed, must be accepted by any moral society and are surely not choosing to be gay as a lifestyle choice. It also seems that all reparative therapy for gay males age 15+ will result in utter and total failure.


Filed under Gender Studies, Homosexuality, Sex

56 responses to “Male Sexual Orientation is Fixed by Age 15; Female Sexual Orientation is Apparently Changeable

  1. tulio

    I harbor no ill will towards gays, but why can’t we view homosexuality as a birth defect? Why are we willing to say homosexuality is “normal” but nobody will say albinism or color-blindness is normal? Why isn’t it just another birth defect rather than something to be politicized? Clearly the rectum was not designed to be sexual orifice. Gays cannot produce children with their behavior, so I get weary of hearing that it’s no less a desirable option as heterosexuality. Why does society consider me homophobic for stating the obvious? This is precisely why I oppose same-sex marriage.

    • Jack Colby

      Would you also oppose color-blind folks from being allowed to look at colorful things? What’s the happiness/marriage of a gay person and their partner got to do with you anyway? If you oppose it, then simply refrain from doing it yourself, end of story.

      • tulio

        Your color blind analogy is silly. People are SUPPOSED to be able to see color, it’s a birth defect if they cannot see color. So of course I’d rather they see color. Homosexuality is a birth defect in sexual preference. Since people of the same sex are not physiologically compatible or able to reproduce or intended by design to be together, it is a defect.

        You could argue what does incest, or polygamy or a man marrying his dog have to do with me? But that doesn’t mean I support it. There are now men in Japan trying to marry inanimate objects. Should society support that as well using the “to each his own” argument? It doesn’t have to have any direct effect on me. It’s a complete refinement/tampering of the culture of my society and our gender/reproductive roles. I’m irritated that so many people want to jump on the gay marriage bandwagon simply because they are afraid of hurting the feelings of homosexuals.

        I’ll say it bluntly, the PURPOSE of marriage is the unite a MAN and a WOMAN for the purpose of providing a stable family unit with which to rear children. That is what the purpose has been for like the last 20,000 years up until about 5 years ago. Even if people opt not to have kids, even that is a relatively recent phenomena. Even a few decades ago it was unheard of for people to get married with no intention of having a family since survival and reproduction is basically the only real purpose there is to life from a biological point of view.

        I’m not a supporter of gay marriage, though I’m fine with giving them civil unions. But the word marriage should retain the purpose it has always retained. Even in uber gay friendly ancient Greece they didn’t believe in gay marriages. There is not one culture anywhere in the planet, ancient or contemporary that believed in wedding man to man. That suggests to me that is inherently unnatural. Thus I do not support it.

        I know by now people probably think I’m a raving homophobe. But in real like I’m not. If I see two men holding hands I don’t even bother looking at them with any disapproval, I don’t care really. If a gay man were running for president and had a boyfriend, I’d vote for him in a second if I liked his policies. I don’t believe in using anti-gay language or families disowning their gay children. I’m grossed out by the thought of men having sex with each other, but as long as I don’t see it I really couldn’t care less. But I draw the line at redefining marriage. 1 Man + 1 woman. Don’t fuck with it.

        • Sean

          Wow you would have had an interesting life through history. Back when marriage used to be forced slavery and about ownership. Or when it was 1 man many women, or when it was 1 man 1 woman as long as they were both white. Blacks weren’t even allowed to marry each other! If you actually read the article you’re commenting on, you’d see how absurd it is to refer to homosexuality as a sexual ‘preference’. It’s not a favorite ice cream flavor. It defines a fundamental trait of who someone is. Whether its a “defect” or not is really oversimplifying biology. I think we’d all agree that Down Syndrome is a birth defect. Are you prepared to deny a person with it the ability to marry? If its all about where people put it when they have sex, remember anal sex occurs in straight marriages all the time and many gays don’t have anal sex at all. Your arguments boil down to you being uncomfortable with the ickyness of it all and therefore you don’t want gays to marry. Thank goodness the world’s rules aren’t dictated by what’s comfortable but by what’s fair and right.

        • tulio

          It’s not a favorite ice cream flavor. It defines a fundamental trait of who someone is.

          And this above is exactly part of the problem. They define themselves by who they sleep with. They’ve made themselves into a special class of people defined by who they sleep with. They want rights based on who they sleep with. They’ve politicized their group based on who they sleep with. No other group does this. I would say one’s sexual preference is only a small part of who they are, but for gays they act as though it’s EVERYTHING they are in toto.

          Secondly, you seem to assume that sexual preference is 100% fixed. That is not the case. Have you seen the studies on gay identical twins? I read a study that showed that when you look at cases of identical twins where at least one is gay, they will only both be gay about half the time. So you could argue that influence is at least 50% of the equation. If it were entirely genetic, nearly 100% of identical twins should either be both straight or both gay.

          I think we’d all agree that Down Syndrome is a birth defect.

          Good, so why can’t you agree that homosexuality is a birth defect as well? I wish all discussion of homosexuality can at least start with this recognition. Let’s start from the basis that man was not engineered to by physiologically compatible with man with regards to sex and procreation.

          Are you prepared to deny a person with it the ability to marry?

          The rules don’t change. A person with Downs Syndrome can marry one person of the opposite sex.

          Your arguments boil down to you being uncomfortable with the ickyness of it all and therefore you don’t want gays to marry.

          Not at all. I am not so lacking in intellectual rigor that I would oppose something merely on the basis of a visceral reaction. Besides, seeing two women having sex does not make me go “yuck” at all and I am opposed to same sex female marriage just the same. I oppose it because it is unnatural and at a fundamental level, opposites attract(or should anyway) and the IDEAL pair-bonding is between man and woman. That’s what creates families, that’s what perpetuates the human species. It actually serves a FUNCTIONAL purpose to society thus should be socially regulated. Homosexual marriage is inherently selfish. It’s about THEM. And it’s about them attempting to force society to accept homosexuality as being equally desirable as heterosexuality. That is why if offered civil partnerships that were legally identical to marriage they would balk because they have not successfully co-opted the fundamental definition of the word marriage. That’s why I say it’s primarily selfish. Nobody is denying them the right to love. Hell, many straight people are deeply in love yet co-habit and have no intentions of getting married. So they need to quit this bullshit about society denying them the right to love who they want. If your love is based on a certificate from the government, then you have a fundamental problem right there.

        • Alpha Unit

          Hi, Tulio. The idea of homosexuality as a birth defect is somewhat confusing, because no one has ever established that sexual orientation is fixed at birth either way. Could you clarify, perhaps?

        • Sean


          Intentionally or unintentionally, you’ve ignored my point and gone off on yet a third rant. My point was that it’s not a preference. Don’t confuse “A fundamental trait” with THE fundamental trait, however. I’m a gay man, but homosexuality makes up the same part of my life that heterosexuality makes up yours with a few additional considerations such as what neighborhoods I feel safe in when walking with my partner, when/who/how to come out on a daily basis, dealing with intolerance. These are aspects of your sexuality that you likely don’t deal with. I’ll be happy to read your views but I won’t allow you to pontificate unchallenged about being gay as if you know what it’s like. You don’t. And if you’d stop assuming that you did, you might question some of your own assertions.

          It seems like you didn’t actually read the article you’re commenting on. If you did, you’d see that it’s asserting that (for males at least) the degree of one’s sexuality *is* 100% fixed. My partner is a biology major so believe me, I understand biology. When 90% of your dinner conversations revolve around cellular evolution, you get that way. So might I suggest that you take a biology course or two or maybe pick up a book on the subject before you go asserting what’s a “defect” and what’s “natural”? Homosexual behavior has been observed in over 1500 mammalian species. Might I suggest that you read a few of the source articles at the bottom of this wikipedia article:

          To be honest, I find your assertion that my homosexuality is a birth defect to be one of the most offensive things I’ve ever been told and you’ve got some stiff competition in that department. Would I give my kid a pill to change his orientation? Absolutely not. The worst part of being gay is defending oneself against assertions like yours. While I’d hate for my kid to go through that, there is, unfortunately, no pill *you* can take to become empathetic.

          Please do this for me. Clasp your hands together with your fingers interlocking. Which thumb is on top? Does it feel natural? Now switch thumbs. Does it feel unnatural? For about half the population, that’s the thumb that feels natural. When did you decide which to put on top? The nature of nature is not to be binary. It doesn’t fit into neat little boxes for ease of policy making. Colors are in a spectrum. Sound is in a spectrum. And yes, sexuality is in a spectrum. So while it may seem like a good talking point to point out that this body part is not meant for that one therefore it’s unnatural, I’d argue that you’re on some very slim footing and not footing with which to deny someone the right to get married. I’m not a lab rat. I’m a human being.

          Me being able to marry the person I love has NOTHING to do with me being able to love who I want to love. No gay person I know is saying that (American) society is preventing them from loving who they want. That’s an example of how you’re twisting the words of others to make your points. It’s a logical fallacy and it shows the weakness of your argument rather than its strength.

          Me marrying my partner will not threaten straight people’s ability to have children. Therefore it will not threaten this sacred “functional purpose” you seem to selectively give a shit about (you aren’t arguing that infertile couples shouldn’t marry or that married couples should sign an oath of some sort to have children). People don’t get married to help society. They get married because they want to tie their lives together legally to someone they love. If you don’t believe me, just look at who gets involved during divorce: Lawyers.

          Do you really believe this crap you put forward about how gay people feel about marriage? Really? You think we gay people get together and plot about co-opting a freaking word? We want marriage and not civil unions because marriage is federal and international and civil unions are state. We want marriage because we don’t want the “separate but equal” equivalent of separate drinking fountains when it comes to the most important legal protections of the ones we love – including OUR families. How DARE you assert that because you’re straight that you’re somehow a better person than me or more “normal”. That you’re somehow entitled to more rights than I am because you’re naturally attracted to one gender and I’m naturally attracted to a different one. My partner and I pay taxes in this country to put your perfect 2.5 children through public education. We pay for the courthouse where we want to get married. We want the same rights as you and that makes US special? That makes US selfish? We’re trying NOT to be special. We want to pack up the gay rights tents and go home to our drab middle class mostly normal lives, but because of people like you who are trying to enshrine your misguided beliefs about “natural” and “right” into law, we have to keep fighting. Let me suggest that you actually get to know a few gay people. You might find that we’re not the freaks of nature your arguments so desperately want us to be.

          Take the final word. Today’s my birthday and I don’t want to spend it trying to convince a person who’s made up their mind.

        • tulio

          Happy birthday.

          I’ll address some of your points tomorrow. I think this is a really important debate. Homosexuality is an extremely complex issue and I do listen carefully to opposing opinions on it. I struggle with it. I have serious issues with redefining marriage away from male/female but at the same time I don’t hate gay people. I obviously have strong views about homosexuality, but I don’t define homosexuals solely by what they do in the bedroom anymore than a judge straights by who they sleep with and it’s pretty much irrelevant to me in judging what I think about someone.

          What I realize is that gays can’t seem to view any opposition to same sex marraige as anything other than homophobia and hatred, which it is not necessarily. For example, people that opposed interracial marriage didn’t believe in interracial civil unions. They’d have been equally opposed to those. So the fact that most people support gay civil unions shows that it is based in some other principal than bigotry.

        • Sean Lemson

          Tulio, your arguments have been clearly expressed. I think they break down into two main areas and, for sanity purposes, I’d like to address them separately: 1) Being gay is a birth defect and 2) Marriage shouldn’t be redefined because civil unions are the same thing without the word “Marriage”. If I’ve done any straw-manning with your arguments, please correct me. And thank you for the happy birthday.

          Birth Defect
          The reason we keep going around in circles here is your commingling of the word “natural” and “normal”. They are two completely different words that mean two very different things in the context of this discussion. If you want me to concede that being gay is not “normal” biologically, I have no problem doing so. I understand what parts we’ve evolved to go into what other parts and I’m not asking that the world accept homosexuality as “normal”. But neither is tallness, shortness, baldness at 23 (like happened to me), etc. But I want to give you an idea of the scope we’re discussing here. There are roughly 7 billion people on the planet. Conservative estimates place homosexuality in 4% of the population. 4% of 7 billion is 280 million people. Roughly the population size of the entire United States. That’s how many people have this “abnormal” orientation. What I will vehemently oppose is your characterization that it’s unnatural. Manmade lakes are unnatural. Anything made by man is “unnatural”. Everything else is natural by definition. Please work to keep these two terms separate in your arguments. Conflating the two confuses the point.

          You seem baffled as to why I don’t want to refer to a basic part of my life as a “birth defect”. I have two reasons for this. 1) Find me a doctor, biologist, psychologist or anthropologist who agrees with you. Either you’re wrong or the entire scientific community – people who devote their lives to studying these things – is wrong. I tend to go with the former. 2) The word “defect” infers broken, imperfect. And that is a huge leap on your part. You’re essentially saying because penises are meant to go into vaginas and all penises should be striving to enter vaginas, any penis that doesn’t want to enter a vagina is less than perfect. In fact, there are many purposes in nature for penises that aren’t interested in vaginas. Population control is just one. In fact, homosexual behavior is observed more frequently in populations that are overgrowing their resources. So you playing God and saying that you know the purpose of life, the universe, and everything because men have penises and women have vaginas is overreaching and oversimplifying. It may suit your argument to keep things “simple” like this, but I’m afraid REAL life is much more subtle and wondrous.

          Let’s move on to Marriage. Remember, please keep these topics separate. We will go around in circles if you keep conflating them.

          You may think of marriage as white doves, green lawn, a preacher, a tuxedo, a white dress. In fact that is one way to have a marriage. You can also get married by Elvis in Las Vegas, or the captain of your cruise ship or the county clerk where you live. The reason is because marriage is a *legal* agreement first. Everything else you dump on top of it: forming a family, procreating, etc is all just you painting with a wide brush. Marriage bequeaths upon its participants over 1100 legal rights. Everything from social security upon the death of spouse to hospital visitation rights, immigration rights, inheritance, medical decisions I could go on and on. A great place to visit is here for a description of these rights is here:

          and to read about why civil unions aren’t the same, go here:

          The historical fact is that any “meaning” you insist exists for marriage has historically changed over and over and over. Marriage has evolved. One can imagine that if you were born during the times where marriage was a legal ownership contract for men to own women, you’d be arguing not to redefine it when it became more about family. You don’t get to alter history to make your point. Your points must rest on historical fact. Period. Aside from that, explain to me how my partner and I getting married in ANY WAY threatens you or any other straight couple’s ability to get married, form a family, have kids, etc. Are you of the opinion that being gay is so temptingly awesome that if gays were suddenly allowed to marry, straight men and women around the world would give up on each other and turn gay thereby destroying the very fabric of society by not reproducing? If you think this is the case, then you must feel pretty shaky about sexual orientation in general. Just like gays can’t choose to be straight, straights can’t choose to be gay.

          There is ABSOLUTELY nothing about marriage that changes a straight man’s desire to stick it in a vagina (many would argue that sex actually declines after marriage). Procreating is completely possible and happens many, many times every day without being married. Marriage is a MAN MADE construct, it is not – and I use this word advisedly – natural. It is a government regulated institution that makes it legally (i.e. financially) painful to separate thereby driving two people to try to work out differences rather than throw in the towel during the first argument. The only enemy of marriage is divorce. Until you start arguing that marriage is for life, you don’t get to be haughty about the purpose of marriage and the threats posed to it by gays. You should be just as pissed at Britney Spear’s 24 hour marriage or the show “Who wants to marry a millionaire”. These are truly disrespectful to marriage.

          Lastly, I’m certainly not arguing that those opposed to marriage equality are, by definition, homophobes. But you cannot deny that many who are against it are in fact homophobes. If I had a word to describe your positions it would be kainotophobia which means “fear of change”. You go so far as to recommend pills to keep people the same as you. Why not instead embrace difference. Understand that gay men mean less competition for the women you pursue. Gay people contribute wonderful things to society. They aren’t a threat to you, to themselves, to society, or to the ever-changing concept of marriage. They’re simply asking for the exact same legal protections that are granted to you and your family. We do have children and they’re often our biological children. These children deserve the same protection that if one of their parents passed away, the other would be supported financially to care for them. So I’m asking you to stop treating this as if it were a discussion about specimens in a petrie dish. These are real people with real lives, real families, real kids, and real jobs, who pay real taxes.

    • a

      do you oppose colour-blindness humans marriage then?

      • tulio

        Two color blind people of the opposite sex can get married. Two color blind people of the same sex cannot. What’s so difficult to understand about this? I don’t see where I’m being inconsistent.

        • Sean

          We’re not saying you’re being inconsistent. We’re just trying to keep straight *which* birth defects you’ll allow to get married and which you won’t.

        • Gay State Girl

          No he applies restrictions to people of different sub groups. Earlier he said gays could do no harm in the military (though he would not say the same about colorblind people.)

        • tulio

          You are using red-herring arguments. My opposition to same sex marriage has nothing to do with my belief that it’s a form of birth defect in sexual preference, it has to do with what I think is the fundamental purpose of marriage. Two color blind people getting married does not redefine the definition of marriage. Two men getting married DOES.

        • Alpha Unit

          There is something wrong with the idea that homosexuality is a birth defect. What does this mean, exactly?

  2. tulio

    And here is a litmus test question for the pro gay people. If you had a very young kid who was showing early signs of being gay and the doctor could give him a pill that would turn him straight, would you give it to him?

    I would without a second thought. That would be like not giving your kid a pill that could cure his color blindness and allow his eyes to function as nature intended.

    But I bet most pro gays will say I’m horribly wrong for saying such a thing. If you feel that way, it is only because you have politicized homosexuality to such an extend that you see them as a quasi-ethnic group and any attempt to “fix” them is tantamount to some form of gay genocide.

    Someone explain to me why it would be wrong to turn a young gay boy straight if it were medically possible…

    • Gay State Girl

      The gay leadership opposes treatment facilities even for those homosexuals who actively seek them out.

      • Sean

        There is no “gay leadership”. We’re not an army. We’re american citizens and human beings just like you. And what we’re opposed to is that there’s anything that needs to be “fixed”, “cured”, or “treated” in the first place. These aren’t medical facilities like Alcohol rehab. They’re usually religion run places where scared kids who are afraid of being rejected by everything they know, go get electrodes attached to themselves and shocks applied every time they get aroused by the same sex. That’s not “treatment”, it’s brainwashing. And it doesn’t work. So instead of trying to “fix” gay people, why don’t people instead focus on fixing the world they live in so they don’t feel the need to seek “treatment” in the first place? Is that so hard?

    • No. Since being homosexual is not a disease and doesn’t biologically hamper living a decent life, there is no point trying to ‘fix’ it, even if a fix is available. It is one of those things where messing with nature might lead to unintended and problematic consequences.

      • tulio

        One could say being born color blind doesn’t hamper one from having a decent life. But why on earth would anyone not give their kid a pill that allowed them to see color tri-chromatically?

        I didn’t apply homosexuality is a “disease”. I start with these fundamental facts:

        1) Nature has no purpose for life other than to survive long enough to replicate, thus reproduction is the number one imperative nature gives us. That’s why men are so horny all the time. It’s nature’s way of impelling us to be fruitful.

        2) Homosexuality does not allow for procreation.

        3) Men and women are designed to be biologically complimentary with regards to sex. Men and Men and women and women are not. Yes, I realize men may get sexual pleasure out of men and women may get sexual pleasure out of women, but then again people get sexual pleasure out of anything, including masturbation or having sex with inanimate objects. But let’s not forget that sex is really only intended for one reason, to procreate. And the reason sex feels good is because nature really wants us to feel rewarded and driven to procreate. It’s the same reason food is satiating. It’s nature’s way of making sure we don’t forget to eat so that we survive.

        So these points made, why is it wrong to change a gay kid straight? You will give him the opportunity to be able to procreate and perpetuate his DNA into the future. To me what is cruel is to deny him that opportunity if it could be easily fixed with a pill. If he could be every bit as happy with a woman PLUS have the opportunity to procreate, why would you deny it to him?

        • Days of Broken Arrows

          You’re leaving out something very important. If nature created gay people — and animals, as it did in the percentage it does — then there is a reason that homosexuality exists. We just haven’t figured it out yet.

          A few years ago, I read that a scientist hypothesized that gays existed because they functioned as uncles and aunts helped take care of children who got too numerous back when we were in caves. That makes sense to me.

          By the way, I don’t see being gay as a birth defect, because I don’t see a “defect.” I just see something different. To many of us straight folks, different does not equal “bad.” We’re not talking about having no hands or brain power here – we’re talking functional people whose sexuality is different.

          I see comparing being gay to a birth defect as comparable to saying people have birth defects if they’re too short, tall or fat.

          Finally, I leave you with this: most people are not instinctive musicians. I can play virtually any instrument by ear. It used to freak people out. Why is this not considered a “birth defect” instead of a talent? It’s different after all, and whose to say it’s “good” or that it does society any good in the Darwinian sense?

      • Your arguments, even if logically sound, suffer from the flaw of your limited understanding of human nature, cognitive development and civilisation.

        Given that homosexuality exists without artificial and deliberate intervention, not just in the human world, but the animal world as well – homosexuals are a part of nature’s design as well. Whether that is by design or a control mechanism, we don’t know.

        Human beings are so evolved on a cognitive scale that the base concept ‘nature’s design’ where we exist only to survive and replicate doesn’t make any sense. We are civilised human beings, not pre-historic apes living in caves and trees.

        Even if survival and replication was the sole purpose of human existence (which it is not), your argument to intervene in homosexuality does not stand. As civilised human beings, we no longer operate within the strict parameters of nature’s laws and designs – especially on those parameters that impede (come in the way of) the pursuit of happiness and a working human society. The laws against polygamy or the age of consent are to cite just two examples.

        Can you decide for sure, if a homosexual who has been ‘cured’ with a pill be able to happily live and procreate with a woman? Homosexuality is not a switch that can be turned ‘on’ or ‘off’, it a part of a well developed cognitive mechanism and emotional circuitry within the human brain – a lot of what we still haven’t explored or fully understand.

        • Dota


          I agree with Tulio on this one, it’s ultimately a matter of choice. If you’re going to invoke civilization then let me also say that civilization (western civ at least) starts with the individual, and the latter’s natural condition is free. So there is no point denying people the choice of changing their sexual orientation when sex change operations are acceptable. Seed makes a compelling argument in the other thread, I’ll paste it:

          “”If treatment to change sexual orientation is opposed then treatment to change gender should be opposed too. There is nothing wrong with being born a man or a woman.””

          Even if survival and replication was the sole purpose of human existence (which it is not), your argument to intervene in homosexuality does not stand. As civilised human beings, we no longer operate within the strict parameters of nature’s laws and designs

          Science has classified us as animals (albeit advanced ones) and as such, our primary goal is still survival, everything else, including civilization, is secondary. Individuals can pursue consequentialist actions such as sacrificing oneself to save another, however one group will never sacrifice itself to save another. On a collective level we are hardwired to survive. You cannot simply discard biology. Civilizations are comprised of various systems (religion,culture,legislature ect) and these systems are based on a set of rules which accommodate and work around human nature rather than circumventing it altogether.

          Off topic: I hate wordpress. Can’t even use my gravatar anymore.

        • “So there is no point denying people the choice of changing their sexual orientation when sex change operations are acceptable.”
          Parents giving their kids a ‘treatment’ to change their sexual orientation doesn’t sound like individuals exercising their choice to me. I do understand however, that the concept of children as individuals in the context their own bodily and sexual integrity does not exist in some cultures/religions.
          “…our primary goal is still survival, everything else, including civilization, is secondary.”
          I don’t see how homosexuality is a threat to survival unless one is in a Muslim country where homosexuality is punishable by stoning to death.

        • Dota

          There were clinics in the 70s (in the US) that treated homosexuality. I’m don’t know how effective they were, but they did exist. It was the adults choice if he wanted to cure his ailment or not.

        • Sean Lemson


          Changing your physical gender is surgery, not psychology. Those doing so are attempting to get their outer selves to match the gender they have felt on the inside since birth. I recognize that this is a very difficult thing for a person who’s comfortable with their gender to understand, but it’s the way it’s been described to me by transgendered people I’ve met. If someone wants to change their orientation, however, that’s a different matter. That person isn’t changing their gender, they’re changing their *attraction*. The difference is enormous. I’d argue that most people’s self-hatred of their homosexual orientation comes from external pressure. Why is it that the background of most of these people is deeply religious parents or homophobic communities? If we made being blonde as unpopular as being gay is in some parts of our country, hair dye would be flying off the shelves. One should question which should change… access to dye or the hatred that drives the desire to change hair color.

        • Dota


          Let me begin by saying that it’s good to have you here and how delightful it is to be able to debate this issue with a challenging opponent such as yourself.

          “Why is it that the background of most of these people is deeply religious parents or homophobic communities? “

          Because religions are about life. Religions are an extension of culture, and cultures are an extension of our survival instincts. Any other function/definition of culture is secondary. The deontological ethics of the Bible are designed to maintain certain equilibrium within society by accommodating and working around human biology. Homosexuality is not a birth defect, but more of a psychological disorder. I believe the American journal of psychology also characterized it as such until the 70s. Homosexuality is natural since ‘natural’ is by definition anything that occurs in nature. It is unfortunately abnormal though. Indian society was remarkably tolerant of homosexuality during antiquity, but there are no records of gay marriage, not to my knowledge anyhow. And in no society were gays ever a majority, not even in gay friendly societies like Greece and India. I’m sorry if I have offended you, but marriage is between man and woman, and that is how it has been universally recognized throughout history.

          The reason is because marriage is a *legal* agreement first. Everything else you dump on top of it: forming a family, procreating, etc is all just you painting with a wide brush.

          I strongly disagree. Marriage is referred to as an institution by many however it is first and foremost a device used to regulate and perpetuate culture. I know this very well since I am of East Indian descent and Hindus (who pretend that caste doesn’t exist) still select for caste, thereby perpetuating the oppressive system with each generation. Marriage isn’t merely a lagal arrangement but the most important regulator of culture. Just because I share Tulio’s views doesn’t mean I lack empathy for the discrimination that gay people endure (neither does Tulio for that matter).

        • Sean Lemson

          Dota, thank you. It’s nice to be able to have a discussion about this that doesn’t resort to trolling. “religions are about life. Religions are an extension of culture, and cultures are an extension of our survival instincts. Any other function/definition of culture is secondary.” I think you’ve made some arbitrary connections here but I won’t pretend to be a religious scholar because I’m not. My limited understanding of Christian based religions are that they are (or at least should be) based on love, understanding, and compassion. My view of religion is not quite as rosy as yours is but rather than splinter the topic, let’s let that sit. It’s secondary to my main point which you’ve neglected to address. As you stated, different cultures put different weights and values on top of the marriage contract but in a modern democratic society, those values are in addition to the legality, not the other way around. What gays are fighting for is to be able to make the contract and only that. Not force religions to marry us, or even recognize our marriages. I could give a rat’s ass if the Pope thinks my marriage is valid in the eyes of God. What I care about is that my spousal protections don’t disappear the moment my partner gets a promotion and we have to move from a state that allows gays to marry to one that doesn’t.

          “Homosexuality is not a birth defect, but more of a psychological disorder. I believe the American journal of psychology also characterized it as such until the 70s.” So are we in the 70’s or the 21st century? At one point, we used to think we could bleed sickness out of people also. Medical science evolves. Having written a paper about homosexuality in the 50’s a couple years ago (specifically how it was researched and treated by the psychiatric community) I can say with certainty that the scientists of that day should look back on those days with shame. I’d be happy to send you the paper if you’re interested. It’s well sourced to primary sources.

          “Marriage is referred to as an institution by many however it is first and foremost a device used to regulate and perpetuate culture.” I suppose I agree with that to a degree. To disagree would be to say that I don’t think marriage is important and if I didn’t think it was important, why would I be fighting for the right to be a part of it? But the key distinction here is, we are part of this culture. A large part. And cultural beliefs change and evolve and our laws have to change with them. If you don’t believe that statement, take a U.S. History class. You’ll be ashamed of quite a few of the cultural beliefs our predecessors “perpetuated” often in the name of religion. Then if you want to really blow your mind, take a world history class. Look back onto the 20,000 years of history you and Tulio seem so fond of sticking with in this one facet of life. Go back to the days when alleged witches were burned, or when entire communities were slaughtered because they didn’t believe in Christianity. Go back when religion claimed that owning slaves was just dandy. You don’t get to cherry-pick through religious history and hold out the noble things religions do as some sort of model for society. More people have been killed in the name of God than for any other purpose. I’m pretty sure God’s pissed about it too.

          Fundamentally, I want you and Tulio to answer THESE TWO QUESTIONS.
          1. How will my getting married affect your ability to get married?
          2. How will my getting married affect your ability to perpetuate the species?


  3. Gay State Girl

    Marriage is whole lot more than just breeding. Unless you’d like to impregnate women well into to their eighties. 🙂

    • tulio

      Most women in their 80s have already procreated. So is a man supposed to discard her afterwards?

      I didn’t say marriage was limited to breeding, but that has always been the main reason for it. A man and woman marry because they intend to start a family. Why else do you think most women feel pressure to get married before their biological clock starts ticking(around 30)?

      • Gay State Girl

        “So is a man supposed to discard her afterwards?”

        I thought y’all believed that hemen are entitled to fresh spring chickens once their wives dry up.

        I suppose you’re against homosexuals rescuing orphans from dire poverty as well.

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  5. namae nanka

    “do you oppose colour-blindness humans marriage then?”

    It would be a travesty to allow them in, or to change color-codes all across the board in some occupations in the name of equality.
    It isn’t like there’s much left to the institution with the no-fault divorce and the phenomenon of brides marrying themselves.

    Regarding lesbians, Meredith Chivers had quite a time at NYT.

    Kinda hard to take anything but “lesbianism is a choice” seriously when studies of lesbians only has a handful of women who only slept with women.

    • Matt

      Prior to the early 70s, curing homosexuality was very much a live option for mainstream psychiatry/psychology. Just read any book on the topic from that period, for example Arno Karlen’s Sexuality and Homosexuality. It definitely says something that today only wingnuts like the Bachmanns still do this. These were not “religious nuts,” but orthodox Freudians, Skinnerians, et al.

      Conversely, it shows how far religious conservatives have gone in that they’ve basically appropriated the methods and worldviews of the atheistic, secular psychologists of yesteryear. There’s nothing “biblical” about any of this. All you have to do is look at any of the well-known biblical passages on homosexuality to see that the understanding was nothing like what anyone thinks today.

  6. tulio

    Xenocrates has the most reasoned and analytical opposition piece to same sex marriage that I have read to date. I agree with virtually all of it. I think everyone who wants a highly-intelligent critique of same sex marriage that isn’t steeped in religion should really read this:

    • Sean

      I read most of it until I started to get about 2/3 down the article and the author shed his “rational thinking” persona and cut to the core of his real beliefs with humdingers like this:

      “Furthermore, what homosexual advocates fail to account for is the fact that homosexuals don’t exist in a bubble. There have been many heterosexual lives that have been destroyed by homosexuals in hiding, such as Catholic Priests and incestuous family members. That too constitutes a great deal of suffering.”

      So, uh, don’t attack the reason they hide. Attack the person hiding. Most “incestuous family members” are straight dads fucking their daughters, ok? Look it up. What about the destroyed lives of homosexuals (mostly kids, for Christ’s sake) who commit suicide because the look in the mirror with horror after reading bullshit like this and believing that they are just a small shade away from being a disease. But I guess only destroyed heterosexual lives caused by “hidden gays” are worth talking about. Or my personal favorite:

      “In fact, a declared homosexual won’t be tempted to surreptitiously infest a heterosexual marriage and thus bolster divorce rates or join a religious movement as a purportedly celibate officiator.”

      Note the choice of words. Infest? What a vile crock of bullshit that I hope you never have to consume about any part of your being, Tulio. Especially written by someone who doesn’t have a friggin clue what it’s like to be gay. And you’re going to try to tell me that a person who uses the word “infest” when discussing homosexuality isn’t homophobic? Please. Why? Because they say they’re not? Because they think of homophobic people as simple-minded and they know they’re not simple-minded? Write this on a rock: The worst kind of bullshit is the bullshit produced by smart men and women. They are capable of convincing themselves of some very terrible (and incorrect) things. History has many examples.

      Since neither you nor Dota will answer my two simple questions:

      1) How does my being able to marry my partner affect your ability to marry the person you choose?
      2) How does my being able to marry my partner affect your ability to perpetuate the species?

      …and I’m just tired of being pissed on and told not to worry because the warm liquid is rain and that you’re actually very sympathetic to gays, blah blah, I’m out of this conversation. I don’t know how old you are but I hope you live long enough to see that you were on the wrong side of history on this topic. And mostly, I hope that one day you meet some gay people who are strong enough to pierce your veil of intellectual anti-gay rhetoric and show you that we just want to love each other and be active members of society and that our relationships are not a threat to you or society or the human race(!) or marriage.

      • tulio

        Sean actually seems like a very nice guy and someone I could probably sit down and have an intelligent discussion with. It does bother me that my words are hurtful to him. I actually do struggle with cognitive dissonance on the gay issue. It’s not like I’m taking my position because I want to punish gays, even if gays feel that my position is by definition punishing of them. I feel that a lot of gays have a hard time understanding how someone can believe that marriage is about uniting men and women and not be motivated by homophobia. I have heard a few gays that understand that position and were willing to either drop gay marriage and opt for civil unions that would have the same benefits as marriage, or 2) Make civil unions for everyone, gay or straight, and let it be up to people to informally define what their relationship is for themselves but the government would only recognize civil partnerships for all. The latter is a compromise I could probably live with. There is an interesting libertarian case to be that the government should simply be out of the marriage business. I’m not 100% sure I’m on board, but I could seriously consider doing that.

        Since neither you nor Dota will answer my two simple questions:

        1) How does my being able to marry my partner affect your ability to marry the person you choose?
        2) How does my being able to marry my partner affect your ability to perpetuate the species?

        To answer that, it has never been about how your marriage will effect me personally. Many things I don’t agree with don’t effect me personally, such as polygamous marriages for example. The fact that polygamy isn’t stopping me from marrying who I want doesn’t mean I think it’s a good idea or something that should be endorsed.

        • Dota


          1) How does my being able to marry my partner affect your ability to marry the person you choose?
          2) How does my being able to marry my partner affect your ability to perpetua

          It might not affect me on an individual level, but it is an assault on my collective identity. As I’ve stated before, even in gay friendly societies there were no gay marriages. The notion itself is redundant. Statistically, most gays don’t even want to be married.

          “”My view of religion is not quite as rosy as yours “”

          It isn’t rosy. Religions serve a particular function. Even Hinduism is about life I’ll admit, despite its morals being utterly abhorrent to me. For all the horrible things that Christianity might have done in the past, Western civilization would be nowhere without it. It acted as a stabilizing force throughout Europe during late antiquity.

          “”So are we in the 70′s or the 21st century? “”

          There is no evidence that the American Journal of psychology dropped Homosexuality due to an evolving understanding of the subject, but rather it seems that the amendment was timed to coincide with the rise of feminism and PC. It’s sad when science becomes a casualty to PC. Cultural leftism is no more tolerant of Science than Christianity is.

    • Even as a heterosexual, I find the article absurd. It starts off on a seemingly rational note and later, just goes off key to sputtering conventional biases. And pretending that this article is “seasoned and analytical” reeks of confirmation bias, i.e. the tendency to believe that arguments which favour your point of view are more sane and rational than arguments that don’t.

      The idea that gay marriage will weaken the base of heterosexual marriage is ridiculous, an idea that could survive only in the mind of an intellectual simpleton.

      • tulio

        He does respond to comments so if you take issue with some his points, you should consider challenging them. In fact you would be doing a service to your cause as many people may read his article and be persuaded by it. If you have challenges, you should present them in the comments of his blog.

        • I usually don’t comment on random pseudo-intellectual blogs in the interweb. He is not credible enough to merit a challenge to his arguments.

        • tulio

          Lol, sounds like a cop-out on your part. I’ve been following his blog for awhile and his skills of debate are sharp as a samurai sword. You’re probably scared he’d cut your retort like a ribbon so I don’t blame you for bowing out.

        • Nice try, kid. I am absolutely going to fall for that teenybopper ‘shame and bait’ trick and start arguing with him, because I have nothing better to do.

          I am not surprised you are impressed by his so called ‘debating skills’, just as I am not surprised that there are people who think Akon is a musical legend. It means nothing to me.

        • tulio

          This “kid” you’re talking to is about to turn 36, FYI.

          It’s interesting however that you seem to enjoy debating the issue here, yet won’t do it on his blog. To each his own, but I just find it interesting.

          It’s also amusing how the term “pseudo-intellectual” is only applied to people we don’t agree with. I would think in fairness we would use the term against people we DO agree with just as often since pseudo-intellectuals are present in all issues and all sides of issues.

        • “This “kid” you’re talking to is about to turn 36, FYI.”
          Well then, my apologies. You used a style of talking that made it sound like I am talking to a teenager.

          The internet is vast and if I try to ‘correct’ and ‘debate’ with every random blogger on the internet with no specific goal or objective, I’d be at my notebook all day long. Hence, my reluctance.

          The word ‘pseudo intellectual’ does get thrown around a bit, but that doesn’t mean pseudo-intellectuals don’t exist. When I talk about pseudo-intellectualism, I talk of the type who try argue as an expert without sound understanding or knowledge of the subject they argue about. If you are no more an expert on the subject than the particular pseudo-intellectual is, you wouldn’t be able to spot the holes in his argument, especially if it is logically sound.

        • tulio

          [blockquote]Well then, my apologies. You used a style of talking that made it sound like I am talking to a teenager.[/blockquote]

          Thank you for your not so subtle insult upon my maturity level. I’ve been on this blog a lot longer than you and my maturity has never been questioned. Maybe your grasp of English is what ought to be questioned.

          [blockquote]The internet is vast and if I try to ‘correct’ and ‘debate’ with every random blogger on the internet with no specific goal or objective, I’d be at my notebook all day long. Hence, my reluctance.[/blockquote]

          Nobody asked you debate with every random blogger. You took the time to read his article and then pan it HERE on Lindsay’s blog. You could’ve cut and pasted that same critique on HIS blog which he actively responds to criticism. You didn’t because you would get eviscerated.

          [blockquote]The word ‘pseudo intellectual’ does get thrown around a bit, but that doesn’t mean pseudo-intellectuals don’t exist. When I talk about pseudo-intellectualism, I talk of the type who try argue as an expert without sound understanding or knowledge of the subject they argue about. If you are no more an expert on the subject than the particular pseudo-intellectual is, you wouldn’t be able to spot the holes in his argument, especially if it is logically sound.[/blockquote]

          Lol. At this point we’re just going in circles. Your mind is made up anyway. Once again, you’ve failed to make any substantial criticism of his arguments put forth. Your response an be paraphrased as, “I don’t like his opinion, thus it is pseudo-intellectual.”

        • “I’ve been on this blog a lot longer than you and my maturity has never been questioned.”
          Well, in that case, I guess people were being polite.

          “You took the time to read his article and then pan it HERE on Lindsay’s blog…”
          You posted the link as a ‘reasoned and analytical opposition’ to homosexuality. I simply remarked that his article, no matter how reasoned and analytical it seems from your perspective, is still limited in scope and his understanding of the issue. Why do you assume that I should follow up and debate with him in his blog in something I don’t understand. He might be your cult hero, but he means nothing to me.

          “Your response an be paraphrased as, “I don’t like his opinion, thus it is pseudo-intellectual.””
          Whatever makes you sleep easier.

  7. Matt

    I took a quick look at the Xenocrates site. There is a lot there to be digested, but I’ve already detected one bonehead mistake, his idea that lesbians having children will result in more gay male children. Maybe it’s true that homosexuality is passed down on the mother’s X chromosome, but if so, it still seems that a lesbian woman is no more likely to be carrying the gene for male homosexuality than anyone else. I’m reminded of my old girlfriend who thought lesbians were susceptible to AIDS because they were gay. The point is that the opposite is true because the disease is not God’s curse on same sex attraction, but rather the result of specific practices popular with gay men that result in “sharing” of blood and body fluids.

  8. Dav

    I earlier hd considerable gay attrctns,but nw at the age of 21,my male-male sexual orientation has reducd by some amount,but still my female sexual attractn is quite weak(but strong emotional attractn towrds them).I only want to have sex with an girl.
    I’m tenacious to get my sexual orientatn changed as i dn’t want to live this kind of life;plzz give me some tips….its very urgent,plzz.

  9. All your study proves is that it is DIFFICULT to change sexual orientation after a certain age – not that it’s IMPOSSIBLE. Maybe someone with real skills could do it.

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  11. Jake

    Why the male sexual orientation is fixed at 15?

  12. Rod O'Brien

    Oh my, why is this even an issue? Some people are gay. And many of us really ARE quite okay with that.

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  14. Devon

    i think tulio is trying to say that his opinion is that he dont think hmosexuals should marry but only straight people should. but its his opinion on the matter. itswhat the couple decides to do he was just expressing his lets move on with life. have a great day

  15. Pingback: Sexual Orientation Poems | Young Girl 18

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