Saturday, August 2, 2008

Open Forum: Sexual Re-Orientation?

The topic is critical and complex at the same time. All comments and thoughts are pure speculations, but nonetheless we must prepare for the future of our movement as genetic modifications and eugenics are becoming a reality.

Scientists are working tirelessly to find the root of sexual orientation and desire as well as gender identity and are looking into areas such as genes, hormones, and psychology and how they all intertwine in identity formation. We reported a while back about federally funded experiments to alter the sexual orientation of homosexual rams.

This research is in its early stages but there is much talk about the possibility of knowing the future with regards to a child's sexual orientation and gender identity. There are also indications that scientists will be capable of chemically altering a child to "straighten" them out.

This research proves to be a double edged sword for queers, as many of us find solace in the fact that our identities are biological, but at the same token the research also indicates the real threat that we can eventually somehow be "cured" and have non hetero-normative identities eliminated from the species.

Where do you stand on this issue? Would you go through sexual re-orientation? Would you alter your childs orientation/identity knowing the difficulties of growing up in a non-queer friendly world? Is sexual re-Orientation an ethical and valid field or is this junk science and dangerous?

12 comments:

pretzelboy said...

I think a lot of the research that has been done so far hasn't been all that good, and scientists are a long ways off from finding the cause of sexual orientation. One of the most insightful comments I've heard so far come from the scientist who did the above mentioned research on rams: should we stop scientific research on sexual orientation or should we try to change societal attitudes about sexuality. He (and I) prefer the latter of the two options.

Rob said...

I been through the Christian Fundamental ex-gay thing, and it just does not work, at least for me. I think we should leave it alone, and accept people as they are.

WendySkeleton said...

Heck no! I love being gay and wouldn't have it any other way. Why would you want to be straight anyway? That was so five minutes ago.

Anywho, I have a feeling this is going to give extreme right-winged religious nuts an excuse to start saying that being queer is something that can be "cured" because look! They can use chemicals to change people's brains!

CrackerLilo said...

I love being bi! The only thing I don't love about it is other peoples' attitudes. I'm far more interested in changing *those*.

The Right *is* already interested, too. Google "Albert Mohler gay womb" for a start. Albert Mohler is president of the biggest Southern Baptist seminary, and wrote a scarily enthusiastic blog entry about this idea last year.

My wife says that if the right-wingers want to do re-orientation in the womb so their kid won't "sin," their kid should also be made cripplingly shy and hideously ugly so their opportunities to "sin" in a heterosexual manner are also limited. No wet T-shirt contests, no pictures on MySpace, no after-prom sex 'cause they won't even *go* to the prom.

Seriously, I don't want a biological cause to be found, *ever*, or at least not unless other peoples' attitudes are a whole lot better. I mean their attitudes toward their children as well as toward LGBTs. Children are unique human beings in their own right, not extensions of the parent's ego.

meg said...

I agree with pretzel. We should be more focused on getting people to be more accepting of those different from themselves. Maybe we can find a gene for intolerance and bigotry and cure that in utero...

Ily said...

I don't want to look for (or find) a cause; I want to live in a more tolerant society!

Kelli Busey said...

I am all for funding agressive research into finding a cure for hetrosexuality.

Larry in Miami said...

I hope many people still remember Margaret Meade, the incredible anthropologist of fame from late last century? I saw her being interviewed (on TV) by (I think!) Dick Cavett? (feel free to correct me!) He asked her what one of her most perplexing(?) unanswered questions about humanity was, and she replied: "to find out what CAUSES HETEROSEXUALITY!" He asked why, and she replied "because ONLY THEN will we know what causes HOMOSEXUALITY!" I am guessing that was 1969 or 1970. ANYONE REMEMBER THAT INTERVIEW? Or Margaret meade and her incredible legacy?

Queers United said...

That is amazing, she is just brilliant. I love quoting her, but I didn't know she said that. She was self identified lesbian right?

Lauren said...

I think it's tragic, but at the same time a family--not government--issue, and I would not support laws against it.

I think that, for the most part, responsible parents would opt not to genetically alter their child's gender identity or sexual orientation because of the obvious controversial and medically dangerous nature of the procedure.

I also don't feel like my identity is at all compromised if, all of the sudden, gays STOPPED being born. I still am who I am and that doesn't change.

So to be honest, I'm not entirely worried about it.

Josh said...

the closest i ever came to sexual re-orientation was hardcore counselling. my parents, when they found out about my sexuality, forced me to undergo counselling from a christian organisation. they showed me loads of videos, gave me many facts and figures (which i couldn't absorb anyway) and kept stressing the point that homosexuality can be changed.

look what happen - i'm still the same.i still like guys. Pretzelboy is right. society should change their mindset about homosexuality. times have changed.thinking should also change and adapt.

anyway, after 2 months of counselling, i pretended that it was successful. to get my parents off my back. this is just another example of how counselling can never change something which is inherent.

Queers United said...

Thanks for all weighing in. I think the topic is really interesting. On one hand I feel queer orientations are natural and shouldn't be messed with. On the other hand I am torn because I know the hardship that comes along with being gay and if I could magically become straight or have not gone through this by some chemical alteration at birth life would have been easier.

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