The Instigator
bsh1
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
TheMoralCompass2014
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Homosexuality is a Choice

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
bsh1
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/1/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,025 times Debate No: 61155
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (41)
Votes (2)

 

bsh1

Con

Preface

This debate arose out of a discussion in the forums; the resolution is the same as the title of the debate. Here is a link to the forum thread that has spawned this debate [http://www.debate.org...] I hope that this will be a civil, engaging discussion and a learning experience for both of us; I ask that my opponent keep and open mind while prosecuting this debate and I will endeavor to do the same. Thank you.

Voting

This is a no-voting debate; please do not vote on this debate unless one of the three conditions below is met. An ELO restriction of 5,000 has been placed on this debate to make it hard for any votes to be placed as well.

Voting may occur if (1) one or both parties participate in severe breaches of conduct (personal attacks, swearing, name-calling, gratuitously insulting arguments or people, etc.), (2) one or both parties forfeit a round or rounds, or (3) Pro does not post arguments in round one or uses R4 to advance his arguments instead of passing on that round. The exceptions are designed to ensure fairness and to ensure civility.

Rules

1. Remain civil and polite
2. No forfeiting
3. Pro MUST present his case in R1; it is not for acceptance.
4. Pro MUST not present arguments in R4 in order to keep things even.

Structure

R1: Pro presents arguments
R2: Con presents arguments, Pro rebuts
R3: Con rebuts, Pro defends his case
R4: Con defends his case

Thanks...

...in advance to my opponent; I am sure this will be an informative and interesting debate.
TheMoralCompass2014

Pro

Thanks to my opponent. I will go ahead and jump right in.

So to prove that homosexuality is a choice one need only look to society. There exist' a large (presumably numbering in the thousands) group of formerly gay individuals who claim to be living quite happily as now heterosexuals. There are also those who were heterosexual and have now chosen to be gay and are living happy lives in their new sexuality. They're motivation for making this change is irrelevant as their mere existence is proof that sexuality is a choice. A common method for opponents to attempt to debunk this fact, is to say that surely they are just in denial, or suppressing their true sexuality. This is easily dismissed as irrelevant as well since if even one of those formerly gay people is not lying, the only alternative is that sexuality is indeed a choice. I would argue that unless my opponent can prove that all formerly gay people are lying than it must be accepted that homosexuality is a choice and sexuality is not static.
It is also necessary to consider the implications of sexuality not being fluid (not a choice). Pedophiles for instance cannot be treated because they are told that their sexual attractions are not able to be changed. Are we then to be accepting of pedophiles who remain abstinent? After all if they are abstinent who are they hurting?
We must also explore the claim that homosexuality is genetic and not a choice. This, like the other arguments which claim no choice, has a huge hole in the rationale. Jason Collins has an identical twin, Jaron, who was "astounded" to discover that his brother had entered into the homosexual lifestyle. If sexuality were predetermined, not a choice, and they share their genetic make up, the only conclusion one can logically draw is that it was obviously a choice for Jason, as Jaron is not gay.

To conclude I would say that as it is impossible for my opponent to prove that sexuality is genetic, or biological since the evidence is inconclusive at best; we must use reason and logic, which dictate unequivocally that sexuality is fluid and not static. With all due respect, you may reject one of these arguments but you cannot in good conscience reject all. http://isites.harvard.edu...
http://socialinqueery.com...
http://www.americanthinker.com...
http://www.thenation.com...#
The Flaws in the Science of Sex Differences (Harvard University Press, 2011).
Debate Round No. 1
bsh1

Con

Thanks, TMC. My case:

A. Homosexuality in Animals

Numerous animal species display homosexual orientations [1, 2] Some great examples include:

Dolphins

"Dolphins have a position on the top tier of animal intelligence, and are comparable to both chimpanzees and humans in cognitive and social abilities. Great diversity exists in dolphin societies as well, and numerous same-sex liaisons have been identified. In one incredible case, a pair of gay dolphins enjoyed a seventeen year relationship, while researchers identified a whole pod of dolphins--composed entirely of males--whose members were certainly not lacking in romantic experiences. It has become clear that dolphin relationships are extremely strong, regardless of the specific orientation...Many other dolphins have been found to be bisexual, enjoying passionate contact among [both sexes]." [2]

Bonobos

"Bonobos, which resemble miniature chimpanzees, are not only among the world's most intelligent animals but are in fact humanity"s closest relative...They're famous for using a language of love, rather than a language of aggression, to resolve problems and communicate with each other. Since many of the conflicts occur between two males or between two females, homosexual bonding is a frequent occurrence among these amorous apes. Sexual encounters may serve to increase social standing among females...but it also occurs among males, who may take a more 'play fight'-based approach." [2]

Rams

"Scientific studies have shown that up to an incredible eight percent of male sheep may form exclusively male-to-male pair bonds, forsaking all contact with the female ewes...These same sex couples do not mate, but they act as a couple in every other way throughout their lives. The homosexual herds stand out as an example of diverse relationship status among animals." [2]

And, surprisingly, Dragonflies

"Investigations have revealed a surprisingly high frequency of matings between same-sex dragonflies. Understanding the reasons for same gender pairings among such small invertebrates is challenging, and the interactions are poorly understood even today. Environmental chemistry and the unavailability of partners may be one factor influencing dragonfly mating behavior." [2]

Since animals lack the rationality required to make higher-order decisions, they did not choose to be lesbian or gay, but were born that way or driven to such action by instinct. In other words, they had no choice in the outcome of their sexuality.

B. Behavioral Analysis

Learned behavior can be untaught. [3] Something that is innate cannot be untaught. For example, no psychologist could teach me to turn my blues eye brown or teach me how to turn my white skin chocolate. In this same way, homosexuality cannot be untaught. The APA, America's premier psychological association, has found that homosexuality cannot be "cured" and cannot be undone via therapy. [4] Other psychological experts concur. [5, 6] Even groups that have tried to unteach homosexuality have acknowledged their failures [7] and some studies supporting homosexuality as a choice retain only dubious credibility at best. [8] Therefore, people don't choose orientation.

In fact, "since the 1970s, the consensus of the behavioral and social sciences and the health and mental health professions globally is that homosexuality is a normal variation of human sexual orientation...Consequently, while some still believe homosexuality is a mental disorder, the current research and clinical literature demonstrate that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality, reflecting the official positions of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association." [9] Even previously unpublished studies conducted by the military in WWII--a time of pronounced discrimination and stigmatization regarding the LGBTQ community, found that "They were 'conscientious, reliable, well-integrated and abounding in emotional feeling and sincerity.' In general, 'the homosexual leads a useful productive life, conforming with all dictates of the community, except its sexual requirements" and was "neither a burden nor a detriment to society.'" [10]

C. Biology

If something is caused biologically, such as the color of my hair, it is not a choice.

"Researchers from UC Santa Barbara and Uppsala University found a biological basis for same-sex attraction, locating the origins of homosexuality in the womb. Epi-marks, the genetic switches that regulate how our genes express themselves, can be passed down from mother to son or father to daughter while the fetuses gestate, the researchers found, adding that certain 'sexually antagonistic' epi-marks may also be involved." [11]

Recently, a twin study examining more than 7,500 twins made the following conclusion: "Biometric modeling revealed that, in men, genetic effects explained .34–.39 of the variance [of sexual orientation], the shared environment .00, and the individual-specific environment .61–.66 of the variance. Corresponding estimates among women were .18–.19 for genetic factors, .16–.17 for shared environmental, and .64–.66 for unique environmental factors..The results are consistent with moderate, primarily genetic, familial effects, and moderate to large effects of the nonshared environment (social and biological) on same-sex sexual behavior. [12]

Besides twin studies, "chromosome linkage studies of sexual orientation have indicated the presence of multiple contributing genetic factors throughout the genome...Hamer et al. found that the gay men had more gay male uncles and cousins on the maternal side of the family than on the paternal side. Gay brothers who showed this maternal pedigree were then tested for X chromosome linkage, using twenty-two markers on the X chromosome to test for similar alleles. In another finding, thirty-three of the forty sibling pairs tested were found to have similar alleles in the distal region of Xq28, which was significantly higher than the expected rates of 50% for fraternal brothers." [12]

Another study of interest regards the physical arousal of homosexuals in response to pheromones. "Gay and straight men respond differently to two odors that are believed to be involved in sexual arousal. The research showed that when both heterosexual women...and gay men are exposed to a testosterone derivative found in men's sweat, a region in the hypothalamus is activated. Heterosexual men, on the other hand, have a similar response to an estrogen-like compound found in women's urine. The conclusion is that sexual attraction...operates similarly on a biological level." [12]

Finally differences in brain structure and even birth order have all been linked to homosexuality [12], suggesting possible biological roots. "The likelihood of being gay increases by about 33 percent with each additional older brother. From these statistics, researchers calculate that about 15 to 30 percent of gay men have the fraternal birth order effect to thank for their homosexuality...One of the leading explanations is called the maternal immunization hypothesis...When a woman is pregnant with a male fetus, her body is exposed to a male-specific antigen, some molecule that normally turns the fetus heterosexual. The woman’s immune system produces antibodies to fight this foreign antigen. With enough antibodies, the antigen will be neutralized and no longer capable of making the fetus straight. These antibodies linger in the mother’s body long after pregnancy, and so when a woman has a second son, or a third or fourth, an army of antibodies is lying in wait to zap the chemicals that would normally make him heterosexual." [13]

Regarding brain difference, "The hypothalamus is the portion of the human brain directly related to sexual drive and function. In the homosexual brains examined, a small portion of the hypothalamus, termed the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), was found to be twice the size of its heterosexual counterpart." [14]

D. Conclusion

To conclude, I can do no better than to quote the American College of Pediatrics: "You are normal. Homosexuality is not a mental disorder. All of the major medical organizations, including The American Psychiatric Association, The American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics agree that homosexuality is not an illness or disorder, but a form of sexual expression. No one knows what causes a person to be gay, bisexual, or straight. There probably are a number of factors. Some may be biological. Others may be psychological…The fact is, you do not choose to be gay, bisexual, or straight." [9]

E. Sources

1 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
2 - http://listverse.com...
3 - http://www.mentalhelp.net...
4 - http://www.sgn.org...
5 - http://www.mens-wellbeing.com...
6 - http://communities.washingtontimes.com...
7 - http://www.speroforum.com...
8 - http://www.scientificamerican.com...
9 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
10 - http://psychology.ucdavis.edu...
11 - http://news.yahoo.com...
12 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
13 - http://www.slate.com...
14 - http://allpsych.com...
TheMoralCompass2014

Pro

I will address each topic as you have listed them for your convenience.
A. Homosexuality in animals- It is indeed poor science to read human motivations in animals.As
psychologist and biologist James D. Weinrich once noted, "When animals do something that
we like we call it natural. When they do something that we don"t like, we call it animalistic" The problems (which are many) with the gay animal theory are 1. Motivation- We cannot determine whether the animal is indeed showing a preference for an animal of the same sex, or just displaying and asserting dominance which most biologists suggest.
2.Moral implications- By this logic we should also consider infanticide, eating ones own defecation, and incest normal as those too are found in nature. Animals are also unable to give consent therefore we do not know if the animal is being raped or if the animal is involved in a fight for dominance.
To explain this abnormal behavior, the first observation must be the fact that animal instincts are not bound by the absolute determinism of the physical laws governing the mineral world. In varying degrees, all living beings can adapt to circumstances. They respond to internal or external stimuli.

Second, animal cognition is purely sensorial, limited to sound, odor, touch, taste and image. Thus, animals lack the precision and clarity of human intellectual perception. Therefore, animals frequently confuse one sensation with another or one object with another.

Third, an animal's instincts direct it towards its end and are in accordance with its nature. However, the spontaneous thrust of the instinctive impulse can suffer modifications as it runs its course. Other sensorial images, perceptions or memories can act as new stimuli affecting the animal's behavior. Moreover, the conflict between two or more instincts can sometimes modify the original impulse.

In man, when two instinctive reactions clash, the intellect determines the best course to follow, and the will then holds one instinct in check while encouraging the other. With animals that lack intellect and will, when two instinctive impulses clash, the one most favored by circumstances prevails.
3. Distinction- The majority of the studies done in this realm do not distinguish between homosexual behavior and homosexuality as an orientation and are therefore invalid as we cannot determine which the animal is engaging in.
4. Science- One of our foremost behavior genetics experts, Thomas Bouchard, has argued forcefully that "one of the most unfortunate misinterpretations of the heritability coefficient is that it provides an index of trait malleability (i.e., the higher the heritability the less modifiable the trait is through environmental intervention)."
To make a long story short, the Gay Animal theory is dead in the water as we cannot attribute human feelings to animals. It is impossible to know the animals motivation, therefore it is impossible to know if the behavior is homosexual and it is certainly not possible to read a human sexual orientation in a non human animal.

B. Behavioral analysis- I will begin by stating the obvious, It is quite unnecessary for me to address this as the existence of ex gays proves that homosexuality is far from innate. That being said I will address it from a slightly different angle to be sure homosexuality is not innate: "Homosexuality is not purely genetic...environmental factors play a role. There is not a single master gene that makes people gay...I don't think we will ever predict who will be gay" (Mitchell, 1995)
When Hamer's study was duplicated by Rice et al with research that was more robust, the genetic markers were found to be nonsignificant. Rice et al concluded:

"It is unclear why our results are so discrepant from Hamer's original study. Because our study was larger than that of Hamer et al, we certainly had adequate power to detect a genetic effect as large as reported in that study. Nonetheless, our data do not support the presence of a gene of large effect influencing sexual orientation at position XQ 28" (Rice et al, 1999, p.667).
This consequently disputes your biology theory as well.
Biology-Dr. Simon LeVay an admitted homosexual, in his study of the hypothalamic differences between the brains of homosexual and heterosexual men, offered the following criticisms of his own research:

"It's important to stress what I didn't find. I did not prove that homosexuality is genetic, or find a genetic cause for being gay. I didn't show that gay men are born that way, the most common mistake people make in interpreting my work. Nor did I locate a gay center in the brain.

"The INAH 3 is less likely to be the sole gay nucleus of the brain than a part of a chain of nuclei engaged in men and women's sexual behavior....Since I looked at adult brains, we don't know if the differences I found were there at birth, or if they appeared later."

Indeed, in commenting on the brain and sexual behavior, Dr. Mark Breedlove, a researcher at the University of California at Berkeley, demonstrated that sexual behavior can actually change brain structure. Referring to his research, Breedlove states:

"These findings give us proof for what we theoretically know to be the case-that sexual experience can alter the structure of the brain, just as genes can alter it. [I]t is possible that differences in sexual behavior cause (rather than are caused) by differences in the brain" (Breedlove, 1997, p. 801).
LeVay made an interesting observation about the emphasis on the biology of homosexuality. He noted, "...people who think that gays and lesbians are born that way are also more likely to support gay rights" (1996, p. 282)

The third study, which was conducted by Bailey and Pillard, focused on twins. They found a concordance (both twins homosexual) rate of 52% among identical twins, 22% among non-identical twins and a 9.2 % among non-twins. This study actually provides support for environmental factors. If homosexuality were in the genetic code, all of the identical twins would have been homosexual (1991).

Prominent research teams Byne and Parsons, and also Friedman and Downey, each concluded that there was no evidence to support a biologic theory, but rather that homosexuality could be best explained by an alternative model where "temperamental and personality traits interact with the familial and social milieu as the individual's sexuality emerges"

Are homosexual attractions innate? There is no support in the scientific research for the conclusion that homosexuality is biologically determined.
C.Conclusion- As your own conclusion says there is no way to conclusively tell what causes homosexuality, which means it has not been proven to be biological, psychology is a factor, and it is likely at least partly choice. In reviewing the research, Satinover reported a 52% success rate in the treatment of unwanted homosexual attraction. (Satinover, 1996, p. 186). Masters and Johnson, the famed sex researchers, reported 65% success rate after a five-year follow-up (Schwartz and Masters, 1984, pp. 173-184). Other professionals report success rates ranging from 30% to 70%.

An article in the Monitor on Psychology reviewed the research of Dr. Lisa Diamond, a professor at the University of Utah and concluded that "Sexual identity is far from fixed in women who aren't exclusively heterosexual"(Murray, 2000, p. 15; Diamond, 2000).

What is more intriguing is the research of Dr. Robert L. Spitzer, the prominent psychiatrist and researcher at Columbia University. Dr. Spitzer was the architect of the 1973 decision to remove homosexuality from the diagnostic manual, a gay affirmative psychiatrist , and a long time supporter of gay rights. His current study focused on whether or not individuals can change. His conclusions are:

"I am convinced from the people I have interviewed, that for many of them, they have made substantial changes toward becoming heterosexual...I think that's news...I came to this study skeptical. I now claim that these changes can be sustained"
I hope you don't mind I listed actual sources for the above research rather than the website that host's it so there would be no confusion.
Sources: Psychologist and Biologist James D. Weinrich
www.harvard.edu/docs/animalmyth.html
Behavior, genetics expert,Dr. Thomas Bouchard
Dr. Simon Levay-Geneticist
Nimmons, 1994, p. 64
Dr. Mark Breedlove, a researcher at the University of California at Berkeley
Bailey and Pillard
Byne and Parsons, 1993; Friedman and Downey, 1993
Schwartz and Masters, 1984, pp. 173-184
Dr. Lisa Diamond, a professor at the University of Utah
Dr. Robert L. Spitzer
Columbia University
I thank my opponent for an interesting debate, although respectfully, you have failed to prove homosexuality is not a choice, failed to meet your bop, and have, in fact, increased my belief that it is indeed a choice. At best the science is inconclusive, and at worst lacking in representativeness.
Debate Round No. 2
bsh1

Con

As per the Structure determined in R1, I will only be using this speech to address Pro's case (his R1 comments). Again, I thank TMC for this debate, and hope that he and our readers are trying to keep an open mind as they read the debate. To begin deconstructing Pro's case, I will first address the BOP, then subdivide his arguments into portions, and lastly I will turn some of Pro's sources back against him.

BURDEN OF PROOF

Since this resolution is a question of fact, Pro bears the sole BOP. In other words, if he fails to prove his claim, he has lost. But, what exactly is the claim that Pro needs to prove? The resolution is referring to "homosexuality" as an entity. Therefore, to show one or two examples of where choice may exist is insufficient to affirm (though I sincerely doubt any such instance exist, regardless.) Therefore, the resolution can be interpreted in one of two ways: (A) homosexuality is always a choice, or (B) homosexuality is usually a choice. Given the former burden, it will be almost impossible for Pro to affirm given the weighty scientific evidence leveled against him. Given the latter burden--certainly a more charitable one--Pro will need to demonstrate with confidence that a majority of homosexuals choose to be homosexual.

ARGUMENTS

A. Ex-Gays

Pro suggests that there are presumably thousands of "ex-gays" now living as heterosexuals. Firstly, none of Con's sources substantiate this claim, and secondly, the rationale behind this is dubious at best.

People who seek gay conversion therapy--I use the term "therapy" incredibly loosely--are clearly people seeking to blend in to "normal" heterosexual society. These individuals have a motive to claim that they have been cured. It seems more logical, given the medical and psychological evidence I offered last round, that individuals are simply suppressing there homosexual urges or remaining chaste altogether. That doesn't make them straight; it makes them homosexuals in denial. Additionally, for the same reasons people have motives to suppress their homosexuality, they have a motivation to lie on self-reporting surveys that are designed to gauge the efficaciousness of such "therapy."

Let's review some background on these conversion programs: "In 2012, the Pan American Health Organization (the North and South American branch of the World Health Organization) released a statement cautioning against services that purport to 'cure' people with non-heterosexual sexual orientations as they lack medical justification and represent a serious threat to the health and well-being of affected people, and noted that the global scientific and professional consensus is that homosexuality is a normal and natural variation of human sexuality and cannot be regarded as a pathological condition. The Pan American Health Organization further called on governments, academic institutions, professional associations and the media to expose these practices and to promote respect for diversity. The World Health Organization affiliate further noted that gay minors have sometimes been forced to attend these 'therapies' involuntarily, being deprived of their liberty and sometimes kept in isolation for several months, and that these findings were reported by several United Nations bodies. Additionally, the Pan American Health Organization recommended that such practices be denounced and subject to sanctions and penalties under national legislation, as they constitute a violation of the ethical principles of health care and violate human rights that are protected by international and regional agreements." [1]

"National health organizations in the United States have announced that there has been no scientific demonstration of conversion therapy's efficacy in the last forty years. They find that conversion therapy is ineffective, risky and can be harmful. Anecdotal claims of cures are counterbalanced by assertions of harm, and the American Psychiatric Association, for example, cautions ethical practitioners under the Hippocratic oath to do no harm to refrain from attempts at conversion therapy. Mainstream medical bodies state that conversion therapy can be harmful because it may exploit guilt and anxiety, thereby damaging self-esteem and leading to depression and even suicide...Mainstream health organizations critical of conversion therapy include the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the American Counseling Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the American Academy of Physician Assistants." [1]

In light of these two excerpts, we now have reason to believe that "therapy" has no scientific evidence to back it up (and isn't recognized by most major medical organizations) and is potentially harmful. But the first of these two claims is the most relevant to the debate, so let's discuss it a bit more.

"A 2009 APA task force found that conversion therapies, despite being touted by religious organizations, have little evidence to back them up. A review of studies from 1960 to 2007 found only 83 on the topic, the vast majority of which did not have the experimental muscle to show whether the therapies achieved their stated goals." [2] Even former leaders of the conversion movement have acknowledged that their programs don't work, [3] and for every testimony that Pro might cite about the effectiveness of the programs, I can pull counterexamples, like this one. [4]

It is also necessary to point out that "fluidity" is not the same as "choice." Choice implies an active decision; "fluid" transitions can occur passively and without any choice on the part of the individual. I agree that sexuality is "fluid," but not that it is "chosen."

B. Genetics

As per the BOP analysis, one example hardly proves anything. Moreover, I have provided ample analysis in my case that rebuts Pro's core assertions here.

C. Pro's Sources

Turn No. 1

Let's look at the Harvard.edu link first. The source writes: "In light of the ambiguity of the scientific research on sexuality, I will present a brief example where there is a clear genetic link to adult homosexuality. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is a hormonal disorder that causes an excess of male-specific hormones, known as androgens, while the fetus is developing in the womb (Pang et al. 1985; Witchel and Azziz 2010). CAH is most often caused by a mutation in a single gene, and genetic tests have existed for well over a decade (Van Ryzin 2009)." This source also notes that, "there is a loose consensus among geneticists, if not social scientists (Butler 1990; Kitzinger 1995), that there is some evidence for a genetic predisposition to homosexuality."

Turn this source. This source substantiates the claim that homosexuality has a biological basis, strengthening the idea that it is not actually a choice.

Non-unique

Now turn your attention to the AmericanThinker.com link. "Even if we accepted, for argument's sake (which I do not accept), that McCaskill was "anti-gay" because she signed a petition, the case against Dixon is based purely on wild assumptions about sex. To fire Dixon, one must accept that gay men cannot stop themselves from having anal sex or engaging in fellatio." This article is referring to one's ability to choose to have sex. Of course, engaging in the act of sex is a choice; that is not what Pro and I are debating. We are debating whether attraction is a choice. Therefore, this argument does not clash with my case.

Turn No. 2

Next, let's look at TheNation.com. This source writes: "No one this side of the rainbow flag is arguing that people choose the direction of their romantic and sexual desires in the way that someone might, say, choose between different brands of toothpaste. Desire happens unbidden."

P1. Desires are not chosen
P2. Homosexuality is a sexual desire for someone of the same sex
C1. Homosexuality is not chosen



And--Presto!--we have turned this point into a logically valid argument against Pro.

Rejection

We should reject Pro's non-hyperlinked source since I cannot access it to assess its validity. Also, any sources cited in the comments should not be evaluated as they are an attempt to obviate the character limit of the debate.

D. Food for Thought

If people lived in a culture that castigated homosexuals for who they are, do you think they would come out as gay? Many people don't handle the social rejection well, and many want to keep those social and familial ties they risk losing when they come out. Yet, that doesn't stop them from coming out in such cultures. Really, if homosexuality were chosen, rational people in such close-minded societies would save themselves the pain and choose to be heterosexual instead. The fact that people come out as gay in those societies is thus evidence that homosexuality is not a choice.

SOURCES

1 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
2 - http://news.yahoo.com...
3 - http://time.com...
4 - http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

Thanks! I respectfully remind Pro that R3 is his last round to post arguments. I now turn over the floor to him...
TheMoralCompass2014

Pro

As my opponent appears to have turned my sources around to benefit his arguments I am sure he will not mind if I do the same. But let us first address the BOP issue: Con began this debate and therefore is responsible for proving without a doubt that homosexuality is NOT a choice,ever, the BOP is always with the O.P. (always has been)and cannot be abandoned because Con decided to pass the buck. This being said I will gladly sum up the evidence I have already provided proving that the only logical conclusion one may come to is that homosexuality is indeed at least partly a choice and sexuality is fluid. Although, because my opponent has abandoned his burden of proof, I will consider that a forfeiture of the round and thus by his own rules a win for the debate. My opponent has attempted a clever but not so elusive dishonesty tactic by listing his sources by numbering them 1-14(As if more sources is equal to a better argument). There is a fundamental problem with this as if one examines the list you will find that he has used the same source on several occasions and yet has given the same source different numbers to make it seem as if he had this huge number of sources when he in fact only had a few which I will further scrutinize. Lets start with the source which my opponent claims to have used the most, Wikipedia- Wikipedia is not a viable source as my opponent himself could very well have provided the inaccurate information. As for the Harvard link which my opponent claims he has used to his benefit; he clearly did not look at the date of the information gathered (1985). Near thirty year old research and now known to be inaccurate. There is not one single piece of evidence which can prove a biological link although homosexuals have and will misinterpret, misrepresent, or flat out lie regarding the results of such research. Although assertions and research persist the only thing close to realizing a biological link is epigenetics which there is still very little known about in terms of a possible relationship with sexual orientation. My opponent claims (as I predicted in round one) that Ex-gays are merely homosexuals who are repressing their urges. It is clear my opponent has a misunderstanding of sexuality. Sexuality is not just the act but the attraction, which means it is based on how we identify ourselves. These people now self identify as heterosexual after years of identifying as homosexual. This undercuts all of my opponents arguments which were lacking in evidence anyway. My opponent has listed a lot of information which points to and hypothesizes about a genetic link but none of his evidence proves the link. So we must conclude no proof exist to establish a genetic link. The evidence I provided is direct statements from individuals who experienced this change in sexuality first hand and there is no reason to believe that they are all being dishonest. Since my opponent will undoubtedly argue that because of a recent debate here on ddo that Wikipedia is a viable source, and since we are now engaged in using each others sources to further our own arguments; I too will use Wikipedia.
The APA(one of my opponents most heavily relied upon sources) is not a reliable source because the DSM has been proven to lack validity and credibility.
"The revisions of the DSM from the 3rd Edition forward have been mainly concerned with diagnostic reliability"the degree to which different diagnosticians agree on a diagnosis. It was argued that a science of psychiatry can only advance if diagnosis is reliable. If clinicians and researchers frequently disagree about a diagnosis with a patient, then research into the causes and effective treatments of those disorders cannot advance. Hence, diagnostic reliability was a major concern of DSM-III. When the diagnostic reliability problem was thought to be solved, subsequent editions of the DSM were concerned mainly with "tweaking" the diagnostic criteria. Unfortunately, neither the issue of reliability (accurate measurement) or validity (do these disorders really exist) was settled. However, most psychiatric education post DSM-III focused on issues of treatment"especially drug treatment"and less on diagnostic concerns. In fact, Thomas R. Insel, M.D., Director of the NIMH, has recently stated the agency would no longer fund research projects that rely exclusively on DSM criteria due to its lack of validity. Field trials of DSM-5 brought the debate of reliability back into the limelight as some disorders showed poor reliability. For example Major Depressive Disorder a common mental illness had a poor reliability Kappa statistic of 0.28 indicating that clinicians frequently disagreed on this diagnosis in the same patients. The most reliable diagnosis was Major Neurocognitive Disorder with a Kappa of 0.78".
http://en.wikipedia.org...
My opponent claims to have "turned" my source (www.harvard.edu) but has in fact further proven my case: As it says very clearly at the end of the paragraph regarding the Harvard link, There is some evidence for PREDISPOSITION, which is not the same as predeterminism. If it is not predetermined that it must be at least partly choice thus proving an alternate resolution.
www.harvard.edu
And yes, let us turn our attention to the AmericanThinker.com link : My opponent has made the fallacious argument that because the debate is about whether or not homosexuality is a choice, that the fact that one can choose whether or not to have sex, somehow negates the possibility of sexuality being a choice. Without both the act and the attraction there is no homosexuality, therefore it is just as important and necessary to analyze the act as it is the attraction. In other words your turn was unsuccessful sir.
Lets also examine your other self proclaimed source turn:
Turn No. 2

Next, let's look at TheNation.com. This source writes: "No one this side of the rainbow flag is arguing that people choose the direction of their romantic and sexual desires in the way that someone might, say, choose between different brands of toothpaste. Desire happens unbidden."

P1. Desires are not chosen
P2. Homosexuality is a sexual desire for someone of the same sex
C1. Homosexuality is not chosen

You are equating two very different things here, actions and desire. Desire does not equal homosexuality. Sexual preference plus activity, is indeed equal to homosexuality. Sexual activity is a choice, therefore sexuality is at least partly a choice. You have also made the enormous mistake of assuming that "this source write's" means that this is the opinion of the site from where it was retrieved TheNation.com. It could not possibly be just the opinion of a contributor to the site right? I mean how would you explain the quotation mark's? I hope that it is understood this is sarcasm. Essentially what I am saying is that you cannot call a contributors opinion evidence of anything.
And --Presto! I have shown your research and sourcing methods are overwhelmingly flawed and are therefore invalid as the overall credibility is not just in question but obviously unreliable.

We should reject Cons hyperlinked sources because they have proven too unreliable as I have shown throughout this argument.
D. Food for Thought- I find it disturbing that you seem to be an intelligent person, but you think that this is equal to evidence:
"If people lived in a culture that castigated homosexuals for who they are, do you think they would come out as gay? Many people don't handle the social rejection well, and many want to keep those social and familial ties they risk losing when they come out. Yet, that doesn't stop them from coming out in such cultures. Really, if homosexuality were chosen, rational people in such close-minded societies would save themselves the pain and choose to be heterosexual instead. The fact that people come out as gay in those societies is thus evidence that homosexuality is not a choice."
The fact that people come out in countries or societies where homosexuality is forbidden, is far from evidence that sexuality is not a choice. It is not even close to evidence, it is not even close to professional opinion, it is simply your opinion, and it is not based on knowledge but on clear bias.
Conclusion: If during this debate one has decided homosexuality is even partly choice I have won this debate. If during this debate you were unable to prove that all ex-gay individuals are in denial and lying, I have won this debate. If during this debate you were unable to prove that homosexuality occurs in nature (in non-human animals), I have won this debate.
If during this debate you have failed to prove that biological factor exists, I have won this debate. If your most prominent sources have been proven inaccurate and lacking in credibility, I have won this debate.
I with all due respect to my opponent have won this debate, my opponent, although worthy, has failed to accomplish the impossible task of proving homosexuality is not a choice. The thousands of ex gays, and the lack of evidence for a genetic link are enough to establish beyond a doubt that sexuality is at least partly a choice. Even if one feels I did not "prove" my case; it is necessary to decide if my opponent proved his case, which I do not see as evident. When it comes down to it there is simply not comprehensive enough research with the necessary representativeness to answer some questions. In this case there is little question as to what the research does not show, it does not show a genetic link. It does show thousands of ex gays who claim(firsthand evidence)that they are now living as happy heterosexuals. (Choice)
Sources: Psychologist and Biologist James D. Weinrich
www.harvard.edu/docs/animalmyth.html
Behavior, genetics expert,Dr. Thomas Bouchard
Dr. Simon Levay-Geneticist
Nimmons, 1994,
Dr. Mark Breedlove, a researcher at the University of California at Berkeley
Debate Round No. 3
bsh1

Con

Thanks, TMC. Since Pro has failed to follow the structure of this debate (he was only supposed to defend his case, but he made remarks regarding mine) I will also alter my round's structure. I may put Pro's comments in italics.

ROUND TWO

A. Animals

Pro argues that we cannot assess exactly why animals engage in homosexual activity. I have two responses: (1) Pro gives us little evidence, and (2) we can make reasonable inferences. Pro claims that "most biologists" think that homosexual animals are just asserting dominance, but where is the evidence? He gives us no linked sources in this round, and without links, I cannot assess the quality and scope of the sources' claims. Consequently, such sources ought not to be evaluated. As to the second point, we can reasonably infer that at least some animals aren't doing it to assert dominance. Please refer back to the examples of "Rams" I cited earlier. They "form exclusively male-to-male pair bonds, forsaking all contact with the female ewes." If the rams were asserting dominance, presumably to win over females, why would they abandon all contact with ewes? It makes no sense. Logically, we can explain this behavior through homosexuality, but not through Pro's explanation.

As for the moral implications argument Pro advances, this is a bit absurd. Just because 1 or 2 animals do X, does not mean that X is normal for all species. Obviously, though, since homosexual exist in humanity, we can look at other species that display homosexual characteristics to learn more about ourselves. It is akin to deconstructing our evolutionary history--we can gain insights into our own behaviors through an analysis of related species. That's all I am suggesting in this argument--Pro is blowing my points way out of proportion.

Pro writes that "animals frequently confuse one sensation with another or one object with another." Let's rebut this notion with the example of dogs. Their olfactory sense is so powerful it can discriminate between minute variances in odor. [1] No dog is going to confuse me with my best friend, because it's amazing sense of smell will distinguish between the two of us. Pro also fails to relate some of his points here back to the resolution.

Regarding distinction, again, we can make reasonable inferences, and regarding science, my opponent's arguments are plagiarized from this source. [2] Pro has failed to properly cite this source (or to site it at all in the round in which he quoted it) and this constitutes a severe violation of conduct sufficient to allow votes on this debate, at least in my opinion. But, as to the argument itself, what Bouchard is saying is that as species develop, inherited traits may be heightened or suppressed within the species via non-genetic factors. This (a) does not mean that homosexuality isn't biological, (b) does not mean that homosexuality isn't influenced by genes, and (c) does not show that homosexuality is a choice. We can still use patterns found in animals to extrapolate, logically, whether homosexuality is a choice; if animals are homosexual, it is likely that humans who are also homosexual haven't chosen to be so.

B. Behavior

Pro simply claims that the presence of ex-gays refutes this point sufficiently. I have already addressed how unlikely it is that there are any true "ex-gays" out there, esp. as many "ex-gays" have admitted they were always gay, and esp. as many of the conversion center leaders have conceded that their programs fail. Frankly, Pro has done next to nothing to beat back the voluminous psychological evidence I've brought to the table in this debate.

C. Biology

I would point out that, since Pro provides no links, I cannot verify the accuracy, validity, or scope of any of the studies Pro cites. Linked sources should thus be viewed as more credible than unlinked sources.

The Rice et al study does implicitly suggest that XQ28 does have some effect on whether a person is gay or not, despite its conclusion that it did not have a large effect. Simon LeVay discussed what he did not find--simply because he did not find it does not mean that it does not exist. Moreover, both Rice, Breedlove, and LeVay focus wholly on genetics and brain centers, not on the other possible biological roots for homosexuality.

Pro then cites a study which shows that identical twins were 52% concordant regarding their orientation, versus only 22% among non-twin siblings. This is proof positive that genetic or in utero factors influence whether someone is homosexual or not. If twins are 30% more likely to be gay than non-twins (twins have identical genes and lived in identical conditions in the womb), then it is logical to assume biological factors are at play in determining orientation.

I find it funny that in round three Pro critiques my sources for being old, and of the seven studies/sources he cites up to this point, his most recent is from 1999--almost 16 years ago.

Regarding the Diamond evidence, I am not claiming that orientation is fixed--again, the fact that sexuality is fluid does not imply that sexuality is chosen.

Moreover, since Pro's evidence only focus on genetics, brain structure, and twin studies, his evidence does NOT rebut my arguments about epi-marks, chromosome linkage, pheromone-based sexual responses, and birth order. Extend all of these DROPPED points.

ROUND THREE

Con began this debate and therefore is responsible for proving without a doubt that homosexuality is NOT a choice

The instigator is not necessarily the one who bears the BOP, otherwise we could fall into such logical chasms as having to prove a negative. Logically and historically, the BOP rests on the individual making the positive claim. In this case, Pro is making the claim that "Homosexuality is a Choice." Therefore, the BOP certainly does rest on him. [3]

My opponent has attempted a...dishonesty [sic] tactic by listing his sources by numbering them 1-14(As if more sources is equal to a better argument). There is a fundamental problem with this as if one examines the list you will find that he has used the same source on several occasions and yet has given the same source different numbers to make it seem as if he had this huge number of sources when he in fact only had a few which I will further scrutinize.

My sources are numbered as they are not to make it seem as if I have many, but rather so that readers can know which source corresponds to which argument. If readers wish to know what source I am quoting in argument X, they need only refer to the bracketed number (e.g. [Z]) to see which source it is. Moreover, none of the links I provided in any round were duplicates. Each web page should be cited separately--this is standard not just on DDO, but also in such manuals as MLA Style Guide and Chicago-Turabian Style Guide.

Wikipedia is not a viable source

Wikipedia is about as accurate as the venerated Encyclopedia Britannica [4], and most errors are fixed by the community almost instantly.

As for the Harvard link which my opponent claims he has used to his benefit; he clearly did not look at the date of the information gathered (1985).

The only Harvard source I cite is from 2011, not 1985, so I have no clue what Pro's beef with it is. In fact, the Harvard source I cite was actually first used by Pro, so Pro must believe that it is a credible source. [5]

Sexuality is not just the act but the attraction, which means it is based on how we identify ourselves.

Homosexuality is attraction. I can identify as straight, but if I'm only attracted to guys, I'm homosexual. This definition is widely accepted, and can be independently verified in such reputable dictionaries as Merriam Webster and American Heritage. I think my opponent my be conflating gender identity with attraction; the two are not the same.

The APA (one of my opponents most heavily relied upon sources) is not a reliable source because the DSM has been proven to lack validity and credibility.

No list of medical disorders is ever going to be 100% comprehensive or correct. As our medical knowledge changes, the list will be refined. If we are holding the DSM to absolute accuracy, that would be a ridiculous standard. Moreover, what Pro's evidence is saying is that clinicians disagree on how to diagnose an illness--not about whether or not that illness exists. These types of disagreements are frequent in any medical field, and "tweaking" diagnostic criteria is hardly evidence of rampant inaccuracies or errors. By and large, the APA is a highly respected body who is looked to by the entire psychological community, and I see little reason to doubt it's findings. Besides, I have not cited the DSM, but have cited other analyses and studies from the APA. So, even if the DSM is faulty, how does it have any bearing on the evidence I presented?

There is some evidence for PREDISPOSITION, which is not the same as predeterminism.

If I am predisposed to something genetically, my choice is reduced. In fact, if I am sufficiently predisposed to something, non-chosen environmental factors could be the deciding factor; so, choice still could be absent.

Without both the act and the attraction there is no homosexuality...Desire does not equal homosexuality.

Homosexuality is just the attraction. [6, 7] I can be homosexual and a virgin. The first source then, is irrelevant to the debate, and the second source is turned.

Pro ignores the underlying logic I use in my "Food for Thought" section; extend my points.
.
TheMoralCompass2014

Pro

TheMoralCompass2014 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
41 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by bsh1 1 year ago
bsh1
Lolwut?
Posted by 16kadams 1 year ago
16kadams
That's reasonable. If someone told me being Puerto Rican was not due to genetics or epigenetics/something inborn I would get pretty angry, too.
Posted by bsh1 1 year ago
bsh1
Yeah...that'll be the last time.
Posted by 16kadams 1 year ago
16kadams
Yeah makes sense. But you're debating gay marriage with Zaroette! Haha
Posted by bsh1 1 year ago
bsh1
At any point. After my debate with Zarro, I really don't intend to debate about homosexuality ever again...it's just to personal and emotionally draining.
Posted by 16kadams 1 year ago
16kadams
About this (since... you know... a d!ck like me saying it isn't inborn is kind of bitchy...) or because you're in a lot of debates at this time

If it is about doing a debate right now as we speak yeah I don't want another one right now either, I am starting a few more soon XD
Posted by bsh1 1 year ago
bsh1
Yeah...I am not really interested in having another debate.
Posted by 16kadams 1 year ago
16kadams
Bsh we should debate a similar resolution sometime. But being gay isn't a choice, thats rubbish. But it isn't caused by genes. It is caused by environmental factors, with the genetic component being very modest to weak.
Posted by bsh1 2 years ago
bsh1
TMC, could you type "pass" or something in the final round so that we can hasten the closure of this debate? Thanks, man.
Posted by TheMoralCompass2014 2 years ago
TheMoralCompass2014
As am I.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by thett3 2 years ago
thett3
bsh1TheMoralCompass2014Tied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Plagiarism and a forfeit? Pro loses.
Vote Placed by Mikal 2 years ago
Mikal
bsh1TheMoralCompass2014Tied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro plagiarized and FFed, and with that most of his arguments are negated. Plagiarizing is bad pro, shame on you