Homosexuals become heterosexual. Heterosexuals become homosexual. Both become bisexual. Sometimes people go back and forth between all three. It is CERTAIN that someone who is born to the male gender is male; someone born female is female. One might "choose" to socially and or physically change their gender, but it is a choice nonetheless.
I find con's supporting headline to be very interesting - because it stipulates a no absolutes, hypothetical answer. This was, in turn, utilized to substantiate a "No" vote, which is an absolute answer.
If Science is inconclusive, and it alone seems to hold the final answer for this question (as Con postulates), then Con is bound to the very notion they are sustaining, and CANNOT answer any absolute for the question. What does this mean? It means that Con has answered the question from personal bias, even though they tried to use a scientific approach to make their case.
I believe sexual orientation can be a choice. I do not believe that people are born gay, and with the lack of scientific evidence to absolutely prove the fact, I'm clearly in a logical and valid state to make such a claim. As a matter of fact, since I can state this confidently, based upon what I know is apparent in our design, anyone opposed is forced to prescribe to my world view, unless they can with absolute affirmation proving my theory is wrong when making their argument.
I think certain environments, experiences in life, relationships, etc., contribute to a person's sexual orientation, but ultimately it's their choice. Orientation eventually leads to action. Also, there is evidence of reverting sexual orientation.
Biologically speaking, it's really apparent how we are designed to function as males and females - dependent on our anatomy. If one were to prescribe to the Evolutionary hypothesis of our existence, one quickly realizes, this falls through, because rampant homosexual orientation and practice contributes absolutely nothing for the betterment of society as a whole - and does not possess the means to contribute to society with people by way of procreation. Furthermore, with the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases within the homosexual community, it would appear that the lifestyle makes it contradictory to the notion of, "Survival of the fittest."
Even Camille Anna Paglia, American Teacher, social critic, lesbian, feminist, and professor at the University of Arts in Philadelphia, PA, is noted for stating the following:
"Homosexuality is not 'normal'. On the contrary, it is a challenge to the norm; therein rests its eternally revolutionary character Queer theorists-that wizened crew of flimflamming free loaders- have tried to take the post structuralist tack of claiming that there is no norm, since everything is relative and contingent. This is the kind of silly bind that word-obsessed people get into when they are deaf, dumb, and blind to the outside world. Nature exists, whether academics like it or not. And in nature, procreation is the single, relentless rule. That is the norm. Our sexual bodies were designed for reproduction. Penis fits vagina, no fancy linguistic game-playing can change that biological fact."
And, "I used to feel that the old psychoanalytic model was inadequate in describing the origins of homosexuality as, essentially, arrested development. But it was true that all my gay male friends had powerful, dominating mothers in the prototypical style."
Nature is probably the most grey picture there is.
You can never assume every person is the same for anything, this includes personality and how personality can change, same with sexual orientation, you can't assert all people have preset sexual orientation.
So to conclude, Maybe this, Maybe that, some people end up pushing away from one gender and on to another, some enjoy both genders, there's no certainty about it.
The science on whether sexual orientation is a choice or not is inconclusive. There is evidence for genetic factors and for influence from in utero hormones. However, no study has been able to show that this accounts for 100% of sexual orientation.
There are many things that are obviously choices or at least chooseable if one were to decide to change, such as religion or political beliefs. And these show correlations with certain genes. That doesn't mean people can't make choices about religious or political beliefs. That means there are inborn factors that will strongly sway a person one way or the other but without overriding choice. We know that because people change religious and political beliefs all the time.
I am not saying that sexual orientation is a choice just that if we are honest we admit that research is inconclusive.
To understand these things you have to read the whole article rather than just the title. Many articles will say "Sexual Orientation develops in utero" or something along those lines when really all the evidence shows is that factors that influence (or even just correlate with) sexual orientation were discovered in the womb. But if it doesn't add up to causing that effect 100% of the time it doesn't prove it's not a choice.
It's also possible that it could even be different for different people. Maybe some people could change to a different sexual orientation if they wanted to and others are unable to do so.
One area of research I'm surprised I haven't heard scientists investigate is monks who involve themselves in heavy meditation. Science has already shown that with enough meditative training one can go into "loving kindness" meditation and chemical changes associated with empathy and a generally positive state of mind are seen on brain scans while the monks meditate.
Since celibacy is sometimes seen as a religious goal it's likely there are monks out there who meditate their sexual desires away or believe that they do. I'm surprised scientists aren't hooking them up to equipment measuring arousal to see if the monks have truly squelched sexual desire. If they have then they have chosen their sexual orientation, they have successfully made themselves asexual. Which would mean it is a choice, at least potentially, even if choosing your sexual orientation would take years of intense meditation that wouldn't be worth it to most people.
There is no certainty about sexual orientation. In fact, most scientists are leaning more towards the opposite claim: sexual orientation is inherent and is not chosen. I guess some people can experience slight instability of their sexual orientation but generally, it is not something people can vacillate at will. (Part of the curriculum of AP Psychology)
Look for the most part, people grow and at some point you realize who are and who you aren't attracted to. The vast majority of people's sexual orientation is static, unchanging. I know that to be true for myself. There has been some recent research being done on sex chromosomes that suggests on chromosome X there may be something that influences sexual orientation.
From my experience i know the following to be true: gender identity, sexual orientation, masculinity/femininity/etc. Is NOT a choice. For those who make it a choice are either going against their natural urges or they may simply have a lack of urge. At the end of the day it really doesn't matter, and if you think i chose my sexual orientation you are free to give me a polygraph test any day.
Both epi-genetics and brain scans show that it is not a choice, that a person is born bi, gay, or trans. There is evidence for it not being a choice and no evidence for it actually being a choice. You can choose not to act upon your sexuality, but you cannot choose to have a different one. Someone that is gay can appear to be either be gay or asexual, same with people that are straight. People that are bi can appear to be straight, bi, gay, or asexual.
Personally, it makes more sense to me that sexuality is something that one is born with. Being able to pick and choose a sexuality, on the whole, does not make sense when you compare the concept to the real world. I'll outline key things to think about below.
1.) At no point in life do we decide whether or not we'd like to be attracted to females or males.
We do not get a selection process like those found in games, at no point in life do we get to pick who we're attracted too nor their gender. Taking from real life experience, you'd most likely discover what your sexuality is around the same time your body develops sexually (For some people, it may be as soon as 10 years old.) If you don't feel attracted to the opposite gender but feel attracted to the same gender, at what point would you have made that choice to be gay or straight? Attraction is something felt, not forced.
2.) If the changing of orientation was something choose-able, why do many gay people kill themselves?
Such extremes would not be resorted to if there was a way out. In a nutshell, it would seem that some gay people don't want to be gay and try to change it. The only explanation, to me, is that the person either was bullied and tormented for something they have no control over, or tried to change themselves to be straight and realized they could not. This leads me to number 3.
3.) Any attempt to change someone from being 100% gay to straight has ultimately failed.
There was a religious-funded program that claimed to help gay people "find their way" into being straight. I can't remember the name of the group or program for the life of me, but I do recall that the group confessed fraudulence, and confessed that not a single person in the program was converted from gay to straight. The feeling of being a homosexual never left the people being "treated."
So, in a nutshell, this is what makes the most sense to me in terms of reality. Of course, there is always a chance that I could be wrong, but there is always a change I could be right. Until there is solid evidence (which there probably is, somewhere), we must take it upon ourselves to formulate our own conclusions.