Opinion: Sexual orientation is always a personal choice

By Adrian Maldonado

Sexual orientation is absolutely a choice.

Now this isn’t meant to be an attack on the LGBT community. I know people that identify as LGBT and hold them dear to me. But it’s time for me to own up to my beliefs.

Why do I believe this? It comes down to identity.

During the first few years of life, you are not pressured into finding your identity.

Sure there can be a few labels thrown around. The bully, the jock, the nerd, the chubby kid, the class clown, etc. But none of these are much more than that, labels.

Yet as you grow older, you are expected to find out who you are.

It’s then that you discover there is more to identity than the way an individual behaves. It’s based on your beliefs. It’s the way you process your emotions. It’s your self-image or self-esteem, and so much more. Self-identity is psychological.

Sexual orientation is what we use to measure and comprehend what we do or don’t like. It is more than just what we find pleasing aesthetically. It is an emotional bond you develop with another person, whether it be a man or woman.

We as people are wired to be social creatures. We love social connections and crave emotional intimacy. Because of this we are capable of forming deep emotional bonds with others outside of our sexual orientation. Once a person forms an emotional connection with someone, the possibility of a romantic relationship is there.

Even if it’s a 0.000001 percent chance of it happening, it exists.

We would just choose not to act on it if we didn’t find it morally correct or it doesn’t line up with our religious beliefs.

According to an article by the New Scientist, neuroscientists proposed a theory of individuals being born with “gay” genes. Meaning they were able to spot variations on a region of the X-chromosome between homosexual and heterosexual men. However, the article states that even if men had these genes, not all of them act on their impulses. This is why I believe sexual orientation comes down to personal choice.

While I have no ill will to the “Born This Way” mantra, I don’t see it as anything besides a slogan meant to sell T-shirts. We have free will.

I choose the food I eat, the literature I read, the clothes I wear, the people I hang out with, what I do with my time, what music I listen to and who I find sexually compatible, all because it’s my right to do so.

— Adrian Maldonado is a journalism major and a reporter

13 Comments

  1. Let me start by saying being gay is not a choice people make at least not from what I myself believe. How does one as a child act like the opposite sex and when their older decide? Yes society influences people like in music or clothing but one doesn’t choose to be bullied or mistreated either… it’s in the DNA, it’s the way the person acts and their demeanor that they choose to take in life that gets them through a tough time, but frankly being gay is something parents know from the start. You say you hold it dear to your heart yet you don’t seem to understand or want to accept the lifestyle. Just because someone is gay doesn’t automatically make them imperfect, from my understanding it’s not Christian like to judge people because what people do in their homes or in their life’s isn’t anyone’s else’s business but their own. It’s peope like you who make me realize why I love God just not a religion. People can’t help who they love and yes if it’s a male/male or women/women it’s is socially known as gay but to them it’s something natural that shouldn’t be considered a choice by someone who hasn’t walked in their shoes. Being gay IS NOT like choosing your food at McDonald’s because it’s a way of life for the ️‍ community.

  2. I read and reread article. It seems like your saying you’re not gay by choice. Good for you. The rest of your argument seems to be a thinly veiled condemnation of homosexuality. If you’re not judging, and you’re fine with It, and you accept those around you in the LGBT community, what’s the point of writing this? I smell a rat.

  3. Why would I choose not to “act” on being gay if that is what I am? Sexual orientation exists on a spectrum. Why would one see a sex act between two or more consenting adults as immoral? It may be personal choice as whether to have sex, or relationships with people, but if you are gay – you are gay whether or not you “act” on it. I invite response.

  4. The writer’s dear friends in the LGBT community should have a sit down with the writer and explain to him that while he’s entitled to an opinion it would be more valid if it had a foundation in facts. They will do a much better job than I could here.
    But I do have to say that the new “I believe it because I want to” paradigm has put us in the political predicament we currently find ourselves and should be challenged wherever it rises its often vacuous head.

  5. Also I think it is dangerous to hand out these blanket statements and irresponsible of you as a hopeful future journalist/ reporter. You need to think about how what you say in such a position may affect the lives of others.

  6. One of the fundamental problems (and it’s not the only one) with this piece is the statement in paragraph three, “During the first few years of life, you aren’t pressured into finding your identity.” There are a million articles, studies, researched examples and evidence of how our culture shapes identity long before we even understand the concept of choice.

    It’s easy to write a simplistic opinion piece and claim that one has the right to one’s opinion, but some opinions are wrong, meaning—proven, evidenced and factually untrue. As such, I encourage you as a student who studies in an environment where learning includes the exploration of facts and truths, as well as the development of strong opinions, to take advantage of it. Writing about what you think is fine, it’s just not all that matters, and it’s certainly not demonstrative of intellectual inquiry.

  7. The writer claims, “During the first few years of life, you are not pressured into finding your identity.” Has the writer, however, taken any courses in psychology, sociology, history, child development, or art, or at least done serious reading in these subjects? Not only are we pressured toward identity, we are given mixed messages about them from day one. Perhaps the writer and the editor don’t remember their parents buying them gender specific clothes and toys, or television which demanded they conform not only specific stereotypes, but the quickly align themselves into groups and personas, such as “The bully, the jock, the nerd, the chubby kid, the class clown, etc.” By middle school, the worst thing for a kid is not to be unpopular, but unknown, and so they try to find anything that will help them be part of something.
    It troubles me less that a student hold these opinions, than that a student pretends to be generous of spirit in presenting them, and willfully ignores and dismisses not only genetic science, but the subjects mentioned above. It also troubles me that the editors of an award winning paper continue to look at the first amendment through the lens which suits their own purposes.

  8. At its very best, this article clarifies the code-speak of would-be oppressors: ‘personal choice’ means one lives in denial or suppression of one’s genetic truth. Beyond this clarification, why would an institute of learning publish a condemnation which openly denies scientific knowledge and endangers an already vulnerable group of students?

  9. Adrian, it seems as though you are suggesting that you, personally, could choose to be gay or not. I find that interesting as I have never had the barest inkling that I was anything other than heterosexual. Likewise, I have many friends, colleagues, etc. who claim (entirely convincingly, I might add) that they have never experienced any heterosexual feelings; that they never felt as though they could choose to live heterosexually. But, I take the assertions in your editorial to mean that you have experienced both heterosexual and homosexual attractions. Thus, while I could not you could apparently choose to live gay, straight or bisexual.

    Certainly, I may have misinterpreted your editorial. But, that seems to be the crux of your writing.

  10. I would like an explanation as to why at least three people have told me they’ve commented on this article and it has not appeared. I find that a bit too convenient.

  11. As someone who is gay and grew up in the 70s/80s, I wish I would have known that I had a “choice” in my sexual orientation a long time ago. It would have saved me from being alienated by my friends and family, causing me to hide who I was for the greater portion of my life. God only knows how many jobs or promotions I didn’t get because I was different. It would have saved me from being treated like a second class citizen by my country for my entire life, at least until gay marriage became law (and even THAT continues to be a battle). And I continue to STILL have to be defending who I am against this sort of simplistic thinking because the privileged class can’t seem to understand that we’re not all the same as them.

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