Malleability of Sexual Orientation

The malleability of sexual orientation has always interested me…

Holden on Everything

I wrote a while back in a speculative post on the nature of human sexuality. I used the metaphor of language.  You could always learn to speak other languages but your first would always be latent.  This metaphor matched what I witnessed growing up.   Two different friends were straight, bi-sexual, then became exclusively gay.  It was a slow process spanning about eight years each.  When I wrote that post I had no idea that research had been done.

The University of North Carolina’s National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health surveyed 10,000 teenagers and found that the vast majority of sixteen-year olds who reported only same-sex sexual attractions reported only opposite-sex sexual attractions one year later.*

It is not surprising.  I think that over time one’s sexual identity becomes tightly intertwined with their self-image and becomes difficult to alter — difficult but not impossible if one so desires.

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2 thoughts on “Malleability of Sexual Orientation

  1. Al Chaudhri says:

    Intriguing question that I have pondered myself and if not careful plays right into the fears of the religious conservatives or fanatics. I don’t think you can be converted to be gay, straight or bisexual. If you are straight or gay, temptation from the other side might cause you to check it out but ultimately you will be back on your side. But if you are born bisexual, then you tend to drift from one side to the other. The danger in this is if one starts believing and promoting that sexual orientation is based on environmental influences, then the religious right and the naturist have a valid fear of the gay lifestyle. Because biologically being gay does not support species growth and diversification. So if theoretically if a lot of people “turned” exclusively gay, then there would be socially collapse because of lack of growth and the eventual demise of that society. But I don’t believe one can be converted nor environment cause one to become gay after birth.

    There is an intriguing sub-idea to this one; in some frogs, the sex of the animals can spontaneously change to control population growth. Could this happen in humans?

  2. Morgan says:

    I totally agree. As a jock in HS made what would now be called homophobic jokes with others in the locker room. I was not attracted to men. But just 5 years later I had a same sex encounter. Now 20 years later I consider and coined myself “heteroflexible”, preferring women but at various points had relationships with men. In that last 10 years I’ve been crossdressing.

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