Friday, November 6, 2009

What Makes Someone a Lesbian?

Question: What Makes Someone a Lesbian?
There are no definite conclusions as to what makes a woman a lesbian. But there are a lot of different ideas about the causes of sexual orientation, some of which come from lesbians themselves.

 If someone were to ask you why you are the sexual orientation you are, what would you say? Recently, a lesbian dating site asked its members just that question. Though this was an informal survey, made up of a self-selected group of people, the results are telling.
"More than 60% believe they were born lesbian or bi-sexual and only 6% attribute their sexuality to upbringing or a life event. Seven percent said their sexuality was a conscious choice. A fifth of respondents opted for a middle ground, attributing their sexuality to a combination of nature, nurture and choice."
This was not a scientifically vetted study. But it is still an interesting contribution to our understanding of woman and sexual orientation. And a needed one. Most studies on sexual orientation have been done on men and then applied to women. So it is always good to see more female specific information on this topic.
There are many different components that go into making people gay, lesbian, heterosexual or bi.
There is growing evidence that sexual orientation must be due to a combination of factors as it is too complex to simply be the product of a single factor like a gene, or a past experince, or how someone was raised. For example, all you need to do to refute the idea that parenting style determines sexual orientation is to point out that the majority of GLB people have straight parents!
The bottom line is, whatever the cause, you can't "turn" someone into a lesbian and you can't change your sexual orientation. We are who we are, and hopefully, that is something we will be able to feel comfortable with and appreciate.