Okay, so I always get a bit grumpy about the nature/nurture debate. It seems entirely obvious to me (not the most scientific method I know, but I don’t understand how it could be otherwise) that genetics plays a huge part in creating the starting (and sometimes continuing) conditions of our lives. That is exactly what it is there for (not to be teleological about it, but that’s how it works, genes pass on traits that may or may not help our survival chances, those traits then play out in our day to day life.
And this is the important part, and it’s related to an old credo/proved/truism, and that is that no plan survives contact with the real world. No matter how much planning is laid out, as soon as the grand mess that we call the outside world comes into contact with something…it gets changed. You are set in one direction, and then life pushes, pulls and pummels you into a million and one different directions.
Your starting conditions still have a huge effect, but it’s not concrete, and, particularly once brain power, reasoning and learning come into it, there’s room to change and be new and different.
That just seems so patently obvious to me that I can’t believe there’s arguments about it.
Except for the fact that people want to push their views on other people, and need pseudo-scientific sounding jargon to ram their opinions down your throat with.
Let’s look at what raised my ire.
The sexpot adventurer Captain Jack, and the one under his skin(apparently as fond as me of unnecessarily displaying genitalia to ease awkward social situatiuons….or something (definitely another story)) John Barrowman.
It’s a fine interview, the man oozes charisma and arrogance, and I like that. He’s also very matter of fact, straight forward and honest.
But that’s not the point, the point is this TV show discussing the whole nature/nurture relationship and the ensuing caveat, the potential ‘ramification’ that:
if the conclusion is that homosexuality is a choice, learned behaviour or the result of a particular experience at a certain time, does that mean that gay people can choose again, or unlearn their preferences?
Oh it gets my goat.
See, it’s this idea that there’s a conclusion to be made from a discovery either way. I mean, I doubt any conclusion would be conclusive, but assuming it was discovered that some life event ‘made’ him gay, why does that make his sexuality less valid. Why dos something have to be innate in order to be ‘natural’ and hence, not wrong?
Not sure if I’m getting this across right, but what I’m saying is that it doesn’t matter if someone’s personality is born or made, it’s still them.
We are the result of a billion years of evolution (or however many it is) AND the result of our lives. Choices made, by us and around us.
We have agency, and we are responsible for that. But we shouldn’t hide behind excuses or plant blame on people for being what and who they are and have become.
I mean, we should probably blame people for becoming murderers, but then, we should also help them to overcome whatever that is.
But the same logic can’t be applied to sexuality. Norms and morality start colliding and I start getting frustrated.
I really have stopped making sense now, but its mostly because I’m eating.
Anyone have any thoughts?