Theres a notion that ones sexuality is an inherent element of ones biology. Among certain segments of the population, this biological conception of sexuality is quite popular; Oprah, for example, has espoused this notion. To an extent, the Catholic Church also accepts this idea. It is particularly popular among many people pushing for gay rights at this time. From this idea, one can draw the conclusion that a persons sexuality is set in stone by the accident of ones genes, with the corollary that environment does little to affect ones sexuality. I am skeptical of this idea. I dont think that sexuality is one hundred percent dictated by biology. I can point to instances of situational homosexual behavior that seem to override the default heterosexuality of the participants. Single sex relations in prison and experimentation among young adults come readily to mind. Furthermore, Ive seen psychological research, although I cant immediately cite it, that suggests that female homosexual behavior occurs, in some instances, due to social pressure. Furthermore there plenty of women who have entered homosexual relationships after many years of dating, or being married to, men. This is not to say that I do not think that biology plays a role in determining sexuality, merely that I dont necessarily think it hold sovereignty over the subject all of the time. My difficulty comes in that I am a liberal / progressive supporter of gay rights and other supporters of gay rights generally reject the notion that sexuality is anything but a biological mandate. To complicate matters, many people who oppose equality for homosexuals seem to subscribe to the notion that sexuality is determined, at least in part, by ones environment and choices. Biases in the front: My academic training was in sociology, a discipline which assumes that most human behavior is affected by social circumstances. This has almost certainly colored my perception of the topic. What do you think of the subject? Heres some discussion points to get this started. What if sexuality was not all biologically influenced? How would that change the perception of homo- and heterosexuals, debates regarding homosexual rights, gay culture, and sexuality in general? Is there a place in liberal / progressive discussions of homosexual issues for the idea that sexuality is not 100% determined by biology? Is the formation of sexuality even important when discussing homosexuals in society? Is it easier to push for and advance gay rights if sexuality is viewed as a biological attribute? Previous civil rights movements for racial and gender equality had as their subjects people who were clearly physiological different from white men, ie people who couldnt choose not to be black or female. Does promulgating the idea that sexuality is an innate biological trait help to garner sympathy for homosexuals because it means people cant choose to be gay?