Is It Possible To Stop Being Gay?

Is It Possible To Stop Being Gay?
gay sex

Is It Possible To Stop Being Gay?

Sexual reorientation is brought to polarize a crowd. Religious fundamentalists who believe homosexuality is a matter of choice think it obvious that homosexual persons can reverse their preferences.

The opposite camp considers that gay guys are born that way, and thus that sexual reorientation therapy isn’t effective, as well as cruel and demoralizing.

While the latter perspective is closer to the mark, the science of sexuality accepts a more measured stance. There are no verified cases of ex gay persons absolutely ridding themselves of same-gender attraction, but it does appear possible for some individuals who are predisposed to same-gender attraction to expand their sexual life – develop attractions for opposite-gender partners as well, and even opt for the opposite gender exclusively.

Heather Hoffmann, a professor of psychology who runs the neuroscience program at Knox College in Galesburg said he thought highly motivated persons could alter their behavior, and they could clearly alter their label. Hoffmann’s study focuses on the way that experiences and learning impact persons’ arousal patterns. She has displayed that sexual arousal is subject to Pavlovian conditioning, the method of repeatedly pairing one stimulus with another until, at last, the first triggers an expectation of the second.

Hoffmann’s research displays that both guys and girls can be conditioned to become sexually aroused by exposure to a cue, such as an object of odor. At the same time, persons can be conditioned by their life experiences, learning to become aroused by something or somebody ‘only after having a sexual experience with them,’ Hoffmann told in a February review paper in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Sexual experiences influence our arousal patterns by changing what activities or features of sexual partners arouse us, Hoffmann told. But can persons ever be conditioned to become aroused by members of their non-preferred sex? Hoffmann said there’s not an entire lot of information on this for people, but there are several animal researches that have displayed, both in females and males, that you can condition a preference for the non-preferred partner.

One experiment showed, male quails were hormonally changed so as to allow other sexually virgin male quails to have intercourse with them. After this learning experience, the latter group of quails maintained a sexual preference for guys, supposing that they were being sexually oriented through learning. Nevertheless, their presumed natural predilection for women wasn’t lost: Another experiment displayed it was much easier to reorient those male quails toward women through ‘reverse learning’ than it was to try and reorient men who had already had sex with women toward other guys. Other experiments suppose identical effects can occur in rats.

By conditioning the animals to prefer mates of their non-preferred gender, and then conditioning them to revert back, the study-goers displayed that the animals’ sexual preferences were somewhat fluid. People might not be so malleable – other experiments display conditioning typically works better and quicker for animals than it does for persons – but if to believe Hoffmann, some of us might be. There’s explanation to consider girls’ sexual preferences, in particular, can alter in response to an experience with a member of their non-preferred gender.

Unlike guys, who are commonly sexually oriented solely toward girls or guys, and whose sexuality is essentially fixed from puberty on, a decade of study by University of Utah psychologist Lisa Diamond and her colleagues display girls have bigger erotic plasticity. Their sexual orientation can be formed by cultural impacts, changed by negative or positive experiences and intensified by feelings of attachment and love. As Diamond said in January in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, girls’ sexual fluidity may emerge from the finding that, across the board, they are sexually aroused by pictures of both guys and girls (whereas guys are typically aroused only by members of their preferred gender).

Their erotic plasticity may give an excuse why girls with same-gender preferences report better success adjusting to straight lifestyles than homosexual guys do. By switching to a heterosexual identity doesn’t rid them of their ex attractions. Hoffmann said of Diamond’s study that Lisa discovered sexual fluidity is more of a broadening of your preference pattern rather than an erasing of your unique pattern. She considers guys may have this capacity too, but she thinks it may be more prominent in girls.

Lastly, homosexual guys aren’t actually born that way in the sense of having same-gender attractions from the moment of birth. Sexual orientation cements around puberty, and if to believe to Gerulf Reiger, a sexual orientation researcher at Cornell University, it’s rather possible that there are a few impacts on forming a gay orientation. Genes actually can contribute, but so do other factors, including a fetus’ level of exposure to particular sex hormones in the womb, and possibly early life experiences.

The impact of genes can’t be changed, but what about the other factors? Lee Beckstead, Utah-based sexual orientation therapist, said in a February report paper in the Archives of Sexual Behavior that more information is needed to identify if attractions and limits that were established prenatally or during critical development periods can be altered or extinguished.

It’s currently unknown whether some combination of Pavlovian conditioning, learning processes and even hormone therapies could enable truly motivated persons with a same-gender predisposition to adapt to straight lifestyles, whether for religious, individual or cultural reasons.
But keeping in mind that very few researchers see homosexuality as a problem needing fixing, will these clinical reorientation therapies ever be developed? Beckstead noticed, that our best attempts may not be in trying to alter possibly immutable aspects of sexuality but in attempt of reducing the misunderstanding, hostility and discrimination that exist within non-straight people and their social situations.


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