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Valentino Research Paper: Why Do People Have Different Sexualities?

What is it that gives different people different sexualities? Is it because of religion? Or, better yet, the lack there of? Is it the way we grow up and our outside influences? Is it just in our genetics as some scientists believe? Is it just a ‘teenage fad’? Just a new way to be different? But, if it is just a teenage fad, then why are there those full grown adults who are homosexual, bisexual, transvestite, transsexual, transgender, or even pansexual? There are many different theories about why people have different sexualities, though there is one thing for certain. No one knows for sure what determines the sexual orientation of a person. Some researchers believe that it is the way that the individual is born, however others believe that it develops in adolescence, and that it isn’t a conscious choice. Yet there are still those who say that the people who are different choose to be such. The monumental amount of controversy caused by these conflicting ideas has spawned many disputes throughout the years.

Today’s society has not changed much in the past century at least when it comes to the common gender stereotypes that seem to be the same no matter where a person looks. In the book Influences on Sexuality: Understanding Their Effects by Judith Peacock she tells of the common personality traits and physical traits that are said to be the norm. She says that personality-wise males are typically supposed to be self-confident, aggressive, and decisive while females tend to be seen as willing to please, gentle, and understanding. Physically males are tall, broad-shouldered, and muscular and then females are small and graceful.

The female stereotypes are continually being challenged by this generation’s youth. Girls are becoming more outspoken, participating in what are known as boy’s sports, some are even tending to have shorter tempers and just plain more violent in general. One such real-life example is Sylvia. When I personally interviewed Sylvia her responses were as follows:
Q: What is your sexuality?
A: Bisexual.
Q: When did you discover you felt differently than what was considered the normal way to feel about people?
A: I realized in 7th grade but kept it a secret until the end of 9th grade.
Q: Did you tell anyone? If so, who did you tell and how did they react?
A: Yes, my best friend was the first to know. She didn’t mind at all but some people that figured it out felt differently about it.
Q: When did you experience your first ‘abnormal’ relationship?
A: 8th grade year I dated my friend Justine that went to East Detroit.
Q: Did you ever tell your parents?
A: No! They’d kill me…
Q: Would you ever go totally public about one of your relationships?
A: Of course, I’m not ashamed of who I date, if people want to talk s*** let them! When they do all they got to know is their playing a game with their lives.
Q: What are some of your personality traits?
A: I can be evil or nice if I want to be… and I don’t take s*** from anybody.


Sylvia, who is believe it or not a cheerleader, tends to be drawn to expressing herself through violence. I know this from personally witnessing multiple instances of her displaying this type of behavior. Now, obviously Sylvia does not in any way follow the stereotypical personality traits that we expect from the girls in our society. She actually seems to behave more in the manner that we see as normal behavior to be shown by a boy in today’s day and age. But even still, with her attitude she still looks typically feminine. She has the American sweetheart long blonde hair with pretty facial features and she is of average height. Normally from someone of her caliber people would expect her to look like a so-called “he-she” that is 6 foot tall and appears to be “butch.”

But why do people seem to shy away from those people who choose to be different and to be open about the fact? I have interviewed 11 of my friends including Sylvia, of which 6 are heterosexual, also known as “straight.” Out of the other 5 one asked to not be mentioned and another asked to be mentioned anonymously. The straight people that I interviewed all said that they had no problem with those who have different sexualities and all of them even have friends who are. The one girl who asked to be used anonymously is open about herself to her friend but not to her parents, as are most people. Her interview is as follows:

Q: What is your sexuality?
A: Bisexual
Q: When did you discover you felt differently than what was considered the normal way to feel about people?
A: I found out that I felt different not too long ago, maybe about a year ago.
Q: Did you tell anyone? If so, who did you tell and how did they react?
A: Yes, I told John (current boyfriend) first, and he told me it was okay and it in no way affected our friendship.
Q: Did you ever tell your parents?
A: No, I haven’t told my parents yet because I feel they wouldn’t accept it.
Q: Would you ever go totally public about one of your relationships?
A: Of course, just because I’m bisexual doesn’t mean I would act any differently if I was dating a girl.


Now, as we can tell Miss Anonymous has the same basic feelings as Sylvia does about whether or not she should tell her parents and about how she would act if she were in a same sex relationship but she does not even come close to equaling the level of Sylvia’s violent tendencies. This shows that the preconceived notion that all gays or bisexuals are violent and aggressive is wrong and a completely irrelevant thing to consider when choosing your friends. Yet many people do not even let this cross their minds. One such person is my straight friend, James. I interviewed him as well, and his interview was as follows:

Q: How do you feel about people who have different sexualities than your own?
A: Don’t care.
Q: Do you have any homosexual or bisexual friends?
A: Yes.
Q: What do you personally believe is the reason for why people have different sexualities?
A: Because people like different things.


As you can tell, James has none of the common prejudices that most people do… in fact, James does not seem to have any feelings about the issue at all. He remains unaffected by all of the sexual slurs thrown at his many friends whose lives revolve largely around this controversial issue. He is one of a very few amount of people who feel this way.

Another friend of mine who is “different” is my friend Shelby. I interviewed her as well. Her interview went like this:

Q: What is your sexuality?
A: Bisexual
Q: When did you discover you felt differently than what was considered the normal way to feel about people?
A: Uh, second grade.
Q: Did you tell anyone? If so, who did you tell and how did they react?
A: Uh, not at first I just recently did and they didn’t mind.
Q: When did you experience your first ‘abnormal’ relationship?
A: Second grade
Q: Did you ever tell your parents?
A: Hell naw!
Q: Would you ever go totally public about one of your relationships?
A: If I was out to my parents then yes I would.


One thing that all of the bisexuals have in common is that none of them have told their parents and don’t really even want to do so. All of them either say that their parents would kill them or they use profanity in their response. So it seems that factoring in the parental issue is a huge milestone for many bisexuals.



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This article has 4 comments. Post your own!

iScareBear said...
Dec. 16, 2009 at 9:41 am:
Thank you everyone for your imput... I was confused about my sexuality at the time of writing this so that is how it came to be... I have now discovered that I am gay and I am proud of it!
 
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Ambrosia H. said...
Jul. 1, 2009 at 6:59 am:
I'm "strait" but way to go!!! I went to a gay parade once and it's fun to be with different people.
 
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pinksage33 said...
Jul. 1, 2009 at 1:05 am:
Great article.
 
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Fangz said...
Jun. 16, 2009 at 1:20 pm:
Its nice to see that the sexuality issue is important to other teenagers. I myself am intersexual, though I typically date women, and I am currently looking to find an organization that protests the surgical intervention of doctors on behalf of infants born with ambiguous genitalia. If anyone knows of any such group, please let me know.
 
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