orientation is one of the most controversial subjects in the world today.
Sexual orientation refers to the emotional, romantic, and physical attraction
from one person to another. Heterosexuality, which refers to the romantic
attraction between two people of opposite sex, was the only form of sexual
orientation acceptable to society for a long time. The emergence of
homosexuality, sexual relationship between same sex members, was received with
mixed reactions, with some groups welcoming the changes and others condemning them.
Bisexuality is another prevalent form of sexual orientation, it refers to
individuals that fall in-between heterosexuals and homosexuals (Pascoe, 2007). Judgment on homosexuals,
bisexuals, and other members of LBQT+ are
shamed and prevented from living true to themselves. Sometimes, it is extremely
difficult for parents and family to understand their children’s sexual
orientation, and along with society reject their sexual orientation preference.
Therefore, it is critical to evaluate the key factors that affect a person’s
sexual orientation to shed more light on this phenomenon.
factors influence an individual’s sexual orientation. To begin, it covers the
biological aspects of the human body. Scientific research indicates that the
brain and hormonal balances have major influence on a person’s sexuality.
Research done on homosexuals and heterosexuals indicate varying sizes of the
hypothalamus gland, which affects the amount of hormones released in the body.
Consequently, there is an adoption of different sexual orientations between the
two groups. Moreover, scientific evidence also shows a variation in the number
of chromosomes among individuals that display distinctions in their sexuality
behavior. Since these biological features dictate the normal functioning of the
body, it means that sexual orientation is uncontrollable like other aspects of
skin color and height.
various environmental factors have a direct influence on sexual orientation. To
understand the effects of the internal and external forces on sexuality, it is
important to understand the queer theory. According to this model, the society
is heterosexually biased, most people are against gays, lesbians, bisexuals,
and transsexuals in the community leading to the victimization of these groups
of people (Raymond, 2013). Besides, queer theory posits that homosexuality
develops as a result of different constructs in the society, and it is
important to evaluate these issues instead of concentrating on the biological issues
affecting sexuality. Queer theory discredits the heterosexual bias, which
emphasizes that homosexuality is wrong and should be abolished, and embraces a
broader outlook on sexual orientation.
media has a big impact on sexual orientation especially among the youth, it is
an important socialization tool. Messages released through mass media reach a
huge population of people as the average American citizens spends a lot of
their time watching televisions, and movies and other entertainment sites.
There is a high rate of incorporation of sexually explicit materials in mass
media channels including the Internet, music videos, music lyrics, video games,
and television programs. The sexual content may favor either heterosexual or
homosexual relationships which will most likely influences the perception of
people on preferred sexual orientation. For example, pornographic movies
showing gay or lesbian sex increases the curiosity for same-sexual
relationships among single and married couples. Besides, movies like Will and
Grace, which focuses on gay couples, depicts homosexual relationships as loving
and enjoyable for all the parties (Raymond, 2013).
Previously, discrimination against homosexuals by indicating that such
sexual behavior leads to spread of HIV/Aids, or increases family conflict
deterred people from adopting homosexuality, while the gay and lesbians lived
in secret out of fear (Raymond, 2013). Undoubtedly, mass media messages have
led to the promotion and acceptance of different sexual orientations, as seen
from the changing mindset about homosexual relationships and increasing same
models are another crucial group of socializing agents that affect sexual
orientation (McLorg & Taub, 1992). According to the
social identification theory, people identify themselves with important
individuals in the society, hence the decision to adopt the behavior of notable
characters in the world or the media. For instance, the average American girls
are slowly gravitating towards slim bodies to look like the world famous models
(McLorg & Taub, 1992). Similarly,
individuals that identify themselves with gay or lesbian movie characters are
more open to homosexuality. It is important to note the presence of successful
corporate managers that have different sexual orientations; they also influence
the sexual behavior of the admiring parties.
it is vital to recognize the impact of peer pressure on sexual orientation.
Pascoe’s study analysis shows that people are highly concerned about the
opinions of their colleagues, and also tend to emulate their behaviors. During
sexual talks, men and women share their sexual exploits or intentions to get
intimate with their partners with the aim of getting approval or recognition
from their friends (Pascoe, 2007). Although some of the sexual tales are
exaggerated or fiction in nature, they may affect the sexual orientation of the
audience. Due to peer pressure, heterosexuality has become compulsory in most
of the high schools in America, and everybody tries to fit-in the club. For
example, some students are begin working out and trying new things to attract
female attention, while others suffer silently when they are alienated for
their strange sexual behavior (Pascoe, 2007). In extreme cases, pressure to conform
to particular sexual orientation may lead to more problems like suicide and
is another important aspect of consideration in sexual orientation, it affects
all the key areas of a person’s life. Here, culture refers to the values,
beliefs, norms, religion, race, and religion, and attitude of people living in
close proximity. Over the years, there has been a significant change in the
society’s attitude towards sex (Kilbourne, 2017).Previously, sex was a sacred act
between married people of the opposite sex, and it was important for people to
remain pure until their weddings. However, with the rise of mass media, the
society has altered its perception on sexual relations outside marriage, and it
almost seems like virginity is frowned upon in some areas. Moreover, there has
been an alteration in the attitude towards homosexual relationships, the
society has increasingly accepted gay and lesbian couples, and these
individuals have the same rights as heterosexuals (Raymond, 2013). At the same time, some religions have
also incorporated same-sex marriages, while others remain strongly opposed
against homosexuals. Therefore, people living in a community where everybody
has the independence to select their sexual orientation, can opt for
heterosexual or homosexual associations depending on their feelings. On the
other hand, a culture against homosexuality forces the people to conform to the
traditional heterosexual relations.
the cognitive development plays an integral role on sexual orientation. At each
development stage in life, people become more knowledgeable and this is
reflected in their daily activities. Cognitive development leads to gender
identity, where a person can determine if he is a woman or male depending on
their bodily feelings, and other environmental issues affecting gender identity
(Pascoe, 2007). Moreover, cognitive capacity helps
people to distinguish between good and bad mass media messages or peer
influence, and carefully select the aspects to integrate in one’s life. For
example, individuals that believe that homosexuality is evil make the conscious
choice to pursue heterosexual relationships. Besides, cognition also affects
the attitude and beliefs of people towards homosexuals, which in turn
determines whether the sexual behavior is accepted or rejected in different
societies. Note that people with different mental capabilities view the same
things differently. For example, some people will conform to the new image
depicting women as sexual objects, while some women are against such thoughts
and their behavior is a true indicator of their prowess and abilities.
Therefore, it is imperative to note that cognition largely affects sexual
orientation decisions among people.
discussion above highlights critical information on viewpoints of sexual
orientation. There has been a gradual acceptance of homosexuality in the
society, as people let go of the heterosexual bias that put a limit to sexual
independence many years ago (Yarber, 2010). Moreover, the advancement of sexuality
research in the modern world today has led to the discovery of the role of
biological factors on sexual orientation. Environmental factors are another
determinant of sexual orientation, and there is a close interrelationship
between these factors. Cognitive development is a very important aspect of
sexual orientation, as it determines the extent to which a person allows nature
and social environmental factors to influence their sexuality. It is imperative
to continue engaging in research and dialogue about sexual orientation to
create a better society, and ensure every human being enjoys their own happiness.