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Does Sexual Preference Influence Love?

To understand some of what’s involved here let’s first take a look at a few important questions and some possible, or probable, answers that have to do with sexual preference.  Then we will apply that knowledge to love.

Question 1. What causes people to have different sexual preferences?

Answer: The preponderance of scientific evidence points to all sexual preferences – homosexuality, bisexuality, heterosexuality, transsexuality, etc. as primarily being biologically predisposed, probably before birth.  There is considerable scientific evidence which shows that atypical gender identity development is influenced by variations in prenatal hormonal and neurochemical factors, which also influence the incidence of left-handedness and finger ratio measurements concordant with sexual preference development.  Furthermore, there are anatomical brain differences, especially in the central subdivision of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, a brain area vital to varying sexual behavior tendencies.  Then there are the genetic influences illustrated by sexual preference inheritability being high among monozygotic twins, and less strong but also high among fraternal twins.  Whatever your sexual inclination you were probably predisposed toward that inclination biologically, probably before birth according to the preponderance of the most recent scientific research.

Question 2. What is some of the other evidence that tells us biological predisposition is causal?

Answer: First, brain studies show a number of different parts of the brain of homosexuals, bisexuals, heterosexuals and transsexuals tend to be different from each another.  Especially different are the parts of the brain known as the corpus callosum, medial pre-optic nucleus and the hypothalamus.  Brain chemistry also is somewhat different.
Second, over many decades hundreds of well conducted, psychological studies have been done trying to discover the psychological cause of homosexuality, and no psychological cause has ever been discovered and substantiated by replicated research.  A number of newer theories still are under investigation but so far nothing definitive can be said to have been discovered.
Third, about 10% of most mammals exhibit homosexual preference and another 15 to 20% exhibit bisexual behavior.  Many bird species show similar results.  Bisexual behavior is extremely common among some mammal species like the bonobo apes.  There also are brain differences in various homosexual, bisexual and heterosexual animals.  By the way, some researchers think there is evidence to support the contention that bisexuality is on the rise, especially among human females.  Furthermore, there is some evidence to suggest that all people are at least a little bit bisexual.

Question 3. Why do different sexual preferences exist in nature?

Answer: Nature is all about variety and keeping its options open.  We never know when a variation will turn out to help a species survive or advance in its development; for instance the bisexuality of bonobo apes seems to have contributed greatly to solving the problem of violence within that species.  Bonobos when faced with conflict literally ‘make love not war’.  Inter-species aggression so common among baboons, chimpanzees and humans is virtually nonexistent among bonobos, who are the most sexual and the most bisexual of us, who are classed as primates.
It also is to be noted that there are species that change gender, being female for a while, then male for a while, and being heterosexual part of their life, and homosexual another part of their life.  Likewise, there are species that are both genders simultaneously.  Furthermore, there is some evidence among humans that in times of war and other great stressors women give birth to more ‘bisexual and homosexual to be’ children who are then thought to become more tolerant, flexible, harmonious and generally peaceful in their adulthood than is average among heterosexuals.  Homosexuals and bisexuals also are thought to give higher than average child raising supportive and protective care to their heterosexual brother’s and sister’s children, thus, increasing the survivability of a family’s genetic line.  Consequently homosexuality and bisexuality give certain of our species a noteworthy evolutionary advantage.

Question 4. Are there other things that influence the emergence or development of different sexual preferences?

Answer: There is some evidence which would suggest that some young children may go through a critical period in which exposure to more or less equally interesting, pleasuring and loving males and females may influence the early emergence of bisexuality.  Certainly the social acceptability of various sexual preferences causes especially homosexuals not to try to suppress their emerging sexual tendencies.  In those societies which are strongly anti-homosexual much greater inner conflict and stress results, which may cause some people to be able to inactivate their natural predispositions, especially if their sex drive is not very strong.

Question 5. Are people of one sexual preference or another more likely to be mentally ill, prone to criminality or addictions, or in other ways destructive to themselves and society?

Answer: Yes is the arguable answer; and the most destructive people according to gender preference are – heterosexual.  Actually the differences are fairly negligible according to most reputable studies.  In many cultures men and women who are homosexual have had far more societal stressors than heterosexuals or bisexuals, and those stressors are causal in mental and emotional illness and other dysfunctions for many.  In societies much more accepting of people of different gender preference these problems turn out to be the same or slightly better than heterosexuals according to several authorities.
Those people who are one gender externally but another gender internally, like many transsexuals, are likely to experience even more stressors.  Unless their stress coping mechanisms are good they are more likely to experience one type of dysfunction or another.  Interestingly, highly androgynous people seem to do rather well in life in most cultures.  Hermaphroditic people who have the physiology of both genders rather equally are too rare to have had significant data gathered.
Probably not enough good, quality research has been done in this area and we have more to learn. Your sexual preference makes a difference in who you are attracted to, who you come to love and make a primary life partnership with, if you do that.  Other than that most studies seem to point to the idea that being homosexual, or bisexual or heterosexual doesn’t make much of a difference when it comes to the vast majority of other varying aspects of life.

Now let’s look at the love factor.

Question 6. Does your sexual preference make a difference in how you do love?

Answer: There is some evidence suggesting that homosexual men and women give more thought to how to do love than the average heterosexual.  Furthermore, those who have sufficient emotional maturity may do love relating rather better than many heterosexuals. Both bisexual males and bisexual females actually even may be better at love.  Contrarily, there is some evidence to suggest that homosexuals who are immature may have a harder time getting beyond romantic idealization and the many problems that accompany it.  Strongly bisexual males and females seem to have a somewhat harder time than homosexuals or heterosexuals when, and if, they attempt to be monogamous.  However, if their primary mate relationship compatibly allows for some multi-person involvement they are thought to do better than average according to several researchers who study this sort of thing.  For the most part, homosexuals, bisexuals and heterosexuals demonstrate the same range of behaviors when attempting to do a love relationship.  All do better to about the same degree when they learn more about how love is healthfully given and received.

Question 7. How do people of different sexual preferences do at family and child love?

Answer: The evidence points to homosexual couples working harder than heterosexual couples at doing family love and child love well.  Consequently they get better results in most areas measured.  Other forms of sexual preference have not been studied sufficiently but there is some evidence which suggests bisexual people do no worse and possibly a little better than the average heterosexual.

Question 8. How do people of different sexual preferences do at healthy self-love?

Answer: Because of societal condemnation, and especially judgmentalism and condemnation in religious communities homosexuals have had a terrible time developing sufficient healthy self-love.  Self-hate, self rejection, low self esteem, escapist addictions and suicide have been measured as quite high, although now with more social acceptance and more available support networks these problems are reducing.  In those cultures where different sexuality is common and accepted these problems for the most part don’t exist in larger percentages than is true of heterosexuals.  Even though bisexuals have been able to ‘hide out’ in heterosexual communities they have exhibited some of these self love problems also.

Question 9. Is there any reason to believe that people of one sexual preference or another will naturally or automatically do healthy, real love relating better or worse than people of other sexual preferences.

Answer: No!

Question 10. Do people of one sexual preference or another do spiritual love better or worse than people of other sexual preferences?

Answer: People who have more stressors, and difficulties and differences than average go looking for help and answers more than is typical.  That often includes searching into religion and spiritual matters.  Homosexuals, and bisexuals and other people with sexual differences have to cope with more stressors when they live in sexually, anti-democratic, social environments.  Therefore, it is thought a fair number of these people search for spiritual solutions and spiritual development more than the average person does.  Those who search tend to find and, therefore, grow their abilities in spirituality.  Homosexuals living in sexually anti-democratic societies especially run into lots of social and sometimes religious prejudice, rejection, hate, pseudo-love and related difficulties.  Consequently they often turn away from organized religion and toward independent spirituality.  Other than that there does not seem to be much of a spirituality difference between heterosexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals, and other sexualities.

Among people who give arduous study to these sort of things there is this conclusion – the love of life, the love of nature, the love of a deity, the love of fellow humans and all other forms of love can be just as strong and done just as well by people of one sexual preference as it is of another.

As always – Go and Grow with Love

Dr. J. Richard Cookerly

♥ Love Success Question
Can you give and receive family love and friendship love equally to people of all different sexual persuasions?

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