by Marinus Jan Marijs
“Sexual orientation is an enduring personal quality that inclines people to feel romantic or sexual attraction (or a combination of these) to persons of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or to both sexes or more than one gender. These attractions are generally subsumed under heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality. These categories are aspects of the more nuanced nature of sexual identity. According to the American Psychological Association, sexual orientation “also refers to a person’s sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions”. (Wikipedia)
There is no consensus among scientists about why a person develops a particular sexual orientation.
To find the causes of romantic or sexual attraction (or a combination of these) to persons of the same sex or gender, several suggestions have been made:
“however, biologically-based theories for the cause of sexual orientation are favored by experts, which point to genetic factors, the early uterine environment, or both combinations. Research has identified several biological factors which may be related to the development of sexual orientation, including genes, prenatal hormones, and brain structure. No single controlling cause has been identified. Though researchers generally believe that sexual orientation is not determined by any one factor but by a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences, with biological factors involving a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment, they favor biological models for the cause. They believe that sexual orientation is not a choice, and some of them believe that it is established at conception. That is, individuals do not choose to be homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, or asexual. There is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that early childhood experiences, parenting, sexual abuse, or other adverse life events influence sexual orientation; Genetic factors Genes may be related to the development of sexual orientation. At one time, studies of twins appeared to point to a major genetic component, but problems in experimental design of the available studies have made their interpretation difficult, and one recent study appears to exclude genes as a major factor“. (Wikipedia)
“Moreover, there is no substantive evidence which suggests parenting or early childhood experiences play a role when it comes to sexual orientation, the scientific consensus is that sexual orientation is not a choice. While current scientific investigation usually seeks to find biological explanations for the adoption of a particular sexual orientation, there are yet no replicated scientific studies supporting any specific biological etiology for sexual orientation.” (Wikipedia)
“The innate cues satisfy universality conditions: they do not depend on race, ethnicity, culture, or historical period”. (Wikipedia)
The American Psychiatric Association stated:
“No one knows what causes heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality. Homosexuality was once thought to be the result of troubled family dynamics or faulty psychological development. Those assumptions are now understood to have been based on misinformation and prejudice”.
It is not known how homosexuality, which tends to lower reproductive success, is maintained in the population at a relatively high frequency. Basically homosexuality cannot be explained by genetics on Darwinian grounds.
“One person may presume knowledge of another person’s sexual orientation based upon perceived characteristics, such as appearance, clothing, tone of voice, and accompaniment by and behavior with other people. The attempt to detect sexual orientation in social situations is known as gaydar; some studies have found that guesses based on face photos perform better than chance”. (Wikipedia)
“Most modern scientific surveys find that the majority of people report a mostly heterosexual orientation. However, the relative percentage of the population that reports a homosexual orientation varies with differing methodologies and selection criteria. this figure can be as high as 12% for some large cities and as low as 1% for rural areas”. (Wikipedia)
Genetically- biological explanations are in conflict with hereditary laws and there is no evidence that psychological and social factors play a role. So there is the question what could be an alternative explanation. In several cultures it has been suggested that sexual orientation towards the same gender, finds its origin in reincarnation.
The question has been put forward to professor Ian Stevenson in an interview:
“Omni: The possibility of sex change puts the question of homosexuality and gender confusion in a new light, doesn’t it?
Stevenson: Yes. When it was fashionable to ascribe all emotional disorders to the ineptitude of one’s parents, cases of gender-identity confusion were blamed on parents. A biological explanation, such as Klinefelter’s syndrome [a genetic condition in which a male is born with an extra X, or female, chromosome] can explain some but not all cases. Western psychiatrists and psychologists do not have a satisfactory explanation for this, whereas in Southeast Asian cultures, gender-identity confusion is considered one result of reincarnation and taken calmly. Reincarnation ought to be considered as a possible explanation at least some of the time”.
About 6% of those who reincarnate change from gender, as can be found in Stevenson’s research. This is more or less corresponding to the number of people who’s sexual orientation is on the same gender.
(There are however great cultural differences in the percentages, but the average percentage seems to be under 10 percent).
In some cultures like for example the Tibetan culture it is assumed that someone who reincarnates, takes certain mannerisms, personality traits, attitudes, idiosyncrasies, habits or orientations from his or hers previous life. This could explain why some have characteristic behavior that is associated with being sexually orientated on the same gender.
From a spiritual point of view it would mean that the cause of this orientation would find its origin, not in a biological, social or psychological factors, but in a spiritual kosmic developmental process.
The fact that about 6% of those who reincarnate change gender, as indicated by Stevenson’s research does suspect that this isn’t arbitrariness but a free choice. If that is the case, than it is highly likely that the choice relating to the circumstances in which one reincarnates, will not be only be to gender, but also to the time, the place and the parents.