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Thread: Homosexuality and negative imprinting

  1. #1

    Default Homosexuality and negative imprinting

    Although the process itself is not yet well understood there is little doubt that the basic sexual desires we will have as an adult are imprinted on us in early childhood. Imprinted traits can be either positive or negative. Which gender, if either, we find sexually attractive is the result of positive imprinting meaning that we are imprinted in a way that makes us attracted to something. Homosexuality is an example of positive imprinting.

    Negative imprinting is where we are imprinted with an aversion to something. Our psycho-sexual portrait is the result of both positive and negative imprinting. Some limited research has been done that shows heterosexual males can be negatively imprinted with traits observed in the father leading them to find these traits undesirable in a mate.

    As homosexuality gains wider public acceptance it is tempting to accuse those that oppose open homosexuality as harboring feelings that were learned from their bigotted upbringing or are a result of wrongful thinking; similar to some of the accusations leveled at homosexuals. While a person's upbringing will influence how they express their feelings, these feelings themselves may be rooted in something that goes deeper. They could be imprinted, meaning there is no psychological "cure" for them - they will be permanent and are every bit as natural as any other feelings we have.

    The point is: I think it is important to realize that both sides have deep seated emotions tied to this issue that did not originate from psychological, philosophical, or religious learnings. It is no more "wrong" to consider homosexuality repulsive as it is to consider it desirable. Both are naturally occuring feelings that won't go away. Once this is recognized I believe we have a better chance dealing with human rights issues.

  2. #2


    That's like saying it'd be totally okay to be racist if it was 'imprinted' on you so you just can't 'help it'.

    'Well gosh, I had no idea this was imprinted on you. I'm so terribly sorry for shouting you down when you said that this water fountain was for whites only! How insensitive of me.'

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by AshleyAshes View Post
    That's like saying it'd be totally okay to be racist if it was 'imprinted' on you so you just can't 'help it'.

    'Well gosh, I had no idea this was imprinted on you. I'm so terribly sorry for shouting you down when you said that this water fountain was for whites only! How insensitive of me.'
    I don't know if I should be offended by this comment or not.

    Are you saying it's not okay to be gay? I can't read past your massive strawman. I have no idea what you're trying to say here, and if makes me question if I should be pissed at you or not.

  4. #4


    the deal is one view greatly reduces the quality of life of another group, homosexuality is by it self harmless to the rest of society, it's been around since before our current evolution, bigotry however is harmful it makes people a second class, less than human, causes suicides and deaths and serves no good.

    Misogyny is imprinted in many people, and its wrong, being raised in a racist household can imprint prejudicial thoughts, not a good excuse to be saying bad things.

    Just be nice to everyone, cause no harm, otherwise you are kind of a problem for everyone else to deal with

    - - - Updated - - -

    not sure about the imprinting theory for homosexuality, I can't remember anything that imprinted my desire for both sex's, it was just how I was, maybe there was something in my childhood but I kinda doubt it, theorist claim homosexuality can be caused by a variety of things, from genetics, hormones, to experiences in life, so far the evidence points to a variety of contributing factors, and not just one cause.

    - - - Updated - - -

    as for human rights issues, until we can treat each other equally, with out malice, or hate, or fear, there will always be failure in society to provide basic human rights, we are all on the same boat, its time to get friendly and stop rocking the boat because one group doesn't like another group, maybe thats impossible, but we can evolve, we are past owning slaves in most of the world.

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by AshleyAshes View Post
    That's like saying it'd be totally okay to be racist if it was 'imprinted' on you so you just can't 'help it'.

    'Well gosh, I had no idea this was imprinted on you. I'm so terribly sorry for shouting you down when you said that this water fountain was for whites only! How insensitive of me.'
    LOL, but that aside; Your magnanimous apology is graciously accepted.

    There is a certain truth in the imprinting theory, it takes courage to privately question values handed down, it can and usually is personally detrimental to be seen to do so in public. I was only thirteen when I turned my back on my religion. It is my experience, it is not those who are appointed with power who will smite you down first, that pleasure belongs to the mindless sheeples who faithfully follow any rabid cause without question. Brings to mind the adage, the nail that sticks out should be beaten down.

    Until a righteous stance gains substantial support the risks to the proponent of it are very real, in the case of the one you brought up - King's "I had a dream" ultimately cost him his life. Funny how in life, we are all more than happy to sit at the back of the bus, till we see King sitting on the front seat.

  6. #6


    I am going to be blunt... fuck viewpoints.... It is not open for debate. Human sexuality is a spectrum that naturally includes an infinite amount of vareity. Gay people exist. End of story.

    Homophobia on the other hand..... It is a difficult thing to define. Biologically we are hard wired to fear (hate) what is unfamiliar. Ultimately we are a bunch of scared little monkeys. Our social evolution has vastly outpaced our biology. Our society and shared experiences have alowed some of us to transcend our innate nature of discrimination. Some individuals unfortunately have been left behind. Most of these people lack exposure, others though may just be biologically hateful and selfish. Our environment is selecting out those types of individuals while the altruistric people flourish. A lot of homophobes and racists are litterally dinosaurs.

    It is probably much the same with religion. I don't think people get a choice to believe. I think believing is just a quirk of our neurology just like consciousness and self-awareness.

    All that being said... Homophobia and religion cannot impact policy. Religion and homophobia are relics that are not relevant to our tangible world. I don't care if people deep down get the eebie jeebies around gay people, but they can't deny them service or not cooperate with them in a community sense.

    Also there is still choice involved. I would say I am/was (subconiously) innately racist, inately sexist, innately homophobic, innately transphobic, innately....... It is not my fault. The first face I saw when i came into this world was a white cis woman. I am a product of exposure. A woman with five-a clock shadow is just not my default mental image for a woman and as a result my knee jerk reaction is fear. I choose not to succumb to them. It is a ridiculous fear. I choose to ignore it.

    My point is while there is a hard wired biological component to some of the homophobia out there, people can easily choose to get over it and treat people equally. Fear is never an excuse for the systematic abuse and alienation of an entire group.

    "Your not scared, You are an asshole." -Morgan Freeman on homophobia

  7. #7


    I believe the theory of Imprinting came out in the 50s. So much has changed since early psychology and how we attempt to understand ourselves. Imprinting takes place in the first three years of life, and involves experiences which can be associated with other things. It's often used to explain why we who are adults, still enjoy wearing diapers and associate sexual feelings to them and other infantile objects. The theory might suggest that wearing diapers as a toddler, having them rub against one's genitalia, being changed, being loved and nurtured; all these stimuli can leave lasting impressions in the mind where one thing such as a diaper, can be associated with nurture and comfort, or sexual stimulation.

    I'm not sure that this would apply to homosexuality, being attracted to someone of the same sex, or one's attitude toward homosexuality. I think attitudes are formed during the many years of growing and maturing. Parents often have the strongest influence on what we believe and feel. Sometimes, when we experience negative feelings generated by our parents' attitudes, we chose to believe the opposite. But this is different from imprinting, if I understand it correctly. It should be noted, I'm a musician, not a psychologist, but I have done a lot of reading on the subject.

  8. #8


    I don't think the views of imprinting are correct in regards to homosexuality, though. As far as I have learned, there are reasons to believe that there are genetics involved (identical twin studies), as well as the amount of hormones in the mother's womb. I believe it's nearly certain these days that gay and lesbian people were simply born that way. People like us with fetishes, it's more hard to tell. It's likely we were 'imprinted' in some way - our wiring got crossed at some point in early childhood or puberty.

    I think the debate over whether we should 'tolerate the intolerant' is an interesting one to have, though. On the one hand, this is correct in many ways. People are the product of their environments and cultures. My grandmother was quite an astounding racist! She yelled at me for bringing my two black friends over when I was in kindergarten, and threw a huge fit when I watched a television show featuring a black family. I wouldn't say she should have been beaten and ostracized for her backwards views, though. For goodness sake, she was born in 1902. She didn't know any better. It was difficult to get it through to her, and in the end, it never did get through to her. She died along with her many racist views. Is she to personally blame, though? Are people who simply know no different, or know no better, to blame? We shouldn't let these people get away with nods and smiles, as though they are perfectly okay in saying racist things. But we should have some patience and not be filled with hatred, as they are. Some understanding - especially in that they know no better - could go a long way. The way to help these individuals is through knowledge and education and experience.

    I do know that these values can be changed, though. So my grandmother didn't change - but I have seen people change with my own eyes. I knew someone who used to say the N word all the time. He called gay men the Fa- word and would openly mock the more effeminate ones. After some education and exploration, and some self-reflection, this person changed completely. They became pro-gay rights. They stood up for blacks when they heard their family members using the N word or down-talking them. (And of course their family did this - people don't just come up with mass-hatred all by themselves.) I truly believe that these people can change and they are not stuck that way forever. But it would take help and not hate to get them to change. The key to how that friend of mine changed his ways was that he was educated and helped with dignity and respect and was not treated like scum for the way he was raised. If people are yelled at and criticized without at least a little understanding, how can they learn the value of understanding and empathy for differences themselves?

  9. #9

  10. #10


    As far a bigotry being a learned trait, see the song "You've Got to be Taught" from the musical South Pacific. Remember this musical came out in the late 50s when legalized racism was still the standard in the U.S. south and defacto racism the standard in the north.

    It is so much easier to blame your situation on others or to use the perception that others are "lower" than you to make an intolerable situation seem bearable. No one wants to be on the bottom of the ladder and denigrating others as a group puts them below you on the ladder. And the people higher up on the ladder have used this to protect their standing by convincing those lower down that they are not at the bottom so things are good.

    That said, here are two reasons, in my opinion, why this sort of intolerance is wrong:
    1. It is not moral to treat people poorly who have personally earned such treatment (not because they are in group, but because they are not nice individually).
    2. It is a gross waste of human capital to not allow every adult person to live their life as they wish (unless that involves unlawful actions), and to rise to whatever level their own skills and talents let them.

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