Childhood Trauma and Sexual Orientation

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Descartes
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30 Oct 2011, 2:16 pm

Recently, when I was debating some guy on Youtube (here's a link if you'd like to see), he, among other claims, said that most homosexuals suffered from childhood abuse of some sort. I let him know that I was gay and did not suffer from any abuse as a child, but he went on to say that his gay "friends" all suffered traumatizing childhoods.

Anyway, I'm gay, and I didn't suffer abuse of any kind as a child. In fact, I had a very pleasant childhood. I was raised by a mother and a father and lived in a nice suburban neighborhood. What is everybody else's opinion on this? Did you or didn't you have a traumatizing childhood? If you did, do you think this made any impact on your sexual orientation?


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Joker
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30 Oct 2011, 4:59 pm

I was molested by my step mother but it didn't have any impact on my sexual orientation.



cathylynn
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30 Oct 2011, 5:16 pm

the consensus in the medical community is that sexual orientation is inborn. anecdotal evidence is unreliable, but here's mine any way. my father was verbally abusive and i'm straight.



AstroGeek
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30 Oct 2011, 8:02 pm

I certainly didn't have traumatic childhood. It was quite good, beyond the problems associated with AS. My family is comfortably well-off, I lived in a good neighbourhood, had a cottage to go to in the summer, had loving parents (although an overprotective mother and a father who I can't relate to). The only thing in my childhood which is vaguely related to homosexuality is my growing up knowing that my uncle is gay and that that's alright. But of course, that didn't make me "choose to be gay," it just meant I didn't have to deal with self-loathing or fear of my parents' reaction upon coming out.



FalsettoTesla
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31 Oct 2011, 2:16 am

I had a traumatic childhood.

I don't think there's any correlation between my being gay and my having had a difficult childhood.



visagrunt
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31 Oct 2011, 10:32 am

I am gay and I suffered no childhood abuse. My partner is gay and suffered no childhood abuse.


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mds_02
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31 Oct 2011, 8:21 pm

I think that one's sexual orientation is inborn. However, I also believe that childhood trauma can affect one's sexual behavior.

I am a straight man who, because of certain experiences as a child, has some issues with sex. These issues have contributed to all kinds of unusual (for me) behavior, including sexual activity with other men during a particularly hard period in my life. I mention this to point out that, while I agree that sexual preference has more to do with genetics than anything, the commonly held belief that trauma influences orientation does not come from nowhere.


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AspieRoss
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02 Dec 2011, 5:08 pm

May be it's the other way around. It could be that child abusers can sense that a child is "different" and then the abuser acts on that. So they didn't become gay from getting abused, they were targeted with abuse - because an adult "thinks" that they ARE gay or different.

Just an idea.



auntblabby
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03 Dec 2011, 4:29 am

yes.



DHaze
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04 Dec 2011, 3:12 pm

I had certain problems from the age of 8-12. I was beaten and molested by a male (i'm a male). I was having homosexual feelings before this happened and very well may have made me into a good target. However, I now find myself bisexual, and I have certain problems with the male body as a result of the abuse.

I would attack his credibility, having no experience with either childhood trauma or homosexuality it should be easily to logically pick apart his argument since his argument is based on assumption and no empirical data.


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kraelik
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05 Dec 2011, 2:18 am

I am gay and I was not abused. Out of the many gay people I know, only a small fraction of them were abused as kids.


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nikki191
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05 Dec 2011, 8:07 am

It is a pretty common mistake that a lot of bigots latch onto. They take a small cross section in this case his 'gay friends" and then use that to make claims about the entire gay community. It could equally happen if they all liked a particular type of cheese but I don't see people claiming it makes people gay



Sparx
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12 Dec 2011, 12:45 pm

I don't think I'm gay, but I've been traumatised when I was young, and I want absolutely nothing to do with a sexual relationship.



craiglll
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14 Dec 2011, 1:52 pm

I wasn't sexually molested but I had a terrbile childhood.



fragileclover
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03 Feb 2012, 2:03 am

mds_02 wrote:
I think that one's sexual orientation is inborn. However, I also believe that childhood trauma can affect one's sexual behavior.


Yes, this. I believer that hetero and homosexuality are inborn traits, but that most other sexual traits can be attributed to childhood and adolescent experiences, even bisexuality. This doesn't necessarily mean abuse, but any formative experience.

My boyfriend is bisexual, and was abused by a man as a child. Before this abuse, he was attracted only to girls. He also had a severe birth defect that left him with a lot of scarring, which caused an obsession with the perfect male form. This, too, he believes was a contributing factor to his attraction to males.

I was molested at the age of 14 by a much, much older man. I am now almost exclusively attracted (sexually) to men considerably older than myself. I find boys/men by own age attractive, but not sexually appealing. This was not at all the case prior to being molested.


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10 Feb 2012, 11:54 am

Bullshit. I'm with the people who say the adult may sense the child is different (ie already gay/bi) and target them for that. But I also believe that a lot more people are born bisexual and conditioned to be straight. So, perhaps these kids are born bisexual but were then curious about homosexuality after their abuse, and ended up gay that way. I think there are people who are born entirely gay, and people who are born entirely straight, but most are in the middle and can probably go either way. But whatever the case, if a person ends up gay, I don't really care how they ended up that way. Most people who say homosexuality is the result of abuse are trying to find ways to make it 'bad' or 'cureable.' They're implying that gays should go for therapy in order to get over their trauma and become straight, which I think is wrong.

I do think abuse has effects on sexuality in one way or another though. I was assulted by a family member when I was younger and I've been thinking recently about how that may have affected me, though I'm not entirely sure. He was black and significantly older than me; I tend to find that I'm completely unattracted to black men, but much more attracted to older men. I wonder if either of those has anything to do with the incident.


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