This is a take-off from another thread that got off topic. I wanted to share my observations about the "Nature vs Nurture" question.

I've always knows I was gay, but I didn't admit it to myself or to anybody else until I was almost 40. I can understand how some people might assume that I 'chose' to live a gay lifestyle, because of the mixed signals I sent through most of my adult life. Truth is, I 'chose' to life a straight lifestyle for many years, in contrast with my true feelings.

However, this gave me a perfect opportunity to observe the 'nature vs nurture' question played out right in front of my eyes. In 1992 my wife gave birth to fraternal twins. Here we had these two infants, with the same parents, same environment, sharing the same toys; everything was the same except their sex. As toddlers, my daughter was much more detail oriented than my son, taking time to fold her blanket and using her well developed fine motor skills to meticulously stack little wooden blocks into as tall a pile as she could before they fell down. My son, on the other hand, had the gross motor skills to open a twist-off lid (something my daughter could not do) and he took great joy in running his toy trucks into those neatly stacked piles of wooden blocks.

My son was very interested in learning to walk, my daughter could not have cared less. My son would hold on to the coffee table and walk around it, but when he let go, he'd fall on his bottom. When I tried to get my little girl to stand up next to the table, she sat right down and crawled away. When my son let go of the table and took his first steps across the room, I applauded him and hugged him. Just a few hours later, my daughter was looking around for more wooden blocks and spied one across the room. Rather than crawl over to it as she always had, she simply stood up, walked over to it and sat down. Then she picked up the block, stood back up and walked back to her pile of blocks as if she had done it a hundred times before. I just sat there with my mouth hanging open for a minute before I ran over and picked her up and gave her hugs and kisses.

It became obvious to me that regardless of any external factors, my son was born a little boy, and my daughter was born a little girl. Nothing I could do would change them from that path, even if I had wanted to.

The moral of this story is that while external factors do play a role in our perceptions, I believe that our basic nature is genetically coded from birth. Gender association (whether we 'feel' like a boy or a girl inside), and whether we will prefer men or women when we grow up, are things that I think are all well established when we are born. To deny those feelings can only lead to confusion.

That's my personal experience. How do you feel?


"That which does not kill us, surely makes us stonger." - Neitsche