Sexual orientation and its causes

Your paper should be at least two type-written pages in length, double spaced, with standard one-inch margins, standard fonts (“Times New Roman”), with numbered pages, and with a separate title page that includes the title of your paper, your name, and your J number. In your paper you are to apply a certain area of psychological theory or research (<link is hidden> research on human development) to you own life and life experiences. This is the same format that has been used in the various discussion questions. For example, you might attempt to explain a real-life event in your life (how you developed a fear of flying) using principles of classical conditioning (<link is hidden> when you were a child, flying was associated with terrible experiences of turbulence and motion sickness).

Describe someone you know (<link is hidden> yourself, a friend, a family member) who is gay, lesbian, or bisexual. In your opinion, what influenced this person’s sexual orientation to develop as it did? Relate your discussion to the nature-nurture debate in psychology. Do you think sexual orientation (being heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual) results from biological factors (<link is hidden>genetics, prenatal hormones, brain chemistry and structure), or does it result from environmental factors (the way our parents treat us; childhood experiences)? Are both nature and nurture important? Are we “born” heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual? Can we “choose” to be heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual? Do you think that gay/lesbian/bisexual people differ from heterosexual people in ways other than their attractions to men or women? – for example, do they differ in personality, nonverbal behavior, grooming? If so, why? Again, relate this to possible causes and theories of sexual orientation.

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