What is a gay man
Why gay Why lesbian?
Innate or trained?
Since the 19th century, scientists have wondered how a man could not fall in love with a woman, but with another man. The German lawyer Karl Heinrich Ulrichs was one of the first to publish their theory.
In 1864 he called the gay man "Urning" and assumed that this person was born in a man's body, but had a female soul. He thus invented a kind of "third gender" next to man and woman, which was supposed to explain love between men. However, critics accused him that he could neither explain the lesbian nor the bisexual inclination.
The important thing about his approach, however, remains to this day that he did not see being gay as a disease, but as an innate phenomenon.
The sex researcher Magnus Hirschfeld made sure that this idea lived on after Ulrichs' death. He not only researched the causes of male love, but also spoke out publicly for innate homosexuality and thus for its impunity. Magnus Hirschfeld is considered to be the founder of the first homosexual movement in Germany.
Sigmund Freud rejected the theories of Ulrichs and Hirschfeld and instead took a different route to explanation: In 1905, the Austrian psychoanalyst put forward the thesis in "Three Essays on Sexual Theory" that all people are bisexual from birth. Only the development in childhood decides whether there is a heterosexual or homosexual tendency.
In the case of an "absent father", according to Freud's theory, the probability that the son could become gay increases. The distant relationship with the father leads to wanting to close this gap later with a male partner.
Thanks to medical advances, scientists were able to conduct even more intensive research into possible causes of homosexuality from the 1980s onwards.
In 1993 the American Dean Hamer announced that he had discovered the "gay gene". When examining male twins, he found a certain deviation of the X chromosome in both of them. Since the brothers were both homosexual, he believed he had finally found the solution to the riddle.
In the following years, other researchers tried to confirm Hamer's thesis, but without success. The existence of a single "gay gene" could thus be ruled out.
But the idea that homosexuality could actually be genetically determined was by no means buried. In 2005, the American scientist Brian Mustanski found out that certain genome areas on chromosomes in homosexual brothers match, but the sex chromosomes are not affected.
He noted that the development of homosexuality, among other factors, is influenced to a certain extent by several DNA segments (deoxyribonucleic acid) - a much more cautious formulation than at that time by Hamer.
Biological factor X + social factor Y = homosexuality
Few scientists still believe that there is a very specific cause of homosexuality. While Dean Hamer relied solely on biological explanatory power with his supposed discovery of the "gay gene", supporters of the queer theory see the cultural and social environment as the sole cause.
By differentiating between biological (sex) and social sex (gender), they break away from the traditional gender division between men and women. According to this view, gender - and thus the sexual orientation of people - is viewed separately from biological sex.
The majority believe, however, that biological, cultural and social factors should not be viewed separately from one another. To this day, it is still not known what the exact conditions are that make people homosexual.
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