The most interesting event of last week was sudden arrival of vibrant colours on my Facebook page just because a country half a world away decided to legalize same-gender coitus in Homo sapiens!
LGBT- an abbreviation in the center of this debate- is used to describe individuals having a mismatch of coital preference with the conventional biological predisposition. As the term has various connotations in public eye, we need to understand the science of gender (and coitus) to understand what the verdict actually means.
As human gender is determined by a single chromosome, very often the cause of gender “confusion” is genetic. A genetic deviation- a faulty, missing or repeated chromosome – can result in body-state where reproductive system gets mal-formed resulting in mixed sexuality often clubbed under LGBT group.
Another potent force impacting gender expression and linked behavior is sex hormones, mainly testosterone and estrogene. Most people don’t know that these hormones are present in both sexes and only their level-difference is the differentiator of gender, so human body is perfectly capable of exhibiting physical features and under-laying behavior as per the prevailing hormonal status. As hormonal levels can get disturbed due to age, illness or even injury, sexual behavior can also get altered creating a possible deviation, often temporary (till balance is restored), that also gets clubbed under the LGBT banner.
It needs to be noted that above conditions are not out of freedom of choice but are inflicted upon individuals by causes beyond their control.
These individuals are not just socially isolated; they also have serious health problems.
Here it is not a matter of intellectualization but of having a medical condition that often needs to be cured. It is no celebration of an identity or self, it is more often about altering it to a state of “normalcy” for resolving health problems.
When subjects like same-sex marriage (or our section 377) are debated, they gloss over the real bone of contention i.e. coitus between same-sex individuals. The term “same-sex” actually implies existence of physically healthy individuals with fully-formed reproductive system opting for sexual intercourse with someone of their own sex and not those with disturbed genetic or hormonal sexual states described above.
As this undermines the billion year old biological raison d’etre of sex i.e. reproduction, the desperation of the freedom-seekers to pressurize legal system to accept it under the garb of freedom of choice requires serious questioning.
Sex in many primates and more so in humans is a complex event, especially due to our hierarchical social structure. With our large brains pulsating with associations and driven by reward-circuits, sex in humans has acquired even more dimensions ranging from gratification-reward to dominance-submission. Sex is no longer a tool for reproduction only. It is also a currency and a signal of social position.
With these additional frames in position, it is entirely possible for sexual orientation to have shifts beyond that are driven by body-physiology, but it is too early to start “celebrating” it by linking it with freedom of choice.
Sex belongs to body and thus has its physical limitations and health concerns that can’t be transcended by just wishing them away.
If there is an LGBT community of individuals with healthy bodies and differently wired minds, they are fully entitled to their chosen way of life and sex as long as it is not harming similar rights of other individuals, but surely some of LGBT community belongs to those with real health problems that can be dealt with by accepting the “physiological abnormality”.
Many individuals of LGBT community are our troubled brethrens that are being puppet to our aspiration for freedom of choice. They need to be helped to accept their problems and provided with medical support instead of being used as symbols of an intellectual quest that they need not be a part of.