Is Ones Sexuality Fixed by Birth or by Upbringing

From the early stages of one’s life itself, one is structured according to gender or sexuality. Thus, boys are taught the importance of appearing hard and dominant, rather than making themselves attractive, and men are recruited into jobs that require the use of force such as police, the military, private security, etc, while women are normally recruited into jobs that repair the consequences of violence, including nursing, psychology and social work. Significantly, scholars have debated on whether one’s sexuality is fixed at birth or not, and one dominant argument is that being a man or a woman is not a fixed state, as it is a becoming or a condition actively under construction. According to major French feminists like Simone de Beauvoir, one is not born, but becomes, a woman.

“So we cannot think of womanhood or manhood as fixed by nature. But neither should we think of them as simply imposed from outside, by social norms or pressure from authorities. People construct themselves as masculine or feminine. We claim a place in the gender order – or respond to the place we have been given – by the way we conduct ourselves in everyday life.” (Connell, 4) Therefore, one’s sexuality is not completely fixed either by birth or by upbringing, and it is fundamental to realize to what extent are our sexualities fixed at birth. This paper makes a reflective analysis of the question to what extent our sexualities are fixed at birth.Gender is not fixed by nature alone, i.e. one does not completely assume one’s manhood or womanhood by birth. It is also determined by what is imposed on an individual from outside, including the social norms and pressure from authorities. Understanding gender is essential to realize to what extent our sexualities are fixed at birth and it is common that people claim a specific place in the gender order which they enjoy in their daily life. Significantly, most of the people willingly accept this gender order and enjoy the gender polarity. It is also important to realize that sexual pleasure is frequently organized around gender polarity in Western culture.