Sunday, November 24, 2013

Reflection #2 - Finding a sexual identity

Recently, in class discussion, we talked about whether being gay was a choice nor a genetic disposition. While most of the class could agree that it was not a choice, this got me thinking about different environments we grow up in and if these have anything to do with our sexuality. The best example I can think of is the different mentalities and value systems of someone who grows up New York City vs. someone who grows up in a more suburban, conservative state like Ohio. Since the New Yorker is constantly exposed to diversity in every aspect of his or her life (culture, food, friends, etc.) does this change the way this person looks at themselves?

We have discussed many times that we are largely shaped by the society in which we live in. Media not only mirrors society, but also creates it. I have come to realize recently that the extent of this truth is unparalleled. So, with this in consideration, is it possible that someone who is exposed to a culture where being gay is accepted and more common is more likely to be gay? There isn't a right or wrong answer to this question. However, it is interesting to think about how higher forces (society, culture, consumerism, hegemony) impact our personalities, values, schemas, and maybe even our sexuality.

If we zoom out and look at the bigger picture in this course, I think this is one of the lessons I will take away and not forget. I think its important to constantly ask yourself, "Am I doing this because I want to, or because society wants me to?" Questioning things that seems like second nature is so beneficial to growth as human beings, and is a sure fire way to become sure of yourself and your identity - including your sexuality.

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