Sexual Orientation and Preference (Homosexuality)

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Sexual Orientation and Preference (Homosexuality)

#1  Postby Eduard » Feb 07, 2011 4:16 pm

I'm about to take a Catholic on in an argument about hoosexuality, sexual preference and sexual orientation.

My bf is Mr Gay SA and he has written the following as part of his mission statement:

The primary aim would be to promote equality beyond sexual preference, ethnicity or gender. This will be achieved by working hand-in-hand in organising events in sport and arts which educate on our natural inherent sexuality, our multi-faceted characters and broad talents as human beings.


To which the catholic guy (also gay) replied the following two comments:

Catholic Guy wrote:There is no such thing as a sexual preference - that is the terminology the right wing uses to dismiss our nature...its not a preference, we are born this way and entitled and responsible for living the life we have been blessed with to the full!


and

Catholic Guy wrote:The greatest enemy of understanding of LGBTI life is that it is presented as a fickle choice for today and may be changed again tomorrow. The word preference is very damaging and I would encourage you to delete it from all your public statements.


I don't see what's wrong with the word preference in the original quoted text. Any pointers on how I should approach this argument?
-Ed

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Re: Sexual Orientation and Preference (Homosexuality)

#2  Postby Scar » Feb 07, 2011 4:19 pm

Well, it seems that he just objects to the word because it carries with it a sense of choice to him. You could just point out that to you, a preference is nothing you consciously choose.
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Preference (Homosexuality)

#3  Postby HughMcB » Feb 07, 2011 4:31 pm

I can see his point about the word, however "preference" doesn't specifically imply choice. Perhaps he needs to be reminded of such. :dunno:
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Preference (Homosexuality)

#4  Postby Firetail » Feb 07, 2011 4:52 pm

I agree with him, the word preference is too "weak" a term to use for something as fundamental as ones sexuality, I actually prefer (lol@myself) the Swedish word, "läggning", lit. alignment. Sexual orientation is fine too.
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Preference (Homosexuality)

#5  Postby Eduard » Feb 07, 2011 5:49 pm

Thanks for responses: watch this little gem of reasoning:

The term "preference" is all very well and good when you have the right to prefer being who you are. So "sexual preference" is also all very well and good when you have the right to prefer being who you are. When you don't have that right the term is simply homophobic.


I think my assumption that this was fit for argument was misplaced :nono:
-Ed

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Re: Sexual Orientation and Preference (Homosexuality)

#6  Postby Scar » Feb 07, 2011 5:50 pm

Uhm... what?
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Preference (Homosexuality)

#7  Postby HughMcB » Feb 07, 2011 6:18 pm

WTF? :wtf:
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Preference (Homosexuality)

#8  Postby Thommo » Feb 07, 2011 7:44 pm

Maybe this guy has copped a lot of flak over it (I can only speculate that the Catholic community in SA is perhaps not that open minded about gay people) and is rather over sensitive, forming in his mind an indelible conflation of the use of the words "preference" and "choice" that he perhaps associates with being judged?

I don't see that there's much to say other than that when you use the word, that's not what you mean - after all, it's hardly rare for words to have multiple meanings, connotations or contexts, e.g.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/set with an impressive 119 entries.
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Preference (Homosexuality)

#9  Postby Eduard » Feb 07, 2011 7:51 pm

Ok it gets better:

My response:

Ed wrote:The term sexual preference is a real scientific term. It is used by a branch of science called "Social Sciences & Humanities." The religious right take scientific terms out of context and use it for their own ulterior motives constantly. E.g. Intelligent Design.


:oops: Forgot to add "Biology" and "Medical Science" :nono:

With scientific term I'm basing it (i.e. sexual preference) on the following definition that makes sense to me from a 2 minute google search for a definition ( from answer.com):

SEXUAL PREFERENCE:

The preference one shows by having a sexual interest in members of the same, opposite, or either sex.


Nevermind that, I wasn't expecting a real thought-out response from. This was the response:

Gay Catholic wrote:exactly... so lets not feed the extremes when we know fully and clearly our lives are not a preference...it is our nature. We dont need to be defined by scientists we need to educate them, the qualified professions at minimum treated us as insane, criminal, diseased and disordered....they have a lot to learn, and the defence of this derogatory and offensive term is not helpful.


:waah:

Jesus frikkin' Christ on a bike, "we need to educate them!?" WTF does that mean? And since when is sexual preference an offensive and derogatory word? Sexual orientation and -Preference are two separate things! To dumb it down: I am gay, but if I feel inclined to prefer sex with a woman then that is my preference. If I prefer sex with a man it's my preference. It says nothing about my orientation. Somebody stop me if I'm barking up the wrong tree here.

Ok so my reply:

Ed wrote:This is a gross misrepresentation of the view and role the scientific professions have played in educating humanity wrt sexuality. The only professions that label gay people as insane, criminal, diseased, etc. are the ones that are influenced by the current monotheistic religions (I.e. Th Abrahamic religions: judaism, christianity + islam). Sexual preference in the original context was no more factually incorrect, derogatory or offensive than describing humans as being evolved cousins of gorillas and chimps.


I'm not always as good with the logical argument approach with religious folks than I would like to be, so any pointers = welcome.

(Thanks for the link Thommo!)
-Ed

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Re: Sexual Orientation and Preference (Homosexuality)

#10  Postby Blip » Feb 07, 2011 7:56 pm

I always conflate 'preference' and 'orientation' when either word is preceded by 'sexual'. No value judgement is implied or should be inferred, IMHO, and neither word has any pejorative connotation in this context. Does your critic / correspondent have English as his primary language, out of interest?
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Preference (Homosexuality)

#11  Postby Thommo » Feb 07, 2011 8:04 pm

Here's a semi-rhetorical question:

Think of any non-sexual preference (say for example favourite ice cream flavour), can that preference be described as a choice? Does it suggest that we can choose which option (ice cream flavour) we prefer?

I can't think of any good example of a preference I hold that I could choose to change, sexual or otherwise. Is that a failure of imagination on my part? :ask:
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Preference (Homosexuality)

#12  Postby Eduard » Feb 07, 2011 8:06 pm

No Blip, this guy is from Ireland. He is one of the directors for the Mr Gay World competition :ill:
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Preference (Homosexuality)

#13  Postby Blip » Feb 07, 2011 8:13 pm

Eduard wrote:No Blip, this guy is from Ireland. He is one of the directors for the Mr Gay World competition :ill:


Hmm...

May I respectfully suggest that if you put together what Thommo is saying eloquently and what I am struggling to articulate (I've had two glasses of wine!) you may have a response for him? Obviously his heart is in the right place!
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Preference (Homosexuality)

#14  Postby Scar » Feb 07, 2011 8:16 pm

Thommo wrote:Here's a semi-rhetorical question:

Think of any non-sexual preference (say for example favourite ice cream flavour), can that preference be described as a choice? Does it suggest that we can choose which option (ice cream flavour) we prefer?

I can't think of any good example of a preference I hold that I could choose to change, sexual or otherwise. Is that a failure of imagination on my part? :ask:


That's a great way of putting it. Quote that to him Ed!
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Preference (Homosexuality)

#15  Postby Thommo » Feb 07, 2011 8:31 pm

Blip wrote:
Eduard wrote:No Blip, this guy is from Ireland. He is one of the directors for the Mr Gay World competition :ill:


Hmm...

May I respectfully suggest that if you put together what Thommo is saying eloquently and what I am struggling to articulate (I've had two glasses of wine!) you may have a response for him? Obviously his heart is in the right place!


:oops:

You are too kind. You have also given me a craving for wine... :cheers:
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Preference (Homosexuality)

#16  Postby Scar » Feb 07, 2011 9:00 pm

I just had 2 glasses, too!
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Preference (Homosexuality)

#17  Postby Thommo » Feb 07, 2011 9:35 pm

Scar wrote:I just had 2 glasses, too!


Clearly all the cool kids are in on this! :smile:

-----

Anyway, I realised I'd overlooked the most important part of the OP:
Eduard wrote:My bf is Mr Gay SA and he has written the following as part of his mission statement:


Congratulations to your bf on winning! I do feel compelled to ask though - did he have to express his views on world peace to get the title? :ask:
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Preference (Homosexuality)

#18  Postby Kazaman » Feb 07, 2011 9:46 pm

Preference implies choice, so the "Catholic guy" is right. To prefer something is to choose a preference from among various options.
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Preference (Homosexuality)

#19  Postby Thommo » Feb 07, 2011 9:51 pm

Kazaman wrote:Preference implies choice, so the "Catholic guy" is right. To prefer something is to choose a preference from among various options.


So you would say that I have no preference for strawberry ice cream then? Merely a propensity to choose strawberry ice cream when permitted to select freely?
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Preference (Homosexuality)

#20  Postby Shuggy » Feb 07, 2011 10:57 pm

My sexual orientation is much stronger than my preference for strawberry icecream. Out of strawberry? Fine, anything but banana.

I'd say appease the guy, he's in charge. You both mean the same thing, whatever words you use.
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