Sexual orientation is a controversial topic in our society

Media reports frequently share news of those speaking up in favor of gay rights and gay marriage as well as of the horrors of gay bashing and killings. As we have done in previous discussions, we are going to explore our own perspectives and to learn from others and our class resources about the issues of living as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered (LGBT) persons and what it is like to be a family member, friend, and/or coworker of LGBTs.
Here is a question many still debate: is sexual orientation a choice or is it an innate characteristic (i.e., something you are born with)? For some people, it seems that the answer to this question is pivotal on their position about supporting LGBTs. To help you think about this question, please do the following two tasks before responding in this conference topic:
Read the “Heterosexual Questionnaire” (see attachment) consider your answers. Reflect on how it felt to read the questions and to answer them. Now go back and change the word “heterosexual” or “heterosexuality” with “homosexual” or “homosexuality”. Have your reflections changed? What new insights (if any) do you you now have about the questions?

Read the 1-page commentary, “Is Sexuality a Choice?” written by another BEHS 220 instructor, Ms. Lindy Perry-Garnette. (It is also attached.) Follow her instructions for “Try This!” and consider what you learn in the process.

Read the 2-page commentary, “Legal Protections and Hate Crimes” also written by Ms. Perry-Garnette. It is offered to broaden your understanding of the issues that LGBTs experience.

And no, you don’t have to share anything from these three steps with the rest of the class unless you want to do so! 🙂
For this discussion, respond to the two following points:
a. Do you think it matters whether sexual orientation is a choice or not? If so, why? If not, why not?
b. Go to and explore the Straight For Equality Web site found at OR the Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) Web site found at and share 2 things you found that you either agree or disagree with and state why for each.
This week, we will focus on leadership issues from the perspectives of Ligua, Mary and Michael. Let’s see how they are dealing with them in chapter 7 (pp. 241-242). Please choose a scenario and answer the questions either about Ligua’s possible speech training, Mary’s home visit experiences, or Michael’s conflicts as a supervisor.

Heterosexual Questionnaire*
Please answer the following questions as honestly as possible. You do not have to share your answers.
1. What do you think caused your heterosexuality?
2. When and how did you first decide you were heterosexual?
3. Is it possible that your heterosexuality is just a phase you may grow out of?
4. Is it possible that your heterosexuality stems from a fear of others of the same sex?
5. If you have never slept with a member of your own sex, is it possible that you might be gay if
you tried it?
6. If heterosexuality is normal, why are so many mental patients heterosexual?
7. Why do you heterosexual people try to seduce others into your lifestyle?
8. Why do you flaunt your heterosexuality? Can’t you just be who you are and keep it quiet?
9. The great majority of child molesters are heterosexual. Do you consider it safe to expose your
children to heterosexual teachers?
10. With all the societal support that marriage receives, the divorce rate is spiraling. Why are there
so few stable relationships among heterosexual people?
11. Why are heterosexual people so promiscuous?
12. Would you want your children to be heterosexual, knowing the problems they would face, such
as heartbreak, disease, and divorce?
*Created by Martin Rochlin, Ph.D., January 1977, and adapted for use in the Lesson Plan, Creating Safe Space for GLBTQ Youth: A Toolkit. Found on January 3, 2014 at