On another thread, Momma Angel indicated she had some questions for me. The person who started that thread has indicated that she is not patient with digressions, and so Momma Angel suggested that we have the conversation about the questions she had via PM. I replied that I'd prefer to just go ahead and start a new thread about it, and here it is.
She asked the first question via PM, and gave me permission to quote from it:
In a PM, Momma Angel wrote:
But, with Betty and Sue, my friends, in Betty's case, she says she believes she was born homoxexual. Sue does not feel she was born homosexual. She did not in her words here, "become homosexual" until about 12 years ago. She said she wasn't attracted to women, etc., until then. But, she met Betty and that was it.
Now, does this mean that Sue is not a homosexual but just living like one? It appears, in her case, she did choose this, but Betty didn't. We have discussed this and it's funny, but we always end up laughing about this and they keep telling me there's hope for me yet (because I can always choose like Sue did.) They are some pretty cool ladies, sozobe.
There are a few elements involved in my answer. One is the Kinsey scale:
That holds that sexuality is not some binary, either-or thing, but falls along a continuum. Some people (like, I'd venture to say, you ;-)) are at the straight extreme ("O"). They have no attraction to the same sex at all. Some are at the gay extreme ("6"). They have no attraction to the opposite
sex, at all.
Then there are a bunch of people who are more in the middle ("1" through "5".) They have the ability to be attracted to the same sex, but whether that happens or not depends on a lot of factors.
It sounds like Sue is maybe a 2 or 3, while Betty is a 5 or 6.
All of us are bombarded from an early age with information about how heterosexual relationships are normal and desirable. Disney movies, fairytales, and on and on. That is, therefore, usually the default mode. People who are anything but a 5 or 6 grow up assuming that they will fall in love with someone who is the opposite sex, and they often do.
People who are a 6, though, since they have absolutely no attraction to the opposite sex, never buy into that. They know that a heterosexual relationship does not interest them, often from very early on.
People who are a 2 or 3 may go for a long time in their lives -- especially if they are in a conservative environment, where a same-sex relationship takes on an especially pejorative cast -- without feeling any attraction to someone of the same sex. But then they might meet someone who brings out that attraction. Or, they may go their whole lives in heterosexual relationships.
To summarize -- I think the vast majority of the population has some bisexual tendencies, that are either acted upon or not. Whether these people live as heterosexuals or not has a lot to do with current social mores. That is, the same male "3" that in the time of the Greeks would not hesitate to take on a male lover as was common then would be a lot less likely to have sex with a man today.
Then there is a smaller part of the population that is either completely straight or completely gay/lesbian, and circumstances won't change that.