HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsGays: Is this learned or inborn behaviour?

Gays: Is this learned or inborn behaviour?

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What would you do if you discovered that either your daughter or son is gay?

That is a very difficult question indeed.

But we have all have come across or heard about people in same sex relationships.

There have been instances where communities have taken the law into their own hands and meted out instant justice on gays.

President Robert Mugabe has repeatedly described these people as being worse than pigs and dogs, a stance he has maintained despite condemnation from rights activists the world over.

Homosexuals have in the past conducted their affairs behind closed doors but today we see them displaying or showing affection openly without reservation.

A female student at a local private college alleged that girls had also become very open about their sexual orientation.

She said they kiss and rub each other so passionately that they no longer view them as odd.

In Bulawayo, police interrogated at least 20 students from Eveline High School last week, over allegations of lesbianism.

Detectives quizzed the students believed to be players with a local football team, after another student allegedly blew the whistle on her teammates.

The headmistress Rosemary Moyo confirmed the lesbian activity and that police were handling the matter, described by a senior education officer as deplorable and unacceptable.

Another case I heard of was that of a Mbare couple who refused to go and bury their son after they discovered that he was gay.

The young man was a well-known hairdresser who paraded by the name Marcy, a matter that sent his parents into the bedroom until the coffin had been driven off to the graveyard for burial the following day.

There were cheers from these people and one would have mistaken this funeral for some party.

I also came face to face with an interesting posting on a gay website called Gay Universe not so long ago after I had Google searched a friend’s son who had left Zimbabwe for greener pastures overseas.

The advert read: “I am a hot chocolate, six- footer, loves men, cooking and would like to date men from all walks of life.”

I called the boy’s father who was visibly shocked when I showed him these details.

All he managed to say was: “Ini handina mwana ngochani. Mwana wangu iyeye? (I don’t have a son who is gay. Is this really my son?)?”

The father later admitted that he had always complained why this young man was always in the kitchen preparing all sorts of recipes.

He said he was such a domesticated fella who found joy by being around the stove and kitchen sink cleaning dishes.

People close to this family also hinted that they were not surprised because this person had been girlish in every way.

“His voice and his dressing pointed to the fact that he was a queer person. He could make rich tea scones, cakes and stews. We all wondered,” said one of his maternal aunts.

His father added: “This boy was always in the company of boys and never did I hear of any female voice calling him on the phone. He was odd through and through.”

But there is also some school of thought that claims one sex schools were driving schoolchildren into same sex relationships.

The young man mentioned is a former student of a famous Harare all-boys school.

Eveline High School too is a one sex school for girls. Professor Bishop Washington Mahiya of the Christ Worship Centre in Harare concurred and said he had counselled a good number of men who had become gay after attending boys only schools.

“They say it starts like an experiment that they gradually start to enjoy and then it becomes like something acceptable.

These people need counselling and deliverance just like what happens to prostitutes and drunkards.

“These men are married but still feel they are gay and engage in extra-marital affairs with other men. Gays have existed since time immemorial and they need help,” said Professor Mahiya.

There is a story of a coloured woman who found her husband in bed with his friend. She lost her mind and was admitted to a mental hospital. The mariage was nullified.

Then there is a white woman who suffered from depression and died from a stroke triggered by her only son who had told her that he was gay and immediately moved in with his boyfriend.

Sad as these examples may sound, but the truth is that homosexuality is real, and much as we want to brush it away, we all know of someone who may be gay.

It could be your very own sister, brother or even spouse.

The question then is; Is homosexuality a learned behaviour or an inborn creation?

Scientific research claims that being gay is not a behaviour acquired or learned.

There are people who grow up gay without even knowing that gay people exist, so it’s not possible they “learnt” it off anyone. Recent studies suggest that the brains of gay men are slightly different to heterosexual men’s; suggesting that being gay may be physical, rather than environmental.

Some psychologists however thought that all people sit somewhere on a scale of bisexuality, so those people close to the 50/50 mark might go either way (gay or straight) depending on events that happen in life.

Other studies dispute this theory, saying that men in particular tend to be either mainly heterosexual, or mainly homosexual.

Homosexual acts, even between consenting adults, are illegal in Zimbabwe.

A biblical analysis on homosexuality by Brian Schwertly states that this is an age of increasing acceptance and approval of homosexuality.

“It is true that some people hate homosexuals. Some people even engage in ‘gay bashing’. But it must be remembered that people who engage in such activities are sinning against God; they are not at all living in accordance with the law of Christ.

“Christians should protect homosexuals from personal attack. Yet, while the Christian should love the homosexual by treating him lawfully, he must also love him by being biblically honest with him,” Schwertly says.

Perhaps the most remembered high profile court case involving gays in Zimbabwe was that of the first president Canaan Banana who was jailed for raping his aide de camp Jephta Dube in the late 90s.

Allegations arose during Dube’s trial for the murder of a police colleague, in a fit of rage after the he had called him “Banana’s wife”.

Dube claimed that sustained sexual abuse while he worked for Banana had led him to alcoholism and had destroyed his life.

Following Dube’s claims, several men, including Banana’s former students, soldiers and players in Banana’s State House football team Tornadoes, came forward with similar allegations.

A former chief executive of the then Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation Alum Mpofu quit his job ahead of a government inquiry into allegations of homosexuality.

Mpofu resigned after he was allegedly caught in a homosexual act at a Harare nightclub.
What are your views about homosexuality?

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