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Socialist Review Index (1993–1996) | Socialist Review 169 Contents

Socialist Review, November 1993

Steve Hack


A matter of choice

From Socialist Review, No. 169, November 1993.
Copyright © Socialist Review.
Copied with thanks from the Socialist Review Archive.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.

Tom Delargy (October SR) says that ‘rather than denying outright the possibility of a genetic component to sexual orientation, it would be better for socialists to assert the irrelevance of such evidence.’

The problem with this is that if you accept that our sexualities are, or may be, a product of our genetic make up, you make concessions to some very reactionary ideas underpinning the ‘gay gene’ research. As Tom points out, the research is used by bigots to promote the notion of a fixed, natural (hetero) sexuality and an abnormal (homo) sexuality.

The genetic argument makes no sense if we recognise that the ways in which we define our sexuality are conditioned by capitalist society, and that in a socialist society definitions of sexuality would be entirely different.

Of course many people would still choose to live in exclusively straight or gay relationships. But sexualities wouldn’t be defined solely on the basis of particular relationships people are in, but by how people choose to live their lives under socialism.

The idea that gay sexuality is a behaviour that can be isolated to a specific section of the population is completely erroneous.


Steve Hack
South London

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