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Why we can’t change our sexual desires?

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Why we can’t change our sexual desires?

Postby Kirill » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:54 pm

Recently I came to the conclusion that’s the core of sexual interest is immutable. Why we can’t change our sexual desires? Neuronal networks in the brain, that determine our sexual peculiarities, are not flexible; maybe some proteins are stabilizing these networks? What are your thoughts on this matter? I’ll appreciate every opinion.
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Re: Why we can’t change our sexual desires?

Postby HesDeltanCaptain » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:55 pm

Blaming how our brains work for socially/legally unacceptable behaviours is nothing new. Wont get you aquitted though at trial. :) How the brain proccesses information may influence desire, but who we eventually seek out for sex is on us. We're never automotons and helpless to abide by the law. I may not agree with age of consent laws, and support their repeal and leave such things in the hands of parents, but I abide by it much the same as I pay my taxes despite being anti-war and believing the government is evil and corrupt.

We can change sxual desires, just as with everything else. Can teach most animals how to do amusing tricks. And with people we speak the same language and thus teaching and learning is even easier. The thing with sexual minorities like pedophiles is we're being conditioned that that sort of sex is bad, but everything is telling us sex is good. If it were a different time and place, and adult-minor relationships were normal and fine, the complicated why's and how's of such sexual attractions would never come up. It's simply that a religious majority whose faith is anti-sex has wormed its way into law-making positions and so we're stuck with 'sex is sinful' as a matter of law. Oddly enough, their own religious text (the Bible) puts the age for marriage (and sex) at 12 for girls, and 13 for boys.
"I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I pretended to be." - Me.
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Re: Why we can’t change our sexual desires?

Postby Graveyard76 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:22 pm

Deltan, what makes you think sexual desires can be changed? Are you talking about specific traits, or orientations?

I truly believe orientations are hard-wired, and there's little that we can do to change them. If we were all given a choice of who we find attractive, there wouldn't be a need for this forum, as we'd all choose a better demographic. Gay people in the last century wouldn't have wasted years of their lives agonising and trying to force themselves to be normal.

I don't believe it's a choice. When I hear some ultra-conservative Christian saying that they believe that one's sexuality is a choice, I take that as an admission that they're bisexual, because I certainly couldn't choose to be attracted to blokes. I am the way I am, and I'm stuck with it.
"Anybody remotely interesting is mad in some way or another." - The 7th Doctor.

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Re: Why we can’t change our sexual desires?

Postby Kirill » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:38 pm

We can change sexual desires, just as with everything else.

Do you have any proof of this claim (personal experience, scientific study, etc)? Most mental health professionals don’t think that it is possible. In my opinion, exist critical period (in childhood), when our sexuality is very flexible, but after puberty critical period end, maybe because neurochemistry of our brain change (expression in some genes). For example, “Expression of the protein Lynx1 has been associated with the normal end of the critical period for synaptic plasticity in the visual system”. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_period#Vision)
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Re: Why we can’t change our sexual desires?

Postby HowardCL » Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:20 pm

I always would see things in the past about how once homosexual men were changed and now were living straight lives and were married and so on, yet I have a feeling that perhaps they have always been gay but just supress it and its always there. I have heard that trying to change ones sexual attraction to children is impossible and there has been no experiences of that happening.
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Re: Why we can’t change our sexual desires?

Postby Mythic » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:23 am

Kirill wrote:
We can change sexual desires, just as with everything else.

Do you have any proof of this claim (personal experience, scientific study, etc)? Most mental health professionals don’t think that it is possible. In my opinion, exist critical period (in childhood), when our sexuality is very flexible, but after puberty critical period end, maybe because neurochemistry of our brain change (expression in some genes). For example, “Expression of the protein Lynx1 has been associated with the normal end of the critical period for synaptic plasticity in the visual system”. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_period#Vision)


If it were proved that critical periods did actually play a role in having a paedophilic attraction - something that I tend to believe too - it might not be the end of the story. Future research could show that the resultant 'hard-wiring' was in fact amenable to 'dissolving' and retraining by some method - unlikely perhaps, but not beyond the realm of possibility.
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Re: Why we can’t change our sexual desires?

Postby Kirill » Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:46 am

If it were proved that critical periods did actually play a role in having a paedophilic attraction - something that I tend to believe too - it might not be the end of the story. Future research could show that the resultant 'hard-wiring' was in fact amenable to 'dissolving' and retraining by some method - unlikely perhaps, but not beyond the realm of possibility.
I don’t think it’s possible. Difference between adult’s brain and child’s brain is too large, and we can’t return brain to infant state. Children very easy learn native language, but after critical period language acquisition becomes a difficult, the same principle works with our sexuality. The head of the Institute of Sexology and Sexual Medicine (this Institute runs The Prevention Project Dunkelfel, see about this https://www.dont-offend.org/) Klaus M. Beier also claim, that after puberty (when critical period probably end) sexuality is immutable. I read about this in his interviews and in his book “Sexual Medicine in Clinical Practice” . Russian sexologists seems agree with it (I’am russian, and I counseled with famous sexologist Michael Beylkin) . I haven’t found anywhere any mention about experiments, which aim increase neuroplasticity in adult’s brain in order to generate new sexual interest. Nowadays performing only experiments whith neuroplasticity in order to find cure for neurological disorders, and the state of this research remain primitive: exact molecular mechanism of neuroplasticity remain unknown, and serve neuronal damage remain irreversible.
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Re: Why we can’t change our sexual desires?

Postby Mythic » Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:39 pm

Hi Kirill

I agree that the possibility for a sexual orientation to be changed, whether for a paedophilic or perhaps a homosexual one, is a very slim hope for the future. We do not know the causes that might produce a paedophilic orientation or whether many would consider such treatment if it were made available. I realise that all the following is a bit nebulous and just guesswork, I do not have anything like the required knowledge in the relevant fields, and I am no scientist. I try to follow the progress of science in many of the fields that might be relevant to paedophilia, as an interested party, and this does leave the door open a little, at least in my mind. I think there is a tendency to view things as impossible or possible, and history shows us that many things thought to be in the former category often end up in the latter due to scientific progress - but not all, particularly in such a new science as the human mind and body. I am aware of such things as the cat experiments with vision and 'Genie', so I do realise some of the difficulties with critical periods. Optimist that I am, I submit the following, which might have some relevance -

For example, some of the recent research into memories and how in the future memories might be erased for those suffering PTSD, which could have broader implications - although it appears we still do not have conclusive evidence as to how and where memories are formed and stored. From a Wired article - The Forgetting Pill Erases Painful Memories Forever:

This new model of memory isn’t just a theory — neuroscientists actually have a molecular explanation of how and why memories change. In fact, their definition of memory has broadened to encompass not only the cliché cinematic scenes from childhood but also the persisting mental loops of illnesses like PTSD and addiction — and even pain disorders like neuropathy. Unlike most brain research, the field of memory has actually developed simpler explanations. Whenever the brain wants to retain something, it relies on just a handful of chemicals. Even more startling, an equally small family of compounds could turn out to be a universal eraser of history, a pill that we could take whenever we wanted to forget anything. And researchers have found one of these compounds. In the very near future, the act of remembering will become a choice.

I think this possibly will have wider implications since memories are the foundations for much of our thinking and behaviour. The overall neuroplasticity of the brain might allow for such 'reprogramming', although I do recognise that a sexual orientation is much more complicated than simple memory formation. There is research at the moment into growing biological organisms to combat diseases or to solve other problems, possibly involving cells in the brain. The following quote (from a Science Daily article) concerns possible treatments for neurological conditions:

A group of really brainy scientists have moved closer to growing "therapeutic" brain cells in the laboratory that can be re-integrated back into patients' brains to treat a wide range of neurological conditions. According to new research published online in The FASEB Journal, brain cells from a small biopsy can be used to grow large numbers of new personalized cells that are not only "healthy," but also possess powerful attributes to preserve and protect the brain from future injury, toxins and diseases. Scientists are hopeful that ultimately these cells could be transformed in the laboratory to yield specific cell types needed for a particular treatment, or to cross the "blood-brain barrier" by expressing specific therapeutic agents that are released directly into the brain.

Also, some of the things we are finding out about oxytocin and its effects might be relevant.

Not a lot of evidence I agree.

If it were possible to ameliorate the effects of any critical period then it might also be possible to treat other problem areas such as psychopathy or autism, both of which seem to have a biological basis, and which also seem quite intractable at the moment. These however might be much less hard to do than changing a sexual orientation. I do like to look a long way into the future, and tend to believe that few things are actually impossible. :?

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Re: Why we can’t change our sexual desires?

Postby Kirill » Tue May 13, 2014 8:00 am

There is some preliminary evidence that sensory systems (visual, auditory) of the brain can be rewired. “Sexual system” of the brain contains sensory subsystems, motor subsystems, cognitive subsystems, vegetative subsystem. I thought o lot about underlying molecular mechanism of neuroplasticity and discuss it with sexologists. But they are stupid, they don’t’ read scientific literature in this field. Takao Hensch, Michela #######1 are scientists, who work in this area. You can see about some achievements in this field here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZvqAHhiEL8 If someday “cure” will be invented for paraphilias it will be created in this field or research (molecular mechanisms of neuroplasticity) .
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Re: Why we can’t change our sexual desires?

Postby Graveyard76 » Tue May 13, 2014 6:23 pm

Neuro science is pretty fascinating stuff, but I can't see how messing around with somebody's brain to try to change something that's probably inherent, can be anything else but extremely dangerous and unpredictable.

How do you know you're not going to provoke some horrific side effect? I'm not surprised you can see differences in brains according to what areas get used for this or that, but I highly doubt you can tell from looking at someone's brain whether or not they like chocolate ahead of ice cream, or if they prefer Star Wars to Star Trek. These things are personal tastes, much like sexual preferences. If you mess around with the part of the brain that governs tastes, opinions, and preferences, I wouldn't be surprised if you could accidentally completely change an individual's character and temperament.
"Anybody remotely interesting is mad in some way or another." - The 7th Doctor.

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