============================================================= WHAT EXACTLY IS HETEROSEXUALITY? WHAT CAUSES IT? From Heterosexuality. Edited by Dillain E. Hanscombe and Martin Humphries Heterosexuality is a condition in which people have a driving emotional and sexual interest in members of the opposite sex. Because of the anatomical, physiological, social and cultural differences involved, there are formidable obstacles to be overcome. However, many heterosexuals look upon this as a challenge and approach it with ingenuity and energy. Indeed it can be said that most heterosexuals are obsessed with the gratification of their curious desires. Hormonal Imbalance? One theory advanced is that heterosexuals have an imbalance in their sex hormones - instead of the normal mixture of the two, they have an excess of one or a dearth of the other, resulting in an inability to enjoy full and satisfying relationships with their own sex. Economic Conditioning? Our society grants financial and other incentives for exclusively (i.e. neurotic) heterosexual coupling: from tax concessions to family benefits. To be gay is expensive and many people simply cannot afford it. Fear of Death? A terror of mortality lies beneath much heterosexual coupling. Driven to perpetuate themselves at any cost, most heterosexuals are indifferent to the prospect of the world- wide famine that will result if the present population explosion continues unchecked. Cultural Deprivation? Most heterosexual will be found to have come from a background in which an appreciation of the beauty of their own bodies has been ruthlessly suppressed. Heterosexual men in particular think themselves "ugly", beauty being ascribed only to women. Many psychic disorders stem from this self- rejection. Pathological Condition? Many heterosexuals claim that they were just "born that way". Unfortunately this doesn't hold water. All human beings are the result of the interaction between their substance and their environment and heterosexuals, like the rest of us, must share in the responsibility for their condition. Social Conditioning? Many unthinking heterosexuals succumb to the daily bombardment of conditioning from the mass media and live out their lives trapped in oppressive stereotypes. We should feel compassion for such people, Not hostility, for their rejection of all those parts of the self that do not conform to the "married-couple" ideal, is a measure of their loss of contact with their own unique sexuality. Childhood Trauma? A bad experience with a member of the same sex while young may cause rejection of all members of the same sex through fear. The desire continues in the subconscious and emerges as a heterosexual neurosis. Parental Problem? In most cases of compulsive heterosexual behavior, the parents will be found to have suffered from similar difficulties.