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Lesbian Journalist Julie Bindel Says Sexual Orientation Is a Choice

In her new book Straight Expectations, Julie Bindel argues that sexual orientation is a choice.  The journalist, campaigner, and feminist also says that people believe that they are born gay because of “internalised doctrine.”

BindelIn an interview in today’s Independent, Bindel also argues that there is no biological explanation for homosexuality and that there “has to be some kind of choice, as well as some deep-rooted, embedded responses that developed through different experiences in our childhood.”

Bindel, who with her partner co-founded Justice for Women which campaigns for female victims of domestic violence, says that her arguments regarding the causes of homosexuality have been “drowned out” by obsessed scientists and by those who use the gay gene argument to provoke sympathy.

Asked how and why people would choose to be gay in countries with oppressive anti-homosexuality laws, Bindel says:

“I don’t know.  All I know is I’ve never been convinced by a scientific argument, or seen any evidence that is compelling that there is something innate about our sexuality. What I’m suggesting is, there are people who could go one way or the other and happily choose to be lesbian or gay.”

However, writing in The Independent, Patrick Strudwick says that Bindel claims that she herself did not make that choice:

“Because I needed to leave home – there was nothing there for me in Darlington – and pursue my feminist possibilities, that meant starting a new life and all that was open to me. I fell in with a crowd [in Leeds] who spoke about lesbianism as part of women’s liberation. I never chose to be attracted to women.”

Strudwick also claims that what Bindel means by sexual preference being a choice is actually making a decision “to have a gay relationship, identify as gay, come out and lead a gay life (whatever that is).”

(image via twitter)

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  1. Bisexuals confront that choice everyday, yet it is not their choice to have that choice in the first place.

    Posted by: Jay | Jul 7, 2014 6:03:36 PM

  2. Well, I would indeed argue that Gay is different from Homosexual. Homosexual by birth - and until death - whether one ever acknowledges it, "acts on it" or not.

    Gay is elective. I elect to identify as gay, and I elected many years ago to Come Out and lead an openly-gay life.

    i've been homosexual for as long back as i can remember. orientation is not a choice, and her own words actually reinforce that, which she doesn't seem to understand.

    i'm reminded of a line from Princess Mononoke: "you cannot change your destiny, but you can rise to meet it"

    cheers to all who meet it, from a place of honesty. this sounds more like some intentional-contrarian not being too sure what she's actually saying.

    unlike Cynthia Nixon's "i choose to be gay" comment, which was actually spot-on, nuanced and made complete sense in the context of her bisexuality.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jul 7, 2014 6:04:41 PM

  3. When will these self serving idiots learn to speak for themselves...your truth is not mine, your insecurities are not mine.

    Posted by: Epic | Jul 7, 2014 6:07:52 PM

  4. This poor woman is very confused and ill informed...

    Posted by: Robert M. | Jul 7, 2014 6:09:45 PM

  5. Morons who don't understand science or psychology should shut the hell up.

    Posted by: AdamK | Jul 7, 2014 6:10:00 PM

  6. also - it's not about "looking for a gay gene" nor anything to do with "sympathy" - it's just reality.

    nobody would choose to be something that the world hates. were orientations a choice, the Closet would not exist. it's that simple.

    were there some socializing smoking-gun factor that "made people gay", we'd have bloody well found it by now.

    we exist, and we always have, and we always will, in every type of family and family dynamic, religion, culture, ethnic group, tribe, class, in every city in every country in every continent on the planet.

    now *were* it a choice it's a choice we should all be free to make.

    and to go one step further - knowing what i know now, i would choose it. i love this life. i love being gay. i wouldn't want to be straight; i lead a very rich life of experiences and perspectives that i treasure. good and bad.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jul 7, 2014 6:10:58 PM

  7. Well, idiots say things all the time. She can say that - I can say the opposite.

    Posted by: Tigernan | Jul 7, 2014 6:12:30 PM

  8. @ Little Kiwi,

    very well explained. I was trying to figure out how to resond to Julie Bindel's view point, but I couldn't. You did.

    If you have homosexual sex (and maybe even homosexual LOVE), but you don't want to be GAY--then, fine. Nobody's gonna' force you to consider yourself "GAY".


    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jul 7, 2014 6:13:36 PM

  9. Sometimes I wonder if many lesbians choose to be ignorant or is it a genetic abnormality? Like gay know, we're good with color & hair...and lezzies make good they like to argue & be confrontational. Or....just maybe, we're all unique you dumb bimbo and you can only speak for yourself...if you work hard at it & stay out of my head.

    Posted by: Paul B. | Jul 7, 2014 6:15:36 PM

  10. I think this lady needs to ask for a refund on her own "internalized doctrine."


    Posted by: edude | Jul 7, 2014 6:15:43 PM

  11. When do we stop to discuss the question whether homosexuality is innate or a choice, and start acknowledging this differentiation does not matter. At least it should not in a liberal nation ;)

    Posted by: bombastu | Jul 7, 2014 6:18:22 PM

  12. Maybe Heterosexuality is a choice......

    Posted by: Rob | Jul 7, 2014 6:22:09 PM

  13. Why do people like this get ANY attention - as if they're suddenly an AUTHORITY on the subject. She knows no more about it than her own personal opinion. She might as well be Pat Robertson or Ann Coulter or some other weinerhead who is given a forum on this subject just because...???!!! You fill in the blank for us, ANDY TOWLE!

    Posted by: Chuck Muckle | Jul 7, 2014 6:25:28 PM

  14. As we all know, feminist theoreticians are sticklers when it comes to scientific rigor. They will never claim something is true unless it's been validated in multiple peer-reviewed double blind studies.

    Posted by: Merv | Jul 7, 2014 6:25:52 PM

  15. "I’ve never been convinced by a scientific argument,"
    Maybe that is her problem. She was just talking BS. She will never be convinced by evidence even if there is one.

    Posted by: simon | Jul 7, 2014 6:29:16 PM

  16. I have long been suspicious of lesbian sexuality and have been of the mind that most women who are "lesbians", unlike most men who are homosexual--DO choose to be lesbians, out of a dislike of/distaste for men....and out of a feminist political stance that is a result of that dislike.

    Gay men are not politically monolithic--roughly 40% of white gay men voted Republican in the last Presidential election, for example.....and there are a whole lot of gay men who are simply oblivious to politics altogether and can therefore be described as apolitical.

    And all that makes sense, since sexual orientation and one's views on most political issues have little to do with each other.

    Find me a lesbian, on the other hand, who is NOT a feminist. I have never met one....and the likelihood that a sexual orientation would correspond almost 100% to a political ideology is practically nil, given that lesbians, like gay men, come from all kinds of family backgrounds.

    And then, of course, there are the severe limitations on what two women can do with each other in bed, in the absence of a penis....which makes the attraction itself somewhat questionable.

    So all that being the case, it does not surprise me that many lesbians would consider being a lesbian a choice......because for so many of them, if not all of them, it really is......when it is not for the vast majority of gay men....

    Posted by: Rick | Jul 7, 2014 6:35:13 PM

  17. The world would be a better place (or at least my blood pressure would be lower) if we could just get our fellow LGBT people so stop saying stupid things like this that our enemies will surely use against us. Thanks, Madame Bindel, for absolutely nothing!

    Posted by: Andy G. | Jul 7, 2014 6:35:21 PM

  18. And who is this moron? And will anyone except the anti gay bigots take her seriously?

    Posted by: jarago | Jul 7, 2014 6:35:28 PM

  19. there are people who could go one way or the other and happily choose to be lesbian or gay.

    Yes, they're called bisexuals. It's time for these people to start speaking About their own experiences and stop trying to generalize their own experience as if we are all the same.

    Posted by: Brad | Jul 7, 2014 6:37:14 PM

  20. Did I really just read "sexual preference" in this article?

    Posted by: MarkSquared | Jul 7, 2014 6:38:17 PM

  21. What about the study of identical twins where one is gay and the other isn't; did she take that into account?

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Jul 7, 2014 6:39:45 PM

  22. Women can opt into faking it. It's because they don't need to be aroused to have sex. They see sex as an opportunity.

    In contrast, men must be aroused to have sex. The evidence of their arousal is in the erection. Men also see sex as pleasure, not opportunity.

    Men and women are thus totally different. Fake lesbian syndrome is common.

    Posted by: petey | Jul 7, 2014 6:41:56 PM

  23. And why are you giving this idiot a voice?

    Posted by: Pepe | Jul 7, 2014 6:42:07 PM

  24. While everyone should have the choice to "be gay", and to act on that attraction, the fact of the matter is that it is not a choice for most people.

    The biological evidence is clear enough. Twin studies show that not only is there a genetic factor, but also another in-womb factor. We don't yet know the mechanisms, but there is no other explanation for why identical twins more likely share the same sexual orientation than fraternal twins, who are more likely than other siblings. Nobody "chooses" their genes or conditions in the womb.

    Further, male birth order affects the likelihood that a person is gay, even raised separately from other siblings.

    Last it is colossally arrogant for Julie to apply her own experience onto everyone else.

    I had no choice. Given the environment I grew up in, it would never have even crossed my mind to be gay, much less been a choice I would have made. It's absurd.

    Posted by: Randy | Jul 7, 2014 6:42:32 PM

  25. Oh, look, she's just like Rick... talking out of her ass and making broad generalizations based upon her own warped experience.

    The critical difference, of course, is she published a book and Rick is just a troll on a website.

    Posted by: crispy | Jul 7, 2014 6:45:31 PM

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