At my job I spend a lot of time flipping through plays from the past 100 years. And seriously, many of them are actually from the 1920s-60s. Recently I was preparing an old play titled Backwoods Romeo for reprint when I got caught reading the description.
The basic story is that Romeo has lived in the woods with his grandfather for his first 21 years of life. The entire time there have been no women. He has never seen a girl ever. not once. Then, for some reason our backwoods protag goes to town and is surrounded by women for the first time. I have not yet read the play, but I assume he goes on some sort of spree- that would make good theatre, right?
But of course, this also started me wondering what would happen in reality if someone had no exposure to attractive people during their formative years. Would their sexuality change at all?
I am inclined to believe that you may end up sort of asexual if you grow up without the proper dosages of girl (or boy) in your teenage years. Imagine being 21 and seeing an attractive person for the first time. Do yo know what to do with them? Do you have any desire to do anything? Even kissing- I wonder if it is a learned desire, instead of innate desire.
I’ll say that I think it matters hugely whether you know that women exist at all, even if you aren’t hanging out with them. If grandpa told Romeo that there were these amazing creatures called girls and they were like people, but slightly different, and that you are supposed to be attracted to them- then I think Romeo may be better adjusted when he finally goes to town.
If you did Not know that women existed, I don’t think you could be attracted to them, because you wouldn’t know what was going on. They might even scare you. For fun I just googled “scary women” – it was all bodybuilders…
I do Not expect that people would become gay from lack of girls. But then, I don’t often like anything that supposes homosexuality can be induced since I think that mode of thinking makes the community vulnerable. I mostly just think that the young man is going to be really frustrated for a while, and he may develop some strange habits to cope. There’s that whole thing about farm boys and animals, but I may just ignore that instead of unpacking it’s causation.
It’s a Nature/Nurture argument for sure, and I think I’m going to come down on the side of Nurture. No Sex symbols until the age of 21? You might be irreversibly screwed up.