40

I want to say something like:

From Freud's perspective, sexual deviances are not [manifest in humans from birth / present in humans from birth].

I need a word that describes a condition that one is born with; specifying that the condition was present from birth.

  • 1
    Also consider immanent (not to be confused with imminent). – person27 Apr 27 '16 at 0:12
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    @JoshuaLamusga: Except of course it would be confused with imminent. ;-) – T.J. Crowder Apr 28 '16 at 5:36
  • predisposition? – rogerdpack Apr 28 '16 at 15:53
  • note that simply "natural" is often used here. For example, in the phrase "natural talent" it (a) literally means what you ask and (b) is the universal phrase for what you ask, in that case. – Fattie Apr 28 '16 at 17:54
  • 1
    Etymologically, "natural" is exactly the right word, but if you were to say "sexual deviances are not natural" it would probably not be understood as intended by anybody. – Kundor Apr 28 '16 at 19:48

11 Answers 11

144

congenital

(especially of a disease or physical abnormality) present from birth. (of a person) having a particular trait from birth or by firmly established habit.

and

adj. ... describing a condition that is recognized at birth or that is believed to have been present since birth. Congenital malformations include all disorders present at birth whether they are inherited or caused by an environmental factor....
Oxford Concise Medical Dictionary (9 ed.)

  • 6
    Can the word "congenital" really be used to describe something psychological, such as "sexual deviances", as per the original question? I've only heard it used for physical malformations/disorders – Jake Apr 27 '16 at 14:43
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    @Jake the OP wants to say : "From Freud's perspective, sexual deviances are not ______. – Mari-Lou A Apr 27 '16 at 17:24
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    I limit myself to suggesting the most appropriate word, in my opinion. :) – Mari-Lou A Apr 27 '16 at 18:52
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    @Jake: "Congenital liar" is a pretty common phrase. – Nate Eldredge Apr 27 '16 at 19:47
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    I was the 100th upvoter :) ! Congratulations! – user66974 Apr 29 '16 at 17:52
76

Consider innate (existing in one from birth; inborn; native)

Example: We do not know whether musical ability is innate or acquired.

Edit: I just realized that this word appears in @Josh61 "Inborn" definition.

  • 9
    On reading the question title, my first reaction was "congenital", but on reading the context in the question itself, "innate" is a better choice, IMO. A child may be born with a congenital heart defect, but humans have an innate ability to recognize faces. That is, face recognition is part of being human - everyone has it - but "congenital" is an individual condition. – G. Ann - SonarSource Team Apr 29 '16 at 18:55
30

Inborn:

  • existing from birth; congenital; innate

  • Existing naturally or by heredity rather than being learned through experience:

    • "Flight is an inborn skill; young birds don't have to learn how" (Marie Read).

(The Free Dictionary)

24

Congenital is my first choice, but if you want something more on the meta-physical level, consider inherent:

belonging to the basic nature of someone or something

(Merriam-Webster)

  • 2
    +1 This would be my choice in the OP's context. Congenital is usually used for physical attributes. – Iain Holder Apr 27 '16 at 20:16
  • 1
    Agreed. Also, sexual deviance is not a condition. – Mazura Apr 29 '16 at 2:01
4

Congenital is indeed oft used, however it means that it is a lineage trait as well (literally from con genites (Latin) meaning with father): so whilst popular in use, not strictly correct unless unless referring to a condition suffered by progenitors as well.

From the point of view of non-physical traits: perhaps inherent, or intrinsic might serve better when dealing with psychological conditions allowing a choice for the intent you wish to construe as to the capability of the individual to resist their predestined traits: if inherent, then they may well be able to resist, if intrinsic, then the trait is so fundamental as to be an integral part and unavoidable in the long run. Innate can work too, as it stems from the Latin for in/since birth.

For example:

From Freud's perspective, sexual deviances are not inherent

i.e. not part of the basic nature of the subject

From Freud's perspective, sexual deviances are not intrinsic

i.e. not part of the integral nature of the subject

From Freud's perspective, sexual deviances are not innate

i.e. not part of the birth-state of the subject

Something just occurred to me as well, the trait, described as psychological may well have a physiological cause (brain lesions, altered brain formation) and hence be able to be classified as a more properly physical trait, which could allow you to rename the trait as such.

4

Maybe you should go for :

innate: An innate quality or ability is one that you were born with, not one you have learned:

or

inherent :existing in something as a permanent, essential, or characteristic attribute.

or

intrinsic : Of or relating to the essential nature of a thing. Situated within or belonging solely to the organ or body part on which it acts.

or

inborn : natural

P.S. : Definitions from Google Dictionary

  • Don't know why these have been downvoted, they are good words. – Iain Holder Apr 28 '16 at 6:24
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    @IainHolder Maybe the downvotes were cast because innate has already been suggested by Graffito, inherent by Michael J and there's no explanation or reference for intrinsic, which is the worst suggestion of the lot. – Mari-Lou A Apr 28 '16 at 22:44
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    I concur. This answer is of Very Low Quality, and does risk deletion unless it's enhanced with published definitions which justify these suggestions. – Andrew Leach Apr 29 '16 at 8:19
  • @abcd Please format and reference quotes correctly – Andrew Leach Apr 29 '16 at 13:31
2

Genetic

That's what most American English speakers would say in that case. It isn't technically correct, but we use the word for things that aren't caused by genes.

"Insanity is genetic, you get it from your children"

"She has a genetic heart condition"

"Many Americans believe that homosexuality is genetic"

  • 1
    I don't think that's a usage issue, but rather a scientific literacy issue. I think when people say this they genuinely mean genetic and are simply misunderstanding the science, as opposed to meaning something other than the scientific definition. (Of course, the first example you gave is a common joke, and the use of genetic there is tongue-in-cheek.) – Era Apr 28 '16 at 16:27
  • 1
    Sure, I agree with that. I'm positively amazed that this isn't getting massive upvotes, because anyone who speaks American will have heard this, almost every time, when we need to say a sentence like the example. This is absolutely the most common way an American speaker would say it. Maybe in UK it's different, I don't know. – Jasmine Apr 28 '16 at 16:49
  • Genetic though isn't what I'm looking for in this context. Genetic would imply the 'sexual deviance' is a precondition, determined prior to birth. I am simply looking for a word that describes something as if it was assigned at birth. – socrates Apr 29 '16 at 23:47
  • Americans use the word both ways. Sorry if I wasn't clear on that. – Jasmine May 2 '16 at 16:27
1

hereditary

: passing, or capable of passing, naturally from parent to offspring through the genes

RHKWCD

Hemophilia is a hereditary condition.

atavistic

: reappearing after being absent from a strain of organism for several generations. Used of an inherited trait.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Student Science

  • 3
    Neither of these words fit the OP's context. – Iain Holder Apr 27 '16 at 20:19
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    This implies the trait is shared by one's parents/ancestors. A birth defect, for example, may not be hereditary, but it's still present from birth. – Darrel Hoffman Apr 27 '16 at 20:21
0

"Proband" is the term geneticists use to define someone who has a genetic condition they wish to track in a family tree. A person confirmed with the condition is an "affected proband" a person unconfirmed is a "suspected proband"

  • 1
    Can you add a reference to back your claim? :) – NVZ Apr 30 '16 at 4:35
0

Freud often got himself caught up in words, and I never followed his theory. Still, vocabulary can be worth some talk. We can compare "angeborene" (to discuss notionality, that is, the lexicon and connotation, we should refer to the language of the original).

"Angeborene"might refer to inborn, inbred, as well as innate states or conditions.

http://dict.tu-chemnitz.de/dings.cgi?service=deen&opterrors=0&optpro=0&query=angeborene&iservice=

Regarding deviance, the psychological side naturally is who to blame for the condition. Word choice can make a difference.

"Innateness" often refers to the species. If your context is scientific, the blame could not be on all humanity anyway, so you would be making only a redundant note.

"Congenital" disorders are mostly those developed during fetal development. Distortion to result from lesions would belong with congenital problems before parturition, and with acquired disorders ever after.

"Inbred" deviance would imply a totalitarian family or culture, not a strong thought, on the side of credibility on accepted influence. The matter would be similar with "inborn", often to mean factors or predilections recognized since birth. Infant life obviously is not abundant with sex.

Your described sense might be that "deviance is not genetic", but I think it is always good to refer to the original text. One can never trust interpretations.

If to think about the affirmative in English, behavior is mostly learned or developed, psychologically. Deviance as a learned behavior obviously is a bit too funny for an idea.

-6

It's not perfect for this usage, but inveterate is a good word to have in your tool belt:

1. settled or confirmed in a habit, practice, feeling, or the like: an inveterate gambler.

2. firmly established by long continuance, as a disease, habit, practice, feeling, etc.; chronic.

[via Dictionary.com]

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