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Homosexuality – Nature or Nurture?

Correct me where I'm wrong.

There's a strong biological component to homosexuality in human beings.

Nature (or "choice") plays a small role.

There's no one "gay gene" or anything, but human sexuality is a complex mix of things, but genetics and biology play an incredibly large role in determining someone's hetero- or homo-sexuality.

5 Responses to "Homosexuality – Nature or Nurture?"

  1. I wouldn't say "wrong", but the assertion that "there's a strong biological component to homosexuality in human beings" seems inaccurate.

    What's interesting is the significant shift in positions on this issue that has taken place in the last 15 years. Pro-gay researchers and organizations acknowledge the dearth of evidence for a biological cause to homosexuality. The American Psychological Association (APA), for example, once held the position in 1998 that, there is "evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person’s sexuality." However, a decade of scientific research seemingly debunked this idea and caused the APA to revise their view in 2009. Their new position reads: "Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors".

    http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/sexual-orientation.aspx

    A pro-gay group like the APA wouldn’t revise their statement unless there was overwhelming evidence that necessitated a position change.

    It would probably be more accurate to say there "may be some biological component...".

    But out of curiosity, why does it matter?

    1. JW said on March 3, 2013:

      But out of curiosity, why does it matter?

      No reason in particular, except just ongoing formulation of opinions and understanding of facts.

      I've seen a lot of things suggesting the opposite, too - when one twin is gay the other is something like 260x as likely to be gay. Things like that suggest there's a strong biological component.

  2. Erik J. Barzeski said on March 3, 2013:

    I've seen a lot of things suggesting the opposite, too - when one twin is gay the other is something like 260x as likely to be gay. Things like that suggest there's a strong biological component.

    While there may be increased probability, science at present does not seem to support the conclusion that there's a strong biological component. Since identical twins have identical genetics, it would follow that if one twin was homosexual, it's highly probable that the other would also be homosexual, but both twins are homosexual in less than 15% of the cases.

    http://faculty.wcas.northwestern.edu/JMichael-Bailey/Publications/Bailey%20et%20al.%20twins,2000.pdf

    "In contrast to most prior twin studies of sexual
    orientation, however, ours did not provide statistically significant support for the importance of genetic
    factors for that trait."

    1. I saw a study from 2009 that put the number at 52%.

  3. If so, I guess the best we can say is that the jury is still out on the extent that biological factors contribute in this regard.

    If it ever is shown definitively there is a strong biological component, among other questions, I would be curious how the ex-gay community would be explained, given that it's mere existence demonstrates fluidity in sexual orientation.


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