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Are people born gay? Show more Show less

Few scientific questions generate as much intrigue and political turmoil as the origins of sexual orientation. Is there a clear genetic or hormonal link to sexual orientation that indicates gay people are, in the words of Lady Gaga, "Born This Way"? Can we ever know if same-sex attraction is determined before birth? Is this a question that should even be asked?

We don't know if people are born gay Show more Show less

No conclusive evidence has been found to settle the debate.
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What does gay even mean?

The terms 'gay', 'straight' and 'bisexual' don't even have clear meanings. If we can't define the terms, how can we trace their origins?

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Context

The idea of sexual orientation and homosexuality is such a novel construction that we don’t really know what it is. If we don’t know what something is, how can we assess its causes?

The Argument

Our understanding of same-sex attraction is dictated by our social constructs. In ancient and historical society, homosexuality and same-sex relations were not defined. The construct of sexual orientation and sexual categorization is a recent phenomenon. If we did not even have the idea of ‘gay’, ‘straight’ and ‘bisexual’ until very recently, how can sexuality be rooted in our DNA? How can we say with any certainty they are learnt or chosen?

Counter arguments

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Framing

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Premises

[P1] You must clearly define the 'what' before you can understand the 'why'. [P2] We have no clear understanding of what 'gay' means. [P3] Therefore, we cannot understand why people are gay.

Rejecting the premises

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Proponents

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Further Reading

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References

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This page was last edited on Thursday, 13 Feb 2020 at 12:52 UTC