Mapping the world's opinions

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Are people born gay?

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?

Yes, people are born gay

Various studies have found a direct link between genetics and homosexuality.

The argument from epigenetics

The same genetic code can be expressed differently depending on chemical changes that take place before birth. Explore

We can't choose our sexual orientation

We have a stake in our own development through free will and existential choice. If we can't choose our sexuality, it must be innate rather than developed. Explore

Xq28 is the gay gene

Scientists have been able to trace same-sex attraction to a single gene, Xq28. Explore

Homosexuality runs in families

The extended families of homosexuals tend to have multiple family members attracted to members of the same sex. Explore

The fraternal birth effect

The more older brothers you have, the higher the likelihood of you being attracted to members of the same sex. Explore

Neurological differences between gay and straight people

Gay people have a different neurological structure to their heterosexual peers. Explore

No, people are not born gay

To reduce sexual orientation to genetics or hormones reduces it to a binary outcome. Sexuality is not binary, it is fluid and no genetic explanation has been able to accomodate this.

Identical twins can have different sexual orientations

Two identical twins that share the same genetics can have different sexual orientations. Explore

Same-sex attraction is a mental illness

Mental illnesses are developed, they are not innate. Homosexuality is a mental illness and is therefore not something we are born with. Explore

Gay people have fewer offspring

The laws of evolution dictate that if sexual orientation was genetic, gay people would have died out already as they have far fewer offspring than heterosexuals. Explore

Sexual orientation is not a binary outcome

Only things with binary outcomes can be reduced to genetics. Sexual orientation is not binary, it is fluid. Explore

We don't know if people are born gay

No conclusive evidence has been found to settle the debate.

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? Explore

The word is still out on genetics

Although numerous studies have been conducted, none have come to a definitive conclusion. Between small data sets and conflicting results, the current studies show no conclusive evidence. Explore

It doesn't matter if people are born gay

The question of whether people are born gay is unimportant and could be dangerous.

We are better off not knowing

The answer to the question will only have negative repercussions for the LGBTQ+ community. Explore

You shouldn't get to define someone else’s homosexuality

The reasons someone is gay are highly personal. Nobody should be allowed to tell someone else why they are gay. Explore
This page was last edited on Tuesday, 4 Feb 2020 at 17:51 UTC