The Role of Nature and Nurture in Human Homosexuality

Page 1 of 2

The Role of Nature and Nurture in Human Homosexuality

By | April 2008
Page 1 of 2
The Role of Nature and Nurture in Human Homosexuality

In the debate on what influences one’s sexual orientation, one side assigns free choice to the homosexual practice. The opposite side argues that genes define one’s sexuality. But to be accurate, one should look at all the factors that influence homosexuality: nature, nurture, and choice. To say that homosexuality is caused by only one phenomenon is inaccurate and leaves too many important factors out. Homosexual desire is a multiple phenomena, with different developmental pathways. For political and historical reasons, Western society has labeled homosexuality as specific group of stigmatized and related desires and behaviors. As more and more people challenge these stigmas, the challengers kept the label as a symbol of identity. Still, nothing has been proved or disproved, for the variations in homoerotic behavior point to multiple phenomena with diverse developmental pathways.

Many researches have shown that nature does influence homosexuality. Researches found that in 10 out of the 24 studies examined there was a statistically significant correlation between left-handedness and homosexuality (Lumiere, 2000). This is not to say that all homosexual people are left-handed, but that homosexuals have a greater chance of being left-handed than heterosexuals. Another study, made by Hall and Kimura (2000), showed that gay men have fingerprint ridge patterns that display more leftward asymmetry than the fingerprint ridge patterns of straight men. It was also found that this asymmetry co-occurred with left-handedness only in gay men. In identical twins, this leftward asymmetry was found in both only if both twins shared the same sexual orientation. These studies show a variety of physical factors that tend to correlate with homoerotic desire, and even though nothing is said about the mechanisms of homosexuality, they show a genetic linkage of some kind.

Nurture plays a big part in one’s sexual...