What Causes Homosexuality

Topics: Homosexuality, Sexual orientation, LGBT Pages: 4 (1008 words) Published: October 17, 2010
What Causes Homosexuality?

What causes homosexuality? There has been much debate about what causes homosexuality. Is there a gay gene? Is homosexuality caused by environmental factors, such as upbringing, child molestation, an absent mother or affectionate father? Or is it something we’re born with, an inherited trait, like skin or hair color?

Although there have been few studies on the cause of homosexuality, the debate seems to be divided, with scientists in one corner and religious fundamentalists in another.

What is Sexual Orientation?

The American Psychological Association defines sexual orientation as such: Sexual orientation is an enduring emotional, romantic, sexual, or affectional attraction that a person feels toward another person. Sexual orientation falls along a continuum. In other words, someone does not have to be exclusively homosexual or heterosexual, but can feel varying degrees of attraction for both genders. Sexual orientation develops across a person's lifetime—different people realize at different points in their lives that they are heterosexual, gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

They go on to say that sexual behavior is not the same as sexual orientation. Certainly gay individuals can engage in heterosexual sex, in fact many do before they come out. One needs to look no further than the prison population to see evidence of homosexual behavior in otherwise heterosexual individuals. (Prison rape is not included in this analysis.)

Also, the work of Alfred Kinsey in the 1950s determined that most individuals are not exclusively homosexual or heterosexual, but most fall somewhere in the between the two.

Why does it matter?

Does it matter if homosexuality is a choice or if it’s something one is born with? Shouldn’t gay people be afforded the same rights as heterosexuals whether being gay is a choice or not? Not all people think that way.

If homosexuality is caused by genetic or inborn traits, then gay and lesbian people...
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