Does Anyone Believe Sexual Preference is 100% Genetic?

This idea became a talking point of gay rights groups, and quickly become a widespread talking point of “enlightened” liberals everywhere. As far as I know there’s no real scientific basis for (a few studies with very small sample sizes).

What’s troubling is that it doesn’t really make sense scientifically. Why would such a complex behavior be entirely genetic when every other behavior / aspect of human expression is due to some complex interaction between environment and genetics (e.g., intelligence, anxiety levels, etc.).

Also, homosexuality is obviously not immutable in certain situations where people’s freedom to associate is limited (e.g., prison, single-sex boarding schools).

So, I wonder if people who say something like this have actually thought about it, or just mindlessly parroting a propaganda point?

Some people probably believe it when they repeat the lie often enough to themselves.

A lot of vehement anti-gay types can actually be the closeted, self-loathing types who can’t come to terms with being gay. However, they tend to adopt this “sexual preference is a choice” mantra because they themselves have “chosen” to remain in the closet and pretend to be straight whilst actually gay. Therefore, “If I can do it, so can they; preference can’t be genetic because here I am making the choice!” without admitting this of course.

A lot of people say “genetic” (due to genes) when they really should say “congenital” (present from birth). I think part of the reason for this is that congenital is a “bad” word, in that it is frequently followed by such things as “disease”, “disorder” or “heart defect”.

MRIs of people’s brains have found that gay men and straight women have similar reactions to male pheromones and lesbians and straight men have similar reactions to female pheromones although I believe the correlation is not as strong.

I’m not really sure how much gay sex at sea or in prison can be put down to fluid sexuality vs making do with what’s at hand (heh heh) vs just plain old rumors.

I’m not aware that anyone ever has made the “100%” argument. Where did you find anyone asserting that?

Well, seems the closest analogue for homosexual behaviour would be heterosexual behavior. That’s both complex and, while I don’t know if I’d say its “100% genetic”, its clearly pretty close.

Like most personal attributes, it’s a combination of genetics and environment, but genetics plays a much stronger role in this one.

We don’t know that.

Something can be innate without being genetically determined. The one thing that we seem to know about homosexuality (in men) is that more older brothers you have, the more likely it is you will be gay. The thought is that exposure to hormones or hormone levels during pregnancy is one cause.

The fact that birth order plays such a strong role to me suggests family dynamics rather than something biological…

No, I don’t think anybody believes sexuality is 100 percent genetic. The evidence does not support that view at all. If you think that the only options are genes or choice, though, you’re mistaken.

Or that giving birth to sons changes the environment in which later fetuses develop. A friend was studying this phenomenon in mice. I should check if he ended up publishing anything.

You’re right; that is what I meant.

Homosexuality is a complex thing with many contributing potential causes, but I think some people overemphasize the “choice” aspect to things, when for many people it’s not a choice much like I don’t “choose” to like a particular food. I either like it or I don’t, and the cause for that preference can have many factors.

People who study the subject see it differently. :wink: I understand this the same way Ruken does: the leading theory is that as a woman carries more sons to term, the prenatal hormone environment changes. The result is that the more sons a woman has, the greater the chance the younger sons will be gay. I think the odds increase something like 33 percent each time, which means the chances are fairly low even after several births.

That’s not being homosexual, that’s using the only available partners for relief. You might as well claim that a woman who uses a dildo is a “dildosexual”. It’s what you are attracted to that makes you homosexual or heterosexual; not what you have sex with.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but my understanding is there is some pretty compelling science that shows that sexuality is genetic.

Like anything one can mentally control ones urges or actions, but even if you abstain from gay sex, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t genetically wired to be attracted to the same sex.

This already has my spider-sense tingling, warning that this thread could end up going down similar pathways to the racism threads, with posters accusing others of being part of the “politically correct liberal” mindset where sexuality is 100% genetic.

Homosexuals appear to exist in similar proportions in countries where they risk corporal or even capital punishment (and if you’re lucky that’s done by the state and not “mob justice”).
Clearly in such a society people are not being encouraged to be gay, and who would choose to be gay in such circumstances?

See above Re: “genetic” vs “congenital”. While there’s evidence that sexual preference is congenital, I am unaware of any study that shows even a tenuous genetic link. The fact that younger sons are more likely to be homosexual than their older brothers is also a strike against a purely genetic, rather than congenital, explanation.

100%? No, for some, the choice of partner is a choice. For others, its a genetic predisposition.

You’re wrong. There are plenty of identical twins where one twin is gay and the other twin is straight. If your identical twin is gay, you’re much more likely to be gay than if your fraternal twin is gay. But genetically identical people can have different orientations, therefore homosexuality is not 100% genetically determined.

What is clear is that there are no known methods that can change someone’s sexual orientation. Even the “pray the gay away” camps have mostly stopped claiming to do this, now almost all of them only claim to help you resist your same sex attractions, not to eliminate them or develop opposite sex attractions.

But just because there is no therapy that can change your sexual orientation, and just because most people’s sexual orientation seems to be established before they go through puberty, that doesn’t mean sexual orientation is genetic. There’s a difference between “born this way” and “genetic” that people seem to have a hard time understanding.