This site was archived on Oct. 19, 2020, based on the scientific consensus that homosexuality does not fit neatly into a nature v. nurture binary.
Nsikan Akpan, PhD, Science Editor at National Geographic, explained the newest scientific consensus in an Aug. 29, 2019 article, “There Is No ‘Gay Gene.’ There Is No ‘Straight Gene.’ Sexuality Is Just Complex, Study Confirms,” available at pbs.org: “Sexuality cannot be pinned down by biology, psychology or life experiences, this study and others show, because human sexual attraction is decided by all these factors.”
Whether sexual orientation is a trait we are born with (nature) or is caused by the environment we are raised in (nurture) has been debated by scientists, religious leaders, elected officials, and the general public.
Proponents argue that sexual orientation, much like handedness or tongue curling, is determined by natural, immutable biological factors such as genes or hormones, and therefore gay people should be entitled to the same legal rights and protections as other human beings.
Opponents argue that homosexuality is a reversible and unfortunate lifestyle choice resulting from poor child-parent relationships, sexual abuse, brainwashing by pro-gay influences, or other developmental causes. Some contend that gay people should be denied marriage, discrimination protection, and social and religious acceptance.