Is Sexual Orientation Determined at Birth?

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.


PROS & CONS BY CATEGORY
CORE QUESTION

Defining Sexuality

Determining Sexual Orientation

Causes: Inborn (Nature)

Causes: Psychological (Nurture)

Changing Sexual Orientation

Religious Considerations

Homosexuality in Animals

Gay Germ Theory

Discrimination

Homophobia

Gay-Straight Alliances

Health Concerns







Notices for Born Gay and Other ProCon.org Information (archived after 30 days)
ProCon.org Used by Educators in More than 10,000 Schools!
2/1/2018 - We thank the teachers in 10,037 schools who have used our free resources in your instructional materials. Our amazing community consists of 3,524 elementary and middle schools (35.1%), 4,692 high schools (46.7%), and 1,821 colleges and universities (18.1%) in all 50 states and 92 countries. Visit the Teachers' Corner to find your school and see how educators are using ProCon.org in the classroom. Or join the community by taking our 2-minute survey.

Archived Notices

Last updated on 9/1/2017 1:11:23 PM PST

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.

PROS & CONS BY CATEGORY
CORE QUESTION

Defining Sexuality

Determining Sexual Orientation

Causes: Inborn (Nature)

Causes: Psychological (Nurture)

Changing Sexual Orientation

Religious Considerations

Homosexuality in Animals

Gay Germ Theory

Discrimination

Homophobia

Gay-Straight Alliances

Health Concerns

Should Gay Marriage Be Legal?

Studies on the Origin of Sexual Orientation

Gay Marriage Historical Timeline











Notices for Born Gay and Other ProCon.org Information (archived after 30 days)
ProCon.org Used by Educators in More than 10,000 Schools!
2/1/2018 - We thank the teachers in 10,037 schools who have used our free resources in your instructional materials. Our amazing community consists of 3,524 elementary and middle schools (35.1%), 4,692 high schools (46.7%), and 1,821 colleges and universities (18.1%) in all 50 states and 92 countries. Visit the Teachers' Corner to find your school and see how educators are using ProCon.org in the classroom. Or join the community by taking our 2-minute survey.

Archived Notices

Last updated on 9/1/2017 1:11:23 PM PST