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Homosexuality: Nature Vs. Nurture

Homosexuality has become a huge issue in our culture all across the country. Gay activists have been making their voices heard throughout the country and have been drawing attention to their cause.

One of the issues surrounding homosexuality leads back to the long-lived debate of nature vs. nurture. Is a person born homosexual? Or nurtured to become homosexual? Homosexuality is a trait spawned of genetics and genetics only. One cannot be nurtured to become homosexual or not.

There is the twin study issue. Probably Nature’s best argument when it comes to studies. Jerry Levey and Mark Newman for example, were twins who did not meet until the age of 30. When they were reunited, both had similar mustaches and hairstyles, aviator glasses, big belt buckles and big key rings. Each was a volunteer firefighter and made his living installing safety equipment. Each drank Budweisder and crushed the cans when he finished. Jerry and Mark are the rule experts say, not the exception. Researchers found that 70 percent of the intelligence quotient is accounted for by genes, the strongest correlation found for any characteristic. Genetics accounts for about 50 percent of personality difference, including traits such as extroversion, 50 percent of religiosity, including how often someone attends religious events and about 40 percent for job variations. (Maugh 1)

In December of 1991, Michael Bailey of Northwestern University joined Richard Pillard of the Boston University School of Medicine in publishing a study of homosexuality in twins. Their conclusion is that sexual orientation is something one is born with. Bailey and Pillard surveyed homosexual men about their brothers, and they found some statistics that were rather unexpected. Of the homosexuals who had identical twin brothers, 52 percent of those twins were also homosexual. 22 percent of those who had fraternal twins said that their twin was gay, and only eleven percent of those who had adopted siblings said that their adopted brothers were also homosexual. Bailey and Pillard attributed the differences in these percentages to the difference in the amount of genetic material shared. Since identical twins have the same genetic code, they are far more likely to share sexual orientation than fraternal twins. In the same way, it is obvious that fraternal twins have more in common genetically than do their adopted siblings.

Much media attention has been given to a number of recent attempts by researchers to associate homosexual behavior with certain brain structures, hormones or genes. Such biological explanations may relate to one another, since brain structures may develop under the influence of hormones, which in turn operate under instructions from the genetic code. The research is only beginning, and the early theories that have garnered much media attention have not yet withstood the crucial test of replication by other researchers. Below is a study of a researcher that takes nature over nurture when it comes to homosexuality.

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  1. TennisGirl528

    On February 5, 2009 at 9:43 am


    This is a great article. I entirely agree with you, although there is some evidence that prenatal hormones might play some role in homosexuality, along with genetics.

  2. sebel

    On April 21, 2009 at 10:19 pm


    this is probably the stupidest article i have ever read. twin studies are not the natures best argument, its nurtures. think about it. identical twins share 100% of their genes if one is gay, genetically the other one MUST BE TOO. In bailey and pillards study they found only 52% correlation, i think that speaks for itself. Homosexuality IS NOT biologically determind.

  3. nnkk

    On April 23, 2009 at 7:05 pm


    if its not one its the other…if it were entirely nature then why does the older brother effect only apply to males…nature isn’t biased so that argument is down the drain…also the twin thing sebel ^^^ has a point studies show that IDENTICAL twins can have different sexual orientations (youtube: homosexual: nature vs. nuture) i’m trying to write a research paper on this and its all very confusing…i’m in between both but leaning (for this research paper) towards nuture

  4. blank

    On May 12, 2009 at 2:55 pm


    was this written by a high school student?

  5. lil mama

    On October 17, 2009 at 11:56 am


    Good research. I cant say I agree or dis-agree. I do think the the slander needs not be put on this page though. This is science based. Not religion based. Grated I love God and church but I also know that God does not hate His creations and only wishes us all the best. We should do the same for each other.

  6. Optimus Maximus

    On February 14, 2010 at 5:08 pm


    This is a less than convincing argument. How about we look at the known mechanics of genetics?

    We all inherit genes from our parents. Whether we have blue eyes or brown eyes depends on the genes we inherit, and whether those genes express a dominant or a recessive trait.

    Example, if you inherit two blue eye genes from your parents, you will have blue eyes. If you inherit either two brown eye genes from your parents, or one blue eye gene and one brown eye gene from each parent, you will have brown eyes, because the brown eye gene is the dominant gene. To get the recessive blue eyes, you have to have TWO blue eye genes, or the dominant eye color gene will dominate.

    Now, let\’s all be realistic and agree that if homosexuality is an inherited trait, it MUST be a recessive trait, because it only occurs in a small percentage of the total population. I\’ve seen estimates ranging form 3% to 15% for the total occurrence of homosexuality in the general population. You may argue it\’s larger or smaller, but surely we can all agree it is small enough to say without reservation that it must be a recessive trait if it is an inherited trait.

    Now, since I believe the majority of homosexuals do not have children, i.e., do not reproduce, the occurrence of this recessive gene should be decreasing over time, as the major carriers (existing homosexuals) are not passing that gene on to future generations. This would argue for a decrease in the number of homosexuals over time, due to the decreasing occurrence of the recessive gene in the general population.

    This is the reverse of the principle used to \”breed\” selective traits into various lines of livestock. If you want to increase the occurrence of a particular trait in livestock, you selectively breed a male and female that both exhibit that trait. If done over several generations, you get a \”type\” of that livestock that generally exhibits the trait for which you have selected.

    Since the majority of homosexuals do not \”breed\”, their traits should not be passed on as an option to succeeding generations.

    That homosexuality is more \”common\” today argues directly against the \”genetic\” nature argument, because the opposite effect of what we expect from nature (genetics) is observed. More frequency, not less frequency.

    On the other hand, as homosexuality is more accepted, and in many cases celebrated, argues for homosexuality being a learned response. Homosexual frequency in the general population can be shown to have ebbed and flowed throughout history as it was more accepted (Ancient Greece) or less accepted (Biblical literature, Ancient Rome, Victorian England, etc.)

    Therefore I submit the frequency of homosexuality observed in the general population is exactly what you would expect from the nurture argument and diametrically opposed to what would be expected from the nature argument.

    For another example, look to the fact that a large percentage (much larger than the general) of Muslims have homosexual experiences. This is a response to their religious teachings that women are of lower status than males, and should be regarded as property. This causes psychological problems for male/female bonding, and leads to homosexual encounters among most males as they attempt to create an \”equality\” relationship bond with other males.

    That homosexuality is a learned (nurture) response is undeniable based on real world evidence. Attempts to make it a nature debate is only the latest PC effort to gain acceptability by its practitioners and their sycophants.

  7. Optimus Maximus

    On February 14, 2010 at 5:54 pm


    This is a less than convincing argument. How about we look at the known mechanics of genetics?

    We all inherit genes from our parents. Whether we have blue eyes or brown eyes depends on the genes we inherit, and whether those genes express a dominant or a recessive trait.

    Example, if you inherit two blue eye genes from your parents, you will have blue eyes. If you inherit either two brown eye genes from your parents, or one blue eye gene and one brown eye gene from each parent, you will have brown eyes, because the brown eye gene is the dominant gene. To get the recessive blue eyes, you have to have TWO blue eye genes, or the dominant eye color gene will dominate.

    Now, let\\\’s all be realistic and agree that if homosexuality is an inherited trait, it MUST be a recessive trait, because it only occurs in a small percentage of the total population. I\\\’ve seen estimates ranging form 3% to 15% for the total occurrence of homosexuality in the general population. You may argue it\\\’s larger or smaller, but surely we can all agree it is small enough to say without reservation that it must be a recessive trait if it is an inherited trait.

    Now, since I believe the majority of homosexuals do not have children, i.e., do not reproduce, the occurrence of this recessive gene should be decreasing over time, as the major carriers (existing homosexuals) are not passing that gene on to future generations. This would argue for a decrease in the number of homosexuals over time, due to the decreasing occurrence of the recessive gene in the general population.

    This is the reverse of the principle used to \\\”breed\\\” selective traits into various lines of livestock. If you want to increase the occurrence of a particular trait in livestock, you selectively breed a male and female that both exhibit that trait. If done over several generations, you get a \\\”type\\\” of that livestock that generally exhibits the trait for which you have selected.

    Since the majority of homosexuals do not \\\”breed\\\”, their traits should not be passed on as an option to succeeding generations.

    That homosexuality is more \\\”common\\\” today argues directly against the \\\”genetic\\\” nature argument, because the opposite effect of what we expect from nature (genetics) is observed. More frequency, not less frequency.

    On the other hand, as homosexuality is more accepted, and in many cases celebrated, argues for homosexuality being a learned response. Homosexual frequency in the general population can be shown to have ebbed and flowed throughout history as it was more accepted (Ancient Greece) or less accepted (Biblical literature, Ancient Rome, Victorian England, etc.)

    Therefore I submit the frequency of homosexuality observed in the general population is exactly what you would expect from the nurture argument and diametrically opposed to what would be expected from the nature argument.

    For another example, look to the fact that a large percentage (much larger than the general) of Muslims have homosexual experiences. This is a response to their religious teachings that women are of lower status than males, and should be regarded as property. This causes psychological problems for male/female bonding, and leads to homosexual encounters among most males as they attempt to create an \\\”equality\\\” relationship bond with other males.

    That homosexuality is a learned (nurture) response is undeniable based on real world evidence. Attempts to make it a nature debate is only the latest PC effort to gain acceptability by its practitioners and their sycophants.

  8. Optimus Maximus

    On February 14, 2010 at 5:55 pm


    This is a less than convincing argument. How about we look at the known mechanics of genetics?

    We all inherit genes from our parents. Whether we have blue eyes or brown eyes depends on the genes we inherit, and whether those genes express a dominant or a recessive trait.

    Example, if you inherit two blue eye genes from your parents, you will have blue eyes. If you inherit either two brown eye genes from your parents, or one blue eye gene and one brown eye gene from each parent, you will have brown eyes, because the brown eye gene is the dominant gene. To get the recessive blue eyes, you have to have TWO blue eye genes, or the dominant eye color gene will dominate.

    Now, let\\\\\\\’s all be realistic and agree that if homosexuality is an inherited trait, it MUST be a recessive trait, because it only occurs in a small percentage of the total population. I\\\\\\\’ve seen estimates ranging form 3% to 15% for the total occurrence of homosexuality in the general population. You may argue it\\\\\\\’s larger or smaller, but surely we can all agree it is small enough to say without reservation that it must be a recessive trait if it is an inherited trait.

    Now, since I believe the majority of homosexuals do not have children, i.e., do not reproduce, the occurrence of this recessive gene should be decreasing over time, as the major carriers (existing homosexuals) are not passing that gene on to future generations. This would argue for a decrease in the number of homosexuals over time, due to the decreasing occurrence of the recessive gene in the general population.

    This is the reverse of the principle used to \\\\\\\”breed\\\\\\\” selective traits into various lines of livestock. If you want to increase the occurrence of a particular trait in livestock, you selectively breed a male and female that both exhibit that trait. If done over several generations, you get a \\\\\\\”type\\\\\\\” of that livestock that generally exhibits the trait for which you have selected.

    Since the majority of homosexuals do not \\\\\\\”breed\\\\\\\”, their traits should not be passed on as an option to succeeding generations.

    That homosexuality is more \\\\\\\”common\\\\\\\” today argues directly against the \\\\\\\”genetic\\\\\\\” nature argument, because the opposite effect of what we expect from nature (genetics) is observed. More frequency, not less frequency.

    On the other hand, as homosexuality is more accepted, and in many cases celebrated, argues for homosexuality being a learned response. Homosexual frequency in the general population can be shown to have ebbed and flowed throughout history as it was more accepted (Ancient Greece) or less accepted (Biblical literature, Ancient Rome, Victorian England, etc.)

    Therefore I submit the frequency of homosexuality observed in the general population is exactly what you would expect from the nurture argument and diametrically opposed to what would be expected from the nature argument.

    For another example, look to the fact that a large percentage (much larger than the general) of Muslims have homosexual experiences. This is a response to their religious teachings that women are of lower status than males, and should be regarded as property. This causes psychological problems for male/female bonding, and leads to homosexual encounters among most males as they attempt to create an \\\\\\\”equality\\\\\\\” relationship bond with other males.

    That homosexuality is a learned (nurture) response is undeniable based on real world evidence. Attempts to make it a nature debate is only the latest PC effort to gain acceptability by its practitioners and their sycophants.

  9. Fongster

    On March 6, 2012 at 1:23 am


    Agree with Optimus Maximus.

    It’s definitely nurture, and not nature. Furthermore, with the advancement of the Human Genome Project, we now know that humans only have approximately 30,000 genes or so. It’s undeniable that everything we do is affected by our environment. Just because someone is born with, let’s say, an obesity gene, does not mean that that person will definitely be obese.

    Likewise with homosexuality.

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