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< Back to question Are people born gay? Show more Show less

Few scientific questions generate as much intrigue and political turmoil as the origins of sexual orientation. Is there a clear genetic or hormonal link to sexual orientation that indicates gay people are, in the words of Lady Gaga, "Born This Way"? Can we ever know if same-sex attraction is determined before birth? Is this a question that should even be asked?

Yes, people are born gay Show more Show less

Various studies have found a direct link between genetics and homosexuality.
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Epigenetics confirm people are born gay

The same genetic code can be expressed differently depending on chemical changes that take place before birth.
LGBTQ
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Context

The same genetic code can be expressed in different ways. Chemical changes that alter the way the genetic code is expressed can cause two people with the same genetic construct to behave in very different ways.

The Argument

In 2013, William Rice, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of California, published a paper which linked homosexuality to epigenetics.[1] Despite sharing genetic sequences, in identical twins if one twin is gay, it is more likely that the other twin will be straight than that they will also be gay.[2] This indicates that it isn’t a homosexual gene that determines sexual orientation. However, there is evidence to suggest that homosexuality runs in families. Epigenetics is the only possible explanation that can accommodate the hereditary nature of homosexuality while acknowledging the different sexual orientations of identical twins.

Counter arguments

The argument from epigenetics is nothing more than a theory. It has never been supported by empirical data. Just because there is an absence of evidence for other theories does not mean that there is evidence for epigenetics.

Premises

[P1] Homosexuality runs in families but identical twins do not have to share the same sexual orientation. [P2] Therefore, the determinant of sexual orientation must be genetic, but not directly linked to genetic code. [P3] Epigenetics is the only explanation that meets these criteria.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P3] There is no evidence for this.

References

  1. http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/668167?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
  2. https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2017/12/12/25623733/science-says-this-is-why-youre-gay

This page was last edited on Monday, 14 Sep 2020 at 12:09 UTC

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