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Are people born gay? Show more Show less
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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?

It doesn't matter if people are born gay Show more Show less

The question of whether people are born gay is unimportant and could be dangerous.
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We are better off not knowing

The answer to the question will only have negative repercussions for the LGBTQ+ community.
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The impact of getting a definitive answer to this question will be catastrophic for the LGBTQ+ community. It is best to leave the question unanswered.

The Argument

If scientists prove that people are born gay and can link the development of same-sex attraction to a specific gene or genetic mutation, it will open the door for one of two things. If we are born gay and it proves to be a hereditary gene, homophobic parents carrying a foetus that has the gene could prove to terminate the pregnancy rather than give birth to an LGBTQ+ child. This would only serve to further marginalize the LGBTQ+ community. Alternatively, if it is a genetic mutation that causes same-sex attraction, the public will begin to view the LGBTQ+ community as victims of a disease. Neither of these outcomes will have positive outcomes for LGBTQ+ individuals.[1]

Counter arguments

Understanding why people are gay could lead to improved attitudes towards LGBTQ+ citizens. It could also lead to further public scrutiny of those that hold homophobic views and an end to damaging gay conversion therapies. All of these would be good outcomes.


[P1] The answer to the question of whether or not people are born gay will only have negative outcomes for the LGBTQ+ community. [P2] We should not seek to answer the question.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] There are several important positive outcomes that could come from getting an answer to the question.


This page was last edited on Monday, 14 Sep 2020 at 12:15 UTC

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