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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?

We don't know if people are born gay Show more Show less

No conclusive evidence has been found to settle the debate.
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The word is still out on genetics and homosexuality

Although numerous studies have been conducted, none have come to a definitive conclusion. Between small data sets and conflicting results, the current studies show no conclusive evidence.
LGBTQ

Context

In order to draw any conclusions on genetics, studies need to be carried out across a broad section of the population on a vast scale to accurately identify a genetic link. None of the genetic studies carried out so far has met these criteria.

The Argument

Over the last few decades, most genetic studies looking at the link between genetics and sexual orientation has only had several hundred participants at the most. They have also looked almost exclusively at men. This data set is not large enough or diverse enough to generate any conclusive findings. [1] The only study on the subject that examined several hundred thousand genomes was skewed heavily in favour of U.S. and European men. It also included mainly older men, between 40 and 51 years old on average. The study found genetics played almost no role in sexual behaviour, but the lack of diversity among the participants means we can’t draw firm conclusions. A critical piece of extrapolating the results of scientific studies to broader populations than the participants, and of determining causal proof, is how the study is done. Though there have been many studies on the association between being gay and genetics, no conclusive evidence has been found. There are plenty of studies supporting both sides of the debate. In addition, none of these studies have included the scope necessary to extend the findings to a causal relationship. No experiments have been done, so a correlation can only be inferred and no studies have included a diverse participant group. With inconclusive correlational studies that only study a single group of people, we simply can’t determine whether people are born gay based on the current scientific literature.

Counter arguments

Proponents

Premises

[P1] The evidence on whether people are born gay has been inconclusive. [P2] Therefore, it is impossible to say with any certainty whether people are born gay or not.

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/massive-study-finds-no-single-genetic-cause-of-same-sex-sexual-behavior/
This page was last edited on Monday, 14 Sep 2020 at 12:14 UTC

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