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Causes of homosexuality and other sexual orientations

Public opinion polls.

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What does the public believe about the origins of homosexuality?

The Gallop poll periodically asks a statistically significant sampling of the American public whether they believe that homosexuality is caused by nature or nurture. That is, whether it is:

  • a biological trait with which people are born, or
  • due to other factors, such as upbringing or environment, or
  • a combination of these factors, or
  • caused by other factors. 1

To those who accept the findings of peer-reviewed scientific studies, the correct answer has already been determined, at least for males. This is as a result of pedigree studies and by studies of the sexual orientation of identical twins who were separated at birth and raised independently, as described elsewhere. The studies show that the tendency towards homosexuality is determined genetically. But that this tendency may or may not be triggered during childhood into causing a homosexual orientation later in life. Unfortunately, Gallup deleted "both" as an answer in recent polls.

However, many people in the U.S. reject a genetic cause over homosexual orientation. They accept the teaching of many religious groups that environmental factors such as child-raising styles used by parents or being sexually molested childhood are primary causes.

Asking the public about the causes of sexual orientation is like inquiring their belief whether the universe was created by God or evolved due to natural processes. The answer only tells us of people's beliefs; it has no impact on the actual causes of homosexuality.

It would seem that since the start of of the 21st century, the public's beliefs have been more or less stuck with approximately equal numbers believing in nature or nurture.

Date
Born with
Upbringing / Environment
Both
Neither
No Opinion
1977-JUN
13%
56%
14%
3%
14%
1982-JUN
17
52
13
2
16
1989-OCT
19
48
12
2
19
1996-NOV
31
40
13
3
13
1998-JUN
31
47
6
3
13
1999-FEB
34
44
13
1
8
2001-MAY
40
39
9
3
9
2002-MAY
40
36
12
4
8
2003-MAY
38
44
11
2
5
2006-MAR
38
44
13
not an option
5
2007-MAY
42
35
not an option
not an option
23
2009
35
42
2011
41
42
2012
40
35

The Margin of error is generally ~+mn~ 3 to 5%.

graph of beliefs of cause of homosexuality 2

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Additional polls on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community are elsewhere on this site.

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References:

  1. "Polls and surveys on 'born gay'," Born Gay ProCon, at: http://www.borngayprocon.org/
  2. "Ballot watch: Same-sex marriage," Governing through reason, at: http://www.logarchism.com/

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Copyright 1997 to 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2013-JAN-21
Author: B.A. Robinson

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