Is Homosexuality Nature, Nurture or Both?

Homosexuality is the sexual attraction to one’s own sex. There is much debate as to whether or not homosexuality is a choice, which it is not. To say it is a choice is diminishing to a homosexual’s confidence and mental health. Being homosexual, or gay as it is more commonly known, has to do with someone’s biology. With multiple aspects, gay is hard to explore. Is it nature, nurture or both? Can someone change their sexuality? What all is involved in determining one’s sexual identity?

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Contrary to popular belief, being homosexual does not mean that one is attracted romantically to someone of the same sex. While homosexuality is an umbrella term for most individuals who experience same-sex attraction, it is not that simple. Homoromanticism is the romantic attraction to those of one’s own sex without sexual attraction. This is different from homesexuality in the aspect that it explains romantic attraction and has no determination over sexual attraction.
Homosexuality has been around since the beginning of time and is not a new fad, unlike some think. The recent outbreak, for lack of a better word, of homosexual individuals are due to recent advances of their rights, mainly the right to marry. Before same-sex marriage was legal, many homosexual individuals would be forced by their families to marry someone of the opposite sex in hopes that they would procreate. The idea that the only goal in life is to procreate, has caused the idea of homosexuality to be perverted into something that it is not. Many individuals have a perverted idea of what a homosexual individual is and because this topic is not widely publicized, there are still those who believe that it is wrong. While there have been many advancements in regards to homosexuality, such as removing homsexuality from the list of mental illnesses, there is still a long way to go before homosexual individuals, who have no choice in who they are, are seen as equal to their heterosexual counterparts.

Many scientists and behavioral specialists believe that homosexuality is not only a matter of just nature or just nurture. It is a widely accepted notion that homosexuality is a product of both. Some believe that homosexual males have the physical development of males, but the mental development of females (Islay). Some believe that homosexuality is due to the type and amount of certain hormones a fetus was exposed to during its development in the womb (Islay).

There is irrefutable evidence that proves that homosexuality is a part of who a homosexual person is. This evidence has to do with part of an individual’s brain. A paper written by Richard Islay, a researcher, breaks apart a study done by scientist Roger Gorski and his colleagues on multiple heterosexual men and women, as well as homosexual men. The nucleus, INAH3, found in the brain, is two to three times larger in heterosexual men than in homosexual men (Islay). After determining the size of INAH3 in a heterosexual woman’s brain, it was concluded that the size of INAH3 is the same in a heterosexual woman as it is in a homosexual man (Islay). Furthermore, consequent studies found more conclusive evidence. The anterior commissure, also found in the brain, is larger in heterosexual women than it is in heterosexual men (Islay). It was also found that the anterior commissure is larger in homosexual men than it is in heterosexual men, by about the same amount as they had previously found it to be in the brain of a heterosexual woman (Islay). Another study similar to this was also conducted, but instead used a multimodal MRI. Scientists used these images to prove the same thing Gorski and his colleagues had proven with the INAH3 and anterior commissure (Manzouri and Savic). If homosexuality was a choice, how could this data, that was proven twice, be true? The idea that a homosexual male has the mental development of a female and the physical development of a male is highly plausible. This idea can be proven by the aforementioned studies. It would make sense to believe that because different parts of a homosexual man’s brain are the same sizes as parts of a heterosexual woman’s brain, and not the same size as parts of a heterosexual man’s brain, that they would have the same mental development.

Additionally, there are the beginnings of evidence of a gay gene that codes for fetuses to be homosexual while in the mother’s womb. Some scientists believe that homosexuality is linked to fecundity, which was later revealed to mean fertility (Adriaens and De Block). It is believed that matrilineal fecundity is highly linked to male homosexuality (Adriaens and De Block). It was never discussed further on who was involved in these studies, but there had to have been some compelling evidence. In the Robles family, there is a high fecundity on the mother’s side of the family. Whether extremely young or in their mid-thirties, women in the Robles family are able to have babies back-to-back, many times with use of contraception. This scenario is possible evidence to prove that high matrilineal fecundity is linked to increased homosexuality in men on a loosely based conclusion. There have 22 children in four direct generations, eight of which have been male, and five of which have been gay.

Again, the so-called gay gene makes an appearance. In Mike Smith and Mary Ann Drake’s work, Suicide & homosexual teens: What can biology teachers do to help, they discuss an experiment a scientist by the name of Hamer conducted. In Hamer’s experiment, he took 40 pairs of gay brothers and closely examined their karyotypes and found that 33 of the pairs had inherited the same part of their mother’s X chromosome, which is higher than the 20 pairs that he had expected (Smith and Drake). Hamer labeled this gene, q28, the gay gene. While more evidence has to be conducted to prove the gene’s credibility, it is still a large step in determining the biology behind being gay.

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Is homosexuality nature, nurture or both?. (2019, Aug 06). Retrieved December 3, 2022 , from

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