Aren’t Homosexuals “Born That Way”?

The most powerful weapon in the homosexual special rights arsenal is the victim status.  A close second is the allegation that homosexuals are “born that way.”  If scientists can show that homosexuality is a genetic trait, then homosexuals may have a legitimate claim to being protected as a minority class under federal and state civil rights laws.

dna strand

It Doesn’t Really Matter

Whatever the outcome of scientific studies, the most important point that we can make is that the question over the genetic nature of homosexuality is completely irrelevant to the debate.

Nobody is perfect.  We all have physical, mental, emotional and spiritual defects that take many different forms.  This is a consequence of our fallen nature, and each of us must strive to overcome our flaws and weaknesses for God’s greater glory.

Even if homosexuals are “born that way,” this is absolutely no excuse to give in to their desires and endanger themselves and others.  After all, alcoholism has been proven to be a genetic trait.  But do we see organized activist alcoholics demanding the right to get roaring drunk every night, the right to drive while drunk, and the right to be protected from the consequences of their behavior when they are drunk?

Of course not!

Psychologist Harold Fishbein of the University of Cincinnati has suggested that there may be a genetic disposition towards racist behavior.1  If racism is proven to be a genetic trait, will we embrace groups of people who hate and discriminate against blacks, Jews and immigrants?

Of course not!

If kleptomania is proven to be genetic, should we accept demands by organized kleptomaniacs to legalize and even honor their compulsive thievery?

Of course not!

Finally, if “homophobia” is proven to have a genetic component, will homosexual activists recognize and embrace their demands?

Of course not!


Homosexuality: Nature or Nurture?

is homosexuality nature or nurture

The most effective tactic homosexual activists employ is to wrap their allegations in a veneer of science when talking about their sexual orientation.  Members of the public automatically give heavy credence to any claim that originates with a professional medical organization or a prestigious journal, and homosexual theorists know this.

The first large study that claimed that homosexuals are “born that way” was performed by Alfred Kinsey, and culminated in his 1948 report entitled Sexual Behavior in the Human Male.  However, as this article explains, this research was grossly biased and therefore invalid.

The two studies quoted most often by those who believe homosexuality is inborn were both performed in 1991.  These were Simon LaVey’s study of the human hypothalamus and Michael Bailey’s study of the sexual orientations of identical and fraternal twins. These studies are a cautionary tale to those who do not understand the scientific process and simply grab a hypothesis and present it as settled fact.

There have been several other major studies performed on sexual orientation over the past 25 years, but they do not claim any definitive conclusions.  Many of these studies are near-duplicates of the LaVey and Bailey studies.2


The LaVey Study

Simon LaVey, himself a homosexual, examined the brains of 35 male cadavers (16 heterosexuals and 19 homosexuals) to see if he could find any differences between the groups.  He found that a cluster of brain neurons known as INAH3 was twice as large in heterosexual men as it was in homosexuals.3 Activists immediately seized upon this tidbit of information and alleged that it “proved” that homosexuality is a genetic condition; i.e., that homosexuals are “born that way.”

However, there were several obvious difficulties with LaVey’s study that the propagandists glossed over or ignored completely:

  • To begin with, LaVey did not bother to verify that his 16 “non-homosexual” subjects were, in fact, heterosexual.  This is significant in light of the fact that six of these 16 men died of AIDS.  LaVey acknowledged that this was “a distinct shortcoming of my study.”
  • Additionally, three of the “heterosexual” brains had smaller node clusters than the average of the “homosexual” ones, and three of the “homosexual” brains had larger node clusters than the average of the “heterosexual” ones.
  • Another fatal flaw was that LaVey’s sample population size was ridiculously small.  What he would like us to believe is that an examination of 35 cadavers somehow “proves” that the sexual orientation of billions of human beings is genetic.
  • Finally, LaVey’s logic is obviously flawed because the brain node in question has not been proven as being either a cause or an effect of homosexuality.  In other words, the brain node might be smaller because of homosexual activity instead of causing it, in the same way that various other parts of the brain expand or contract with more or less usage.

human brain

Perhaps the most serious difficulty of LaVey’s study is related to his painfully obvious conflict of interest.  This study can best be debunked by comparing it to a situation in which a pathologist hired by the American Tobacco Institute performs autopsies on 35 men.  Sixteen of these men had never touched tobacco in any form.  The other 19 began smoking at a very young age and smoked two packs a day until they died.  The pathologist removes and examines the lungs of the 35 men.  He finds that the lungs of the nonsmokers are generally pink and healthy and the lungs of the smokers are obviously discolored and badly fouled by tar deposits.

Based upon the researcher’s data, the American Tobacco Institute announces that some babies are born with badly damaged and tarry lungs and that this trait causes them to become smokers.  Conversely, those babies that are born with pink and healthy lungs will not become smokers.  This line of reasoning makes no sense at all, of course, but the media accepted the identical grossly flawed “logic” of LaVey’s study without question.


The Bailey Study

The other major study relied upon by homosexual activists to advance their “born that way” agenda is the twins study by Dr. J. Michael Bailey of Northwestern University and Dr. Richard Pillard of the Boston University School of Medicine.  These two researchers published a study of twins raised in the same homes.4

In sets of identical twins, where one brother was homosexual, they found that there was a 52% chance that the other twin was homosexual as well.  This number was 22% for fraternal (non-identical) twins and only 9% for non-twin brothers.

The conclusion that the authors drew from these comparisons was this: that the incidence of homosexuality becomes higher as the genetic link between brothers becomes closer.  Therefore, they concluded that homosexuality must have a genetic basis.

As with LaVey’s research, there were very serious shortcomings in the methodology of this study:

  • To begin with, the advertising for volunteers for the study was done in a homosexual magazine.  Therefore, it can be expected that the incidence of homosexuality among all respondents would be exceedingly high.  After all, heterosexuals don’t often read sex-saturated homosexual literature.
  • Secondly, the fact that 48% of the identical twins of homosexual brothers in the study were not homosexuals themselves indicates that homosexuality is largely the result of environmental influences.  After all, identical twins should be identical in all ways — including their sexual orientations.  Bailey himself acknowledged, “There must be something in the environment to yield the discordant twins.”5 In fact, previous research had shown an extremely strong correlation between incest and resultant homosexuality, but Bailey and Pillard dismissed the effects of incest as “insignificant.”6
  • Brown University developmental biologist Anne Fausto put her finger on the study’s central flaw, which was its failure to separate environmental factors from genetic influences.  She said, “In order for such a study to be at all meaningful, you’d have to look at twins raised apart.  It’s such badly interpreted genetics.”7

young twin brothers


Final Thoughts

It is obvious that the purpose of these studies was not to convert the hearts and minds of the people, because the average person does not read medical or scientific journals.  Most Americans tend have a good measure of common sense and instinctively realize that homosexuality and its associated practices are unhealthy for both individuals and societies in general.

The purpose of these studies was instead to convince the power structures (in particular, the court systems) that homosexuality is an innate characteristic.

After all, the homosexuals have used the court system to their great advantage on the way to fulfilling their many goals, just as others used the court system to enshrine abortion in the United States over the objections of most of the population.

+ Endnotes

[1] “The Deep Roots of Racism.”  The Washington Post, February 9, 1997, page C5.

[2]  The most significant of these include:

  1. Dean Hamer’s 1993 study that found that more than 10% of the brothers of homosexual men were homosexuals themselves, compared to about 3% of the brothers of heterosexual men.  The problem with this study, of course, was that having a homosexual brother is certain to have a certain degree of environmental influence on other siblings.  Hamer called a prenatal test for homosexuality “wrong, unethical and a terrible abuse of research.”
  2. Michael Bailey, a psychologist at Northwestern University in Illinois, continued his studies from 1991 and found in 2014 that the Xq28 chromosome had some impact on whether or not a man is a homosexual, although other genes seem to impact sexual orientation as well.  But Bailey admitted, “We found evidence for two sets [of genes] that affect whether a man is gay or straight.  But it is not completely determinative; there are certainly other environmental factors involved.”  In other words, much more study needs to be done in this area in order for any conclusions to be drawn.

Ian Sample.  “Male Sexual Orientation Influenced by Genes, Study Shows.”  The Guardian, February 13, 2014.

The ProCon website lists many interesting studies that seem to indicate that homosexuality is genetic, but the studies listed focus on such tangential factors as eye-blink response to startling and sexual behavior among fruit flies.

[3] Simon LaVey.  “A Difference in Hypothalamic Structure between Heterosexual and Homosexual Men.”  Science Magazine, 258, 1991, pages 1,034 to 1,037.

[4] J.M. Bailey and R.C. Pillard.  “A Genetic Study of Male Sexual Orientation.”  Archives of General Psychiatry, 48: 1991, pages 1,089 to 1,096.

[5] David Gelman,  “Born or Bred?”  Newsweek Magazine, February 24, 1992, page 46.

[6] A.P. Bell, M.S. Weinberg, and S.K. Hammersmith.  Sexual Preference [Bloomington, Indiana:  Indiana University Press], 1981.

[7] David Gelman,  “Born or Bred?”  Newsweek Magazine, February 24, 1992, page 46.

Dr. Brian Clowes has been HLI’s director of research since 1995 and is one of the most accomplished and respected intellectuals in the international pro-life movement. Best known as author of the most exhaustive pro-life informational resource volume The Facts of Life, and for his Pro-Life Basic Training Course, Brian is the author of nine books and over 500 scholarly and popular articles, and has traveled to 70 countries on six continents as a pro-life speaker, educator and trainer.


  1. Gus Lemima on September 5, 2023 at 12:33 PM

    To me, it seems as if the article’s author went out of his way to prove that homosexuality could not be condoned or accepted. I would have preferred an article that was written with a modicum of open-mindedness that included arguments for and against. I am willing to bet that this article is loved by all right-wing, close-minded, anti-abortion, pro-gun, Christian, Republican people who cannot tolerate any opinion or people that differ from them or their viewpoints. Do try reading the passages in the Bible about ‘Love your neighbour’ and about not judging other people.

  2. Catherine G Baker on May 6, 2022 at 2:20 AM

    You are absolutely, completely, and utterly destroying the pro-life movement when you post articles like this. The greatest weapon in the arsenal against the pro-life movement is the claim that we are bigots trying to implement laws that control people’s lives. Stop publicly advocating against homosexuality and gay marriage on the same platform you use to defend the unborn. It completely destroys the basis of the argument that abortion is fundamentally against universal human morals, not one’s based on your religious beliefs. Not everyone fighting for life is Christian, and when you post things like this on a Right to Life website, you seemingly prove to people who are pro-choice that pro-life people are mixing Church and State together. This is utterly ridiculous and embarrassing. We will never win the battle against abortion when things like this are at the forefront of the representation of our cause. It is time to start using your brains. If the only argument you can conjure up against abortion comes from Christianity, you will never change opinions, minds or laws. You will get nowhere.

    • HLI Staff on May 6, 2022 at 2:21 PM

      Thank you for your feedback, Catherine. Human Life International is a Catholic apostolate with a mission to teach the world to value life and follow God’s plan for the family. At the root of the abortion problem are the issues of contraception, euthanasia, reproductive technologies, and a degradation of marriage and family. There are secular Right to Life organizations out there, but we are not one of them and our website reflects our religious character. While we may argue against abortion based on religious values, we are fundamentally in agreement with you in that abortion goes against natural law (universal human morals). One does not need to be religious or hold to any religious tradition to know that abortion is wrong. Likewise, on a purely natural level, if everyone were “gay” the human race would cease to exist. So, not only is acting on same sex attraction condemned in the Bible, it doesn’t make sense on a natural level either; human anatomy is such that only a man and woman can procreate.

  3. j.smyth on March 30, 2022 at 1:14 PM

    what is actually wrong with homosexuality? You have compared it to racism and alcoholism when in fact those are both very harmful things. Gay people aren’t hurting anyone. I think you should follow some of Jesus’ teachings where he acts through selfless love and not through cherry-picking the bible to create strict legalistic morals and ignoring the rest.

  4. Danni on October 11, 2021 at 12:34 AM

    My niece is gay. She’s one of the greatest people I know. She’d give you the shirt off her back. Her mother and father did nothing to make her gay. She grew up very loved. We would never be unkind to her. She had a beautiful heart, and a loving soul. She has fallen away from the faith because of articles like this and because of comments from people who don’t understand. Why don’t you walk in her shoes? Why don’t you live life just wanting to be in a loving relationship? Why don’t you live life feeling like something is wrong with you? It gives her anxiety and it breaks her parents hearts. Be kind to people in the gay community. They are human beings!

    • Jacob on October 24, 2021 at 10:47 PM

      First of, stop emotioning and try thinking instead. Trying to use emotional “arguments” on people paying attention is just digging yourself into a hole.
      What you’re either deliberately ignoring or are just incomprehensibly oblivious to is that the argument that they’re “born this way” is highly suspect at the absolute best. We don’t know what causes homosexuality, if the pathology is the same in both men and women, or what other symptoms the pathology presents. Pedophilia is significantly more common among male homosexuals than normal men, so there’s that.

      ps, people are often blind to abuse, even if they can see the signs or it happens right in front of them.

  5. Lenox on May 4, 2021 at 8:31 PM

    Excellent article. Will definitely be sharing it with those who think that homosexuality is natural and genetic. Two things:

    1) Whether one is truly born this way (like Lady Gaga claims) or not, Jesus tells us that we must be “born AGAIN”.

    2) Even if there was a slight genetic predisposition to homosexuality, it is still the byproduct of environmental pollution on the human genome. God never created us to be attracted to the same sex because that would go directly against His Word. In addition, the human species would naturally die off if this were the case. Instead, it is a direct result of environmental pollution on genetic disposition over many years, decades, or generations. So, studying it from the perspective of a genetic disposition isn’t even the natural starting point because, again, it’s largely one’s manipulation of the environment that triggers a genetic predisposition, which then triggers the behavior… which then triggers a stronger genetic disposition and so on.

    Let us not forget that God allowed the results of Sodom and Gomorrah to still be seen today as a warning for these types of lifestyles (2 Peter 2:6). God Bless and keep fighting the good fight.

  6. Jake Menotti on June 12, 2020 at 2:52 AM

    Excellent article! I think it’s interesting that all the evidence for homosexuals being “born that way” only yields genetic predispositions at best or gross exaggerations at worst, which the author succinctly demonstrated. However, first we must understand what a genetic predisposition is. If one has a genetic predisposition, the given gene will only be expressed if the necessary ENVIRONMENTAL factors are present to trigger its expression. If one had a genetic predisposition to smoke, but never actually tried a cigarette, one would likely never become a smoker. One only needs to hear the words of the former head of the Human Genome Project himself (paraphrased): homosexuality is not hardwired, but there may be genetic predispositions.

    Further, it is irrelevant whether or not one can choose who one is attracted to. Even if one is attracted to the same sex and cannot help feeling that way, one is not forced to engage in homosexual behavior just like a heterosexual man would not be forced to cheat on his wife just because he felt an attraction to another woman. No one can justify committing adultery just because “she was really hot and he couldn’t help himself.” What we feel does not determine what we do because we must choose to succumb to our feelings and desires in the above situation, regardless of our sexual orientation.

    Therefore, not only does the environment play a critical role in the emergence of homosexual sexual behavior, but a person must choose to actually have sexual relations with someone regardless if one is homosexual or heterosexual. We are moral agents and are responsible for our actions. God has revealed that engaging in homosexual behavior is harmful to us, those that engage in these sexual acts/relationships with us, and for society as a whole due to the consequences of these acts and the radical changes to marriage and the family that follow from the support of these acts/relationships.

    • Lucia on June 18, 2020 at 7:26 AM

      Thank you, Jake… very well summed up and expressed!

  7. Virginia Berry on June 11, 2020 at 10:15 PM

    Read Romans 1 :18-32 . Interestingly this reading is not in the Roman or the Eastern Rite lectionary. I guess no one wants to preach on it. But here it is in black and white what God’s wrath is against.

    May the world wake up soon and return to God and all that He has given us in scripture.

    • Lucia on June 18, 2020 at 7:25 AM

      Thank you, Virginia. That scripture passage is very enlightening, specific , and so desperately vital for Our Church to preach and for the world to embrace!

  8. Maria S. Hamm on June 11, 2020 at 4:04 PM

    Are you aware of a brand new book – Being Gay: Nature or nurture or both? By Richard Cohen. i highly recommend it. plus his book that i helped to edit– “Healing heterosexuality: Time, Touch, and talk.

    • HLI Staff on June 12, 2020 at 10:31 AM

      Maria, Thanks for sharing! I’ll pass this title on to Dr. Clowes in case he’s not familiar with it.

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