Are you gay by birth or is it something you develop?
Graham Barrone, Adip ICHP, MCBT
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Top Rated Answers
One environmental influence that is thought to affect a person’s sexuality is childhood gender nonconformity (CGN). It is has been found that, for example, men who recalled being feminine during childhood are gay, and women who recalled playing in a more masculine style identified as lesbian.
A further environmental influence could be due to changes in a mother’s womb. Much research has gone into one theory called the ‘maternal immune hypothesis’. This theory suggests that the maternal environment changes when a woman is pregnant with a boy. The immune response of the mother changes, and this change has been associated with an increasing chance that the child will be gay. A recent study, published March 2020, found that men with older brothers are more likely to gay. It is suggested that the more male children a mother has, the more likely the youngest child will identify as a gay man.
In other new genetic research, it has been suggested that the concept of being born with a ‘gay gene’ that determines if an individual prefers same-sex partners is not real. Before this study, in 2015 there had been research suggesting homosexuality could be linked to the X chromosome. However, the large genome-wide association study, that looked at genetic markers associated with same-sex preferences, concluded that there are many genes that are associated with same-sex sexual behaviour. This would suggest at least some biological basis for human sexuality but cannot be pinned to one specific gene. Bear in mind that these studies were completed with individuals who identify as the gender they were assigned at birth, so the extent that the information can be generalised to transgender people is unclear.
Just remember that the exploration of yourself and your sexual experience is your own journey, regardless of how others perceive it. Some family members may have their own opinions and prejudices about same-sex relationships, but that does not mean they are correct. Try to be true to yourself during your journey, as those who love you for who you are will accept you for exactly that- you.