This is the fourth in a series I am writing about LGBTQ+ and Christianity. If you have not already please read the introduction and the other blog I have written to this point on this issues.
–Christians and LGBTQ Issues 1: Introduction
–Christians and LGBTQ Issues 2: Sexual Conversion Therapy
–LGBTQ+ Part 3: We cannot use the LGBTQ language
Why the question is important:
Whether you are a proponent for or against LGBTQ lifestyles the question of whether sexual orientation is a natural thing or some sort of a choice should be a central issue.
If you are pro then it being natural seems to prove your viewpoint that one should be allowed to follow those natural desires as they please. LGBTQ+ have not chosen those desires and may even not want them in the first place and it would seem unfair that the fulfillment of those natural desires should be denied.
On the flip side if you are against and it turns out that such desires are natural you must give an explanation for why those desires exist and it seems in one way you should give an account for why such natural desires should be denied to a person.
How would we determine?
With this understood it needed that we take time to discuss whether or not such orientations are in fact natural and chosen.
One way to examine this would be doing twin studies, since identical twins have the exact same DNA. If being LGBTQ+ is in fact genetic then twins with the same DNA should have the same sexual orientation. But the data simply does not support this correlation.
One study found that the correlation of homosexuality among identical twins is only 30%, hardly enough to claim there is any sort of ‘gay gene’. Several other twin studies come to similar conclusions, all concluding that there is not a direct genetic correlation to genes and sexual orientation and therefore there are more factors at work. In summary, science has not discovered a gay-gene despite what some non-scientific articles wish to articulate.
On the other hand there is an obvious realization that many who have same sex attraction did not choose this desire. If you’ve talked with more than a handful of people with same sex attraction you know that, regardless of their current confidence and comfort in their same sex attraction now, some of them experienced times of embarrassment or frustration at their own attractions. For these people there was at least a period of time which they desired and hoped to end their same sex attraction, wishing that they could choose to be same sex attracted.
What does this mean?
So in the end can we say it’s genetic? No, genetics may play a part or a factor but it is not the solely determinate factor.
Still, it is also obvious that despite it not being a genetic issue it is not entirely the choice of the person experiencing same sex attraction or other LGBT+ orientations.