Are People Born Gay? Here’s What Americans Think

The debate over the origins of homosexuality is nowhere near over, as Americans remain starkly divided over whether same-sex attraction is rooted in nature, nurture or a mixture of the two.

While the proportion of people who believe that homosexuality originates in peoples’ upbringing or environment has declined over the past few decades, a new Gallup poll found that 37 percent of Americans still embrace this notion.

By contrast, 42 percent of Americans believe that people are born gay.

Image credit: Gallup
Image source: Gallup

The proportion of those who think people are gay at birth is down from 47 percent in 2013, but up significantly from just 13 percent in 1978.

Additionally, the percentage of those who believe that one’s upbringing causes homosexuality is up from 33 percent in 2013, but down substantially from 56 percent more than three decades ago.

Gallup asked respondents, “In your view, is being gay or lesbian something a person is born with or due to factors such as upbringing and environment?”

As TheBlaze previously reported, Gallup recently released other survey results finding that support for same-sex unions is at an all-time high.

American and Rainbow flags are seen at a rally celebrating the Supreme Court rulings regarding same-sex marriage, June 26 2013, in West Hollywood California. The US Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a controversial federal law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman and also ruled that Proposition 8, California's ban on gay marriage, could not be defended before the Supreme Court, paving the way for the resumption of gay marriages in California. Credit: AFP/Getty Images
AFP/Getty Images

The proportion of Americans who believe gay unions should be granted the same rights as traditional marriages has ticked up to 55 percent, with 42 percent of the nation standing in opposition.

This is the fourth consecutive year that the majority of the public has championed equal rights for gays and lesbians, though support seems to have leveled off; the proportions in 2013 were 54 percent and 43 percent, respectively.

There are obvious differences between explorations of the origins of homosexuality and views on marriage equality; one deals with the origin while the other deals with legal rights.

Gallup noted in its most recent analysis about the origins that the scientific community, like the American public, has not come to a consensus.

The results were based on a poll conducted from May 8-11 among a random sample of 1,028 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.

What do you think? Are people born gay or is it a result of their environment or upbringing? Take the poll:


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