Peter Tatchell: Genetic explanations of homosexuality don’t add up

A commenter requested that I have a look at this article by British gay activist, Peter Tatchell. I had seen it before but it is worth reviewing.

I agree with most of it and certainly agree that whether someone is born gay is a separate question from public policy or even whether to suppress or repress feelings. This is a matter of free will.

I do not think the examples he gives for environment fatally discounts the possibility that there might be a very small number of people who find no flexibility in their homosexual desires. However, there is no proof that requires a belief in genetic determinism of sexuality either.

In general, I agree when he says: The truth is that nurture appears to be more important than nature when it comes to the formation of sexual orientation. Most studies indicate that genetic factors, while not unimportant, are of secondary significance compared to social influences, such as the relationship between a child and its parents, formative childhood experiences, cultural mores and peer pressure.

This could have come right out of I Do Exist.

Tatchell places the solidification of sexual orientation at 5 or 6, which might be an influence of psychoanalytic thinking. I would place it later and at varying ages for different people. Further, I think for some, I would say varying degrees of change could occur spontaneously much later in life. In fact, Tatchell describes situations like that.

This article is consistent with my impression that European gays have not banked their political aspirations on the born gay argument as in America.