Study: Science Doesn’t Back Popular Views of Sexuality 08/30/2016


Julie Borg | WORLD News Service
Over half the people in the United States believe gays and lesbians are born that way, according to a 2015 Gallup poll. It can be professionally dangerous to believe otherwise, as former presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson discovered last year when he said homosexuality was a choice and was later pressured into apologizing.

But, Lawrence Mayer, a biostatistician, and Paul McHugh, a psychiatrist, both from Johns Hopkins University department of psychiatry, examined over 200 leading, peer-reviewed studies from social science, psychology, and biology and found science does not support much of what the general public, politicians, and policy-makers believe about homosexuality. Their 143-page review appears in the fall 2016 issue of the journal The New Atlantis.

Mayer and McHugh found no compelling evidence that sexual orientation was innate. Studies found some minor differences between the brain structure and functioning of heterosexual and homosexual people, but the findings shed no light on whether those differences were inborn or the result of environment and psychological factors. In other words, there was no scientific proof that people were born with same-sex attraction.

The researchers also found gay teens were not destined to a life of homosexuality. Longitudinal studies of adolescents showed sexual orientation often changed over time. One study found 80 percent of male adolescents who reported same-sex attractions no longer did so as adults.

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