It’s complicated – that’s the best way to describe the subject of homosexuality and the development of same-sex attractions in a person’s life. Often there is no quick or easy answer, but that doesn’t mean there are no answers at all. Saying that a person is simply “born gay” or that they “chose to be gay” are flawed, misleading, and unhelpful statements that often mask and cover deeper answers that can be extremely painful to uncover for both an individual, and the people around them.
The reality is that same-sex attractions develop in people for different reasons through a combination of converging factors: biological, psychological, and sociological. Typically, same-sex attractions develop differently in men than they do in women, but we make no attempt to offer a one-size-fits-all explanation for every individual. What we have done is to give representation to the thousands of men and women who experienced unwanted same-sex attractions and made a decision to change their lives.
If you place science over politics, and truth – even when it is painful – over quick and easy sound bites it is possible to discover why erotic sexual attractions for the same gender developed in your life. And no one with unwanted same-sex attractions should be deprived of the hope from hearing how other people found the freedom to successfully change their lives and overcome those unwanted attractions.
HERE’S WHAT WE KNOW
As we make continuing advances in the science of human sexuality it has become clear that sexual orientation and gender identity are largely fluid, subjectively determined classifications. As to what may drive a person’s sexual orientation and/or sexual appetites, the American Psychological Association (APA) has concluded: “Many [scientists] think that nature and nurture both play complex roles…”(2008)
Even gay activists, when they are honest, will acknowledge change is possible:
Gay Gene and DNA Studies — According to the American Psychiatric Association, there are “no replicated scientific studies supporting any specific biological etiology [cause] for homosexuality.” (2000) And according to the American Psychological Association, “Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation Is determined by any particular factor or factors.” (2008)
In the identical-twin study in 2000 by Dr. Michael Bailey, et. Al., with at least 5,000 participants, 20 percent of homosexual men had a twin brother who was also gay, while 24 percent of lesbian women had a twin who was also gay. Thus 80 percent of gay men and 76 percent of lesbian women had an identical twin that was heterosexual, suggesting an environmental component in the development of sexual feelings and identity. These identical twins were reared together. (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 524-536) In the famous 1991 “gay gene” study reported in Science magazine, researcher Dr. Simon LeVay, a homosexual, said, “It’s important to stress what I didn’t find. I did not prove that homosexuality is genetic, or find a genetic cause for being gay. I didn’t show that gay men are born that way, the most common mistake people make in interpreting my work. Nor did I locate a gay center in the brain…”
Yet far from being fixed, adolescent sexuality is quite fluid—not only with respect to sexual conduct but with respect to underlying sexual attractions as well. The most comprehensive data set on adolescent health and sexuality is the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (“Add Health” study). Ritch Savin-Williams of Cornell University, a homosexual and leading researcher on gay youth, reported: “In the data set of the longitudinal Add Health study, of the Wave I boys who indicated that they had exclusive same-sex romantic attraction, only 11% reported exclusive same-sex attraction 1 year later; 48% reported only opposite-sex attraction, 35% reported no attraction to either sex, and 6% reported attraction to both sexes” (Ritch Savin-Williams, “Who’s Gay? Does It Matter?” Current Directions in Psychological Science Vol. 15, No. 1 (2006), p. 42). This suggests that of male students who are currently “gay” (as defined by their attractions), nearly 50% are likely to be “ex-gay” only one year from now.
Life-Change Counseling and Change Therapy Helps people
It’s not about “Praying away the gay”
It’s not about just “becoming heterosexual”
Pornography can play a role