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Nature Versus Nurture: Are People Born Gay?

By Dani Naess Hellesund
Staff Writer

Why we look and behave the way we do is a complicated question with a lot of factors to consider. What is it that forms us and makes us who we are?

The issue to consider is heredity versus environment, also known as nature versus nurture. Heredity, or nature, is used to explain the gene part of our formation and growth, while environment, or nurture, is the surroundings and circumstances of our upbringing.

There are no sides to take in this debate. Nature and nurture overlap so much that there is no one “right” side. Our life has been formed by both nature and nurture and the only way to “take sides” is to discuss the issues that spring out from the ideas.

The issue manifests itself in wide-ranging debates, from why some people are more prone to disease than others, to why some are addicted to alcohol and some are not, and whether or not people are born gay.

Homosexuals and other Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people are born the way they are. I believe that when a baby comes into this world, it has already been decided whether or not the baby will grow up to be gay. It is not a choice for that person, and they can never  change. Homosexuality and bisexuality are not exclusive to humans.

It’s been observed in nature in many different species. Penguins are one example of animals where two penguins of the same gender have formed a romantic relationship. I think it’s ignorant of people to call homosexuality unnatural when it is seen in many places in nature. Consider this, if nature has nothing to do with people being gay, how does that explain why one brother or sister is gay and one isn’t? If they both had the same childhood, have been exposed to the same environment and people, and nurture is the only factor considered, then they should both be gay. Nature has a big role there, but I also believe that nurture is an important factor.

There are a lot of grey areas, and there are no definite answers when it comes to nature versus nurture. With so many factors to consider, there are too many variables and too many outcomes to prove a conclusion. But some things have, I believe, been proven by nature itself. An example of that is that LGBT people are born the way they are; it’s not a decision they have made or a direct outcome of their upbringing. It’s just the way they are born.

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