The Gaga MythPosted: May 26, 2013
According to top selling music artist Lady Gaga …
“Rejoice and love yourself today
‘Cause baby, you were born this way
No matter gay, straight or bi
Lesbian, transgendered life …”
Those are a section of the lyrics from the popular song Born this Way.
Unfortunately there are no black and white answers on the question of whether people are born with a particular sexual orientation. Christians tend to assume that people are born straight, since that is the sexuality that is supported in the Bible. GLBT people tend to assume that they were not born straight, since their sexual inclinations often feel inherent rather than consciously chosen, and because attempts to become purely heterosexually attracted often prove futile. Scientific consensus seems to be that sexual orientation is not entirely genetic, but that there is a genetic influence.
I came across an article about twin studies recently, which got me thinking. In the twin studies, identical twins are studied to see whether the twins always have matching sexual orientations. Such twins have matching genes, and look very much alike, so you would think that if homosexuality is inborn then if one of the identical twins is gay, the other would be also, right? Well differing studies have produced differing results, but at most the sexual orientations only matched around half the time. More conservative findings found concordance of homosexual orientation in less than 10% of those studied. Google for the terms “twin studies homosexual” and you will find relevant studies fairly easily. Of course these studies are not simple, and one of the complications is that apparently even identical twins are not 100% identical. But surely if sexual orientation is inborn, you would expect a concordance between identical twins to be much higher than 50%, right?
Im not claiming that homosexuals can choose to be straight – psychologists tell us that that would usually be unrealistic. But reflecting on the twin studies just clarified in my mind that Lady Gaga must be incorrect.