Can a person be born gay or with the wrong gender?

In recent history, there seems to be a fair amount of debate over the cause of a homosexuality.  Is a person born gay?  Is there some familial or environmental factor responsible?  Perhaps it is merely a choice?  When seeking to understand an issue as important as this one, it is often a good idea to research what various experts in the field have had to say on such an issue.”  

“What’s most amazing to me about the ‘born gay’ phenomenon is that the scientific evidence for it is thin as a reed, yet it doesn’t matter. It’s an idea with such social utility that one doesn’t need much evidence in order to make it attractive and credible.” ~ Professor John D’Emilio, The University of Illinois at Chicago.

“No one knows what causes heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality.” ~ Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists, directly quoting the American Psychiatric Association

“Some people believe that sexual orientation is innate and fixed; however, sexual orientation develops across a person’s lifetime.” ~ American Psychiatric Association

“Sexual orientation is commonly discussed as if it were solely a characteristic of an individual, like biological sex, gender identity, or age. This perspective is incomplete because sexual orientation is defined in terms of relationships with others.” ~ American Psychological Association  

So taking these quotes together one can determine:

  1. The scientific evidence for 'born gay' is lacking according to a professor who conducts gay and lesbian research.

  2. 'Social utility', not evidence, is the driving force behind the 'born gay' claim.

  3. Since no one knows what causes ones sexuality, 'born gay' cannot be claimed.

  4. Since sexual orientation develops across a lifetime, it cannot be determined at birth.

  5. Since sexual orientation is defined in terms of relationships, 'born gay' cannot be claimed because no sexual relationships or attractions are experienced at birth.

Those making the argument for being born gay is that if people are born a certain way, then it makes it morally acceptable. Analogies are often drawn between race and sexual orientation. As we all know, African-Americans are born as African-Americans and are therefore equal to all other people. Therefore the reasoning goes, if homosexuals are born that way, then their sexuality must be equal to that of heterosexuals. This may be a valid analogy if race and sexuality were in equal categories but they are not. Race is a non-moral issue and sexuality is a moral issue. For example, imagine two baby boys in the nursery at a hospital. One baby is Caucasian and the other is African-American. One is resting in a white crib and the other in a black crib. Which crib is morally better? It is a nonsensical question. It would be equally nonsensical to ask which baby boy is morally better based on their skin color. Now let's say each boy grows up with equally promiscuous sexual desires. The Caucasian male is sexually promiscuous with every girl he can be (even to the point of date rape) but the African-American male abstains from sex, believing it should be reserved for marriage. Which is morally better? Now this is a valid question because sexuality is a moral issue and moral issues are not determined by behavior, not birth.

Furthermore, for the sake of argument,  that the exact cause of sexual orientation was known and did not develop across a lifetime but was determined at birth. Would this automatically make homosexuality morally good? No, because morality is not determined by being but behavior. For example, Dr. James Cantor is a clinical psychologist who specializes in research regarding pedophilia (sexual interest in children). He believes there is some connection between biology and pedophilia. However, this does not mean Dr. Cantor believes it is morally permissible for any such person to act based on these desires.  Does anyone think he is wrong for his position on this? Of course not. In fact, most would think there was something wrong with his moral compass if he was okay with pedophilia based on any biological connection.Yet this is the exact thinking of the 'born gay' argument. As we have seen, on the one hand, being “born gay” is not factually valid, and on the other hand, it is not logically valid.


The transgender issue can be confusing, so let's define some terms. It used to be that most people considered sex and gender to be one in the same. This is changing as the transgender movement and those that support it are insisting that sex is determined by how one is biologically born and gender is determined by the identity of the brain. Some people who have this experience do not embrace transgender identity. They feel their brain is not properly identifying with their body and see the issue as a mental disorder. Others embrace their transgender identity and seek to normalize it.

The most referenced evidence for inborn gender identity is brain scans. When the brains of transgender people are scanned, they often exhibit some similar patterns as those of the opposite sex. Therefore, a biological man who identifies as transgender would claim his brain scan shows he has a female brain. But as it turns out, neuroplasticity largely or completely invalidates this argument. The brain changes based on the thoughts, experiences, and other information it stores. Given this, people who think alike, such as artists or accountants or writers, often have some similarities in their brain scans. So it is no surprise that if a man constantly thinks about being a woman, that his brain scan would show some similarities with that of women. What if such a man dies and this body is donated to medical research? What if his brain was removed and students had to identify it by the organ alone? The evidence of both DNA and size alone will lead the students to conclude that they are studying a male brain. Therefore, the reasonable conclusion is that transgender identity is not a biological reality but a mental state that is not ordered with the body.


God created two biologically perfect people who rebelled against Him (Genesis 3:6).  Since this time people have been born imperfect and have to deal with feelings and desires contrary to God's purposes. Psalms 51:5 says, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” It is because we all have been born in sin and live sinful lives that we need a Savior. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Our sins have earned us a death sentence but Jesus offers the free gift of eternal life to those who repent (Luke 13:3) and trust in Him (Romans 10:9).


Jeff Johnson  - Are People Born Gay?

Got Questions – Can a Person Be Born Gay?


Robert Gagnon  – Homosexuality and the Bible

Robert Gagnon – The Bible and Homosexual Practice

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