Biology Question #3281

John Lavender-Stott, a 21 year old male from Blacksburg asks on February 23, 2006,

Is homosexuality inborn?

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The answer

Barry Shell answered on February 24, 2006

Nobody knows for sure. The exact science answer is: we don't know.

However, there is a theory that sexual orientation (like fingerprints) are determined in the second third of pregnancy when the fetus is exposed to hormones coming from the mother. Nobody knows if this is right or wrong. Nobody knows how it works. However there does seem to be some evidence that a combination of sex hormones from the baby and from the mother cause the fetus to become a heterosexual person or a homosexual person in the womb. Which one it becomes might be determined by a something in the genes of the fetus, but even that is not certain. So you could say yes, in a way we think it is inborn. But we don't know for sure. Check the excellent entry on homosexuality in the Wikipedia for more on this subject.

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