The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
6 Points

homosexuality is an unchangeable trait that you're born with

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/22/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 388 times Debate No: 88605
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)




Let us consider the evidence that it is a trait rather than a learned behavior, and is not susceptible to change:
1) it is shown to have a heritable component
2) it is shown to be influenced by prenatal hormone factors
3) there is no consistent findings about it correlating to early childhood factors
4) gay people do no experience it as a choice
5) the statistics on conversion therapy show that it succeeds in maybe 3% of people and is more likely to harm people who undergo it,
6) Exodus International, formerly in competition with NARTH for the leading conversion therapy organization, not only folded in defeat, but issued a letter from its founder acknowledging that conversion therapy did not work and that they had been responsible for tremendous harm
7) People who do experience a choice exist as a distinct group: bisexuals. That these are separate if related communities suggests that while some people can go either way, others can not.
And other things I can't think of off the top of my head. And against that evidence, the position that it is a choice or is changeable almost always boils down to two things:
1) Straight people who, being grossed out by what they imagine gay sex to be like, can't fathom why a person who isn't sick would do such a thing, and
2) Religious people, who can't imagine how God would make that kind of mistake.A279;


Since Pro has not set the BoP, we can assume that the BoP is placed on Pro. All I need to do is provide a reasonable case homosexuality is something you are not born with.

My Case:

I would like to assert homosexuality is caused by nurture; not nature. In biology, we learn that we have traits. These can be determined by certain factors. These factors are physical, environment, and spiritual in nature. A physical factor would be a certain level of melanin causing pigmentation. An environmental factor could be growing up in a bad place in town; causing the person to be on constant alert. A spiritual factor could be someone keeping their virginity until marriage for their religion. While some traits are brought on by physical factors, our behavior is mostly shaped by our environmental and spiritual factors. A human's sexuality falls into this category of being shaped by environmental factors. Eight major studies in identical twins show that homosexuality is not genetic. As quoted by the article:

"Identical twins have the same genes or DNA. They are nurtured in equal prenatal conditions. If homosexuality is caused by genetics or prenatal conditions and one twin is gay, the co-twin should also be gay.

“Because they have identical DNA, it ought to be 100%,” Dr. Whitehead notes. But the studies reveal something else. “If an identical twin has same-sex attraction the chances the co-twin has it are only about 11% for men and 14% for women.”

Because identical twins are always genetically identical, homosexuality cannot be genetically dictated. “No-one is born gay,” he notes. “The predominant things that create homosexuality in one identical twin and not in the other have to be post-birth factors.”

The predominant things that create homosexuality in one identical twin and not in the other have to be post-birth factors.

Dr. Whitehead believes same-sex attraction (SSA) is caused by “non-shared factors,” things happening to one twin but not the other, or a personal response to an event by one of the twins and not the other.

For example, one twin might have exposure to pornography or sexual abuse, but not the other. One twin may interpret and respond to their family or classroom environment differently than the other. “These individual and idiosyncratic responses to random events and to common environmental factors predominate,” he says." (1)

"Humans display a wide range of sexual feelings and behavior. Nowhere is this more prominent than in American culture which is saturated with images and references to sex and romantic love from television advertisements to billboard displays. Often, our identities as individuals are wrapped up with our romantic tendencies and how these play out in our relationships. Sometimes an individual’s sexual behavior is used as a barometer for his or her moral or religious beliefs. Our collective sense of how human sexuality should be expressed is revealed through the rights and liberties that structure our lives as citizens.

We are sexual beings, yet this does not mean that we are born homosexual, bisexual, or heterosexual. Our sexual expression can change over time, towards different people, through different experiences. A lack of understanding about this type of human variability often leads to a perspective that our genes define who we are. Each of the above areas of research displays findings that hinge on the assumption that a given individual’s sexual expression neatly fits into the categories “straight” and “gay.” By not considering evidence of human sexual fluidity, debates regarding origins and biology are not substantial or complete. Current efforts fail to tell the whole story. And even if we were to accept that the assigned sexual orientation of the individuals participating in these studies accurately reflected their lifelong expression, conclusive proof of a link between this and their genes has yet to be found."

It is clear that I have made the point that homosexuality depends on factors that are determined outside the womb. Thus, I have fulfilled my BoP. However, if my opponent still wants evidence, I'll be happy to provide Pro which such material.

How can you change a person's sexuality? You can change it under the right environmental conditions.


Addressing opponent's 1st and 2nd argument:
"But all of this evidence rests on the notion that sexual orientation is fixed and that individuals are either “straight” or “gay.” Researchers in these studies did not indicate whether individuals in their sample provided an extensive account of their sexual histories and tastes. Rather, individuals in the samples were simply asked to define their sexual orientation. In doing this, researchers set up a false dichotomy whereby the individuals studied are forced into one of two categories neither of which may accurately account for the full range of their sexual expression.

Additionally, it is difficult to conclude with certainty that because a trait shows up more often among biologically-related siblings, it is inherited. In fact, many such traits appear to be linked to distinctly non-biological factors. Diet, drug addiction, religious and political orientation, and career paths are just a few of the behaviors that cluster in families due to shared social influences. Indeed, a shared environment can often produce a clustering of all types of behavior patterns. It is doubtful that any study could be designed with sufficient sensitivity to exclude this possibility.

The methods used in family linkage studies, which depend upon recruitment from gay and lesbian magazines, websites, and organizations, carry a clear risk of ascertainment bias. Gay brother pairs may be more interested in responding than gay men with straight brothers, given the potential for homophobia among siblings and the substantial number of homosexuals who are “in the closet” toward their families. Twins or siblings who are both gay might find the subject interesting or already suspect a genetic basis of their shared sexual orientation, thus making them more likely to participate .

In order to exclude these potentially confounding factors, more recent studies have drawn participants from random samples. A study in 2000 of 4,500 twins from the Australian Twin Registry by Bailey and colleagues showed only a 30% rate of homosexuality shared between both male and female identical twins." (2)

Also, sources. Provide them. However, this proves such sources to be unfit to use.

Response to argument 3:
I have addressed this in my earlier argument.

Response to argument 4, 5, 6, and 7:
Thus, you admit some do change. This contradicts your stance that homosexuality is set from inside the womb. Also, source. Provide them.

There are stories of people changing their sexuality in time; whether it be to heterosexuality of homosexuality. (3) (4) Again, this contradicts your claim.

To sum them up, these are stories where the therapy actually worked and when people decided to be gay. In fact, a woman in source number four is a homosexual; yet acknowledges said therapies work in some occasions.

Response to argument 8 and 9:
Refer to my earlier argument.

As for the "God" argument, I used to be Catholic. They taught in the Church that humans were given the right to autonomy; which is the ability to make an unbiased decision. With certain decisions, environmental factors could arise causing homosexuality; fulfilling God's right for our autonomy.

I'm out of characters. I appreciate your time.

Anime OP:


Debate Round No. 1


I'm in a bit busy right now so I'll start with rubuttals.

The short answer to the identical twin question is that while there is a very strong genetic heritability component (the 11% and 14% are probably the lowest estimates of it I've heard; some place it at 50% while others place it in between) identical twins do not share the same prenatal environment. Each exists in their own amniotic sac and the environment within each one can be quite different. Even minor changes in difference can change the ways in which the genes activate, causing epigenetic differences in traits. This point can't be stressed enough: there is no consistent correlation between post-natal childhood factors, like lacking a father-figure or sexual abuse, and being gay. Moreover, the attempts at gay conversion are utterly abysmal. Here's from one review of the available studies: "From the available data, four studies reported a "success" rate during conversion therapy of 0.4%, 0.0%, 0.5 and 0.04%. That is, conversion therapy has a failure rate in excess of 99.5% during each study."


I can not find the citations for your source. Also, you admit some do change; which contradicts your argument that sexuality is fixed from the womb.

You, again, provide no citations for your argument except for the statistics with gay conversion therapy.

From source two of my previous arguments about the supposed "gay gene" and chemical exposure in the body.

"In 1993 Dean Hamer and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health, claimed to have discovered a gene for homosexuality. Their study, published in Science [17], used a sample of 40 “gay” brother pairs whose sexual orientation was said to be maternally inherited. Hamer and colleagues found that 83% of the pairs shared the same markers on a region of the X chromosome called Xq28. Interestingly, a follow-up study including lesbian sister pairs did not show the same occurrence of shared markers [18]. Though the original study was never replicated,Time magazine featured an article the following week with a bold cover entitled, “Born Gay: Scientists Discover a Genetic Link.” In 1999, in the largest study of its kind to date, George Rice, George Ebers and colleagues at the University of Western Ontario failed to reproduce a statistically significant linkage to the Xq28 marker in a sample of 52 gay brother pairs [19]. Another unpublished study led by Alan Sanders at the University of Chicago produced inconclusive results [20]. Further evidence of a genetic link to homosexuality has not been produced."

You leave my studies untouched. Your word does not hold more validity than studies that show the links. If you don't want to acknowledge it, that's your problem.

Anime OP:;
Debate Round No. 2


No, there's no gay gene. There's no "male" gene either. Most complex traits are governed by multiple genes, the womb, and their epigenetic interaction. Talking about a gay gene is a red herring. What we do know is that there is a strong heritability component: one way of proving this is by comparing the concordance rates of identical twins with those of fraternal twins. Heritable conditions occur more frequently in identical twins. Being gay occurs more frequently in identical twins.
But of course it's not all genetic. It's just that research shows no consistent link between any childhood factor and becoming gay. (There is some research linking sexual trauma to being gay, which is an inconsistent finding, however many of those subjects identified as gay before the trauma occurred). And since we do find correlation to prenatal conditions, the evidence is that it is an accident of birth. And given the overwhelming failure of conversion therapy to achieve its ends (and the experience of most gay people that they don't change even when they try), we are left to the conclusion that as far as we can tell it's both innate and immutable. I can't speak for the very few "success" stories of conversion therapy; maybe a very very few people have some interceding quality that lets them change, but the simpler explanation is that they were at least somewhat bisexual to begin with (since not all bisexuals favor both genders equally).


"Identical twins have the same genes or DNA. They are nurtured in equal prenatal conditions. If homosexuality is caused by genetics or prenatal conditions and one twin is gay, the co-twin should also be gay.

“Because they have identical DNA, it ought to be 100%,” Dr. Whitehead notes. But the studies reveal something else. “If an identical twin has same-sex attraction the chances the co-twin has it are only about 11% for men and 14% for women.”

From source one of my first argument.

Pro, you can not just say something without facts or citations to back it up. All I see is you ranting and raving; but I don't see any studies. As Whitehead explained, if one twon is gay, the other one should be too. He was also calculating for chemicals in the womb. I love how you say that twins have nothing to do with said chemicals; then go on to say that gays are more likely to have a gay twin.

Instead of speaking without factual sources and just expecting everyone to believe you, how about you actually try to put actual evidence in. Your word is not enough to debunk my sources. It's like me saying:
"Being gay is a choice because I said so hehe I won the debate!"

That's not how it works.

My sources still stand.
My opponent does not have citations backing him up.
My arguments still stand.

Everyone of my arguments are going relatively untouched. As of now, I am winning this debate.

Debate Round No. 3


saveoursouls777 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


saveoursouls777 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Yesi_kitty 7 months ago
Also i used to think i was straight...not true but i go against you as well. You are not born a certain sexuality.
Posted by Yesi_kitty 7 months ago
Religious are beliefs which it would not prove to be a factual source.
Posted by Yesi_kitty 7 months ago
Religious are beliefs which it would not prove to be a factual source.
Posted by Gdougie 7 months ago
May I ask why we cannot use anything religious?
Posted by saveoursouls777 7 months ago
You can use sources....but nothing religious
Posted by Gdougie 7 months ago
Will sources be involved in this debate? And can the opponent use any argument they want? Can the Bible be used as a source?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Overhead 6 months ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct: Pro FF last two rounds. Convincing arguments - Con makes a solid set or arguments related to the topic and effectively turns PRO's points. Although PRO tries to minimise their effect (and in some cases they are small, as CON points out PRO does concede things like 3% of conversation therapy being a success. Although this small, a small change is not the same as unchangeable as CON makes the case for. These successful turn on top of an altogether well put argument win it for CON. Sources - Con used a comprehensive set of sources to back up relevant points and offered quotes where needed to summarise their position. Pro does this, but with only one source for one point and that point, as mentioned above, was effectively turned on him because even a 0.5% change is still a change.