Lesbians Are Born That Way

It's all in the genes, says a new study

Courtesy of Queen Mary University

Lady Gaga may have it right when she suggests that gay folks are “Born This Way.” It seems as though genes may be responsible for lesbian sexuality after all, says a new study by Andrea Burri and Qazi Rahman of Queen Mary University in London. The psychologists report that while gay men are likely to show more gender-nonconforming traits during childhood, lesbians are not.

The research followed children to adulthood, showing that as many as 80 percent of gender-nonconforming boys eventually identify as gay, while only one-third of girls become lesbians. For example, boys may engage in more “rough and tumble” play than girls at the same age.

“We found that there is a connection between these mental traits and how sexual orientation develops,” says Rahman. “One idea is that there is an association between these psychological traits and sexual orientation because they all develop under common biological drivers; like the development of brain regions under the influence of genes and sex hormones.”

The study followed a group of 4,000 women who were one of a pair of twins – each of whom were asked questions about their sexual attractions and behavior. “We think environmental factors and genetics drive other mechanisms, like exposure to sex hormones in the womb, to shape differences in gender nonconformity and sexuality simultaneously. Stereotypes like ‘sissy’ or ‘mannish’ have not been helpful in promoting respect for gay people, and those who don’t match those stereotypes may find it hard to accept they are gay or lesbian.”

So much for sexual orientation being a choice.