Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Environmental homosexuality ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Environmental homosexuality
Category: Relationships and Society > Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual
Asked by: crazyinlove-ga
List Price: $200.00
Posted: 18 Aug 2002 17:25 PDT
Expires: 17 Sep 2002 17:25 PDT
Question ID: 56012
This is not a gay-bashing question and my motivation is not
malevolent.  If there is a possibility that a homosexual preference
was encouraged by an external event (in childhood or otherwise), how
can a person reverse that effect to their sexual preference?  I am
looking for more than, "the person must want to seek that change via
professional resources".
Specifically, if there is a possibility for such a conclusion, can I
point them, directly or subversly towards that direction?  Is there
such a thing an environmental homosexuality?
Subject: Re: Environmental homosexuality
Answered By: lot-ga on 19 Aug 2002 01:06 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hello crazyinlove-ga

Let’s start with a definition: “Homosexuality”
“Homosexuality - 'being sexually attracted only by members of one's
own sex' according to the Oxford Dictionary. Unfortunately,
behavioural scientists tell us that this definition is too simplistic.
Sexuality is a complex matter: many people are not exclusive in their
sexual inclinations. A classification system, devised in the 1940s by
Alfred Kinsey, rates an exclusively heterosexual person as Kinsey 0
and an exclusively homosexual person as Kinsey 6, the continuum
between 0 and 6 covering varying degrees of bisexuality. In addition
to this spectrum of preference, desire may not correlate with
behaviour. Therefore, the term 'sexual orientation' is now used to
describe a person's predominant sexual preference.”

The book “When Passions are Confused - Understanding Homosexuality”
Places heavy emphasis on environmental issues (Nurture over Nature) of
homosexual tendencies. Though it strangely highlights the 3 following
as associations.
“1. Alcohol and Drug Use. Research shows a "significantly higher
percentage of alcohol and drug use" among both males and females who
participate in homosexual activities.”
“2. Depression. Many can't escape the fact that homosexuality fails to
satisfy their hungry souls. Feelings of hopelessness and despair
settle in, blanketing the heart with a crippling emotional nausea,
making it difficult to function normally.”
“3. Suicidal Tendencies. Homosexuality is also associated with
elevated suicidal thoughts and attempts. Research reveals that roughly
40 percent of both male and female homosexuals have seriously
contemplated or attempted suicide.”
The book completely dismisses the fact that People are born homosexual
- Myth #1 ( )
It dismisses the work of Dr. LeVay who examined the brains of
homosexual and heterosexual men and formulated a hypothesis that
homosexual brains had smaller neurons which he showed to be fairly
Genetics are dismissed also on the grounds of the studies done on
identical twins in 1991 by Dr. J. Michael Bailey and Dr. Richard
Pillard which critics highlight only 52% of identical twins were both
homosexual when raised in separate environments. Critics are quick to
point out if genetics were the deciding factor it should be 100% of
both identical twins. “TWIN STUDIES OF HOMOSEXUALITY”
The book’s myth #5 believes that homosexuals can change
Another source “On Homosexuality” by Behrooz Bassim
( ) says
“If homosexuality was purely innate or genetic, it would not have
become prevalent, and this due to homosexuals' failure to reproduce.
Its genetic code should become extinct every time it would appear.”

“How do Homosexual Attractions Develop”
tries to correlate certain childhood developments to a homosexual
“No one develops homosexual attractions in exactly the same setting.
Nor can we put into words all that's involved for every individual.
Yet those who tell their stories often report a few common themes that
seem to make a person susceptible to developing homosexual
attractions. These themes frequently center around parent-child
relationships, peer interactions, and childhood sexual abuse.”
“It's noteworthy to point out that factors such as genetics and
hormones may cause some to be born with certain physical traits that
may make them more susceptible to the formation of same-sex
attractions, but these are indirect factors.”
The author recognises that genetics and hormones do play a part in
influencing homosexuality but are not as important as environmental
The article highlights
- Parent-child Relationships:
“Many who struggle with homosexual attraction report that their
childhood relationships with their same-sex parent and/or opposite-sex
parent was a time of great disappointment and rejection.
“- Same-sex Parent. All children long to connect emotionally with
their parents, especially their same-sex parent. This relationship is
a vital part in the process of growing to feel complete and secure as
males and females. When a child grows up feeling emotionally cut off
from his or her same-sex parent, whether it's real or imagined, it
interrupts this process. If the distance continues, the process never
resumes, leaving a child feeling rejected, empty, and insecure as a
boy or girl.”
“- Opposite-sex Parent. The relationship with the opposite-sex parent
is not as crucial to the development of same-sex attractions. But in
many cases this relationship intensifies a problem created by the
distance and/or assaults of the same-sex parent.”
“- Peer Interactions.
Children who are disillusioned with their same-sex parent may also
experience a similar degree of distance and rejection among their
same-sex peers, which adds to their level of confusion and
“- Sexual Abuse.
Tragically, for many men and women, homosexual attractions are also
rooted in haunting incidents of past sexual abuse.”

This article has found that " Lesbians' kids develop normally "
``When you look at kids with standard psychological assessments, you
can't tell who has a lesbian parent and who has a heterosexual
parent,'' said Charlotte J. Patterson, a University of Virginia
researcher. `` That's really the main finding from these studies.''
excerpt from " Lesbians' kids develop normally " by Rex Wockner of
Netcom source

The Environmental (Nurture) contributory factors are summed up by
( )
1. The Cultural Environment
2. The Family Environment
3. Peer group Environment
4. The Moral Environment

Some schools of thought argue it may be genetic and those with a
homosexual preference are born with it, and you cannot chose to be
An article “The Homosexual Brain?”
Dr. LeVay as mentioned above,
“hypothesized that the INAH 2 or 3 would be larger in men who sexually
prefer women than it would be for men who prefer males. In essence,
LeVay proposed that male homosexuals have brains that are different
from heterosexual men and similar to the brains of women. LeVay
examined post-mortem tissue from 41 subjects most of whom had died
from AIDS. His research found a correlation between brain structure
and sexual orientation. LeVay found a significant difference in the
size of the INAH-3 in heterosexual men and homosexual men. The INAH-3
was two to three times larger in heterosexual men than in gay men. He
found no significant difference in size between homosexual men and
However critics point out he was using the brains samples of patients
who had died of AIDS which may not be representative.
Brain differences was explored further by Allen and Gorski who had
“the anterior commissure was larger in homosexual men than in
heterosexual men as well as in women”
Research in this area is incomplete and inconclusive opponents point
“The Biological Basis of Homosexuality“
“But as LeVay points out, there was no evidence of AIDS having an
effect on the subjects’ hypothalami. Both groups were AIDS-infected;
had the disease had an effect on the hypothalamus, the INAH 3 should
have been the same size in both groups, yet they were not.
Furthermore, only INAH 3 showed any significant size difference; why
wouldn’t the disease have deformed the other three interstitial
nuclei? There were also no signs of pathological damage, such as
inflammation or dying cells, which normally accompany the
deterioration of brain cells due to disease. Finally, when the brains
of gay men who died of other diseases were examined, LeVay obtained
the same results (121). Those advocating the idea that there is a high
probability that sexual orientation has a biological component had
just gained yet another pillar of proof to support them.“
excerpt from GeneLetter “Genetics and Homosexuality” by Dorothy C.
Wertz  Nov 1 1996

The theories of Hamer and a ‘gay gene’ in 1993 were also challenged
“that male homosexuality is X-linked, that is, carried by women (who
are heterosexual) and transmitted to their sons but not their
daughters. The theory of X-linkage is based partly on family studies
that have shown gay male relatives on the mother's (but not the
father's) side of the family, and partly on Hamer's study of 40 pairs
of homosexual brothers (not twins), in which both members of each pair
were gay. Hamer found a genetic marker on the X chromosome
(contributed by the mother) that was shared by 33 of the 40 pairs of
brothers. The marker - in region 28 of the long or "q" arm of the X
chromosome - is not itself a gene, but suggests that there may be a
gene in this area of the X chromosome that influences sexual
orientation. Marker Xq 28 is now officially registered as GAY-1. ASHG
panelists Ebers and Scott Hershberger (University of Kansas) found
little or no evidence for X-linkage in their own family studies, and
several other panelists argued that there is little or no evidence at
present for a biological or genetic contribution to lesbianism.”
Defendants of Hamer say “Yet the answer is obvious: Hamer was not
trying to prove that Xq28 alone determines a person’s sexual
orientation, but rather that there is a genetic basis for
homosexuality. Combined with the results of other genetic studies,
Hamer’s findings only strengthen the argument that homosexuality has
genetic links. “
“Although genetics may not be the sole reason individuals are
homosexuals, recent research has shown that sexual orientation
certainly has biological links. Homosexuality has nothing to do with
disturbed mentalities. Homosexuality has to do with brain anatomy and
genetics. Homosexuals might even be gay before they are born.” ( )

excerpt from GeneLetter “Genetics and Homosexuality” by Dorothy C.
Wertz  Nov 1 1996
“One hundred years ago it was quite common for both men and women to
have relationships with both their own sex and the opposite sex (Katz,
1995). It was usually considered deviant, however, not to marry and
have children. Sigmund Freud (1905) believed that heterosexuals were
made (by family, culture, society), not born. The path to full
heterosexuality was traumatic; therefore most people retained the
capability of attraction to members of their own sex as well as the
opposite sex. Although Freud idealized heterosexuality as the most
"mature" relationship, he believed that most of us were latent
bisexuals at the psychological level. Many therapists still proceed on
this assumption, but they no longer try to convert bisexuals and
homosexuals into heterosexuals.”

Blanchard, R., & Bogaert, A. F. (1997). Additive effects of older
brothers and homosexual brothers in the prediction of marriage and
cohabitation. Behavior Genetics, 27, 45-54.
“Abstract: Research has shown that male homosexuality tends to cluster
in families and that homosexual males have, on average, a greater
number of older brothers than do heterosexual males. This study
investigated whether the former, between-families effect and the
latter, within-families effect are additive. The subjects were 717
full siblings over age 40 reported by 343 heterosexual and homosexual
male probands examined in Southern Ontario in 1994-1995. The sibling's
history of legal marriage or cohabitation in a heterosexual
relationship was taken as a proxy variable for sexual orientation.
There were no significant findings for the female siblings. As
expected, the never-married male siblings were more likely to come
from the sibships of the homosexual probands, and they had a greater
average number of older brothers.”

Blanchard, R., & Klassen, P. (1997). H-Y antigen and homosexuality in
men. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 185, 373-378.
“Abstract: In men, sexual orientation correlates with the number of
older brothers, each additional older brother increasing the odds of
homosexuality by approximately 33%. It is hypothesized that this
fraternal birth order effect reflects the progressive immunization of
some mothers to Y-linked minor histocompatibility antigens (H-Y
antigen) by each succeeding male fetus, and the concomitantly
increasing effects of H-Y antibodies on the sexual differentiation of
the brain in each succeeding male fetus. This hypothesis is consistent
with a variety of evidence, including the apparent irrelevance of
older sisters to the sexual orientation of later-born males, the
probable involvement of H-Y antigen in the development of sex-typical
traits, and the detrimental effects of immunization of female mice to
H-Y antigen on the reproductive performance of subsequent male

The biological (nature) contributory factors for homosexuality can be
summed up as
1. Hormones
2. Brain structure
3. Genetics

- Can a person reverse the effect of their sexual preference?
From current studies the biological factors appear to have some
influence but they are not enough in itself to nuture homosexual
tendencies without environmental effects. The biological effects will
sway an individual in one direction rather like perhaps being
biologically overweight, there will be a tendency to be overweight but
its not the only deciding factor. But be it ‘Nature or Nuture’ or a
combination of the two, to ‘reverse’, point and change direction as
you put it, seems to be difficult and frowned upon with specific
reference to ‘reparative therapy’ “A Critical Evaluation of Attempts to "Cure"
Homosexuality” by Dr. Niclas Berggren
Dr. Niclas Berggren challenges so called reparative therapy that
assert (i) that homosexuality is a mental disorder which is
undesirable, and (ii) that it is possible to alter a person's sexual
orientation through therapy.”
“There is a further problem here, namely, that people that have been
exposed to the rhetoric of reparative therapists, who describe
homosexuality in terms which themselves convey negative attitudes
(think about the words "disorder", "disease", "pathology","cure",
etc.), may indeed have come to view their homosexuality as undesirable
simply on the basis of the terminology of the therapists. Hence,
reparative therapy may entail an element of self-fulfilling prophecy,
which should further make us question the accuracy of their analysis.”
“The promoters of reparative therapy usually furnish two (related)
arguments on this issue: (i) since the psychodynamic theories state
that homosexuality is the sole result of certain childhood experiences
and phenomena, and that it, as such, is a disorder, it can be cured by
means of regular therapy; and (ii) there are empirical results which
show that people have, indeed, been able to change from gay to
“To me, it stands clear that reparative therapy is not able to change
anyone's sexual orientation; rather, it may "help" in making people
focus on a possible bisexual element and in making people deceive
themselves. In the long run, this is not conducive to the well-being
of a person.”
Dr. Niclas Berggren concludes “Let me conclude this discussion by
restating the important insights from above: that homosexuality is as
desirable or undesirable as heterosexuality and that it is not
possible to change one's sexual orientation. My recommendation, to
someone who is thinking about getting involved in reparative therapy,
is to save the time and the money and, instead, to get in touch with
decent homosexuals (like myself), who can illustrate that life can
really be good if you happen to be gay. And isn't that what counts in
the end?”
“Attempts To Change Sexual Orientation”
“Another problem in many published reports of "successful" conversion
therapies is that the participants' initial sexual orientation was
never adequately assessed. Many bisexuals have been mislabeled as
homosexuals with the consequence that the "successes" reported for the
conversions actually have occurred among bisexuals who were highly
motivated to adopt a heterosexual behavior pattern.”
“Attempts to Modify Sexual Orientation: A Review of Outcome Literature
and Ethical Issues” By Warren Throckmorton, Ph.D.
“Is Conversion Therapy Ethical and Effective? 
The ACA resolution opposed conversion therapy on the grounds that such
therapy is both ineffective and unethical.”

Although Nature, Genetic / biological theories that influence
homosexuality are not 100% proven, they do have some bearing, and
pulls an individual away from heterosexuality. This combined with
nuture and environmental factors attributed to homosexuality, make
this person homosexual. As current research stands the environmental
factors are the main contributory factor, and if they are, it would
imply that changing the environment would ‘reverse the effects’ but
psychology isn’t that simple, and years of ingrained ‘mindset’
particularly in childhood may not be easily reversible, as probably
witnessed by the conversion therapy and reparative therapy feedback.
Also the ethics of ‘forcing’ people to convert from their preferred
sexual preference need to be taken into account.

The evidence suggests the ‘reversal’ of homosexuality is dependant on
how homosexual that person is,(as Kinsey has shown in individuals, the
levels of homosexuality differ)and those that were successfully
converted(as opponents are quick to point out) were actually bisexual.
 I will finish with an excerpt from “Attempts To Change Sexual

“Why is it important for gay men and lesbians to become heterosexual
in the first place? Doesn't the real problem lie in society's
hostility toward people who are homosexual or bisexual?”

- Search strategy:
homosexual genetics relationship

environmental homosexuality

"nature or nurture" homosexuality

"sexual orientation" homosexuality

I hope that helps

Request for Answer Clarification by crazyinlove-ga on 21 Aug 2002 14:09 PDT
I appreciate the industry information on possible causes of
homosexuality and perhaps my emotions cloud the question.  I am
looking for specific, step-by-step guidelines to change sexuality.  I
do not care how PC this is or not.  I have been unable to find for
lack of a better term "this is what helped me change" suggestions. 
Please exclude religious epiphanies.  Thank you.

Clarification of Answer by lot-ga on 22 Aug 2002 17:42 PDT
Hello crazyinlove-ga

The provided information above analysed environmental and biological
issues and their impact on sexual preference in an attempt to conclude
‘Is there such a thing as an environmental homosexuality?’, concluding
it was the main contributory but not sole factor, with references to
reversal and the consequences.

I apologise I did not provide you with a step by step guide to change

Digging deeper, 90% of resources of changing sexual orientation on the
web, has a religious theme, is plugging a book or promoting
professional services.

It has already mentioned reparative therapy is not that successful,
and its a view reinforced by an excerpt from the American
Psychological Association’s website.
“Is sexual orientation a choice?
Sexual orientation emerges for most people in early adolescence
without any prior sexual experience. And some people report trying
very hard over many years to change their sexual orientation from
homosexual to heterosexual with no success. For these reasons,
psychologists do not consider sexual orientation for most people to be
a conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed.

Can therapy change sexual orientation?
Even though homosexual orientation is not a mental illness and there
is no scientific reason to attempt conversion of lesbians or gays to
heterosexual orientation, some individuals may seek to change their
own sexual orientation or that of another individual (for example,
parents seeking therapy for their child). Some therapists who
undertake this kind of therapy report that they have changed their
client's sexual orientation (from homosexual to heterosexual) in
treatment. Close scrutiny of their reports indicates several factors
that cast doubt: many of the claims come from organizations with an
ideological perspective on sexual orientation, rather than from mental
health researchers; the treatments and their outcomes are poorly

In 1990, the American Psychological Association stated that scientific
evidence does not show that conversion therapy works and that it can
do more harm than good. Changing one's sexual orientation is not
simply a matter of changing one's sexual behaviour. It would require
altering one's emotional, romantic and sexual feelings and
restructuring one's self-concept and social identity.”
This is probably not you want to hear, but in my capacity as a
researcher I am simply reporting facts (of current thinking).
However the views above contrast heavily with religious circles, who
believe that every one can change, but as you have requested, I won’t
go into religious viewpoints of sexual orientation.

Having uncovered the doubts that surround (current) therapy and
changing sexual orientation at professional level, as a researcher I
have a tough challenge to prove otherwise!

However, I shall perhaps at least attempt to stir your mindset, with
general principles that do not specifically apply to sexual

- 1. Reversing the underlying cause or the environment could be a
method to understand the current self. If back tracking is performed
to the point when this this sexual orientation was first felt, it may
help the understanding of it and why it’s happened.

- 2. Sexual lust is as an unsatisfied desire. If a homosexual trait is
suppressed it can get stronger. A ‘desire to have’ can be defused by
perhaps being more open about homosexuality. Once that area has been
explored the desire will have been satisfied, the mind can then
concentrate on reversing sexuality and moving forwards. Otherwise this
unsatisfied desire lingers in the back of the mind... with ‘what if’
scenarios being played out.

- 3. Analyse the triggers, the factors which accentuate it, when do
the passions arise, and avoid them.

- 4. If a homosexual relationship was experienced young and early in
life people tend to remember the ‘first kiss’. Positive steps to a
experience ‘the other side’ will help stop clinging onto the past.
There will be understandably, a fear of ‘satisfying’ or performing for
heterosexual ‘virgins’, but this anxiety is shared by all

- 5. Maybe develop a ‘disgust’ reaction to homosexuality, just as a
dog has it’s head pushed into it’s own excrement, how a vegetarian
reacts to meat - which is environmental not genetic. If the mind
wonders into this area, try to associate it with something of intense
dislike. For me.. it’s my boss! (ex). Or pinch oneself, punch the
wall, if any such thoughts crosses the mind, ouch!

- 6. If the above approach is too ‘destructive’ try to turn sexual
desire into brotherly love. Make all men as brothers.

- 7. Stop any idolization of other males and maleness, pinups, pop and
movie stars etc.
“Feeling deficient as males, we pined to be accepted and affirmed by
others, especially those whose masculinity we admired most. We began
to idolize the qualities in other males we judged to be lacking in
ourselves.” Instead of admiring these qualities of others try to
develop them, otherwise undesirable compensatory factors arise, such
as an accentuated feminine side.

- 8. Throw out any materials, books, magazines, videos, previous
lovers photographs, gifts, items which may give rise to strong
feelings of the past.

- 9. Accentuate masculinity, associate more with heterosexual males
live and breathe their way of life, attitudes and their thinking. Join
new clubs, mix with new friends and grow distances from homosexuals.
This may be difficult as the immediate circle of friends may be
homosexual - but by doing so, limits their influence. Just as a smoker
who’s attempt to stop are made harder by his circle of smoker friends
around him.

- 10. Develop deep, meaningful relationships with the opposite sex to
nurture bonding in a heterosexual way.

- 11. Learn to appreciate the female form more from a heterosexual

- 12. Perhaps move location, making a fresh start to flush out any
past thoughts and associations.

The above generalised guide is easier said than done, (and is no
substitute for professional counselling and therapy) I know if I had
to change my sexual orientation I would find it extremely difficult.
On a self help level perhaps trying to break the habit is no different
to breaking an infatuation or crush on somebody or something.
A will to succeed, and a strong determination to change the mindset
all help :-)

If you need further any clarification, just ask.
kind regards
crazyinlove-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Difficult question to answer but I think the response was good.  Thank
you for taking the request seriously.

Subject: Re: Environmental homosexuality
From: claudietta-ga on 12 Sep 2002 19:59 PDT
Dear Crazy-in-love,

Terry Gross had a guest, Evolutionary Biologist and Journalist Olivia
Judson, on August 13, 2002.  I suggest that you listen to their talk,, and then read more of her book
and works.  Only a subset of her work is on animal homosexuality,
however, I feel that her knowledge could be a great reflection on
human sexuality.

Subject: Re: Environmental homosexuality
From: jake1234-ga on 10 Nov 2003 14:07 PST
There is so much controversial information on this subject. If a
person wants to change he can. There is no step-by-step guide just as
there is no step-by-step guide for any other problem. However there
are things you can do that have been proven to work and they have
worked for me in my efforts to overcome homosexual tendancies.

Reparative for Male Homosexuality by Dr. Nicolosi
Coming Out Straight by Richard (?) Cohen
Battle for Normality: Self Therapy for Male Homosexuality by a man
named Dr. Van Aawedge?

I could look them up but you can do a search for the titles at These are my 3 favorite books. COS is my most favorite. describes the psychology. You can also join a
forum and find that there are also retreats one can go on etc.  Many
have regarded these retreats as major steps towards their goal.

I'm gay. I am making changes because of google answers and the bravery
of one person to ask a lot of questions. I hope you can join me one
day if you are in the same situation. for some it is harder than
others. But for me, its a pleasant journey to a fuller me.
Subject: Re: Environmental homosexuality
From: jake1234-ga on 10 Nov 2003 14:09 PST
Sorry, i missed one of the above comments. I don't think animal
homosexuality has anytime to do with human homosexuality.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy