In 2013, 47 percent of Americans told the polling company they believed that homosexuals were “born gay.” In 2014, that number dropped to 42 percent.
Meanwhile, 37 percent of Americans surveyed reported believing homosexuality is the result of “upbringing and environment,” up from 33 percent in 2013.
“Though being gay as the result of genetics or other factors before birth has become a considerably more mainstream belief and is now mentioned by a plurality of Americans, it is still one held by slightly less than half of the U.S. population,” the pollsters explained in a statement. “This disagreement seems likely to continue as long as the scientific community remains agnostic about the question.”
Gallup noted that the American Psychological Association has refused to take a position on the origins of same-sex attraction, quoting them as saying “there is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation.”
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One recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal showed that decreased serotonin levels – also linked to depression and other chronic disorders – had a strong influence on the sexual preferences of female mice, causing them to seek sexual relations with other females. And an earlier 2009 study found that 53 percent of homosexuals who sought therapy to change their sexual orientation were able to do so, while only 20 percent still identified as gay at the six-year mark.