Is being homosexual a choice?

Many homosexuals attribute their first realization or hint that they have same-sex sexual attractions to their adolescent or pre-adolescent years. Unremembered early experiences – some as early as before a child is old enough to walk and talk – may contribute to this perception.1 Understandably, for the person grappling with homosexual attraction, it can feel as if homosexuals are “born that way”.

It doesn’t mean a person wakes up one morning and decides at that moment to make himself or herself attracted to someone of the same sex. While sexual attractions may not be voluntary, many homosexuals do make voluntary, conscious choices about expressing their sexual attractions in sexual behaviour. This is akin to how a married person can choose to indulge affections for a third party by pursuing an extra-marital affair. Homosexuality is traditionally understood to be preceded by:

  • Sin: acting out sexually in deviant ways and against natural law due to mankind’s fallen nature which has departed from its created order and purpose.
  • Seduction and Grooming: older homosexuals “recruiting” more into their fold by preying on, grooming and sexualizing young heterosexuals who later turn homosexual.
  • Psychiatric/Mental conditions: confusion over one’s gender identity, rejection by and fear of the opposite sex, sexual addictions or dysfunctional family of origin.

Even if there were some innate disposition or (unfortunate) extenuating circumstances that led a person toward homosexual inclinations, no human being is compelled to yield to every sexual impulse he/she experiences.

1. Kerby Anderson, A Biblical Point of View on Homosexuality (Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2008)