Inherited or Acquired?

Inherited or Acquired?

Is Homosexuality Inherited or Acquired?

By Bill Irwin

Before I answer this question, I would like to introduce you to the ministry that I direct.  Free Indeed is a Maine based ministry that reaches out to the homosexual and sexually addicted population with discipleship programs that are Biblically-based and Christ-centered.  In the past twelve years, hundreds of men and women who struggled with sexual misconduct of some kind have graduated from the program with complete freedom from their sexual addictions. Free Indeed is an at-home based ministry, and is accessible either by telephone or teleconference room via the Internet; enabling anyone in the world access to our  programs.

What Determines Sexual Attraction?

Keith Kendrick, a neuroscientist, from Cambridge, England, conducted a study, and the results strongly suggest an environmental factor for sexual attraction [Keith M. Kendrick,… “Mothers determine sexual preferences,” Nature 395, 229 – 230 (1998)].  Dr. Kendrick noticed that men often married wives that looked much like their own mother.  To test this influence, goats raised newborn lambs and sheep raised newborn kids. The sheep and goats raised this way wanted to mate with the species of their adopted mother rather than their own.

While it’s a big step to go from sheep and goats to humans, it’s more common for genes to determine behavior in animals than in humans.  Fish and tadpoles swim as soon as they’re born.  Many mammals walk within hours of birth.  Humans take at least eight months to learn to walk.  Thus, it’s valid to conclude that behaviors that higher mammals learn, humans also learn rather than inherit.  If personal experience deceives people into thinking genetic programming determines sexual attraction, it is likely that they will also think that genetic programming causes homosexuality.

Directly addressing the genetics of same-sex attraction, one study of identical twins adopted into different families concluded that the identical twin of a homosexual is slightly more likely to be a homosexual than a person in the general population.  Another twin study showed no difference.  In either case, one would expect a genetically determined trait to be 100% matched between identical twins, which is true with eye, skin, and hair color. Therefore, it is only a genetic tendency rather than a deciding factor.  For example, the genetic trait of being tall makes a person more likely to be a basketball player, but it doesn’t make a person a basketball player.

Homosexuality is very difficult to treat, as the person has been deceived  into  believing that their homosexuality is not a choice, but transmitted genetically. No one wakes up one morning and decides to become a homosexual any more than a person wakes up one morning and decides to become an alcoholic or drug addict.  Instead, a person can acquire a same -sex attraction when a non-satisfying, close personal relationship is not meeting their basic needs in a healthy way. All people crave intimacy, but those who find themselves in this circumstance can subconsciously  sexualize relationships in order to meet their basic need for love,  and when acted upon,  it can eventually lead to homosexuality.  This tends to be a subtle and prolonged process that leads the person to rationalize their thoughts by blaming the relationship that didn’t meet their needs.

Habitual homosexual thoughts lead to acting on  those thoughts.  A  person begins this process by  making a conscious choice to begin obsessively thinking about their attraction to the same sex.  When practiced over a period of time this becomes a habit, and eventually these thoughts come to mind automatically. The person who is caught in this cycle tries to avoid  the shame and guilt of personal responsibility for this by blaming the unsatisfying relationship, genetics, emotional trauma, or something else.


Many Homosexuals Have Been Delivered

There are many homosexuals who have been delivered from their addiction, and now are married as heterosexuals and are sexually  attracted to their mates. Some experts say that many of them rarely experience same sex attractions again. However, the homosexual must strongly desire to change for freedom to be possible.  When God and His grace and mercy are sought with fervor, God has promised complete freedom from their habitual sexual sin. This burning desire for God’s help activates the help of the Holy Spirit and leads to freedom.  And whomever the Son sets free, is Free Indeed! (John 8:36)

Parents Have a Tremendous Responsibility

  Parents have an important role of teaching their children proper sexual behavior in their formative years.  Parents are also charged by God to provide their children with secure love, thereby ensuring balance and meeting their six basic human  needs ; survival, love and belonging, power, freedom, faith, and fun.

When a mother and a father raise their children in the knowledge of God, they teach the children proper sexual behavior, and how to meet their own needs in a healthy way. This leads to balance. Therefore, it becomes  highly unlikely for these children to get their wires crossed and have any tendencies toward same sex attraction which can lead to homosexuality.


There is no scientific evidence that homosexuality is genetically transmitted. One fact that cannot be denied  is that if one person has ever been delivered from homosexuality it is impossible that it could be genetic.  And in our experience at Free Indeed,  we have witnessed many captives be set free  from their habitual sexual sinful behavior.  Praise God for His grace and mercy!