Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences




Sexual orientation is often viewed as the sex or gender to which one is attracted to; however, it is not that simple. Also, though many believe the default is for one to be attracted to the opposite sex and any other claim of sexual attraction is a choice; that is not true. Sexual orientation is the result of a complex combination of one’s genes, environment, and hormones. As a result, not only is sexuality not a choice, but just as there are so many different colors, there are so many different sexual orientations beyond heterosexual, such as homosexual, bisexual, and pansexual, just to name a few. At the end of the day, sexual orientation is more like a giant web of endless possibilities as opposed to merely heterosexual or a sliding scale between heterosexual and homosexual.

Furthermore, though one’s sexuality is fluid, meaning it can change over time and this fluidity has to occur naturally. As a result, expecting someone to simply stop their attraction as if they were turning off a switch or expecting conversion therapy to change their attraction is futile. In this review, the objective is to explore the science behind sexual orientation by analyzing research papers on the topic. This review will pay particular attention to examining “Large-scale GWAS reveals insights into the genetic architecture of same-sex sexual behavior”, since it is the first study to find the existence of multiple “gay genes” and quantify the extent to which genes influence one’s sexuality. The review will also examine similar papers as well as papers focusing on the environmental and hormonal influences on one’s sexual orientation.

Moreover, the review will analyze the results of some of the research methods and strategies used in these papers, such as twin-studies, animal studies, longitudinal studies, and surveys. By the end of this review, the facts and analysis should support the hypothesis that sexual orientation is the result of a complex combination of one’s genes, environment, and hormones. Also, the facts and analysis should create a clear picture that one’s sexual orientation is not a choice, nor is living a non-heterosexual lifestyle.

Included in

Neurosciences Commons