The study of the environment and sexual orientation is research into possible environmental influences on the development of human sexual orientation. Scientists do not know the exact cause of sexual orientation, but they believe that it is the result of a complex interplay environmental parenting course genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences.
The American Psychological Association states that “sexual orientation is not a choice that can be changed at will, and that sexual orientation is most likely the result of a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factorsis shaped at an early age biological, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person’s sexuality”. Scholar Lisa Diamond, when reviewing research on lesbian and bisexual women’s sexual identities, stated that studies find “change and fluidity in same-sex sexuality that contradict conventional models of sexual orientation as a fixed and uniformly early-developing trait”. Researchers have found childhood gender nonconformity to be the largest predictor of homosexuality in adulthood. Bearman and Bruckner showed that males with a female twin are twice as likely to report same-sex attractions, unless there was an older brother. They say that their findings can be explained by the hypothesis that less gendered socialization in early childhood and preadolescence shapes subsequent same-sex romantic preferences. Researchers have provided evidence that gay men report having had less loving and more rejecting fathers, and closer relationships with their mothers, than non-gay men.
From their research on 275 men in the Taiwanese military, Shu and Lung concluded that “paternal protection and maternal care were determined to be the main vulnerability factors in the development of homosexual males”. Key factors in the development of homosexuals were “paternal attachment, introversion, and neurotic characteristics”. Research also indicates that homosexual men have significantly more older male siblings than the homosexual women, who, in turn, have significantly more siblings than heterosexual men. A 2006 Danish study compared people who had a heterosexual marriage versus people who had a same-sex marriage. Although there is no substantial evidence which suggests parenting or early childhood experiences play a role in sexual orientation, a Cameron 2006 study found that “parents’ sexual inclinations influence their children’s”. Most researchers attribute this to prenatal environmental factors, such as prenatal hormones.
In their landmark study of sexual behavior in the United States—reported in the Social Organization of Sexuality—the University of Chicago sociologist Edward Laumann and his colleagues found that homosexuality was positively correlated with urbanization of the place of residence at age 14. The correlation was more substantial among men than women. In Denmark, people born in the capital area were significantly less likely to marry heterosexually, and more likely to marry homosexually, than their rural-born peers. The behavior was practiced openly and was highly prevalent.
In the US, there has been an increasing number of women developing an attraction for other women. Susan Bordo has stated that when a taboo is lifted or diminished, it gives individuals the space to explore and express their sexual orientation. The American Psychiatric Association states: “no specific psychosocial or family dynamic cause for homosexuality has been identified, including histories of childhood sexual abuse. Sexual abuse does not appear to be more prevalent in children who grow up to identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, than in children who identify as heterosexual”.
One study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that “Abused adolescents, particularly those victimized by males, were up to 7 times more likely to self-identify as gay or bisexual than peers who had not been abused”. Genetic and Environmental Effects on Same-sex Sexual Behaviour: A Population Study of Twins in Sweden”. Marriages, Families, and Relationships: Making Choices in a Diverse Society. Principles and Practice of Psychiatric Nursing. Most health and mental health organizations do not view sexual orientation as a ‘choice. Submission to the Church of England’s Listening Exercise on Human Sexuality”.