What “Causes” Homosexuality/Part 2

By: Dr. John Ankerberg; ©2003
This time we find out that the Bailey and Pillard study on identical twins wasn’t as scientific as we’ve been led to believe. Nor were the conclusions reached as convincing.

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The myth that people are “born gay” is primarily based on two widely reported scientific studies:

  1. The study of slight differences in the hypothalamus region of the brain of homosexuals as discovered by Dr. Simon LeVay at the Salk Institute in San Diego, California.
  2. The study of identical twins done by Dr. J. Michael Bailey from the Department of Psychology at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and Dr. Richard C. Pillard of the Family Studies Laboratory, Division of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine.

In Part 1 we discussed Dr. LeVay’s study. We now proceed to the Identical Twins study.

II. Bailey and Pillard’s Study on Identical Twins

The second scientific study that the media uses to propagate the myth that homosexuality is genetically determined is the prevalence of homosexuality among twin and adopted brothers by Bailey and Pillard. Bailey and Pillard recruited the subjects for their study through homosexual publications which cater exclusively to the homosexual population. Thus, their study did not represent a randomized, non-biased selection.[1]

They found that of the homosexual brothers that responded 52% of identical twins, 22% of fraternal twins, 11% of adoptive brothers were homosexual, and 9% of non-twin brothers were homosexual.

Bailey and Pillard theorized that the reason there was such a high percentage of homosexuality among identical twins was because of their identical genetic make-up.


Half of the identical twins were not homosexual; rather, they were extremely heterosexual. How could this be if they shared the same genes? Cohen noted:

As identical twins have identical genetic make-up, it is much easier to interpret the findings as supporting the nurture rather than the nature theory. If a homosexual orientation is genetic, then 100% of all identical twin brothers should have been homosexual, but only half were. Therefore, it is easy to conclude that environmental factors, not genes, cause homosexuality.[2]

Dr. Simon LeVay admitted that neither Bailey and Pillard’s study on identical twins nor his brain research has proven that homosexuality is genetically determined:

At the moment it’s still a very big mystery. Not even my work nor any other work that’s been done so far really totally clarifies the situation of what makes people gay or straight…. In fact, the twin studies, for example, suggest that it’s not totally inborn because even identical twins are not always of the same sexual orientation.[3]

Pillard’s Biased Agenda

Dr. Pillard is himself a homosexual. He admits that his agenda is to promote the notion that homosexuality is in-born and therefore a natural sexual behavior.

III. Leading Scientific Researchers Conclude Homosexuality Is Not Biologically or Genetically Based

Masters and Johnson stated: “The genetic theory of homosexuality has been generally discarded today… no serious scientist suggests that a simple cause-effect relationship applies.”[4]

Dr. John Money, leading sex researcher at Johns Hopkins University, reported:

No chromosomal differences have been found between homosexual subjects and heterosexual controls. [and later] On the basis of present knowledge, there is no basis on which to justify an hypothesis that homosexuals or bisexuals of any degree or type are chromosomally discrepant [different] from heterosexuals.[5]

He also stated: “The child’s psychosexual identity is not written, unlearned, in the genetic code, the hormonal system or the nervous system at birth.”[6]

Even John DeCecco, the editor of the Journal of Homosexuality, said: “The idea that people are born into one type of sexual behavior is foolish.”[7]

No less than Alfred Kinsey himself believed that homosexuality was not biologically or genetically based. Rather, he admitted: “I have myself come to the conclusion that homosexuality is largely a matter of conditioning.”[8]

Dr. van den Aardweg stated: “No genetic factor—sexual or otherwise—has been found that would differentiate persons with homosexual tendencies from others.”[9]

In the same issue of Archives of General Psychiatry that the Bailey/Pillard piece on the lesbian twins appeared, two well-credentialed researchers at New York State Psychiatric Institute, said: “There is no evidence at present to substantiate a biologic theory of sexual orientation.”[10]

IV. If People are Born Homosexuals, Then Why Do Studies Show They Switch From Homosexual to Heterosexual to Homosexual Orientation?

In their 1970 report the Kinsey Institute stated that 84% of gays shifted or changed their sexual orientation at least once. 32% of the gays reported a third shift, and 13% of gays reported at least five changes.[11]

If sexual orientation is biologically fixed at birth as gays say, why do 84% of them change their sexual orientation at least once? In 1981 Bell, Weinberg and Hammersmith reported similar findings to those of Kinsey:

Further, 84% of the homosexuals vs. 29% of the heterosexuals reported a shift in their sexual feelings or orientation after their first appraisal (1981b, p. 91); 60% of the homosexuals vs. 10% of the heterosexuals reported a second sexual orientation shift (1981b, p. 92); 32% of the homosexuals vs. 4% of the heterosexuals reported a third sexual orientation shift (1981b, p. 93); and 14% of the homosexuals vs. 1% of the heterosexuals reported yet another sexual orientation shift (1981b, p. 95). These data may suggest that prehomosexuals were considerably more apt to be sexually confused in their feelings than preheterosexuals were.[12]

Read Part 3


  1. See “Twins Born Gay?,” Family Research Report, January-February 1992 and other materials from the Family Research Institute.
  2. In Richard A. Cohen, Perpetuating Homosexual Myths (Seattle, WA: Public Education Committee, 1992 rev.), pp. 18-19.
  3. Dr. Simon LeVay, taped Interview for “The John Ankerberg Show.”
  4. William Masters, V. E. Johnson, R. C. Kolodny, Human Sexuality (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1984), pp. 319-320.
  5. In Judd Manner, ed., Homosexual Behavior: A Modern Reappraisal (New York: Basic Books, 1980), pp. 9,66.
  6. John Money, Perspectives in Human Sexuality (New York: Behavioral Publications, 1974), p. 67.
  7. John DeCecco, ed., Journal of Homosexuality, quoted in USA Today, 1 March 1989, p. 4d.
  8. Cited by W. B. Pomeroy, Dr. Kinsey and the Institute for Sex Research (New York: Harper & Row, 1972), p. 147.
  9. van den Aardweg, pp. 30-31.
  10. William Byne, M.D., Ph.D., and Bruce Parsons, M.D., Ph.D., Archives of General Psychiatry, March 1993.
  11. See “Born That ‘Way,” Family Research Report Special Report 1991.
  12. A. P. Bell, M. S. Weinberg, and S. K. Hammersmith, Sexual Preference Statistical Appendix (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1981), p. 261.


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