In recent years, the argument that sexual orientation is innate has become a principal component of the advocacy for the rights of sexual minorities.
That belief may not be the most effective way to promote more positive attitudes toward lesbian, gay, and bisexual people, according to new research from UT.
Patrick Grzanka and Joe Miles, both UT assistant professors of psychology, recently published a study in the Journal of Counseling Psychology challenging the notion that the belief that people are born with their sexual orientation—a belief that has proliferated in the past twenty to thirty years, particularly among social and biological scientists—is the key to improving attitudes toward lesbian, gay, and bisexual people.
“This research is not about figuring what makes a person gay or straight,” Grzanka said.
Rather, the researchers seek to understand how a person’s belief about sexual orientation may affect how they view sexual minorities. Their newest findings suggest that the belief that sexual orientation is inborn is not what distinguishes people who hold negative or positive attitudes toward gay men.
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