The research on this is still rapidly evolving, but some genetic component to sexuality will be found.  There clearly is some hormonal component in the womb.  There may be some environmental component too.  We simply don’t know yet. 

I do think over the course of time, we will be able to unravel whatever the complex web of causes of homosexuality, or for that matter, whatever the complex web of causes of heterosexuality are.  And once we can do that, then parents are going to have to face the choice, and they should be able to make the choice about what kind of child they want.  

I think parents should be able to choose whether they want to have male children or female children.  I think in this country, not many people would do that. I think the only limitation on that should be if there is a mass structural dislocation.  So I can understand why India might prevent parents from making a choice because of the fear of having an overwhelming number of men in relation to women. I would say Sweden, without those same cultural concerns, should be allowed to do this. 

I would also add for what it’s worth that in cultures where there may be people who choose male children or straight children, there are also outliers like me who would choose to have female children or gay children and would balance things out.  

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

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