(GALLUP / Worthy News)– In a year when the movement for same-sex marriages continues to make strides across the U.S., Americans remain divided on how people come to be gay or lesbian. More than a third of Americans (37%) believe people become gay as a result of factors such as their upbringing and environment, while 42% say people are born gay. This latter belief is down slightly from 2013, when nearly half (47%) believed people were gay at birth.
Americans' views on this question have evolved over time. When Gallup first asked about the origins of same-sex orientation in 1977, over half of Americans (56%) attributed it to an individual's upbringing and environment, while 13% believed it to be something a gay person is born with.
The scientific community does not agree on one unified viewpoint regarding the issue of a person's sexual orientation. According to the American Psychological Association, "there is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation."