Gay couple

Same sex attraction is not contagious

Is the sexual orientation of young people influenced by the orientation of their friends?

Many fear that homosexuality can be a fashion and if a straight person hangs out with a gay, then he/she might be affected and start to feel attraction towards persons of the same sex. This concern is often expressed by parents who fear that their child (puberty onwards) can be dragged or carried away by gay groups.

To answer the relevant question, researchers monitored and evaluated for six consecutive years 14 738 young people, 16 years of age, living in the US.

The results showed that having friends with homosexual practices does not affect one’s sexual orientation, but only increases frequency of sexual activity.

According to the results, having friends with same sex sexual behavior doubled the likelihood of being sexualy active. The same was reported regarding the desire and seeking of a love affair. However, they were not more likely to be attracted to people of the same sex.

In other words, it seemed that young people are influenced by their friends in whether they have sex or relationships, but homosexual groups do not affect the sexual orientation.

What determines sexual orientation?

This study suggests that the attraction toward persons of the same sex is not transmitted and does not spread through social networks of young people.

The American Psychological Association states that while many studies have investigated the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social and cultural influences on sexual orientation, there is no available data that would allow scientists to support that sexual orientation is determined by one or more factors

Most people feel they do not choose or that they exercise little control in their sexual orientation.

Brakefield TA, Mednick SC, Wilson HW et al. (2014) Same-sex sexual attraction does not spread in adolescent social networks. Arch Sex Behav 43: 335-344.


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