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56% Poll majority: Gays' orientation can't change A majority of… 
27th-Jun-2007 10:11 am
56% Poll majority: Gays' orientation can't change
A majority of Americans believe that gays and lesbians could not change their sexual orientation even if they wanted to, according to results of a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Wednesday.

It's the first time in a CNN poll the majority has held that belief regarding homosexuality.

Fifty-six percent of about 515 poll respondents said they do not believe sexual orientation can be changed. In 2001, 45 percent of those responding to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll held that belief. In 1998, according to a CNN/Time poll, the number was 36 percent.

In addition, 42 percent of respondents to the current poll said they believe homosexuality results from upbringing and environment, while 39 percent said they believe it is something a person is born with -- a close division that reflects the national debate over the issue.

However, those numbers are greatly changed from the 1970s and '80s, in which fewer than 20 percent of Americans said a person is born homosexual. In a 1977 poll, the number was 13 percent.

Ten percent in the latest poll said they believe both factors play a role in someone's homosexuality. Three percent said neither, and 6 percent had no opinion.

The sampling error for the results released Wednesday, in which the question was asked of a half-sample of 1,029 telephone poll respondents, is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points. The poll was conducted Friday through Sunday.

In a poll conducted May 4-6 that dealt with other issues regarding homosexuality, participants were asked whether openly gay people should be allowed to serve in the U.S. military, which currently has a "don't ask-don't tell" policy on homosexuality. Seventy-nine percent of poll respondents said openly gay people should be allowed to serve in the military. Eighteen percent said they should not.

On the question of gay marriage, 43 percent of respondents in May said they would not support same-sex marriage or civil unions, which provide many, if not most, of the same legal protections as marriage. Twenty-four percent said they supported same-sex marriage, while 27 percent opted for civil unions.

But a majority of poll respondents -- 57 percent -- said gay and lesbian couples should have the legal right to adopt children. Forty percent said they should not.

The sampling error for those questions was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Uncovering America: Fighting For Acceptance - A CNN Special Report
Comments 
27th-Jun-2007 02:30 pm (UTC)
What I want to know: Why do news organizations do polls about questions of science? Does the opinion of the hoi polloi make scientific findings any more or less true?
27th-Jun-2007 04:20 pm (UTC)
It's more a poll on how many people believe that science has a clue. If you'd polled people in the 12th century they'd have never believed the Earth went around the sun, but that didn't make it any less true. This is merely a reflection on how public attitudes are ever so slowly facing up to the truth.
27th-Jun-2007 10:35 pm (UTC)
Sexuality: the final frontier. We know less and less about ourselves than ever before, it seems. And, as always, until the truth is known, until we figure it out what chromosomes and hormones and chemicals and the zing of a first kiss are all about, this unknown realm will be batted about and molded to fit anyone's agenda. What IS the truth in this matter? Who does not have something to gain by making malleable the "truth" about sexuality?

Good grief. And on top of that, we need to try and figure out why girls like boys and girls like girls and boys like boys and why some girls feel like boys, and why some guys like to dress like girls, but still feel good as guys and like to kiss girls... it's an amazing thing. Of course some of it is choice, experimentation, exploration, but what does it mean to say, "We cannot change the way we are, we were made this way? Does it mean "Don't blame me for being bi or gay or straight - I was made this way?" Does that feel safer than saying "I don't give a shit, I am doing it because I like to"? I am merely speculating. I am sure that, even if science proved that it is all genetic, religious sects would still have therapists to help you quell those naughty, nasty urges, and there would be some kind of antidote on the black market. And, if they could find the gene that makes people gay or bi or stright, what would thatm ean for folks "planning" their parenthood? It boggles my mind.

I cannot wait to - One: see what science uncovers, and two: see what relevance it will have and three: see what changes will come about due to the findings. How will we use the information?

28th-Jun-2007 01:43 am (UTC)
It's progress. But it'll be far more progress when we get people to finally stop giving a shit what consenting adults do in bed whether their gender attraction is a choice or not.
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