A new survey by YouGov—the UK-based market research firm—has found that nearly one in three British people believe that being gay or lesbian is “just the way some people choose to live”.
The survey found that 49 per cent of British society believed that people were born gay or lesbian, 3 per cent said it was a result of one’s upbringing and 17 per cent said they didn’t know.
Age was a determining factor in people’s perceptions of homosexuality with under 25s more likely to think people are born gay (49 per cent) compared to 25-49 year olds (50 per cent) and over 50s (45 per cent).
The poll also found that women were more likely than men to think that people were born gay (54 to 43 per cent).
YouGov conducted a similar survey in 2014 in the US which found a more even split between responders with 41 percent of Americans thinking people were born gay and 37 per cent believing it was a personal choice.
The research results mentioned the recent announcement by Tanzanian health minister Hamisi Kigwangalla who threatened to publish a list of suspected gay men and said homosexuality was just a social construct.
YouGov wrote that a “key determinant of attitudes towards homosexuality is often whether or not people believe being gay is a choice."
The group noted that the overwhelming majority of scientific studies contradict Kigwangalla's opinon, citing scientist Alan Sanders, who says recent research “erodes the notion that sexual orientation is a choice”.