Are people born gay?

Zenoyise Madikwa

Zenoyise Madikwa

Are people born gay? John Grootboom a social worker says there is no simple answer to the question.

Grootboom says there are many theories stressing biological differences between heterosexual and homosexual adults. These theories suggest people are born with their sexuality already determined.

But he said that was not conclusive because another study produced different results.

He believes family values initially shape beliefs about sex.

"For example, a female dominated upbringing, may be a reason people end up gay," he said.

Grootboom also believes that family environment, experiences and sense of self, influence a person's behaviour.

He says pleasant or unpleasant sexual experiences might also shape a person's sexual orientation.

Some religious groups believe that homosexuality is in breach of the Bible.

A psychologist who refused to be identified said homosexuality is a demonic phenomenon that needs religious "healing methods".

She said she had counselled and prayed for people with gay tendencies and they are now "living a normal life".

"God was not crazy when he created a man and a woman. The gay issue is neither a psychological nor a physical issue," said the psychologist.

"It is a spiritual one. Gay people need deliverance, period!"

Vuyisile Mamba, a sangoma, says many gay people have a calling to be sangomas.

"Sometimes the spirit that is calling the person is the opposite sex. It then transforms itself to the person.

"Hence you find a male sangoma called mama and a female one called tata," said Mamba.