Higher Percentage of Homosexuals Among Young Adults Than Seniors: What Does This Mean?

by Andy Sochor
via Plain Bible Teaching

As time goes on, homosexuality is increasingly becoming more accepted in our society. As it becomes more accepted, it will become more common. A recent Gallup survey found that 3.4% of adults in the United States identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

The survey also found an interesting statistic regarding the percentage of homosexuals among various age groups. The numbers are very difficult for those who wish to argue that homosexuality is a matter of inherent sexual orientation, rather than choice.

"Younger Americans are more likely to identify as LGBT: Adults ages 18-29 (6.4 percent) were more than three times as likely as seniors ages 65 and older (1.9 percent) to identify as LGBT. Gallup found that LGBT identity declines with age at 3.2 percent for ages 30-49; and 2.6 percent for ages 50-64."

How do we explain the number of homosexuals being three times higher among young adults as it is among seniors? How do we account for the percentage of homosexuals declining with age? There are two possibilities:

  1. Homosexuality is a learned behavior. Why would the percentage of young adults as homosexuals be three times higher than that of seniors? It is certainly not because the senior citizen homosexuals were especially fruitful early in life and passed their genes on to a greater proportion of children as the heterosexuals of their generation. Such an idea would be absurd. As homosexuality is seen more and more as being “normal” and “legitimate,” more young people will experiment with it and learn to become practicing homosexuals.
  2. Homosexuals can choose to give up their homosexuality. Why would the percentage of homosexuals decline with age? There are two reasons. First, homosexuals die younger than heterosexuals (studies have shown that this is true and would account for some of the decline). Second, those who were once practicing homosexuals can make the decision to end such behavior.

Either one of the above possibilities would destroy the assertion that people are “born gay” and are incapable of choosing the type of sexual activity in which they will be engaged as adults. So which one of the above possibilities is true and explains the results of the survey? Actually, they are both true and the Scriptures confirm this.

Homosexuality is a Learned Behavior

The fact that homosexuality is a learned behavior means it is not inherently wired into one’s genes from birth. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for the sin of homosexuality (Jude 7). Who was it that engaged in homosexuality in these cities? It was practiced by “the men both young and old, all the people from every quarter” (Genesis 19:4). Why was the number of homosexuals in Sodom disproportionate to the number of homosexuals elsewhere? It is because the men of Sodom had learned and adopted the practice. The same thing happened later with the men of Gibeah (Judges 19:15, 22). Their homosexuality did not result from some outrageous coincidence that caused all these men from one generation to be born gay. This would not account for the conditions in Sodom anyway, as the practice of homosexuality spanned generations. The only reasonable explanation was that this was a learned behavior. The substantially larger percentage of homosexuals could not have come by mere genetic coincidence.

Furthermore, we know that homosexuality is a learned practice because of the fact that “God is not one to show partiality” (Acts 10:34). Homosexuality is a sin (Romans 1:26-27; I Timothy 1:10-11). Therefore, if homosexuality was a matter of birth and not choice, then God would be condemning certain people for something they would have no control over. Yet we know this cannot be true. God wants all to be saved (John 3:16; II Peter 3:9). He would not make it impossible for certain individuals to come to Him and be saved. If homosexuality is a matter of birth, then God does show partiality. But if it is a matter of choice, then it harmonizes with these passages.

Homosexuals Can Choose to Give Up Their Homosexuality

Those who argue that people are born gay are adamant that a homosexual cannot change to become a heterosexual. Despite the fact that we do hear of this happening today (homosexuals giving up their homosexuality), the Scriptures also teach that this is possible.

Paul told the brethren in Corinth “that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God.” This group that would not be part of the Lord’s kingdom included “homosexuals” (I Corinthians 6:9). Does this mean that those who are homosexuals cannot be saved? Of course not! But it does mean they need to repent and give up their homosexuality if they want to be saved. Some say this is not possible. Yet some of the Christians to whom Paul wrote were former homosexuals. “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (I Corinthians 6:11). These people who had practiced homosexuality before their conversion did not continue the behavior after obeying the gospel. They chose to repent and give it up so their could be washed, sanctified, and justified.

The Practice of Homosexuality is Sinful

The Scriptures are clear that homosexuality is a sin. During the time of the Patriarchs it was labeled as wickedness (Genesis 19:7; cf. Jude 7). Under the Law of Moses it was called “an abomination” and “a detestable act” (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13). In the New Testament, it is called “indecent,” “error,” “ungodly,” “contrary to sound teaching,” and the work of “the unrighteous” (Romans 1:26-27; I Timothy 1:9-11; I Corinthians 6:9).

We know that “the wages of sin is death.” However, we also know that “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Those who persist in the sin of homosexuality will be lost, just as those who persist in any other sin. But those who repent of their sins and obey the Lord will be saved, even if their past sins included the practice of homosexuality.

Jesus is “to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation” (Hebrews 5:9). No matter who we are or what we have done, if we faithfully obey the Lord we can be saved. It is my hope that more people who have adopted the practice of homosexuality will make the choice to give it up for the sake of serving Christ.