Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican seeking his party’s nomination for president, said today he was unsure whether people choose their sexual orientation. Responding to a question from David Gregory, host of NBC’s Meet the Press, Pawlenty said, “There’s no scientific conclusion that it’s genetic. We don’t know that.”
In fact, there is scientific consensus that humans do not choose their sexual orientation, according to the American Psychological Association, which states on its Web site:
(H)uman beings cannot choose to be either gay or straight. For most people, sexual orientation emerges in early adolescence without any prior sexual experience. Although we can choose whether to act on our feelings, psychologists do not consider sexual orientation to be a conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed.