50+ Little Known Facts About LGBT People That You Wouldn’t Know


Did you know that the ratio of your index finger to your ring finger may determine your sexual orientation? How much do you think the theory ‘Born That Way’ is successful in explaining your sexual orientation? A lot more interesting little known facts about our sexual orientation are presented here for you.

On the occasion of LGBT people celebrating Pride month in June, TMF has conducted an extensive study of various research papers available on LGBT people and human sexual orientation. Presented below are 50+ amazing and little-known facts about LGBT people that ordinary people do not know.

  1. Minor differences in brain structures between homosexuals and heterosexual individuals found, however whether these differences are innate or the result of environmental and psychological factors that is not established.
  2. Sexual orientation may be fluid over the course of life for some people.
  3. 80% male adolescents who report same-sex attractions, no longer do so as adults.
  4. Compared to heterosexuals, non-heterosexuals are about two to three times more likely to have experienced childhood sexual abuse.
  5. Compared to general population, non-heterosexuals are more at risk for physical and mental health problems.
  6. Non-heterosexual people are 1.5 times higher risk of anxiety disorder than the members of heterosexual population
  7. Non-heterosexual population is at double the risk of depression, 1.5 times risk of substance abuse and 2.5 times more likely to commit suicide compared to heterosexual people
  8. Members of transgender population are at higher risk of variety of mental health problems compared to non-transgender population
  9. Transgender people across all ages try to commit about 41% suicide compared to under 5% for general people.
  10. The hypothesis that an individual may be – ‘a man trapped in a woman’s body or a woman trapped in a man’s body’ is not supported by scientific evidence.
  11. According to a recent estimate about 0.6% US adults identify as a gender that does not match their biological sex.
  12. Adults who have undergone sex-reassignment surgery continue to have higher risk of experiencing poor mental health conditions even after their reassignment surgery.
  13. There is no scientific evidence that all children who express gender-atypical behavior should be encouraged to become a transgender.
  14. Members of LGBTQ community suffer more from depression, anxiety, substance abuse and suicide compared to general population.
  15. Epidemiological studies find a modest association between genetic factors and sexual attraction or behaviors but do not point to specific genes for such behavior
  16. Some people like celebrity Cynthia Nixon thinks that being ‘gay’ is a choice
  17. There is little scientific evidence to support the claim that sexual attraction is simply fixed by innate and deterministic factors such as genes
  18. Sexual orientation and identity may be different. For example, brain scan studies may find one as a bisexual but he may identify himself as a gay.
  19. Desire in ‘sexual desire’ is defined as “the sum of forces that incline us toward and away from a sexual behavior”. (1)
  20. There may be 10 different types of affective (affectional) inclinations or behavior captured by the term ‘homosexuality’. (2)
  21. There is a 6-point scale to measure your sexual desire and orientation. It is called Kinsley scale. (3)
  22. There is a theory called ‘attachment theory’ that states your childhood attachment to your caregiver may determine your sexual orientation later. (4)
  23. Even now there is no scientific or popular consensus on the exact constellation of experiences that definitively ‘qualify’ one individual as ‘lesbian’, ‘gay’ or ‘bisexual’. (5)
  24. Only about 20% men and 24% women identical twins (maternal, monozygotic) and only 0% males and 10% females of non-identical (fraternal, dizygotic) twins have displayed homosexual orientation in a 2000 study. (6)
  25. Researchers have attributed 45% of the differences between certain sexual orientation to differences in genes, but the rest was not attributed to any genetic factors. (6)
  26. Some researchers have found that traits that are almost entirely genetically determined can have very low heritability value and traits that have almost no genetic basis were found to be highly hereditary.
  27. Environmental factors (like social conditioning of one to gay acceptance) contributed to 61% and 66% variance in identical and fraternal twins respectively.
  28. Researchers found that while genetic component of homosexual behavior is far from being negligible, environmental factors play a significant and probably the predominant role in determining one’s sexual orientation. (7)
  29. In a 2002 study of adolescents, 8.7% reported same-sex attraction, 3.1% reported same-sex romantic relationship and only 1.5% reported same-sex sexual behavior. (8)
  30. Study found that opposite-sex twins receive less-gendered socialization (raised in gender-neutral way) than same-sex twins or opposite-sex siblings. (8)
  31. Male opposite-sex twins (males in twins of one male – one female combination) are most likely to display highest same-sex attraction (16.8%) compared to any other group. Female opposite-sex twins display very less same-sex attraction (5.3%). (8)
  32. There is a theory called “intrauterine hormone transfer hypothesis” that claims that in opposite-sex fetuses hormone transfer between the fetuses causes homosexuality.
  33. There is a study that suggested that less gendered socialization and preadolescence shapes subsequent same-sex romantic relationship. (9)
  34. Some scientists indeed found a genetic marker in male X chromosome that they said could be linked to homosexuality. (10)
  35. Testosterone influence a male fetus between 8-24 weeks of pregnancy and then at birth till about 3 months of age. Estrogen is provided throughout the gestation period of the fetus. Any disbalance in supply of these hormones during pregnancies can create disorders in sexual development. (11)
  36. Elevated levels of a hormone called cortisol can cause genetic disorders in fetus. This happens from the mother when she is highly stressed during pregnancy. Resulting in genetic defects of the fetus. (12, 13)
  37. Overproduction of cortisol in mothers, results in a sexual disorder called Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH), which result in virilization (development of male physical characteristic) of female genitalia. Females born under the condition of excessive CAH are likely to be non-heterosexual. (14)
  38. Males suffering from androgen insensitivity syndrome may be born with a female-like genitalia. Sometimes these males develop secondary-sexual characteristics like females. (15)
  39. A male born with androgen insensitivity syndrome show more interest in same-sex relationship and behave like females born with XX chromosome. (16)
  40. Males born with XY chromosome may suffer from various forms of androgen deficiencies that lead to these males born with varied degrees of ambiguous genitalia and most often raised as girls. (17)
  41. When the males with ambiguous genitalia raised as girls in childhood, do not get proper menses in their puberty, may like to undergo sex-change operation. Some however start living as a man. (17)
  42. Your Index finger and ring finger length ratio (called 2D:4D) can determine your sexual orientation. (18)
  43. For heterosexual men, 2D:4D ratio is less compared to heterosexual females or gay men because heterosexual males are exposed to more prenatal Testosterone level. (20)
  44. There is also one theory that suggests homosexual men may be hyper masculinized by being exposed to higher testosterone levels and hence their 2D:4D ratio may be even lesser than the heterosexual men. (19)
  45. There is a study on mothers’ post WW II trauma, that found high stress during pregnancy may lead to higher probability of children being homosexual (65%), bisexual (25%). Only 10% children in that study were found to be heterosexuals. (21)
  46. One study found there is a portion of brain called INAH3 that occupy smaller volume in homosexual men than in heterosexual ones. (22)
  47. Some researchers say, brain differences may be the result of one’s sexual orientation rather than the cause of it. (23)
  48. Non-heterosexual males are 4.9 times likelier to report childhood sexual abuse than heterosexual males. (24)
  49. Non-heterosexual females are 1.5 times likelier to report childhood sexual abuse than heterosexual females.
  50. Non-heterosexual adolescents report about 1.3 times more physical abuse from their parents.
  51. Non-heterosexual adolescents are about 1.7 times likelier to get threatened with a weapon, injured or attacked by their peers. (24)
  52. 41% non-heterosexual males and 42% non-heterosexual females reported childhood family dysfunction. (25)
  53. Call it misandry, but some researchers had the opinion that sexual abuse by males in childhood, makes boys think that they are gay and makes girls averse to intercourse with males. (everything is a male problem. 26)
  54. People who report same-sex attraction at a young age are more likely to shift their opinion after attaining adulthood compared to those who express attraction to the opposite sex from beginning. (27)
  55. Approximately 80% gay adolescents and about 50% lesbian adolescents turned to be heterosexuals after attaining adulthood. (28)
  56. Sexual orientation and attraction are more fluid in women than men. (So, women may be lesbian today, heterosexual tomorrow and bisexual the day after. 😊) (29)

References –

  1. Stephen B. Levine, “Reexploring the Concept of Sexual Desire,” Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 28, no. 1 (2002), 39, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/009262302317251007
  2. Marc-André Raffalovich, Uranisme et unisexualité: étude sur différentes manifestations de l’instinct sexuel (Lyon, France: Storck, 1896)
  3. For more on the Kinsey scale, see “Kinsey’s Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale,” Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, http://www.kinseyinstitute.org/research/publications/kinsey-scale.php
  4. See, for example, John Bowlby, “The Nature of the Child’s Tie to His Mother,” The International Journal of Psycho-Analysis 39 (1958): 350 – 373
  5. Lisa M. Diamond, “New Paradigms for Research on Heterosexual and Sexual-Minority Development,” Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology 32, no. 4 (2003): 492
  6. Michael Bailey, Michael P. Dunne, and Nicholas G. Martin, “Genetic and environmental influences on sexual orientation and its correlates in an Australian twin sample,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 78, no. 3 (2000): 524 – 536
  7. Niklas Långström et al., “Genetic and Environmental Effects on Same-sex Sexual Behavior: A Population Study of Twins in Sweden,” Archives of Sexual Behavior 39, no. 1 (2010): 75 – 80, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10508-008-9386-1
  8. Peter S. Bearman and Hannah Brückner, “Opposite-Sex Twins and Adolescent Same-Sex Attraction,” American Journal of Sociology 107, no. 5 (2002): 1179 – 1205, http:// dx.doi.org/10.1086/341906
  9. Peter S. Bearman and Hannah Brückner, 1198
  10. Alan R. Sanders et al., “Genome-wide scan demonstrates significant linkage for male sexual orientation,” Psychological Medicine 45, no. 07 (2015): 1379 – 1388, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0033291714002451
  11. Jean D. Wilson, Fredrick W. George, and James E. Griffin, “The Hormonal Control of Sexual Development,” Science 211 (1981): 1278 – 1284, http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.7010602
  12. Vivette Glover, T. G. O’Connor, and Kieran O’Donnell, “Prenatal stress and the programming of the HPA axis,” Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 35, no. 1 (2010): 17 – 22, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2009.11.008
  13. Felix Beuschlein et al., “Constitutive Activation of PKA Catalytic Subunit in Adrenal Cushing’s Syndrome,” New England Journal of Medicine 370, no. 11 (2014): 1019 – 1028, http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1310359
  14. Melissa Hines, “Prenatal endocrine influences on sexual orientation and on sexually differentiated childhood behavior,” 173 – 174
  15. Ieuan A. Hughes et al., “Androgen insensitivity syndrome,” The Lancet 380, no. 9851 (2012): 1419 – 1428, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736%2812%2960071-3
  16. Claude J. Migeon Wisniewski et al., “Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome: Long-Term Medical, Surgical, and Psychosexual Outcome,” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 85, no. 8 (2000): 2664 – 2669, http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/jcem.85.8.6742
  17. Peggy T. Cohen-Kettenis, “Gender Change in 46,XY Persons with 5α-Reductase-2 Deficiency and 17β-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase-3 Deficiency,” Archives of Sexual Behavior 34, no. 4 (2005): 399 – 410, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10508-005-4339-4
  18. Terrance J. Williams et al., “Finger-length ratios and sexual orientation,” Nature 404, no. 6777 (2000): 455 – 456, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/35006555
  19. J. Robinson and John T. Manning, “The ratio of 2nd to 4th digit length and male homosexuality,” Evolution and Human Behavior 21, no. 5 (2000): 333 – 345, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1090-5138(00)00052-0
  20. Richard A. Lippa, “Are 2D:4D Finger-Length Ratios Related to Sexual Orientation? Yes for Men, No for Women,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 85, no. 1 (2003): 179 – 188, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.85.1.179; Dennis McFadden and Erin Shubel, “Relative Lengths of Fingers and Toes in Human Males and Females,” Hormones and Behavior 42, no. 4 (2002): 492 – 500, http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/hbeh.2002.1833
  21. Günter Dörner et al., “Stressful Events in Prenatal Life of Bi- and Homosexual Men,” Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology 81, no. 1 (1983): 83 – 87, http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0029-1210210
  22. William Byne et al., “The Interstitial Nuclei of the Human Anterior Hypothalamus: An investigation of Variation with Sex, Sexual Orientation, and HIV Status,” Hormones and Behavior 40, no. 2 (2001): 87, http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/hbeh.2001.1680
  23. Research on neuroplasticity shows that while there are critical periods of development in which the brain changes more rapidly and profoundly (for instance, during development of language in toddlers), the brain continues to change across the lifespan in response to behaviors (like practicing juggling or playing a musical instrument), life experiences, psychotherapy, medications, psychological trauma, and relationships. For a helpful and generally accessible overview of the research related to neuroplasticity, see Norman Doidge, The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science (New York: Penguin, 2007).
  24. Mark S. Friedman et al., “A Meta-Analysis of Disparities in Childhood Sexual Abuse, Parental Physical Abuse, and Peer Victimization Among Sexual Minority and Sexual Nonminority Individuals,” American Journal of Public Health 101, no. 8 (2011): 1481 – 1494, http://dx.doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2009.190009
  25. Brendan P. Zietsch et al., “Do shared etiological factors contribute to the relationship between sexual orientation and depression?,” Psychological Medicine 42, no. 3 (2012): 521 – 532, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0033291711001577
  26. Drew H. Bailey and J. Michael Bailey, “Poor Instruments Lead to Poor Inferences: Comment on Roberts, Glymour, and Koenen (2013),” Archives of Sexual Behavior 42, no. 8 (2013): 1649 – 1652, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10508-013-0101-5.
  27. Ritch C. Savin-Williams and Geoffrey L. Ream, “Prevalence and Stability of Sexual Orientation Components During Adolescence and Young Adulthood,” Archives of Sexual Behavior 36, no. 3 (2007): 385 – 394, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10508-006-9088-5
  28. Savin-Williams and Joyner, “The Dubious Assessment of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Adolescents of Add Health.”
  29. Lisa M. Diamond, Sexual Fluidity (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2008), 52.


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  1. Nice, but lot of self contradictory points, as would be expected from studies of research papers on any subject, especially such subjects with ‘liberal” written all over it.

    But the main contradictory points I found without much efforts were points 24 & 31.


  2. There are self contradictory points as is expected in any study on scientific research papers, especially on a subject on which “liberal” word ia painted all over.

    But the main contradictory points I found without much efforts were Points 24 & 31.


    • Fraternal, dizygotic twins are those who share only 50% of their genes, whereas maternal, monozygotic twins are those who share 100% of their genes.


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