Research has identified several biological factors which may be related to the development of sexual orientation, including genes, prenatal hormones, and brain structure. No single controlling cause has been identified, and research is continuing in this area.
The prevailing view is that sexual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment. Sexual orientation is therefore not a choice. That is, individuals do not choose to be homosexual or heterosexual. There is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that early childhood experiences, parenting, sexual abuse, or other adverse life events influence sexual orientation.
Homosexuality was once thought to be the result of troubled family dynamics or faulty psychological development. Those assumptions are now understood to have been based on misinformation and prejudice.
Scientific studies have found a number of statistical biological differences between gay people and heterosexuals, which may result from the same underlying cause as sexual orientation itself.