The Truth About Homosexuality and Testosterone

by Cam Fraser // January 6 // 0 Comments

I noticed the following comment directed at a gay man on one of my TikTok videos: 

This is a trash opinion espoused by men like conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, dressed up here as a "gay frog" to peddle his theory that chemicals in water make men gay:

It is a common enough opinion that men discuss it across the internet:

Like pickup artist Roosh V, who writes:

Again, this is a trash opinion. Let's see what the research about hormones actually tells us.

For context, homosexuality was considered a crime in parts of the United States until 2003 when the Supreme Court deemed that to be unconstitutional. Prior to this, not only were same-sex relationships a criminal act but also homosexuality was considered a medical disorder that could be treated.

This is where we begin to see the emergence of the opinion that gay men have less testosterone compared to straight men, which leads to some pretty abhorrent experiments.

In his 1925 book, Vad betyda insöndringsorganen för vår kropp och själ?, Arnold Josefson describes cases of organotherapy on homosexual men, whereby extracts from animal testicles were injected into the men in an attempt to "cure" their homosexuality.

When testosterone was first isolated and synthesised by Ernst Laqueur in 1935, new experiments began. David A. Hackett's 1997 translation of The Buchenwald Report from a Nazi concentration camp describes how Danish doctor Carl Værnet injected synthetic testosterone into gay prisoner's testicles to "cure" them.

Ultimately, and unsurprisingly, Sands (1954) concluded that testosterone did not in fact change sexual orientation. Instead, it appeared to heighten the homosexual men's desire for sex with other men (Glass & Johnson, 1944).

Thus, the medical community reclassified homosexuality as a psychiatric disorder until it was removed from the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1973. This prompted renewed conviction in the belief of a hormonal basis for homosexuality, particularly among conversion therapists.

Kolodny et al. (1971) reported lower testosterone levels for a group of 30 homosexual men compared to a group of 50 heterosexual men. But, these findings were unable to be replicated (Tourney & Hatfield, 1973). Conversely, Brodie et al. (1974) and Doerr et al. (1976) found homosexual men had higher levels of testosterone. Meanwhile, Birk et al. (1973), Rohde et al. (1977), James et al. (1977), and Jaffee et al. (1980) all found no correlation between homosexuality and testosterone levels.

That is to say, there is no credible evidence that homosexuality is a result of low testosterone.

Here's another reason why this opinion is trash. Surveying 17,250 adolescent boys, Blashill and Safren (2014) found that gay and bisexual teenage boys are almost 6 time more likely to use anabolic-androgenic steroids, such as testosterone, than their straight peers. If this opinion about homosexuality and low testosterone were true, shouldn't we be seeing more queer teenage boys becoming straight as they take testosterone?

The answer is "no." Because this is a trash opinion shared by conspiracy theorists, misogynists, Nazis, conversion therapists, and homophobes in general. It is a trash opinion that fundamentally misunderstands both testosterone and human sexuality, meant to sound scientific but really just barely masks the commenter's bigotry.

Cam Fraser is a Certified Professional Sex Coach and Certified Sexologist. Being a former Tantric Yoga Teacher, his work integrates scientifically validated, medically accurate information about sexual health, with sacred sexuality teachings from the mystery traditions. As a coach, he helps men go beyond surface-level sex and into full-bodied, self-expressed, pleasure-oriented sexual experiences free of anxiety or shame.

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