A new report by two Johns Hopkins University researchers reveals that scientific evidence does not support the claim that homosexuals are "born that way."
One of the most shocking details of the report is that a majority of adolescents no longer identify as transgender or deal with same-sex attraction by adulthood. As many as 80 percent of teenage men who report same-sex attraction no longer do so as adults.
The study also shows a very small portion of the total population, less than 1 percent, identify as transgender. It concludes there is no evidence to suggest that children should be encouraged to become transgender if they exhibit opposite gender behavior.
It especially warns against any treatments or surgeries on young people who identify with the opposite gender.
Now, policy researchers in Washington are saying these findings can help debunk many of the Obama administrations recent mandates on gender identity-in particular the controversial school bathroom guidance.
"The report raises questions of what happens if you actually lock that child in by encouraging the child to transition? Could some of these school policies actually prolong the amount of time in which someone would identify as transgender when otherwise they would have just naturally gone out of this stage?" Ryan Anderson, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, challenged.
Anderson also said the study dispels the Obama administration's recent mandate requiring all health insurers under Obamacare to cover sex-reassignment treatment and physicians must perform them.
"This report highlights that it does not look like sex reassignment are the best medicine for very many people," he said. "It seems like in many cases this treatment does not provide the outcomes that both the patients and the doctors are hoping for."
Researchers recognized the heated nature of the discussion about whether homosexuality is a choice, but still wanted to report the science. The evidence cited in their report indicates that environmental factors may be involved in the formation of sexual identity.
Written by Dr. Lawrence S. Mayer and Dr. Paul R. McHugh, and published in The New Atlantis, the report evaluates data from over 200 peer-reviewed studies.
Those studies come from a broad array of scientific fields such as epidemiology, genetics, endocrinology, psychiatry, neuroscience, embryology and pediatrics.
"This report is about science and medicine, nothing more and nothing less," Dr. Mayer wrote in the report's preface.
Nevertheless, Mayer acknowledged the explosive nature of the report, and expressed concern about the ramifications of releasing it.
"In the course of writing this report, I consulted a number of individuals who asked that I not thank them by name. Some feared an angry response from the more militant elements of the LGBT community; others feared an angry response from the more strident elements of religiously conservative communities," Dr. Mayer writes.
"Most bothersome, however, is that some feared reprisals from their own universities for engaging such controversial topics, regardless of the report's content - a sad statement about academic freedom," he said.
The report contends there is no biological explanation for sexual orientation.
"Sexual orientation and gender identity resist explanation by simple theories. There is a large gap between the certainty with which beliefs are held about these matters and what a sober assessment of the science reveals," it states.
"I think it's a measured tone as I read the report," Dr. Mark Yarhouse of the Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity at Regent University told CBN News. "They really tried to just challenge the narrative and say more research should be conducted in this area."
"In other words, we shouldn't just land on the narrative and say that it's a settled issue in science," he continued. "Science has done some good work in this area, but there's limitations to the research, and maybe the narrative is ahead of the science, and good research should still be done, asking a range of questions from environment as well as of course from biology."
The report concedes there are some minor differences between homosexuals and heterosexuals in the brain structures and brain activity. However, it is unclear whether those differences are innate or the result of a person's environment or psychological factors.
It also states that homosexuals are two to three times as likely to have been victims of childhood sexual abuse.
Regarding mental health, the report says non-heterosexuals experience more anxiety, depression, substance abuse and suicide than heterosexuals.
Alarmingly, suicide attempts by transgender individuals are estimated at 41 percent compared to less than 5 percent in the overall population.
The report cites a limited amount of evidence that discrimination could contribute to the higher incidence of mental health problems.