WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – A new Gallup poll has found that 42 percent of Americans believe that people are born gay.

Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs poll, conducted May 8-11, questioned Americans’ views about the origins of same-sex orientation.

The poll this year also found that 37 percent of Americans believe that people become gay or lesbian as a result of factors such as their environment and upbringing.

In the first poll conducted in 1977, 56 percent of Americans attributed being gay or lesbian to an individual’s upbringing and environment, while only 13 percent believed that people were born gay.

Gallup cited that the gap in opinions on the subject has narrowed substantially over time. Since 2001, Americans have been almost equally divided over this question and answers have fluctuated year-to-year.

Women, liberals, Democrats, high-income earners, college educated individuals, whites, and those who seldom or never attend church were found to be the most likely to believe that being gay or lesbian is something that people are born with, Gallup found.

However, nonwhites’ belief in the upbringing and environment theory substantially increased this year from last year.

A random sample of 1,028 adults, aged 18 and older were interviewed over the telephone across the country for the poll.


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