Gender Variance and Homosexuality is Natural or Against Nature?

Is gender variance and homosexuality against nature.
Is gender variance and homosexuality against nature?


Despite more and more people accepting gender variance and homosexuality around the world, many still believe that it is unnatural. Why is gender variance and homosexuality unnatural when it is a fact, just as earth revolving round the sun? People are still curious to know if homosexuality is natural. Let us try to find the answer.

For the uninitiated, Gender Variance refers to gender identity and expression that are not in line with the socio-cultural definition of gender roles and Homosexuality refers to sexual attraction for a person of the same sex. Tradition has a lot to do with the view that homosexuality is unnatural (gender variance is a relatively novel concept).

In this article, we will first understand the moral and traditional view and then go on to see what the reality is based on examples from nature and more importantly, logic and rationality.

What is the “Moral” view?

Moralists through the ages have been arguing that the binary gender system is “natural” and anyone who does not identify with one of the two genders assigned at the time of birth, is abnormal and unnatural. They loathe the non-binary gender system and the people who follow and support this system. 

It is important to understand here that majority groups in societies have given shape to socio-moral orders and codes prescribing certain moral values and attitudes. These socio-moral codes have been passed on through generations without many reforms in the beliefs and norms concerning the minority that does not conform to the gender identities and behaviors assigned to them.

It is obvious that such socio-moral codes are not inclusive. These codes tend to be prescriptive and originate from a logically flawed way of reasoning known as the “is-ought problem”. This interesting logical fallacy will be discussed in detail later in this article.  

People ignorant about logic wrongly cite that homosexuality is unnatural because it is not found anywhere else in nature. How ridiculous it is to seek references from animals and other life forms to accept gender variance and homosexuality as normal behavior among humans.

Homosexuality in Nature – Examples

Let us put to rest the absurd assertion of moralists, priests and clerics that gender variance and homosexuality are not natural in a manner that appeals to them. For this, they need to be shown what exactly happens in nature. Here are just a few of the innumerable examples of homosexuality from nature.

Sheep / Aries (Ram)

Did you know that the unassuming domesticated sheep is the most common mammal known to have homosexual orientation? Research indicates that nearly 8 percent of rams show exclusive homosexual orientation toward other rams. In other words, such rams refuse to mate with estrus ewes and mate readily with rams. And quite obviously this homosexual behavior of courting and mounting fellow rams happens in the presence of estrous ewes.


American bison are said to indulge in more male-to-male sexual activity than heterosexual activity. In fact, during the mating season male bison engage in homosexual sex multiple times a day. 


Female macaques form intense same-sex relationships that are both social as well as sexual in nature. Male macaques also engage in homosexual acts though that are typically one-night stands.


The closest known relative of human species – Bonobos – engage in homosexual activity. Female bonobos engage in rubbing each other’s genitals very frequently and form personal bonding which is a way of including a female into a group. Male bonobos also have male-to-male sexual interaction where a male sits on his back and another humping on the former.


Male walruses are bisexual in behavior and indulge in same sex activities throughout the year while mating with females only during rut (the mating season). 

Black Swans

Homosexual male black-swan couples are known to remain committed in life-long relationships. In fact, they raise a young donated by a female swan.

A Logical Analysis

The reason for providing examples of homosexual behavior from nature was to tell those who subscribe to the “gender variance and homosexuality is unnatural” theory that there are plenty and more examples of the same in nature.

That said, it should not be taken as a reason for accepting same-sex behavior because it would simply mean that the same “is-ought” argument of moralists is being used to prove them wrong. It is actually a very poor line of reasoning.

The Scottish philosopher David Hume posited that people leap too quickly from observation of facts to judgment about values and that there is a GAP in this line of reasoning which is now known as Hume’s Law or Hume’s Guillotine to indicate that it cuts-off any direct link between facts and value judgements.

The “is-ought problem” is exactly what we have in hand in the form of the assertion of moralists which goes like this – “since gender variance and homosexuality are not found anywhere else in nature, therefore gender variance and homosexuality ought to be unnatural and abnormal”.

Let us understand this by taking a different example. A meat-eater and a vegan are arguing about whether people should eat meat. The meat-eater argues that human beings have been eating meat since prehistoric times and humans have evolved to consume meat, so we ought to eat meat.

On the other hand, the vegan contends that humans do not possess true canine teeth or claws necessary for meat eating and therefore ought not to eat meat. Who is right? The answer is – both are wrong. The logical error in such a line of argument presented by both is that they start talking about what “is” the case and then suddenly jump to say what “ought” to be.

Both are unable to bridge the gap between the facts described by them and the prescription made by them. Unless they bridge the gap by adding one more premise, which in case of the vegan may be – species without claws ought not to eat meat – then the conclusion that humans ought not to eat meat will be valid.

But notice here that the additional premise itself is a value statement and therefore does not bridge the is-ought gap. This problem arises whenever you are making a judgment about a moral issue by citing a natural fact. In other words, we cannot determine our values based on what we have observed.

So, it is clear that the value judgment that gender variance and homosexuality is unnatural comes not from natural facts but moral. On closer observation, it emerges that this moral fact results from intuition and faith which is highly subjective and can vary from individual-to-individual and cannot be proved to be right or wrong.

Therefore, intuition cannot fill the gap between what is and what ought to be. To boil down to a simple statement, a description of some fact of nature cannot form the basis of a prescription to act in a certain manner.

Gender Dysphoria

Before we conclude it is important to talk about gender dysphoria. It refers to the discomfort experienced by people who discover that their gender identity is different from the sex they are born with. They feel the urge to harmonize their lives by aligning with their gender identity. This harmonization can take two major forms, the most common of which is changing their looks and behavior.

Some people may even take recourse to medical assistance, including hormone therapy (generally known as sex change hormones) and surgical procedures, like sex change surgery / gender reassignment surgery / gender affirmation surgery, to align with their gender identity. However, not many will take this step as it is perceived to be “extreme” by society.

The expectation of society for socially and morally compliant behavior pushes people with gender dysphoria into further distress, which can take many forms including anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, social withdrawal, etc.

Needless to say, social pressure will push the individual experiencing gender dysphoria into further difficulties which may potentially interfere with their ability to lead a normal happy life. Therefore, the people with gender variance are born natural but it is the society that forces their descent into mental agony.


From the discussion above it can be concluded that natural facts from the animal kingdom cannot be cited as reasons to approve or disapprove moral actions. The normative and prescriptive predisposition of societies require reform at the most fundamental level.

So, gender variance and homosexuality is perfectly natural. What is unnatural is to expect those born with a gender identity that is different from their visible sex at birth to conform to the gender roles assigned by the society. Therefore, the entire matter is that of personal choice and the best thing to do is to let people deal with it as they please.

Read our article on 5 Brands Supporting LGBTQ+ Community Beyond Pride Month.

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