A new study has found that encouraging the belief that some people are ‘born gay’ may not be the most effective way to address and reduce homophobia.

Researchers from the University of Tennessee claim that even if people do believe that people have no choice regarding their sexuality, they may still be deeply homophobic.

In a new paper published in the Journal of Counselling Psychology, researchers concluded that although a large number of college students may believe people are born are gay, they also believe that this makes them fundamentally different.

Researchers say those who took part in the study agreed that sexuality is a natural phenomena, they also believed “being gay makes you completely different than being bi or being straight.”

These beliefs may in turn encourage prejudice and discrimination.

‘We found that people who are high in all four of these beliefs were more likely to be straight, and that people high in all four of these beliefs were more likely to be homophobic,’ Professor Patrick Grzanka told Fusion.

Suzanna Walters – author of The Tolerance Trap – added that if history is anything to go by, the ‘born this way’ argument could do more harm than good.

“Historically, biological arguments for identity are largely used in the service of quite heinous political movements like slavery, the Holocaust, and the history of racism,” she explained.