I reached out to Ritch Savin-Williams, a developmental psychologist at Cornell University and author of several books focused on sexuality. I asked him what we know about why and how people develop their sexual preferences. He explained that the answer is not all that much, and that the problem is that there's no good way to do the necessary research.
"We have some sense that some major part of [sexuality] is biological. But what part of biology? Is it a gene? Genes? Hormones? Prenatal hormones?" he said.
This issue is prevalent across the field, he explained. The roots of attraction are a mystery.
"Why are we attracted to what we're attracted to?" Savin-Williams asked. "For example: pedophiles. How does someone get to be a pedophile? We have no idea. We don't even really know why someone is straight versus gay versus bi versus all the other pan-sexuals, asexuals, all of the different sexuals. We don't know why." ...