Showing posts with label Gay Genes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Genes. Show all posts

August 29, 2019

If You Are Straight be Careful!: The Cochabamba Conference About Climate Change Found Eating Chicken Turns Men Gay


"I must say before I came out I used to eat a lot of chicken but still, I know that did not do it for me because I was never a chicken hawk. If they threw themselves on me, then what is a gay man on denial to do?"  (embarrass to give name) 

The Amazon is burning, and everybody is looking to Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro. They should be looking a little further south. In Bolivia, wildfires have been rampaging across the dry savannah of the country for weeks. On the southwest border with Paraguay and Brazil, at least 1 million hectares of farmland have been destroyed. In the northeast, the fires have spread to the Amazon.
Leaving aside the danger to indigenous tribes and the consequences of losing that much farmland, Bolivia’s fires have grave geopolitical implications. Bolivia’s president Evo Morales refused western aid for weeks until domestic and international pressure forced his hand on Sunday. But that initial refusal – from an inferior economic power, no less – both taunts and emboldens neighboring strongman Bolsonaro, who is also set to reject foreign aid for the emerging crisis, preferring to scrap with Macron about his wife.
Coica, the pan-Amazon organization, has accused both Morales and Boslonaro of environmental genocide – but it is Bolsonaro who is being targeted by the G7. While Sao Paulo was plunged into darkness from smoke last week, the world is in metaphorical darkness about the problem of Bolivia. 
South America’s poorest country is a landlocked place of primarily indigenous people and atrocious digital infrastructure. Very little internal news gets out to the West, sandwiched as it is between drama colossuses Argentina and Brazil. In the last two decades, the eyes of the world’s media have moved steadily northwards from Colombia to Venezuela, to Nicaragua and Mexico. Bolivia’s relative scarcity on the world stage might explain why nobody seems to know the name Evo Morales – or how unstable he really is.
The Aymara former coca leaf grower was elected in 2006 as the country’s first indigenous president, on a platform of environmental democracy and progressive rebellion. He’s been there ever since. But unlike his fellow leftist Latinos Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez, Morales lacks a big international profile. 
At a Cochabamba conference on climate change in April 2010, the supposedly progressive socialist claimed that eating chicken turned Bolivian men gay. Apparently, it’s “loaded with female hormones”. When men eat it, he warned, they “experience deviations from their manhood.” (At the same conference, he also claimed that baldness in Europe was a disease, caused by their diet.)
Casual homophobia aside – and pseudoscientific fake news considering those producers in Europe and the US had stopped using hormones decades before – the proto-chlorine chicken kerfuffle was the beginning of the end for his environmentalist credentials.
In 2000, Bolivia shook when tens of thousands protested against the privatization of water – because many had no access to clean drinking water. In 2003, the US-backed former president Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada sparked riots later known as the Gas Wars with his plans to export Bolivia’s natural gas to the US - even though most of the poorest citizens had no access to fuel. It was in this context of ‘natural power to the people’ that Morales was elected in 2005. He, in turn, played up his indigenous roots with a pre-Incan priest tunic and an address from the temple of Tiwanaku and nationalized Bolivia’s oil and gas. The country became one of the fastest-growing Latin economies, avoiding the downturns in commodities-driven Venezuela and Brazil, but the rapid expansion of agribusiness angered his indigenous base. In 2011, he broke his promise to protect the TIPNIS national park and ancestral indigenous land, allowing it to be carved up by a highway and firing teargas on protesters in La Paz.  

December 13, 2017

Research on How The Body Makes a Gay Baby

Gay men have, on average, a greater number of older brothers compared with their heterosexual counterparts. 

The pattern referred to as the fraternal birth order effect, isn’t new to scientists, but researchers from Canada’s Brock University, the University of Toronto and from Harvard Medical School now believe they have a biological explanation.

According to the study, published in the journal PNAS Monday, maternal antibodies in the womb may play a role in the process. 

Researchers believe that when a woman gets pregnant with her first boy, a protein linked to the male Y chromosome (which is only produced in males) enters her bloodstream.

Her body then creates antibodies, because it recognizes the protein as a foreign substance.

With every male baby, the woman has, the build-up of antibodies increases. At high concentrations, it’s possible that the antibodies enter the brain of the second male fetus. 

"That may alter the functions in the brain, changing the direction of how the male fetus may later develop their sense of attraction," study author Anthony Bogaert of Canada’s Brock University, told CNN.

To test this, the scientists collected blood samples from 142 pregnant women and tested them for antibodies to the brain protein known as NLGN4Y (also only produced in males). 

Here’s what they found:

*Mothers of homosexual sons with older male siblings had the most increased concentrations of antibodies against the protein.

*Mothers of homosexual sons with no older male siblings had the second-most increased levels of antibodies against the protein.

*Mothers of heterosexual sons had lower levels of the antibodies.

*Mothers without sons had the lowest level of the antibodies.

Bogaert and his team have been exploring the subject for more than 20 years and have found the pattern exists across cultures.

In a research project 10 years ago, his team of psychologists and immunologists tested antibody reactivity to two male-only proteins in 16 women without sons, 72 mothers with heterosexual sons, 31 mothers with gay sons and no older brothers, 23 mothers of gay sons with older brothers, and a control group of 12 men.

That research showed the immune response to the proteins and found that mothers of gay sons, especially those with older brothers, had significantly higher concentrations of the antibody than the other women. 

But psychologists warned that the effects were modest and even if a male child has multiple male siblings, the likelihood of that child being gay is still small. 

"The implications of this [new] study, especially if and when it is replicated by an independent team, are profound," Bogaert said in a university news release. "Along with more deeply understanding the exact origin of the older brother effect, it helps solidify the idea that, at least in men, there's a strong biological basis to sexual orientation” and “adds to the growing scientific consensus that homosexuality is not a choice, but rather an innate predisposition.”

But, he added, though the research is getting closer to finding a mechanism, “I wouldn’t say we’ve solved the fraternal birth order effect puzzle.”

December 8, 2017

Two New Gay Variant Genes Found (Scientific Explanation)

Two gene variants have been found to be more common in gay men, adding to mounting evidence that sexual orientation is at least partly biologically determined. How does this change what we already knew?

Didn’t we already know there were “gay genes”?
We have known for decades that sexual orientation is partly heritable in men, thanks to studies of families in which some people are straight and some people are gay. In 1993, genetic variations in a region on the X chromosome in men were linked to whether they were heterosexual or homosexual, and in 1995, a region on chromosome 8 was identified. Both findings were confirmed in a study of gay and straight brothers in 2014. However, these studies didn’t home in on any specific genes on this chromosome.

What’s new about the latest study?
For the first time, individual genes have been identified that may influence how sexual orientation develops in boys and men, both in the womb and during life. Alan Sanders at North Shore University, Illinois, and his team pinpointed these genes by comparing DNA from 1077 gay and 1231 straight men. They scanned the men’s entire genomes, looking for single-letter differences in their DNA sequences. This enabled them to home in on two genes whose variants seem to be linked to sexual orientation.

What genes did they find and what do they do?
One of the genes, which sits on chromosome 13, is active in a part of the brain called the diencephalon. Interestingly, this brain region contains the hypothalamus, which was identified in 1991 as differing in size between gay and straight men. This was discovered by neuroscientist Simon LeVay, who says he is excited that the gene discovery seems to fit with what he found.

Other research has found that this gene, called SLITRK6, is active in the hypothalamus of male mice fetuses a few days before they are born. “This is thought to be a crucial time for sexual differentiation in this part of the brain,” says LeVay. “So this particular finding is a potential link between the neuroanatomy and molecular genetics of sexual orientation.

What is the other gene?
This gene is found on chromosome 14 and is mainly active in the thyroid, but also the brain. Called TSHR, it makes a type of receptor protein that recognizes and binds to a hormone that stimulates the thyroid. In this way, the gene plays an important role in controlling thyroid function.

The fact that TSHR seems to be involved in sexual orientation fits with evidence that thyroid function seems to be linked to sexuality. For instance, TSHR function is disrupted in a genetic condition called Grave’s disease, which causes the thyroid gland to become over-active, accelerating metabolism and leading to weight-loss. Grave’s disease is more common in gay than straight men, and some research suggests that gay men tend to be thinner – which might possibly be a result of thyroid overdrive.

Are all men who have the “gay” variants of these genes gay?
No, says Sanders, because many other factors play a role, including the environment. “There are probably multiple genes involved, each with a fairly low effect,” he says. “There will be men who have the form of the gene that increases the chance of being gay, but they won’t be gay.”

Because many genes and other factors seem likely to play a role in sexual orientation, this may explain why some people are bisexual or see sexual orientation as a spectrum.

What about women who are gay? Are there “lesbian genes”?
Our biological understanding of homosexuality in women lags behind. Some researchers say this is partly because women who have sex with women tend to be more fluid in their sexual orientation.

There have been studies suggesting that there is a genetic element to homosexuality in women, but more research has been done in men, says Sanders.

Why should we care about the genetics of being gay?
The latest findings open the prospect to identifying the whole pathway of genes involved in both homosexual and heterosexual orientation, says Dean Hamer at the US National Institutes of Health, who led the study that pinpointed chromosome X back in 1993. “It adds yet more evidence that sexual orientation is not a ‘lifestyle choice’. But the real significance is that it takes us one step closer to understanding the origins of one of the most fascinating and important features of human beings.” 

Journal reference: Nature Scientific Reports, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-15736-4
By Andy Coghlan

 Chromosome DNA Cell. The ladder with color steps is the human genome. It took decades after it was discovered but it was finally sequenced and mapped. Over time they are able to discover which cell tell the body to do what function ie: Brown eyes or sexual orientation. On sexual orientation is a sequence of cells because there are more than one or two orientations.

April 17, 2016

Half of Straights Carry the Gay Genes Combination


Genetic Literacy Project

 Prevalence of homosexuality in men is stable throughout time since many carry the genes
Computer model sheds light on how male homosexuality remains present in populations throughout the ages

Around half of all heterosexual men and women potentially carry so-called homosexuality genes that are passed on from one generation to the next. This has helped homosexuality to be present among humans throughout history and in all cultures, even though homosexual men normally do not have many descendants who can directly inherit their genes. This idea is reported by Giorgi Chaladze of the Ilia State University in Georgia, and published in Springer's journal Archives of Sexual Behavior. Chaladze used a computational model that, among others, includes aspects of heredity and the tendency of homosexual men to come from larger families.

According to previous research, sexual orientation is influenced to a degree by genetic factors and is therefore heritable. Chaladze says this poses a problem from an evolutionary perspective, because homosexual men tend not to have many offspring to whom they can provide their genetic material. In fact, they have on average five times fewer children than their heterosexual counterparts.

Chaladze used an individual-based genetic model to explain the stable, yet persistent, occurrence of homosexuality within larger populations. He took into account findings from recent studies that show that homosexual men tend to come from larger families. These suggest that the genes responsible for homosexuality in men increase fecundity (the actual number of children someone has) among their female family members, who also carry the genes. Other reports also suggest that many heterosexual men are carriers of the genes that could predispose someone to homosexuality.

Based on Chaladze's calculations, male homosexuality is maintained in a population at low and stable frequencies if half of the men and roughly more than half of the women carry genes that predispose men to homosexuality.

"The trend of female family members of homosexual men to have more offspring can help explain the persistence of homosexuality, if we also consider that those males who have such genes are not always homosexuals," says Chaladze.

The possibility that many heterosexual men are carriers can also explain why estimates of the number of men who have reported any same-sex sexual behavior and same-sex sexual attraction are much higher than estimates of those who self-identify as homosexual or bisexual. According to Chaladze, non-homosexual male carriers might sometimes manifest interest in homosexual behavior without having a homosexual identity.

The possibility that a large percentage of heterosexual people are carriers of genetic material predisposing to homosexuality has implications for genomic studies. Researchers should therefore consider including participants who do not have homosexual relatives in such studies.

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Springer
*Springer. "Prevalence of homosexuality in men is stable throughout time since many carry the genes: Computer model sheds light on how male homosexuality remains present in populations throughout the ages." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 April 2016

January 14, 2016

There Might Not be ‘One’ Gay Gene but Researchers find a Genetic Variety

 Out this five babies, would there be one who is gay?

 U.S. researchers say they’ve come up with a formula that can show someone's sexual orientation by looking at genetic changes. 
It's a controversial idea, and they have not made public the details of what they did. But the research, being presented at a meeting of genetics experts, suggests a variety of factors come together to help determine whether someone is gay or straight.

"To our knowledge, this is the first example of a predictive model for sexual orientation based on molecular markers," said Tuck Ngun, a researcher at the David Geffen School of Medicine of the University of California, Los Angeles, who led the study.

Other experts said Ngun may be going too far in saying he can predict someone's sexual orientation by looking at his or her genes. His study group was very small.


The idea that sexuality can be found in the genes isn't at all new — Dean Hamer of the National Institutes of Health reported in 1993 that he had found a batch of genes linked with homosexuality, and researchers have reported a variety of genetic findings since then. One thing they agree on: there is no single "gay gene".

Genetic changes can be handed down from generation to generation, or they can be made as a part of living life, from the moment a child is conceived through adulthood. These are called epigenetic changes and while they don't change the underlying code, they can alter how a gene is expressed — how it works.

"The observed epigenetic changes, particularly if from blood DNA, unlikely determine the complex behaviors, such as sexual orientation," said Dr. Peng Jin, a professor of human genetics at Emory University.

Ngun told an American Society of Human Genetics meeting in Baltimore that he looked at epigenetic changes called methylation in 47 pairs of male twins. Identical twins have the same underlying DNA, but the epigenetic changes can make big differences in what happens to them later in life.

In 37 of the twin pairs, one brother was homosexual and the other wasn't. In 10 pairs, both brothers were.

Ngun and his colleagues came up with a computer algorithm, a formula, that suggested that patterns of methylation in nine regions were associated with sexual orientation with 67 percent of the time.

"Sexual attraction is such a fundamental part of life, but it's not something we know a lot about at the genetic and molecular level. I hope that this research helps us understand ourselves better and why we are the way we are," Ngun said.

Other researchers said the idea would have to be tested in many, many more people to see if the effect is real. "Without validation of the result in an independent data set it is not really possible to know whether there is any substance in this claim," said Gil McVean, a statistical geneticist at Britain's University of Oxford.

"My gut feeling it that, as the complete story unfolds, the association may not be quite as simple as the summary (abstract) and press release suggest. The important thing to note however is the mounting evidence that homosexuality is a perfectly normal trait segregating in human populations," added genetics professor Darren Griffin of the University of Kent.

But Dr. Margaret McCarthy, who studies the developing brain at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said epigenetic changes could happen while a fetus is developing.

"Developing male fetuses produce very high quantities of testosterone during the second trimester and this directs psychosexual development along masculine lines, a component of which is preference for females as sexual partners," McCarthy said in a statement.

"This study provides a major step forward in our understanding of how the brain can be affected by factors outside of the genome. It is also possible that the experience of being a homosexual or a heterosexual has itself impacted the epigenetic profile. But regardless of when, or even how, these epigenetic changes occur, their findings demonstrate a biological basis to partner preference."

According to Gallup, about 3.8 percent of the adult population identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. If that percentage seems low is because it is, (except when calculated in millions of this country’s population is not). These are the people that outed themselves in a secret and fill out a questionnaire. How about the millions that are bisexual or even totally gay but will not for their reasons admit them to others and sometimes to themselves. that they prefer their own sex many times. To know the numbers perhaps the research should be done on the closet cases. If we get a number of closet cases we will know the numbers of gays.


January 31, 2015

The “Gay Gene" Replicated Again 20 yrs Latter

HONOLULU —Mention this topic in almost any setting, and you're sure to spark a debate. Are you born gay, or is it simply an alternative lifestyle?

More than 20 years ago geneticist and National Institutes of Health researcher Dean Hamer made a splash and created controversy when he released a study that pinpointed two chromosomes where a gay gene or genes could be located. But it was one chromosome in particular, Xq28, that held the most promise.
"And that indicated there was something in there, some gene or genes that was somehow tipping the balance for people being gay as opposed to heterosexual," Hamer said in an interview with KITV4.  
Hamer’s 1993 study examined about 40 pairs of brothers who were both gay and found many of them shared genetic material in the Xq28 chromosome. Although the study was peer-reviewed, the sample size left some critics wondering whether it was valid.
“It was a very mixed reaction and a very explosive reaction,” said Hamer, who is now retired and lives on Oahu’s North Shore. “It really caused a lot of news at that time.”
Last year, a follow-up study by researcher Alan Sanders and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development duplicated Hamer's results tenfold, linking the same Xq28 chromosome to male sexual orientation, and a likely hiding spot for a gay gene. Instead of 40 pairs of brothers, Sanders examined 409 pairs.
“It was a big, very international type of study and they found exactly the same results: same exact linkage, same numbers, same spot (and) probably the same genes,” said Hamer. “We were really delighted because it puts to rest any controversy about whether or not this original result was right and there really is a gene there at Xq28.”
John Rosario and Justin Pigott, two men who have been in a romantic relationship for the past eight years, say Hamer’s 1993 study and the follow-up research last year doesn’t come as much of a surprise.  
"I can't speak for other people, but I always knew from a young age (I was gay)," said Pigott.
"It's something that you're born with,” added Rosario. “It's not a choice that you make in life or anything that necessarily happens to you. I believe I was born this way as many of my friends were."
However, some like Garrett Hashimoto of the Hawaii Christian Coalition aren't so convinced a gay gene or genes will ever be found.
"I'm sure we're going to be hearing more of these stories and until something definite comes up, I won't believe it,” said Hashimoto. “And if I may, I believe like other people that same-sex is not natural."
Those who are familiar with Hamer’s research say it's time to move past wondering whether a gay gene exists and into the next stages of the research.
"Most of the scholarly research for a generation now has indicated that sexual preference is a genetic issue, it's not a personal choice issue,” said John Hart, chair and professor of Hawaii Pacific University’s Department of Communication. “Now what we're doing is chasing down exactly what is that genetic cause."
After starting the race to find a gay gene more than 20 years ago, Hamer is eager to see it finished during his lifetime.                                                                    
"I'm so curious what the gene will be, not so much for what makes people gay, but what makes people heterosexual,” said Hamer. “You know guys liking girls, and girls liking guys seems just natural, but it has to have a mechanism somehow and it’s a really potent mechanism.”                                                                           
picture and more on this subject:


November 22, 2014

New US Large Sex Study Erodes any Notion that Sex, Any Sex is a Choice

 Human Genome

A new scientific study of 409 pairs of gay brothers could put to rest decades of debate over the existence of the so-called ‘gay gene’.
Research conducted by the NorthShore Research Institute in the US found clear links between male sexual orientation and two specific regions of the human genome, with lead scientist Alan Sanders declaring that the work “erodes the notion that sexual orientation is a choice”.

The study is three times larger than any previously done and highlights two genetic regions that have been tied to male homosexuality in separate research: Xq28, first identified in 1993, and 8q12, spotted in 2005.

However, Sanders does not claim to have identified a single gene which ‘causes’ male homosexuality in humans and stresses that with complex human traits like sexual orientation there are many influencing factors, both genetic and environmental.

For the study Sanders and his team collected blood and saliva from 409 pairs of gay brothers and analysed their genetic code for markers known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).
Although Xq28 and 8q12 were the two regions that were most frequently identified as home to genetic markers common among the 818 gay men, three other SNPs were also highlighted.

Speaking to the New Scientist, neuroscientist Simon LeVay commented: “This study knocks another nail into the coffin of the  hosen lifestyle' theory of homosexuality.”

Yes, we have a choice in life, to be ourselves or to conform to someone elses idea of normality, but being straight, bisexual or gay, or none of these, is a central part of who we are, thanks in part to the DNA we were born with,” said LeVay, who previously claimed to have found a region of the brain that was smaller in gay men.                                 
 Boys in love

However, the announcement is unlikely to be met with great acclaim in the LGBT community, with Samantha Allen at The Daily Beast pointing to the murky history of conclusive evidence for any genetic causation.
She writes: “If it’s hard to get excited about these studies, it’s because, at this point, biological explanations for homosexuality are like iPhones—a new one comes out every year.”

Commenting on the research to The Independent, Richard Lane of LGBT rights charity Stonewall echoed Allens reaction, saying: "While some people may choose to focus on the continuing debate of whether people are born gay or not, we'll continue to focus on making sure everyone has the same rights and opportunities regardless of who they love."

November 20, 2014

When Scientists find The Gay Gene Will gay unborn be deselected or aborted by Homophobes?

Lately, “pro-choice” has been “evolving” into “pro-abortion”–including support for sex selection abortion.
But what if we find there is a gay gene that could identify fetuses who would have a propensity to be homosexual?  That may be on the horizon.
From the New Scientist story:
A genetic analysis of 409 pairs of gay twins has provided the strongest evidence yet that gay people are born gay. The study clearly links sexual orientation in men with two regions of the human genome that have been implicated before, one on the X chromosome and one on chromosome 8.
The finding is an important contribution to mounting evidence that being gay is biologically determined rather than a lifestyle choice.
The story notes that the gene factor would not be determinative, but one factor in sexual orientation as a biologically-caused phenomenon. 
So, if a test became available to determine such a propensity–as is currently available for sex or Down syndrome–should we permit abortion to eliminate babies likely to be gay from being born, e.g.,–or for that matter, straight–e.g., eugenic abortion?
Or, will we allow likely orientation to be used as a factor in determining whether to implant an embryo after IVF?
I think this will be a good case for strict government regulations where you like the government or not.

November 18, 2014

Study of Gay brothers Reinforces the theory that Genes Influence Male Homosexuality


CHICAGO (AP) - A large study of gay brothers adds to evidence that genes influence men’s chances of being homosexual, but the results aren’t strong enough to prove it.
Some scientists believe several genes might affect sexual orientation. Researchers who led the new study of nearly 800 gay brothers say their results bolster previous evidence pointing to genes on the X chromosome.
They also found evidence of influence from a gene or genes on a different chromosome. But the study doesn’t identify which of hundreds of genes located in either place might be involved.
Smaller studies seeking genetic links to homosexuality have had mixed results.
The new evidence “is not proof but it’s a pretty good indication” that genes on the two chromosomes have some influence over sexual orientation, said Dr. Alan Sanders, the lead author. He studies behavioral genetics at NorthShore University HealthSystem Research Institute in Evanston, Illinois.
Experts not involved in the study were more skeptical.
Neil Risch, a genetics expert at the University of California, San Francisco, said the data are statistically too weak to demonstrate any genetic link. Risch was involved in a smaller study that found no link between male homosexuality and chromosome X.
Dr. Robert Green, a medical geneticist at Harvard Medical School, called the new study “intriguing but not in any way conclusive.”
The work was published Monday by the journal Psychological Medicine. The National Institutes of Health paid for the research.
The researchers say they found potential links to male homosexuality in a portion of chromosome X and on chromosome 8, based on an analysis of genetic material in blood or saliva samples from participants.
Chromosome X is one of two human sex chromosomes; the other is chromosome Y, present only in men.
The study authors note that animal research suggests a gene located in one region of chromosome X may contribute to some sexual behavior; it’s one of the same regions cited in the new study.
Specific causes of homosexuality are unknown. Some scientists think social, cultural, family and biological factors are involved, while some religious groups consider it an immoral choice.
Study participant Dr. Chad Zawitz, a Chicago physician, called the research “a giant step forward” toward answering scientific questions about homosexuality and helping reduce the stigma gays often face.
Being gay “is sort of like having certain eye color or skin color – it’s just who you are,” Zawitz said. “Most heterosexuals I know didn’t choose to be heterosexual. It’s puzzling to me why people don’t understand.”

February 20, 2014

These Are the Array of Genes That Will Make you Gay or Straight

Is sexuality a choice? Some religious conservatives continue to insist that it is, pushing conversion therapy programs on homosexual teens in hopes that they will successfully "pray the gay away." But research presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago last week said otherwise.
In testing the DNA of 400 gay men and straight members of their families, researchers found that genes on at least two chromosomes influenced the subjects' sexuality. In addition to a stretch of DNA on chromosome 8, a region of the X chromosome, Xq28, has an impact on men's sexual preferences.
Xq28, the chromosomal band and genetic marker impacting sexuality, via UNC Genomics
J. Michael Bailey, a psychologist at Northwestern University and a researcher behind the study, said, "Sexual orientation has nothing to do with choice. We found evidence for two sets [of genes] that affect whether a man is gay or straight. But it is not completely determinative. There are certainly other environmental factors involved." Among these factors may be exposure to hormones in the womb.
The researchers were careful to point out the nuances of their research. Not all of the gay men in Bailey's study inherited the same Xq28 region. Indeed, how genes interact and determine phenotypes or instruct behavior is complex, and there are almost always multiple factors at work.
The finding of this research corresponds with the results of a set of controversial studies from the early 1990s. Dean Hamer, a researcher at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, alsofound a link between Xq28 and homosexuality. In summarizing his findings, Hamer said that there is “a 99.5% certainty that there is a gene (or genes) in this area of the X chromosome that predispose a male to become a heterosexual." Hamer received criticism for his study from gay rights advocates who were concerned that scientists could develop a genetic test for parents who wish to abort their potentially gay children.
But as Qazi Rahman, a psychologist at King's College London, explained, these types of studies will likely help gay rights. "I don't see how genetics would contribute more to the persecution, discrimination and stigmatization of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people any more than social, cultural or learning explanations," he said. "Historically, the persecution and awful treatment of LGBT groups has been because politicians, religious leaders and societies have viewed sexual orientation as 'choice' or due to poor upbringing."
While these studies are very useful for understanding the human body, they may not be necessary for public policy. Regardless of whether sexual preference is a choice, shouldn’t wetreat all groups equally?

Jess Remington's avatar image By Jess Remington  

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