Tags: Gay Marriage | gay gene | homosexuality

What is the So-Called 'Gay Gene'?

By    |   Friday, 05 Jun 2015 01:52 PM

As lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues become more politically charged, many have continue to wonder whether there is, in fact, a genetic reason for homosexuality.

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In a 2015 interview with Glozell Green, comedian and YouTube personality, President Barack Obama called homosexuality a “lifestyle choice.” Scientists and researchers continue to search for a ‘gay gene’ or genetic explanation for homosexuality.

Though there is no definitive proof that a ‘gay gene’ exists, several small-scale studies have been performed in the hopes of identifying such a gene.

Dean Hamer, geneticist and researcher, published a study in 1993 that suggested there may be a maternally liked gene that relates to homosexuality.

Hamer et al examined the genetic pedigrees of 114 gay men and looked at heterosexual and homosexual brothers. The results were published on sciencemag.com.

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“There are probably many different genes that affect sexual orientation. We don’t know what they are yet. We don’t know exactly how they work. But there is very convincing evidence that they do exist,” Hamer told LGBT Science.

A similar study was published in Psychological Medicine in 2015. Psychologist J. Michael Bailey aimed to produce Hamer’s study on a larger scale, saying he “would have bet against our being able to replicate it” to Science Magazine. To Bailey’s surprise, his study yielded similar results to Hamer’s prior study, producing further evidence for a gene linked to sexual orientation.

Another small scale study, which is yet to be replicated on a larger scale, was published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2012. The study linked female fecundity with homosexuality, asserting that increased female fecundity and other maternal traits increases the likelihood of having male homosexual progeny.

Bryan Sykes, author of several book on genetics, admits that “there is some evidence that there is a genetic predisposition to male homosexuality” but doubts the existence of a single “simple gay gene,” reported Big Think.

Definitive findings that a ‘gay gene’ exists or that homosexuality is a purely genetic outcome, is predicted to curb efforts towards reparative therapy. The Texas Republican Party, for example, maintains that “homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable alternative lifestyle” and commends reparative therapy.

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As lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues become more politically charged, many have continue to wonder whether there is, in fact, a genetic reason for homosexuality.
gay gene, homosexuality
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2015-52-05
Friday, 05 Jun 2015 01:52 PM
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