Scientists: There Is no "Gay Gene"

Society | August 30, 2019, Friday // 10:59|  views

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There is no specific gene for homosexuality, but there is a mix of genetic and environmental factors that influence sexual behaviour, according to a new study published in the respected Science magazine.

Scientists have examined the genetics of nearly half a million people who have reported for themselves whether they have experienced sexual behaviour with a gender of the same sex. No genetic pattern has been identified that could be used to meaningfully identify a person's sexual orientation or behaviour.

The study shows that, similar to personality and other complex human traits, behaviour is influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

The study's authors analyzed the patients' responses and performed genome-wide association studies on data from more than 477 522 people. Five genetic variants have been identified that are significantly associated with same-sex sexual behaviour.

The options only partially overlap between men and women and do not allow meaningful prediction of an individual's sexual behaviour, according to the study.

"This new study provides even more evidence that that being gay or lesbian is a natural part of human life, a conclusion that has been drawn by researchers and scientists time and again," said GLAAD Chief Programs Officer Zeke Stokes. "The identities of LGBTQ people are not up for debate. This new research also reconfirms the long-established understanding that there is no conclusive degree to which nature or nurture influence how a gay or lesbian person behaves."


Tags: gay gene, sexual behaviour, science

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