Skip to main content

Study finds there is no 'gay gene': Genetics do affect a person's sexuality


A sweeping new study finds that there is no specific gene that determines one’s sexual orientation, but that genetics do play a part in affecting a person’s sexuality.

Researchers for the study, which was published Thursday in the journal Science, studied DNA from hundreds of thousands of subjects and found some genes that are connected with same-sex sexual behavior.

While variations may play a part in influencing sexual behavior, they do not predict whether a person is gay, researchers found.

Five genetic markers "were significantly associated with same-sex sexual behavior," researchers found, but the study found that genetics are far from the only factor at play in someone’s sexuality.

Researchers concluded that “many uncertainties remain to be explored, including how sociocultural influences on sexual preference might interact with genetic influences.”

For the study, an international team of scientists examined data from over 477,000 people in both the U.S. and United Kingdom to explore possible links between their DNA’s genetic markers and sexual behavior. The researchers used data from the U.K. Biobank study and private genomics firm 23andMe.

More than 26,000 participants said they had had at least one same-sex sexual encounter. The researchers wrote that past studies were too small to unveil the impacts of individual genes.

Of five genetic variants that the scientists statistically found were associated with same-sex sexual behaviors, none had a particularly large impact, and none could alone predict sexual behavior.

The variants, along with others with even smaller impacts, accounted for 8 to 25 percent of variation in same-sex sexual behavior. Some were correlated with only one sex, while others corresponded with both sexes.

“It just shows us that same-sex sexual behavior is much more complex than this idea of having just one gene influencing it all,” Eric Vilain, director of the Center for Genetic Medicine Research at Children’s National Health System, told The Washington Post. “It shows that there are genetic factors, which we had suspected long ago … but it also shows those genetic factors do not tell the whole story.”

Advocacy groups said the study helped put to rest the concept of a “gay gene,” a long-standing trope used to suggest a stark genetic difference among the LGBT community.

The research “provides even more evidence that being gay or lesbian is a natural part of human life,” Zeke Stokes, chief programs officer for GLAAD, told the Post.

“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.”

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

First confirmed case of COVID-19 in Canyon

The Amarillo Area Public Health has confirmed 1 case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Canyon.

"Due to sensitive information we are not able to share details regarding this case," the city said in a statement.

On Monday, Canyon Mayor Gary Hinders hosted a Facebook Live giving details of Canyon’s response to COVID-19 Status Level Red, which is aligned with the City of Amarillo and new Amarillo Public Health guidance.

Effective immediately, Amarillo Public Health has updated its coronavirus (COVID-19) Level to RED. This is the highest alert level, indicating there are widespread confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Amarillo and the surrounding area.

Hinders issued stay at home guidelines, that went into effect tonight, (March 30) at 11:59 pm and will be in place at least through Monday, April 13, 2020.

"We ask that residents stay at home except for outings essential to their own health, safety, and welfare and that of their family members," the city said.

Under these guideline…

Grocery stores impacted by COVID-19 outbreak

With the continued spread of COVID-19, many grocery stores throughout the area have been facing changes in operations as well as economic impacts.

Nancy Sharp, manager of communications and community engagement for the United “family,” which includes all Llano Logistics, RC Taylor, United Express, Amigos, Market Street and United Supermarkets, said COVID-19 has many people doing some fear-driven, panic-type buying, causing a significant increase in traffic in stores and people purchasing items.

The closure of dining establishments has also impacted sales as more people are cooking at home, which Sharp said has provided an increase to grocery stores across the country. The increase in traffic has also increased the amount of people who are working in the stores and the need for additional cleaning.

“We are cleaning multiple times a day, multiple surfaces. And so that has definitely increased the number,” Sharp said. “We're restocking several times a day; that also has increased th…

White House projects between 100,000 and 240,000 American deaths from coronavirus

President Trump's top health advisers said Tuesday that models show between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans could die from the novel coronavirus even if the country keeps stringent social distancing guidelines in place.

Without any measures to mitigate the disease's spread, those projections jump to between 1.5 and 2.2 million deaths from COVID-19.

The models, which were displayed at a White House press briefing Tuesday, underpinned Trump's decision to extend social distancing guidelines to the end of April.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, explained the data, urging the public to steel for difficult weeks ahead while expressing hope that the efforts would reduce the spread of the coronavirus. 

“There’s no magic bullet, there’s no magic vaccine or therapy. It’s just behaviors,” Birx said, adding that it would be those behaviors that could change “the course of the viral pandemic.”

Second COVID-19 case confirmed in Canyon

The Amarillo Area Public Health has confirmed a second positive case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Canyon. Due to sensitive information the City of Canyon is not provided details on any cases.

Last week, Mayor Gary Hinders hosted a Facebook Live giving details of Canyon’s response to COVID-19 Status Level Red, which is aligned with the City of Amarillo and new Amarillo Public Health guidance.

Effective immediately, Amarillo Public Health has updated its coronavirus (COVID-19) Level to RED. This is the highest alert level, indicating there are widespread confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Amarillo and the surrounding area.

Hinders issued stay at home guidelines, that went into effect March 30 at 11:59 pm and will be in place at least through Monday, April 13, 2020.

"We ask that residents stay at home except for outings essential to their own health, safety, and welfare and that of their family members," the city said.

Under these guidelines, all businesses, except those essenti…

First COVID-19 death in Lubbock: City confirms 10 additional cases

The City of Lubbock confirmed its first COVID-19 related death in a news release on Saturday. The individual was a male in his 60s who had underlying health conditions and was a resident of Lubbock, according to the release.

As of 5 p.m. on Saturday, the City of Lubbock has confirmed 10 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in Lubbock County to 41, according to the release.

The Texas Department of State Health Services has reported additional cases of COVID-19 in the surrounding areas to Lubbock County, including seven in Hockley County, one in Terry County, one in Gaines County, one in Hale County and one in Yoakum County, according to the release.

The City of Lubbock Health Department will continue monitoring individuals to reduce the risk of the transmission of COVID-19, according to the release.