Scientists Debunk the Idea There Is a ‘Gay Gene’ That Determines Same-sex Attraction

An individual’s genes don’t decide whether or not they are going to be drawn to members of the alternative intercourse, scientists consider. The analysis debunks the concept that there’s a so-called “gay gene,” say the authors of the research revealed within the journal Science. They mentioned the findings spotlight the complexity of human traits reminiscent of sexuality.

Between two to 10 p.c of the world’s inhabitants at any given time report having same-sex companions, in keeping with analysis cited by the authors. But scientists aren’t certain what determines whether or not an individual will determine as homosexual, straight, bisexual, or some place else on the spectrum of sexuality.

The research concerned 477,522 contributors. Researchers scanned their genomes to uncover whether or not there are genes related to same-sex attraction. This method is called a genome-wide affiliation research (GWAS).

The contributors of the research have been a part of the UK Biobank cohort and consenting prospects of 23andMe, a genetic testing service.

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A inventory picture of a person flying a rainbow flag, the image of LGBTQIA peoples.

The workforce discovered 5 loci—or the place of a gene on a chromosome—related to same-sex attraction. The loci had small particular person results, unfold throughout the genome, which partly overlapped in females and males, they defined. But the workforce mentioned these could not meaningfully predict an individual’s sexual conduct.

“There is certainly no single genetic determinant (sometimes referred to as the “homosexual gene” in the media),” they wrote. “Our findings provide insights into the genetics underlying same-sex sexual behavior and underscore the complexity of sexuality.”

It seems that, like most behavioral traits, sexuality is influenced by a variety of genetic variants which might’t be picked up within the pattern measurement, they mentioned.

Appearing to allude to the discrimination which LGBT individuals face, the authors wrote: “Our findings provide insights into the biological underpinnings of same-sex sexual behavior but also underscore the importance of resisting simplistic conclusions—because the behavioral phenotypes are complex, because our genetic insights are rudimentary, and because there is a long history of misusing genetic results for social purposes.”

In an article accompanying the analysis in Science, Melinda Mills, Professor of Sociology on the University of Oxford, who didn’t work on the paper wrote: “Although they did find particular genetic loci associated with same-sex behavior, when they combine the effects of these loci together into one comprehensive score, the effects are so small (under 1 percent) that this genetic score could not be reliably used to predict same-sex sexual behavior of an individual.”

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