Rainbow Flag, (C) Wikimedia Commons

From Largest study of gay brothers homes in on ‘gay genes’

Rainbow Flag, (C) Wikimedia Commons
Image from Wikimedia Commons, http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6d/Rainbow_flag_and_blue_skies.jpg

One question that has significance for science and religion alike is whether homosexuality is a choice or genetically predetermined. Several previous studies have found regions of the genome that contain regions that are sometimes different (variants) in gay men. This study adds credence to these previous claims, identifying two genomic regions that are strongly linked to homosexuality in men, using a set of 409 gay brothers.

Unfortunately, this study does not hone in on particular ‘Gay Gene(s),’ and furthermore, the variants they identified were not present in all gay men in the study (and in fact haven’t been consistently replicated in other studies like this one). This study is also too narrow to address important questions like: What are the ‘gay genes’ in women? Do all ethnicities share common ‘gay genes’? What about bisexuality or other non-heterosexual identities? So, while this study does reinforce claims made by other scientists and activists, it fails to provide both depth and breadth on the genetics of homosexuality.

For the article upon which the press release was based see below:
Genome-wide scan demonstrates significant linkage for male sexual orientation

Special thanks to Chamith Y. Fonseka from the Brigham and Women’s Division of Medicine and Medical Genetics and the Broad Institute Population Genetics Program. Edited by SITN Waves Lead Editor Adam Brown.

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