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14/7/2020  
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R&D
Sexual orientation

Researchers discover Gay Gene


A genetic analysis of 409 pairs of gay brothers, including sets of twins, has provided the strongest evidence yet that gay people are born gay. The study clearly links sexual orientation in men with two regions of the human genome that have been implicated before, one on the X chromosome and one on chromosome 8.
Ibercampus 24/11/2014 Send to a friend
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A new research headed by Dr. Alan R. Sanders of the NorthShore Research Institute in Evanston, Illinois, has discovered a gay gene. This is giving more weight to the idea that people are born gay, rather than it being a lifestyle choice.

The latest study involves about three times as many people as the previous largest study, which means it is significantly more statistically robust.

Over the past five years, Sanders has collected blood and saliva samples from 409 pairs of gay brothers, including non-identical twins, from 384 families. This compares, for example, with 40 pairs of brothers recruited for Hamer´s study.

Back in 1993, another study was done in this respect. This study was done by researcher Dean Hamer of the US National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. He too had discovered evidence of a gay gene that time but his study was full of loopholes. This new study done by Dr. Sanders covered more than 10 times as many people as Hamer´s research did and three times as many as all other similar researches did.

Whatever the results, Sanders stresses that complex traits such as sexual orientation depend on multiple factors, both environmental and genetic. Even if he has hit on individual genes, they will likely only have at most a small effect on their own, as has also been seen in studies of the genetic basis for intelligence, for example.

Other researchers who have looked at the biological origins of sexual orientation have welcomed the latest findings, saying they help resolve contradictory results from earlier, smaller studies. "The most pleasing aspect is that the confirmation comes from a team that was in the past somewhat sceptical and critical of the earlier findings," says Andrea Camperio Ciani of the University of Padua in Italy.

All the results of the study have been published in Psychological Medicine


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