A massive study confirms no one 'gay gene' controls sexual preference

JustLeb

JustLeb

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Genetics can't predict whether a person will engage in same-sex sexual behavior, according to new research published in the journal Science. The study, which tested nearly half a million people, found that while there are some genes that contribute to sexual behavior, they each only play a tiny role—social and environmental factors make up the rest

“This is is the largest and most thorough investigation into the genetics of same-sex sexual behavior to date,” says study author Ben Neale, geneticist at the Broad Institute and associate professor in the Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, in a press conference. The study notes the small role genetics plays—but also the complexity of the biological factors involved.

“This study puts to rest the notion that there is a ‘gay gene,’ ” says Darren Whitfield, an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh studying LGBTQ health, who was not involved in the research.

The authors said that they worked with LGBT advocacy groups to discuss the best way to communicate their work to the public, and that those conversations affected the way they wrote the paper. Whitfield noted that the study avoided some of the problems of past research on sexual behavior and genetics, and was conscientious of the fact that this kind of work does not happen in a vacuum. “It seemed that the scientists were mindful of the message it might send,” Whitfield says. “In the past, researchers working in genetics in this area really did not think about the consequences work like that might have.”

However, Whitfield continues, that doesn’t entirely counteract the risk that this type of work can pose, and there are concerns that this data could be weaponized against the LGBTQ community. “These things do have the potential to reinforce homophobia,” he says. “It can reinforce the idea of any abnormality [connected] to same-sex attraction.”

The study analyzed the genes of nearly 500,000 people who’d contributed DNA in a handful of different ways, including to UK Biobank, which collected data from volunteers in the United Kingdom, and the direct-to-consumer genetics company 23andMe, which asks customers if they want their data to be used in research (and included an additional consent form to participate in this particular study). The dataset only covered people of European ancestry. The team then looked for associations between the genes of the participants and their reports of same-sex behavior—which, for the purposes of this study, was defined as ever having had sex with someone of the same sex. Those behaviors, they noted, are not equivalent to sexual orientation or identity: a person who reported having same-sex sex may be bisexual, gay, pansexual, or any number of other identities, and that was not reflected in the research. The study also did not include people who were transgender, intersex, or otherwise did not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth.

In that analysis, the study found that between 8 percent and 25 percent of same-sex sexual behavior in the study population could be explained by genetics. Environmental and social factors contribute the rest. “I think it underscores that there is an element of biology and it underscores that there’s an element of the environment,” Neale says. “And it underscores that this is a natural part of our species.”

The genes associated with same-sex sexual behavior overlap with those involved in mental health disorders like schizophrenia and depression, which the authors write could be due to discrimination faced by people who have sex with others of the same sex. “For the U.K. Biobank data, for example, the participants came of age at a time and place where same-sex sexual behavior was criminalized,” Neale says. “And other studies have clearly shown the impact on mental health that . . . kind of othering or exclusion or even criminalization of behavior [can have].”
The findings also called into question the Kinsey scale, a common metric that describes a person’s sexual orientation on a measure from zero (entirely homosexual) to six (entirely heterosexual): The study reflected more diversity in individuals’ sexual behaviors than that. “[The Kinsey scale] is really an oversimplification of the diversity of sexual behavior in humans,” Neale says.
As well as contributing data to the project, the 23andMe research team worked actively on the study itself. The company has expressed interest in studying the genetics of sexual behavior and orientation since 2012. “As a company we are committed to representing the full diversity of human populations, and sexual behavior is just one component of that,” says Fah Sathirapongsasuti, senior scientist at 23andMe, during a press conference. “We hope that this new study marks a starting point for additional research on this important aspect of human behavior.” He added that customers have contacted the company asking for them to do this type of research.

“I think we’ve learned some really important things, and I think those things that we’ve learned include the idea that there is more diversity out there in the world,” Neale says.
As the new study went live, the Broad Institute posted a series of essays from other scientists on the social and ethical issues involved in pursuing research of this kind, which could potentially be harmful to LGBT communities and be used in arguments for discrimination against them. "I am not satisfied with the authors' justification for performing this study; they are ultimately jeopardizing the perception and safety of the LGBTQIA+ community," wroteMeagan Olive, a research associate at the Broad Institute.
It’s important to critically think about what can be gained from these sorts of studies, Whitfield says. “At the end of the day, we’re still looking for a genetic component for sexual behavior. The question I would have is—why? What is the purpose?”
 
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  • IsaBells

    IsaBells

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    I'm not sure this is the same study, but here's their conclusion:

    CONCLUSION
    Same-sex sexual behavior is influenced by not one or a few genes but many. Overlap with genetic influences on other traits provides insights into the underlying biology of same-sex sexual behavior, and analysis of different aspects of sexual preference underscore its complexity and call into question the validity of bipolar continuum measures such as the Kinsey scale. Nevertheless, many uncertainties remain to be explored, including how sociocultural influences on sexual preference might interact with genetic influences. To help communicate our study to the broader public, we organized workshops in which representatives of the public, activists, and researchers discussed the rationale, results, and implications of our study.

    Large-scale GWAS reveals insights into the genetic architecture of same-sex sexual behavior | Science

    It's not one gene, but many that influence sexual orientation as well as environmental factors.

    According to the same study the LGBT+ community may need a couple more letters to accurately depict the complexities of sexual orientation ? I don't think they have enough letters in the alphabet lol

    Either way don't rush your glee :p
     
    The_FPMer

    The_FPMer

    Active Member
    Most people knew this but few had the guts to say it fearing an uproar from the LGBTQ community and its supporters. Genetics do play a role, but it is father deprivation or sexual molestation or childhood trauma that makes the person feel safer and more attracted to people from his/her gender. The "Born this way" argument is deceptive and has been used to justify the "homophobic" label hurled at anyone who dares questions that narrative.
     
    AtheistForJesus

    AtheistForJesus

    Well-Known Member
    Most people knew this but few had the guts to say it fearing an uproar from the LGBTQ community and its supporters. Genetics do play a role, but it is father deprivation or sexual molestation or childhood trauma that makes the person feel safer and more attracted to people from his/her gender. The "Born this way" argument is deceptive and has been used to justify the "homophobic" label hurled at anyone who dares questions that narrative.
    The LGBTQ lobby has shut the door on debate. Even psychologists declassified homosexuality as an illness out of peer pressure, not as a result of an evidence-backed study. There are many psychologists who objected to this.

    I don't get why gays get up in arms about this. Whether they're born this way or acquired this way, they are not harming anyone and do not owe anyone an excuse or explanation for their lifestyle.
     
    IsaBells

    IsaBells

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    The LGBTQ lobby has shut the door on debate. Even psychologists declassified homosexuality as an illness out of peer pressure, not as a result of an evidence-backed study. There are many psychologists who objected to this.

    I don't get why gays get up in arms about this. Whether they're born this way or acquired this way, they are not harming anyone and do not owe anyone an excuse or explanation for their lifestyle.
    Hmm so you think you are mentally ill and you need to be cured?
     
    IsaBells

    IsaBells

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    Maybe. Who knows?
    I won't lose sleep over it, though.
    The who knows is that had it been a curable mental illness wouldn't you think those pray the gay away conversion therapy camps would have had a more successful rate than 27% by their very optimistic admission?
     
    AtheistForJesus

    AtheistForJesus

    Well-Known Member
    The who knows is that had it been a curable mental illness wouldn't you think those pray the gay away conversion therapy camps would have had a more successful rate than 27% by their very optimistic admission?
    Conversion therapy is currently being led by religious zealots, not men of science, hence the 0% successful rate.
    Maybe if scientists/pyschologists open the door to more research on the subject, instead of shoving down everyone's throats that gays are born this way, we might start seeing results.

    One thing is for sure. Most studies have shown that children with both a father and mother figure fare much better than kids raised with one parent.
    So to deny the fact that the absence of a male role model has no bearing on a child's emotional development, is pure liberal propaganda.

    And like I said in a previous threat, homosexuality wasn't necessarily delisted as a disorder due to some breakthrough study, but because most psychologists at the time thought this would stop the stigmatization of homosexuals.
     
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    Jorje

    Jorje

    Legendary Member
    Tis study says nothing about causes of homosexuality. All it says is that there's no single Gene and that the causes are a combination of genetic and environmental.

    Most of us suspected this anyway.vhuman sexually is extremely diverse and heterogeneous and it would be very doubtful if something like "have you had sex with a same-sex partner" maps to a gene. That also says nothing about actual sexual orientation that is simple more than having a sexual encounter with someone from the same sex.

    So I would say all of manifesto self-hate idiocy has nothing to do with this study.
     
    IsaBells

    IsaBells

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    Conversion therapy is currently being led by religious zealots, not men of science, hence the 0% successful rate.
    Maybe if scientists/pyschologists open the door to more research on the subject, instead of shoving down everyone's throats that gays are born this way, we might start seeing results.
    Psychologists are all in agreement that conversion therapy simply does not work and is actually more harmful! Had there been a way to eradicate homosexuality you would think someone would have stumbled on it in the 300000+ years of homosapien history!

    One thing is for sure. Most studies have shown that children with both a father and mother figure fare much better than kids raised with one parent.
    So to deny the fact that the absence of a male role model has no bearing on a child's emotional development, is pure liberal propaganda.
    Most studies regarding same sex couples against heterosexual couples have shown no significant difference, in some cases children raised by homosexual couples actually faired better. Yours on the other hand is an unfair comparison that has no bearing on the subject anyway.


    And like I said in a previous threat, homosexuality wasn't necessarily delisted as a disorder due to some breakthrough study, but because most psychologists at the time thought this would stop the stigmatization of homosexuals.
    There is no scientific field that has studied homosexuality more than the psychological one. It was declassified as a mental disorder simply because all research and empirical evidence failed to support that theory. And psychologists told to advise against the stigmatisation of homosexuality only after it was declassified. It was declassified in the us in 1973, advice came in 1975.
     
    Nonan

    Nonan

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    Homosexuality is simply a leftist conspiracy against the Christian values of the western world. Otherwise, why don’t you find any homosexuals in Russia or in China or Iran or Arab countries?

    This was all invented in the 60’s by the leftist conspiracy to take us down. But we will never fall for it!
     
    epedep

    epedep

    New Member
    Most people knew this but few had the guts to say it fearing an uproar from the LGBTQ community and its supporters. Genetics do play a role, but it is father deprivation or sexual molestation or childhood trauma that makes the person feel safer and more attracted to people from his/her gender. The "Born this way" argument is deceptive and has been used to justify the "homophobic" label hurled at anyone who dares questions that narrative.
    They found that specific cause to be untrue, and long ago
     
    epedep

    epedep

    New Member
    The LGBTQ lobby has shut the door on debate. Even psychologists declassified homosexuality as an illness out of peer pressure, not as a result of an evidence-backed study. There are many psychologists who objected to this.

    I don't get why gays get up in arms about this. Whether they're born this way or acquired this way, they are not harming anyone and do not owe anyone an excuse or explanation for their lifestyle.
    They're in arms because research is needed to prove points. It makes people look educated.
     
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