Group of Scientists Believe They Have Unlocked Hereditary Question of Why People are Gay

A group of scientists from the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis say they believe they have the answer to why people are gay, and believe it is an "epigenetic" one linking fathers to lesbian daughters and mothers to gay sons. And they say they can prove whether their theory is right within six months, US News reports:

GenomeLong thought to have some sort of hereditary link, a group of scientists suggested Tuesday that homosexuality is linked to epi-marks — extra layers of information that control how certain genes are expressed. These epi-marks are usually, but not always, "erased" between generations. In homosexuals, these epi-marks aren't erased — they're passed from father-to-daughter or mother-to-son, explains William Rice, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California Santa Barbara and lead author of the study.

More:

Rice and his team created a mathematical model that explains why homosexuality is passed through epi-marks, not genetics. Evolutionarily speaking, if homosexuality was solely a genetic trait, scientists would expect the trait to eventually disappear because homosexuals wouldn't be expected to reproduce. But because these epi-marks provide an evolutionary advantage for the parents of homosexuals: They protect fathers of homosexuals from underexposure to testosterone and mothers of homosexuals from overexposure to testosterone while they are in gestation.

"These epi-marks protect fathers and mothers from excess or underexposure to testosterone — when they carry over to opposite-sex offspring, it can cause the masculinization of females or the feminization of males," Rice says, which can lead to a child becoming gay. Rice notes that these markers are "highly variable" and that only strong epi-marks will result in a homosexual offspring.

Adds Rice: "We've found a story that looks really good. There's more verification needed, but we point out how we can easily do epigenetic profiles genome-wide. We predict where the epi-marks occur, we just need other studies to look at it empirically. This can be tested and proven within six months. It's easy to test. If it's a bad idea, we can throw it away in short order."

More here.

Comments

  1. JD says

    This is a really cool question, but the scientists aren’t dumb enough to believe they’ve “unlocked” anything just yet. They’ve come up with a neat question to ask, and now they have to do the actual work to find out what the answer is.

  2. Tony C. says

    Interesting theory. How then do they explain why same sex twins, fraternal in some cases, identical in others, are opposite sexual orientations even while raised in the same household by the same parents?

  3. Joshyboy says

    Although it’s an exciting prospect to think that there could be scientific data that will make a strong case to show that being gay is a natural occurance. I am secretly praying that there isn’t a gay “gene”.

    Just think, if it turns out to be the case – super conservatives will label being gay as a “genetic disorder”! They will find ways of isolating this “gene” and eliminating it in young children or even unborn babys, effectively “curing” the child of potential homosexuality…my thinking is that it all leads to a very scary place.

  4. Joshyboy says

    Although it’s an exciting prospect to think that there could be scientific data that will make a strong case to show that being gay is a natural occurance. I am secretly praying that there isn’t a gay “gene”.

    Just think, if it turns out to be the case – super conservatives will label being gay as a “genetic disorder”! They will find ways of isolating this “gene” and eliminating it in young children or even unborn babys, effectively “curing” the child of potential homosexuality…my thinking is that it all leads to a very scary place.

  5. rustytrawler says

    I don’t think “the masculinization of females or the feminization of males” is what causes a child to be gay. That’s what causes a feminine male or a masculine female, period. There are plenty of inherently masculine (vs trumped up, faux butch masculine) gay males and feminine lesbians.

    On an anecdotal note, my father had a gay brother, I am gay, and my half brother, his son, is gay. My mother has no gay siblings of any kind. So if there’s something hereditary going on in my family, it seems to be coming from my dad’s side of the family.

  6. Steven H says

    “Evolutionarily speaking, if homosexuality was solely a genetic trait, scientists would expect the trait to eventually disappear because homosexuals wouldn’t be expected to reproduce.”

    I’m not even remotely surprised that epigenetics is the future of gay science, but seriously?! The past isn’t a very reliable guage of the existance of the gay gene (should it exist at all); plenty of our gay ancestors reproduced (with women), or helped to raise family (who– usually– share a good chunk of their own genetic code). Only creationists believe that vaginal sex (in marriage) is tantamount to, and singularly responsible fo, recreating G-d’s favorite species.

    Also, I’m betting Rick isn’t going to be pleased with the whole gays-as-feminized-males bit.

  7. Fenrox says

    @Calvin, I am pretty sure that if someone wanted to eugenic-out gays they could do it with today’s technology. Don’t be so afraid! Anyone can always hit you with a bus!

  8. Cecilfirefox says

    Actually, from a little more reading I THINK this is really just a group of folks with a theory, and a mathematical formula, but no actual biological testing at all- it may well be nonsense.

  9. says

    i’m not convinced that “proof of biological/genetic” whatever will do any good.

    guys, we still have evolution-denying Creationists.

    people will simply choose to ignore any and all facts that run contrary to their chosen “opinions” and beliefs.

    see also: Obama’s birth certificate. dinosaurs. and way too many other things.

  10. dan says

    All, What missing from this study is the definitions (i work in the epigenetic field) What epigenetics is, is the study of how external factors affect gene expression (or depression). Essentially turning genes on or off. These can be from any external events, such as diet, exercise, stress, toxins, etc. What epi-marks are (in theory) are inherited traits passed along generations but not specifically in their DNA. For example, 2 identical twins, one is 6’1 and one is 5’8; they have the same DNA but something caused them to be different heights…The good news in a biologic model and not a mathematical one..is that yes we are born this way (just nature and nurture; not one or the other)

  11. dh says

    I hope there are LGBT scientists involved with the study. Heterosexual “experts” are often prone to bizarre projections about who and what we are. Masculine females are not necessarily lesbian, feminine males are not necessarily gay. “Gay” does not always equal anal sex, etc.

  12. Ben in Oakland says

    “These epi-marks protect fathers and mothers from excess or underexposure to testosterone — when they carry over to opposite-sex offspring, it can cause the masculinization of females or the feminization of males,”

    Oh my. You lost me right there. a good indication that you don’t know how to ask the question, which means you don’t know how to understand the answer.

    And of course, bisexuals, which according to freud, everyone actually is until they get oscialized into heterosexuality.

    You folks may be on to something, but i don’t think you know enough yet to say what it is.

  13. Caliban says

    Steven H is correct that historically gay people were expected to reproduce and did. There weren’t a whole lot of options to fit into cultural norms.

    But even if you assume that gay people didn’t reproduce there there’s a still an evolutionary model for why homosexuality wouldn’t be selected out of the gene pool. Instead of focusing on the individual, look to the extended family, which was the common unit for millenia.

    Homosexual children would benefit the FAMILY by adding more hands to the task of feeding and defending the group, but by not reproducing they didn’t add extra mouths to feed. Thus, the FAMILY’S genes had a better chance of survival/propagation and those genes included the possibility of homosexual children.

    We already know there is no one “gay gene.” However, in families where 2 or more male children are gay they often DO share a certain genetic marker. What it comes down to is there isn’t ONE “cause” for people to be gay. This is an interesting theory but so far that’s all it is- we’ll have to see how it pans out.

  14. TC says

    ” because homosexuals wouldn’t be expected to reproduce…” Right. Because throughout history, there have NEVER been closeted gay men getting married and having children.

    If he bases his theory on this premise, then the whole thing falls apart.

  15. Kyle says

    So certain “epi-marks” are retained in gay people when ordinarily they’re not passed on, affecting how genes are expressed even with normal hormonal exposure. The retention of epi-marks is obviously not restricted to gay people, just those that affect sexual orientation.

    This is so far only a modeled hypothesis with no direct evidence. And it’s probably too simplistic. After their discovery, sex researchers hypothesized that a prevalent imbalance of sex hormones were responsible for sexual orientation. Gay men would be treated with testosterone in vain.

  16. Drummond says

    “Evolutionarily speaking, if homosexuality was solely a genetic trait, scientists would expect the trait to eventually disappear because homosexuals wouldn’t be expected to reproduce. But because these epi-marks provide an evolutionary advantage for the parents of homosexuals: They protect fathers of homosexuals from underexposure to testosterone and mothers of homosexuals from overexposure to testosterone while they are in gestation.”

    That is a badly-written pieces of text.

    How would a father of [a homosexual fetus] be underexposed to testosterone [when the mother is carrying said fetus]?

  17. says

    WTF is this ?
    “Feminization of males; masculization of females”……..

    Is this Victorian phrenology ?
    If these guys are starting out their research from such a primitive understanding of what gay is , then the results of their “study” will be garbage.

    “Feminization of males” …..is that what is supposed to have made me gay ?
    Seriously ?
    Gays are “feminized” ? Seriously ?
    You guys need to get out more.
    Where is RICK when i need him ?

  18. Francis says

    I’d wait after the next 6 months to say something categorical about this, but it’s another step in the direction that puts an end to the “people choose to be gay” nonsense. And in turn, another step in the direction to destroy ex-gay therapy and homophobic lies.

  19. says

    Yeah, we need to watch where this study is going and taking is.

    And should this study prove uncannily accurate we must agitate that there must never never be an ante-natal test developed.

    We all know where that would be going !

  20. CD says

    This is just a further exploration of the epigenetics of human sexuality. It’s a more focused and engaging question for these scientists to study and continue studying. A 2004 study found homosexuality was passed on epigenetically through the mother only. It’s interesting that they’re bringing the father into this study. “maternal loading of transmission of sexual orientation could indicate epigenetic factors.” http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00439-004-1241-4?LI=true I wouldn’t mind being a part of further study.

  21. Jack M says

    No, really not a good idea. That’s all the hateful people in this world need – a method of how to wipe us out. I wonder how pro-life these wackos will be then.

  22. Kyle says

    Some guys aren’t quite understanding “masculinization” and “feminization” correctly. These are probably inappropriate rubrics, but what researchers mean by them is that attraction to men likely has an identical or related etiology in gay/bi men and straight/bi women alike and that the attraction is restricted to women in ordinary or archetypal development. (And the inverse for attraction to women.) This is a reasonable assumption.

    When a definitive explanation of homosexuality is offered, you probably won’t see these terms anymore but very specific descriptions instead.

  23. Francis says

    The chances of that happening Calvin, are basically zero. There are simply too many factors that are in play to categorically prove a child being gay or straight in the womb. Then you have bisexuals, transsexuals, and we can go down the list.

    It is what it is. I don’t particularly care for the science because I don’t like our lives being under such a microscope, but again, we’ll see where this goes in 6 months, and without the “gay is a choice” card, homophobes aren’t left with much but blind hatred.

  24. Disgusted American says

    u wanna read something real funny – go to the US news reports link on top of article and see comments left by people via facebook – all the anti-gays are from Red states…loser states, and or BuyBULL thumpers…..I love giving them a hard time back on facebook – the assholes that they are…..

  25. Caliban says

    Don’t read too much into “feminization” or “masculinizing.” They don’t mean it as “flouncing around in a dress” or whatever, but in a much broader way.

    Exposure to hormones in utero has long been suggested as one possible reason why people are gay. That’s what all those studies about ring-finger length, the directionality (clockwise or counterclockwise) of hair ‘whorls’ and brain structure are really all about- exposure to hormones during gestation that leave very subtle physical clues.

  26. ratbastard says

    Feminized men are all gay, and all gay men are feminized? And what about bi males, them too?

    I’m gay,as gay as any other gay male, and am not the least feminized. This theory is flawed.

    Although there’s no question about a genetic marker for rigid homosexuality IMO. And I think most humans sexuality is somewhat fluid and variable.

  27. Rick says

    Folks, it is high damn time we atarted objecting to every research idea the goal of which is to find a “cause” for homosexuality, which implies that there is something WRONG or UNNATURAL about same-sex attraction.

    Does anybody, after all, ask what the “cause” of heterosexuality is? No, because it is just considered to be a natural part of the human condition. So to constantly be seeking a “cause” of homosexuality is to be seeking an explanation for a “mal-function” of some sort.

    And for those of you who misguidedly believe that if a biological “cause” of same-sex attraction were discovered, all our problems would be solved since our sexuality could no longer be attributed to “choice”, think again. People’s hostility to homosexuality is emotional in nature, not rational, so such a finding would be worthless.

    Of course any such attempt to find a “cause” is doomed to failure since human sexuality is complex and varied and comes in 1000 shades of gray, with the vast majority of individuals having at least some attraction to both genders….a fact that is well-established.

    This is therefore not “science”, but an attempt to isolate “homosexuality” and put it in a box that will make it easy to “deal with” just as the idea of a black/white paradigm of “gay”/”straight” is designed to do, much to the detriment of us all.

    I am really sick and tired of the basic premises of this kind of “study” and we should begin objecting to them as strenuously as we object to the idea of “gay conversion therapy” because they are both rooted in the same mindset.

  28. Randy says

    If this information is accurate, and ever becomes useful, then we’ll be able to make people gay. Good for us. Good for the planet. Bigots think they’ll wipe us out, but they should be very scared.

  29. Michael says

    Why do gay men flip out at the word feminization??? It’s been proven many of our inners to brain or inner ear are feminized. Big deal.

    Secondly, and more importantly, this theory proves what I always thought. It is definitely my mothers doing…..

  30. Rick says

    “Why do gay men flip out at the word feminization??? ”

    Because we are men, not women. I realize that is a foreign concept to those of you who suffer from psychological gender-confusion and have no real male identity–which no doubt accounts for your being perplexed–but most of us do have male identities.

    “It’s been proven many of our inners to brain or inner ear are feminized. Big deal.”

    No, it has not. Stop spreading lies for the purpose of trying to drag those of us who are characterized by normal masculinity down into your gender-confused hole. Thanks.

  31. johnny says

    “…it can cause the masculinization of females or the feminization of males.”

    Yup, that right there makes the whole thing look idiotic.

    Seriously, considering how many incredibly butch gay men I know that are construction workers, steel workers, police men, etc… this entire premise seems pathetic.

  32. AndyN says

    I find this interesting. I wouldn’t be placing all my money on it of course, but I am interested in the idea of “nature’s” role in sexuality. This may be because I have studied sciences my entire life, so the quest for answers never really ends for people like me. :)

    Anyways, I found this article, which I personally felt did a better job explaining things down to my level. Check it out if you like.

    Side Note: It does explain in this article that “feminization/masculinization” is meant in the terms of sexual orientation and NOT physical appearances or social constructs on the idea of what “feminine” means.

    http://www.livescience.com/25431-gene-regulation-homosexuality.html

  33. Rick says

    “It does explain in this article that “feminization/masculinization” is meant in the terms of sexual orientation ”

    Oh, well that clears things right up, doesn’t it? Are these presumably heterosexual eggheads aware of the existence of tops and aware that without tops there can be no bottoms? And that it is much more challenging to “take” another man than it is to take a weak, little woman?

    And are they aware that most gay men have had sex with a woman at least once, including some who esclusively bottom when they are with men?

    The more anyone tries to defend this garbage, the more ridiculous the entire enterprise appears.

  34. Moony says

    You guys need to be careful, I’ve read through the comments and many of you are taking terms that are meant to be understood in a biological context and attaching a colloquial meaning to them. “Masculinization” and “feminization” does not mean you play more sports or speak with a lisp; it is referring to the biological process by which the sexes are differentiated and developed during maturation. These two terms are simply the shorthand titles for these processes.

    This study does not claim to have found the “gay gene”, nothing could be further from the truth. The very branch of this study, “epigenetics”, which refers to the expression of genes in ways that does not alter the actual genetic sequence in DNA, should make that obvious to anyone with a basic knowledge in biology.

    When we discuss DOMA or Prop 8 on this site, I accept that I am not an expert in the field of law. While I approach everything with a level of skepticism, I also accept that Mr. Waldman has a greater understand of the subject than I do. If something doesn’t add up, I give him the benefit of the doubt and ask him a question, rather than jumping to wild conclusions.

    The same needs to be done here. The great majority of us here are not biologists. Don’t start tossing around accusations before you truly understand what’s happening.

  35. ToThePoint says

    But what about the majority of us gays who are masculine? Feminine gays are usually the ones who get the media attention but I believe that most of us are masculine. I, nor my partner have any feminine traits but I loves me a man!

  36. Caliban says

    *sigh*

    I’ll try again. FOR EXAMPLE, the index finger and the ring finger for MEN are usually the same length. In WOMEN, the ring finger is longer than the index finger. That difference is somewhat determined by exposure to hormones during fetal development.

    The ring fingers of GAY MEN are often longer than the index finger, which is more typically found in straight women. (The reverse is also true of lesbians and straight men having ring and index fingers of equal length.)

    It’s THAT kind of trait they mean when they say “feminization,” NOT behavioral traits like a lisp or a strange affection for Barbra Streisand!

    Studies have shown similarities in brain structure between straight women and gay men, which is not to say that gay men have “women’s brains,” but that there may be a similarity in how we process information. Nothing more.

    You can still play rugby, shoot a gun, f*rt at the dinner table, or whatever other behaviors you see as traditionally “masculine.”

  37. Kyle says

    @Caliban You have masculine and feminine digit ratios mixed up. Men’s ring fingers tend to be longer than their index fingers. Women’s index and ring fingers tend to be even. Moreover, the research on gay men’s finger ratios are inconsistent, with most not finding significant differences between gay and straight men. (This isn’t true of lesbians and straight women, though.) In fact, some research indicates that some gay men are more masculinized than straight men:

    “2D:4D ratio of homosexual men was not significantly different from that of heterosexual men for either hand (P > 0.09.

    “Our results suggest that events before birth (or even before conception in the case of older brothers) influence human sexual orientation. The masculinized right-hand 2D:4D ratio in homosexual women may reflect fetal androgen levels that are slightly higher than in heterosexual women. Homosexual men without older brothers have 2D:4D ratios indistinguishable from heterosexual eldest sons, indicating that factors other than fetal androgen (such as genetic influences8, 9) also contribute to sexual orientation. Finger measures indicate that men with more elder brothers, including those men who develop a homosexual orientation, might be exposed to greater than normal levels of prenatal androgen.

    “Although hyper-androgenization of homosexual men might not fit some cultural expectations10, homosexual men display several hyper-masculine characteristics, including a greater mean number of sexual partners in a lifetime than heterosexual men, who in turn report more sexual partners than do women of either orientation. Furthermore, reports that adult homosexual men have more circulating androgens (ref. 11, but see ref. 12), larger genitalia13 and more ‘masculine’ auditory evoked potentials than heterosexual men14, are consistent with at least some homosexual men being hyper-androgenized.”

    Source: http://gmadnyc.wordpress.com/2011/02/01/finger-length-ratios-and-sexual-orientation/

  38. Caliban says

    @Kyle, thanks for the correction. That’s what I get for paraphrasing things I read a long time ago without double-checking!

    The main point I was trying to make is still valid. When the scientists of this study say “feminization,” they don’t being effeminate, a “sissy” or whatever (not that there’s anything wrong with that). They’re talking about biological traits, not behavioral traits.

  39. says

    @Caliban Your description of “feminization” is wrong. The theorists who use the term are making only a few assumptions:

    1) Men’s attraction to men is etiologically identical to women’s attraction to men.
    2) Archetypal or ordinary male development results in attraction to women, hence “masculinization”. Likewise, archetypal or ordinary female development results in attraction to men, hence “feminization”.

    All that the term implies is that gay men are attracted to men and that this attraction evolved in females. Researchers look at other sexually dimorphic traits (like finger ratios or spatial skills) in gay men to find traces of a “feminization” process in individuals where it wasn’t localized to sexual attraction.

  40. Joseph says

    I think the whole genetic theory could be fact but there “story that looks really good” seem very unlikely because it works under the assumption that all lesbians are butch and all gays are feminine. It’s like saying a person’s gay because of the way they dress.

  41. says

    “Masculinization” and “feminization” are really misleading and culturally loaded terms. Female reindeer aren’t less “feminine” because they have antlers, though they may have been inherited from male reindeer. Likewise, cave lion males (cave lions are an extinct subspecies of lion) weren’t any less “masculine” than other lion males because they were maneless.

    Heck, men’s nipples are owed to “feminization”. It’s really meaningless.

  42. says

    “Also, I’m betting Rick isn’t going to be pleased with the whole gays-as-feminized-males bit.”

    Indeed he is — and with good reason for a change. As we all know “Rick” despises anything “effeminate” in gay men. Fine. He can have all the “straight-acting, straight-appearing” bozos he wants. I don’t se the world that way. Gay men come in all shapes, sizes and styles. So do staight men. That these “scinetists” are seeking a “cause” for gayness clearly indicated the rigidly ideological nature of the project. Cause where there’s a “cause” there’s a “cure.”

    No “cause” for heterosexuality is there?
    Well I’M the “cure”!

  43. says

    why bother trying to find a “cause” for homosexuality when the most pressing issue is actively combating anti-gay prejudice, of which the root is already known?

    finding out what causes homosexuality will not help LGBT youth nor our ongoing journey to social and legal equality.

    combating anti-LGBT prejudice, however, will.

  44. OddBet says

    I’m pretty sure that they do not mean the sociological definitions of “masculinaztion” and “femination.” In this context, I think it’s safe to assume that they are talking about hormones, as that is the topic of the rest of the discussion.

    Anything that increases estrogen production/sensitivity and/or decreases testosterone production/sensitivity would be called feminizing. For example, soy is a feminizing compound. This doesn’t mean that eating Asian cuisine will turn you into a woman, it just describes how it influences your body chemistry.

    Likewise, when they say that a feminized male fetus will most likely become gay, they are almost definitely talking about in utero estrogen exposure. The link between hormonal exposure in utero and homosexuality is not a new hypothesis, nor should it cause any sort of uproar amongst anyone. The biological terms are entirely different from the (loaded) sociological terms, as in a feminized male does not necessarily lead to a feminine male.

    The goal of science is to answer the questions humanity has. “Why are some people homosexual?” is no more a bad question that “Why are some people better at learning languages?” Any further understanding we can gain of our universe serves to advance science as a whole.

    As far as conservatives genetically engineering their children to not be gay, if we get to the point where our laws and scientific ethics, as well as technology, allow that, I think conservatives not having gay children will be the least of our worries.

  45. tjm2112 says

    Agree with comment above “they had me until…”

    The article states “The masculization of females and feminization of males.” Surely there are obviously masc lesbians and feminine gay men. But wtf? What about the (in my opinion) majority of gay men who are conventionally masc and women fem? They stay in the closet because it’s easier for them from the start as no one suspects. The implications of this study are at once intriguing, perhaps even correct. But implying that all gay men are “feminized” and women “masc” is preposterous.

  46. Kyle says

    @Oddbet No researcher or theorist claims “a feminized male will most likely become gay”. This a wishy-washy statement, while the real development of sexual orientation has a rigorous explanation. They’re talking about localized “feminization”, not general “feminization”. All males are likely “feminized males” in various areas to various degrees, and many a gay male was barely “feminized” beyond his sexual orientation.

    The epigenetic marker hypothesis on topic better explains the hyper-localized feminization that apparently typifies a sizeable subset of gay men than earlier simple hormonal exposure theories by allowing for a homosexual orientation to develop under normal or even excessive testosterone exposure.

  47. Lai says

    Conservatives can’t call it a genetic disorder because it’s not strictly genetic. And just because something is caused by genetic factors doesn’t mean it is a disorder.

    For example, albinism. Albinism is a recessive trait that can be passed on from generation to generation. But just because someone is albino, does that make them mentally ill or make them any less of a human?

  48. nicoise says

    Some scientists are unable to distinguish between a mathematical model and a fact. And, why would passing on epigenetic marks protect the mother – or especially the father whose investment in gestation is zero?

  49. OddBet says

    @Kyle

    Like I said, the researchers are using “masculinization” and “feminization” to refer to the influence of hormones. In the press release for the study, they outlined that the epi-marks influence the effect of androgen levels during late fetal development. As an example, they give the scenario of the epi-marks for a female fetus protecting the fetus from masculinization during abnormally high levels of testosterone.

    Your response to my comment seems to indicate that you did not understand what I was saying, so allow me to clarify. I was attempting to explain that feminization in the biochemical sense has nothing to do with cultural definitions of femininity, but instead relates to hormones (as per my example of soy being feminizing). So, as you see, your correction was unnecessary, since it seems that we are both saying the same thing (that feminization is not a dirty word and has a specific meaning, and that it happens to all men throughout their lives, but does not exclusively determine their mannerisms)

    As far as what I said about a feminized male fetus, I was speaking specifically to the scenario outlined by the hypothesis, not to feminization of a fetus in general. I had thought that the context would make that clear, but if it was not, I apologize.

  50. Deee! says

    Being gay and femininity are separate. They sometimes go hand in hand, but as I’ve said before, being gay simply refers to your homosexual attraction, not how masculine or feminine you are. Give a gay man all the testosterone you want, he’ll still be gay.

  51. Fenrox says

    I really love this article. So is this how science deniers start? A bunch of morons that have no knowledge of biology freak out about a poorly reported article about an ongoing research project. Is this how Jenny McCarthy became a vaccine nut?

  52. Fenrox says

    I really love this article. So is this how science deniers start? A bunch of morons that have no knowledge of biology freak out about a poorly reported article about an ongoing research project. Is this how Jenny McCarthy became a vaccine nut?

  53. MJ says

    Epigenetics sounds eerily like eugenics. Biology determines destiny. Therefore, if society and politics deem that a group is unacceptable, it can justify its extermination by declaring that group as genetically deficient and harmful to society as a whole.

    I know my sexuality is as natural as breathing. I am who I am. Period. I don’t give a rat’s ass why.

  54. Derrick from Philly says

    KYLE & ODDBET,

    thank you for helping me to understand this fascinating science (well, understand somewhat).

    The people who are still NOT getting the idea that the scientists are using a different definition of “masculinization” and “feminization” need to google the name “Emily Latella.”

  55. Chuck Mielke says

    Let’s not forget the mind-boggling complexity of the question. It takes us from the biochemistry of reproduction to the neurochemistry of human desire to the social chemistry of human interactions. No single answer is likely to be “the” answer; rather it will be several answers all in combination.

  56. mattie says

    My only concern is based on genetic screening and people using this genetic marker as an excuse for abortion on the possible sexual orientation of the child. The opposition is still strong I fear for young who will not be able to defend themselves from pregidice. I am not however against abortion because it is a woman’s right to choose to give life but on the factors of health and circumstance of conception. Messy business to be sure.

  57. BRAINS says

    These “so-called” scientists failed the test for authenticity when they concluded that gay equals feminine and lesbian equals masculine.

    Somebody in their research group needs to get out more. Actually, all of them!

  58. Jerry6 says

    My Father’s Father was the second born; and Gay. My Father was the second born, and was Gay; I am the second born and Gay; My second born son was Gay. However, it ends there as he passed away from AIDS.

  59. Sean Westmann says

    And once they have determined exactly where & how these epimarks function, do they intend to “cure” homosexuality by modifying the epimarks or blocking their function?

  60. Stefan says

    This study doesn’t even try to unpack why “feminization” or “masculinization” would only work with regard to one’s choice of sexual partners. It also doesn’t try to make sense of the fact that sexuality is a spectrum, not a dichotomous trait (gay or not gay). I’m also curious how they’ll overcome the problem of people who are gay but won’t identify as such, or vice versa. The theory they offer is quite flawed, and I doubt the research design is much better.

    Also, I think scientists in the so-called “hard sciences” could take a lesson from social scientists. Whatever you research should not just be interesting and important, but should also have sound policy recommendations that can flow from it. Some might say that knowing if homosexuality is genetic will change the policy discourse, but it won’t. People knew that race was a natural trait, and that didn’t stop them from owning slaves and trampling all over the civil rights of African Americans for centuries.

  61. Sam Molloy says

    Gen 6:4 explais where all birth defect genes come from. Whether being Gay is a defect or part of God’s original plan is up for grabs. After all, women were an afterthought and He had to TELL them to “be fruitful and multiply”.

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