Homosexuality is viewed by many as a social problem. As such, there has been keen interest in elucidating the origins of homosexuality among many scholars, from anthropologists to zoologists, psychologists to theologians. Research has shown that those who believe sexual orientation is inborn are more likely to have tolerant attitudes toward gay men and lesbians, whereas those who believe it is a choice have less tolerant attitudes. The current qualitative study used in-depth, open-ended telephone interviews with 42 White and 44 Black Americans to gain insight into the public's beliefs about the possible genetic origins of homosexuality.
Giant study links DNA variants to same-sex behavior
Is homosexuality genetic? A critical review and some suggestions
Few aspects of human biology are as complex—or politically fraught—as sexual orientation. Now, a new study claims to dispel the notion that a single gene or handful of genes make a person prone to same-sex behavior. The analysis, which examined the genomes of nearly half a million men and women, found that although genetics are certainly involved in who people choose to have sex with, there are no specific genetic predictors. Yet some researchers question whether the analysis, which looked at genes associated with sexual activity rather than attraction, can draw any real conclusions about sexual orientation.
Many Genes Influence Same-Sex Sexuality, Not a Single ‘Gay Gene’
But geneticists have had only a handful of underpowered studies to address a complex, fraught, and often stigmatized area of human behavior. Now, the largest-ever study of the genetics of sexual orientation has revealed four genetic variants strongly associated with what the researchers call nonheterosexual behavior. Some geneticists are hailing the findings as a cautious but significant step in understanding the role of genes in sexuality. Others question the wisdom of asking the question in the first place.
Nsikan Akpan Nsikan Akpan. In its stead, the report finds that human DNA cannot predict who is gay or heterosexual. Sexuality cannot be pinned down by biology, psychology or life experiences, this study and others show, because human sexual attraction is decided by all these factors. The study shows that genes play a small and limited role in determining sexuality. Moreover, the researchers found that sexuality is polygenic — meaning hundreds or even thousands of genes make tiny contributions to the trait.