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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 31st, 2005, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Study suggests genetic differences between gay, straight men

UIC News Release

University of Illinois at Chicago Office of Public Affairs (MC 288)
601 S. Morgan St., Chicago, IL 60607-7113, (312) 996-3456, www.news.uic.edu

Release Date:

January 27, 2005

Media Contact:

Sharon Butler, (312) 355-2522, sbutler@uic.edu

Genetic Regions Influencing Male Sexual Orientation Identified

In the first-ever study combing the entire human genome for genetic determinants of male sexual orientation, a University of Illinois at Chicago researcher has identified several areas that appear to influence whether a man is heterosexual or gay.

The study, which is currently available online, will be published in the March issue of the biomedical journal Human Genetics.

UIC's Brian Mustanski, working with colleagues at the National Institutes of Health, found stretches of DNA that appeared to be linked to sexual orientation on three different chromosomes in the nucleus of cells of the human male.

"There is no one 'gay' gene," said Mustanski, a psychologist in the UIC department of psychiatry and lead author of the study. "Sexual orientation is a complex trait, so it's not surprising that we found several DNA regions involved in its expression."

"Our best guess is that multiple genes, potentially interacting with environmental influences, explain differences in sexual orientation."

The genomes of 456 men from 146 families with two or more gay brothers were analyzed.

While earlier studies had focused solely on the X chromosome, one of the two sex chromosomes, the present study examined all 22 pairs of non-sex chromosomes in addition to the X chromosome. The other sex chromosome, called Y, was not explored because it is not believed to contain many genes.

Identical stretches of DNA on three chromosomes -- chromosomes 7, 8 and 10 -- were found to be shared in about 60 percent of the gay brothers in the study, compared to about 50 percent expected by chance. The region on chromosome 10 correlated with sexual orientation only if it was inherited from the mother.

"Our study helps to establish that genes play an important role in determining whether a man is gay or heterosexual," said Mustanski. "The next steps will be to see if these findings can be confirmed and to identify the particular genes within these newly discovered chromosomal sequences that are linked to sexual orientation."

Other researchers involved in the study were Dean Hamer, at the National Institutes of Health; Nicholas Schork and Caroline Nievergelt, at the University of California at San Diego; Michael DuPree, at Pennsylvania State University; and Sven Bocklandt, at the University of California at Los Angeles.

The study was supported in part by grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

UIC ranks among the nation's top 50 universities in federal research funding and is Chicago's largest university with 25,000 students, 12,000 faculty and staff, 15 colleges and the state's major public medical center. A hallmark of the campus is the Great Cities Commitment, through which UIC faculty, students and staff engage with community, corporate, foundation and government partners in hundreds of programs to improve the quality of life in metropolitan areas around the world.

For more information about UIC, visit www.uic.edu


One bioethicist says this discover, if true, would counter the argument that being gay is a matter of choice and therefore morality.
However, some parents will want to test fetuses and abort them if the carry genes that suggest a child could be gay, just as some fetuses are aborted for being female, he said. Some people doing in-vitro fertilization would also want to discard embryos with any sign of "gay genes."

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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 31st, 2005, 02:54 PM
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If it is true.... I might consider taking this message to the pope next week while I'll be visiting the vatican in Rome with my parents next week haha. Hopefully he'll survive it!

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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 31st, 2005, 02:56 PM
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Whoa, talk about spin... Sounds to me as if they've just about proven that homosexuality is highly environmentally influenced and are trying to deny the truth...

Quote:
Originally Posted by viggen
"There is no one 'gay' gene," said Mustanski
Quote:
Originally Posted by viggen
"Our best guess is that multiple genes, potentially interacting with environmental influences, explain differences in sexual orientation."
Quote:
Originally Posted by viggen
Identical stretches of DNA on three chromosomes -- chromosomes 7, 8 and 10 -- were found to be shared in about 60 percent of the gay brothers in the study, compared to about 50 percent expected by chance. The region on chromosome 10 correlated with sexual orientation only if it was inherited from the mother.
Quote:
Originally Posted by viggen
The next steps will be to see if these findings can be confirmed
You mean there's been no confirmation? Why publish the results unless they've been confirmed?
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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 31st, 2005, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nash
You mean there's been no confirmation? Why publish the results unless they've been confirmed?
No, few if any studies are definitive. It's the same as when studies suggest that Vitamin B6 supplements may lower stress. They've published results because statistically the findings are above the threshold of random spread. It suggests that homosexuality may be partly innate and that's about as much as one can conclude from the data. Interpretations and infereneces of the info are of course subject to personal opinion

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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 31st, 2005, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nash
Whoa, talk about spin... Sounds to me as if they've just about proven that homosexuality is highly environmentally influenced and are trying to deny the truth...
The nature vs nurture debate is such rubbish. The vast majority of our traits are a combination of both. More than one gene is responsible for many of our traits... why not our sexuality as well? If anybody is putting spin on this and wants to deny possibilities, it is you.

Quote:
You mean there's been no confirmation? Why publish the results unless they've been confirmed?

Have you EVER read a scientific journal before?
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 31st, 2005, 05:01 PM
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You're right, Becca. Everything is nature and nurture.

But it *IS* true that homosexuality is not a choice, either way. I know this to be true because:

1) I am gay
2) I did not choose to be so


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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 31st, 2005, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NathalieDechyFan
You're right, Becca. Everything is nature and nurture.

But it *IS* true that homosexuality is not a choice, either way. I know this to be true because:

1) I am gay
2) I did not choose to be so
It's not a conscious choice for sure but that doesn't mean it's not environmentally influenced. I didn't choose my personality either but I'm sure a lot of it had to do with my experiences

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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 31st, 2005, 05:21 PM
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I don't doubt that environment plays a part. If it didn't, we wouldn't have individuals who live 50 years before going "uh... wait.. something isn't right here.. why am I married to somebody of the opposite sex? Am I supposed to enjoy sex with this person?... because I don't!". However, saying that the environment plays a role does not preclude a trait from being genetic. Why people like nash insist on seeing it the other way around (that traits must be either one or the other, not a combination of both) makes me question their scientific literacy. I am by no means an expert, but this is basic "intro to biology" stuff.
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 31st, 2005, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nash
Whoa, talk about spin... Sounds to me as if they've just about proven that homosexuality is highly environmentally influenced and are trying to deny the truth...
You mean there's been no confirmation? Why publish the results unless they've been confirmed?

You can always count on Nash to post in any gay thread.

Hi, Nash!
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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 31st, 2005, 05:26 PM
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I've been concentrating on men's jeans for years now...

There is nothing more beautiful than Evonne Goolagong in full flight moving across a tennis court.
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post #11 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 31st, 2005, 05:28 PM
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Nature or nurture is an interesting question, but I don't think it should matter.

Race and sex are biological (even if our interpretation of them aren't - but that's another thread ), but religion is a choice. Yet most (sane) people agree race, sex and religion shouldn't be a basis for discrimination or persecution.

Reason is poor propaganda when opposed by the yammering, unceasing lies of shrewd and evil and self-serving men.
--Robert Heinlein
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post #12 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 31st, 2005, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by griffin
Nature or nurture is an interesting question, but I don't think it should matter.

Race and sex are biological (even if our interpretation of them aren't - but that's another thread ), but religion is a choice. Yet most (sane) people agree race, sex and religion shouldn't be a basis for discrimination or persecution.
I personally feel that it's a lot easier to discuss these things at a bar...

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post #13 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 31st, 2005, 05:43 PM
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Certainly, it's more fun

Reason is poor propaganda when opposed by the yammering, unceasing lies of shrewd and evil and self-serving men.
--Robert Heinlein
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post #14 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 31st, 2005, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alfajeffster
I've been concentrating on men's jeans for years now...
you mean concentrating on seeing through men's jeans?

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post #15 of 42 (permalink) Old Jan 31st, 2005, 09:43 PM
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Well, I've always questioned whether the fear from pointing to a "gay gene" would mean that one or both of our parents is genetically "gay" too.

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