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Offline john ford

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Is there a "homosexual gene"?
« on: 17/01/2009 07:37:30 »
I am not a scientist but I enjoy the science spot on ABC Radio National.

Could someone direct me to any credible source that answer the question - is there such a thing as a homosexual gene?  Could there be such a gene? 

I apologise if this has been asked previously - a quick look did not reveal that it had.

Thank you.

[MOD EDIT - where possible, please format post titles as questions, which is our forum policy. Thanks. Chris]
« Last Edit: 17/01/2009 12:15:22 by chris »


 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Re: Is there a "homosexual gene"?
« Reply #1 on: 17/01/2009 08:13:48 »
There is some good discussion here if you have the time to read it.
NOTE: Not all sources are credible :o
 

lyner

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Is there a "homosexual gene"?
« Reply #2 on: 18/01/2009 00:08:30 »
Just ONE gene?
It has to be a lot more complex than that, surely.
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Is there a "homosexual gene"?
« Reply #3 on: 18/01/2009 03:36:58 »
Or it may not be genetic at all, but yeah if it was I think it would be a fairly complex combination of genes rather than just 1 on or off gene
 

Offline neilep

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Is there a "homosexual gene"?
« Reply #4 on: 18/01/2009 11:23:46 »
Does this mean that I have a ' straight' gene ?

....and do 'bi's' have a 'Bi' gene ?


 

lyner

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Is there a "homosexual gene"?
« Reply #5 on: 18/01/2009 17:54:28 »
Straight DNA would be novel. Eat your heart out Watson and Crick.
 

Offline Make it Lady

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Is there a "homosexual gene"?
« Reply #6 on: 18/01/2009 19:50:49 »
This has been discussed before as I raised it. Really it is a combination of things. Apparently for gay men, they are often the third or fourth son, raising questions about exposure to testosterone in the womb. They are also more likely to have strong Mothers and weak Fathers raising questions about nurture. It has also been shown that the size of your ring finger compared with your index finger will indicate if you have a masculine or feminine brain. This raises questions about genetics. None of these theories has been proven but perhaps a combination can bring about a likelihood that you will be gay. I haven't seen the same studies on lesbians so can't comment. Being bisexual myself and a tom boy as a child I can see that my behaviour is probably nurture as I was the fifth child with four older brothers and learnt to fancy women by watching them. My straight side came from my Mother and her strong relationship with my Dad. I guess when I chose a husband rather than a partner it was my need to procreate that won the day.
 

Offline neilep

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Is there a "homosexual gene"?
« Reply #7 on: 18/01/2009 21:14:05 »
My wife is also Bi.....she bloody well buys everything !!
 

Offline Make it Lady

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Is there a "homosexual gene"?
« Reply #8 on: 18/01/2009 21:17:19 »
That is strange because so do I. We like to try everything that is on offer and some of the expensive stuff too!     
 

Offline Karsten

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Is there a "homosexual gene"?
« Reply #9 on: 19/01/2009 01:07:17 »
.. None of these theories has been proven ...

'Nuff said.
 

Offline Karsten

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Is there a "homosexual gene"?
« Reply #10 on: 19/01/2009 01:39:58 »
BTW, I think this is a "dangerous" question and research in this area is risky. It can be quite damaging to people if research shows that there is a genetic combination that may have results that are viewed negative in many places. What good can we do with this data?  Is there not much more potential for abuse by those who would like to continue to discriminate than there is potential for benefiting those who have been researched?

Can someone please explain to me why it would be a benefit for a gay or lesbian person to know that their "condition" is genetically determined or favored  (or a result of upbringing) rather than a result of nothing known to science. In my opinion, some things may be better left unexplained by science. Not all that can be researched should be researched. Be who you WANT to be and how you WANT to define your sexual orientation today and I wish you live where your choice is acceptable and legal.
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Is there a "homosexual gene"?
« Reply #11 on: 19/01/2009 02:31:00 »
I don't think anyone will get to the bottom of this...(finding these gene(s))
 

Offline john ford

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Is there a "homosexual gene"?
« Reply #12 on: 19/01/2009 02:31:56 »
Good points Karstan - why indeed?

Perhaps because there is so much discrimination going on across the world.   Perhaps it would be an 'easy' answer.  

But I note that a baby has been recently born in the UK where the genetic link to breast cancer was broken.   Surely such is not a 'bad' thing?
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Is there a "homosexual gene"?
« Reply #13 on: 19/01/2009 02:41:30 »
So are you saying that once we find these genes (if they exist) we can somehow make them straight? Therefore the world will have no more homosexuals?
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Is there a "homosexual gene"?
« Reply #14 on: 19/01/2009 07:38:38 »
Homosexuals are harmless, but what if there is a genetic predispostion toward other sexual desires such as pedophilia or rape? Then it would be very useful to be able to turn those genes off.
 

Offline Karsten

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Is there a "homosexual gene"?
« Reply #15 on: 19/01/2009 22:39:48 »
Perhaps because there is so much discrimination going on across the world.   Perhaps it would be an 'easy' answer.  

But I note that a baby has been recently born in the UK where the genetic link to breast cancer was broken.   Surely such is not a 'bad' thing?
If there is a gene, those who have it won't have it any easier. They are discriminated against not because they have a genetic "defect", it has to do with the (real or suspected) behavior and the people who object to it. The discrimination would continue. People, maybe even children of embarrassed parents, would be urged to get treatment of whatever sort. Those who don't have the gene could not possibly be really homosexual. Etc.

Homosexuality cannot be compared to cancer. It does not kill you or shorten your life if you live in places I call civilized.

Homosexuals are harmless, but what if there is a genetic predispostion toward other sexual desires such as pedophilia or rape? Then it would be very useful to be able to turn those genes off.
If people agree to this treatment or receive a reduced prison sentence (or something like this) if they agree, then yes, by all means. But as long as there is no 100% guarantee that the behavior will develop, there is a problem with treating people before something happened. Tough one. Very tough. I have a daughter too.

This is impossible to answer. That is why I think it should not be asked. Or researched. There are so many shades of behavior between boring and acceptable to horrific, sick, and criminal. And the boundary between acceptable and unacceptable moves. It is difficult enough to deal with what people have done. I don't want to be the judge of what might happen in addition to that and I don't think anyone else should either.





« Last Edit: 19/01/2009 22:41:44 by Karsten »
 

lyner

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Is there a "homosexual gene"?
« Reply #16 on: 19/01/2009 22:46:04 »
Darwinian ideas would suggest that a low reproduction rate would tend to produce a low incidence of that particular characteristic.
But it's got to be a much more involved business. Could it even be an advantage for the species - a natural population regulator.
 

Offline yor_on

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Is there a "homosexual gene"?
« Reply #17 on: 20/01/2009 00:05:24 »
I doubt very much that we know what we are doing in our gene research:)
It's more like 'trial and error'

We may have 'mapped' the human genome, but, from that to believe that we know what we are doing?
And we don't know what blocking a gene will do in the long run.

But we do like to think that we do:)

----------

Anyone remembering when 'splitting' the communication between the right and left cerebral hemisphere was seen as an answer to schizophrenia and 'unsocial' behaviour.
It wasn't too long ago..

Wasn't there some Spanish 'brain surgeon' traveling around showing it off in public?
And it was used by doctors all over the world on a regular basis.

Those assholes should never have been allowed to come near a scalpel or a medical exam.
But that kind of people will 'pop' up in all professions, and tell you that they 'know' what they're doing.
In sharp contrast to us more doubting, we that never may be sure on anything at all:)

« Last Edit: 20/01/2009 00:21:05 by yor_on »
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Is there a "homosexual gene"?
« Reply #18 on: 22/01/2009 05:37:23 »
Quote
The evidence suggests that homosexual behaviour is partly genetic. Studies of identical twins, for example, show that if one of a pair (regardless of sex) is homosexual, the other has a 50% chance of being so, too.
http://www.economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=12465295

Don't know how reliable it is though... :-\ :-\
 

Offline Don_1

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Is there a "homosexual gene"?
« Reply #19 on: 22/01/2009 07:41:48 »
- is there such a thing as a homosexual gene?  Could there be such a gene? 


Give me a kiss and I'll tell you.
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Is there a "homosexual gene"?
« Reply #20 on: 22/01/2009 08:11:04 »
Eewwww...! [xx(] [xx(] [xx(]
Please spare me the details!
« Last Edit: 22/01/2009 09:11:07 by Chemistry4me »
 

lyner

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Is there a "homosexual gene"?
« Reply #21 on: 22/01/2009 12:34:35 »
Quote
The evidence suggests that homosexual behaviour is partly genetic. Studies of identical twins, for example, show that if one of a pair (regardless of sex) is homosexual, the other has a 50% chance of being so, too.
http://www.economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=12465295

Don't know how reliable it is though... :-\ :-\
But, for most twins, the culture is the same, too. You could only be sure about the connection if you studied twins who had been separated at birth. According to many TV progs, there are many examples of parallel behaviour / life styles in separated twins.
 

Offline john ford

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Is there a "homosexual gene"?
« Reply #22 on: 22/01/2009 19:47:28 »
Thank you all for your thought - although I'll pass on the kiss offer.

It appears that the answer to my question is - No - there is no such gene.  There may be, however, particular genes that could contribute to environmental factors that 'enhance' homosexuality.
 

Offline techmind

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Is there a "homosexual gene"?
« Reply #23 on: 23/01/2009 00:13:10 »
These NewScientist articles might be relevant:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2803-gay-flies-turned-on-by-heat.html
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg17523611.900-turning-up-the-heat-makes=
-flies-fancy-the-same-sex.html
http://www.newscientist.com/channel/being-human/drugs-alcohol/dn13136-randy-=
flies-reveal-how-booze-affects-inhibitions.html

The first two describe an experiment where flies were bred with a special temperature-sensitive gene, and the researchers claim the resulting flies flipped between straight and gay behaviour with temperature. Without having seen the detail of the work, I would tend to interpret that this implies there is something chemical/physical going on, pointing away from a 'nuture'-type argument...

This research was done 6 years ago now, and I don't know whether it's been repeated and/or taken further (or even disproved) since then.
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Is there a "homosexual gene"?
« Reply #24 on: 23/01/2009 01:49:10 »
Flies can be gay? [:0][:0][:0][:0]
 

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