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Author Topic: Is there a 'gay gene'?  (Read 10927 times)

A.G

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Is there a 'gay gene'?
« on: 13/01/2010 00:30:02 »
A.G asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hi, i was wondering about homosexuality and i want to ask if there is any research or discoveries on the 'gay gene'?

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 13/01/2010 00:30:02 by _system »


 

Offline ch3ls3a

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Is there a 'gay gene'?
« Reply #1 on: 15/01/2010 19:08:45 »
Im not sure but i think there is my friend had twin boys and brought them up the same yet one of them is gay and the other one isnt.
 

Offline chris

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Is there a 'gay gene'?
« Reply #2 on: 16/01/2010 10:19:32 »
Were they identical or non-identical twins?
 

Offline ch3ls3a

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Is there a 'gay gene'?
« Reply #3 on: 16/01/2010 20:48:20 »
Identical
 

Offline Geezer

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Is there a 'gay gene'?
« Reply #4 on: 16/01/2010 20:53:30 »
Then I think you just answered the question  :D
 

Offline glovesforfoxes

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Is there a 'gay gene'?
« Reply #5 on: 16/01/2010 22:23:16 »
Not necessarily - what about epigenetics, starting in the womb? More or less exposure to a certain hormone can switch genes on or off.
 

Offline Geezer

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Is there a 'gay gene'?
« Reply #6 on: 16/01/2010 23:04:36 »
Hmmm? But surely the inherited genes are identical, so why does that not answer the question?
 

Offline glovesforfoxes

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Is there a 'gay gene'?
« Reply #7 on: 17/01/2010 10:38:52 »
Yes, they are identical genetically, but in terms of result, they are not. The phenotype is not entirely because of the genotype, but we don't know to what extent the genotype does in this case - which is why the question was asked, I guess :)

I think it's too early in research to give an answer to the topic question. I remember reading about research about there being a link between how many older brothers you have & how likely you are to be gay (as a dude). The more older brothers you have, the more likely you are to be gay. That's a correlation only of course :)
 

Offline chris

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Is there a 'gay gene'?
« Reply #8 on: 17/01/2010 11:10:21 »
Gloves is right; the very fact that identical twins sometimes do and sometimes don't develop certain conditions shows that there are additional factors, alongside a genetic preponderance, that determine disease risk / phenotype.

Another word for epigenetic is "paramutation" - scientists have known for some years that plants can display different characteristics yet be genetically identical. Similarly mice. The reason is the addition or removal of chemical markers from the DNA; these markers behave like genetic dimmer switches, manipulating the "penetrance" of a gene and hence the phenotype.

Chris
 

Offline RD

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Is there a 'gay gene'?
« Reply #9 on: 17/01/2010 13:49:33 »
I remember reading about research about there being a link between how many older brothers you have & how likely you are to be gay (as a dude). The more older brothers you have, the more likely you are to be gay. That's a correlation only of course :)

http://www.pnas.org/content/103/28/10771.full.pdf
 

Offline Geezer

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Is there a 'gay gene'?
« Reply #10 on: 19/01/2010 06:15:37 »
Yes, but is an individual's sexual predisposition inherited, or did I not understand the question?
 

Offline mabsj2

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Is there a 'gay gene'?
« Reply #11 on: 24/01/2010 09:14:15 »
i don't think there is one because being gay does not have any known benefit. if such a gene exists or ever existed, it's been probably wiped out by now.
 

Offline mabsj2

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Is there a 'gay gene'?
« Reply #12 on: 24/01/2010 09:15:26 »
being gay is determined by the environment one is brought up in. not genetics.
« Last Edit: 24/01/2010 09:24:36 by mabsj2 »
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Is there a 'gay gene'?
« Reply #13 on: 24/01/2010 20:33:01 »
Mabsj2 is wrong on both counts.
There are genes known to be related to sexuality and they have not been wiped out yet.
 

Offline mabsj2

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Is there a 'gay gene'?
« Reply #14 on: 25/01/2010 11:43:15 »
Mabsj2 is wrong on both counts.
There are genes known to be related to sexuality and they have not been wiped out yet.

why would gay genes be favored by natural selection?? it doesn't make sense to me. most strictly gay people don't have biological children. so they don't pass on their traits. that's why i think if there existed any such gene, it would have been wiped out.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Is there a 'gay gene'?
« Reply #15 on: 25/01/2010 20:15:25 »
There are circumstances where the typical "macho" attitude of many men isn't helpful. In those cases a more "feminine" group of males would be selected for.
The genes,as already noted, don't guarantee homosexuality, but they increase the odds of it in some environments.
Generally speaking, human behaviour is far too complicated to be explained by just one gene.
 

Offline Make it Lady

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Is there a 'gay gene'?
« Reply #16 on: 25/01/2010 20:52:48 »
I think I posted a similar question after watching this programme. There are some clips showing some of the theories as to why someone is born to be gay.

http://lifestyle.gay.com/2009/06/john-barrowman-why-am-i-gay.html
 

Offline mabsj2

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Is there a 'gay gene'?
« Reply #17 on: 27/01/2010 12:36:43 »
yeah i remember now. some genes are expressed when one is exposed to a certain type of environment. but environment still plays a role. thanks...
 

Offline Jessica H

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Is there a 'gay gene'?
« Reply #18 on: 04/02/2010 09:14:21 »
The selective advantage of a "gay gene" is indeed an interesting issue- One proposed idea is that there is a specific male gay gene and carrying the male gay gene enhances the fertility of women.  So a gay male in himself isn't a selective advantage, but he is likely to have more sibliings (including females that carry the male gay gene). 

   
 

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Is there a 'gay gene'?
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