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Published On: Wed, Sep 4th, 2019

New study debunks ‘gay gene’ theory, LGBT activists change narrative

A study explored the narrative that being “gay” is an innate condition that is controlled or largely compelled by one’s genetic makeup, essentially that someone is “born gay.”

Rebutting decades of search by LGBT scientists for a “gay gene,” the study’s first author flatly concludes “it will be basically impossible to predict one’s sexual activity or orientation just from genetics.”

photo chtfj21

In summary, the study found that a person’s developmental environment, that is the influence of diet, family, friends, neighborhood, religion, and a host of other life conditions, was twice as influential as genetics on the probability of adopting same-sex behavior or orientation, and that the genetic influence did not come from one or two strong sources but from dozens of genetic variants that each added a small increased propensity for same-sex behavior.

Moreover, not only did the study fail to find some controlling gene for gay identity, it also established that “gay” persons are not genetically distinct from all other human beings in any meaningful sense.

Homosexuals have a perfectly normal human genome.

The narrative quickly changed, pointing away from a single gene, yet still arguing that homosexuality is still natural.

“I hope that the science can be used to educate people a little bit more about how natural and normal same-sex behavior is,” said Benjamin Neale, a geneticist at the Broad Institute of M.I.T. and Harvard and one of the lead researchers on the international team. “It’s written into our genes and it’s part of our environment. This is part of our species and it’s part of who we are.”

Here’s how the NY Times wrote their perspective: “The study of nearly half a million people, funded by the National Institutes of Health and other agencies, found differences in the genetic details of same-sex behavior in men and women. The research also suggests the genetics of same-sex sexual behavior shares some correlation with genes involved in some mental health issues and personality traits — although the authors said that overlap could simply reflect the stress of enduring societal prejudice.”

“I deeply disagree about publishing this,” said Steven Reilly, a geneticist and postdoctoral researcher who is on the steering committee of the institute’s L.G.B.T.Q. affinity group, [email protected] “It seems like something that could easily be misconstrued,” he said, adding, “In a world without any discrimination, understanding human behavior is a noble goal, but we don’t live in that world.”

“I definitely heard from people who were kind of ‘why do this at all,’ and so there was some resistance there,” said Dr. Neale, who is gay. “Personally, I’m still concerned that it’s going to be deliberately misused to advance agendas of hate, but I do believe that the sort of proactive way we’ve approached this and a lot of the community engagement aspects that we’ve tried were important.”

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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