The Death of the Great Gay Gene By Mrs Vera West
Once upon a time, homosexuality, after it was regarded as a legitimate sexual preference, rather than a psychological problem, was viewed as a preference freely chosen, a product of agency. Then the position that is was genetically caused gained some support, where it was argued that it was natural, especially if there was a “gay gene.” But that hypothesis now seems to have come tumbling down:
“Genes play just a small role in whether a person is gay, scientists have found, after discovering that environment has a far bigger impact on homosexuality. In the biggest ever study into the genetic basis of sexuality, researchers from more than 30 institutions including Cambridge University and Harvard, looked at the DNA of nearly 500,000 people in Britain and the US. They found that genes are responsible for between eight to 25 per cent of the probability of a person being gay, meaning at least three quarters is down to environment. Scientists said it worked in a similar way to height, in which genes are partly responsible, but other factors - such as nutrition - also play a major role, adding or knocking off inches. In this case, environment could mean anything from being exposed to certain conditions in the womb, to differences in upbringing or education. Although the research may seem controversial, suggesting that homosexuality is not primarily ‘written in the genes’, the scientists say it does not mean that sexuality it a choice or can be altered. “Some people will misunderstand or even deliberately twist our findings,” said senior author Dr Ben Neale, a statistical geneticist at Harvard Medical School. “There is a long history of people using genetics in harmful ways to advance their own misguided agendas. “As a gay man I’ve experienced homophobia and I’ve felt both hurt and isolated by it. This study disproves the notion there is a so-called ‘gay gene’ and disproves sexual behaviour is a choice. “Genetics absolutely plays an important role, many genes are involved, and altogether they capture perhaps a quarter of same-sex sexual behaviour, which means genetics isn’t even half the story. The rest is likely environmental. “It’s both biology and environment working together in incredibly complicated ways.”
My guess is that the last word by no means has been made here, and before you know it, there will be another study, or some discover,y that will lead researchers back to a gay gene. And it will go on, and on, and on, until people get bored and either give up on sex, of all varieties, or plunge into World War III, the nuclear once.