Genetic modeling and the "gay gene"

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 22, 2007 1:06 AM GMT
    Thought some of you might be interested in this story about the theoretical study on genetics and homosexuality from the journal Nobel Intent that I came across on another gay site.

    These scientists are studying how, if being gay is caused by genetics, the gay gene could have survived throughout history, since theoretically many gay people don't reproduce. They've got some interesting heories.

    It's a bit geeky, but I found it pretty fascinating. Check it out if you have a chance. It also raises in my mind a lot of questions about what would happen if a gay gene were found. Would hard-right social conservatives who oppose abortion suddenly think it was OK to abort in case of the homo gene? I'd love to see the politicians on this one.
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    Jan 22, 2007 4:37 AM GMT
    I read through this summary. I don't know enough about biochemistry, physiology or biology to comment on that part. But I found some of the comments from people who read the post interesting.

    One, in my opinion, unmitigated liar said:

    "...I have a few gay friends, that laughed at the genetics BS when it came out, and still laugh at people that suggest it. They admit they choose their life style. But some people just can not except that..."

    This idiotic notion of "choice" is mind-numbing. Do these dimwits actually believe that you can "choose" to have a hard on, say, when you see a slice of bread?

    I suspect the people that have that notion really get hard ons having same sex fantasies, and "choose" to suppress it.

  • phunkie

    Posts: 325

    Jan 23, 2007 8:48 PM GMT
    That is an interesting theory. Though, let us not forget that the environment of a child also plays a vital role in determining the sexuality. Children who are rejected in different situations/places often try to gain a place in similar situations/places. So to say, if a child was rejected by a few "cool" kids at school, the child will try to be like them to gain acceptance. If the child keeps doing that, then eventually he/she might become sexually attracted towards those "cool" kids. This is also a theory, so it might prove wrong.
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    Jan 24, 2007 9:10 AM GMT
    I have a great friend who is an identical twin. He and his brother Paul, look alike, sound alike, wrestle like two big dumb kids and love each other completly. I assume that the nurturing was the same and the gentic material is identical. John is gay, Paul is not! Figure that one out?
  • phunkie

    Posts: 325

    Jan 25, 2007 11:26 PM GMT
    Lets assume that they were brought up the same way. So the reason was biological, meaning they recieved the same genes. It is known that the same gene can have several different alleles(configurations). Its highly possible that there exists a gene which does determine sexual orientation. The variations could control how gay or straight a person is. So, maybe they recieved different alleles.

    Now, lets assume they recieved the same genes and alleles. We all know every person is favored situationally. Even when it comes to parenting, theres always one favourite. Even if the parents didn't have a favourite, they might have different friends, they might have gone through different events or, as you say they both wrestle, one might have at some point in time said "he has a nice body" ... it could have triggered some mental processes that made him wanna be like taht guy.
    In short, no two persons go through the same events in life, even if they are identical twins.
  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    Jan 31, 2007 9:05 PM GMT
    Interesting, but still flawed because it presumes that gayness is a single-gene trait.

    Very few things are single gene traits.

    A cluster of genes, all attached to related things can be very easily maintained in a population, even if having ALL those genes (theoretical totally genetically gay person) is evolutionarily infavorable.

    If it's a bunch of genes, it's easily maintained. Also, it provides for the diversity of experience of how we "became" gay. It's pretty well established, though neither side likes it, that gayness can be caused by genetic, environmental, social, psychological, and possibly other factors.

    What does this mean? It means that we're all at various points on a hill, some of us are already on the gay side when we're born. Others are up near the top but get pushed over by the womb environment. Still others get pushed over by other factors.

    We like to think these things are simple. Biology is almost never simple.
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    May 11, 2007 7:27 AM GMT
    I also know identical twins of different ssexual orientation.

    Agree with above post. "Sexual Orientation" maybe a very complex phenomenon and the genetic factors likely NOT a single genetic trait.

    Furthermore, I think there were also some studies suggesting pre-natal development partially responsible for sexual orientation of the newborn.

    Since the identical twins exampls are of two persons with the same genetic traits, pre-natal influence theory could possibly be substatial..

    A bit off the topic, if pre-natal fators can influence sexual orientation, then at waht sage and due to what? And then an accurate test to predict sexual orientation of the new born is not likely to be reliable... This reminds of another thread arguing about abortion rights and how it manipulatively auggest how gay men should support pro-life because future science can predict gay fetus to be aborted..
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    May 11, 2007 7:39 AM GMT
    As I thought, read the summery (the actual article, like many others, costs subscription fee) and it clearly said the following:

    "It needs to be mentioned that this is merely a theoretical study, and that there is no known gene that dictates one's sexuality."

    The gene in question has not even been isolated and therefore the entire correlation theorized relationship between genetic factors and the degree of homesexual orientation is based on a "ghost" gene that has not yet even been discovered! This was NOT a study but rather just speculation and the article has no meausurable and objective evidence to support its claims.

    Again, this was not a study, just a heresay speculation through observation.
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    May 11, 2007 7:46 AM GMT
    Furthermore, even if they DID discover and then isolated a gene supspected of influencing sexual orientation, IF they cannot show AND prove a specific biochemical pahtway explaining exactly HOW this gene plays in the role of influencing sexual orientation, then even with the dsicovery of this gene is just showing a correlation relationship but NOT a cause and effect relationship with influencing sexual orientation...