Homosexuality- Is It in the Genes?

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Homosexuality- Is it in the genes?
CHFD220 - Human Sexuality
Earnilia Joseph
American Military University

The scholarly article I chose is titled The Gay Science of Genes and Brains; it was published in The Economist in December of 1992. The purpose of this study was to determine whether homosexuality could be linked to genetics. The study was aimed at fraternal and adolescent twins and was done in a survey and observational style. Three teams of scientists conducted observations and surveys on fraternal and identical twins, in which at least one of the twins were homosexual. These studies showed that in identical twins if one of them was homosexual, there was at least a 52-66% chance that the other twin was homosexual as well. Whereas the same study was done on fraternal twins and the percentage dropped to 22-30% chance of the other twin being gay as well. The differences in percentages were attributed to the fact that identical twins share all of their genes, while fraternal twins only share half (The Economist). Scientists feel that by studying families who consist of both homosexual and heterosexual members will be the key to discovering what gene(s) can be attributed to homosexual predisposition. There was a study done on some male rats where they were given injections that blocked the male hormones as fetuses. Those rats developed normally but later developed a sexual attraction to other males. A scientist named Simon LeVay studied the brain and found that some of the differences between homosexual and heterosexual males were the same as differences noted between men and women brains. Studies have also shown that homosexuals are about 1/5 as likely to reproduce when compared to heterosexuals because of their less likelihood to have children, there is a possibility that if there is a homosexual gene, then it will disappear. As scientists get closer to identifying the homosexual gene, there are high hopes to change the public views on homosexuality. There are also chances of negative effects, there is a possibility that people may want to determine the sexuality of the fetus while it is in the womb and an even higher possibility that they may want to terminate the pregnancy if they found out it would be a homosexual. There is still a lot of research that needs to be conducted before any scientist can detect the exact gene(s) responsible for homosexuality whether it is the male or female gene pool.

The second article is titled “Could homosexual genes be naturally selected?” written by Nigel Barber Ph.D and published in The Human Beast in June 2009. This article states that homosexuality is a genetic trait carried by females.

Based on other sex linked traits and the process of natural selection, it was suggested that the homosexuality trait was retained because it is more beneficial to females. If the rule of natural selection was followed then this trait would manifest itself more and more throughout lineage. When tracing homosexuality through the maternal line, it was observed that there were more homosexual than heterosexual males because that is how the X-chromosome is carried out through generations. Recent studies have also shown that females of male homosexuals’ families have more children than females in heterosexual families. The observation of this was deemed to be a higher sex drive or stronger attraction to the male species.

In this article homosexual seems to be a sex linked trait and carried on through the female genes. When observing homosexual families and their maternal lineage, a higher reproductive fertility rate was noted. The article also suggested that homosexuality places males at a disadvantage therefore it must be carried on through the female sex-linked trait. The advantages and disadvantages that this trait was not mentioned in the article....
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