News: Study Says No Specific “Gay Gene” Exists

Image credit: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

There’s always been a debate on whether homosexuality is a matter of nature or nurture. Do gay people come about because of the way they are raised? Or is it because there is something in our genes that predetermines it?

A study published in the journal Science says that it could be a combination of both. In this research, scientists found four genetic variants that occurred more in people who said in a questionnaire that they have had same-sex partners. The study says that rather than having one specific gay gene that predetermines sexuality, it appears that there are “many tiny-effect genetic factors” which influence sexuality but do not determine it. Personal experiences and environment still play a role when it comes to one’s behavior.

The study involved 490,000 men and women from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Sweden. The DNA data was collected from a number of sources. For instance, the team used the DNA of 400,000 people the United Kingdom’s Biobank. The team also used DNA data collected by consumer testing company 23andMe from 69,000.

There has been research done in the past about the possibility of a “gay gene.” In 2015, the UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine presented an algorithm that had a 70 percent accuracy rate when it came to predicting male homosexuality. Other scientists, however, have pointed out that what was discovered wasn’t a “gay gene”, but rather that “methylation, a form of DNA modification, in certain regions of the genome differed between homosexual and heterosexual identical twin brothers.”

The new study also found that compared to women, men who have had same-sex partners ended up being more exclusively homosexual.

Adam4Adam blog readers, what do you think of this new study? Where do you guys stand when it comes to the nature versus nurture debate? Tell us your thoughts about it in the comment section below.

There are 22 comments

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  1. Jim

    No offense but does it really matter at the end of the day why anyone is who they are? Is there a study to determine why straight people are straight? We all like or love who we love. Isn’t that enough?

  2. Hunter0500

    We are OEM gay, Original Equipment Manufacturer gay. We can choose to present otherwise due to social requirements or choice, but “under the hood” we are gay. And we can choose to parade our sexuality or reserve it as a “need to know” basis…as is our right.

    • Roy

      Well said. I pretended for many years. I was married for 29 years, had two kids, all along pretending to be straight. I stopped living by societies expectations. I always knew, since 2nd grade. That I was attracted to boys. I’m 56 now and nothing has changed. I am GAY

  3. Nathan

    Nathan writes:

    As usual, Humanity is looking for a quick answer?

    Why does Homosexuality need to be isolated, dissected and analyze? Does Heterosexuality need such scrutiny?

    Homosexuality, like Heterosexuality, are natural variants of Human Sexuality. There are infinitely more Heterosexuals than Homosexuals.

    Why does Humanity insist on a definite answer? Humanity already does this by decreeing that there is a God. Do we Humans know if there is a God? Will Humanity ever know that there is a God?

    Ultimately, will Humanity ever know why the vast numbers of Humans are Heterosexuals while a small number of Humans are Homosexuals?

    The 18th Century proclaimed that all answers to the secretes of Life would be found through Science; yet, even today, we do not know what causes “Cancer”?

    The Ancients called Cancer “The Wasting Disease.”

  4. bjjj

    We (as gay people) don’t need a study or test in order to prove who is gay, bi, or straight. We are born with our preferences, and yes some of it is acquired as well. Myself I have always had a preference for the gay lifestyle, but I also tried to fit into the straight world, since I was a child. I wish I could go back and live the life that God intended for me since I was born. But the pressures of society said it was a sin and everyone who was gay was mentally ill. As society has become more accepting, I’ve found it easier to express the fact that I am gay. Although one doesn’t need a study to know whether your gay or not, it probably helps the general public to become more accepting for alternative lifestyles.

  5. Ken94110

    I always thought homosexuality is due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors forcing certain neuron pathways to form our preferences or “addictive” personalities — everyone has some form of addiction, some are addicted to drugs, some to sex, and some to double headed dildos! I know of “str8(?)” guys who dabbled in same sex due to circumstances, whether they were in prison, in the Navy, desperate, or whatever, some went back to opposite sex and some became gay for life, also some of my gay friends found the gay life fruitless and repulsive eventually and turned back str8! Go figure!!

  6. MtroD_Subrurbanite

    In my belief, it’s not primarily physical as in a gene, but more spiritual in nature. Like “soul mate”. Native Americans hold homosexuals in high honor, sometimes referring to them as having 2 spirits.

  7. Derek

    Is homosexuality really a set condition or a cultural construct to explain m2m behavior that some cultures have deemed aberrant because it is viewed as a threat to procreation.

  8. kevon11

    one way to ensure that you have a gay offspring is to laugh at and ridicule gay people,,telling gay jokes, etc… thus ensuring that at least one of your offspring is born that way, the same with special needs children,,if you make fun of them, well,,be prepared,,

  9. headsupguy

    What do I think of this study? I think it was inconclusive and misguided. Additionally, I think the story has been packaged (intentionally or not) to discredit and discourage any notion that same-sex attraction is natural and inherent. (Have you heard? Evangelicals and homophobes are trying to reclaim their former power.) Actually, the research suggests – but does not conclude –that there may be 5 genetic markers characteristic of same-sex-attracted subjects, which is not nothing.

    However, I think the research was flawed. Grouping individuals who had one same-sex experience with others who are confirmed as practicing bisexual or homosexual persons distorts the sample. A large amount of collected data that concludes nothing is neither useful nor helpful. It’s something to talk about when people have nothing better to talk about.

  10. marc

    We all have our genotype(what we are genetically made of) and our phenotype(what is actually shown or expressed). People can have a recessive gene for green eyes but have a dominant gene for brown, so they will actually show having brown eyes. There are factors that determine if a gene is going to be expressed or not. This study is interesting but it doesn’t say that every person that has “gay” genes is going to be gay. Science is a constant method of evolving discovery. It is human nature to want to know why something or someone is a particular way. I see this study as validation that people are who they are by genetics and environmental influences. Hopefully, the more understanding there is, the less of a “mystery” homosexuality will be. This I hope, will lead to acceptance and tolerance in our society. Ultimately, we are who we are as God intended us to be.

  11. Lamar

    Easy, it’s all about this ‘over-reaching’ control, over what “nature” does. Nature is so supernaturally intelligent far beyond humanity, it amazes me how certain humans think they could possibly be intelligent enough to completely understand her secrets, you could only ‘further’ fuck things up. I think they should just get-over themselves.

    They could, only, be trying to eradicate homosexuality…I think it would be better, if they eradicate greed/hate, but these things are quite useful to and for certain groups of people, right?

    In ancient times, it was just excepted as “nature” as it was in Africa, (Isaiah Washington-formerly of Grey’s Anatomy) had discovered. Atleast some of the Native American tribes, gay men were considered more enlightened or intelligent with understandings of both female & males. Asian men, not only had female concubines, but enjoyed boys as well, just like in civilizations such as the Greeks “men are for love, women are for babies,” world renowned for their worriers.

    If, they were to eradicate homosexuality, some 14% of the total world populous; it would only add to over-population which we’re already seeing the effects of, as drinking-water, food, these things are going to become lesser.

    I trust “nature’s way” why more than I could ever trust science. Too much control, by way of science has already come at a very big cost to the environment and our very existence; costing much life, having much benefit, capitally speaking. The big picture.

  12. Paul Smith

    Interesting info. I have always been attracted to guys and it is interesting that science is getting closer to finding an answer why. As far as nature versus nurture, the attitude and drama in the community I think is a learned thing, it doesn’t come natural to me. Considering that psychologists used to consider us abnormal, we now accept that may be so without the stigma of sickness attached. We simply are a variation on the norm. It interests me to know why things are the way they are, if science could prove that we are naturally born gay, perhaps conversion therapy would become the shame in our society other than the innocent men and women who choose to follow their hearts.

  13. anonimatovato

    why can’t people enjoy and embrace being ourselves? these researches are long overdue and gives it a bad vibe like if there’s something wrong being gay. nobody ever questions heterosexuals.

  14. Chuck

    In my opinion, we are all bisexual and just fall on different levels of the spectrum. I don’t think anyone is born gay or straight.

  15. Adam

    I personally cannot say. From what I remember, when I was just in 1st grade I would fantasize about famous attractive females of the time like Kathy Ireland, because I heard my older brothers talk about her & saw her in movies. I even became really close with a female classmate and we’d call eachother gf & bf & at the most hold hands. At the same time though, I remember telling a male classmate he was cute & even kissing him on the cheek (he just smiled & blushed). This was all around the same exact time.. I was showing signs of bisexuality since 6 yrs old. I emotionally connected with females, but was physically attracted to males, pretty much indiscriminately going with wherever fate took me. Well as fate had it, at age 7 or 8 I got molested by a 16 yr old male in the neighborhood. While I felt guilty about it & never told anyone, the images stuck with me & ever since I’ve ONLY been highly attracted to men. Also at young age I remember my father taking me into public showers where I’d see nude adult men. So I dont think the molestation or being exposed to men made me gay because I was already feeling & exhibiting homo & bisexuality before that… but it did solidify it & prematurley thrust me into sexuality period. Nowadays I meet many guys who say they’re straight but admit to having “bisexual tendancies”, “a % of gay in them”, etc. So in my experience I think the article is correct in that there is no specific gay gene, but I think everyone is born with the ability to sway either or both ways depending on their first few personal sexual experiences, and either way is natural and okay. And regardless of the direction you go, there may always be thoughts or nudges in the back of your mind about the sex you’re mainly not attracted to. Ppl think most are either straight or gay, but in reality most people are a certain % of bisexual with the fewest amount being 100% gay or 100% straight. It’s even noticeable where I live cause I see the same 40 gay guys on Grindr everyday yet anytime I go in public I get checked out by tons of “straight” men..

  16. Michael

    Who cares? Seriously, why does humanity need to “know”? Is it so they can manipulate genes to make humans “not” gay? What is it?
    Being gay is nature’s way of population control, because if gay people stayed true to who they are sexually then we would have less offspring to populate this planet. There is a reason people are born this way. No science is needed.
    I agree 100% with most of these comments. No one is doing research to find out why people are straight, so why do research on why people are gay. Stop wasting hard earned tax payer money over nothing, unless there is some diabolical reason behind it, and when it comes to humanity, there usually is a diabolical reason behind research that truly is unwarranted.
    I also do not agree that being gay has anything to do with your upbringing. I have two brothers who were brought up in the same household by the same parents and we were all treated equally. They are straight and I am gay. I’ve always been gay and I don’t need science to explain to me why. We are here to “be”…so just let us “be”.

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