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A genetic analysis of gay siblings supports the idea that genes on the X chromosome contribute to male homosexuality. Dean Hamer finally feels vindicated. But several subsequent studies called his finding into question.
This article looks at key research into these hypothesized gay genes, made possible, in part, by the Human Genome Project. I argue that the complexity of both genetics and human sexuality demands a truly critical approach: one that takes into account feminist epistemologies of science and queer approaches to the body, while putting into conversation resources from agential realism and critical realism. This approach is able to maintain the agential complexity of genetic materiality, while also critically challenging the seemingly stable relationships between sex, gender and sexuality.
Xq28 is a chromosome band and genetic marker situated at the tip of the X chromosome which has been studied since at least The study by Hamer et al. This pattern of inheritance suggested that there might be linked genes on the X chromosomesince males always inherit their copy of the X chromosome from their mothers. Polymorphisms of genetic markers of the X chromosome were analyzed for 40 families to see if a specific marker was shared by a disproportionate amount of brothers who were both gay.
The research, published yesterday November 18 in Psychological Medicineconfirms the role of a stretch of the X chromosome in determining sexual preference in men, a finding first suggested more than 20 years ago. Geneticist Dean Hamer, scientist emeritus at the National Institutes of Health, published a study in that proposed that Xq28, a region of the X chromosome, might play a role in determining whether a man was gay. Hamer, who recently wrote an opinion piece in The Scientist about the responsibilities of researchers who study sexual orientation, only studied 38 pairs of brothers in his study, but he told New Scientist that he sees the new paper as confirmation of his work.
A study of gay men in the US has found fresh evidence that male sexual orientation is influenced by genes. Scientists tested the DNA of gay men and found that genes on at least two chromosomes affected whether a man was gay or straight. A region of the X chromosome called Xq28 had some impact on men's sexual behaviour — though scientists have no idea which of the many genes in the region are involved, nor how many lie elsewhere in the genome.
Two gene variants have been found to be more common in gay men, adding to mounting evidence that sexual orientation is at least partly biologically determined. How does this change what we already knew? We have known for decades that sexual orientation is partly heritable in men, thanks to studies of families in which some people are straight and some people are gay.
Scientists identify for the first time two specific genes that may foster a predisposition for being gay in men. Anyone choosing sides in the nature vs. But ina large study by J.
Some conservatives argue that homosexuality is a personal choice or the result of environmental influences. Some gay rights activists insist that homosexuality is genetic, hoping that proof from that domain will lead to greater acceptance. Still others, backing the same cause, discourage any investigation into the biological origins of sexual orientation, fearful that positive results will lead to attempts to rid the world of potential homosexuals.
One potential consequence of accepting a doctrine of genetic determinism relates to the potential link between genetics and sexual orientation. In the summer ofDean H. Hamer and his research team at the National Cancer Institute announced their discovered evidence of a connection between genetics and some male homosexuality.