Home Headline News Science Misleading Headlines Claim To Have Found The ‘Gay Gene’

Misleading Headlines Claim To Have Found The ‘Gay Gene’

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“There’s no one gene that shifts somebody to a point on the sexuality spectrum.”

By reading the current headlines, you’d think the age-old debate on the so-called “gay gene” has finally been settled. “What do the new ‘gay genes’ tell us about sexual orientation?” asks New Scientist. “We may have just identified genetic evidence of male sexual orientation,” says Science Alert. The U.K’s Telegraph is telling “homophobes” to pack their bags. Case closed.

Is any of this true? Not in the slightest.

According to Uproxx, the latest study focused on “gene expression and sexuality” by sequencing “the genomes of 1077 men who identified as gay and 1231 men who identified as straight.”

“What it found was that there were two more very slight genetic differences, on chromosome 13, which affects the hypothalamus, which is involved in the autonomic nervous system and chromosome 14, which affects the thyroid,” reports Uproxx.

As Uproxx notes, “we are talking about tiny, tiny differences here, and there’s no one gene that shifts somebody to a point on the sexuality spectrum.”

They continue: “Instead, it’s looking more and more like it’s a number of genetic changes that add up over gestation, and likely beyond, that determine where somebody falls. Our sexuality may be driven, in part, by individual genes. But it’s not the whole picture, and social pressures, the environment we grow up in, and a host of other factors may play into how we do, and don’t, express our sexuality publicly. Genetics are the instrument, but the song played on that instrument is, by and large, still mysterious.”

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