A new study suggests many genes, each with small effects, may play a role in same-sex sexual behavior. People who have had same-sex partners are more likely to have one or more of certain DNA markers, according to the largest ever search for genes linked to sexual orientation. Even all the markers taken together, however, cannot predict whether a person is gay, bisexual, or straight. Instead, hundreds or thousands of genes, each with small effects, apparently influence sexual behavior.
Massive Study Finds No Single Genetic Cause of Same-Sex Sexual Behavior
WHAT IS LGBT? - LGBT Ireland
Homosexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction , or sexual behavior between members of the same sex or gender. It "also refers to a person's sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions. Along with bisexuality and heterosexuality , homosexuality is one of the three main categories of sexual orientation within the heterosexual—homosexual continuum. The most common terms for homosexual people are lesbian for females and gay for males, but gay also commonly refers to both homosexual females and males. The percentage of people who are gay or lesbian and the proportion of people who are in same-sex romantic relationships or have had same-sex sexual experiences are difficult for researchers to estimate reliably for a variety of reasons, including many gay and lesbian people not openly identifying as such due to prejudice or discrimination such as homophobia and heterosexism.
Homosexuality is viewed by many as a social problem. As such, there has been keen interest in elucidating the origins of homosexuality among many scholars, from anthropologists to zoologists, psychologists to theologians. Research has shown that those who believe sexual orientation is inborn are more likely to have tolerant attitudes toward gay men and lesbians, whereas those who believe it is a choice have less tolerant attitudes. The current qualitative study used in-depth, open-ended telephone interviews with 42 White and 44 Black Americans to gain insight into the public's beliefs about the possible genetic origins of homosexuality. Along with etiological beliefs and the sources of information used to develop those beliefs , we asked respondents to describe the benefits and dangers of scientists discovering the possible genetic basis for homosexuality.
Latest Issue. Past Issues. Between 2 and 11 percent of human adults report experiencing some homosexual feelings, though the figure varies widely depending on the survey.