Born This Way

Is Sexual Orientation Genetic?

by Anagabriel Trevino
Staff Writer

Wayne Besen, executive director for “Truth Wins Out”, an organisation which aims to bring scientific proof that being gay, lesbian, bi, or straight is okay and a physical part of your identity. He says,“the latest science shows that there is a biological basis”.

As part of the movement, doctors from all over have been interviewed. Dr Marc Breedlove, professor of neuroscience at the Michigan State University, says, “there is plenty of evidence”. He goes on to say that there is no controversy about it amongst scientists. Dr Alan Sanders, psychology professor at the Northwestern University, says that the trait “seems to cluster around families”. He bases this on earlier studies that seem to confirm heritability. Dr. Alice Dreger, also a professor at the Northwestern University, says that it may even be affected by conditions in the womb.

Other, independent studies have come to the same conclusion. As early as 1993, geneticist Dean Hamer conducted a study on 30 pairs of gay brothers and got satisfactory results. He concluded that somewhere, in the Xq 28 region of the X chromosome, there is code that plays a role in determining sexual orientation. At the time, and still today, many were skeptic. But in November 2014, a study of 400 gay brothers came up with the same results, thus proving Mr. Hamer’s experiment wasn’t a fluke, but an accurate finding!

More work remains to be done, but in the wise words of Wayne Besen: “How people are treated should never, never be dependent on sexual orientation”, be it biological or not.

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