Resolved? New study says that sexual identity/homosexuality is genetic.


Here is a link to the study itself (It’s a paysite but you can read the abstract for free).


Is this argument finally over? Will it have any legal ramifications? Will it change anybody’s religious views on homosexuality/transgenderism/etc?

I hope so but I doubt it. I imagine these scientists at U cal will be villified and the study will be dismissed as part of a secularist conspiracy.

At least it helps to marginalize homophobia just a little bit more.

I wonder if any of our resident homophobes will check in here; I’d be interested in their spin on this.

While I’m onboard with the gender identity stuff, the homosexuality bit is not resolved, as far as I’m concerned. I read the slightly longer AP version of the story, and it doesn’t quite say what the title (and the title of this thread) say it does. While the study does indeed suggest that sexual identity is genetic, it doesn’t seem to say a thing about homosexuality. If I remember right, the only mentions of homosexuality in that story were in the title and in the deck - nothing in the quotes or content actually discussed it. Sexual identity and sexual orientation aren’t the same thing.

I am not aware there Are any here.
I think they’ve been run outta town.

Well, if that one study shows it so, I guess all other studies are invalid. Not only that, but I guess it explains how someone who was a homosexual, and is no longer, lost these genes.

"A study done in 1995 by a certain Dean Hamer of the U.S. National Institute of Health purported to find a homosexual gene. Hamer claimed that this “homosexual gene” was responsible for a person’s sexual orientation. His study at the time was criticized within the scientific community for containing numerous flaws. In addition, the fact that Dr. Hamer himself was a practicing and an activist homosexual caused many to wonder about the objectivity of his research. At the time, he bragged about the ease with which a person could manipulate the press…

However, since then another study has been done by Dr. Alan Sanders, also from the National Institute of Health. He replicated Hamer’s study in order to verify his conclusions, and Dr. Sanders found no evidence to validate Hamer’s findings or his theory. The study by Dr. Sanders did not reproduce Hamer’s results. It’s a well-known scientific law that a finding must be replicated by other researchers before it can be considered valid. And on this one, Hamer’s claim was not replicated.

… another study at the University of Western Ontario by neurologist Dr. George Rice…tried to reproduce Hamer’s study and researched homosexual brothers from 48 families. He found that they were no more likely to share similar genetic patterns than would have been the odds from pure chance.

These two recent scientific reports have proven that homosexuality is not caused by genetics and that the 1995 study by Dean Hamer was skewed due to his biased research.

Or there’s this:

It’s extremely hard to believe that homosexuality is a “choice”. But the twin studies I’ve seen do not indicate a strict genetic determination. I’ve also seen studies that indicate it’s a complex interraction between genes, conditions in the womb (hormones), and (possibly) also childhood experiences. But that’s probably true of all emotional aspects of humans.

Sorry, don’t have cites on those, but it’s nothing out of the mainstream.

Um, Svt, why are you addressing a different study than the one under discussion? What could that possibly prove?

You seem to be suggesting that since science continues to move forward and knowledge continues to accumulate, all scientific conclusions are inherently wrong because some past conclusions have come under question.

This is a very unscientific notion and is therefore not a very effective argument in this context.

This is kind of an open ended statement…are you saying that if I disagree with the findings im a homophobe? Or do you just want to know what a current homophobe has to say?

there’s a few of them left, although a couple of the prominent ones have left.

You don’t actually believe such people exist do you? I’ve got news for you. They don’t.

Perhaps in a strict sense you’re correct, but what about sexual orientation as it pertains to transgenderism? I seriously doubt that the Fred Phelps’ of the world would draw a distinction between a gay male and a person with male genitalia who identifies as female.

It depends on why you disagree. If you have a valid scientific objection, I’d be interested in hearing it. If, however, you just don’t wanna buy it because it can’t overcome your personal prejudices, then I’d probly call you a homophobe.

And Svt has chimed in, so my curiosity has been answered, if not exactly surprised.

. . . and of course this is relevant because Fred Phelps is the standard of rational discourse on this subject.

I just read the specific paper in question (“Sexually dimorphic gene expression in mouse brain precedes gonadal differentiation”)–I have access to a subscription–and the real science in that paper has nothing at all to say about “sexual identity”. It speaks only of sexual dimorphism of a selected number of genes. Specifically, several genes were studied to determine whether or not they expressed at different levels ON THE BASIS OF XX or XY CHROMOSOMAL GENDER ALONE without any sort of testicular hormone modulation. They determined that some genes do express differentially ON THE BASIS OF XX OR XY CHROMOSOMAL GENDER ALONE without testicular hormone modification.
When the scientist in question says

he is talking out of his ass. I have yet to see a single study that demonstrates that sexual dimorphism and sexual identity are identical. Were that the case, then there would be no homosexuality, at all, since the dimorphisms between men and women greatly outnumbers potential dimorphisms among men of different sexual proclivities. Indeed, if the particular study in question is taken as a literal statement about “sexual identity” as some would have us take it, it should be used to conclude that HOMOSEXUALITY HAS NO BIOLOGICAL BASIS AT ALL, since it showed that the genes in question were determined by XY or XX chromosomal gender WITHOUT ANY INPUT from any other source.

Before idiots start to pontificate about scientific discoveries, it behooves those idiots to actually READ THE PAPERS and not just bumble on via popular press drivel, the odd quote, and an abstract or two.

Three observations. First, like Marley stated, this study looks at the genetic basis of gender identity, not homosexuality. In the past, it was thought that gender identity was determined by the influence of sex hormones on the brain after conception. The current study suggests that gender identity may partly have a genetic component.

Secondly, just like one swallow doesn’t make a spring, one study doesn’t make proof. It’ll need to be reviewed further, and more studies will have to be done.

Thirdly, I don’t know that this study is as groundbreaking as you seem to think. We already were pretty sure that gender identity was determined before birth, and if that didn’t change attitudes about transgendered people, I don’t know that this study is going to.

That being said, I think it’s interesting. There’s a lot we still don’t know about genetics and the genetic impact on things like identity developement, and every study that helps us understand ourselves better is a good one.

I’m sure he wouldn’t, but will he care about the details, or this study? I’m gonna guess not. There are morons out there who are immune to proof. I mean, it’s not like we need more evidence that the world isn’t 6,000 years old, but some people still believe it because they want to.

Will some people more reasonable than Phelps re-evaluate their stances based on findings like this, or like more concrete ones about the causes of homosexuality when we started getting definitive answers about that? Probably. But that’s not happening yet, and the sources of prejudice will probably keep going for the near future.

There was a study (a small one, admittedly) about ten years ago that showed that sexual identity was in the brain: in other words, that male-to-female transsexuals had the same brain structure (the hypothalamus, specifically) as born women, whether or not they had undergone hormone therapy.

. . . Not that I am holding my breath for insurance companies to start offering coverage, or for us to be taken off the list of “mental disorders” . . .

I understand that this may be an interesting question from a scientific standpoint, but I don’t understand why it matters that much. Are gay people more deserving of equal protection if it is genetic? Shouldn’t we treat all people the same regardless of the origin of their sexual orientation?

I think this study says a lot more about a genetic basis for transsexuality than a genetic basis for homosexuality. I think people are confusing “sexual identity” for “sexual preference”; while the two concepts are related, I strongly suspect that by “sexual identity” the authors of the study mean “gender” and not “mating preference”.

By the way, Eve, my insurance company (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois) has no transsexual exclusion, and they have yet to refuse to pay for care related to my transsexuality.

Woo-hoo, Kelly! Do any insurance companies actually pay for surgery these days?

Eve, it looks as though mine will pay for mine, although I expect a fight because I want to go to Brassard in Montreal and they may be expecting me to go to Schrang in Wisconsin instead. (I refuse to go to Schrang.)