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Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:07 PM

Scientists claim that homosexuality is not genetic — but it arises in the womb

A team of international researchers has completed a study that suggests we will probably never find a ‘gay gene.' Sexual orientation is not about genetics, say the researchers, it's about epigenetics. This is the process where DNA expression is influenced by any number of external factors in the environment. And in the case of homosexuality, the researchers argue, the environment is the womb itself.

The Epigenetic Key

Writing in The Quarterly Review of Biology, researchers William Rice, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Urban Friberg, a professor at Uppsala University in Sweden, believe that homosexuality can be explained by the presence of epi-marks — temporary switches that control how our genes are expressed during gestation and after we're born.

Specifically, the researchers discovered sex-specific epi-marks which, unlike most genetic switches, get passed down from father to daughter or mother to son. Most epi-marks don't normally pass between generations and are essentially "erased." Rice and Friberg say this explains why homosexuality appears to run in families, yet has no real genetic underpinning.

Epigenetic mechanisms can be seen as an added layer of information that clings to our DNA. Epi-marks regulate the expression of genes according to the strength of external cues. Genes are basically the instruction book, while epi-marks direct how those instructions get carried out. For example, they can determine when, where, and how much of a gene gets expressed.

The rest: http://io9.com/5967426/scientists-confirm-that-homosexuality-is-not-genetic--but-it-arises-in-the-womb

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Reply Scientists claim that homosexuality is not genetic — but it arises in the womb (Original post)
JaneyVee Dec 2012 OP
randome Dec 2012 #1
JaneyVee Dec 2012 #2
Vigilant Citizen Feb 2013 #18
Aerows Dec 2012 #3
brooklynite Dec 2012 #4
Aerows Dec 2012 #5
Daemonaquila Dec 2012 #8
RC Dec 2012 #6
backscatter712 Dec 2012 #10
randome Dec 2012 #12
RC Dec 2012 #14
backscatter712 Dec 2012 #15
Daemonaquila Dec 2012 #7
randome Dec 2012 #9
backscatter712 Dec 2012 #11
freshwest Dec 2012 #13
backscatter712 Dec 2012 #16
caraher Dec 2012 #17

Response to JaneyVee (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:12 PM

1. I never believed in the 'all-or-nothing' explanation of genetics having sole affect on sexuality.

It is dozens, perhaps hundreds, of different factors coming into play. It shouldn't make any difference one way or the other -people should be free to love whomever they want- but knowledge and truth matter.

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Response to randome (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:16 PM

2. Exactly. All those factors that make each person unique.

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Response to JaneyVee (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:22 PM

3. I've always believed it happened in the womb

There is too much scientific evidence to refute it. I attended a lecture on the sex changing of catfish, since the males had better meat. You can change the sex of fish very easily to male.

This doesn't change the fact that once we are here in the world, there isn't a damn thing we can do about the fact that we are homosexual. It may produce other factors, too. The bottom line, though, is that we are born this way even if we may not be conceived this way.

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Response to JaneyVee (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:25 PM

4. So, now we can look forward to the "anti-Gay" diet book at your local Christian Book Store?

Don't forget, you're eating for two...

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:27 PM

5. There is always a market for fleecing dumb people

Christian Book Stores have done it for decades.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:50 PM

8. Gggggghh!

Don't say that. Unfortunately, I'm sure you're right.

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Response to JaneyVee (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:33 PM

6. So how exactly is this "Epigenetic Key" not influenced by genetics?

 

And why can't it be both, anyway?
How is that a problem for some? Might it be some closet homophobic is afraid that they might actually be ultimately responsible for their offspring being, ahhh, you know... hmmmm... Gay?

Oh, the horror!
--><--

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Response to RC (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:39 PM

10. It still doesn't change the fact that a person can't choose his or her own sexual orientation.

I do think that part of it is indeed genetics, part of it is epigenetics - or as explained in the article, the way genes are turned on or off biochemically, especially in the womb and early development, part of it is hormonal, and maybe there's a part of it that's imprinted based on the experiences of a baby before the age of two.

In any case, nobody consciously chooses their sexual orientation, and I doubt that the mother or father have control over the process either (despite what the fundies are likely to to say when they hear about epigenetics.)

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #10)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:45 PM

12. You're right, it does NOT change that fact.

But some people put all their eggs -so to speak- on the idea that genes ONLY determine sexual orientation. We should never have embraced that idea as completely as was done because it's possible fundamentalists will now say, "See? We told you it wasn't just genes!"

And all the while, we know they don't have a fucking clue about what they're talking about but they will use this to further confuse their sheep.

And even this information will likely become outdated soon. Maybe it's best to simply say, "Sexual orientation is the result of biochemical factors that occur in the fetus." And leave it at that.

Or maybe I'm parsing too much here.

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #10)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 04:45 PM

14. I did not say anything about the parents having control, as in a choice.

 

They don't. It is the genes of the parents, one way or the other. The mother for sure and maybe the father's.
The genes have to influence epigenetics somehow. Otherwise we could pretty well predict the sexual orientation of the new born kid by now, with a blood test of the mother... Or of the kid.
Question? Why with identical twins, is the chance of homosexuality of one of them the same as for the general population? Why not both the same, one way or the other? Something else has to be going on here too.

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Response to RC (Reply #6)


Response to JaneyVee (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:50 PM

7. Misleading headline.

That IS genetic - it's part of the gene mechanism, even if it isn't a specific gene.

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Response to Daemonaquila (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:53 PM

9. Tomatoe/tomato.

I think the point is that it's more complicated than we assumed. Hell, EVERYTHING about human genetics is more complicated than we thought.

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Response to randome (Reply #9)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:44 PM

11. Indeed.

For the longest time, molecular biologists had assumed that introns, those sections of DNA between coded genes, were just nonsense DNA that was ignored.

And I remember seeing some articles that stated that biologists had found that introns actually code a lot essential stuff, like how genes get activated.

Yes, it's complex.

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Response to JaneyVee (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:49 PM

13. I have a transgendered family member. This is exactly what the doctors told him many years ago.

The process was costly and very painful but finally gave him a measure of peace and happiness. EOM.



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Response to JaneyVee (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 12:07 AM

16. God fuck it! Bryan Fischer of the AFA just got his meathooks on this study...

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/12/12/1169366/-AFA-s-Bryan-Fischer-declares-homosexuality-a-birth-defect-forecasts-the-abortion-of-gay-babies

Now these researchers are quite at pains to avoid saying anything like this, but the logic to me seems inescapable: Homosexual children, on this theory, are born evolutionarily and genetically disadvantaged. They have been overexposed or underexposed to testosterone because something has gone wrong in the process of genetic transmission. In other words, they are the product of a genetic abnormality at best, a birth defect at worst.

...I expect many abortion-minded parents will want to know exactly how strong this epi-marker is in their unborn children so they can decide whether or not to exercise reproductive choice.

In fact, I expect that if this theory gains some currency, it will not be long before we have legislation from the homoexual lobby prohibiting “sex-selection” abortions on any child carrying this epi-marker.

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Response to JaneyVee (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 12:35 AM

17. I wish we could just get thinking there's a burning need to "explain" orientation

I don't see why anyone should particularly care whether someone comes to their sexual identity because of deterministic biological factors or because they just woke up one morning and decided that's what they wanted to do. The bottom line is it's pretty much nobody else's business whether I or any other individual tends to be attracted to, or identify with, men or women, or even reject those categories as meaningful to them.

That's not to say that all ideas about the relevant factors have equal merit - far from it! But even if I accept the most absurd suggestions from homophobes, for instance, that to be homosexual is a free choice, I fail to see how that implies I or anyone else should take that to mean anything about whether homosexuals should have the same rights as anyone else.

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