Genetics of Sexuality

What role do genes play in shaping same-sex attraction and behavior? Scientists have long been intrigued by this question, with the search for a "gay gene" driving a number of studies over the past few decades. Now, a massive study with nearly 1/2 million participants has laid to rest the notion that a single gene could determine whether someone is gay.

That doesn't mean that same-sex attraction and behavior aren't biologically influenced. Dr. Brendan Zietsch, a geneticist at the University of Queensland in Australia and the study's co-author, explains, "We find that there are many, many genes that predispose one to same-sex sexual behavior. Each of them individually has a very small effect, but together they have a substantial effect (Choi, n.d.)."

There is much more research yet to be done, but scientists have a clearer picture than ever before of how genetics influences a predisposition toward same-sex attraction and behavior.

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Read about the study's findings in this short but informative article from LiveScience.

The 'Gay Gene' is a Total Myth, Massive Study Concludes

Want to learn more? Check out this website created by the scientists who conducted the study.

Genetics of Sexual Behavior


Choi, Charles Q. (n.d.). The 'Gay Gene' is a Total Myth, Massive Study Concludes. LiveScience.

Genetics of Sexual Behavior.

Gender Identity Gender identity icon Our core sense of who we are as a man, a woman, a mixture of both, or neither.

Gender Expression Gender expression icon How we show up in the world through choices like clothing, hair style, mannerisms or tone of voice.

Attraction attraction icon How we feel toward others sexually, romantically and/or emotionally.

Biological Sex Biological sex icon Physical attributes such as reproductive organs and genitalia, chromosomes, genes and hormone levels.

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