Initially, I planned to post this study from a conservative news source in attempt to add some levity to their foot-in-mouth reporting style. It seems, however, that most conservative publications have taken the liberty of adding their own thoughts to this, oftentimes spinning it into an ethical thesis regarding “gay conversion therapy” and how it “shouldn’t be forcibly thrown out.” Upon realizing this, I decided I would be personally remiss to repost such smut.
Instead, I give you an article from The Scientist. Epigenetics seem to be the new frontier in science, and it is fascinating what developments could come of this. Personally, my favorite part of the article is the final paragraph which surmises that we, essentially, should already understand that homosexuality is biologically based and not feel the need to pour money into proving this.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this!
By SABRINA RICHARDS | THE SCIENTIST
Researchers looking for a genetic signature of homosexuality have been barking up the wrong tree, according to a trio of researchers in the United States and Sweden. Instead, the scientists posit, epigenetic influences acting on androgen signaling in the brain may underlie sexual orientation. In a paper published last week (December 11) in The Quarterly Review of Biology, they propose a model describing how epigenetic markers that steer sexual development in males could promote homosexual orientation in females, and vice versa. The scientists offer their model to explain both the tendency of homosexuality to run in families, and the fact that so far no “homosexual gene” has been identified.
“It’s a very provocative, very interesting new twist that is plausible,” said Margaret McCarthy, a neuroscientist at the University of Maryland who studies how hormones influence brain development and was not involved in producing the model. But, she cautioned, so far the theory “is not supported by any data.”
Indeed, Andrea Ciani, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Padova, thinks that a variety of factors, including genes and epigenetics, influence sexual orientation. “It’s a little bit vain to think we’ll find the answer to homosexuality as a whole.”
The model was developed by William Rice, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of California, Santa Barbara; Sergey Gavrilets, a mathematician at the University of Tennessee; and Urban Friberg, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Uppsala. The notion that epigenetics, rather than genetics, is the primary force promoting homosexuality sprang from several observations, explained Rice.