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Homosexuality is Genetic: Strongest Evidence Yet

Nov 18, 2014 03:11 PM EST

Scientists have found even more evidence that sexual orientation is largely determined by genetics, not choice. That can undermine a major argument against the LBGT community that claims that these people are choosing to live "unnaturally."

That's at least according to a new and groundbreaking study recently published in the journal Psychological Medicine, which details how a study of more than 800 gay participants shared notable patterns in two regions of the human genome - one on the X chromosome and one on chromosome 8.

While many previous studies have looked into potential genetic drivers of homosexuality, these studies often boasted a significantly smaller sample size or lacked common controls. This is the first study of its kind to boast such a robust sample size and also be published in a scientific peer-reviewed paper.

Most stunningly, the team who conducted this study comes from the scientific community that has been hesitant to acknowledge the claims of previous studies, not because of their own opinions, but because of a lack of conclusive data.

The study detailed an in-depth analysis of blood and saliva samples taken from 409 pairs of openly gay brothers, including non-identical twins, from 384 families. The only common characteristic shared by all 818 men was being gay.

Knowing this, the researchers theorized that any single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) consistently found among these men would have something to do with sexual orientation.

Interestingly, five uniquely presented SNPs did indeed stand out, expressed in two portions of the human genome.

"The most pleasing aspect is that the confirmation comes from a team that was in the past somewhat skeptical and critical of the earlier findings," Andrea Camperio Ciani, of the University of Padua in Italy, told New Scientist.

Now the same team is working to compare these gene variants to heterosexual males, expecting that it will not be a common find among "straight" men.

Still, the researchers stress that regardless of genetic preference, genes are but a factor in the greater picture, taking into account that social and cultural pressures can still effect an individual's sexual lifestyle, no matter how they were born.

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