John-Henry Westen


New Genetics Study Undermines Gay Gene Theory

John-Henry Westen

GROVE CITY, PA, February 10, 2005 ( - A study to be published in the March 2005 issue of the journal Human Genetics, and available online now, undermines the commonly promoted view that homosexual orientation is determined by genetic factors. 

The study’s lead author, Brian Mustanski from the University of Illinois in Chicago, said in a UIC news release that “There is no one ‘gay’ gene. Sexual orientation is a complex trait, so it’s not surprising that we found several DNA regions involved in its expression.”  However, a thorough examination of the report by professors Warren Thockmorton and Ray Durwood of Grove City College reveals no statistically significant findings for any of these DNA regions. 

The analysis by the Grove City College PhD’s says of the study, “The authors describe in the article three non-X chromosomal ‘new regions of genetic interest’ (7q36, 8p12, and 10q26). In the authors’ view, a noteworthy aspect of the study as follows: ‘Our strongest finding was on 7q36 with a combined mlod score of 3.45 and equal distribution from maternal and paternal allele transmission. This score falls just short of Lander and Kruglyak’s (1995) criteria for genomewide significance.’ They go on to say ‘two additional regions (8p12 and 10q26) approached the criteria for suggestive linkage’ - again pointing out that neither was statistically significant.”

Thus, even the author’s “strongest finding” was not statistically significant by widely accepted scientific criteria. 

Thockmorton and Durwood conclude: “In summary, the Mustanski study finds no significant relationship between DNA regions and self-reported sexual orientation. Available evidence suggests that genes may be expressed via the interaction of temperament with certain environments. Practically, then, at present, one cannot know with any degree of certainty that a gene or combination of genes will distinguish why one man is homosexual and another is not.” 

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