Born Gay? Epigenetics Explains How People Could ‘Inherit’ Homosexuality

The burgeoning field of epigenetics could explain the biological roots of people being gay, say researchers. Epigenetics looks at how genes are expressed and the temporary markers that control this expression, known as “epi-marks.” In a study published online Tuesday, scientists working with the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) explain how sex-specific epi-marks passed from father to daughter or mother to son could cause homosexuality.

Sergey Gavrilets, study co-author and associate director for scientific activities at the NIMBioS, said the transmission of sex-specific epi-marks between generations “is the most plausible evolutionary mechanism of the phenomenon of human homosexuality.”

In a press release, NIMBioS explains:

“While genes hold the instructions, epi-marks direct how those instructions are carried out – when, where and how much a gene is expressed during development. Epi-marks are usually produced anew each generation, but recent evidence demonstrates that they sometimes carry over between generations.”

This usually happens in response to spikes in testosterone — sex-specific epi-marks formed in early fetal development activate to protect the fetus from the testosterone surge. Otherwise, the high testosterone could cause female fetuses to ‘masculinze’ or vice versa for male fetuses.

Different epi-marks protect different sex traits from being masculinized or feminized, NIMBioS explains; some affect the genitals, others affect sexual identity and others affect sexual preference. But when epi-marks are transmitted from fathers to daughters or mothers to sons, “they may cause reversed effects, such as the feminization of some traits in sons, such as sexual preference, and similarly a partial masculinization of daughters.”

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    • Blunt_Logic

      To be fair, this is an article developing a model to potentially explain the heritable epigenetic aspects of sexual traits, that is thus far untested. I’m not sure that’s clear in your article, which is probably intentionally phrased to incite debate over the validity of this type of study, even in the absence of any findings. It may be more helpful to read the original source, rather than the press release, which inflates the findings.

      The actual article is freely available here: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/668167

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrei-Bilderburger/1392644038 Andrei Bilderburger

        Thank you for providing the link. There is no substitute for reading and indeed poring over a technical paper. Reading an abstract or press release conveys almost no real information.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrei-Bilderburger/1392644038 Andrei Bilderburger

      If this research is correct, homosexuality is a pathological medical condition, congenital in origin, that can be prevented by proper care of the mother during pregnancy. It also possibly is curable as many epigenetic markers can be reset during life.

      • Blunt_Logic

        That is not a reasonable evaluation of the present status of epigenetics as a scientific field or of the potential outcomes of this study. Epigenetics is a complex field, that has shown that some epigenetic marks are more malleable than we thought and some are less changeable and that they are synergystic in ways that we don’t fully understand. It has also shown that there is a complete absence of specific modulators to correct specific marks in the genome, as epigenetic marks are eponymous throughout our chromosomes. Either way “proper care of the mother” won’t change the status of heritable epigenetic marks (unless termination of fetus with these marks is acceptable to you…which it shouldn’t be), and no one has come “un-gay” yet, so it’s likely that while this study may be able to test the heritability of epigenetic modulators of androgen development, it will likely not fully explain or provide a modulator of sexual orientation. Gender and sexual orientation are by no means that simplistic. By your logic, we would have fixed cancer, autism, psychiatric disorders, dementia and and the myriad of other genetic/epigenetic/environment confluence disorders in the last 10 years.

    • holygenes

      We know it’s developmental and epigentic but also
      simply hereditary because of this:
      http://www.bild.me/bild.php?file=3016012img069.jpg

      and

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/jul/22/late-blooming-lesbians-women-sexuality

      along with the fact of judging being to control to enslave, with
      gay as capital status crime being the first witch-hunt, and history’s
      greatest control freaks having been gay:
      Hitler, famously feminine,
      JFK’s killers, gay fascists.

      Women only recently gained a semblance of equality but were
      burned at the stake as witches when midwifery threatened medieval
      doctors.

      The first witch-hunt was aimed at making men afraid of being
      wrongly demonized.

      It caused the gene, only passing maternally, to spread within
      the scapegoating community.

      I’ve, though, proposed that this involves a conveyed admonition
      and guided denial of that admonition, thus providing an experiment
      if the East is in fact identical after a point and not the pursuer of
      witch-hunt.

      Why those who would continue denying birthright so as
      to perpetuate witch-hunt to legitimize judging to control to
      enslave are likelier gay gene carriers.

      http://holygenes.weebly.com/#summaryonepointoh

      In hindsight, a dumb suffix, but it’s done.

      Explaining the connection between the
      Epic of Gilgamesh and quantum mechanics
      (it’s all theory.)

      http://pages.citebite.com/p8u3w1a1vwnm

      His uncle:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_B0CyOAO8y0

      http://holygenes.weebly.com/#Re-Summarization