There was a new study conducted that found out that there is no specific gene that determines one’s sexual orientation, but that genetics have a role in affecting one’s sexuality.
This study was published Thursday in the journal Science, and it studied DNA from hundreds of thousands of subjects and connected some genes to same-sex sexual behavior. However, they do not predict whether a person is gay, researchers found.
Five genetic markers “were significantly associated with same-sex sexual behavior,” researchers found. Researchers also added that “many uncertainties remain to be explored, including how sociocultural influences on sexual preference might interact with genetic influences.”
Over 477,000 people in both the U.S. and the United Kingdom participated in the study where possible links between their DNA’s genetic markers and sexual behavior were explored. The researchers used data from the U.K. Biobank study and private genomics firm 23andMe.
More than 26,000 participants said they had had at least one same-sex sexual encounter. “It just shows us that same-sex sexual behavior is much more complex than this idea of having just one gene influencing it all,” Eric Vilain, director of the Center for Genetic Medicine Research at Children’s National Health System, told The Washington Post. “It shows that there are genetic factors, which we had suspected long ago … but it also shows those genetic factors do not tell the whole story.”
Advocacy groups said the study helped put to rest the concept of a “gay gene”. The research “provides even more evidence that being gay or lesbian is a natural part of human life,” Zeke Stokes, chief programs officer for GLAAD, told the Post. “The identities of LGBTQ people are not up for debate. This new research also reconfirms the long-established understanding that there is no conclusive degree to which nature or nurture influence how a gay or lesbian person behaves.”