WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Scientists conducted a study involving DNA codes of gay and heterosexual men.
- They have found genetic variants associated with homosexuality by examining the DNA codes of both gay and straight men.
- Experts discovered that DNA was different for homosexual and heterosexual men around SLITRK5 and SLITRK6 genes.
The recent study about DNAs codes linking to homosexuality was published in the journal Scientific Reports. The research examined the complete genome of all homosexual and heterosexual participants. Genetic data of 1,000 gay men were compared to genetic data from 1,231 straight males.
According to The Telegraph, researchers from North Shore University Health System (NSUHS) in the U.S. revealed that they also discovered differences in the TSHR gene. This gene is linked to the thyroid.
Some experts, however, said that the study was statistically insignificant due to the small number of participants. The sample size was too small to draw population-wide conclusions.
“Even if a gene variant does show some correlation with sexual orientation, this does not mean that the gene is in any way responsible for being gay — it just means it has some association with a trait that is more likely to be found in the relatively few people involved as subjects in the study,” said Robin Lovell-Badge from The Francis Crick Institute in the U.K. Mr. Lovell-Badge did not participate in the study.
The gene SLITRK6 is important for brain development. It is specifically active in the brain area that includes the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is pivotal in producing hormones associated to control sex drive. Earlier studies revealed that parts of it are up to 34% larger in gay men.
Alan Sanders from NSUHS said: “The goal of this study was to search for genetic underpinnings of male sexual orientation, and thus ultimately increase our knowledge of biological mechanisms underlying sexual orientation.”
Source: The Hindu