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Discovery of a Gay Gene

Scientists may be on the verge of discovering a physicalbasis for homosexuality, that can be passed down fromgeneration to generation. This discovery would be a majorbreakthrough for the civil rights of gay people, since theycould no longer be denied equal treatment under the law inthe U.S.

According to the latest research, nature increases thefertility of women who pass on a "gay trait" to their maleoffspring. Scientists doing DNA studies on homosexualbrothers found similar genetic material in a region of the Xchromosome that mothers pass on to their offspring. Thiswould keep homosexuality alive without having a separate gaygene on the DNA strand. Scientists have long been puzzled bythe fact that homosexuality does not die out, despite thefact that gays have far fewer children.

As long ago as 1993, U.S. researchers decided that malehomosexuality was passed from mother to son because theyfound strong patterns of this type of inheritance in familytrees. They also noted that homosexual males often come frombig families and are younger siblings with a number of olderbrothers. There are basic incompatibilities between the Xand Y chromosomes, and scientists now think the motherdevelops some kind of resistance to the male Y chromosomethat makes later baby boys more likely to be born gay. Thepredisposition to form this kind of resistance would alsoenable these women to be more fertile and have a largernumber of children.

The Italian researchers looked at 98 homosexual and 100heterosexual men and their relatives?a total of 4,600people. They found that female relatives on the mother'sside of the homosexual men had more offspring than thefemale relatives on the father's side. The female relativeson both the mother's and the father's side of theheterosexual men did not appear to be as fertile and hadfewer offspring.

It's been discovered that nature will sometimes encourage anegative condition to occur in a few people if it helps themany. For instance, when both parents carry the gene forsickle cell anemia, their children are born with a painfuldisease. However, if just one parent passes on the gene, thechildren are born with a resistance to malaria. Sincepassing on only one gene happens statistically more often,many benefit from the suffering of a few. Researchers thinkthat other genetic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, maycarry a similar protection?perhaps one we don't recognize,since it's no longer needed.

Homosexuality can be seen as a deficit by nature, sinceevery species has reproduction as its major goal, so itdoesn?t die out. But if having one or two homosexualchildren causes a woman to have many more children overall,nature would consider this to be "worth it."

It's impossible to know if the percentage of homosexuals inthe population is increasing, since so many of them ledsecret lives in the past?and many still do. Since mostwomen, in the West at least, choose not to have largefamilies, whether or not they are physically able to, theextra fertility conveyed to them by having homosexual sonsmay remain unused, meaning that the percentage of gay menprobably has increased since there are fewer births overall.However, homosexual sons are usually the younger children,meaning that this trait may not be activated until manychildren are born. In this case, the percentage of gay mencould be declining.

Since there are hormone-related diseases that affectlesbians to a much greater extent than heterosexual women,most scientists think that gay women are the result of somesort of hormonal situation in the mother. This means thatcause of lesbianism is likely to be different from that ofgay men. However, lesbians are also less likely toreproduce, yet they haven't died out either, meaning thathaving a lesbian daughter must convey some sort of benefitto the mother or to her siblings.

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