News Stories

The Gay Gene (Cont.)

University of Utah biologists genetically manipulated nematode worms so the animals were attracted to worms of the same sex?part of a study that shows sexual orientation is wired in their brains.

Biologist Erik Jorgensen says, "[Our] conclusion is that sexual attraction is wired into brain circuits common to both sexes of worms, and is not caused solely by extra nerve cells added to the male or female brain?Our conclusions are narrow in that they are about worms and how attraction behaviors are derived from the same brain circuit. But an evolutionary biologist will consider this to be a potentially common mechanism for sexual attraction.

"We cannot say what this means for human sexual orientation, but it raises the possibility that sexual preference is wired in the brain. Humans are subject to evolutionary forces just like worms. It seems possible that if sexual orientation is genetically wired in worms, it would be in people too. Humans have free will, so the picture is more complicated in people."

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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