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No Singular Gay Gene, But Researchers Say Genetics Still Have An Influence on Sexual Preference

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A new study from an international collaboration of researchers says there’s no single “gay gene.” According to the New York Times, the study analyzed nearly half a million people and found multiple genes that influence on same-sex behavior, but they only have a small impact.

Researchers say this means we cannot meaningfully predict homosexuality based on genetic make-up alone. A member of the study noted in a New York Times opinion piece that social and environmental factors likely explain a significant part of an individual’s sexual preference. The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and analyzed DNA sourced primarily from British researcher, U.K. Biobank, and the American personal genomics company, 23andMe.

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Eric Vilain M.D. Ph.D., Director of the Center for Genetic Medicine Research at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C.