Scientists: DNA Differences Between Gay, Straight Twins

Scientists: DNA Differences Between Gay, Straight Twins

Research suggests sexual orientation is on molecular level.

Published October 11, 2015

New findings may prove that homosexuality exists not only in the genes, but in the spaces in between.

According to UCLA molecular biologist Tuck C. Ngun, a study of 47 sets of identical twin males suggests that there are "epigenetic marks" in nine areas of the human genome that can predict same-sex orientation with an accuracy of close to 70 percent, reports the L.A. Times.

Not entirely excluding the idea that environmental factors also play a role –– epigenetic researchers are still looking into how an epigenome is formed (so, it's okay to not know what they mean right now) –– but apparently these chemical marks nudge our behavior.

Thus, in the battle of nature vs. nurture, it's not "either or."

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"The relative contributions of biology versus culture and experience in shaping sexual orientation in humans continues to be debated," said University of Maryland pharmacology professor Margaret M. McCarthy, who was not involved in the study. "But regardless of when, or even how, these epigenetic changes occur," she said, the new research "demonstrates a biological basis to partner preference."

Ngun presented the research at the 2015 meeting of American Society of Human Genetics this past week. It's as yet unpublished in a peer-reviewed journal.

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Photo: Getty Images

Written by Chay Liberté

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