[Editor: Is the LGBT community ready to embrace choice rather than genetics as their raison d’etre?]
Another week, another study declaring the hunt for the ‘gay gene’ over. Why are we so hung up on a biological answer for homosexuality?
In 2011, Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” tried and failed to become the modern day equivalent to Valentino’s 1975 similarly titled gay anthem and disco hit “I Was Born This Way.” One reason why? After 40 years of discourse defending homosexuality by asserting that it’s an inborn trait, that particular line of argumentation is starting to wear thin.
There’s a new “gay gene” study making the rounds this week and while some members of the press are celebrating the study as objective and necessary evidence that homosexuality is not a “choice,” most gay, lesbian, and bisexual people I know could not care less.
This time around, we’re rolling our eyes at a study led by behavioral geneticist Dr. Alan Sanders at the NorthShore Research Institute in Evanston, Illinois, which examined the genes of 409 pairs of gay brothers, finding that gay men may share certain genetic markers on the Xq28 and 8q12 regions of the X chromosome and chromosome 8. Only some of the findings from NorthShore’s study are statistically significant, but that hasn’t stopped a flurry of misleadingly conclusive headlines like “Male sexual orientation influenced by genes, study shows” or “Broader study confirms genetic link to male homosexuality.”