MDI Comment: There has been much debate on whether same-sex attraction is something genetic, as this is deemed to be important by some materialists in determining the morality or not of same sex intercourse purely if the desire for the same-sex is ‘chosen’ or not.
However, observation of humans shows that many people’s’ desires are simply not consciously chosen – from as mundane a thing as what foods they like, to the character type of their partners. Actions cannot be judged to be moral or not based upon whether people ‘choose’ to have a desire to do it, for if people never had a desire to do an action, they simply wouldn’t do it. Human choice occurs in whether they choose to follow a desire or not, not the desire itself.
The research below is shared for the purpose of at the very least, showing that the ‘genetic’ argument for same-sex intercourse is not argued by many scientists. They now are looking into epigenetics (think of them as ‘switches’ on top of our genes) to see if there are some environmental factors after birth that affect our biology. Of course, all environmental factors and experience affect our biology, for example education affects a child’s brain structure. So this is nothing new.
The debate on the morality of same-sex intercourse must transcend a simple argument on whether or not people choose to have the desires they have. Life experiences can be just as out of our control as genes, but that doesn’t mean that an action becomes moral just because we had no choice in having the desire put into our due to an early childhood experience. Our arguments on this topic must centre on a transcendent criteria for right and wrong beyond materialism.
Homosexuality ‘may be triggered by environment after birth’
A controversial new twin study suggests that environmental changes could trigger homosexuality
The finding is highly controversial because it suggests that some men are not born gay, but are turned homosexual by their surroundings. It also raises privacy concerns that medical records could reveal sexuality.
Scientists studied 37 sets of identical male twins, who were born with the same genetic blueprint, to tease out which genes were associated with homosexuality. In each pair, one of the twins was gay.
Only 20 percent of identical twins are both gay leading researchers to believe that there must be causes which are not inherited.
They found that it was possible to tell whether a man was gay or straight by monitoring tiny changes in how his DNA functions after birth – a field known as epigenetics. Where DNA works as an overall instruction manual, epigenetics act as another layer of information highlighting which parts of the text are important and which can be ignored.
Researchers identified nine areas in the genome where genes functioned differently when a twin was homosexual. And the scientists say that they can predict with 70 per cent accuracy whether a man is gay or straight simply by looking at those parts of the genome.
“To our knowledge, this is the first example of a predictive model for sexual orientation based on molecular markers,” said lead author Dr Tuck Ngun.
“To claim a 70 per cent predictive value of something as complex as homosexuality is bold indeed. I wait with baited breath for a full peer-reviewed article”Professor Darren Griffin, University of Kent
“I hope that this research helps us understand ourselves better and why we are the way we are.”
British scientists said the work was intriguing but should be treated with caution until the scientific paper was published.
Prof Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology, King’s College London, said: “It has always been a mystery why identical twins who share all their genes can vary in homosexuality.
“Epigenetic differences are one obvious reason and this study provides evidence for this. However the small study needs replicating before any talk of prediction is realistic.”
Prof Darren Griffin, Professor of Genetics, University of Kent, added: “While there is strong evidence in general for a biological basis for homosexuality my personal impression has always been one of a multiple contributory factors, including life experiences.
“My gut feeling it that, as the complete story unfolds, the association may not be quite as simple as suggested.
“To claim a 70 per cent predictive value of something as complex as homosexuality is bold indeed. I wait with baited breath for a full peer-reviewed article.”
The US researchers are now planning to try out their genetic test on a larger population of men. They have not yet carried out any work on women.
Dr Eric Miska, Herchel Smith Chair of Molecular Genetics at the University of Cambridge, said: “Epigenetic marks are the consequence of complex interactions between the genetics, development and environment of an individual.”