Archive for the 'Research' Category

APA: Insufficient evidence that sexual orientation change efforts work


August 5, 2009

TORONTO—The American Psychological Association adopted a resolution Wednesday stating that mental health professionals should avoid telling clients that they can change their sexual orientation through therapy or other treatments.

The “Resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts” also advises that parents, guardians, young people and their families avoid sexual orientation treatments that portray homosexuality as a mental illness or developmental disorder and instead seek psychotherapy, social support and educational services “that provide accurate information on sexual orientation and sexuality, increase family and school support and reduce rejection of sexual minority youth.” Continue reading ‘APA: Insufficient evidence that sexual orientation change efforts work’

The Times: Lesbian albatrosses and bisexual bonobos have last laugh on Darwin

17 June 2009
The Times (UK)

Lesbian albatrosses and bisexual bonobos have last laugh on Darwin

Chris Smyth

Charles Darwin argued that sexual preferences can shape the progress of evolution, creating displays, such as the peacock’s tail, that are inexplicable by natural selection alone.


It’s safe to say, however, that he did not anticipate the lesbian albatrosses of Hawaii. Nor bisexual bonobos. Let alone sadomasochistic bat bugs or the gay penguins of New York. Continue reading ‘The Times: Lesbian albatrosses and bisexual bonobos have last laugh on Darwin’

Male transsexual gene link found

Source: BBC
26 October 2008

Male transsexual gene link found

Australian researchers have identified a significant link between a gene involved in testosterone action and male transsexualism.

DNA analysis from 112 male-to-female transsexual volunteers showed they were more likely to have a longer version of the androgen receptor gene.

The genetic difference may cause weaker testosterone signals, the team reported in Biological Psychiatry.

However, other genes are also likely to play a part, they stressed. Continue reading ‘Male transsexual gene link found’

The evolution of homosexuality: Gender bending

Source: The Economist magazine
23 October 2008

The evolution of homosexuality
Gender bending

From The Economist print edition
Genes that make some people gay make their brothers and sisters fecund

THE evidence suggests that homosexual behaviour is partly genetic. Studies of identical twins, for example, show that if one of a pair (regardless of sex) is homosexual, the other has a 50% chance of being so, too. That observation, though, raises a worrying evolutionary question: how could a trait so at odds with reproductive success survive the ruthless imperatives of natural selection?

Various answers have been suggested. However, they all boil down to the idea that the relatives of those who are gay gain some advantage that allows genes predisposing people to homosexual behaviour to be passed on collaterally. Continue reading ‘The evolution of homosexuality: Gender bending’

ScienceDaily: Society’s Attitudes Have Little Impact On Choice Of Sexual Partner


ScienceDaily (June 17, 2008) — A unique new study from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institute (KI) suggests that the attitude of families and the public have little impact on if adults decide to have sex with persons of the same or the opposite sex. Instead, hereditary factors and the individual’s unique experiences have the strongest influence on our choice of sexual partners.

The study is the largest in the world so far and was performed in collaboration with the Queen Mary University of London. More than 7,600 Swedish twins (men and women) aged 20-47 years responded to a 2005 – 2006 survey of health, behaviour, and sexuality. Seven percent of the twins had ever had a same-sex sexual partner.

“The results show, that familial and public attitudes might be less important for our sexual behaviour than previously suggested”, says Associate Professor Niklas Långström, one of the involved researchers. “Instead, genetic factors and the individual’s unique biological and social environments play the biggest role. Studies like this are needed to improve our basic understanding of sexuality and to inform the public debate.” Continue reading ‘ScienceDaily: Society’s Attitudes Have Little Impact On Choice Of Sexual Partner’

New Scientist: Evolution myths: Natural selection cannot explain homosexuality

Evolution myths: Natural selection cannot explain homosexuality

18:00 16 April 2008 news service
Michael Le Page

There are numerous evolutionary mechanisms that might explain homosexual behaviour, which is common in many species of animals

“Simple reasoning shows that evolution cannot explain homosexuality – how would a homosexuality gene get selected for?” “Why have the genetic traits predisposing to homosexuality not been eliminated long ago?”

Such arguments are surprisingly common – and completely wrong.

Homosexual behaviour has been observed in hundreds of species, from bison to penguins. It is still not clear to what extent homosexuality in humans or other animals is genetic (rather than, say, due to hormonal extremes during embryonic development), but there are many mechanisms that could explain why gene variants linked to homosexuality are maintained in a population. Continue reading ‘New Scientist: Evolution myths: Natural selection cannot explain homosexuality’

Is there a gay gene? A brief overview

Editor’s note: This is a short web article that gives a quick overview of scientific research relating to the biological basis for sexual orientation.

Source: The Article Garden
Date of article unknown, but probably around 2007

Is there a gay gene?
by Jason Sands

Whether homosexuality has biological involvement has remained a matter of debate among researchers over the years. Though there is no scientific consensus regarding the influence of biology on determining sexual orientation of a person, researchers consider various biological factors that include prenatal hormones, viral influences, polygenetic effects, brain structure and chromosomes. Continue reading ‘Is there a gay gene? A brief overview’