01/29/2005: Genetic Dispositions
I was zipping though my Feb. copy of Natural History magazine…when I came across an article about "obesity genes" (called "Fat Chance") and this paragraph:
"…each person may have as many as a dozen genes that combine to determine an individuals' risk of obesity. Some genes-perhaps six or seven of them- are probably major players that help determine the likelihood of obesity in people all over the planet…No one knows which genes are major players and which are minor ones. And so the geneticists have no way of knowing how to apportion their efforts."
What is clear to me (even a non-scientist) is that there are "complicated" genetic variables at play in each person's make-up as yet unknown and uncalculated for their effects…also, at present unchangeable too. How much of a mental "stretch" is to comprehend or imagine that similar genes and groups of genes, affected during our fetal development, give rise to the variation in "attractions" to others (which can be both visual as well as pheromonal) which result in this effect of sexual preferences….both as heterosexuals for each other and homosexuals too. So, too are humans affected most forcefully by hormonal influences…like developments gone awry in the womb that result in statistical "aberrations" such a hermaphrodites.
When I Googled DNA and Gay genes I got multiple hits. Much was written on this topic back in the early to mid 1990's. Richard Horton (editor of the British Medical Journal) wrote Is Homosexuality Inherited and Mrs. Yvette C. Schneider had this one, The Gay Gene: Going, Going, Gone...
But many of these articles are 10-15 years out of date and only discussed the question about is there a single gene for becoming gay. They were looking for a single gene (expressed or not expressed) as perhaps the root cause, but, as with obesity, genes are most likely more complicated and interactive to produce such differing results. The objective, atleast for obesity studies, is to perhaps find the right combination for a "fix"; I'm not sure whether being Gay would fall into the same category for requiring "fixing" (and I certainly won't go there) but it would go a long way towards both an understanding about this issue currently lacking in our culture as well as the legal ramifications surrounding Gay couples and other legal rights in our society.
As humanity has gotten into more "DNA" research and stretched its legs and advanced each year…that is why I am convinced such a "rationale" for sexual preferences is yet to be uncovered. And then how "unenlightened" will our age have seemed to have "punished" those who are this way (Gay or Obese) with guilt, religious bigotry, self-enforced denial, etc. May be it will be sooner…rather than later.
I don't "live" in the gay-world of news and goings on (like the Love Won Out event…was "news" to me) so I don't know if further genetic research of this kind (after the "Gay Gene" controversy fallout ended) is being pursued…wouldn't it be interesting to find out?? What and who does this kind of research? Anybody know the answer to this?
Karen on 01.29.05 @ 03:29 PM CST