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AN EX-GAY COMMUNITY RESPONSE TO: ???Genome-wide scan demonstrates significant linkage for male sexual orientation???

Posted on November 20, 2014 at 11:00 AM

AN EX-GAY COMMUNITY RESPONSE TO: “Genome-wide scan demonstrates significant linkage for male sexual orientation” 17 November 2014 [1]

 

11-18-2014

 

Media outlets are flush with the rush to promote yet another inconclusive hypothesis attempting to tie biological factors to the penchant for homosexual behavior. After an unusual 7 year tweaking before release, Dr. Alan Sanders of NorthShore University HealthSystem Research Institute et al, compared the genes of 409 gay twin brothers (the largest twin sampling to date). The team argues that they found linkages to the X Chromosome 8 region and Xq28 but were unable to cite any actual gene. This runs contrary to the conclusions of eight other international twin studies examining the same notion[2] with the exception of Dr. Dean Hamer’s claim to find Chromosome 8 involvement 20 years ago but also failing to find any actual gene.

 

The inability to find and verify gene involvement makes the entire exercise of identifying linkages fruitless since there can be no linkage between non-existent entities. This leaves wide open the interpretation of what these researchers are seeing within these chromosome bands. Sanders himself describes his results as, “not proof but a pretty good indication.” An indication of what remains to be seen. Meanwhile, the reaction by genetic experts ranges from skeptical to completely dismissive. Dr. Robert Green, medical geneticist at Harvard Medical School called the study, “intriguing but not in any way conclusive” and Dr. Neil Risch, genetics expert at UC San Francisco states the data is too statistically weak to suggest any linkage (with homosexual preference.)[3]

 

Of bizarre concern is Sander’s use of a deprecated genetic method. Genetic linkages have been replaced with GWA (genome-wide association) methodology in genetic science which gives a higher, but still not guaranteed, association between a given gene and a behavior. Sanders admitted it would have been the preferable approach but it was the only way to try to expound on Hamer’s failed attempt 20 years ago. Ken Kendler, an editor at Psychological Medicine admitted it was a surprise to see Sanders submit a study using the old technique and Sanders admits that one publication turned down his submission outright.[4] Sanders has announced his intention of a GWA study using an even larger sample group.

 

It is the opinion of most in the ex-gay community that scientific research would be better utilized addressing the knowns of same-sex attraction, such as the high child sexual abuse and childhood trauma histories found in research which is more results oriented by healing traumas that often lead to same-sex attractions and therapies that eliminate unwanted same-sex attraction. This more appropriately achieves the goals of the American Psychological Association’s vow to patient self-determination. Much like the already proven genetic components of depression and anxiety disorders, genetic involvement only contributes to predilection and has no bearing at all on outcomes. Thus, any genetic discovery while interesting is irrelevant to ultimate behavioral self-management and choice.

 

[1] “Genome-wide scan demonstrates significant linkage for male sexual orientation”

 

A. R. Sanders, E. R. Martin, G. W. Beecham, S. Guo, K. Dawood, G. Rieger, J. A. Badner, E. S. Gershon, R. S. Krishnappa, A. B. Kolundzija, J. Duan, P. V. Gejman and J. M. Bailey

 

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, NorthShore University HealthSystem Research Institute, Evanston, IL, USA

 

[2] "EIGHT MAJOR STUDIES of identical twins in Australia, the U.S., and Scandinavia during the last two decades all arrive at the same conclusion: gays were not born that way."Dr. Neil Whitehead is author of the book, "My Genes Made Me Do It" – a scientific look at sexual orientation (1999/USA; revised 2nd edition, 2010) and over 140 published scientific papers.

 

[3] “Study Suggests Genetic Link for Male Homosexuality”, November 17th, 2014, Associated Press.

 

[4] “Study of gay brothers may confirm X chromosome link to homosexuality”, 17 November 2014, AAAS Science Magazine.

 

John Ozanich, VP The Jason Foundation

Categories: Causes, Press Releases, Science


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