Back in June, scientists told us they’d discovered the “gay gene”, but now they’re telling us a different story. Because according to researchers from UC Santa Barbara and Uppsala University, while same-sex attraction does appear to run in families, actual “gayness” is switched on during gestation in the womb.
It’s all down to genetic switches called epi-marks. These are passed down from father to daughter, or mother to son, and control how our genes are expressed during the time we spend in the womb.
And unlike genes, epi-marks are influenced by external cues – like an excess of testosterone or estrogen – and can influence how an unborn child develops as a result.
So while this means that there’s no “gay gene”, it also means that homosexuality is not a choice, as many Christian fundamentalists would have you believe. Instead, children probably have their sexuality defined as they grow and develop in the womb.
You're on the right track, baby. You were born this way. (Duh?)
You can read the full paper in The Quarterly Review of Biology.