For the longest time, conservative Christians and far-right radicals have maintained the fallacy that homosexuality amongst men is a “choice” – intended to derail the argument “if God made us in his image, and he made some people gay, doesn’t that mean he’s a bit queer himself?”
But now it looks like scientists in Italy may have proven once-and-for-all that “gay” is an inherited trait, over which men have no control whatsoever. They say there’s a specific gene on the X chromosome that triggers it.
Researchers analyzed the families of dozens of gay men an identified a common pattern – that men who were gay tended to have mothers and maternal aunts who produced a higher-than-average number of children. The hypothesis is that unborn male babies have their “gay switch” triggered in the womb to compensate for the super-fertility of their female relatives.
But while this discovery finally derails the assumption that men can “choose” to be gay, it does raise many more questions than it ultimately answers.
For example, this study only identifies triggers amongst gay men – lesbians don’t seem to share a similar genetic pattern, and anecdotally many people argue that women have a more fluid sexuality than men, and can deliberately choose to pursue a lesbian lifestyle despite attraction to (or tolerance of) men.
The statistical analysis also highlighted some negative points – like how families of gay men tended to have reduced stability, more frequent separation or divorce and less emphasis on romantic love. These might be statistics that conservative Christians will use to continue marginalizing the gay community.
What do you think about these findings? Do you think this helps or hinders the LGBT cause overall?