By Will Hall, Message Executive Editor
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (LBM) – In one of the largest studies of its kind, researchers found that from 75 percent up to 92 percent of homosexual behavior is the result of the environment, not genetics.
In other words, cultural and social influences have an overwhelmingly greater impact on same-sex behavior than biology.
Importantly, the genome study of nearly half a million participants from the U.K., U.S. and Sweden determined “there certainly is no single genetic determinant (sometimes referred to as the ‘gay gene’ in the media).”
Of particular interest, the 8 percent to 25 percent of (minimal) genetic influence on same-sex sexual behavior was tied to genetic indicators which also predict behaviors “such as smoking, cannabis use, risk-taking, and the personality trait ‘openness to experience’” as well as “sexual behavior, attraction, identity, and fantasies.”
Likewise, same-sex sexual behavior was “genetically correlated with several psychiatric or mental health traits” such as depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Of special significance, the study did not examine sexual identity but instead focused on sexual behavior. In July 2014, the CDC reported 1.6 percent of U.S. adults identified themselves as homosexuals and another 0.7 percent described themselves as bisexual. However, the data provided in the report indicated that the percentage of participants who had engaged at least once in same-sex sexual behavior was about double the percentage of persons who identified as samesex individuals.
The study intentionally omitted transsexual individuals.