Monday, January 05, 2009

The Origins of Homosexuality?

Here's a little something for some molecular biologist out there to look into:

I've read a few months ago that there seem s to be a connection between pheromone receptors and homosexuality. Specifically, gay men have male pheromone receptors, making them sensitive to male pheromones, and lesbians have female pheromone receptors, making them sensitive to female pheromones.

I have also read that male homosexuality seems to be linked genetically to their mothers.

Add these two together, and you get a connection between sexual orientation and the sex chromosomes themselves -- something we should perhaps not be all that surprised about.

My wife has a gay friend whose brother is also gay, who has a gay uncle on his mother's side, and many gay and lesbian cousins -- again, on his mother's side. This seems to argue in favor of the genetic linkage to the mother. This got me thinking about the possible genetics behind this.

It seems likely that male pheromone receptors are on the X chromosome, and female pheromone receptors are on the Y chromosome. I'm guessing that Y chromosome also has a way of blocking the production of male pheromone receptors. We can make sense of the cause of same-sex sexual orientation with a simple phenomenon: a chromosomal recombination that placed a female pheromone receptor on the X chromosome.

How does this make sense? Through the fact that sometimes, when you add another gene to a chromosome, instead of making more of the gene, it shuts the genes off. As a consequence, the presence of the female pheromone receptor on the X would turn off the gene on the Y, meaning only male pheromone receptors would be made. This would explain the sexual orientation of gay men. It would then suggest that having an X chromosomes having this gene would make a woman a lesbian, since one of the X chromosomes would be acting like a Y.

If true, this should be fairly easy to prove.
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