Researchers in Georgia have found that half of the male and female population could carry a ‘gay gene’.
Scientific researchers from Ilia State University, Tbilisi set out to explore how ‘gay’ genes could be passed on, since gay men tend to have fewer familiar descendants than heterosexual men.
The study, published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behaviour, also took into consideration previous findings that suggest gay men are more likely to come from larger families due to the gene relating to homosexuality increasing the reproductive rate of female relatives, reports The Telegraph.
“The trend of female family members of homosexual men to have more offspring can help explain the persistence of homosexuality, if we also consider that those males who have such genes are not always homosexuals,” said head researcher Giorgi Chaladze.
Chaladze’s team used a computational model to determine that, in order to maintain stable rate of homosexuality in large populations, half of the male and female population would need to carry the ‘gay’ gene.
The findings follow a 2015 study by University of California, Los Angeles in which researchers claimed to have found several epigenetic marks associated with homosexuality in men. The study analysed the genomes of 37 pairs of ‘discordant’ – meaning one gay, one straight – twins.
Researchers then used a computer model to interpret data from the genomic analysis and used it to classify people based on their sexuality. The model had a 67% rate of accuracy, and the study itself was criticised for having too small a sample size.
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