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The 'Gay Gene' Myth

The Primary: A new landmark study finds that many genes – not a single "gay gene" – along with social and environmental factors shape our sexuality.

  • Who? What? Why?: Scientists have long debated the impact of genetics on our sexuality. In 1993, as Time notes, researchers concluded a person's sexuality could be traced back to a stretch of DNA on the X chromosome.

  • The Baseline: The study was the "largest ever to analyze the genetics of same-sex sexual behavior," according to the New York Times.

  • Go Deeper: The study was controversial because some worried its findings could lead to LGBTQ discrimination. "One concern is that evidence that genes influence same-sex behavior could cause anti-gay activists to call for gene editing or embryo selection, even if that would be technically impossible," wrote the New York Times.

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