How can I get straight?

Is there a gene or a specific brain structure for homosexuality?

If the trait homosexuality were passed on exclusively through direct inheritance, it would almost have to die out. A somewhat more recent approach is therefore looking for the origin of sexual orientation in pregnancy.

Environmental influences and processes in the body ensure that genes still change slightly at this point in time. The assumption: Under certain conditions the Gene sections for homosexuality, to put it simply, switched on or off.

For example, a few years ago researchers found that homosexual men at least one big brother above average to have. The results were last confirmed in a meta-analysis in 2018.

Mother makes antibodies

Scientists found one possible explanation in 2017: one Immune reaction of the mother. Namely, on the protein that is involved in the development of the brain areas that determine the sexual orientation of men.

Some mothers develop antibodies to this protein during their first pregnancy - and these will work during a second pregnancy. The researchers found a connection between this immune response and the later sexual orientation of the younger brothers.

However, not every homosexual has an older brother - and no such mechanism has yet been discovered for women. There are other ideas for these cases.

Fathers and mothers as role models?

One hypothesis, for example, assumes that women can, under certain conditions, pass on their sexual orientation towards the male gender to their son - and that men, conversely, their interest in women from their daughters. The thesis has not yet been checked, but it is considered plausible.

Because none of these findings are unambiguous so far, researchers do not want to commit themselves to a single biological cause for homosexuality. So far, a mixture of different factors is considered the most likely.

So it's probably something else Research neededto convince even the last homophobic groups of what most people are already aware of: No one can influence which gender you love.


Author: Luisa Pfeiffenschneider and Lara Malberger