Why don’t gay men go extinct? Look at the genetics! A very interesting hypothesis from some Italian researchers.


The theory holds that the same genetic factors that induce gayness in males also promote fecundity (high reproductive success) in those males’ female maternal relatives. Through this trade-off, the maternal relatives’ “gay man genes,” though they aren’t expressed as such, tend to get passed to future generations in spite of their tendency to make their male inheritors gay.

While no one knows which genes, exactly, these might be, at least one of them appears to be located on the X chromosome, according to genetic modeling by Camperio Ciani and his colleagues. Males inherit only one X chromosome — the one from their mother — and if it includes the gene that promotes gayness in males and fecundity in females, he is likely to be gay while his mom and her female relatives are likely to have lots of kids. If a daughter inherits that same X-linked gene, she herself may not be gay, but she can pass it on to her sons.

If there is a “gay gene” and it exists on the X chromosome, this theory could hold water. What do you think? Regardless of your moral stance on homosexuality, discovering the scientific mechanism of its existence could (if proven accurate) change the dialog about sexuality considerably.

(Thanks to The Young Turks for their report. Cenk has an interesting hypothesis of his own: http://youtu.be/CPHevK7kAtQ)