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Invest Clin. 2009 Sep;50(3):377-91.

[Influence of genetic factors on human sexual orientation. Review].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

  • 1Laboratorio de Genética Humana, Centro de Medicina Experimental, Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas, (IVIC), Caracas, Venezuela. arodrigu@ivic.ve

Abstract

Human sexual orientation is a complex trait, influenced by several genes, experiential and sociocultural factors. These elements interact and produce a typical pattern of sexual orientation towards the opposite sex. Some exceptions exist, like bisexuality and homosexuality, which seem to be more frequent in males than females. Traditional methods for the genetic study of behavior multifactorial characteristics consist in detecting the presence of familial aggregation. In order to identify the importance of genetic and environmental factors in this aggregation, the concordance of the trait for monozygotic and dizygotic twins and for adopted sibs, reared together and apart, is compared. These types of studies have shown that familial aggregation is stronger for male than for female homosexuality. Based on the threshold method for multifactorial traits, and varying the frequency of homosexuality in the population between 4 and 10%, heritability estimates between 0.27 and 0.76 have been obtained. In 1993, linkage between homosexuality and chromosomal region Xq28 based on molecular approaches was reported. Nevertheless, this was not confirmed in later studies. Recently, a wide search of the genome has given significant or close to significant linkage values with regions 7q36, 8p12 and 10q26, which need to be studied more closely. Deviation in the proportion of X chromosome inactivation in mothers of homosexuals seems to favor the presence of genes related with sexual orientation in this chromosome. There is still much to be known about the genetics of human homosexuality.

PMID:
19961060
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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