Monday, January 15, 2007

Genetic Modeling of Homosexuality

An Ars Technica article on the genetic modeling of homosexuality discussing a study published by the Royal Society asks the question, "If there was a gene that controlled homosexuality - and hence limited reproduction - how could it be favored to exist?"

The question assumes that gay men could not reproduce with gay women if necessary, or if cultural rituals existed to support such behavior.

If a genetic trait for homosexuality is not expressed in every generation then it may still be propagated. Homosexuality, if genetic, may be the product of several genes that also serve other useful purposes. Genetic features responsible for homosexuality may be part of the inter-genomic DNA, which is not subject to the same evolutionary pressures as protein-encoding genes.

Furthermore, not all genes exist to increase an organism's ability to physically couple with a mate. If we didn't have homosexuals, a lot of straight people who work for television shows like "Will and Grace" might not have a job, and thereby procure the goods and services upon which they rely.

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