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Study: Homosexuality Not Entirely Determined By Genes

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A participants holds a rainbow flag during the gay and lesbian pride parade. (Photo by AFP/Getty/PEDRO ARMESTRE)

A participants holds a rainbow flag during the gay and lesbian pride parade. (Photo by AFP/Getty/PEDRO ARMESTRE)

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EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS St. Louis) - A study conducted by researchers at Northwestern University suggests that genetics only partially play a role in whether or not a person is gay.

Researcher Dr. Michael Bailey, in a study that was led by Dr. Alan Sanders, found that environmental and social factors also played into a person’s sexual orientation, according to the UK Telegraph.

Those involved in the study noted, however, that homosexuality was not a lifestyle decision by a given person.

“Sexual orientation has nothing to do with choice,” Bailey was quoted as saying. “Our findings suggest there may be genes at play – we found evidence for two sets that affect whether a man is gay or straight.”

Sanders added: “We don’t think genetics is the whole story. It’s not. We have a gene that contributes to homosexuality but you could say it is linked to heterosexuality. It is the variation.”

For the study, a reported 400 sets of twins were studied, to determine whether there were significant genetic differences between heterosexual and bisexual or homosexual participants.

Ultimately, while they found a shared genetic signature among gay male participants, the team involved in the study felt that the suggestion of a “gay gene” was an “oversimplification.”

Such a genetic distinction has not been found in lesbians, experts told the Telegraph.

The study has reportedly not yet been published.

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