Often people ask me why the gay male population is growing instead of dwindling. After all, two gay men can’t procreate with each other and yet, gay men have always been around, all the way back to the beginning of recorded history. New research is showing some very interesting reasons for why gay men exist and it actually has more to do with their female relatives, than themselves.
The female link between the growing gay male population.
For several years, a detailed study led by Andrea Camperio Ciani at the University of Padova in Italy has been tracking the families of gay men. What they have found is that mothers and maternal aunts of gay men tend to have significantly more offspring than the maternal relatives of straight men. The results show strong support for the “balancing selection hypothesis,” which is fast becoming the accepted theory of the genetic basis of male homosexuality. For more on gay studies, click here.
What is “Balancing Selection Hypothesis”?
Basically “Balancing selection hypothesis” means that the women that have the “gay gene” (the one that makes their male children more liked to be attracted to men) are highly attractive to men. The women are also more fertile and often have easy pregnancies, not only that but they are also more socially adept and and have fewer family problems.
A nice genetic gift in many ways. So basically the women who get the “gay man genes,” usually pass them to future generations because they have more children on average that women without these genes, so children are gay but the ones that are not, continues to carry the gene to future generations.
X marks the gay spot.
At this point no one knows which genes are the gay ones, but the research does show that at least one of them is located on the X chromosome (this according to genetic modeling by the Italian researchers). Men inherit only one X chromosome the one from their mother and if it has the gene that promotes gayness in males and extreme fertility in females, he is likely to be gay while his mom and 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.
Pretty interesting stuff. My big concern about this research is people trying to remove the gene to “cure” gayness in men. We have enough bigotry against gay men still. If nature has added this element into our ecosystem, it’s for a reason. If you’re born to be gay, you are just as nature intended.