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Old 10-23-2006, 12:58 AM   #199
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Originally Posted by Spider AL
Everyone always digs this study out, but they rarely note that its conclusions were not supported by another study conducted by Rice et al in 1999. Rice et al found no significant linkage between the xq28 chromesome and increased homosexual tendency.
Everyone? I've only seen it cited a few times in various discussions. I notice, however, that others are quick to cite Rice et al as if this study completely refutes Hamer. It doesn't. Rice et al demonstrated that by using a slightly different methodology, Hamer's results couldn't be duplicated. Rice et al studied a slightly different population and had 3 or 4 other methodological differences from Hamer and a few other studies.

I've read quite a few studies regarding the xq28 allele, particularly the Hamer and Rice studies. The results, briefly are as follows:
  1. Rice et al (1999) studied 52 pairs of gay brothers and found that 46% shared the xq28 allele
  2. Hamer et al (1993) studied 40 pairs of gay brothers who shared 82%
  3. Sanders et al (1998) studied 54 pairs of gay brothers who shared 66%
  4. Hu et al (1995) studied 32 pairs of gay brothers who shared 67%

When the above four studies are meta-analyzed, Rice et al included, the results are that 64% of gay brothers share the xq28 allele.

Does this demonstrate conclusively that homosexuality is genetic? Of course not. But it becomes highly suggestive of a commonality and gives researchers some clues of where to keep looking as the human genome is more fully understood.

I do, however, agree with SpiderAL with regard to being able to state whether or not homosexuality is genetic or not. We simply don't know. The point of referring to studies like Hamer et al is to remind those that are quick to say "homosexuality is a choice" that to state such things is to fall into a logical fallacy of false assumption. There simply isn't any reason to state it other than it might be a conclusion already reached and you want it to be true.

There are some other studies, that are more recent that are suggest much the same, that homosexuality is not a conscious choice and probably prenatal if not genetic.

A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences demonstrated that the number of biological older brothers increases the probability of homosexuality in men. According to the study's author (Bogaert 2006) it suggests that prenatal mechanisms are at work rather than social ones in deciding sexual orientation.

Originally Posted by Spider AL
When hardline religious people say "but gay people can't have children" I think by and large they're fully aware of the possiblity of surrogate parents, artificial insemination for the ladies, and also the possiblity of adoption. It's just that they disagree with gay people doing any of THOSE things, too.
Yes, but the argument, usually by those that attempt to distance themselves from the religious (or appear to), is that marriage is about reproduction. It isn't. That's part of marriage and may be the core reason for some, but there are many, many reasons to marry, regardless of your opinion on the practice. I listed some above, which are lifted from a Government Accounting Office (U.S.) report. My wife and I didn't marry to have a child. But for those that think marriage *is* about children, not being able to reproduce between them isn't a valid argument -it's a non sequitur. It simply doesn't follow that two people shouldn't be allowed to marry if they are unable to reproduce together. There are many couples where one partner is sterile or where genetically carried diseases and conditions are a valid consideration. I know a happily married couple where one spouse has has a family history of a particular disease (it might be Huntington's). They have a large and wonderful family. All kids adopted.

Originally Posted by Spider AL
Once again, the institution of state-sanctioned marriages should be disallowed FOR ALL.
Yeah, yeah. We hear you. It's not going to happen. Since it isn't, gays and heterosexuals that want to marry within their gender should be permitted to do so. There simply is no legitimate reason to disallow it.

Originally Posted by Spider AL
A couple of people have made the point that "well marriage isn't going to be phased out anytime soon, so it's better to allow gays to marry."

Really? You see any sign that marriage is about to be "phased out?" LOL.

Originally Posted by Spider AL
The only reason homosexuals have gained the right of civil partnerships is because people have campaigned for so long for it to happen. If all that energy had been properly directed towards the abolition of marriage as a state-sanctioned perk, then we'd probably have got it by now. But no, people have to think only of the small picture.
One or two people opposed to marriage aren't likely to abolish the practice. Nor is there any serious talk of doing so. I think we can dismiss this argument with regard to the same-sex marriage issue. We can also dismiss the gays can't reproduce/marriage is about reproduction argument. The religious argument has no bearing, thus dismissed.

Is there any other argument against same-sex marriage that should be considered.



Bogaert, AF (2006). Biological versus nonbiological older brothers and men's sexual orientation. PNAS, 103(28), 10771-10774

Hamer, D.H., et al (1993). A linkage between DNA markers on the X chromosome and male sexual orientation. Science, 261, 321-327.

Hu, S.; et al (1995). Linkage between sexual orientation and chromosome Xq28 in males but not in females. Nature Genetics, 11, 248256

Rice G, et al (1999). Male homosexuality: absence of linkage to microsatellite markers at Xq28. Science1999; 284:665667

Sanders, AR; et al. (1998). poster presentation 149, annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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