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Born This Way: Scientists Discover More 'Gay Genes'

Update Date: Feb 14, 2014 03:25 PM EST

Homosexuality is genetic, a new study suggests.

New research on DNA has revealed two chromosomes that may determine a man's sexuality.

After analyzing the genes of 409 pairs of gay brothers recruited at Gay Pride festivals over several years, scientists at Chicago University discovered evidence of "gay genes," suggesting that homosexuality is determined by biology.

The latest study revealed that a region of the X chromosome and a part of DNA on chromosome eight might impact male sexuality. Researchers said the latest findings suggest that DNA may account for up to 40 percent of a man's sexual orientation.

"Sexual orientation has nothing to do with choice. Our findings suggest there may be genes at play - we found evidence for two sets that affect whether a man is gay or straight," co-researcher Dr. Michael Bailey, of Northwestern University said at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago, according to the International Business Times.

"But it is not completely determinative; there are certainly other environmental factors involved," he noted.

The latest study builds on research carried out in 1993 by Dr. Dean Hamer of the National Cancer Institute, who was the first to find evidence of the "gay gene". 

Researchers note that the last research raises the prospect of genetic tests that could be used to predict whether babies will be gay or straight, according to The Independent.

"Although this could one day lead to a prenatal test for male sexual orientation, it would not be very accurate, as there are other factors that can influence the outcome," Bailey said.

"Clearly parents should not be allowed to torture or kill babies. But they can currently choose to terminate a pregnancy early on, so they should be allowed to have as much information on the future child as possible," he added.

Researchers noted that the latest findings should not be used to determine whether a man is gay or straight.

"When people say there's a gay gene, it's an oversimplification," co-researcher Alan Sanders said, according to The Guardian. "There's more than one gene, and genetics is not the whole story. Whatever gene contributes to sexual orientation, you can think of it as much as contributing to heterosexuality as much as you can think of it contributing to homosexuality. It contributes to a variation in the trait."

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