Finnish study finds genetic effects associated with homosexual intention and behavior

An August, 2007 study in Biological Psychology has come in under the radar. The study of twins provides some interesting findings of interest to discussions here. For now, I am going to post the abstract, discussion section and reference.


We investigated the potential to engage in homosexual behavior in 6001 female and 3152 male twins and their siblings finding that 32.8% of the men and 65.4% of the women reported such potential ( p < 0.001). 91.5% of these men and 98.3% of these women reported no overt homosexual behavior during the preceding 12 months. The potential to engage in homosexual behavior was influenced by genetic effects for both men (37.4%) and women (46.4%) and these overlapped only partly with those for overt homosexual behavior.


The results show, for the first time, prevalent potential for homosexual response in both men and women, even among individuals who do not report any overt homosexual behavior. Women reported more potential which is in accordance with previous findings showing that their sexual orientation may be more changeable (Kinnish et al., 2005). These results suggest that sexual identity, behavior and potential may often be quite disentangled as suggested by both Escoffier (2003) and Pathela et al. (2006). The phrasing of the question does not suggest that the homosexual sex would take place in the absence of possibilities for heterosexual sex, indicating that the responses refer to homosexual behavior by choice. Therefore, the concept of PHR should not be mixed with situational homosexuality occurring in all-male or all-female environments such as prisons.

PHR was also influenced by genes. These genetic effects overlapped only partly with overt homosexual behavior. Any alleles underlying the genetic effect on PHR should be relatively common and, therefore, also likely to have served some evolutionary purpose, such as limiting the aggressiveness of males and thereby making them more attractive to females (Miller, 2000). PHR was more prevalent among women, a result that is not in line with suggestions that the alleles influencing homosexuality would be predominantly linked to the X-chromosome (Hamer, 2002). It is also of interest to note that there was no evidence of any shared environmental effects on either phenotype. Such results suggest no role for neither intrauterine effects, arguing against hormonal theories of sexual orientation, nor for familial effects shared by all siblings to the same degree, arguing against simple parental personality or parenting style effects.


The results imply that we should rethink how the phenotype of homosexuality is defined. Finally, previous

psychological and genetic correlates of homosexual orientation may actually have more to do with why some people engage in homosexual behavior as opposed to being correlates of a potential to do so.

Delaware school requires “treatment” for bad thinking

I have been following the development of a story out of Delaware regarding the University of Delaware and residence life trainings to address student worldview. The link is to the website of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Eduation (FIRE). According to the website and documents I have seen, the university keeps a portfolio on students to ascertain progress toward institutional goals. The goals include forced views of white privilege and “heterosexism.” There are links on this site to the university’s ideological program.

It occurred to me that even my sectarian college does not micromanage the views of our students. I do not know how this will all shake out but I am following it. While I am sure there are some reasonable behaviors that the school would like to encourage, taking a “re-education” methodology (if this is implemented as described) seems counterproductive.

UPDATE: University of Delaware has stopped the program – see here.

Post-mortem on the Obama-McClurkin dust up

The conservative Weekly Standard provides some dandy analysis of the Obama-McClurkin episode. Surprising to me is the writer Dean Barnett’s reference to McClurkin as “semi-gay.” Now we have yet another term to add to the collection, albeit not one that is likely catch on. Guess you can color him skeptical.


From meddling to preaching; two important articles on shifts in Evangelicalism

David Kirkpatrick has a lengthy analysis of shifts in evangelicalism in yesterday’s New York Times. Called “The Evangelical Crackup,” the article describes what appears to be a shift in evangelicalism away from political activism.

And then the Rocky Mountain News describes a similar shift underway at Focus on the Family with the advent of Jim Daly as head of the organization.

Obama a no-show; McClurkin cheered

This AP article gives a report from the Embrace the Change concert in South Carolina.

According those on the scene, McClurkin was featured and presented his beliefs near the end of the concert.

My guess is he will get points from African-Americans in South Carolina but he will lose the state.

Obama says his staff did not check out McClurkin’s views well enough (read: we didn’t think anyone would mind that much).