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Science DOI:10.1126/science.aat7693

Large-scale GWAS reveals insights into the genetic architecture of same-sex sexual behavior.

Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsGanna, A, Verweij, KJH, Nivard, MG, Maier, R, Wedow, R, Busch, AS, Abdellaoui, A, Guo, S, J Sathirapongsasuti, F, Lichtenstein, P, Lundström, S, Långström, N, Auton, A, Harris, KMullan, Beecham, GW, Martin, ER, Sanders, AR, Perry, JRB, Neale, BM, Zietsch, BP
Corporate Authors23andMe Research Team
Date Published2019 08 30

Twin and family studies have shown that same-sex sexual behavior is partly genetically influenced, but previous searches for specific genes involved have been underpowered. We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on 477,522 individuals, revealing five loci significantly associated with same-sex sexual behavior. In aggregate, all tested genetic variants accounted for 8 to 25% of variation in same-sex sexual behavior, only partially overlapped between males and females, and do not allow meaningful prediction of an individual's sexual behavior. Comparing these GWAS results with those for the proportion of same-sex to total number of sexual partners among nonheterosexuals suggests that there is no single continuum from opposite-sex to same-sex sexual behavior. Overall, our findings provide insights into the genetics underlying same-sex sexual behavior and underscore the complexity of sexuality.


Alternate JournalScience
PubMed ID31467194
Grant List / / Swedish Research Council / International
R01 HD060726 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
R21 HD080410 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
R01 MH107649 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
P01 HD031921 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
R01 HD073342 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
R01 HD041563 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States