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Homosexuality may be inherited from parents, according to new study

6:24 PM, Dec 12, 2012   |    comments
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By Kontji Anthony

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WMC/CNN) - Can homosexuality be inherited? A study done at the University of Tennessee claims it can.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville study says homosexuality may be inherited from parents.

"We came up with one particular idea or hypothesis where this seemed very plausible and very much compatible with the existing data," said Sergey Gavrilets with the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis.

Gavrilets says his study found chemicals in the body, like certain proteins, act as switches, turning sensitivities to testosterone and estrogen off and on.

"Those things can control how genes are expressed, which genes are turned off and which genes are turned on," he said.

Will Batts of the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community center says the findings could be the key to many answers.

"I think if we're just looking at the science, it might be something that we embrace. It sort of explains how we get to be the way we are," said Batts.

The study says a son receives sensitivities to estrogen from his mother making him gay, and a daughter receives sensitivities to testosterone from her father, making her a lesbian.

"I thought it was really interesting that somebody may have found something that would help explain that," said Batts.

He hopes the findings remain neutral.

"When we assign morality to something that's based on genetics, we get into a lot of trouble. In the middle ages, people who were left-handed were thought to be evil. We know that's not true. We don't believe that anymore, but that was a belief," said Batts.

The study is published online in The Quarterly Review of Biology.

WMC/CNN

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