posted on Jun, 16 2005 @ 02:34 PM
In a recent study, a single gene has been shown to dramatically effect the sexual behavior of the common fruit fly. When this gene is activated in
female fruit flies they display the mating behavior of male fruit flies. Similarly when this gene is inactivated in male flies they stop displaying
male sexual behaviors.
CORVALLIS, Ore. -- New research has shown that the manipulation of a single gene in female fruit flies can make their sexual behavior resemble that
of males, in a study that demonstrates the power of individual genes and the profound impact of genetics on complex sexual behavior.
The research was done with the gene "fruitless," which is present in both male and female fruit flies and some other insect species. Ordinarily,
only in males does this gene result in the creation of proteins that guide male sexual behavior patterns -- such as approaching females, tapping them,
singing to them and performing little courtship dances
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
This discovery should add fuel to the fire of the genetics versus environment debate that rages over human sexuality. Certainly this is evidence
that there is a genetic factor involved in sexuality. While the article above does state that humans do not share the gene studied in fruit flies,
certainly the dramatic result of the study gives strong evidence that even a single gene or set of genes can have a dramatic effect on sexual
behavior. It would appear that people may well be born with a tendency toward homosexuality or perhaps even some forms of sexual deviance.
As a caveat to those who believe that deviant sexual behavior is morally wrong I would like to point out that it has been demonstrated that alcoholism
has a genetic predisposition as well but that does not excuse the alcoholic his or her behavior. In the same way one could argue that someone
genetically predisposed to homosexuality is not excused from responsibility for their behavior. Yet it does change the perspective of the condition
if as this article suggests there is, or at least could be, a genetic factor involved. Perhaps science will yet identify the gay gene or gay genes
and hence be able to formulate a treatment for the condition for those who find it reprehensible.
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[edit on 16-6-2005 by Johannmon]