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Can the genetics be modified in such a way that a person's sexual orientation ...

Can the genes or their epigenetic switches be modified in such a way that a person's sexual orientation changes, and the change becomes inheritable?


Hypothetically, if a genetically exclusively heterosexual male performs sexual activity with another male in the absence of a female partner to obtain sexual pleasure, can the genes/ epigenetic switches of the first male be modified in such a way that (A) He will be sexually attracted predominantly towards other men from then on, and (B) If he mates with a female in future and produce an offspring male, the male child will be genetically predominantly homosexual?


By "an exclusively heterosexual male", I meant the kind of male who's sexually attracted exclusively towards female and wouldn't engage in sex with a male if there is no adverse condition/ restriction on him. ( For example, a lot of homosexual men in Asia have to marry women due to social pressures. )

Also, I know we don't know yet if somebody's sexuality is purely genetic, but that's why I said hypothetically. I want to understand if life events could influence genetics if sexuality was purely genetic. In other words, can purely genetic traits be altered by life events?

Thank you for your attention.
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Original post by MedQ
Can the genes or their epigenetic switches be modified in such a way that a person's sexual orientation changes, and the change becomes inheritable?


Hypothetically, if a genetically exclusively heterosexual male performs sexual activity with another male in the absence of a female partner to obtain sexual pleasure, can the genes/ epigenetic switches of the first male be modified in such a way that (A) He will be sexually attracted predominantly towards other men from then on, and (B) If he mates with a female in future and produce an offspring male, the male child will be genetically predominantly homosexual?


By "an exclusively heterosexual male", I meant the kind of male who's sexually attracted exclusively towards female and wouldn't engage in sex with a male if there is no adverse condition/ restriction on him. ( For example, a lot of homosexual men in Asia have to marry women due to social pressures. )

Also, I know we don't know yet if somebody's sexuality is purely genetic, but that's why I said hypothetically. I want to understand if life events could influence genetics if sexuality was purely genetic. In other words, can purely genetic traits be altered by life events?

Thank you for your attention.

Logically speaking attraction is stimulated by the brain? Do correct me if I'm wrong but as far as I'm aware altering human genetics usually ends with an adverse effect, besides I hardly think sexual orientation is determined by genetics, however I do believe that it is possible to alter a persons sexual orientation from such a young age (lack of a fatherly male role model yields a feminine male for example...).
(edited 9 years ago)
Original post by MedQ
Can the genes or their epigenetic switches be modified in such a way that a person's sexual orientation changes, and the change becomes inheritable?


Hypothetically, if a genetically exclusively heterosexual male performs sexual activity with another male in the absence of a female partner to obtain sexual pleasure, can the genes/ epigenetic switches of the first male be modified in such a way that (A) He will be sexually attracted predominantly towards other men from then on, and (B) If he mates with a female in future and produce an offspring male, the male child will be genetically predominantly homosexual?


By "an exclusively heterosexual male", I meant the kind of male who's sexually attracted exclusively towards female and wouldn't engage in sex with a male if there is no adverse condition/ restriction on him. ( For example, a lot of homosexual men in Asia have to marry women due to social pressures. )

Also, I know we don't know yet if somebody's sexuality is purely genetic, but that's why I said hypothetically. I want to understand if life events could influence genetics if sexuality was purely genetic. In other words, can purely genetic traits be altered by life events?

Thank you for your attention.


Generally, life events cannot alter a person's genotype. It's possible that they might have an effect on the way the DNA is used, and while mutations can occur, these aren't as a specific direct response to environment (A hypothetical sexuality gene mutating on the basis of who the person is having sex with) and they're on the level of individual cells, not the entire cell population of a human.
Reply 4
Original post by inc0gnito
Logically speaking attraction is stimulated by the brain? Do correct me if I'm wrong but as far as I'm aware altering human genetics usually ends with an adverse effect, besides I hardly think sexual orientation is determined by genetics, however I do believe that it is possible to alter a persons sexual orientation from such a young age (lack of a fatherly male role model yields a feminine male for example...).


Thank you very much for your answer.

I thought nature and nurture both play a role in developing a person's sexuality.
Reply 5
Original post by Larynx.pharynx
Generally, life events cannot alter a person's genotype. It's possible that they might have an effect on the way the DNA is used, and while mutations can occur, these aren't as a specific direct response to environment (A hypothetical sexuality gene mutating on the basis of who the person is having sex with) and they're on the level of individual cells, not the entire cell population of a human.


Thank you very much for your answer.

I know a person's genome usually don't get altered with such life events. However, my question was whether those epigenetic molecules that control how the DNA will be expressed can influence a person's and his offspring's sexuality.

I didn't understand something you said. When you said ''these aren't as a specific direct response to environment'', by 'these', did you mean only mutations, or mutations and life events both?

Thank you once again.
Original post by MedQ
Thank you very much for your answer.

I know a person's genome usually don't get altered with such life events. However, my question was whether those epigenetic molecules that control how the DNA will be expressed can influence a person's and his offspring's sexuality.

I didn't understand something you said. When you said ''these aren't as a specific direct response to environment'', by 'these', did you mean only mutations, or mutations and life events both?

Thank you once again.


As far as I know, there's no evidence of epigenetic factors having a role in sexuality.

I meant mutations.
Reply 7
Original post by inc0gnito
Logically speaking attraction is stimulated by the brain? Do correct me if I'm wrong but as far as I'm aware altering human genetics usually ends with an adverse effect, besides I hardly think sexual orientation is determined by genetics, however I do believe that it is possible to alter a persons sexual orientation from such a young age (lack of a fatherly male role model yields a feminine male for example...).



do you fail to understand that sexuality and general disposition are two completely separate things
Original post by louieee
do you fail to understand that sexuality and general disposition are two completely separate things

Your point doesn't seem to come across as clear.
Male sexuality is supposedly heavily influenced by testosterone exposure in utero. Female sexuality is more complicated and no one fully knows what determines it. But, the point is that sexuality (at least for males) is pretty much 'decided' when we are born. So genetic/epigenetic changes during life will have minimal impact on sexual orientation. I guess it is conceivable, though, that differential expression of testosterone genes in utero (of both the mother and fetus) could have an impact on the orientation of the child.


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Original post by MedQ
Thank you very much for your answer.

I thought nature and nurture both play a role in developing a person's sexuality.


They do, but they won't affect the DNA passed on by this person. If some sort of "gay gene" did in fact exist, it would be hereditary, but would not change simply because of activities that this person engaged in, while alive. As a result, it wouldn't make it any more or less likely that any future offspring would inherit the same gene in greater (or lower) quantities.
Original post by HollyLeafUK
They do, but they won't affect the DNA passed on by this person. If some sort of "gay gene" did in fact exist, it would be hereditary, but would not change simply because of activities that this person engaged in, while alive. As a result, it wouldn't make it any more or less likely that any future offspring would inherit the same gene in greater (or lower) quantities.


You do realise you quoted a message from 8 years ago right?

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