Research by a team of Italian researchers suggests a genetic link between homosexuality and fertility.

A study of 98 homosexual men, 100 heterosexual men, and their relatives (4600 people) indicates that female maternal relatives of homosexual men tend to have more children than female maternal relatives of heterosexual men. This was not true of female paternal relatives.

The lead researcher, Professor Andrea Camperio-Ciani, of Padua University, attributed to his 15-year-old daughter the idea that there is a genetic factor linked to both homosexuality and high birth rates. This, she suggested, could help explain the anti-intuitive persistence of genes, such as the so-called "gay gene" (Xq28) that apparently contribute negatively to the production of offspring.

Prof. Camperio-Ciani stressed that his study explained only 20 per cent of the variance in sexual orientation of males; otherwise homosexuality would be much more common. "The remaining 80 per cent has yet to be understood," he writes. "It could—and in fact partly is—due to cultural and individual experience, or even by undiscovered biological factors."

Most intriguing is the conclusion that the incidence of homosexuality can be expected to be greater in societies with declining birth rates, because the influence of this genetic factor is more significant.

The Padua team speculates that the study could explain why the incidence of homosexuality appears to vary, as it did in ancient Rome where a form of condom was in use. Prof. Camperio-Ciani writes: "When fecundity in general is high because every female reproduces as much as possible, these homosexual genes that enhance fecundity are not expressed significantly. But when the population is declining because of a decrease of fecundity (modern Italians) or birth control (ancient Romans), then these factors may well make the difference in relatively promoting fecundity—and therefore homosexuality—in the population."
Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, October 13, 2004 at 8:23 pm | Edit
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Is that possible, that residue of synthetic estrogen,( specifically 17a-ethynylestradiol which is the main component of birth control pills)
in mother's organism will affect sexuality of offspring.
Please answer yanee

Posted by yanee on Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 6:34 pm

I'm sorry, yanee, but I don't know anything about the subject; I was merely reporting the research.

I'm sure, though, that it's better, if medically feasible, to get any drugs out of one's system before getting pregnant, on the grounds that we don't really know what effect they might have on the baby.

Posted by SursumCorda on Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 6:46 pm

I have the impression that women that take the pill for long period of time before conception have more probability to have a gay child than women that do not have them at all. We would need some serious surveys to prove that. In other words most of the gays come from women using pills. That's the result of my observations for the last 40 years. I may be wrong.

Posted by Gerry on Friday, March 12, 2010 at 11:07 pm

I wonder if anyone has done such a study. It certainly wouldn't explain the ancient Greeks, for example, but there's no telling what effects changing one's hormonal balance might have.

Posted by SursumCorda on Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 8:15 am

I have for many years believed that the incidence of homosexuality is cause by the birth pill estrogen,( specifically 17a-ethynylestradiol which is the main component of birth control pills) the large drug companies have been well aware of this but don't want to risk losing this valuable source of income, and governments fear the massive rise in births if they admit it. I am 63 and never knowingly new or was aware of any homosexual schoolmates, teachers or relatives that were gay. now i feel as though I am the odd straight one.

Posted by Paul Bernard on Friday, August 19, 2011 at 3:46 pm