Study of Gay Brothers

In my weekly sojourn around the net, I couldn’t help but notice this somewhat interesting project:

Researchers from the Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Research Institute, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, and University of Illinois at Chicago are searching for genes that influence male sexual orientation.

Hmmm.  I wonder if Robbie has a gay brother . . . but I digress.  I was pointed to the study by the Chicago Sun-Times, where writer Jim Ritter makes some puzzling statements, such as:

Scientists have rejected earlier notions that homosexuality is a mental illness. The thinking now is that sexual orientation is determined by roughly 40 percent genetic factors and 60 percent environmental factors. (emphasis mine)


Homosexuality tends to run in families. While 2 percent to 4 percent of all men are gay, 8 percent to 12 percent of brothers of gay men are gay. (again, emphasis mine)

So, evidently Ritter has somehow polled ALL MEN on their sexuality, and finally found those determinate numbers we were looking for.  Obviously I’m being facetious here, but while I think we may well find that homosexuality is caused by a combination of genetic and other factors, I feel it my duty–for some ungodly reason–to point out that these “statistics” should be considered with a grain of salt. 

I admit that it will be interesting to find out just exactly what conclusions are drawn from this study. 


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