Extreme skewing of X chromosome inactivation in mothers of homosexual men
Human sexual preference is a sexually dimorphic trait with a substantial genetic component. Linkage of male sexual orientation to markers on the X chromosome has been reported in some families. Here, we measured X chromosome inactivation ratios in 97 mothers of homosexual men and 103 age-matched control women without gay sons. The number of women with extreme skewing of X-inactivation was significantly higher in mothers of gay men (13/97=13%) compared to controls (4/103=4%) and increased in mothers with two or more gay sons (10/44=23%). Our findings support a role for the X chromosome in regulating sexual orientation in a subgroup of gay men.
KeywordsAndrogen Receptor Sexual Orientation Sexual Attraction Chromosome Inactivation Androgen Receptor Gene
We would like to thank all the families whose participation in this study made our work possible.