The Genetics of Human Sexual Orientation

  • Khytam Dawood
  • J. Michael Bailey


The primary focus of this chapter is on the evidence to date regarding the population genetics of sexual orientation. The bulk of the available evidence suggests moderate heritability for male sexual orientation. Female sexual orientation has been studied much less extensively, but recent studies are consistent with a genetic contribution for women as well (Pattatucci & Hamer, 1995). Familial aggregation has been observed in nuclear family studies of both male and female homosexuality, although the genetic and environmental contributions to this familial clustering have not been resolved by the main twin studies published thus far, which have yielded somewhat contradictory results. Recent molecular genetics studies will also be reviewed, including the two main strategies that have been employed so far - linkage and association analysis.


male homosexuality sexual orientation sexual identity familiality heritability genetics 


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Khytam Dawood
  • J. Michael Bailey

There are no affiliations available

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