一项大规模研究显示,“同性恋基因”根本不存在
The 'Gay Gene' Is a Total Myth, Massive Study Concludes
891字
2019-12-17 21:01
63阅读
火星译客

No individual gene alone makes a person gay, lesbian or bisexual; instead, thousands of genes likely influence sexual orientation, a massive new study of the genomes of nearly half a million people suggests.

近期一项大规模调查研究了近50万人的基因组,结果显示虽然没有任何一个单独的基因可以决定一个人是否是同性练或者双性恋,但是一个人的性取向可能会受到成千上万个基因的影响。

Across human societies and in both sexes, between 2% and 10% of people report engaging in sex with a member of the same sex, either exclusively or in addition to sex with a member of the opposite sex, the researchers said. The biological factors that contribute to sexual orientation are largely unknown, but many scientists suspect that genetics plays a role, given that same-sex sexual behavior appears to run in families and is seen more often in identical twins than in fraternal twins.

调查人员提到,在不同的人类社会中,大概有2%到10%的人都曾和一些同性发生过性关系,有的人只和同性但也有的人和一些异性也曾发生过性关系。决定一个人性取向的生物学要素尚不清楚,但是许多科学家怀疑这和基因一定存在一定关系,因为同性性行为似乎会在家族中遗传,而且同卵双胞胎比异卵双胞胎更为常见。

But a precise genetic basis for sexual orientation has been elusive, largely  because scientists previously had relatively small groups of volunteers to investigate.

但是科学家一直都没能获取到准确的性取向基因库,这主要是由于之前鲜少有自愿者参与这项调查。

"Because it is a controversial topic, funding has historically been limited and recruitment of participants was difficult," study co-author Fah Sathirapongsasuti, a senior scientist and computational biologist at the genetic testing company  23andMe, told Live Science. Same-sex orientation remains criminalized in more than 70 countries, some with the death penalty, often stifling those willing to disclose such personal information.

基因检测公司23andMe的资深科学家,计算生物学家,研究合著者Fah Sathirapongsasuti告诉我们:“这个话题太具有争议性了,所以一直没有足够的赞助,也很难找到参与者。”世界上有70多个国家都认定同性取向是非法行为,有一些甚至还会判处同性恋死刑,这通常使那些本愿意透露类似个人信息的人们也缄默不语。

The new study, however, included a much larger number of participants, making the results more statistically reliable than those of the previous, smaller studies. In the largest genetic study of sexual orientation to date, scientists studied a group of about 470,000 volunteers in the United Kingdom and the United States who reported on whether they had ever engaged in same-sex sexual behavior. They relied on genetic data from the UK Biobank (a long-term health and genetics study running in the United Kingdom) and 23andMe, as well as responses to surveys asking questions about sexual identity, attraction, fantasies and behavior.

然而近期这项调查招募到了很多参与者,研究结果也相比之前小规模的调查更为可信。在至今最大的规模的性取向基因研究中,科学家们调查了来自英国和美国的47万自愿者,询问他们是否有过同性性行为。研究中所使用的基因数据来自英国生物样本库(英国一家长期致力于健康及基因调查的研究所)和23andMe公司,同时还有对于性别认同,性吸引力,性幻想以及性行为等调查问题的回应。

"To give you a sense of the scale of the data, this is approximately 100-times-fold bigger than previous studies on this topic," study lead author Andrea Ganna, a researcher at the Institute for Molecular Medicine in Finland, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, told Live Science.

芬兰分子医学研究所,马塞诸塞州综合医院,哈佛医学院的研究人员,本次研究的第一作者Andrea Ganna告诉我们:“你们可以感受一下这次调查的数据规模,大概是之前研究此类话题数据规模的100倍。”

The researchers could not find any one gene linked with same-sex sexual behavior. Five genetic variants did appear significantly linked to sexual orientation, and thousands more also seemed involved to a lesser extent.

研究人员找不到任何一个基因和同性性行为有直接关系。然而有五个基因变异确实和性取向明显相关,另外上千个基因也似乎对性取向略有影响。

In the end, the scientists could not find any genetic patterns that could be used, in any way, to identify a person's sexual orientation. Instead, the predisposition to same-sex sexual behavior appeared influenced by a complex mix of genetic and environmental influences. That's also the case for many other human traits, such as height.

科学家最终也没能找到任何可以确认一个人性取向的基因模式。但是,他们提到同性性行为倾向可能受基因和环境的多方面影响。这和许多其他人类特质一样,比如身高。

"It's effectively impossible to predict an individual's sexual behavior from their genome," study co-author Ben Neale, a statistical geneticist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, told Live Science.

研究的联合作者,麻省理工和哈佛海外研究所统计学遗传学家Ben Neale告诉我们:“我们并不能从一个人的基因来预测他的性行为。”

However, the finding that there's no single gay gene does not mean that sexual orientation is not genetic or biological, and is therefore a lifestyle choice.

尽管没有任何一个单独的基因可以决定人们是否是同性恋,但是这并不意味着性取向完全是生活方式的一种选择,和人类基因以及生物构成毫无关系。

"This is wrong," study co-author Brendan Zietsch, a geneticist at the University of Queensland in Australia, told Live Science. "We find that there are many, many genes that predispose one to same-sex sexual behavior. Each of them individually has a very small effect, but together they have a substantial effect.

澳大利亚昆士兰大学遗传学家,研究联合作者Brendan Zietsch告诉我们:“这是错的。我们发现了有很多基因会使人更容易有同性性行为。尽管它们中的每一个都影响甚微,但是合起来就会产生很大影响。”

"Another possible misinterpretation is to think that if same-sex preference is genetically influenced, it must therefore be totally genetically determined," Zietsch added. "That is not true. Genetically identical individuals — twins — often have different sexual orientations. We know there are non-genetic influences as well, but we don't understand these well, and our study does not say anything about them."

Zietsch补充道:“另外一个误解就是认为如果基因对于人们的性取向有影响,那么一个人是否是同性恋则完全是基因决定的。这并不正确。拥有相同基因的双胞胎通常都有不同的性取向。我们知道还有非基因的影响,但是我们不是特别了解,我们的研究里并没有相关的内容。”

However, some of the genetic variants identified in the massive study "could hint at some biological pathways that may be involved in same-sex sexual behavior," Ganna said. "So one variant, for instance, was located in a stretch of DNA that houses several genes related to the sense of smell. So, we know that smell has a strong tie to sexual attraction, but its links to sexual behaviors are not clear."

Ganna说道:“大规模研究中识别到的一些基因变异可以为同性性行为提供一些生物学依据。比如,其中的一个变异位于DNA链中,这条链上的几个基因都和气味相关。我们知道气味和性吸引力之间有紧密的联系,但是我们不清楚它和性行为之间的关系。

In addition, genes seemed to have greater influence on same-sex sexual behavior in men than in women, Ganna said.

Ganna还提到:“除此以外,基因对于同性性行为的影响似乎在男性身上体现的更为明显。

The researchers suggested that genes may play a different role in same-sex behavior in males versus females because of biological factors, te/stosterone.html">such as levels of te/stosterone and estrogen. Other factors, such as gendered social norms regarding the number of sexual partners females should have, could make women less comfortable accurately reporting their sexual behavior. That, in turn, could skew the results.

研究人员提到基因对于同性行为的影响在男女中有不同体现可能是生物因素造成的,例如睾丸素和雌性激素水平。其他的因素,例如社会规范中对女性性/伴侣的数量及其敏感,这使女性不愿意透漏她们真实的性行为。这反过来也会影响研究结果。

Despite the study's large sample size, the findings are still limited because the researchers analyzed only populations with European ancestry from Western, high-income countries. The data also came primarily from older individuals, who mostly lived under stricter social norms and legislative regulations than today's. It's possible that younger people, who often grew up under a more permissive society, might feel more free to engage in more same-sex sexual behavior than older individuals with similar genetic makeups. So the findings might not be as applicable across the age spectrum, the authors noted.

尽管这次研究的样本规模庞大,但是研究结果依然存在很多局限性。因为研究人员只分析了西方高收入国家的欧洲人群。同时研究数据主要来自年长的人群,相比于今天,他们生活的年代往往具有更严格的社会规范以及法律规定。生活在当今更加宽容社会中的年轻人,尽管拥有相似的基因构成,可能比老人更容易发生同性性行为。作者提出,研究结果可能并不适用于所有年龄层段。

The scientists detailed their findings in the Aug. 30 issue of the journal Science. They also created a website to communicate the results of their study.

科学杂志8月30号的期刊中,科学家们详细地阐述了他们的调查研究发现。他们还创建了一个网站来分享交流他们的研究成果。

0 条评论
评论不能为空