Genome-wide scan demonstrates significant linkage for male sexual orientation

Psychol Med. 2015 May;45(7):1379-88. doi: 10.1017/S0033291714002451. Epub 2014 Nov 17.


Background: Findings from family and twin studies support a genetic contribution to the development of sexual orientation in men. However, previous studies have yielded conflicting evidence for linkage to chromosome Xq28.

Method: We conducted a genome-wide linkage scan on 409 independent pairs of homosexual brothers (908 analyzed individuals in 384 families), by far the largest study of its kind to date.

Results: We identified two regions of linkage: the pericentromeric region on chromosome 8 (maximum two-point LOD = 4.08, maximum multipoint LOD = 2.59), which overlaps with the second strongest region from a previous separate linkage scan of 155 brother pairs; and Xq28 (maximum two-point LOD = 2.99, maximum multipoint LOD = 2.76), which was also implicated in prior research.

Conclusions: Results, especially in the context of past studies, support the existence of genes on pericentromeric chromosome 8 and chromosome Xq28 influencing development of male sexual orientation.

Keywords: male sexual orientation..

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 8 / genetics*
  • Chromosomes, Human, X / genetics*
  • Genetic Linkage / genetics*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study*
  • Homosexuality, Male / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Siblings
  • United States