Queer Genes: Realism, Sexuality and Science

J Crit Realism. 2016 Oct 19;15(5):511-529. doi: 10.1080/14767430.2016.1210872. Epub 2016 Aug 23.


What are 'gay genes' and are they real? This article looks at key research into these hypothesized gay genes, made possible, in part, by the Human Genome Project. I argue that the complexity of both genetics and human sexuality demands a truly critical approach: one that takes into account feminist epistemologies of science and queer approaches to the body, while putting into conversation resources from agential realism and critical realism. This approach is able to maintain the agential complexity of genetic materiality, while also critically challenging the seemingly stable relationships between sex, gender and sexuality.

Keywords: agential realism; critical realism; feminist standpoint epistemologies; gay genes; queer; situated knowledges.