The Gay Gene

There has been a constant discussion on the existance (or not) of a gene which codifies homosexuality, bisexuality and, who knows, perhaps in the future we will hear talking about a asexual gene or transsexual gene. So a question arises: is the existence of such gene compatible with today’s most accepted evolution’s theory, Neo-Darwinism?

Let’s start, as expected, with a population of homo sapiens sapiens. These are different in many aspects, from the smallest and nonperceptable to those which are quite evident. This tremendous diversity that elements of the same species demonstrate is due to the fact that no human being, in fact no living being, has the same genetic code. Amidst the genetic code of a really small number of individuals, in which molecule it is not known, a new gene appears (product of mutations) alike any other. This gene codifies homosexual behaviours; to shorten, gay gene.

To this point all appears to be possible and in conformity with an appropriate Neo-Darwinist explanation. But this is where complications start to make their entrance.

Natural selection comes into play, the survival of the fittest. Only those with a set of genes which translates to adaption under certain conditions can survive. Observing the way homosexuality has been persecuted since the dawn of the Catholic Church, we can immediately assert that having a gay gene isn’t at all favourable to any individual. Being persecuted, castrated, dismembered and burnt at the stake are not in conformity with any definition of fitness. First Flaw.

Let’s pretend the occidental culture has always been gifted with a perfect and unconditional tolerance, accepting every difference and, as so, never having existed any kind of persecution to those who considered different according to then’s cultural values. All individuals who had the gay gene would survive to the end of their lives, being it precocious or when they found themselves unable to remember the faces of their own parents. It’s logical and so says Darwin and his successors, that only the genes of the individuals that reproduce can be transmitted to the generations that came after. Behold the great gap in the Gay Gene Theory and all other theories that intend to associate homosexuality and bisexuality with genetics. It is well known by all of us that homosexuality does not lead to reproduction and as so the gay gene could never be transmitted. It could never increase its frequency in the population of homo sapiens sapiens, this is, in our society. Second Flaw.

The enthusiasts and connoisseurs of Genetics would now say the gay gene could appear as it appeared in the first individual, by mutations. It could, but only ideally. The probabilities of amid the entire human population the same gene appearing in such a high number of individuals are quite low, or, even zero.

As so, the existence of a gay gene of any other genetic element that codifies homosexual behaviour becomes nearly impossible. But we shouldn’t take all its merit away: it’s a wonderful alternative to acceptance. If we pretend that all that is different has a genetic explanation, being an anomaly (what is a mutation if not an anomaly?), we will be able to sleep much better at night.


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