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The Science of Desire: The Search for the Gay Gene and the Biology of Behavior Paperback – December 14, 1995
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Constance Rinaldo, Dartmouth Coll., Hanover, N.H.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Hamer is the Chief of the Section on Gene Structure and Regulation in the Department of Biochemistry at the National Cancer Institute. This book describes in lay terms the work that led to the publication of the scientific paper entitled "A Linkage Between DNA Markers on the X Chromosome and Male Sexual Orientation". The goal of the study was to determine whether male sexual orientation was "genetically influenced" and what they found was "a statistically significant correlation between the inheritance of genetic markers on chromosomal region Xq28 and sexual orientation in a selected group of homosexual males." The statistical significance was strong: the odds of the correlation happening by chance was only 1 out of 100,000.
Before they started looking at genes, Hamer and his group considered the family histories of the pairs of gay brothers who he used in his study. The researchers found more gay men on the maternal side and eventually realized that this was due to recessive X-linked inheritance. "X-linked traits always are passed to men through the mother's side of the family, which is the pattern we were seeing for homosexuality."
The book carefully explains how the research was done and what conclusions could and could not be drawn from it. They did not find a gay gene; they only showed that one exists. It does not "determine" homosexuality; it is only one factor in the makeup of those gay men who inherited it.Read more ›
He states, "With the science approved and the funding assured, the only remaining hurdle was political... I knew the right wing would question our work because they think being gay is a `lifestyle' that people choose, not something genetic. The left wouldn't be happy, either, because they would worry about homosexuality being classified as a genetic defect that could be `cured,' instead of as a normal human variation." (Pg.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic text! The Science of Desire is by far one of the most fascinating works on the subject of sexuality and the biological works surrounding sexuality I have ever read.Published on June 29, 2013 by Devin Reul
Hamer's findings are neither as groundbreaking nor as scientifically faultless as he wanted them to be. In fact, most of his results seem to be misinterpretations. Read morePublished on December 31, 2009 by Ein Kunde
Dean Hamer, the scientist, and Peter Copeland, the writer have produced an informative entre to the complex world of the genome for the general reader. Read morePublished on August 9, 2003 by Arthur V. Dieli