Geneticist Says Lesbianism Is Cultural, `Not Inherited': Hamer Claimed Genetic Link for Male Homosexuality

By Price, Joyce Howard | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), December 26, 1997 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Geneticist Says Lesbianism Is Cultural, `Not Inherited': Hamer Claimed Genetic Link for Male Homosexuality


Price, Joyce Howard, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


The federal scientist who claimed a genetic link for male homosexuality says his research indicates lesbianism is "culturally transmitted, not inherited."

"If these results hold up under further testing, it would appear that whatever is being transmitted to lesbians is fundamentally different than what is transmitted to gay men. It's more environmental than genetic, more nurture than nature," Dean Hamer, chief of gene structure and regulation in the National Cancer Institute's Laboratory of Biochemistry, writes in his new book, "Living with Our Genes," slated for publication by Doubleday in March. "Why should there be such a deep difference?" Mr. Hamer asked.

That's the same question conservative critics of earlier studies by Mr. Hamer, which purported to find a link between male homosexuality and a region of the X chromosome, are asking.

Said Robert L. Maginnis, senior policy adviser for the Family Research Council: "I find it rather disturbing that a male homosexual is genetically predisposed to that proclivity," while a lesbian is not.

"Why in the world would there be any difference [between sexual orientation] in women and in men?" Mr. Maginnis asked.

He added: "This is a major departure [for Hamer]. And it certainly makes the case that socialization plays a role in this."

Two published reports by the NCI molecular biologist, an activist for homosexual causes, published in the journals Science and Nature Genetics in 1993 and 1995, respectively, concluded male homosexuality is transmitted maternally.

Mr. Hamer acknowledged in his new book that his findings in those studies have not been duplicated by other researchers, but he still strongly defends his work.

"Corroboration from other laboratories . . . hasn't happened yet, and the progress is depressingly slow," he says in his new book, co-authored by Peter Copeland.

In 1994, investigations into "genetic influences" on both male and female homosexuality constituted the prevailing research in Dr. Hamer's laboratory at NCI.

Describing that controversial research, Mr. Hamer said his studies "showed that male sexual orientation had many of the characteristics of a genetically influenced trait: It was consistent, stable and dichotomous, meaning men were either gay or straight."

In contrast, he said, "female sexual orientation looked more soft and fuzzy, less hard-wired: it was variable, changeable and continuous, meaning lots of women were somewhere between gay and straight.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Geneticist Says Lesbianism Is Cultural, `Not Inherited': Hamer Claimed Genetic Link for Male Homosexuality
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.