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“I deeply disagree about publishing this,” said Steven Reilly, a geneticist and postdoctoral researcher who is on the steering committee of the institute’s L.G.B.T.Q. affinity group, Out@Broad. “It seems like something that could easily be misconstrued,” he said, adding, “In a world without any discrimination, understanding human behavior is a noble goal, but we don’t live in that world.”... “As a queer person and a geneticist, I struggle to understand the motivations behind a genome-wide association study for non-heterosexual behavior,” wrote Joe Vitti, a postdoctoral researcher at the Broad Institute, in one essay. “I have yet to see a compelling argument that the potential benefits of this study outweigh its potential harms.”
An ambitious new study — the largest ever to analyze the genetics of same-sex sexual behavior — found that genetics does play a role, responsible for perhaps a third of the influence on whether someone has same-sex sex. The influence comes not from one gene but many, each with a tiny effect — and the rest of the explanation includes social or environmental factors — making it impossible to use genes to predict someone’s sexuality.