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Homosexuality via canalized sexual development: A testing protocol for a new epigenetic model
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology.
2013 (English)In: Bioessays, ISSN 0265-9247, E-ISSN 1521-1878, Vol. 35, no 9, 764-770 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We recently synthesized and reinterpreted published studies to advance an epigenetic model for the development of homosexuality (HS). The model is based on epigenetic marks laid down in response to the XX vs. XY karyotype in embryonic stem cells. These marks boost sensitivity to testosterone in XY fetuses and lower it in XX fetuses, thereby canalizing sexual development. Our model predicts that a subset of these canalizing epigenetic marks stochastically carry over across generations and lead to mosaicism for sexual development in opposite-sex offspring - the homosexual phenotype being one such outcome. Here, we begin by outlining why HS has been under-appreciated as a commonplace phenomenon in nature, and how this trend is currently being reversed in the field of neurobiology. We next briefly describe our epigenetic model of HS, develop a set of predictions, and describe how epigenetic profiles of human stem cells can provide for a strong test of the model.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 35, no 9, 764-770 p.
Keyword [en]
epigenetics, gonad-trait discordance, homosexuality
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-215975DOI: 10.1002/bies.201300033ISI: 000327793500004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-215975DiVA: diva2:688820
Available from: 2014-01-17 Created: 2014-01-17 Last updated: 2014-09-11Bibliographically approved

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