Extra chromosome


(Kim O.) #1

I just read in an NPR article about an Ultra Orthodox Rabbi coming out to support LGBT peeps. The article was very good but there was a comment about LGBT’s having an extra chromosome.
LGBTQ’s have a chromosomal anomaly. XQ28 discovered in 1933. Then there’s Klienfelter’s Syndrome known as the extra 47 (2 xx"s either xxY or Xxy). Down Syndrome aka number 21 is a genetic condition caused from a 3rd copy of the 21st chromosome.

Can anyone speak to this? And how does it reflect on the sin of living as a homosexuality?

(christopher van zyl) #2

I’ve never heard of that. Could you please post the link? In my knowledge, they have normal sets of chromosomes. To have an extra copy can lead to many detrimental conditions.

(C Rhodes) #3

@Koberheu. I think you meant to type the date 1993. However, that particular test was over time considered unprovable. See the quote below, with references. I think the Rabbi may have unknowingly offered only one side of the results of the study.

" The team published their results in their 1993 article. “A Linkage Between DNA Markers on the X Chromosome and Male Sexual Orientation.” Their report received attention from mass media. In 1993, USA Today and Time reported that Hamer and his team demonstrated strong evidence to support X-linked inheritance of homosexuality and that there existed a genetic component to sexual orientation. The gay community had mixed reviews about the study. Many argued that, while the study could help establish people accept homosexuality as a genetic disposition, others argued that the gay community could be further ostracized if homosexuality became classified as a genetic disease.

In 1995, Scientific American published an article about scientific doubts about the genetic influences of homosexuality. A later study duplicated Hamer’s study and found no X-linked gene that contributed to male sexual orientation. The researchers of that study agreed with the possibility that homosexuality is genetically inherited, but they found no evidence to justify the claims that Hamer and his team had made that homosexuality was maternally inherited and that the gene Xq28 contributed to homosexuality. After the 1990s, scientists have sometimes questioned that homosexuality is genetically determined and have looked at environmental and behavioral factors instead.


  1. Bailey, J. Michael, and Richard C. Pillard. “A genetic study of male sexual orientation.” Archives of General Psychiatry 48 (1991): 1089–96.
  2. Hamer, Dean H. “Simian Virus 40 Carrying an Escherichia coli Supressor Gene.” Journal of Molecular Biology 112 (1977): 155–82.
  3. Hamer, Dean H. “Metallothionein 1,2.” Annual Review of Biochemistry 55 (1986): 913–51.
  4. Hamer, Dean H., and David G. Brooks, “Molecular Characterization, Reavtivation, and Depletion of Latent HIV.” Immunity 19 (2003) 413–423.
  5. Hamer, Dean H., and Charles A. Thomas. “A Linkage Between DNA Markers on the X Chromosome and Male Sexual Orientation.” Science 261 (1993): 321–27.
  6. Hamer, Dean H., and Simon LeVay. “Evidence for a biological influence in male homosexuality.” Scientific American (1994).
  7. Henry, George William. Sex variants: A study of homosexual patterns. New York: P.B. Hoeber, 1948.
  8. Kinsey, Alfred C. Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders; Bloomington: Indiana U. Press, 1948.
  9. Levay, Simon. “A Difference in Hypothalamic Structure Between Heterosexual and Homosexual Men.” Science 253 (1991): 1034–37.
  10. McClean, Phillip. “LOD Score Method of Estimating Linkage Distances.” North Dakota State University, 1998.https://www.ndsu.edu/pubweb/~mcclean/plsc431/linkage/linkage6. htm (Accessed October 24, 2015).
  11. McKusick, Victor A. “Sexual Orientation, Male.” Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man, 1993. http://omim.org/entry/306995#10 (Accessed October 22, 2015).
  12. Pickett, Brent. “Homosexuality.” The Stanford Encyclopedia. http://plato.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/encyclopedia/archinfo.cgi? entry=homosexuality (Accessed October 23, 2015).
  13. Rice, George, Carol Anderson, Neil Risch, and George Ebers, “Male Homosexuality: Absence of Linkage to Microsatellite Markers at Xq28” Science 284 (1999): 665–67.

How to cite

Nguyen, Christina, ““A Linkage Between DNA Markers on the X Chromosome and Male Sexual Orientation” (1993), by Dean H. Hamer and Charles A. Thomas.”. Embryo Project Encyclopedia (2017-04-13). ISSN: 1940-5030 http://embryo.asu.edu/handle/10776/11476."

(Anthony Costello ) #4


I think this relates to intersex persons, not LGBTQ persons per se. Intersex persons, in their anatomical makeup, i.e. their genetic makeup, are literally gender ambiguous. They literally possess either chromosomal anomalies like the ones you mention, or they have reproductive organs of both male and female anatomies.

I think we need to distinguish between LGBTQ and Intersex, although they could overlap. But, you could (and usually do) have homosexual males or a lesbian females or bi-sexual males or a transgender females whose biology clearly places them in one distinctive anatomical category of either male or female. But, their decision is to ignore their biological make-up and through an act of the will choose to be or act as a member of the other anatomical class. They act against the clearly perceived and empirically verifiable nature of their own bodies.

Moreover, we would probably need to make a distinction between biological men or women who are same-sex attracted, yet still consider themselves men and women, and biological men and women who may or may not be same-sex attracted, yet want to be or act as if they were a non-male or a non-female.

The intersex person, however, struggles to know biologically whether they fit into the anatomical category “male” or “female” because their biology is simply unclear. It is a difficult issue, but I think in these, very few cases (i.e. the case of the intersexed person), one should be allowed the freedom to choose which anatomical category (male or female) they do feel more comfortable in, and live as such.

There is a thoughtful book on the issue of Intersex by Megan de Franza, and while I strongly disagree much of her methodology and with many of her conclusions, I can still say it is well researched and does bring to light some of the issues surrounding intersex persons (formerly known as “Hermaphrodites”). So, in that sense I do recommend it while also rejecting its conclusions:


Further, regarding the idea that homosexual or same-sex attraction can be grounded chromosomally, I think there is no good evidence for this; although I am basing this mainly on a well-known and well-regarded analysis by Dr. Paul McHugh, found here:


That said, however, even if there is no “gay gene” to speak of, or even if our genes are largely irrelevant when it comes to our sexual desires, I think we should take into account as Christians that if sexual attraction towards the same biological sex is just psychological, that psychological dispositions are still very, very strong and binding things. Most of us struggle with psychological problems that facilitate some kind of sin. Also, these, on my view, can be generational strongholds that effect not only individuals but families.

Finally, I would say this though. Even if it was proven that sexual attraction of some sort where grounded in chromosomal realities, this would not do much to overturn the biblical view of human sexuality, since we already know from Scripture that all human persons are corrupt and fallen from birth. None of us is without sin, nor without some proclivity to sin, and that even from our earliest moments. So, we all need to be redeemed from something: homosexual desire, anger, depression, lust, etc.

Hope this helps; thanks for the very good, yet very challenging question.

in Christ,
Anthony __

(Kim O.) #5

Thank you. This is excellent.

(Anthony Costello ) #6

Also, this article does a very good job of clarifying some of these issues:

in Christ,