In September this year, our Observatory published a special report: A review of the relationship between same-sex attraction and genetics. The report cited a recent study on the matter, in which one of the authors [said that they] were unable to establish whether or not the molecular variants found were situated on coding or non-coding regions of the genome. Given that only 2% of the human genome is coding, the possibility that these four variants can be translated phenotypically, that is, by modifying or conditioning behavior, is very low and cannot alone explain the appearance of homosexual tendencies or conduct. Thus, they said, “there’s really no predictive power” (Science – October 24, 2019).
Same-sex attraction score from an App offered in the market
In the same month, the Belgium-based startup GenePlaza launched an app that provides consumers with a same-sex attraction score based on an analysis of their DNA.
In the weeks since its launch, the app, which is named “How gay are you?” has drawn the ire of many scientists. An online petition for the removal of the test has garnered more than 1,400 signatures in a few days.
On Monday (October 14), the researchers behind the genetic association study sent a letter to GenePlaza urging them to take down the app. “Our study indicated (read HERE) that individual-level prediction is impossible for same-sex sexual behavior,” wrote Benjamin Neale, a behavioral geneticist at the Broad Institute, on behalf of the study’s authors. “The promotion of this app and, in particular, the claims it makes are a gross and dangerous mischaracterization of the work”. […] “They should take the app down,” he writes in an email to The Scientist. “It is irresponsible to charge people money for something that simply does not work and . . . to promote the idea that such scores are predictive, which they are not, regardless of the disclaimers that are being made”.
From our Observatory, we support the Broad Institute’s initiative for removal of the misleading test which lacks any scientific basis.