Science and sexual orientation

Jeffrey Kluger, scientist and author, explains how science and sexual orientation are linked together. Watch this video for very interesting scientific knowledge about sexual orientation.
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Science and sexual orientation

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Science has effectively demolished the idea that sexuality is somehow learned or acquired after birth or that it's a choice. That's been done away with by science. Nonetheless, parents often wonder if they have influenced their child's sexual orientation. The answer is an emphatic, no. Of course, for all of us, straight or gay, your experiences in life influence your sexual development, just like they influence everything else. They can't determine your orientation. The things that science now knows that determines orientation is genetic coin flip. It's about the same percentage of the population that is left handed is also gay. It is no coincidence that a similar suite of genes that control asymetry are also linked to sexual orientation. Womb environment can make a difference. Mothers who have had a lot of sons, tend to be statistically higher likelihood of having a gay son later on, simply because the womb has become feminized. The mother's body tends to see a male child as slightly more alien than a female child, so it produces antibodies that chemically feminize the womb. Even fraternal siblings tend to have an influence on each other because there is some cross permeability from one placenta to the other. All of these things determine sexual orientation, experience doesn't.

Jeffrey Kluger, scientist and author, explains how science and sexual orientation are linked together. Watch this video for very interesting scientific knowledge about sexual orientation.

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Jeffrey Kluger

Science Journalist & Author

Jeffrey Kluger is a senior editor and writer at Time magazine, covering science, health and other fields. He is the coauthor, along with astronaut Jim Lovell, of Apollo 13, the book that served as the basis of the 1995 movie. His more-recent release, Splendid Solution, told the story of Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine.  His novel, Nacky Patcher and the Curse of the Dry-Land Boats, was published in June 2007, and his newest nonfiction book, Simplexity: Why Simple Things Become Complex, was published in June 2008.

Before coming to Time, Kluger worked for Discover magazine, where he was a senior editor and humor columnist. Prior to that, he was health editor at Family Circle magazine, story editor at The New York Times Business World Magazine, and Associate Editor at Science Digest magazine. His features and columns have appeared in dozens of publications, including The New York Times Magazine, Gentlemen's Quarterly, The Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, Omni, McCall's, New York Magazine, The New York Post, Newsday, and, of course, Time. He has worked as an adjunct instructor in the graduate journalism program at New York University; is a licensed—though non-practicing—attorney; and is a graduate of the University of Maryland and the University of Baltimore School of Law. He lives in New York City with his wife Alejandra and their daughters, Elisa and Paloma.

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