Your Womb Could Make Your Kid Gay. Seriously

Say What!? 47

pregnant bellyMost of us by now understand that homosexuality isn't a "lifestyle choice." It's something you're, well... Like Lady Gaga puts it, you're just born that way. I think most of us are coming around to that understanding, and it's made a huge difference in the lives of countless young gay people.

But science is here to throw a little wrench into that idea. We talk about there being a "gay gene" or homosexuality being part of your gentic makeup because, well, that just makes sense, right? But it's starting to look way more complicated than that. Researchers are now saying they think there isn't a "gay gene." Instead, all the action happens in the mother's womb, during pregnancy.

More from The Stir: Dad Disowns Son for Being Gay

Okay, this gets super complicated, but this is the simplest way I can think of explaining it. Epi-marks, which are kind of like switches that can change how our genes express themselves after birth, are what's responsible for a person's sexual orientation. And the epi-marks that trigger sexual orientation are passed down from fathers to daughters and from mothers to sons. (Read more on this finding that homosexuality is not genetic if you're intrigued -- it's fascinating. GEE, SCIENCE!)

Anyway, so what? Does that change anything? I mean, for us parents. If it turns out your child is gay, does it matter if that "happens" genetically or while he's in the womb?

I can come up with plenty of nightmare situations where this gets all turned around for the worse: Homophobic family members blaming the mom for gestating a gay child. Or families trying to find out of their baby's sexual orientation before they're born, just like we can find out gender. We're a crazy bunch, we humans.

Or we could just continue loving and accepting our children, no matter who they are. It doesn't matter how they get here or what goes into their genetics or their epi-marks or any of it. They're here and it's our job to love them and help them become the best people they can possibly be.

What would you do if you could find out if your child's sexual orientation before he or she is born?


Image via johnny.hunter/Flickr

motherhood, 1st trimester


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mustb... mustbeGRACE

These morons will buy ANY damned thing they're fed.


bandg... bandgeek521

Determining sexuality in the womb would be about as important to me as determining eye or hair color while still in the womb - meaning not important. Those aren't things that are going to change the way I love my child. What I would care most about is that my child is healthy, and after s/he is born that s/he is happy, and that s/he grows into a confident, respectful, loving person, regardless of which gender s/he ends up being attracted to. For many of us the sexuality of our children is a non-issue, we just care that our children grow into the kind of people who have healthy, loving relationships, whoever those relationships happen to be with. It is scary, though, the kid of blame or judgment this discovery could inadvertently cause to be cast onto the mothers, like you said, of children who are homosexual. As if the mothers did or didn't do something they should to ensure that their child is "right." As if a child isn't special or perfect enough on his or her own, without having to conform to outdated prejudices...

Freela Freela

I didn't even want to find out my children's gender before they were born, it would definitely be weird to know their sexual orientation before they knew it!  This has actually been known or theorized for awhile- we know that sexual orientation isn't 100% genetic, or else there would be no identical twins with different sexual orientations. I always worry what the ramifications of these kinds of things will be. I can see some people trying to intervene to avoid having a gay child, which is just sad!

Jessy Roos

mustbeGRACE: I'm interested, since you seem to be all knowing...what is the correct answer?

SaphireH SaphireH

I dont care how they turn out because you cant control what your heart wants. If any of my 3 are gay i wont love them any less than i do right now

shesl... shesliketx

This is extremely interesting and I can definitely see how it works out!

As for it making a difference- of course not. Kids are who they are, and I will love my children regardless!

momto... momtoblueeyes

Impossible to be born with a sexual preference. It is environment that makes it happen. There is more evidence of a persons environment influencing them then there is of the womb creating sex preferences. Who really cares anyway gay or not people are people.

alway... alwayscurious

I think that being attracted to people of the same gender is probably.determined in the wiring of our brain,.however, the choice to live the gay lifestyle is environmental. I.e. there were very rarely few if any people who were openly atttacted to same sex people 75 years ago bc the option to live that lifestyle just wasn't there. that doesn't mean that there weren't people who were homosexual.

As to the question posed: I wouldn't ever want to know before my child was born. it wouldn't matter to me, I would and will love my dd no matter what path in life she chooses.

Rumsita Rumsita

I wouldn't feel the need to find out.  I didn't find out the simple stuff like gender before birth.  Each person is entitled to his or her life journey and experience self-discovery.

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