“Lesbian mice” created

Timothy Kincaid

July 15th, 2010

In order for a mouse to mate you need some FucM. Fucose mutarotase (abbreviated FucM) is an enzyme that impacts sexual activity in mice. When a gene responsible for FucM is omitted, the developing brains of mice are exposed to extra oestrogen and the female pups exhibit sex-atypical behavior. (New Scientist)

Female mice lacking the gene avoided the advances of males, stopped sniffing male urine and attempted to mate with other females, though their ability to have pups was unaffected.

This is getting some attention. As Fox News asked, “Have Scientists Found the ‘Gay Gene’?

Sure. If you’re a female mouse.

Obviously human sexuality is far more complex than the mating instincts of mice. And it is extremely unlikely that any single gene is going to be found which dictates sexual orientation. But as time goes on we get a clearer picture that biology plays at least some part in the development of sexual orientation.

Simon LeVay, who researches the origins of sexuality, says that the Korean study is not directly relevant to the issue of human sexual orientation. As he points out, it is testosterone not oestrogen that masculinises the human brain, and human AFP doesn’t prevent oestrogen from entering the brain as it does in mice.

“Nevertheless, it is probably only a matter of time before molecular geneticists identify genes that influence sexual orientation in humans,” says LeVay.

It will be fascinating to see the response of conservatives when that time comes.

Jason Cianciotto

July 15th, 2010

Thanks for the review Timothy. I recall statements (need to actually dig for them) from religious right leaders a few years ago that admitted the possibility of genetic influence on sexual behavior.

Of course, they then tried to link any “gay gene” to the genetic influence on Alcoholism. Their argument: we don’t accept alcoholism so why would we accept homosexuality even if it is genetic…

They are anticipating this outcome and it won’t make them go away. The influence on public opinion and legal precedence, howeverm is another story…

Emily K

July 15th, 2010

i love the picture posted.

but i dread the day people try to alter science to make “proper, straight” kids. While eliminating genetic factors for autism spectrum (for example) may eliminate certain social retardation, it might also eliminate high intelligence and sensitivity.

Why should sexual orientation be altered any more than left-handedness? It shouldn’t: both are morally irrelevant in a rational world.

I’m not comfortable with genetically engineering sentient beings for “perfection.” A bland mess will ultimately be created, IMHO.


July 15th, 2010

Love the photo!

Ben in Oakland

July 15th, 2010

Really? Fuc-M? Really?

Take THAT, religious right.


July 15th, 2010

(channelling poor ol’ Quo)

“Yes, but did they also test the puphood parental relationships? Especially with an overbearing mother? Without testing for the proven influence of family environment this speculation about the gene is just a wild guess.”

And you know it could be worse. No FucM, and no sense of smell… oh, lordy.

Actually, I think I may know her.


July 15th, 2010

Now I shall rule the world with the help of my legions of lesbian mice.

Priya Lynn

July 16th, 2010

I’ll third it – that’s a super cute picture.


July 17th, 2010

“It will be fascinating to see the response of conservatives when that time comes.”

I know what the response will be: “Sweet, so there’s a gay gene? Now we can start curing homosexuals in the womb through genetic engineering!”

I personally dread the day when the gay gene(s) is discovered, because people that want to hate us will hate us regardless of the reasoning. They know reparative therapy doesn’t work, so this will be their alternate solution. Clinics for worried parents will open up across the bible belt, offering to determine the sexuality of your unborn child, and alter it to straight if they turn out to be gay/lesbian/bi.

Suvi-Tuuli Allan

July 19th, 2010

Lesbian mice? More like trans male.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.


Latest Posts

The Things You Learn from the Internet

"The Intel On This Wasn't 100 Percent"

From Fake News To Real Bullets: This Is The New Normal

NC Gov McCrory Throws In The Towel

Colorado Store Manager Verbally Attacks "Faggot That Voted For Hillary" In Front of 4-Year-Old Son

Associated Press Updates "Alt-Right" Usage Guide

A Challenge for Blue Bubble Democrats

Baptist Churches in Dallas, Austin Expelled Over LGBT-Affirming Stance

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.