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Genome-wide scan demonstrates significant linkage for male sexual orientation

  • A. R. Sanders (a1) (a2), E. R. Martin (a3), G. W. Beecham (a3), S. Guo (a3), K. Dawood (a4), G. Rieger (a5), J. A. Badner (a2), E. S. Gershon (a2), R. S. Krishnappa (a6), A. B. Kolundzija (a7), J. Duan (a1) (a2), P. V. Gejman (a1) (a2) and J. M. Bailey (a8)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 17 November 2014

Findings from family and twin studies support a genetic contribution to the development of sexual orientation in men. However, previous studies have yielded conflicting evidence for linkage to chromosome Xq28.


We conducted a genome-wide linkage scan on 409 independent pairs of homosexual brothers (908 analyzed individuals in 384 families), by far the largest study of its kind to date.


We identified two regions of linkage: the pericentromeric region on chromosome 8 (maximum two-point LOD = 4.08, maximum multipoint LOD = 2.59), which overlaps with the second strongest region from a previous separate linkage scan of 155 brother pairs; and Xq28 (maximum two-point LOD = 2.99, maximum multipoint LOD = 2.76), which was also implicated in prior research.


Results, especially in the context of past studies, support the existence of genes on pericentromeric chromosome 8 and chromosome Xq28 influencing development of male sexual orientation.

Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: A. R. Sanders, M.D., Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, NorthShore University HealthSystem Research Institute, 1001 University Place, Evanston, IL 60201, USA. (Email:
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