Researchers from the Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Research Institute, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, and University of Illinois at Chicago invite families with two or more gay brothers to join their study on the molecular genetics of sexual orientation.
"Sexual orientation is a fundamental trait of great scientific interest. Understanding the origins of sexual orientation will enable us to learn a great deal about sexual motivation, sexual identity, gender identity and sex differences."
Discussing why they plan to study sexual orientation in families, they state:
"Earlier studies suggest that homosexual orientation runs in families; 8 to 12% of brothers of gay men are also gay, compared to 2 to 4% of men in the general population. Twin studies suggest that this pattern is largely due to heredity rather than environment, but we cannot be sure of this unless we actually located genes that affect sexual orientation.
Our study will look for genes that may influence some brothers to become homosexual, as well as those genes that may influence other brothers to become heterosexual."
The research group has provided an informational brochure as well as a flier (pdf format). Participants will be reimbursed for time and any expenses associated with the study. Those interested in participating can contact the researchers at the following:
Behavior Genetics Unit
Evanston Northwestern Healthcare
1001 University Place
Evanston, IL 60201
Attn: Alan R. Sanders, MD, Director