The Role of Epigenetics in Homosexuality
The article I chose to review came from The Quarterly Review of Biology, Volume 87, No.4, pages 343-368, and is entitled, “Homosexuality as a Consequence of Epigenetically Canalized Sexual Development”, by William R. Rice, Urban Friberg, and Sergey Gavrilets. The common occurrence of homosexuality is perplexing from an evolutionary perspective. From an evolutionary standpoint, homosexuality is a trait that would not be expected to develop and persist in the face of natural selection. Simple logic suggests that a fitness-reducing phenotype should be selected against, but homosexuality is nonetheless quite common in human populations, accounting for approximately eight to ten percent of all people. Scientists have turned again and again to genetics, especially since homosexuality has been shown to run in families, leading researchers to presume a genetic underpinning of sexual preference. However, no gene has been found for homosexuality, despite the numerous studies searching for a genetic connection. Epigenetics – how gene expression is regulated by temporary switches, called epi-marks, appears to be a critical and overlooked factor contributing to the long-standing puzzle of why homosexuality occurs. According to the study, sex-specific epi-marks, which normally do not pass between generation and are thus “erased”, can lead to homosexuality when they escape erasure and are transmitted from father to daughter or mother to son. The researchers integrated evolutionary theory with recent advances in the molecular regulation of gene expression and androgen-dependent sexual development to produce a biological model that delineates the role of epigenetics in homosexuality. Epi-marks constitute an extra layer of information attached to our genes’ backbones that regulates their expression. While genes hold the instructions, epi-marks (switches) direct how those instructions are carried out – when, where and how much a gene...
...Running Head: HomosexualityHomosexuality
Robert Morris University
There are many things in this world that makes people different from one another in a variety of ways. It could be people’s style of dress, their family backgrounds, their races, where they are from, and many other things. Sometimes these differences can be seen as outside the social norm, which can come across as “weird”. One thing that differentiates many people in the world is their sexual orientation. There are those who are heterosexual and they can be seen as people who are sexually attracted to or have sexual relations with someone of the opposite sex. On the other hand, there are those who are totally different from heterosexuals, and they are known as homosexuals. Homosexuality is one of those things that many people depending on what society they live in, see as “weird” because it is not considered to be a social norm. It is something different which does not come along with the majority of people. But just like heterosexuals, homosexuals are regular people doing things that make them happy despite their sexual preference.
Homosexuality can be defined as having a sexual attraction or having sexual relations with a person of the same sex. Men that are considered homosexual are called gay and women are referred to as lesbians. There are many theories that people have come up with...
...The Drag Queens and Drag kings
Drag is an art that involves entertaining people by crossing sexes to have the characters perform roles of the opposite sex. Drag shows contain performances of music, dances, skits, and monologues, with either one performer at a time or a group of performers to entertain the audience. Most such performances are designed for theatrical plays. Drag queens and drag kings refer to the characters who impersonate a different gender for performance purposes, which is the art of drag. In particular, drag queens are men who dress up like women to appear like female characters. On the opposite, drag kings are women who take up male roles and dress up like men (Torr & Bottoms, 2010).
The goal of setting up both drag queens and drag kings is to make them replicate the opposite sex tactfully to entertain the audience. Grooming drag queens and drag kings includes modifying their costumes, hair styles, and make-up. To bring out convincing characters in the performances, one requires a lot of creativity. Most drag queens and drag kings aim at imitating renowned celebrities and famous personalities in a comical manner. At times, drag performances represent politicians and activists in their performance. In addition, drag kings and drag queens often play gay personalities (Torr & Bottoms, 2010).
A drag queen is a man dressed up like a woman portraying feminine behavior through acting to amuse the...
English IV Period 6
18 November 2013
HomosexualityHomosexuality is the sexual orientation toward people of the same sex. Female homosexuals are referred to as Lesbians. Years ago, the term gay has been applied to both homosexual women and men. The potential for homosexual behavior appears to be a basic part of human sexuality, since many people experience homosexual interest, curiosity, or activity at some point in their lives. Homosexual behavior has also been observed in most animal species. Many homosexuals prefer to be called gay or, in the case of women, lesbian. When individuals engage in both heterosexual and homosexual behaviors, they are called bisexual.
Sexual orientation refers to an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic and sexual attractions to men, women or both sexes. Sexual orientation also refers to a person’s sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors and membership in a community of others who share those attractions. However, sexual orientation is usually discussed in terms of three categories: heterosexual, gay/lesbian, and bisexual. This range of behaviors and attractions has been described in various cultures and nations throughout the world. Many cultures use identity labels to describe people who express these attractions.
Sexual orientation is distinct from other components of sex and gender, including biological sex, gender identity, and social gender role...
...Gender Roles & Homosexuality in Athletics
As society progresses, homosexuality becomes more prevalent and people become more comfortable with the subject of sexuality. Homosexuality is something that has dated back to Greek times, but just in the past 50-100 years has become more common; not that homosexuality did not exist, just that more people are becoming more comfortable and coming out. Gay and Lesbian people are all around us, weather it be the work place, schools, and specifically athletics. Many coaches, players, and athletic directors are gay and are becoming aware of the double standard and homophobia that exists in the heterosexual world, most commonly at the collegiate and professional level.
Homophobia is the unreasoning fear or prejudice of homosexuals and homosexuality. It manifests itself in many different ways in the athletic world such as discrimination, name-calling, segregation and alienation. An estimated 10 percent of the population is gay which thus makes it a difficult subject to bring up and discuss. In 2002 the National Gay and Lesbian task Force reported that violence against the LGBT community has increased year from years 1998 to 2002.
The molding and bending of gender roles in athletics contributes greatly to homophobia. For centuries sports have produced an image of masculinity. Fathers and sons have bonded over athletic prowess in a...
...would remain hidden throughout that organisms’ lifetime. The discovery of epigenetics challenged that. Scientists have now discovered there are certain genes that are present in the DNA sequence that at first, are not being expressed but then, by other mechanisms, are “turned on”. This discovery was a breakthrough in science because it brought along the possibility of manipulating genes to suppress the undesired genes and display those that could be beneficial. If our society is successful in understanding what exterior mechanisms could turn a gene “on” or “off”, we could potentially live healthier lifestyles, giving us control over our gene manifestation.
This study of heritable changes in the DNA was named epigenetics because of “epi” is the Greek root meaning above, over, or outer. C.H. Waddington coined this term in 1942. He was the first attempt to describe the differential of cells from there initial state in embryonic development. Not to be mistaken for a mutation, epigenetics does not tamper DNA sequence but rather modify the activation of certain genes. Epigenetic changes are preserved when cells divide. Most epigenetic changes only occur within the course of one individual organism's lifetime, but, if gene deactivation occurs in a sperm or egg cell that results in fertilization, then some epigenetic changes can be transferred to the next generation. This is where...
...ONE of biology’s hottest topics is epigenetics. The term itself covers a multitude of sins. Strictly speaking, it refers to the regulation of gene expression by the chemical modification of DNA, or of the histone proteins in which DNA is usually wrapped. This modification is either the addition of methyl groups (a carbon atom and three hydrogens) to the DNA or of acetyl groups (two carbons, three hydrogens and an oxygen) to the histones. Methylation switches genes off. Acetylation switches them on. Since, in a multicellular organism, different cells need different genes to be active, such regulation is vital.
What has got a lot of people excited, though, is the idea that epigenetic switches might be transmitted down the generations. Some see this as contrary to Darwinism, since it would permit characteristics acquired during an organism’s lifetime to be passed on to its offspring, as suggested by a rival theory of evolution put forward by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck. This is an exaggeration. The DNA sequence itself is not being permanently altered. Even those epigenetic changes that are inherited seem to be subsequently reversible. But the idea that acquired characteristics can be inherited at all is still an important and novel one, and a worrying example of the phenomenon has been published this week in BioMed Central Medicine.
In this section
A third-world dimension
Bugs in the system
Epigenetics, Take Control
Epigenetics can be defined as a way of turning on and off certain genes in your body, which as evidence has shown, we have a lot more control of than we thought. The video on epigenetics was so great, I did not have a clear idea of what epigenetics was. Watching the video really enlightens how far we have come in research of the human body. I find the advancements that have been made using epigenetics with cancer to be one of the best sections of the thirteen minute video. Just knowing the fact that half of the patients that complied with the research whom had cancer to begin with are now in remission is a great accomplishment. I also found the fact that we have more control over our epigenes, we are to modify our own genes by just following a different life regiment. It really puts in perspective the fact that choices that we make now don’t just affect us, but it affects our future son, daughters, and grandchildren. It really should motivate us to strive for the best when it comes to our bodies now that we know the possible outcomes in the future.
Around 13 years ago researchers and scientist of the human DNA completed the first map of genes in the human body. This was groundbreaking at the time for the field of molecular medicine, since it would lead to advances in the medical field. Yet, with all this new information there still seemed to be...
...fields within genetic research that has been on the forefront of scientific discovery for the past few years is that of epigenetics. The existence of epigenetics has profound implications on relating the biblical worldview to scientific discovery, and as scientists understand more about epigenetics, more biblical parallels are revealed.
To understand implications that come with epigenetics, one must first understandepigenetics. So, what exactly is it? Simply put, epigenetics is the study of changes in gene expression not caused by alterations to the DNA sequence (Berger, Kouzarides, Shiekhattar, & Shilartifard, 2009). Recent studies have shown that the relation between DNA sequence and cell structure is not 1:1, that is to say that what you see in a creature’s DNA does not fully represent what the creature will be like (Berger, Kouzarides, Shiekhattar, & Shilartifard, 2009). Scientists have discovered that there are factors outside DNA structure that influence which parts of a DNA strand will be read and which will not. These factors can be further influenced by experiences within a creature’s lifetime (Berger, Kouzarides, Shiekhattar, & Shilartifard, 2009). This means that what humans do during their lifetime actually has an impact on their genetic code, and consequently, on the genetic code of their offspring. A common method used to explain the epigenetic phenomena is...