Gay genes, liberals, and the relevance of biology to politics

Bernard Weiner’s Causal Attribution model
  1. Andrea Ganna et al., “Large-Scale GWAS Reveals Insights into the Genetic Architecture of Same-Sex Sexual Behavior,” Science 365, no. 6456 (August 30, 2019): eaat7693,
  2. The study contained several secondary results: unlike other traits, the underlying genetics for males and females was different; the correlations with fraction of same sex partners were not that high, suggesting no one scale along which sexual behavior can be measured; there were genetic correlations with various mental health conditions. It also does a good job both of qualifying its results, and stressing what they think their study does not show.
  3. Eric Turkheimer, “Three Laws of Behavior Genetics and What They Mean,” Current Directions in Psychological Science 9, no. 5 (October 1, 2000): 160–64,; Christopher F. Chabris et al., “The Fourth Law of Behavior Genetics,” Current Directions in Psychological Science 24, no. 4 (August 1, 2015): 304–12,
  4. This causal attribution model was introduced by Bernard Weiner. See application in Jeremiah Garretson and Elizabeth Suhay, “Scientific Communication about Biological Influences on Homosexuality and the Politics of Gay Rights,” Political Research Quarterly 69, no. 1 (March 1, 2016): 17–29,
  5. Sara Shostak et al., “The Politics of the Gene: Social Status and Beliefs about Genetics for Individual Outcomes,” Social Psychology Quarterly 72, no. 1 (March 2009): 77–93; Elizabeth Suhay and Toby Epstein Jayaratne, “Does Biology Justify Ideology? The Politics of Genetic Attribution,” Public Opinion Quarterly 77, no. 2 (2013): 497–521,
  6. Emily A. Willoughby et al., “Free Will, Determinism, and Intuitive Judgments About the Heritability of Behavior,” Behavior Genetics, October 12, 2018,
  7. Erik Parens, Shaping Our Selves: On Technology, Flourishing, and a Habit of Thinking, 1 edition (Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2014).



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Anna Lewis

Anna Lewis

Bioethics, Genomics, and the Diversity of Human Experience