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Gene of the Week: Virginity

Posted by Jesse Reynolds on April 3rd, 2009


A researcher has discovered a relationship between genes a particularly gene and the age of one's fist sexual encounter. According to the twins study, genetic variation the gene accounts for 30% of the variance. The researcher said, "It's not like there's a gene for having a sex at a certain date." Nevertheless, headlines included:

Previous Genes of the Week:





Posted in Jesse Reynolds's Blog Posts, Media Coverage, Sequencing & Genomics


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  9. Comment by Thaniya, May 3rd, 2016 2:26am

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  16. Comment by Garcinia Cambogia Reviews, Mar 20th, 2014 3:55am

    First of all I appreciate the author for taking the effort to share an article on a very good topic. I have read about the researcherís conclusion regarding the variation of the genes in twins. This is quite surprising fact to know.


  17. Comment by Jesse Reynolds, Apr 13th, 2009 3:49pm

    Daniel, Thanks for the correction. I'll fix the text. But my point remains: Once again, a correlation between behavior and genetics is misrepresented as "Genes control _____" or "_____ is genetically determined" in media coverage.


  18. Comment by Daniel MacArthur, Apr 7th, 2009 11:23am

    No. The researchers did not identify an actual gene associated with age at first intercourse; they showed that all together genetics explains around 34% of the variance in this trait, leaving a maximum of 66% to be explained by environmental factors such as culture.

    Although the sample size was small (82 individuals, most of them twin pairs) this figure seems reasonable given what we know about the heritability of personality traits.

    The researchers didn't attempt to pin down specific genetic regions associated with age at first intercourse: that would require a completely different type of analysis, and a much larger sample size.


 


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