Grandma’s Experiences Leave Epigenetic Mark on Your Genes


Excerpt: “According to the new insights of behavioral epigenetics, traumatic experiences in our past, or in our recent ancestors’ past, leave molecular scars adhering to our DNA. Jews whose great-grandparents were chased from their Russian shtetls; Chinese whose grandparents lived through the ravages of the Cultural Revolution; young immigrants from Africa whose parents survived massacres; adults of every ethnicity who grew up with alcoholic or abusive parents — all carry with them more than just memories. This research has tremendous implications for predicting human behavior based on family history.”

(Ed: Might this be the influence on some people who claim they were “born gay” but who have experienced no trauma in their own childhoods?)


Grandma's Experiences Leave Epigenetic Mark on Your Genes |


2 thoughts on “Grandma’s Experiences Leave Epigenetic Mark on Your Genes

  1. Fascinating article. Thank you for the link.

    What conclusion would you draw, if homosexuality was caused by epigenetics? Younger brothers of several older brothers are more likely to be gay. This could be a useful evolutionary adaptation: they serve as uncles, caring for their straight siblings’ children.

    • Clare, welcome back to my little blog and I mean that sincerely. I think I have seen you post in another blog recently.

      I have never discounted the possibility that homosexuality might have some natural origin, but my opinion on the subject has tended to align with that of the psychiatric profession which holds that there is no evidence of a “gay gene” and that the origins of homosexuality are as yet unknown. I am also influenced by St. Paul who wrote that homosexuality is the result of a spiritual crisis. There is a difference though between same-sex attraction and homosexuality activity, and even St. Paul understood this. St. Paul and others called for people tempted by SSA to avoid falling into homosexual sin and to live a life of celibacy.

      Now, as to the article, the research appears to support a theory that our ancestor’s life experiences can cause chemical mutations in their genes which would then be inherited by their children and succeeding generations, and possibly influence behavior in those descendents. I suppose this could then lead to the conclusion that same-sex attraction should be reclassified as an inheritable behavioral characteristic attributable to genetics. However, I believe that anyone could argue that it is a birth defect the same as Down Syndrome or Sickle Cell Anemia, neither of which is normal or desirable even though they are quite natural and common in a significant percentage of the population. If the research eventually proves that same-sex attraction can be inherited as the result of chemical mutations in our ancestors genes in much the same way as clinical depression or alcoholism, then I think it may lead to the possibility of gene-based therapies for the condition since it would seem to support earlier research from the 1960’s and earlier that SSA is an emotional disorder arising from some trauma in people’s past. I can also see some real dangers in revived eugenics programs where some people will be marked with a scarlet letter because of their lineage, or the darker possibility that future generations may need a license to reproduce. In other words, this research could lead to a “Brave New World” scenario.


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