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Does nature or nurture decide our sexuality? Could it be a little of both?

, | September 5, 2013
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Do girls really prefer pink, or is that a social construct, as post-modern intellectuals often claim? What can identical twins teach us about genetic influences on sexuality?

Watch two prominent researchers debate everything from children’s toy preferences to Lamarck’s flawed ‘acquired inheritance’ theory in a new video from London’s Institute of Art and Ideas, a non-profit organization that organizes engaging and progressive debates on big ideas in modern society.

The talk features Helena Cronin, co-director of the Center for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science at the London School of Economics, who supports the “nature” side of the debate, arguing that differences between males and females, including gender, are grounded more in nature and evolution rather than in culture and environment.

Disagreeing is Tim Spector, professor of Genetic Epidemiology at Kings College London, who studies epigenetic differences between identical twins. He argues the “nurture” position, saying that genes are tied to the environment in ways that have major effects on humans and animals alike. These epigenetic changes in our genes, due to environmental changes, could have some effect on things like gender and sexuality.

Moderating the debate is Caspar Melville, editor of New Humanist magazine and frequent contributor to the Guardian.

Read the full, original story here: Sexuality After Genetics:The new science of gender

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The GLP featured this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. The viewpoint is the author’s own. The GLP’s goal is to stimulate constructive discourse on challenging science issues.

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