Researchers claim they have come up with an algorithm that can predict the sexual orientation of males with up to 70% accuracy.
The team behind the research, presented at the American Society of Human Genetics annual meeting in Baltimore on Thursday, believes they have come up with the first example of a predictive model for sexual orientation based on a molecular marker.
Scientists have long argued that genetic factors partly explain the differences in sexuality between people, and this algorithm is derived using the modification of the genetic information contained in DNA.
However, there was a sceptical response from many experts. Among the reservations expressed were that the findings, based on a study of 47 pairs of twins, and published only in abstract form – so yet to be peer-reviewed – might only point to an association rather than a predictive model and would also need replicating to be of significance.
The study is based on epigenetics, essentially additional information layered on top of the sequence of letters (strings of molecules called A, C, G and T) that makes up DNA.