Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Twins and genetics

I love the people who upon learning that my twin and I have different sexual orientations conclude 'This proves that you made a choice.' They misunderstand the effects of genetics and of environment. Both can factor into whether or not sexual orientation is or is not a choice.

First off, the fact that our genetic code is the same doesn't mean that the same genetic factors are working. It is clear fact that different genetic threads will switch on or off even in genetically identical humans, animals and plants.

Second, even in the womb the environment between my twin and I differed. Even with a 'Y' shaped umbilical cord, as my twin and I had, the environment can differ. And according to some sources there is more chance of a difference than if we had separate umbilical cords.

My twin brother and I are a lot alike. Our voices are similar. Our body type is the same. And more.

My twin brother and I have differences. We have different responses to allergies. We had different responses to puberty. I finished college and graduate school. He's within a few credits of finishing college and has kept that up for over twenty years.

Genetics and environment work together to produce a person. There are some genetic factors that allow for choices and some environmental factors that determine outcomes. To just say, "Oh, you're identical and that explains it" doesn't really explain anything."

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