Fraternal birth order („die Geburtsfolge der Brüder“) und Homosexualität

Nachdem es in dem Artikel „Höhere Fruchtbarkeit der weiblichen Verwandten als Vorteil der Homosexualität und der Bisexualität?“ bereits darum ging, inwieweit Gene für Homosexualität evolutionär halten konnten (indem der Nachteil geringerer Nachkommen bei den männlichen Nachkommen durch den Vorteil von mehr Nachkommen bei den weiblichen Nachkommen ausgeglichen wird) geht es nunmehr um andere Gründe, die biologisch für Homosexualität ursächlich sein könnten: Ein Kampf zwischen den Interessen der Mutter und den Interessen des Kindes.

Die Forschung hat festgestellt, dass männliche Homosexuelle häufiger als der Schnitt viele männliche Geschwister haben. Aus dieser „fraternal birth order“, der „brüderlichen Geburtenfolge“, muss sich demnach etwas ergeben, was Homosexualität bei Männern begünstigt:

he most consistent biodemographic correlate of sexual orientation in men is the number of older brothers (fraternal birth order). The mechanism underlying this effect remains unknown. In this article, I provide a direct test pitting prenatal against postnatal (e.g., social/rearing) mechanisms. Four samples of homosexual and heterosexual men (total n = 944), including one sample of men raised in nonbiological and blended families (e.g., raised with half- or step-siblings or as adoptees) were studied. Only biological older brothers, and not any other sibling characteristic, including nonbiological older brothers, predicted men’s sexual orientation, regardless of the amount of time reared with these siblings. These results strongly suggest a prenatal origin to the fraternal birth-order effect.

Quelle: Biological versus nonbiological older brothers and men’s sexual orientation

Der Grund könnte eine Immunreaktion der Mutter sein:

In men, sexual orientation correlates with an individual’s number of older brothers, each additional older brother increasing the odds of homosexuality by approximately 33%. It has been hypothesized that this fraternal birth order effect reflects the progressive immunization of some mothers to Y-linked minor histocompatibility antigens (H-Y antigens) by each succeeding male fetus and the concomitantly increasing effects of such maternal immunization on the future sexual orientation of each succeeding male fetus. According to this hypothesis, anti-H-Y antibodies produced by the mother pass through the placental barrier to the fetus and affect aspects of sexual differentiation in the fetal brain. This explanation is consistent with a variety of evidence, including the apparent irrelevance of older sisters to the sexual orientation of later born males, the probable involvement of H-Y antigen in the development of sex-typical traits, and the detrimental effects of immunization of female mice to H-Y antigen on the reproductive performance of subsequent male offspring. The maternal immune hypothesis might also explain the recent finding that heterosexual males with older brothers weigh less at birth than heterosexual males with older sisters and homosexual males with older brothers weigh even less than heterosexual males with older brothers.

Quelle: Fraternal Birth Order and the Maternal Immune Hypothesis of Male Homosexuality

Es scheint auch einen ähnlichen Effekt bei Transsexuellen zu geben:

BACKGROUND:

As previous studies with homosexual males have revealed a later birth order, more older brothers and more brothers than sisters, this research was extended to a large series of transsexual males and females, some of whom are homosexual.

METHODS:

The male sample comprised 442 male-to-female transsexuals, subdivided by sexual partner preference: 106 homosexual, 135 heterosexual, 155 bisexual and 46 asexual. One hundred female-to-male transsexuals were also studied: 75 homosexual, 16 bisexual, seven heterosexual and five asexual. Birth order was computed by both Slater’s Index and Berglin’s Index.

RESULTS:

Homosexual male-to-female transsexuals have a later than expected birth order and more older brothers than other subgroups of male-to-female transsexuals. Each older brother increases the odds that a male transsexual is homosexual by 40 %.

CONCLUSIONS:

Hypotheses explaining the extension of prior findings to this large sample of transsexual males include a progressive maternal immunization to the male foetus either through the H-Y antigen or protein-bound testosterone or alterations in foetal androgen levels in successive pregnancies, all modifying male psychosexual development. Data on the sexual orientation of younger brothers of homosexual male transsexuals in this study are not consistent with the progressive immunization hypothesis.

Quelle: Birth order and ratio of brothers to sisters in transsexuals.

Das H-Y Antigen scheint in der Hodenproduktion eine gewisse Rolle zu spielen, was es genau bewirkt scheint aber noch recht unklar zu sein. Hier wird hoffentlich weitere Forschung weitere Einsichten bringen.

Der Effekt soll für für circa 1 von 7 Homosexuellen verantwortlich sein:

In men, sexual orientation correlates with the number of older brothers, each additional older brother increasing the odds of homosexuality by approximately 33%. However, this phenomenon, the fraternal birth order effect, accounts for the sexual orientation of only a proportion of gay men. To estimate the size of this proportion, we derived generalized forms of two epidemiological statistics, the attributable fraction and the population attributable fraction, which quantify the relationship between a condition and prior exposure to an agent that can cause it. In their common forms, these statistics are calculable only for 2 levels of exposure: exposed versus not-exposed. We developed a method applicable to agents with multiple levels of exposure—in this case, number of older brothers. This noniterative method, which requires the odds ratio from a prior logistic regression analysis, was then applied to a large contemporary sample of gay men. The results showed that roughly 1 gay man in 7 owes his sexual orientation to the fraternal birth order effect. They also showed that the effect of fraternal birth order would exceed all other causes of homosexuality in groups of gay men with 3 or more older brothers and would precisely equal all other causes in a theoretical group with 2.5 older brothers. Implications are suggested for the gay sib-pair linkage method of identifying genetic loci for homosexuality.

Quelle: How Many Gay Men Owe Their Sexual Orientation to Fraternal Birth Order?