BBC – Transsexual gene link identified

Australian researchers have identified a significant link between a gene involved in testosterone action and male-to-female transsexualism.

DNA analysis from 112 male-to-female transsexual volunteers showed they were more likely to have a longer version of the androgen receptor gene.

The genetic difference may cause weaker testosterone signals, the team reported in Biological Psychiatry (abstract available here).

However, other genes are also likely to play a part, they stressed.

Increasingly, biological factors are being implicated in gender identity.

There is a social stigma that transsexualism is simply a lifestyle choice, however our findings support a biological basis of how gender identity develops

Professor Vincent Harley, researcher

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