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February 1968

Homosexuality in Twins: A Family Study and a Registry Study

Author Affiliations

Iowa City; London
From the Department of Psychiatry, State Universitya Medical School, Iowa City (Dr. Heston), and the Medical Research Council, Psychiatric Genetics Research Unit, Maudsley Hospital, London (Mr. Shields).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;18(2):149-160. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740020021003

IN THIS PAPER, we will report briefly on a series of male twins where at least one of each pair was homosexual. One object is to report the number of concordant and discordant, monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) pairs observed. A second object is to examine the frequency of homosexuality in twins per se. One of the twin pairs was from a family deserving special attention. Among 14 siblings, there were three sets of male MZ twins. Two of these three sets of twins were concordant for homosexuality; in the remaining pair both twins were heterosexual. The results of our study of this family will be presented in detail.

The use of twin studies as a means of disentangling some of the interaction of nature and nurture is sufficiently well known for it to be unnecessary to give any elaborate explanation here.1,2 Briefly, differences in MZ pairs provide