DNA analysis of over 380 thousand inhabitants of Britain allowed geneticists to identify several genes that determine the speed of the onset of puberty, the first sex and the birth of their first child, according to an article published in the journal Nature Genetics.
“Of course, the social and cultural factors influence very much at all these things, but we have shown that the age when a person makes their first sexual intercourse, also associated with genes that affect the onset of puberty, and are associated with differences in the types of person “, – said John Perry (John Perry) from the University of Cambridge (UK).
Perry and his colleagues uncovered the nearly four dozen of these genes by studying the data collected in the UK under the Biobank project, which was attended by over 125 thousand inhabitants and residents of Britain aged 40 to 70 years.
Using data on the structure of DNA, collected as part of this “biobank”, researchers compared how different genes associated with the development of the brain have been arranged, sexual behavior and care for offspring, people who had sex sooner or later in their lives. This allowed them to identify 38 areas of the genome, one way or another related to human sexuality.
Having a list of these segments of DNA, the researchers tested whether their relationship with sex life in larger samples, adding to the database Biobank data obtained in the course of similar studies in Iceland and stored in the course of women’s health throughout the world observations. This technique allowed them to clarify the role of each section of the DNA and to understand what genes and other features of the behavior of the person they were connected.
“For example, variations in CADM2 gene that controls the connections between brain cells, and its activity as a whole, both associated with increased risk appetite, early onset of sexual activity and the large number of children the average lifetime” – continues Perry.
Many other genes, such as ESR1 and RBM6, affect the reproductive lives of their owners, by changing the way their bodies react to hormones and other signaling molecules during growth, accelerating the onset of puberty. As scientists hope further study will help them understand whether due early puberty and rapid decrease in the typical age of entry into sexual activity only with social factors, or in this negative process has some genetic background.