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Sexual desires lie all in the genes

Individual differences in human sexual desire can be linked to genetic variations, contrary to traditional belief that it is psychologically determined, a study has found.

india Updated: May 30, 2006 17:18 IST

Individual differences in human sexual desire can be linked to genetic variations, contrary to traditional belief that it is psychologically determined, a study has found.

Israeli researchers, Richard P. Ebstein of Hebrew University and Prof. Robert H. Belmaker of Ben Gurion University, studied the DNA of 148 healthy male and female Israeli students and then compared the results with their self-descriptions as stated on an online questionnaire that related to sexual desire, IRAEL21c reported.

The study saw correlations between the students' self reports and variations in the D4 receptor gene - a gene responsible for producing the dopamine receptor protein, it said.

According to Epstein, the presence of a certain gene can make people a little bit less functional in terms of arousal and sexual charge while the presence of another rare gene gives people an edge in those areas.

The effect is small, but significant, as it shows that sexuality is not completely psychologically determined, the study concluded.

Another notable finding in the responses was that women and men were equally aroused by sexually-themed magazines and films, although women had significantly higher reports of sexual dysfunction, the report said.

The findings of the research has been published in 'Molecular Psychiatry'.

First Published: May 30, 2006 17:18 IST