We want your spit
Most genetics studies have used blood samples for DNA analysis. Our study uses DNA from saliva. That’s because the cells we collect in your spit are more closely related to your brain (where your sexual identity hides) than blood cells are. But sampling your spit is of course much easier than blood. No doctors, no needles, no hassle.
It’s very easy
We send you and your identical twin all you need to have for our study, and you just mail it back in the prepaid envelope when you’re done. That’s all there is to it. Besides your saliva sample, we also want your answers to a brief questionnaire. We ask you about your sexual orientation, behavior, and attitudes, and a few biological questions as well.
It’s confidential
Your name does not end up in some government database. When you sign up to participate, we assign a ID number to you and your twin. And although we do ask for your contact information for if we need to get in touch with you later, your answers to our questions or the results of the genetic analyses are not linked to your name. In some cases, we ask our participants if we can collect DNA from their parents as well. But if that wouldn’t work for you, we obviously respect that.
If you are not identical twins
then you are not eligible for our study. Our colleagues in Chicago work with gay brother pairs (unlike us, they work with males only). You can check out their site here.
Are you in?
If you have any questions, or if you want to participate, you can email us at gaystudies@mednet.ucla.edu, or give us a call at (310) 267 2456 (and ask for Allen or Matt). We can’t use your DNA if your identical twin doesn’t want to participate, so if you talk to her or him first, we can get started faster.
The Research Project