Scientists involved in the research behind a bizarre new app that claims to detect “gay DNA” are, unsurprisingly, calling for its removal.

According to Futurism, the app which was originally called How Gay Are You? (now changed to 122 Shades of Grey) claims to analyse data from commercial DNA tests such as 23andMe and MyHeritage to detect users’ sexualities. 




While geneticists have debunked the questionable science behind the app, now the researchers who conducted the study that the app cites as its scientific underpinning are calling for its removal.

In an open letter sent to GenePlaza, the DNA-centred app store where 122 Shades of Grey is available for purchase, twelve scientists involved in the research called for the app to be taken down due to it being a “gross and dangerous mischaracterisation” of scientific research.

“We have recently been made aware of an app titled How Gay Are You? which claims to show an individual’s genetic score for same-sex attraction,” the letter, sent by the Broad Institute and obtained by Futurism, stated. 

“As authors of the Science paper, which you cite, we are writing to urge you to take down this application immediately.

“The ‘score’ you are marketing through this app is a total misrepresentation of the conclusions of the work.

“Our study indicated that individual-level prediction is impossible for same-sex sexual behaviour. The promotion of this app and, in particular, the claims it makes are a gross and dangerous mischaracterisation of the work.”

The Broad Institute scientists then called for the app to quit falsely advertising it’s novelty service as a scientific process. 

“At minimum, we request that you discontinue claiming that your app is drawn from our work in any way as it does not reflect the content or conclusions of the work.

“The right thing to do is to remove the app from GenePlaza completely, which we hope you will do.”

Earlier in August a study in the journal Science, which utilised 493,001 participants, debunked the concept that there is a “gay gene” tucked away in someone’s DNA – let alone that any single gene can dictate a person’s sexual preferences. 

A petition on calling for the removal of the How Gay Are You?/122 Shades of Grey app from GenePlaza has already reached over 1,500 signatures. 


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