In 1993 a paper in the prestigious scientific journal Science announced the discovery of a linkage between genetics and male homosexuality. The linkage was promptly dubbed the `gay gene' by the media, and the paper was widely reported. This article examines the reporting of the `gay gene' in the British press and television news, and compares it with commentary in scientific journals. The article focuses on the representation of homosexuality and the representation of science. It considers the charges levelled at the media by some critics and finds many of them wanting. Finally, it concludes with some comments about the public understanding of science and the need for the scientific understanding of the media and the public.