What If Homosexuality Becomes a Choice … For Parents?

Evidence that homosexuality is biological — and not a lifestyle choice like some on the religious Right believe — is building; gay men are more likely than straight men to have counterclockwise hair wholrs, have longer index than ring fingers, and be left handed or ambidextrous. David France wrote in a 2007 New York magazine article:

Hair

Because many of these newly identified “gay” traits and characteristics are known to be influenced in utero, researchers think they may be narrowing in on when gayness is set — and identifying its possible triggers. They believe that homosexuality may be the result of some interaction between a pregnant mother and her fetus. Several hypothetical mechanisms have been identified, most pointing to an alteration in the flow of male hormones in the formation of boys and female hormones in the gestation of girls. What causes this? Nobody has any direct evidence one way or another, but a list of suspects includes germs, genes, maternal stress, and even allergy — maybe the mother mounts some immunological response to the fetal hormones.

Immunological response is the ascendant theory, in fact. We know from a string of surveys that in any family, the second-born son is 33 percent more likely than the first to be gay, and the third is 33 percent more likely than the second, and so on, as though there is some sort of “maternal memory,” similar to the way antibodies are memories of an infection. Perhaps she mounts a more effective immunological response to fetal hormones with each new male fetus. To determine whether the fraternal birth order might also suggest that baby brothers are treated differently in a way that impacts their sexual expression, researchers have studied boys who weren’t raised in their biological families, or who may have been firstborn but grew up as the youngest in Brady Bunch–type homes. In every permutation, the results were the same: What mattered was only how many boys had occupied your mother’s uterus before you.

Some of this research may prove to be significant; some will ultimately get chalked up to coincidence. But the thrust of these developing findings puts activists in a bind and brings gay rights to a major crossroads, perhaps its most significant since the American Psychiatric Association voted to declassify homosexuality as a disease in 1973. If sexual orientation is biological, and we are learning to identify how it happens inside the uterus, doesn’t it suggest a future in which gay people can be prevented?

Read more in New York magazine

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  • A Bad Joke

    The fact that you are born gay is rather obvious. Anyone who denies that is a moron, in my not so humble opinion.

    • Vox Penii

      The “fact” that homosexuality is inborn is far from obvious. And calling those who disagree “morons” is an ad hominem attack that weakens your position.

      The current state of evidence is NOT conclusive re: the origins of homosexuality. Psychologist Robert Spitzer, a gay rights leader who spearheaded the early 1970s campaign to have homosexuality removed from listings as a disorder, has stated that the fact that many homosexuals have successfully changed their sexual orientation (over half in some studies) challenges the idea that homosexuality is inborn: “I am personally convinced that for many of them ['ex' homosexuals], they made rather remarkable changes in their sexual orientation.”

      And as [lesbian] critic Camille Paglia asks, “Is gay identity so fragile that it cannot bear the
      thought that some people may not wish to be gay?”

      Quotes from here: http://www.shrink-friendly.co.il/tau/article/14_2Byrd.pdf

      • dumbsaint

        Holy carp, I agree with something the penis quoted for once. It’s my thought that affirming that one’s being gay is a choice puts you in a stronger position. You’re claiming your lifestyle as legitimate and a perfectly agreeable one to opt into.

      • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

        Gay/Bi/Trans people have a choice……be what you really are…or lie about it because you’re deeply filled with self loathing.The capacity for attraction to one or both genders is not, and never has, been a switch turned on or off at will. There is an enormous amount of bias and scientific malfeasance in even the most widely touted “conversion therapy studies”.There is almost no attempt to go beyond accepting the statement of “ex-homosexuals” that have been ‘cured’. This is not a scientific result…its a questionnaire on a sensitive topic…the level of dishonesty of self involved almost completely nullifies the results. For the most part…these processes are just proactive self help sessions that make a person feel good about their situation, fluff them with the credit for passing a course of study, and then send them off financially poorer but smiling about their accomplishment……but among gays its an open secret…there is no wilder raunchier slut than an ex-gay…when they “backslide” they go for broke…because its just a ‘slip up’ in their ongoing struggle. Not having gay sex doesn’t make you not gay…if that were the case, every virgin in the world would be “not straight” until penis finally touches vagina. Capacity for attraction…and the level of that attraction for particular genders, is a largely inborn trait…with a few external modifiers that can affect the final outcome.

  • A Bad Joke

    The fact that you are born gay is rather obvious. Anyone who denies that is a moron, in my not so humble opinion.

  • http://allshoulders.tumblr.com/ Beasty McAllister

    sexuality a continuum. to put it bluntly, everyone is kinda gay. maybe certain environmental factors trigger gayness depending on where they see themselves in the spectrum of who they want to bang. I am much gayer in an environment populated with males than a room full cootie-infested girls. However I do value their opinions, and provacative clothing.

    • gemmarama

      yeah i’ve got the lesbian fingers, apparently (y’know, ring finger longer than index fingers), and although i do love the cock, i’m a feisty, assertive bitch who likes climbing trees and wearing clumpy boots. perhaps my positive relationship with my father in my teens prevented me from turning all the way. who knows?

      it’s all a load of shite anyway. most of my friends are pretty sexually ambiguous by society’s standards. there’s no such thing as gay or straight. they are constructs just like masculine and feminine. another artificial problem with the false solution of “tolerance”. everybody fucks somebody (well, if they’re lucky), who really gives a shit which genitalia they have?

      • Vox Penii

        >there’s no such thing as gay or straight. they are constructs just like masculine and feminine. another artificial problem with the false solution of “tolerance”.

        I hardly know where to begin…

        first, there’s a distinction between the terms or concepts we use to describe things, and the things themselves. the things themselves can exist regardless of how we describe/categorize them. for example, gravity had been functioning for billions of years before Newtonconceptualized how gravity functions. Newton’s concepts are a “social construction.” Newton’s socially constructed concepts nonetheless describe phenomena that exist independent of the description.

        second, “masculine” and “feminine” are, to some degree socially constructed in the sense described above. for example, what’s considered an appropriate expression of “femininity” and “masculinity” can vary from culture to culture. however, again like the Newton example, there are also some aspects of masculinity/femininity that exist independently of the social construction: for example, men tend to have higher levels of testosterone, and testosterone is strongly associated with visual-spatial thinking which explains why men are generally more attracted to things that require “3D visualization” (e.g., sports, mechanical engineering, et cetera). similarly, women tend to have better facility with language and fine motor control. in fact, differences between men and women can be noted in newborns: “even at one day old, girls prefer a human face, boys a mechanical mobile” says Helena Cronin of the London School of Economics. > http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/mar/12/gender.comment <

        Third, your statement has several logical/philosophical errors. for example, the fact that some things are "socially constructed" is often taken as indication that the constructed thing has no value, is of dubious value or otherwise weakened … but this is a metaphysical error of the kind Wittgenstein described; if we remove a metaphysical foundation, the removal doesn't collapse the concept — it leaves things exactly as they are.

        • http://allshoulders.tumblr.com/ Beasty McAllister

          nice breakdown bro. i forgot our comments were being graded. *phew* thanks!

          • Wah

            Surely whoever perceives gayness as a problem, is perceiving a round peg in a round hole as a problem? It’s an artificial problem. Those who want to “solve it” are clambering at artificial solutions to a problem that doesn’t really exist? Only creating more problems. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

            Although trying to work out if gay love is genetic might be useful somehow someday, it always reinforces a subtle implication that straight love is objectively what the species should be striving for, prizing as the most valuable, and putting straight love on the ultimate pedestal of what love should be defined as. It’s a bias that goes unquestioned and is as absurd as putting the love experienced between 2 blond blue-eyed people on the ultimate pedestal of what truly worthy love should be defined as.

            Also why are these studies always about gay males, rather than gay females? That also seems to imply, gay men are something worth concerning our scientific selves with more than gay females. Weird.

            And we focus on the differences between sexes/gender roles like they’re significant to unlocking something that could significantly improve our lives and straight relationships… yet put our 99.99999999% similarities aside as if they’re just a minor insignificant footnote not worth mentioning.

            What the buck are we doing?

          • justagirl

            “a round peg in a round hole”… sounds like YOU are the one who is gender biased.

          • Tuna Ghost

            Although I can hardly believe I am typing this, I agree with Vox Penii here on many levels and applaud his rigorous assesment. If more people were willing to examine things to such a degree, there would be a much higher level of discussion here.

        • gemmarama

          wow, the voice of the penis deigns to reply. i’m flattered.

          first off, i am perfectly aware of the distinction between the terms we use to describe things, and the things themselves. you underestimate me here; i am arguing that “gay” and “straight” as terms describe simplistic, hideous caricatures of behaviour that in reality do not exist. i do not believe the description describes a phenomena that exists independently. as far as i know, these days most people have at some stage done both, but at the end of the day decide they prefer one sex over the other, usually by a fairly narrow margin. sometimes they change their minds again in later life. but then i inhabit a real world that is alien to the likes of you. in the unlikely event that you ever get a life you too may manage to formulate opinions based on a wealth of personal experience, rather than on what fox news or whatever tells you is true.

          on a sidenote, never heard of “the pink pound”? “gay” is more than anything just a marketing term in today’s world. check out these guys:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_Shame
          http://www.gayshamesf.org/

          there is obviously little point in entering into any kind of nature/nurture debate with you. i think your ideas about “masculine” and “feminine” are basically bullshit; but then they are exactly what one might expect to hear from someone so obviously insecure in their own sexuality that they feel the need to attack and demonise homosexuals at every given opportunity and bang on continuously about traditional gender roles.

          i don’t see us agreeing on this one at any point soon. my basic position is that the social constructs i speak of have been constructed for a reason, and are “dubious” as they do not bear any relation to most people’s experience of reality, and therefore are repressive and harmful. as an example, all women have body hair, but body hair is considered to be unfeminine. this is absurd. all men cry, but crying in men is apparently a sign of weakness. this is cruel. i could go on, ad infinitum.

          anyway i don’t know why i’m bothering. i’m sure you’re quite happy with your crude stereotypes.

        • gemmarama

          p.s. did you actually just reference an article from that commie rag the guardian? perhaps there is hope for you after all…

          • Tuna Ghost

            I’m thinking someone has accidentally logged in as Vox Penii. His comments as of late have been far too insightful. Or perhaps we’ve been confusing him with someone else this entire time.

          • gemmarama

            i’m beginning to think he’s an employee of disinfo, paid to spice up the comments section a bit with his right-wing bile. after all, it’d just be a big commie love-in without him…

        • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

          You referenced Wittgenstein…appropriately. This completely makes up for today’s Sowell incident. To make her point with greater specificity, definitions, labels and expectations are externally applied based on perceived needs for order and sense that have largely developed over millennium…not based on any realistic assessment of human development or with respect to the real intricacies of human sexuality.While the Newton example is perfectly accurate with regard to phenomena existing without regard to any conjecture about them, and to a certain point gender is not malleable physically…we are talking about gender identity/preference…which in this case reverses your point. Individual sexual identity exists despite every social attempt to direct it in accordance with whatever societal norms are at play, or to describe/characterize it as aberrant/negative…in both animal and in man alike.The contention here is that the restless human urge to impose order and clarity leaves little room for the fact that individuality doesn’t pay much respect to arbitrary definitions…especially in the murky realm of human sexuality. Gender preference and identity exist independently and in total defiance of every attempt to categorize and classify them away. We are not dealing in the realm of black and white…but in the realm of infinite shades of grey.Ironically enough, Wittgenstein’s own sexuality makes this discussion all the more poignant. It actually made my night to see his work referenced…for that…I issue a rare “Thank you.”

      • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

        Damn, woman…ya like good whiskey and sexual ambiguity…you trying to taunt me into playing for the other team? ;-) If I wasn’t hitched to a feisty, half Japanese male nurse with a flair for great cooking I’d give the matter a second thought!

        • gemmarama

          you wouldn’t be the first one i’d turned… ;-)

          cheers for the back up.

          (hubby sounds like a catch btw!)

  • http://hiccupsanddowns.blogspot.com Beasty McAllister

    sexuality a continuum. to put it bluntly, everyone is kinda gay. maybe certain environmental factors trigger gayness depending on where they see themselves in the spectrum of who they want to bang. I am much gayer in an environment populated with males than a room full cootie-infested girls. However I do value their opinions, and provacative clothing.

  • Ezekiel

    I just think nobody really know the “causes” of homosexuality, they have many theories but they can’t prove anything. Yes you are born gay, it’s an obviousness but over that, nobody really know and will never know. It’s a kind of natural thing, it’s not a disease, it’s not a abnormality, so let’s just accept this and don’t try to interfere with a natural process.

  • Ezekiel

    I just think nobody really know the “causes” of homosexuality, they have many theories but they can’t prove anything. Yes you are born gay, it’s an obviousness but over that, nobody really know and will never know. It’s a kind of natural thing, it’s not a disease, it’s not a abnormality, so let’s just accept this and don’t try to interfere with a natural process.

  • gemmarama

    yeah i’ve got the lesbian fingers, apparently (y’know, ring finger longer than index fingers), and although i do love the cock, i’m a feisty, assertive bitch who likes climbing trees and wearing clumpy boots. perhaps my positive relationship with my father in my teens prevented me from turning all the way. who knows?

    it’s all a load of shite anyway. most of my friends are pretty sexually ambiguous by society’s standards. there’s no such thing as gay or straight. they are constructs just like masculine and feminine. another artificial problem with the false solution of “tolerance”. everybody fucks somebody (well, if they’re lucky), who really gives a shit which genitalia they have?

  • Vox Penii

    The “fact” that homosexuality is inborn is far from obvious. And calling those who disagree “morons” is an ad hominem attack that weakens your position.

    The current state of evidence is NOT conclusive re: the origins of homosexuality. Psychologist Robert Spitzer, a gay rights leader who spearheaded the early 1970s campaign to have homosexuality removed from listings as a disorder, has stated that the fact that many homosexuals have successfully changed their sexual orientation (over half in some studies) challenges the idea that homosexuality is inborn: “I am personally convinced that for many of them ['ex' homosexuals], they made rather remarkable changes in their sexual orientation.”

    And as [lesbian] critic Camille Paglia asks, “Is gay identity so fragile that it cannot bear the
    thought that some people may not wish to be gay?”

    Quotes from here: http://www.shrink-friendly.co.il/tau/article/14_2Byrd.pdf

  • Anon-B

    The only possible manner in which a person can be “born” a certain way, is if there is an actual gene or alleles that can be found in the DNA all homosexuals. DNA sequencing is not science fiction any more. We can identify the specific genes that cause specific phenotypes in a living organism. Thus far, there is not a gene/allele that can be found in homosexuals. There is not a genetic difference. Clockwise or counterclockwise hair? Give me a break. Do the same study on people who prefer Ultimate Fighting and those who enjoy the Twilight series. I can assure you that the findings will show that one or the other is more likely to have clockwise hair. Is this relevant? No.

    The logical explanation for sexual preferences is the same as most non-genetic human personality traits: It is the result of a unique series of life experiences that begins at birth and ends at death and cannot be duplicated in any scientific lab, study or poll. This makes it NOT genetic (“born” that way) but also NOT a choice, because this accumulation of life experiences is of course subconscious and ongoing.

    • Vox Penii

      thanks for proving that some Disinfo readers can understand the complexities of this topic, and can look beyond the rhetoric.

    • Andrew

      I think the idea is that different genes are activated–as described in those articles about PTSD affecting gene expression–by the environment in utero during fetal development, resulting in varying degrees of sexual orientation. Also: http://userpages.umbc.edu/~korenman/wmst/fetus.html

      • Anon-B

        To begin to talk about gene expression, we would still need to prove the existence of genes that decide sexual orientation. I am simply stating that these do not exist. XX/XY and hormone production is only relevant when talking about physical sexual development, not sexual orientation.

        Non-genetic, non-physical differences are the result of neural development. The synapses and pathways of the brain adapt to outside conditions, influences and experiences.

        There may be alot of grey area regarding sexual orientations, but the genetics is black and white: No gay gene/alleles. We may as well be looking for a gene that specifies whether we prefer chocolate or vanilla.

        • Andrew

          I know we’ve mapped the entire genome, but I wasn’t aware we’d decoded it all.

    • 5by5

      Strictly speaking a particular gay gene has not been found, but Dr. Dean Hamer of the National Cancer Institute did discover a linkage between DNA markers on the X chromosome and male sexual orientation. There are a number of physical indicators that state that your orientation is more than merely environmentally influenced, but you are correct that even if there wasn’t a physical reason, the sum of your life experiences do make “choice” an impossibility.

      What makes this more complex is that despite certain people’s political desires to make it a binary thing — gay or not gay, civil rights or no civil rights — the fact is that as Kinsey discovered, human sexuality lies more on a spectrum. ranging from 1-to-6. There are very few “perfect 6″ gay people out there, and very few “perfect 1″ straight people out there. Most people are 3’s or 4’s and depending upon whom they meet in their life, and which side of that range their inherent preference is, they could self-identify as gay or straight or even just bi. It is the culture that herds people into one column or the other, and it’s largely ridiculous and mostly based on an Iron Age religious text written prior to the advent of the scientific method. I don’t see us taking advice on policy matters from such ancient people in other matters, I see no reason why we should here. It’s as stupid as mandating that all wheels must be made of wood because that’s how our ancestors made them, and barring the use of rubber tires as an abomination before God.

      Personally, I don’t care where your orientation originates from, and even if it was purely genetic, and I could make a selection, I’d probably select for a gay kid anyways, because they are a delight.

    • ~nya

      Actually there is significant evidence pointing to that traits can be “triggered” by hormonal influences. There are many dormant genes in our DNA which are never triggered at all, and some which are triggered later in life. This means that yes…there may be a gay gene (being gay I really think there is), but many people might carry it without ever having it triggered and thus being straight. The significance of the hair whorls is that a lot of genes are linked, when one gets passed on, it is more likely that another trait gets passed on as well. The theory is that the reason this occurs is because the genes might be very closely placed in the genetic sequence. If two traits are statistically found to be linked, such as the hair whorls and homosexuality, and one is known to be genetic, then that is evidence that supports the hypothesis that the other trait (homosexuality) is also genetic.

  • Anon-B

    The only possible manner in which a person can be “born” a certain way, is if there is an actual gene or alleles that can be found in the DNA all homosexuals. DNA sequencing is not science fiction any more. We can identify the specific genes that cause specific phenotypes in a living organism. Thus far, there is not a gene/allele that can be found in homosexuals. There is not a genetic difference. Clockwise or counterclockwise hair? Give me a break. Do the same study on people who prefer Ultimate Fighting and those who enjoy the Twilight series. I can assure you that the findings will show that one or the other is more likely to have clockwise hair. Is this relevant? No.

    The logical explanation for sexual preferences is the same as most non-genetic human personality traits: It is the result of a unique series of life experiences that begins at birth and ends at death and cannot be duplicated in any scientific lab, study or poll. This makes it NOT genetic (“born” that way) but also NOT a choice, because this accumulation of life experiences is of course subconscious and ongoing.

  • Vox Penii

    >there’s no such thing as gay or straight. they are constructs just like masculine and feminine. another artificial problem with the false solution of “tolerance”.

    I hardly know where to begin…

    first, there’s a distinction between the terms or concepts we use to describe things, and the things themselves. the things themselves can exist regardless of how we describe/categorize them. for example, gravity had been functioning for billions of years before Newtonconceptualized how gravity functions. Newton’s concepts are a “social construction.” Newton’s socially constructed concepts nonetheless describe phenomena that exist independent of the description.

    second, “masculine” and “feminine” are, to some degree socially constructed in the sense described above. for example, what’s considered an appropriate expression of “femininity” and “masculinity” can vary from culture to culture. however, again like the Newton example, there are also some aspects of masculinity/femininity that exist independently of the social construction: for example, men tend to have higher levels of testosterone, and testosterone is strongly associated with visual-spatial thinking which explains why men are generally more attracted to things that require “3D visualization” (e.g., sports, mechanical engineering, et cetera). similarly, women tend to have better facility with language and fine motor control. in fact, differences between men and women can be noted in newborns: “even at one day old, girls prefer a human face, boys a mechanical mobile” says Helena Cronin of the London School of Economics. > http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/mar/12/gender.comment <

    Third, your statement has several logical/philosophical errors. for example, the fact that some things are "socially constructed" is often taken as indication that the constructed thing has no value, is of dubious value or otherwise weakened … but this is a metaphysical error of the kind Wittgenstein described; if we remove a metaphysical foundation, the removal doesn't collapse the concept — it leaves things exactly as they are.

  • Vox Penii

    thanks for proving that some Disinfo readers can understand the complexities of this topic, and can look beyond the rhetoric.

  • http://hiccupsanddowns.blogspot.com Beasty McAllister

    nice breakdown bro. i forgot our comments were being graded. *phew* thanks!

  • Wah

    Surely whoever perceives gayness as a problem, is perceiving a round peg in a round hole as a problem? It’s an artificial problem. Those who want to “solve it” are clambering at artificial solutions to a problem that doesn’t really exist? Only creating more problems. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

    Although trying to work out if gay love is genetic might be useful somehow someday, it always reinforces a subtle implication that straight love is objectively what the species should be striving for, prizing as the most valuable, and putting straight love on the ultimate pedestal of what love should be defined as. It’s a bias that goes unquestioned and is as absurd as putting the love experienced between 2 blond blue-eyed people on the ultimate pedestal of what truly worthy love should be defined as.

    Also why are these studies always about gay males, rather than gay females? That also seems to imply, gay men are something worth concerning our scientific selves with more than gay females. Weird.

    And we focus on the differences between sexes/gender roles like they’re significant to unlocking something that could significantly improve our lives and straight relationships… yet put our 99.99999999% similarities aside as if they’re just a minor insignificant footnote not worth mentioning.

    What the buck are we doing?

  • gemmarama

    wow, the voice of the penis deigns to reply. i’m flattered.

    first off, i am perfectly aware of the distinction between the terms we use to describe things, and the things themselves. you underestimate me here; i am arguing that “gay” and “straight” as terms describe simplistic, hideous caricatures of behaviour that in reality do not exist. i do not believe the description describes a phenomena that exists independently. as far as i know, these days most people have at some stage done both, but at the end of the day decide they prefer one sex over the other, usually by a fairly narrow margin. sometimes they change their minds again in later life. but then i inhabit a real world that is alien to the likes of you. in the unlikely event that you ever get a life you too may manage to formulate opinions based on a wealth of personal experience, rather than on what fox news or whatever tells you is true.

    on a sidenote, never heard of “the pink pound”? “gay” is more than anything just a marketing term in today’s world. check out these guys:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_Shame
    http://www.gayshamesf.org/

    there is obviously little point in entering into any kind of nature/nurture debate with you. i think your ideas about “masculine” and “feminine” are basically bullshit; but then they are exactly what one might expect to hear from someone so obviously insecure in their own sexuality that they feel the need to attack and demonise homosexuals at every given opportunity and bang on continuously about traditional gender roles.

    i don’t see us agreeing on this one at any point soon. my basic position is that the social constructs i speak of have been constructed for a reason, and are “dubious” as they do not bear any relation to most people’s experience of reality, and therefore are repressive and harmful. as an example, all women have body hair, but body hair is considered to be unfeminine. this is absurd. all men cry, but crying in men is apparently a sign of weakness. this is cruel. i could go on, ad infinitum.

    anyway i don’t know why i’m bothering. i’m sure you’re quite happy with your crude stereotypes.

  • gemmarama

    p.s. did you actually just reference an article from that commie rag the guardian? perhaps there is hope for you after all…

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    At long last we can look forward to the end of homosexuality…

    …unfortunately…we can also look forward to the return of plaid and bad hair, and the death of witty repartee and track lighting.

    I’m really gonna miss track lighting.

    • justagirl

      what’s wrong with plaid??

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    At long last we can look forward to the end of homosexuality…

    …unfortunately…we can also look forward to the return of plaid and bad hair, and the death of witty repartee and track lighting.

    I’m really gonna miss track lighting.

  • justagirl

    “a round peg in a round hole”… sounds like YOU are the one who is gender biased.

  • justagirl

    what’s wrong with plaid??

  • Anonymous

    Holy carp, I agree with something the penis quoted for once. It’s my thought that affirming that one’s being gay is a choice puts you in a stronger position. You’re claiming your lifestyle as legitimate and a perfectly agreeable one to opt into.

  • Andrew

    I think the idea is that different genes are activated–as described in those articles about PTSD affecting gene expression–by the environment in utero during fetal development, resulting in varying degrees of sexual orientation. Also: http://userpages.umbc.edu/~korenman/wmst/fetus.html

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Gay/Bi/Trans people have a choice……be what you really are…or lie about it because you’re deeply filled with self loathing.The capacity for attraction to one or both genders is not, and never has, been a switch turned on or off at will. There is an enormous amount of bias and scientific malfeasance in even the most widely touted “conversion therapy studies”.There is almost no attempt to go beyond accepting the statement of “ex-homosexuals” that have been ‘cured’. This is not a scientific result…its a questionnaire on a sensitive topic…the level of dishonesty of self involved almost completely nullifies the results. For the most part…these processes are just proactive self help sessions that make a person feel good about their situation, fluff them with the credit for passing a course of study, and then send them off financially poorer but smiling about their accomplishment……but among gays its an open secret…there is no wilder raunchier slut than an ex-gay…when they “backslide” they go for broke…because its just a ‘slip up’ in their ongoing struggle. Not having gay sex doesn’t make you not gay…if that were the case, every virgin in the world would be “not straight” until penis finally touches vagina. Capacity for attraction…and the level of that attraction for particular genders, is a largely inborn trait…with a few external modifiers that can affect the final outcome.

  • Anon-B

    To begin to talk about gene expression, we would still need to prove the existence of genes that decide sexual orientation. I am simply stating that these do not exist. XX/XY and hormone production is only relevant when talking about physical sexual development, not sexual orientation.

    Non-genetic, non-physical differences are the result of neural development. The synapses and pathways of the brain adapt to outside conditions, influences and experiences.

    There may be alot of grey area regarding sexual orientations, but the genetics is black and white: No gay gene/alleles. We may as well be looking for a gene that specifies whether we prefer chocolate or vanilla.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    You referenced Wittgenstein…appropriately. This completely makes up for today’s Sowell incident. To make her point with greater specificity, definitions, labels and expectations are externally applied based on perceived needs for order and sense that have largely developed over millennium…not based on any realistic assessment of human development or with respect to the real intricacies of human sexuality.While the Newton example is perfectly accurate with regard to phenomena existing without regard to any conjecture about them, and to a certain point gender is not malleable physically…we are talking about gender identity/preference…which in this case reverses your point. Individual sexual identity exists despite every social attempt to direct it in accordance with whatever societal norms are at play, or to describe/characterize it as aberrant/negative…in both animal and in man alike.The contention here is that the restless human urge to impose order and clarity leaves little room for the fact that individuality doesn’t pay much respect to arbitrary definitions…especially in the murky realm of human sexuality. Gender preference and identity exist independently and in total defiance of every attempt to categorize and classify them away. We are not dealing in the realm of black and white…but in the realm of infinite shades of grey.Ironically enough, Wittgenstein’s own sexuality makes this discussion all the more poignant. It actually made my night to see his work referenced…for that…I issue a rare “Thank you.”

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Damn, woman…ya like good whiskey and sexual ambiguity…you trying to taunt me into playing for the other team? ;-) If I wasn’t hitched to a feisty, half Japanese male nurse with a flair for great cooking I’d give the matter a second thought!

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    First step I’d love to see…curing people of the imagination that non heterosexual love/attraction is purely genital based. Total horseshit.

    Its always been eyes for me…the shape of a jawline, maybe the way hair frames a face. A certain set of the shoulders, the voice or the way someone walks. A vast collection of little things decides attraction for me long before nakedness is involved.

    My tastes seemed to develop without any pushing them one way or another…during the same adolescent cusp that everyone else developed their preferences. Why my interests went one way instead of another I tried for years to understand, reading everything from science text to snake oil religious tracts…not one has ever given an answer that fit or that couldn’t be debunked in a matter of seconds.

    All that was left was: because…you were born that way…its just in the wiring.

    I had choices. I could deceive others and live the way countless people before me have…going through the motions while dreaming of something else (Yes Larry Craig…I’m talking to you!). I could learn to despise myself and see my preferences as a form of weakness…when it actually creates no discernible deficits in my character (aside from an abiding love for dry, sarcastic humor…but I don’t see that as a crippling flaw.)

    Or I could do what I did. Come out…figure out who I am and what I like by trial and error, and just accept the results of that process as perfectly valid and requiring no explanation or apology…and get on with being happy about my life and the people in it.

    Not saying it was all easy…but it worked pretty well for me.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    First step I’d love to see…curing people of the imagination that non heterosexual love/attraction is purely genital based. Total horseshit.

    Its always been eyes for me…the shape of a jawline, maybe the way hair frames a face. A certain set of the shoulders, the voice or the way someone walks. A vast collection of little things decides attraction for me long before nakedness is involved.

    My tastes seemed to develop without any pushing them one way or another…during the same adolescent cusp that everyone else developed their preferences. Why my interests went one way instead of another I tried for years to understand, reading everything from science text to snake oil religious tracts…not one has ever given an answer that fit or that couldn’t be debunked in a matter of seconds.

    All that was left was: because…you were born that way…its just in the wiring.

    I had choices. I could deceive others and live the way countless people before me have…going through the motions while dreaming of something else (Yes Larry Craig…I’m talking to you!). I could learn to despise myself and see my preferences as a form of weakness…when it actually creates no discernible deficits in my character (aside from an abiding love for dry, sarcastic humor…but I don’t see that as a crippling flaw.)

    Or I could do what I did. Come out…figure out who I am and what I like by trial and error, and just accept the results of that process as perfectly valid and requiring no explanation or apology…and get on with being happy about my life and the people in it.

    Not saying it was all easy…but it worked pretty well for me.

    • gemmarama

      hear hear, sir.

      all but the most screamingly queer of my friends dig chicks sometimes… i have straight male transvestite friend who regularly pulls big burly straight men when in his feminine guise… i know a female couple who have been together for ten years, one of whom is straight – she fancies men, just she loves her girlfriend… my gbf’s last boyfriend was technically “straight”, but they were together for two years… and i can appreciate women as much as any straight man, i just find big hairy smelly men more compelling.

      the terms we use to describe (or pigeon-hole) human sexuality are woefully inadequate. there’s a whole, glorious rainbow out there.

      and at the end of the day, it’s nobody’s fucking business what anyone else gets up to in bed.

      • gemmarama

        sorry that was a response to your more recent comment further up.

  • Virgendelasvacas

    Yes, it DOES suggest a future where bigoted parents can choose not to have gay children if homosexuality is proven to be biological. Luckily, it hasn’t yet.

    This is exactly why I’m so depressed that the GLBT community has latched on so hard the biology theory because it really doesn’t help them at all, no matter how much they want to say, “See? We can’t help it! So deal with it!” For fuck’s sake, Fred Phelps even believes homosexuality is biological but still just keeps on hating. Not only that, but it’s quite alienating to those who truly do choose to be gay. I’m not saying that EVERY gay person chooses to be gay, some might be biological for all we know, but I think we need to embrace the idea of homosexuality as choice and take it out of the hands of the bigots who want to use that argument against us. They have no right to have any say in the choices people make and by denying that some people actually do make those choices we’re allowing them to think that they do have that right.

    As far as the “science” behind the biological homosexuality theory, there’s not really a lot to it and a lot of the research that has been done has come up contradictory, including the famous “twins” research. And the theory of hormones interacting with the fetus makes it sound like all gay men are made part woman in the womb, which I know many gay men that would assert that they are ALL man, and it says NOTHING of lesbians. In fact, most of the research done has been on gay men. Lesbians get ignored, for the most part, and that’s not a very thorough (or responsible) way to research something if you ask me.

    If any of you want to know more about people who really DO choose to be gay (yes, they do exist!) then go google “queer by choice”. There’s also a book by the same name by author Vera Whisman which I HIGHLY recommend reading.

  • Virgendelasvacas

    Yes, it DOES suggest a future where bigoted parents can choose not to have gay children if homosexuality is proven to be biological. Luckily, it hasn’t yet.

    This is exactly why I’m so depressed that the GLBT community has latched on so hard the biology theory because it really doesn’t help them at all, no matter how much they want to say, “See? We can’t help it! So deal with it!” For fuck’s sake, Fred Phelps even believes homosexuality is biological but still just keeps on hating. Not only that, but it’s quite alienating to those who truly do choose to be gay. I’m not saying that EVERY gay person chooses to be gay, some might be biological for all we know, but I think we need to embrace the idea of homosexuality as choice and take it out of the hands of the bigots who want to use that argument against us. They have no right to have any say in the choices people make and by denying that some people actually do make those choices we’re allowing them to think that they do have that right.

    As far as the “science” behind the biological homosexuality theory, there’s not really a lot to it and a lot of the research that has been done has come up contradictory, including the famous “twins” research. And the theory of hormones interacting with the fetus makes it sound like all gay men are made part woman in the womb, which I know many gay men that would assert that they are ALL man, and it says NOTHING of lesbians. In fact, most of the research done has been on gay men. Lesbians get ignored, for the most part, and that’s not a very thorough (or responsible) way to research something if you ask me.

    If any of you want to know more about people who really DO choose to be gay (yes, they do exist!) then go google “queer by choice”. There’s also a book by the same name by author Vera Whisman which I HIGHLY recommend reading.

  • Virgendelasvacas

    Another thing to point out that supports the gay-by-choice theory: do some research into ancient cultures. In ancient Japan, for instance, it was considered taboo to ONLY want to be with women if you were a man. This completely undercuts the idea that the dominant sexual orientation is heterosexual and that sexuality is biological. Look at ancient Rome and Greece as well. Or native Hawaiian culture. Across the board you end up seeing that societies that have more relaxed rules about sexuality tend to have higher percentages of the population that are gay, suggesting that it is NOT biological.

    Still, there is nothing wrong with this. Gay people deserve equal right regardless of whether they’re born that way or if they chose to be that way and that’s what we should really be fighting for.

  • Virgendelasvacas

    Another thing to point out that supports the gay-by-choice theory: do some research into ancient cultures. In ancient Japan, for instance, it was considered taboo to ONLY want to be with women if you were a man. This completely undercuts the idea that the dominant sexual orientation is heterosexual and that sexuality is biological. Look at ancient Rome and Greece as well. Or native Hawaiian culture. Across the board you end up seeing that societies that have more relaxed rules about sexuality tend to have higher percentages of the population that are gay, suggesting that it is NOT biological.

    Still, there is nothing wrong with this. Gay people deserve equal right regardless of whether they’re born that way or if they chose to be that way and that’s what we should really be fighting for.

    • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

      If we look at the spectrum of human sexuality, certainly there are people who have no overwhelming need to have homosexual sex or relationships…but they may have the innate ‘capacity’ to do so if they choose…and those people are in far greater numbers than the people I’d quantify as “born gay”. Trust me…if you’d seen some of my ex-bfs…no matter hwat culture they were in, no matter what era…they’d have been as gay as picnic baskets from day one to the end. You could make them marry…but it would have been a disaster.

      In tolerant societies, homosexual activity/relationships become de-stigmatized…and so the number of people participating in them reaches its zenith with only those whose place on the scale is ‘extreme hetero’ opting out and wanting no part of it. The vast zone of quiet bisexuality…the ‘capacity’ to enjoy a same sex relationship…is infinitely larger than is popularly admitted. Again, referencing my ex-bfs, they were often involved with men who identified as straight…but felt comfortable with a male who was non-threatening and passive…whereas I never experienced that…since I don’t seem very approachable or passive.

      The biological factor can still be in play…with it making a difference only for those people who have no choice but same sex relationships…and remaining an idle pastime for people who may have been born with the same capacity…but are perfectly comfortable marrying someone of opposite gender. Only the extreme ends of the spectrum are absolutely locked in with on gender preference from birth. All others are ‘negotiable’.

  • gemmarama

    you wouldn’t be the first one i’d turned… ;-)

    cheers for the back up.

    (hubby sounds like a catch btw!)

  • 5by5

    Strictly speaking a particular gay gene has not been found, but Dr. Dean Hamer of the National Cancer Institute did discover a linkage between DNA markers on the X chromosome and male sexual orientation. There are a number of physical indicators that state that your orientation is more than merely environmentally influenced, but you are correct that even if there wasn’t a physical reason, the sum of your life experiences do make “choice” an impossibility.

    What makes this more complex is that despite certain people’s political desires to make it a binary thing — gay or not gay, civil rights or no civil rights — the fact is that as Kinsey discovered, human sexuality lies more on a spectrum. ranging from 1-to-6. There are very few “perfect 6″ gay people out there, and very few “perfect 1″ straight people out there. Most people are 3’s or 4’s and depending upon whom they meet in their life, and which side of that range their inherent preference is, they could self-identify as gay or straight or even just bi. It is the culture that herds people into one column or the other, and it’s largely ridiculous and mostly based on an Iron Age religious text written prior to the advent of the scientific method. I don’t see us taking advice on policy matters from such ancient people in other matters, I see no reason why we should here. It’s as stupid as mandating that all wheels must be made of wood because that’s how our ancestors made them, and barring the use of rubber tires as an abomination before God.

    Personally, I don’t care where your orientation originates from, and even if it was purely genetic, and I could make a selection, I’d probably select for a gay kid anyways, because they are a delight.

  • Slip

    I think we still have to take this ‘maternal memory’ research as very preliminary. These studies most often use as their measure self-identification using a simple dichotomy of ‘gay’ or ‘straight’. But sexual identity is not equivalent to sexual behaviour, as the many years of social research on men who have sex with men (gay identified and non-gay identified) shows. Men’s sexuality at least is far more multifarious in practice; this in the context of constructed masculinities that celebrate homosocial behaviour … so lets try talking more about behaviour. Otherwise we keep falling into the trap of homosexuality as pathology; and that is a very slippery slope … Cheers.

  • Slip

    I think we still have to take this ‘maternal memory’ research as very preliminary. These studies most often use as their measure self-identification using a simple dichotomy of ‘gay’ or ‘straight’. But sexual identity is not equivalent to sexual behaviour, as the many years of social research on men who have sex with men (gay identified and non-gay identified) shows. Men’s sexuality at least is far more multifarious in practice; this in the context of constructed masculinities that celebrate homosocial behaviour … so lets try talking more about behaviour. Otherwise we keep falling into the trap of homosexuality as pathology; and that is a very slippery slope … Cheers.

  • Andrew

    I know we’ve mapped the entire genome, but I wasn’t aware we’d decoded it all.

  • Tuna Ghost

    Although I can hardly believe I am typing this, I agree with Vox Penii here on many levels and applaud his rigorous assesment. If more people were willing to examine things to such a degree, there would be a much higher level of discussion here.

  • Tuna Ghost

    I’m thinking someone has accidentally logged in as Vox Penii. His comments as of late have been far too insightful. Or perhaps we’ve been confusing him with someone else this entire time.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    If we look at the spectrum of human sexuality, certainly there are people who have no overwhelming need to have homosexual sex or relationships…but they may have the innate ‘capacity’ to do so if they choose…and those people are in far greater numbers than the people I’d quantify as “born gay”. Trust me…if you’d seen some of my ex-bfs…no matter hwat culture they were in, no matter what era…they’d have been as gay as picnic baskets from day one to the end. You could make them marry…but it would have been a disaster.

    In tolerant societies, homosexual activity/relationships become de-stigmatized…and so the number of people participating in them reaches its zenith with only those whose place on the scale is ‘extreme hetero’ opting out and wanting no part of it. The vast zone of quiet bisexuality…the ‘capacity’ to enjoy a same sex relationship…is infinitely larger than is popularly admitted. Again, referencing my ex-bfs, they were often involved with men who identified as straight…but felt comfortable with a male who was non-threatening and passive…whereas I never experienced that…since I don’t seem very approachable or passive.

    The biological factor can still be in play…with it making a difference only for those people who have no choice but same sex relationships…and remaining an idle pastime for people who may have been born with the same capacity…but are perfectly comfortable marrying someone of opposite gender. Only the extreme ends of the spectrum are absolutely locked in with on gender preference from birth. All others are ‘negotiable’.

  • gemmarama

    i’m beginning to think he’s an employee of disinfo, paid to spice up the comments section a bit with his right-wing bile. after all, it’d just be a big commie love-in without him…

  • gemmarama

    hear hear, sir.

    all but the most screamingly queer of my friends dig chicks sometimes… i have straight male transvestite friend who regularly pulls big burly straight men when in his feminine guise… i know a female couple who have been together for ten years, one of whom is straight – she fancies men, just she loves her girlfriend… my gbf’s last boyfriend was technically “straight”, but they were together for two years… and i can appreciate women as much as any straight man, i just find big hairy smelly men more compelling.

    the terms we use to describe (or pigeon-hole) human sexuality are woefully inadequate. there’s a whole, glorious rainbow out there.

    and at the end of the day, it’s nobody’s fucking business what anyone else gets up to in bed.

  • gemmarama

    sorry that was a response to your more recent comment further up.

  • chonus

    Everyone is gay.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone is gay.

  • Grek

    So many of the people writing comments for this article seem to think they are so open-minded and knowledgable about things that there are no simple answers to. I see comments where people are claiming there is no such thing as gay or straight and comments from people who claim to know with certainty whether or not a person is born gay. Why don’t you ask a gay person? Or if you are straight, ask yourself when you decided to be straight. A lot of straight people have no problem saying that being gay is a choice, but when did that same straight person make a decision to be straight? And here are some questions for everyone: Do you choose what gender you are attracted to? Do you choose which people you are attracted to? If you can answer NO to those questions then you should realize that being gay or straight is not a choice. If you can answer YES, then you are probably just abnormal and do not have standard human impulses or emotions. People may make a choice to be with a particular person, but I don’t believe that being attracted to that particular person is a conscious decision. Forget about the science of the situation for a moment, because as evidenced by some of the comments here, you can spout all sorts of scientific mumbo jumbo and sound really intelligent but in actuality be clueless. I am gay and it is not the result of a decison I made at some point in my life. I know that because I know myself, as we all should. I know that as long as I have been a sexual being I have known I am gay. I have not been suppressing heterosexual urges my entire life, I am just not attracted to the female gender in a sexual way. I can see a pretty lady walking down the street and observe and acknowledge that she is beautiful, but I don’t get that same feeling I get when I see a hot guy walking down the street. Simple as that. That’s just the way it is. That’s just the way I am.

  • Grek

    So many of the people writing comments for this article seem to think they are so open-minded and knowledgable about things that there are no simple answers to. I see comments where people are claiming there is no such thing as gay or straight and comments from people who claim to know with certainty whether or not a person is born gay. Why don’t you ask a gay person? Or if you are straight, ask yourself when you decided to be straight. A lot of straight people have no problem saying that being gay is a choice, but when did that same straight person make a decision to be straight? And here are some questions for everyone: Do you choose what gender you are attracted to? Do you choose which people you are attracted to? If you can answer NO to those questions then you should realize that being gay or straight is not a choice. If you can answer YES, then you are probably just abnormal and do not have standard human impulses or emotions. People may make a choice to be with a particular person, but I don’t believe that being attracted to that particular person is a conscious decision. Forget about the science of the situation for a moment, because as evidenced by some of the comments here, you can spout all sorts of scientific mumbo jumbo and sound really intelligent but in actuality be clueless. I am gay and it is not the result of a decison I made at some point in my life. I know that because I know myself, as we all should. I know that as long as I have been a sexual being I have known I am gay. I have not been suppressing heterosexual urges my entire life, I am just not attracted to the female gender in a sexual way. I can see a pretty lady walking down the street and observe and acknowledge that she is beautiful, but I don’t get that same feeling I get when I see a hot guy walking down the street. Simple as that. That’s just the way it is. That’s just the way I am.

    • gemmarama

      so you are saying “there’s no simple answers”, yet in conclusion you decide “simple as that. that’s just the way it is.” hmmmm.

      as for “asking a gay person”? about 70% of my friends sleep with people of the same gender. few of them would refer to themselves as “a gay person.” methinks it may be yourself who fails to grasp the complexity of the arguments here…

      so i’m guessing you came out, like, two weeks ago, right?

      • Grek

        Oh, please, it sounds like your friends are just sluts. And don’t you have your own sexuality to base your judgemnts on? Why are you using your friends as examples? Maybe you need some more self-awareness. And I am guessing you are straight but sleep with people of the same sex and think it makes you more open-minded or something, right? Gay people are gay because that’s the way they are. If there was anything that could be done to change that we would all know about it, and we would all know ex-gays.

        • gemmarama

          hahahahahaahahahaha.

          sounds like you’re just uptight.

          i do have my own sexuality but it’s heterosexual and i believe we were discussing homosexuality. i’m fully aware that my own sexuality is fairly irrelevant to the conversation.

          don’t guess. you’re wrong.

          the point i was making, which you may have grasped if you’d actually read my other posts, is that most of my friends are what people like you would call “gay”, but they choose not to use that label themselves. and personally i know lots of people who previously slept with one gender then switched to the other, because sexuality is a complex and fluid beast.

          unclench, hey?

          • Grek

            Sounds like you are delusional. I did skim your other comments but they were not worth fully reading. You have already dimished your whole argument with your last comment when you claimed to be heterosexual. How can you label yourself as heterosexual when your other comments say that “gay” and “straight” do not exist and that there is no such thing as homosexuality? And that “sexuality is a complex and fluid beast”. So you can be straight but I can’t be gay? You might need to rethink your argument. And maybe rethink all of your views and beliefs about human sexuality because they are probably wrong, at least based on what I see here.

  • gemmarama

    so you are saying “there’s no simple answers”, yet in conclusion you decide “simple as that. that’s just the way it is.” hmmmm.

    as for “asking a gay person”? about 70% of my friends sleep with people of the same gender. few of them would refer to themselves as “a gay person.” methinks it may be yourself who fails to grasp the complexity of the arguments here…

    so i’m guessing you came out, like, two weeks ago, right?

  • Gregory
  • Gregory
  • ~nya

    Actually there is significant evidence pointing to that traits can be “triggered” by hormonal influences. There are many dormant genes in our DNA which are never triggered at all, and some which are triggered later in life. This means that yes…there may be a gay gene (being gay I really think there is), but many people might carry it without ever having it triggered and thus being straight. The significance of the hair whorls is that a lot of genes are linked, when one gets passed on, it is more likely that another trait gets passed on as well. The theory is that the reason this occurs is because the genes might be very closely placed in the genetic sequence. If two traits are statistically found to be linked, such as the hair whorls and homosexuality, and one is known to be genetic, then that is evidence that supports the hypothesis that the other trait (homosexuality) is also genetic.

  • Godzillabass

    I believe your being taken over by the same freaks who brought you Eugenics.

  • Godzillabass

    I believe your being taken over by the same freaks who brought you Eugenics.

  • Grek

    Oh, please, it sounds like your friends are just sluts. And don’t you have your own sexuality to base your judgemnts on? Why are you using your friends as examples? Maybe you need some more self-awareness. And I am guessing you are straight but sleep with people of the same sex and think it makes you more open-minded or something, right? Gay people are gay because that’s the way they are. If there was anything that could be done to change that we would all know about it, and we would all know ex-gays.

  • gemmarama

    hahahahahaahahahaha.

    sounds like you’re just uptight.

    i do have my own sexuality but it’s heterosexual and i believe we were discussing homosexuality. i’m fully aware that my own sexuality is fairly irrelevant to the conversation.

    don’t guess. you’re wrong.

    the point i was making, which you may have grasped if you’d actually read my other posts, is that most of my friends are what people like you would call “gay”, but they choose not to use that label themselves. and personally i know lots of people who previously slept with one gender then switched to the other, because sexuality is a complex and fluid beast.

    unclench, hey?

  • mbrmark

    I imagine in that world, the crazy right wingnuts ones will suddenly be in favour of abortion of gay embryoes. Fortunately, it is unlikely that it will be simple immunological response, so maybe by the time we actually know what determines sexuality we will also know what determines crazy religious fanaticism and can cure the afflicted of all religions of their loopy delusionary fanaticism.

  • mbrmark

    I imagine in that world, the crazy right wingnuts ones will suddenly be in favour of abortion of gay embryoes. Fortunately, it is unlikely that it will be simple immunological response, so maybe by the time we actually know what determines sexuality we will also know what determines crazy religious fanaticism and can cure the afflicted of all religions of their loopy delusionary fanaticism.

  • Grek

    Sounds like you are delusional. I did skim your other comments but they were not worth fully reading. You have already dimished your whole argument with your last comment when you claimed to be heterosexual. How can you label yourself as heterosexual when your other comments say that “gay” and “straight” do not exist and that there is no such thing as homosexuality? And that “sexuality is a complex and fluid beast”. So you can be straight but I can’t be gay? You might need to rethink your argument. And maybe rethink all of your views and beliefs about human sexuality because they are probably wrong, at least based on what I see here.

  • mt

    The most likely cause–infection, either in the mother, then passed in utero to the child or infection in the child after birth, either soon after birth, when the baby faces an onslaught of pathogens, or, not to be ruled out, in early childhood when the brain is still developing and the child has not developed immunity to all kinds of pathogens.

    Those who have argued the likely pathogen trigger were once ignored, even scorned over a decade ago when, using their knowledge of natural selection, they argued that most cancers would likely be the result of infectious causation, that most chronic illness would likley be the result of infection, that most mental illness would likely be triggered by infection….they are ridiculed no longer as each year their hypotheses are validated by the findings of research. (To those of you who are now thinking, “But hey, doesn’t something like mental illness run in families? ” the answer is ” To a degree” but don’t forget that pathogens can be more “successful” in certain ways with some families more than with others since obviously there are genetic similarities between family members in their response to pathogens–but without the pathogen trigger, there is no reaction to the pathogen.)

    Just yesterday, I read this:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101014111329.htm

    Again, over a decade ago, in reference to several neurological atypicalities and abnormalities, the pathogen supporters (biologists and evolutionary theorists who nixed the gene theories as impossible due to natural selection) argued that brain development was interferred with by infections that either struck the fetus/child by passing through the BBB or by the death of certain brain cells in the fetus due to the mother’s immune response to infection. They were ridiculed/ignored, etc. No longer.

    Every day, from those in the labs comes new evidence their pathogen theories were right on. From the link above, published yesterday, the key paragraph: “We suspect that infection stimulates the mother’s immune system to produce molecules that act like distress signals — they circulate through her blood and then enter the developing brain of the fetus,” he said. “There, they alert neurons to make more MHC, which our study shows can lead to altered neuronal circuitry.”

    This was offered years ago by those who offered the pathogen theory.

    The process of discovery can be slow, but we usually get there.

  • mt

    The most likely cause–infection, either in the mother, then passed in utero to the child or infection in the child after birth, either soon after birth, when the baby faces an onslaught of pathogens, or, not to be ruled out, in early childhood when the brain is still developing and the child has not developed immunity to all kinds of pathogens.

    Those who have argued the likely pathogen trigger were once ignored, even scorned over a decade ago when, using their knowledge of natural selection, they argued that most cancers would likely be the result of infectious causation, that most chronic illness would likley be the result of infection, that most mental illness would likely be triggered by infection….they are ridiculed no longer as each year their hypotheses are validated by the findings of research. (To those of you who are now thinking, “But hey, doesn’t something like mental illness run in families? ” the answer is ” To a degree” but don’t forget that pathogens can be more “successful” in certain ways with some families more than with others since obviously there are genetic similarities between family members in their response to pathogens–but without the pathogen trigger, there is no reaction to the pathogen.)

    Just yesterday, I read this:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101014111329.htm

    Again, over a decade ago, in reference to several neurological atypicalities and abnormalities, the pathogen supporters (biologists and evolutionary theorists who nixed the gene theories as impossible due to natural selection) argued that brain development was interferred with by infections that either struck the fetus/child by passing through the BBB or by the death of certain brain cells in the fetus due to the mother’s immune response to infection. They were ridiculed/ignored, etc. No longer.

    Every day, from those in the labs comes new evidence their pathogen theories were right on. From the link above, published yesterday, the key paragraph: “We suspect that infection stimulates the mother’s immune system to produce molecules that act like distress signals — they circulate through her blood and then enter the developing brain of the fetus,” he said. “There, they alert neurons to make more MHC, which our study shows can lead to altered neuronal circuitry.”

    This was offered years ago by those who offered the pathogen theory.

    The process of discovery can be slow, but we usually get there.

  • Micki_tee

    “Perhaps she mounts a more effective immunological response to fetal hormones with each new male fetus.”

    This hypothesis flies in the face of natural selection which would select against that which led to maternal responses which, in effect, reduced, even killed, that fetus’ reproductive capacity (even ages ago, it’s reasonable to assume that men not attracted sexually to women, even though compelled by cultural norms to marry, would not have produced as many offspring as men attracted to women.)

    If studies really are on to something (there is at least one study I have read that disputes the finding, failed to duplicate it to a sufficient statistical significance), then we should not assume mom is rendering her not-yet born son to reproductive irrelevance because her immune system has evolved to do so.

    In other words, it is not an “effective immunological response” for an immune system to have evolved to protect against “reproduction.” If the immune system goes haywire in this way, an outside agent is involved.
    After all, we’re talking about approx. 3% of male fetuses. Natural selection doesn’t allow for 3% of weakly productive or non-productive males to be born in lieu of productive one.

  • Micki_tee

    “Perhaps she mounts a more effective immunological response to fetal hormones with each new male fetus.”

    This hypothesis flies in the face of natural selection which would select against that which led to maternal responses which, in effect, reduced, even killed, that fetus’ reproductive capacity (even ages ago, it’s reasonable to assume that men not attracted sexually to women, even though compelled by cultural norms to marry, would not have produced as many offspring as men attracted to women.)

    If studies really are on to something (there is at least one study I have read that disputes the finding, failed to duplicate it to a sufficient statistical significance), then we should not assume mom is rendering her not-yet born son to reproductive irrelevance because her immune system has evolved to do so.

    In other words, it is not an “effective immunological response” for an immune system to have evolved to protect against “reproduction.” If the immune system goes haywire in this way, an outside agent is involved.
    After all, we’re talking about approx. 3% of male fetuses. Natural selection doesn’t allow for 3% of weakly productive or non-productive males to be born in lieu of productive one.

  • Bull_Milk

    In the future Gay scientists will discover the exact biological mechanisms for people who love members of their own gender. Then with the assistance of artificial wombs, converting male stem cells into ova, female stem cells into sperm, Gay culture will be able to reproduce itself with no assistance from the deplorable heterosexual society. Along with the total extinction of the disgusting unnatural practice of heterosexual marriage, gays will begin to out number and discriminate against those disgusting straights, enacting discriminatory legislation, & forcing them into smaller and smaller ghettos until the evil of their kind is extinguished from the Earth forever! — What a beautiful place the world will be with out that disgusting heterosexuality!

  • Bull_Milk

    In the future Gay scientists will discover the exact biological mechanisms for people who love members of their own gender. Then with the assistance of artificial wombs, converting male stem cells into ova, female stem cells into sperm, Gay culture will be able to reproduce itself with no assistance from the deplorable heterosexual society. Along with the total extinction of the disgusting unnatural practice of heterosexual marriage, gays will begin to out number and discriminate against those disgusting straights, enacting discriminatory legislation, & forcing them into smaller and smaller ghettos until the evil of their kind is extinguished from the Earth forever! — What a beautiful place the world will be with out that disgusting heterosexuality!

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