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animal kingdom

5 Reasons Why the Universe Let Living Things Be Gay

gaymonkeys

Humans aren’t the only species who can get it on with both the same and opposite sex. The entire animal kingdom is one giant cesspool of sexuality. But with all the theories of why some of us are (nature! nurture! God wants us having hotter sex!), it still doesn’t explain one notion: If being gay doesn’t produce offspring, shouldn’t evolution have phased out homosexuality some time ago?

What a terrible universe that would’ve been!

Researchers at the University of California at Riverside just completed a year-long study, and came up with at least five reasons to explain why mammals (dolphins), birds (penguins and albatrosses), reptiles (bearded dragon), fish (grayling), and even insects (fruit flies) have no problem doing the nasty with their own sex. But before we get to the theories, know this: They all revolve around the notion that, according to Time, “same-sex sexual activity is either an accident or a quirky genetic method of helping males impregnate females. Which raises the evolutionary question of why men and women who are exclusive gay and lesbian exist. One answer is that exclusive gays and lesbians are a relatively new creation: the concept of exclusive homosexuality barely existed before modernity; even a century ago, most same-sex-attracted men and women got married and had kids.”

1. The boys-in-the-locker-room theory. Any guy who played sports in high school knows that homoerotic jokes and towel-snapping are an underlying part of the subculture. Similarly, male bottlenose dolphins use same-sex sexual behavior to maintain and strengthen their social relationships — although dolphins are far more explicit about their homosexual play, regularly mounting one another and (hide the kids’ ears here) sticking their noses into certain boy-dolphin parts. (Very regularly: roughly half of male dolphin sex occurs with other males.) Among bonobos, same-sex sexual behavior is also thought to ease social tension and facilitate reconciliation. And among garter snakes, male-on-male contact may allow some solitary males to thermoregulate and, therefore, survive.

2. The emasculation theory. Some male animals might mount other males as a way of denying them access to the ladies. For instance, as the Journal of Natural History noted in 2006, male dung flies often must compete violently to impregnate females. In those situations, “the most sensible strategy for beating a competitor in the race to an arriving female would be to mount him and remain in situ for as long as possible.” Then, when the lady dung fly finally sails by, the aggressor male can pull himself out from the dominated male and — because he is on top — get above to the female faster.

3. The “oops” theory. Among insects, same-sex sexual behavior is usually a case of mistaken identity. Male fruit flies, for instance, may romance other males because they lack a gene that enables them to distinguish between sexes. Even more surprising, male toads can’t tell the difference between girl toads and boy toads, so males will routinely embrace other males, although the subordinate ones are equipped with a call that quickly results in the dominant male releasing. In other species, the “straight” males get tricked by other wily straight males who dress in animal drag: male goodeid fish, for instance, sometimes have a black spot that resembles a spot that females get when pregnant. Dominant males then court them rather than fight with them. While the dominant guys are busy courting the subordinate, ladylike fish, the latter are able to “sneak copulations with females,” as Bailey and Zuk write. I’m going to dub this the Hugh Grant Theory: it’s not always the most masculine guy who gets the most girls.

4. The let’s-see-how-this-thing-works theory. Younger animals (particularly males, and including humans) sometimes engage in same-sex sexual behavior as practice, which may improve their reproductive success when they are ready for a heterosexual relationship later. Fruit flies who experiment with other members of the same sex as youngsters may have more baby fruit flies later on than those who don’t experiment.

5. The two-plus-one theory. Among flour beetles, males routinely force themselves on other males. According to Bailey and Zuk, there’s some evidence that sperm deposited during this male beetle rape is sometimes transferred to a female later on, increasing the chances that she will have offspring.

Now, who can’t relate to all of these?

Now it’s time to figure out which one of these theories explains why, when we were a wee boy and visiting a friend’s house, his two male dogs kept going at it.

(Photo: Salon)

By:           editor editor
On:           Jun 23, 2009
Tagged: , , , ,
  • 48 Comments
    • J. Clarence
      J. Clarence

      There is the chance that it could be several if not all five, and the different species/kingdoms have different reasons for it. There is no reason why all life needs to do the same thing for the same reason. For example Dolphins can tell the difference between boys and girls, where as it seems some flies cannot so they might practice homosexuality for different reasons there.

      Also evolution may not have gotten rid of it because the desire to have sex, at least in mammals, and reproduce are two different things. It’s why we evolved orgasms and sex drive to encourage us to have sex, or else we wouldn’t do it, i.e. because its dangerous, time consuming, and boring for many species. Humans know unprotected heterosexual sex can lead to offspring, but for animals in heat there is simply a desire to have sex. Once the female gets pregnant a whole another set of hormones and processes take over. In some insects for example, like the Preying Mantis, the desire to have sex trumps the fight or flight instinct. That doesn’t seem to make any sense, but the poor guy is overcome with processes that tell him to have sex, even though he knows he is likely to have his head bitten off.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 10:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      I think its access + population control. Sexuality is a natural instinct. Animals have sex with what they have access to. If they have access to the same sex but not the opposite sex they still get it on (the humping dogs theory), but then again dogs get it on with anything. Also, the world is over populating and homosexuals can’t breed, so homosexuality helps to keep the population lower.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 11:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fitz
      Fitz

      The purpose of life, according to my ex (who is a scientist), is DNA replication. He views homosexuality as an alternative strategy for DNA replication, especially when resources are scarce. The idea being that you share some DNA with your siblings, so it is in your best interest to help ensure that their offspring survive. Since we are pack animals, it’s the groups survival that benefits you.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 11:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      On the flip side, its getting harder and harder for the human population to argue that homosexuality is unnatural when everything in nature is doing it. I can’t wait to see Pat Robertson advocate the extermination of dolphins because god didn’t intend for them to be bisexual.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 11:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J. Clarence
      J. Clarence

      @galefan2004: While some male animals like Elephants who are in heat have sex with other males when they cannot get access to a mate that’s simply a way of getting it out of their system, it’s like masturbating for those without thumbs. It seems hard to believe that it would be a built in function in nature for population control, as population explosion happens anyway in species where we have observed homosexuality. You only need one dominant healthy male to reproduce with many females to produce many offspring.

      Homosexuals can breed. There is nothing stopping Neil Patrick Harris from having sex with a woman, he simply chooses not to; and it happens so randomly–for example the sick or unhealthy are no more likely to be homosexual than those that are not–that that argument doesn’t make much sense it seems.

      Plus one straight man can have so many children that it far out paces whatever dismal effect we homosexuals, who choose not to have sex, have on the population.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 11:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AlwaysGay
      AlwaysGay

      Notice how all these explanations center around heterosexuality. Evolution is a continuing process. Homosexuality right now might be like inteligence in that it arises independently in species and has many forms. Humans are the smartest animals on Earth but our closet relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos, are not the second smartest, organatans are and killer whales are not far behind. One day a gay animal couple might take a step forward and create a viable means for homosexual reproduction.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 11:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fitz
      Fitz

      @AlwaysGay: Well, actually, the idea that I copied from my ex is an explanation of how we contribute to reproduction.. only it’s more right here and now. Our “life” includes our pack-life. It’s not centered around heterosexuality but around the concept of family->pack->tribe.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 11:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tavdy79
      tavdy79

      None of them explain why my (religious, homophobic) mother’s two border terrier bitches were so enamoured of cunnilingus, especially when on heat.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 11:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J. Clarence
      J. Clarence

      @tavdy79: @Fitz: Of course all of them would center around heterosexuality, it is an article that focusses on reproduction and how and where homosexuality might fit into that.

      Why go so far as “homosexual reproduction”, why not just stop at asexual reproduction and be done with it?

      And Fitz, we never observed an instance where homosexuality is more prevalent in species strapped for resources, versus ones where resources are plentiful; and different mammals have different societal constructs, where some are more group orientated and others more individual, and we still observe homosexuality in both. And we haven’t seen any where gay siblings take on extra responsibilities. We’ve seen gay animals adopt offspring from dead parents, but that goes back to a paternal/maternal drive that is separate.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 12:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • edgyguy1426
      edgyguy1426

      @galefan2004: This is the theory I’ve always believed in (at least until the next one comes along) Among some penguin groups, as the populations rises, so does the occurance of homosexuality. Now, as has been said the earth can really only sustain about a third or fourth of its current population, so if the haters want to see less of us, they need to stop reproducing above zero population.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 1:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fitz
      Fitz

      @J. Clarence: It’s not worth me making contact with him right now, but his work with walnut fruit flies showed, he said, exactly that homo Bx increased when resources were scarce. Of course, making any statements about our behavior based upon fruit flies is pretty shaky, I will give you that!

      Jun 23, 2009 at 1:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • geneticist
      geneticist

      The most likely scenario is it arises by accident as a result of selection on a number of related other traits.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 2:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fitz
      Fitz

      Well, the other question is if exclusive heterosexuality or exclusive homosexuality is new, etc.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 2:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J. Clarence
      J. Clarence

      @Fitz: Exclusivity in humans it means something completely different, because of the social and cultural context heterosexuality and homosexual are seen in. We’ve seen cases in other animals where they might have gay sex one day and straight sex another, but those could simply be cases like the elephant where they just need to get it out of their system and they hump the closet thing next to them. However, we’ve also seen life long bonds among other animals.

      We also know we were once much more sexually laissez-faire, in some cultures than others. Some roman men and women had love affairs with both sexes, and some strictly were with one sex. It seems in humans sexuality is fluid–which Kinsey suggested. We might have gay men who only have sex with other men, but would not be as opposed to having sex with women unlike some others. It isn’t just heterosexual, bisexual, or homosexual. They are not separate trees, but interconnected branches.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 2:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GJR
      GJR

      Look, people are always coming up with these analogies. Yes, homosexual behavior exists in other species. But the human being is much more advanced in every single way – listens to music, experiences love, a whole gamut of emotions most animals lack. Your average dog, for example, will screw and have puppies it can’t care for. It is nothing but drive drive drive. Just as fruit flies have a basic genetic blueprint telling them what to do.

      The human concept is much more complex. People stay in contact with their children for a lifetime, they are not obligated to reproduce by some genetic drive, they can distinguish between great sex and a lifelong relationship. So of course, the same complexity applies to homosexual relationships. I’m sure male fruit flies don’t think they “love” each other when they experiment, just as the male and the female fruit fly do not think about “love” when they copulate.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 2:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JPinWeHo
      JPinWeHo

      Not that I think we really need a genetic or evolutionary explanation for homsexuality, but I don’t think any of these are very convincing to explain homosexuality in humans. I seem to recall a theory (or some studies) which suggested that a woman in a family unit that includes a gay brother or other gay relative (i.e. the gay uncle) could have more children than those that did not b/c the gay individual normally provided resources to support her and the children. That theory always made sense to me to explain gay members of society (at least evolutionarily – it doesn’t really explain modern culture). More gays = more resources to permit their female relatives to have more children. Those children likely share genes with the gay relative, thus ensuring that any genetic predisposition to be gay is also passed on.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 3:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris
      Chris

      None of these explanations talk about female sexuality, let alone lesbian sexuality. I also find it annoying that an article entitled “Why are people gay” doesn’t talk about people. While acknowledging the presence of same-sex sexuality in nature, it still seems to naturalize heterosexuality as the “status quo” against which the mystery of homosexuality is thought to deviate.
      Desire, too, is not described at all. In humans sexual acts and sexual desire are intimately bound together. Talking about sexuality without untangling the snarled knot of desire, in my eyes, is a bit reductive.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 4:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J. Clarence
      J. Clarence

      @JPinWeHo: What that theory/studies suggests is that gay relatives do not have anything to do but stay at home and babysit.

      Sure if a woman has more support around she would be more willing to have more kids, but alone seems like a crazy notion for nature to create a subset of perfectly healthy human males. Plus historically our species as had a very rigid social structure. In nomadic times women often lived together and the sons and males separately. So all the support women would need would already be there via sisters, aunts, grandmothers altogether, like lion packs together. So the need for the gay babysitter seems obsolete. In modern times a stay at home gay babysitter seems nice, but that is a consequence of how we live today in cities, homosexuality has been around much much earlier.

      Plus if this theory was correct we would have likely seen less attacks on homosexuals throughout the ages by religious groups, if it was a built in function. For example the Bible criticizes masturbators, but for someone reason that never gets as much attention as gay folk.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 4:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      Possible problem in that given the assumption that nurturance plays the major role, there is no animal social structure like ours . Likewise the darwinian explain ations are no more than semblances since most creatures rely more on instinct than humans do.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 6:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sceth
      Sceth

      How conveniently TIME forgets to mention high womb testosterone in births of homosexuals, dramatically increased likeliness of being gay when you have older brothers, and the high fertility of females with gay male relatives.

      JOURNALISM FAIL

      Jun 23, 2009 at 6:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nick
      Nick

      I think what a lot of you are touching on is a part of Evolutionary theory called Kin Selection. Kin selection basically states that by helping those closest related to you survive and mate successfully you increase the likelihood for your own genes being passed on. Gays can easily be seen as raising the fecundity of a population of organisms or family. Fecundity is the rate at which populations produce offspring that later produce offspring. By having non-mating males or females you have extra producers in your population that won’t later add consumers later on. This can be seen in the practice of Berdache in Native American tribes.

      Saying that homosexuals are a natural population limit is nonsensical. Evolution does not work to limit reproduction; if anything it tries to make it more successful.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 7:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • headache
      headache

      Civilized behavior is removed from free expressive wildness. The pastor types would argue that to be heterosexual is to be civilzed. Perhaps the future of homophobia is not biblical in origin but flung from the classiness of sophisticated lifestyle guides ( a la GOOP )

      huh.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 8:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • headache
      headache

      @ m shane …

      animals nurture their environments by existing within a balance, unlike us … so your idea is backwards in logic.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 8:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @JPinWeHo: I have no personal desire to help my breeding female family members that can not control their reproductive habits regardless of how many bastards they crank out. If they can’t manage to couple with a partner and support their own children then they simply should not be having them.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 9:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ProfessorVP
      ProfessorVP

      This will piss off a lot of folks, but per usual I don’t care. The reason homosexuality will always exist in humans is due to intolerance, biogtry, punishment and harsh methods discouraging homosexuality. Homosexuality is 100% nature, with absolutely no “nurture” about it. Think about the “nurture” theories- it’s always strong, aggresive mothers, weak, inneffectual, neglectful
      fathers, traumatic childhood experiences including, of course,
      rape. Why would any gay person subscribe to that- the notion
      that homosexuality is a disease “caused” by negative things?
      You never hear anybody talk about what environmental factors
      “cause” heterosexuality, do you? DUH! Nobody thinks heterosexuality is a disease.

      That said… the reason that homosexuality will never disappear is because the very heavy-handed discouragements not to be gay will never disappear… not anytime soon anyway… and:
      Gay people will continue, as they have for thousands of years,
      to marry partners of the opposite sex, live as heterosexuals,
      reproduce, and, voila!, keep passing along the genetics for homosexuality.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 9:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LoveMoby
      LoveMoby

      LOL, my partners mom’s dog does the same thing only with his male friend who happens to be my sister in alw and her partners dog! they have a famale doggy as well but the two guys play and UHUM ‘enjoy’ each other as if she weren’t there!

      Jun 24, 2009 at 12:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @ProfessorVP: Actually there is thought in the sociology/psychology fields at the moment that all people start out with the ability to end up homosexual, bisexual or heterosexual. It is believed that the experiences that they deal with through out their formative years influence what they end up as.

      I agree that the theories can be wrong. I think its simply not that simple because there are so many different reasons that people can turn out gay and hell, I’m even willing to say some people are just confused, and some people even chose to be gay/lesbian. I know that is not PC, but if you have been with a man all your life and are perfectly happy being with men but you suddenly decided to be with a woman then you chose to be a lesbian. Although, its less likely that men will chose to be gay.

      I think the reason that the nurture arguments are so normally made as a case is because to date there has never been a successful nature study done.

      Jun 24, 2009 at 12:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ProfessorVP
      ProfessorVP

      @galefan2004: You don’t realize it but you agreed with me, Gale. Those “experiences that they deal with through their formative years” are almost always feeble and absentee father figures, domineering shrewish mothers, homoerotic experiences such as British public school, and abuse including but not limited to rape, kink. These experiences, which have been repeated so often they are a permanent part of our folklore, exclusively deal with how people wind up gay
      and lesbian.

      You could live to 120, like those Dannon yogurt villagers, and never once see anything of a scientific nature addressing the question of why anyone winds up straight. Because, as I said before, it is not viewed as a disease.

      The very notion that there is the tiniest most remote possibility that anyone “chooses” to be gay can only be out of the playbook of homophobes and/or those who don’t know any better.

      Jun 24, 2009 at 2:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Been Around
      Been Around

      I think homosexuality is a byproduct of two things: First, the need for humans to form cooperative same-sex bonds to insure survival, and second, the natural variation of all traits.

      The species homo sapiens is physically weak and vulnerable. Its key to survival over time is its superior brain, a necessary aspect of which is the ability to form cooperative associations with other humans. These must be both between sexes and within sexes; without same-sex cooperation, constant warring would combine with physical weakness to doom the species.

      Thus, you had men joining together to go hunting, and women joining together to go gathering, and so on. Without that same-sex cooperation, we wouldn’t be here.

      That trait of same-sex cooperation is, like all other traits, variable. In a small percentage of cases, same-sex cooperation becomes same-sex erotic attachment. In fact, even non-sexual friendships are characterized by a bond that mimics the erotic one. With some same-sex pairings, the bond goes further because the people involved vary from the average in the sense of having a predisposition to same-sex eroticism.

      Same-sex eroticism is the “price” to pay for same-sex cooperation, bonding, and friendship that is necessary for the survival of the human species. Because all traits vary, some people are simply inclined to have same-sex bonds that are stronger than usual.

      Jun 24, 2009 at 2:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      I don’t know why there needs to be an adaptive advantage to sexual orientation as it’s not necessary to sexual reproduction. IT could just be an epiphenomena. So, some would say, that’s a tremendous waste of resources in biological terms to have no adaptive advantage; but it could be the byproduct of an even more central set of traits that do confer a reproductive advantage, or not. Certainly, sexual orientation plays into sexual selection, which probably has a higher influence on trait dispersal in a given population than natural selection; but that doesn’t mean that sexual orientation itself has a selective advantage. It’s extremely hard to extrapolate information about other species to our own…and we can’t really turn the clock back to our stone age ancestors to see how it played out there to determine a real reproductive benefit (There’s simply no record of their mental lives to make any predictions that can be vindicated with evidence). Overall, evolutionary psychology has a lot of problems…a lot more problems than benefits.

      Another consideration would be perhaps we’re looking at natural selection’s application to individuals wrongly, and we should change our unit of selection in explaining certain traits like, say, the phenomenon of biological altruism–which dawkins doesn’t really subscribe in non human organisms. Yet we see it our own…people are willing to spend massive amounts of money and resources to adopt…this doesn’t really happen with other animals unless they’re tricked into believing that it’s their offspring (with a few exceptions).

      Jun 24, 2009 at 3:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lex
      Lex

      This article is a huge case of over thinking it. It is what it is. I don’t see why there has to be an answer or reason for homosexuality.

      If there just has to be one then why not a form population control? There are already plenty forms of it and this could just be another one.

      At the end of the day it doesn’t matter how or why. We’re here. I just don’t see why we need some sort of validation to exist.

      Jun 24, 2009 at 3:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ProfessorVP
      ProfessorVP

      @Lex: Of course it matters how or why, are you kidding? If it is proven as genetics beyond a shadow of a doubt, like Mendel’s pea plants, and that is surely the direction it is moving, then it pulls the rug out of the rubes who swear that it’s “nurture.” Nurture meaning the pernicious cocktail of ballsy mothers, weakling or absentee fathers, and predetory clergy. Secondly, once the genetic markers are identified, this will create a brand new product-
      the straight/gay pregnancy test kit. Guess what happens then?

      Jun 24, 2009 at 4:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Matt
      Matt

      @ProfessorVP: It will never be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. There is no gay gene or gay brain. We don’t know why people are gay anymore than why some people like Pepsi and others like Coke. Some people just relate better to the same sex, and with that happening they are able to form closer bonds with same sex people.

      As far as animals go, they do a lot of things we don’t understand. We can’t compare ourselves to them. Our brain is the most evolved in the animal kingdom. When studies start talking about “gay” flies or animals I just laugh. Flies like dog feces too. That’s no too bright.

      I think we’re born with a blank slate, and we evolve from that. I know so many gay men who as youngsters had the absentee father, were sensitive, didn’t play sports, and were somehow taken advantage of by an older male. I know some will say they didn’t experience any of that and their first sexual experiences were with the opposite sex. That’s true, but in the same respect we often do what society dictates and we live in a world where everything we see from day one is male/female.

      Jun 24, 2009 at 10:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J. Clarence
      J. Clarence

      Why would people ever think it has something to do with population control? That makes no sense. If there was a village of 101 males and 100 females, and 100 of those males were homosexual; that one heterosexual male could still impregnate all 100 women over and over again. It also is a flawed form of population control, because homosexual males can still impregnate females. Mother could create a far better and creative way of population control. For example fish that can become female or male depending on the rest of the school.

      And, Matt, of course we can compare ourselves to animals. I don’t get why people think we are beyond instincts. Everything we do from choosing what to wear to engaging in a fight (“fight or flight”)is a result of instincts developed and passed down for our survival.

      And Professor VP, there is no reason why if we continue to progress and become more accepting of others why parents would all of a sudden want to “fix” their gay babies in the womb. But nevertheless, (exclusive) homosexuality in humans is likely a result of both nature and nurture. Chemicals in the body will instruct us on who we fancy, but that is also placed in the context of a society.

      Jun 24, 2009 at 10:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @ProfessorVP: I would argue that it is because no one really is truly straight. Everyone is variable. If you dive into the topic you would realize that sexuality is blurred. Just like most gay men at some point see a woman they could get into, most straight men at some point see a man they could get into. Its just easier for those more towards the straight side to assimilate into their straight world than those that are more towards the gay side.

      Jun 24, 2009 at 10:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      Then again, who cares. Understanding why somebody’s skin is a darker color doesn’t change the fact that they shouldn’t be treated differently. So much emphasis put on figuring out how gays ended up, in many peopls opinion, “Broken”. Well in my opinion, we aren’t, but even if there is no explanation in nature for why homosexuality exists we still need to be treated as equals.

      Jun 24, 2009 at 11:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JPinWeHo
      JPinWeHo

      @galefan2004: Yes, Kin selection is what I was thinking of. And it really don’t apply to modern culture although I do buy my nieces and nephews a lot of gifts these days…

      Jun 24, 2009 at 11:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ProfessorVP
      ProfessorVP

      @galefan2004: The idea that no one is really straight and that we’re all variable is utter hogwash. Ask around. No, there are gay men who wouldn’t, in their wildest dreams, get intimate with the most desirable woman, if she were the last human being on earth, and procreating with her is the only way to save the human race from extinction. Count me as one of them. True, when straight guys are imprisoned, sometimes they start to look good to each other, but I wouldn’t count that as real sexual attraction because it is not normal circumstances. I know a lot of people and I’ve been around. Straight people never say this, and I believe them.
      Whenever I hear crap about how sexuality is “blurred,” “fluid,”
      “not black and white,” “variable,” it is generally from gay men (Elton John and George Michael when they claimed to be bi) or
      lesbians (Margaret Cho) who want not to offend some of their paying audience.

      Jun 24, 2009 at 11:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @ProfessorVP: Really, because almost every “straight” guy I have ever been around has demonstrated some form of homosexual tendency. Rather its my former pastor who wanted to go gay for a certain out minor league baseball player, my brother who talks about his dick size in the presence of other men, my step-father who has told me he likes my ass, my other former pastor that has a thing with hugging people (especially guys), or some kids I went to high school with that got drunk at a party and started talking about how they had fooled around with each other. The truth is, that when you remove the mixed (gay/straight) company, straight men start talking much more about how they are sexually open. You throw a gay man in there (such as yourself) and they shut down about pretty much everything including their open minded sexual beliefs. I never said that there aren’t extremes. I said that most humans don’t go to the extremes. Its great that you have never seen a woman you would consider being with. You know exactly who you are, and that is awesome for you. On the other hand, personally, there has been 1-2 women I could ever see myself being with, but I definitely prefer men.

      Jun 24, 2009 at 11:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Been Around
      Been Around

      Good point, #34. Male homosexuality is no population issue. Lesbianism would be, but lesbians occur at half the frequency of male homosexuals. Both tendencies are uncommon; male homosexuality at about 4%, and female homosexuality at about 2%, with an additional 8% of males and 4% of females having some same-sex involvement.

      Does it matter, #31? No more or less than anything else matters, I suppose. Why WOULDN’T we want to know the reasons for it? As human beings, we study all kinds of phenomena.

      #30, I don’t think homosexuality confers a reproductive advantage. But what DOES confer such an advantage, in my hypothesis (see my post #29), is the underlying homosociality that, in a minor percentage of people, gives rise to outright homosexuality. I think the only way to eliminate homosexuality would be to tamper with homosociality, and probably with sociality itself.

      If that were to happen, then I think we’d endanger the survival of the species, because sociality — and specifically, homosociality — is a critical reproductive advantage. It is the basis for cooperation, and without cooperation human beings wouldn’t be here.

      Jun 24, 2009 at 1:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Been Around
      Been Around

      Nick (#21), I studied evolution in college, and I was always baffled when professors, who should know better, would speak of evolution as if it were a human being that “tries” to do this or that.

      To me, evolution is a label Darwin applied to the tendency of organisms to adapt through mutation, with mutations benefitting reproduction enduring as a consequence of the proliferation of the individuals and their progeny who carry the favorable trait. To say that evolution “tries” strikes me as the equivalent of saying that oxygen “tries” to force its way into our lungs.

      Jun 24, 2009 at 1:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ProfessorVP
      ProfessorVP

      @galefan2004: As Bill Clinton would say, “It depends on what the meaning of ‘homosexual tendency’ is.” No, I don’t think adolescent towel-snapping or discussion of dick size is necessarily homo tendency if it stops right there and is just kidding around. People like to kid around. I like to kid around. As for the pastor who would “go gay,” that is like saying Bullwinkle would “go moose.” The pastor is likely gay and I don’t care if he is married and has kids up the wazoo. (Whatever a wazoo is.) The dick-size thing is just silliness. Not to burst your balloon, but it is likely your ass is not the first your stepdad prefers to that of the missus. He has essentially taken you into his confidence and told you he is gay.

      There is a reason so many gay men have wives and children, particularly in small cities and towns. For one thing, not to get beat up. For another, to have gainful employment. For another, to have high-profile “respectable” jobs, such as teacher, pastor, etc. We will never actually know how many of these men are gay because society gives out so many rewards for leading a straight life, and doles out so many punishments for going the other way. In my own experience- and I’ve been around- every man I have known personally who claimed to be bi was not only gay, but flaming. As for public figures, every male who could pass as bi (former Gov. McGreevey is a perfect example) was eventually revealed to be gay. The idea that one cannot be 100% gay or 100% straight is awfully PC, egalitarian and democratic, but it ain’t so, there is a difference. And I say vive la difference, there’s nothing wrong with it.

      Jun 24, 2009 at 2:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      @ Been Around: regarding the relative # of gays to lesbians.
      I doubt that those statistis are liable to be very reliable since a large percentage of females are presumably frigid; nontheless they can fullfil the female role of being a receptr of male advances and to bear children. Males , on the other hand are more or less pushed into a demonstration of what(who) they are able to do.
      @Sceth:” high womb testosterone in births of homosexuals, dramatically increased likeliness of being gay when you have older brothers, and the high fertility of females with gay male relatives.” Not aware of the 1st study : What size control group and how did they compare? How many Homo moms? Significant?
      The secong study , which claims to be an arguement for nature, is in fact not since it totally disregard the very strong affect of sibling effect in nurturance.

      I don’t know that there is one study which unequivocally shows that homosexuality is strictly hereditary, as much as some people would like that. I don’t see why it should be inborn.

      Lex said it like it is: Why do we have to justify who we are?

      Jun 24, 2009 at 2:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nick
      Nick

      @Been Around: Of course not. To say evolution is about an organism “trying”, which I don’t believe I did say, to adapt to situation is Lamarckian and completely outdated from our current Neo-Darwin understand of Evolution.

      But evolution does not just take into account the individual organism. We’re beginning to see evidence that much larger systems like mating practices or lifestyles can effect the evolution of a species. Along with other variables this is creating a hot new topic among evolutionary minds called Evo Devo. Even the slightest increases in fitness, over thousands of years, can give a population or a species a distinct advantage over its own kind or other species.

      To say that we’ll never understand the causes of homosexuality is small minded. Given science enough time and evidence, we will understand everything. It wasn’t that long ago that we looked up into the sky and said we’d never understand what made a rainbow.

      Jun 24, 2009 at 4:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joanaroo
      Joanaroo

      This question and comments are interesting. Speaking of pets-I have the same number of male and female cats. All are fixed except a recent rescue mom and a male and 2 female kittens. A fixed other female and her fixed male friend have sex often in a dark sunroom and the male also mounts 2 other fixed males who also mount each other. Also the kittens practice mounting each other.

      Jun 26, 2009 at 3:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joanaroo
      Joanaroo

      So-o-o, I guess my point of that is cats have no qualms about their sexuality. If as humans were evolving some were hetero and some homosexual, then who says there can’t be 2 equal types of sexuality in people now? If religion wasn’t around we wouldn’t have to put up with this idea of people not being equal-and that would be great! Gay people made and make the world great and it’s a shame they aren’t honored as equals.

      Jun 27, 2009 at 12:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joanaroo
      Joanaroo

      So-o-o, I guess my point of that is cats have no qualms about their sexuality. If as humans were evolving some were hetero and some homosexual, then who says there can’t be 2 equal types of sexuality in people now? If religion wasn’t around we wouldn’t have to put up with this idea of people not being equal-and that would be great! Gay people made and make the world great and it’s a shame they aren’t honored as equals by everyone.

      Jun 27, 2009 at 12:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dwight
      dwight

      @Fitz: finally, a reasonable explanation – gays and lesbians are more likely to have successful nephews and nieces as compared to families where everyone is straight.

      Aug 15, 2009 at 10:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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