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    An enduring mystery (among many mysteries) is the existence of women exhibiting sexual attraction to other women. Unlike male homosexuality, where a likely explanation has been put forth (see Greg Cochran’s “Gay Germ” Hypothesis – An Exercise in the Power of Germs), female same-sex attraction remains the realm of speculation. My previous foray into the...
  • My suspicion regarding male interest in female homosexuality is that it’s at least partially rooted in an aversion to male homosexuality. It allows men to watch female sexuality without having to watch another man.

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  • @Shooter
    Crap. I just realized that you said you don't want any more comments on male homosexuality. My bad.

    Feel free to comment on the matter on one of the previous posts on it.

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  • @Shooter
    This was from your Twitter in relation to the Guardian article on 'Born that Way':

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10743878

    http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9625997&fulltextType=RA&fileId=S0033291714002451

    This is the newest one that points Xq28 as the cause for same-sex attraction in men.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7581447?dopt=Abstract

    What I noticed in that Guardian article is that, for one, most of the studies were old or had conflicting results, and the newest one, from May, measures only 900 gay men.

    It reminds me of a gay scientist that was overjoyed with the 'presence' of a gay gene, yet he said that they hadn't actually found it yet. He said that they needed more money. I wouldn't say science for the gay gene is 'on the right track'. Hell, they dropped it in 2005 and again in 2009.

    I have a hard time believing that such a dangerous and unhealthy lifestyle could be /that/ heritable. Homophobia is more present than homosexuality. Obviously, one is celebrated, the other condemned.

    Thoughts?

    Crap. I just realized that you said you don’t want any more comments on male homosexuality. My bad.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    Feel free to comment on the matter on one of the previous posts on it.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Shooter
    This was from your Twitter in relation to the Guardian article on 'Born that Way':

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10743878

    http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9625997&fulltextType=RA&fileId=S0033291714002451

    This is the newest one that points Xq28 as the cause for same-sex attraction in men.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7581447?dopt=Abstract

    What I noticed in that Guardian article is that, for one, most of the studies were old or had conflicting results, and the newest one, from May, measures only 900 gay men.

    It reminds me of a gay scientist that was overjoyed with the 'presence' of a gay gene, yet he said that they hadn't actually found it yet. He said that they needed more money. I wouldn't say science for the gay gene is 'on the right track'. Hell, they dropped it in 2005 and again in 2009.

    I have a hard time believing that such a dangerous and unhealthy lifestyle could be /that/ heritable. Homophobia is more present than homosexuality. Obviously, one is celebrated, the other condemned.

    Thoughts?

    See my post on Cochran’s gay germ theory above for my thoughts on that matter.

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  • This was from your Twitter in relation to the Guardian article on ‘Born that Way’:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10743878

    http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9625997&fulltextType=RA&fileId=S0033291714002451

    This is the newest one that points Xq28 as the cause for same-sex attraction in men.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7581447?dopt=Abstract

    What I noticed in that Guardian article is that, for one, most of the studies were old or had conflicting results, and the newest one, from May, measures only 900 gay men.

    It reminds me of a gay scientist that was overjoyed with the ‘presence’ of a gay gene, yet he said that they hadn’t actually found it yet. He said that they needed more money. I wouldn’t say science for the gay gene is ‘on the right track’. Hell, they dropped it in 2005 and again in 2009.

    I have a hard time believing that such a dangerous and unhealthy lifestyle could be /that/ heritable. Homophobia is more present than homosexuality. Obviously, one is celebrated, the other condemned.

    Thoughts?

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    See my post on Cochran's gay germ theory above for my thoughts on that matter.
    , @Shooter
    Crap. I just realized that you said you don't want any more comments on male homosexuality. My bad.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Post edited (5/31/13) See below. As promised, here is my post on this fascinating, and rather mysterious topic. Who doesn't love bisexual women? Before my foray into the HBD world, I thought that that was a trick question. In any case, I'm certainly quite fond of them. :) But bisexuality, or for that matter lesbianism—like...
  • i love bisexual women because i am one of them ..

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  • Greg Cochran argues that it is highly likely that exclusive male homosexuality is caused by an infectious agent, likely a virus. As he explains, there are several good reasons to suspect that this is the case, including: the low heritability of male same-sex attraction (0.22) the absence of homosexuality in hunter-gatherer populations the relatively high...
  • @Mark
    "This sounds like Freudian wisdom to me. How about probably not…"

    It's more folk than Freudian wisdom. Rites of passage into manhood are much more ubiquitous across societies than rites of passage into womanhood. The idea that boys who are raised by women have a need to prove themselves as men for this reason seems plausible. People who are X feel a stronger need to proclaim their X-ness in the presence of Y. A corollary would be the finding that, as the percentage of Muslims in a neighborhood goes up, their neighbors are more likely to self-identify as Christian, which a study out of Britain attested to.

    I guess this leaves me with two questions. First, what would be the evo-psych explanation for the development of rites of passage into manhood? Second, how does the pathogenic theory of homosexuality explain why men are more uncomfortable than women with the idea of homosexual men around their boys?

    "The connection between urban living and male homosexuality is probably do to greater ease of transmission there. Can you retrieve your data for lesbians and farms?"

    It could be, but it could also be that men raised in urban areas are more likely to come out of the closet than men raised in rural areas, for all the common-sense reasons that you can imagine. Without having a sense of what the pathogen is, you can make almost any data fit the theory. If the GSS had shown that gay men were more likely to have grown up on farms, then you could say that that was due to the pathogen being something that is carried by farm animals.

    I'm not rejecting the pathogenic theory out of hands by any means, though.

    "As far as I know, there is no evidence that sexual molestation causes anything, particularly anything regarding subsequent sexual behavior."

    Here you go (and there's plenty more):

    "Findings from the present study support the hypothesis that CSA [Childhood Sexual Abuse] may be uniquely related to CSB [Compulsive Sexual Behavior] symptoms, above other forms of child maltreatment, and indicate that men with a CSA history are likely to present more severe clinical comorbidities.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213412000774

    "Exposure to sexual abuse increased risks for the majority of outcomes including psychosis, affective, anxiety, substance abuse, and personality disorders. Rates of clinical disorders diagnosed in adulthood and childhood remained significantly higher among child sexual abuse cases. Older age at sexual abuse and those exposed to severe abuse involving penetration or multiple offenders were associated with greater risk for psychopathology."

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213410002267

    "For abused women, significantly increased rates were observed for number of sexual partners, unhappy pregnancies, abortion, and sexually transmitted infections from age 18 to 21; with rates approaching those of nonabused over time. Conversely, for abused men rates were not significantly elevated in the youngest age period, but were for number of partners from age 26 to 32 and acquisition of herpes simplex virus type 2 from age 21 to 32. ... While the profound early impact of CSA [Childhood Sexual Abuse] demonstrated for women appears to lessen with age, abused men appear to carry increased risks into adulthood."

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213409000313

    “Without having a sense of what the pathogen is, you can make almost any data fit the theory. If the GSS had shown that gay men were more likely to have grown up on farms, then you could say that that was due to the pathogen being something that is carried by farm animals.” That is usually a sign of pseudoscience right there.

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  • @The Man Who Was . . .
    I'm not really sure about this. I'm not sure if we've had homosexuality long enough for a whole new trait, homophobia, to evolve in response to it. Doesn't Greg Cochran think that homosexuality only arrived with agriculture?

    Homophobia seems to be stronger in men, who take care of children less. Men also seem to use homophobia as a kind of social bond.

    Aversion to homosexual acts could have specifically evolved as a way to keep males from trying to have sex with other males of the same species, who after all are the closest thing to a female of the same species.

    Or it could be that we just find sex in general disgusting unless our disgust is overrun by attraction. Though we don't seem to be all _that_ disgusted by sex in other species. We even tell stories to our children of romantic relationships between humans and half-human creatures, like centaurs and mermaids. But maybe we just view sexual acts as particularly degrading of us as humans, unless overrun by attraction, of course.

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  • An enduring mystery (among many mysteries) is the existence of women exhibiting sexual attraction to other women. Unlike male homosexuality, where a likely explanation has been put forth (see Greg Cochran’s “Gay Germ” Hypothesis – An Exercise in the Power of Germs), female same-sex attraction remains the realm of speculation. My previous foray into the...
  • Might this big news also have relevance to atypical orientations, pathogens, immune responses?

    http://neurosciencenews.com/lymphatic-system-brain-neurobiology-2080/

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  • @Lion of the Judah-sphere
    Conservatives are more r typed.

    I wouldn’t say r per se. But conservatives generally tend towards earlier breeding, at least today.

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  • Greg Cochran argues that it is highly likely that exclusive male homosexuality is caused by an infectious agent, likely a virus. As he explains, there are several good reasons to suspect that this is the case, including: the low heritability of male same-sex attraction (0.22) the absence of homosexuality in hunter-gatherer populations the relatively high...
  • @JayMan
    Is homosexuality more common in Western households, too? I don't think we can say that.

    I made an effort to argue for the toxoplasmosis theory of homosexuality several years ago. You might want to view my video at:

    I was discouraged that I could hardly get anyone to engage in a discussion. Whenever I would casually mention anything about homosexuality on a Web comment the remark was often censored. I am quite tolerant of gays but they don’t seem tolerant of me.

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  • An enduring mystery (among many mysteries) is the existence of women exhibiting sexual attraction to other women. Unlike male homosexuality, where a likely explanation has been put forth (see Greg Cochran’s “Gay Germ” Hypothesis – An Exercise in the Power of Germs), female same-sex attraction remains the realm of speculation. My previous foray into the...
  • @chris
    I remember reading something of yours about how liberals aren't breeding but conservatives are.

    Here is a questions for you.

    Are SJW's (social-justice warriors) breeding?

    Conservatives are more r typed.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    I wouldn't say r per se. But conservatives generally tend towards earlier breeding, at least today.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Greg Cochran argues that it is highly likely that exclusive male homosexuality is caused by an infectious agent, likely a virus. As he explains, there are several good reasons to suspect that this is the case, including: the low heritability of male same-sex attraction (0.22) the absence of homosexuality in hunter-gatherer populations the relatively high...
  • @Anonymous
    Toxoplasmosis is my theory. House cats are much more common in western households,

    Is homosexuality more common in Western households, too? I don’t think we can say that.

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    • Replies: @Patrick Boyle
    I made an effort to argue for the toxoplasmosis theory of homosexuality several years ago. You might want to view my video at:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csjCdlp_giA

    I was discouraged that I could hardly get anyone to engage in a discussion. Whenever I would casually mention anything about homosexuality on a Web comment the remark was often censored. I am quite tolerant of gays but they don't seem tolerant of me.

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  • Toxoplasmosis is my theory. House cats are much more common in western households,

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    Is homosexuality more common in Western households, too? I don't think we can say that.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • An enduring mystery (among many mysteries) is the existence of women exhibiting sexual attraction to other women. Unlike male homosexuality, where a likely explanation has been put forth (see Greg Cochran’s “Gay Germ” Hypothesis – An Exercise in the Power of Germs), female same-sex attraction remains the realm of speculation. My previous foray into the...
  • I remember reading something of yours about how liberals aren’t breeding but conservatives are.

    Here is a questions for you.

    Are SJW’s (social-justice warriors) breeding?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lion of the Judah-sphere
    Conservatives are more r typed.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @e
    I probably should post this on a male homosexuality thread, but it'll do here. You can pass it along to those who snicker at or are dismissive of the pathogen theory. Many such people claim we'd *know by now* if it were the result of a bug, many want an other-than-Cochran source. It's not about homosexuality, but it's a good, quick read for those who should be thinking about all kinds of behavioral outcomes caused by viruses.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2782954/

    @tl:

    Good find!

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  • e says:

    I probably should post this on a male homosexuality thread, but it’ll do here. You can pass it along to those who snicker at or are dismissive of the pathogen theory. Many such people claim we’d *know by now* if it were the result of a bug, many want an other-than-Cochran source. It’s not about homosexuality, but it’s a good, quick read for those who should be thinking about all kinds of behavioral outcomes caused by viruses.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2782954/

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @tl:

    Good find!

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  • @Erik Sieven
    "They found that both are highly heritable (primarily driven by additive genetic factors), but what’s more, high facial masculinity in men led to high facial masculinity in their sisters, decreasing these women’s attractiveness."
    thats probably the same mechanism which makes that men / women of some races are on average more or less attractive than men / women of other races

    In part, yes. Though there is much more to that story.

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  • “They found that both are highly heritable (primarily driven by additive genetic factors), but what’s more, high facial masculinity in men led to high facial masculinity in their sisters, decreasing these women’s attractiveness.”
    thats probably the same mechanism which makes that men / women of some races are on average more or less attractive than men / women of other races

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Erik Sieven:

    In part, yes. Though there is much more to that story.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Lion of the Judah-sphere
    Hey Jayman,

    I have a newb question here. Why are men regarded as being attractive also fairly masculine in appearance (I know people are can think of counter-examples like Bieber and Di Caprio)? Is it just a byproduct of higher testosterone, some kind of signal of fighting abilities, or did masculine traits actively evolve through sexual selection? You claim in this post that masculine looks are mostly orthogonal to male attractiveness but this doesn't make sense to me since most of the male celebrities considered most attractive by females (adult ones at least) have stereotypically chiseled jaws and muscled physiques.

    It’ll be interesting to see how those research programs address allegations of publication bias (etc.). Having said that, there was a recent response to various criticisms, including publication bias:

    http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/comm/haselton/unify_uploads/files/Gildersleeve,%20Haselton,%20Fales%20(2014)%20reply%20to%20Wood%20et%20al.,%20Harris%20et%20al.%20psych%20bull%20.pdf

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  • @chrisdavies09
    Scientists have conducted experiments with serotonin receptor-knockout mice. If I recall correctly they became hypersexual and indiscriminately mounted other mice of both sexes. I don't whether such a mechanism has any bearing on bisexuality in humans, female or male. But I do wonder whether there is some kind of link between bisexuality and hypersexuality, promiscuity, and very high sex drive in humans.

    But I do wonder whether there is some kind of link between bisexuality and hypersexuality, promiscuity, and very high sex drive in humans.

    Like “maleness” promoting genes? ;)

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  • @e
    http://www.genengnews.com/gen-news-highlights/brain-gender-altered-by-lifting-epigenetic-repression/81251103/

    http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-03-female-mammalian-phenotype-results-repression.html

    Jayman, we've known for several years that the rodent brain has two functional circuits, male/female, and that pheromonal cues are processed differently by the female and male brains, resulting in all kinds of different behaviors, all the way from parental behaviors to reproductive behaviors but not until recently have we understood how the brain became either female or male.

    The latest research is pretty exciting. The male-female differentiation of the pre-optic area doesn't take place as early as was once thought. In fact, it happens pretty late in gestation, perinatally, and evidently continues post-natally as well. The area is heavily methlylated in the undifferentiated POA until a hormone release from the gonads masculinizes the male brain by removing the methyl groups from many genes, allowing expression resulting in typical male reproductive behaviors. Repressing this unsilencing maintains the default female brain.

    Perhaps this gets us closer to understanding how male homosexuality (and even female homosexuality) might come about. Maybe it can even explain why some male homosexuals are so much more effeminate than others, with a low number of unsilenced genes resulting in a less feminine gay male and a high number of unsilenced genes resulting in a more effeminate gay male.

    Especially interesting to me in light of our many discussions of the likelihood of a pathogenic cause is the following observation by the research team:

    "Intriguingly, the latest study also found that inflammatory immune cells known as microglia appear to play a role in masculinization, in part through their production of prostaglandins, a neurochemical normally associated with illness. In recent years, scientists have increasingly realized that the immune system is integral to the development of the brain;"

    Very interesting. (Isn't it also true that the male immune system is not quite as effective as the female's? Perhaps that explains the higher prevalence of male homosexuality.)

    @g:

    Perhaps this gets us closer to understanding how male homosexuality (and even female homosexuality) might come about. Maybe it can even explain why some male homosexuals are so much more effeminate than others, with a low number of unsilenced genes resulting in a less feminine gay male and a high number of unsilenced genes resulting in a more effeminate gay male.

    Not genes, but yes, the human brain does apparently contain circuits for attraction to males as well as circuits for attraction to females. One set is normally silenced in each sex during development. In gay men, pathogenic damage activates those the androphillic circuits.

    But yes, it’s good you that you’ve highlighted how the various brain regions may be involved.

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  • @e
    Michael said, "It just means human sexual attraction is complex and it is easy for nature to ‘get it wrong’ — unlike insects that use pheromones."

    Sounds as if you haven't been following the decades' worth of work on mice and olfaction.

    @g:

    Humans aren’t mice.

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  • @Jedi Master
    The notion that male celebrities viewed as most attractive by women are particularly masculine is quite debatable. I just looked at one such list, and by my lights only a small number of the top 25 on the list seemed masculine (e.g., Hugh Jackman, George Clooney).

    At any rate, there’s a lot of evidence that masculinized men with testosterone-laden bodily and facial features, and inter-sexually competitive, socially dominant personalities, become attractive to women in the fertile (follicular) phase of the menstrual cycle. This effect is strongest among women with boyfriends/husbands who are especially lacking in such masculine traits (what the manosphere guys would call ‘beta males’), and it dissipates or disappears completely when they are in their infertile, luteal phase, where they instead prefer more feminized, ‘good dad’/’good provider’ men. Also, more attractive women tend to be most attracted on average to masculine men throughout their ovulatory cycle.

    These kinds of phenomena have the hallmarks of being a psychological adaptation in women, namely for selective sire choice (viz., good genes for offspring) in certain contexts. In other words, a strong case can be made that the systematic, multi-layered empirical patterns observed are best explained as the result of a cognitive adaptation in women. Granted, such fantasies about and desires for men with good genes traits should be put in proper context: it’s not to say that all women suddenly become obligate raging whores during their fertile window and seek out men with good genes for intercourse; this is more of an ‘at-the-margins’ phenomenon. And supposedly many factors play into the cost-benefit analysis of whether a particular woman actually ends up acting on those desires. Another thing to keep in mind is that, by hypothesis, less attractive women are less able to secure long-term commitment from good genes males; so such women might instead opt to secure commitment from a man of lesser genetic quality, then cuckold him and secure better genes via a dalliance with a man in possession of good genes.

    The general empirical patterns have also been found in at least a couple of traditional small-scale societies - so it does not appear to be merely an artefact of the evolved human cognitive architecture interfacing with modern ‘WEIRD’ conditions.

    This stuff is pretty well documented in the evolutionary psychology literature on mating.

    A short overview can be found here:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2394562/pdf/rspb20071425.pdf

    This book is a longer, in-depth analysis:
    https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-evolutionary-biology-of-human-female-sexuality-9780195340990?cc=ca&lang=en&

    The key problem with those studies, and a lot of standard evo psych studies, are small samples and lots of publication bias. I’d like to see a good review of menstrual cycle behavior with checks for publication bias built-in.

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  • Ever noticed how artists draw female villains? They are given long noses and chiseled features with long pointed jaws. Witches are a great example. Similarly male villains are often drawn with smaller jaws and more feminine features. The goatee is often worn as compensation for a weak chin and has become a short hand for evil. Humans have long known intuitively that we differ, that some men are less physical and more emotional and some women are less emotional and more physical. Of course it’s also natural that the more common forms treat their counter parts with contempt. Nothing is more predictable than the cerebral young male with a small chin, an even digit ratio and a burning hatred for those knuckle dragging philistines who pick on him. But I do wonder why the masculine females tend to blame men for their problems rather than the other girls who made them feel bad for not caring about makeup and getting a boyfriend.

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  • @Lion of the Judah-sphere
    Hey Jayman,

    I have a newb question here. Why are men regarded as being attractive also fairly masculine in appearance (I know people are can think of counter-examples like Bieber and Di Caprio)? Is it just a byproduct of higher testosterone, some kind of signal of fighting abilities, or did masculine traits actively evolve through sexual selection? You claim in this post that masculine looks are mostly orthogonal to male attractiveness but this doesn't make sense to me since most of the male celebrities considered most attractive by females (adult ones at least) have stereotypically chiseled jaws and muscled physiques.

    The notion that male celebrities viewed as most attractive by women are particularly masculine is quite debatable. I just looked at one such list, and by my lights only a small number of the top 25 on the list seemed masculine (e.g., Hugh Jackman, George Clooney).

    At any rate, there’s a lot of evidence that masculinized men with testosterone-laden bodily and facial features, and inter-sexually competitive, socially dominant personalities, become attractive to women in the fertile (follicular) phase of the menstrual cycle. This effect is strongest among women with boyfriends/husbands who are especially lacking in such masculine traits (what the manosphere guys would call ‘beta males’), and it dissipates or disappears completely when they are in their infertile, luteal phase, where they instead prefer more feminized, ‘good dad’/’good provider’ men. Also, more attractive women tend to be most attracted on average to masculine men throughout their ovulatory cycle.

    These kinds of phenomena have the hallmarks of being a psychological adaptation in women, namely for selective sire choice (viz., good genes for offspring) in certain contexts. In other words, a strong case can be made that the systematic, multi-layered empirical patterns observed are best explained as the result of a cognitive adaptation in women. Granted, such fantasies about and desires for men with good genes traits should be put in proper context: it’s not to say that all women suddenly become obligate raging whores during their fertile window and seek out men with good genes for intercourse; this is more of an ‘at-the-margins’ phenomenon. And supposedly many factors play into the cost-benefit analysis of whether a particular woman actually ends up acting on those desires. Another thing to keep in mind is that, by hypothesis, less attractive women are less able to secure long-term commitment from good genes males; so such women might instead opt to secure commitment from a man of lesser genetic quality, then cuckold him and secure better genes via a dalliance with a man in possession of good genes.

    The general empirical patterns have also been found in at least a couple of traditional small-scale societies – so it does not appear to be merely an artefact of the evolved human cognitive architecture interfacing with modern ‘WEIRD’ conditions.

    This stuff is pretty well documented in the evolutionary psychology literature on mating.

    A short overview can be found here:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2394562/pdf/rspb20071425.pdf

    This book is a longer, in-depth analysis:

    https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-evolutionary-biology-of-human-female-sexuality-9780195340990?cc=ca&lang=en&

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Jedi Master:

    The key problem with those studies, and a lot of standard evo psych studies, are small samples and lots of publication bias. I'd like to see a good review of menstrual cycle behavior with checks for publication bias built-in.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Lion of the Judah-sphere
    Hey Jayman,

    I have a newb question here. Why are men regarded as being attractive also fairly masculine in appearance (I know people are can think of counter-examples like Bieber and Di Caprio)? Is it just a byproduct of higher testosterone, some kind of signal of fighting abilities, or did masculine traits actively evolve through sexual selection? You claim in this post that masculine looks are mostly orthogonal to male attractiveness but this doesn't make sense to me since most of the male celebrities considered most attractive by females (adult ones at least) have stereotypically chiseled jaws and muscled physiques.

    “Why are men regarded as being attractive also fairly masculine in appearance (I know people are can think of counter-examples like Bieber and Di Caprio)? Is it just a byproduct of higher testosterone, some kind of signal of fighting abilities”

    Imagine a standing start where women were attracted to male traits on a purely random basis then the male traits that would be selected for would be those that led to higher reproduction and survival of the various females. So in a violent environment women randomly attracted to those male traits which signaled a high capacity for violence might have more surviving kids so attraction to those traits would spread.

    If the environment changed and other traits began to confer that advantage then over time women attracted to those other traits would be selected for instead so the weighted basket of traits that women were attracted to would change over time with the environment e.g. from being attracted to 80% thug to only being attracted to 20% thug.

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  • Say there were two broad categories of sexual attraction 1) visual and 2) behavioral and they were weighted differently between men and women such that

    men: 2/3 visual, 1/3 behavioral
    woman: 1/3 visual, 2/3 behavioral

    then something that only effected the visual component would have a differential effect, for the sake of argument say

    men: 2/3 gay, 1/3 bisexual
    women: 1/3 lesbian, 2/3 bisexual

    (and vice versa for the behavioral component)

    if there were two components (visual and behavioral) and they could be misaligned independently the four categories created would be

    visually female, behaviorally female
    visually female, behaviorally male
    visually male, behaviorally female
    visually male, behaviorally male

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  • @Michael
    "The low heritability and evolutionary contradiction of male homosexuality necessitates the pathogenic explanation. "

    Not true. It just means human sexual attraction is complex and it is easy for nature to 'get it wrong' -- unlike insects that use pheromones.

    If 10% of birds get confused and don't migrate to where they are supposed to each year, it does not mean that there is a pathogen. It just means that migration has a high failure rate because it is a complex behavior. Lots of things can go wrong.

    Michael said, “It just means human sexual attraction is complex and it is easy for nature to ‘get it wrong’ — unlike insects that use pheromones.”

    Sounds as if you haven’t been following the decades’ worth of work on mice and olfaction.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @g:

    Humans aren't mice.

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  • […] Female Same-Sex Attraction Revisited – from jayman. […]

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  • @Lion of the Judah-sphere
    Hey Jayman,

    I have a newb question here. Why are men regarded as being attractive also fairly masculine in appearance (I know people are can think of counter-examples like Bieber and Di Caprio)? Is it just a byproduct of higher testosterone, some kind of signal of fighting abilities, or did masculine traits actively evolve through sexual selection? You claim in this post that masculine looks are mostly orthogonal to male attractiveness but this doesn't make sense to me since most of the male celebrities considered most attractive by females (adult ones at least) have stereotypically chiseled jaws and muscled physiques.

    @ Staffan

    Most of them were pretty chiseled at one point or another except for Johnny Depp (arguably) and Jude Law.

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  • @Lion of the Judah-sphere
    Hey Jayman,

    I have a newb question here. Why are men regarded as being attractive also fairly masculine in appearance (I know people are can think of counter-examples like Bieber and Di Caprio)? Is it just a byproduct of higher testosterone, some kind of signal of fighting abilities, or did masculine traits actively evolve through sexual selection? You claim in this post that masculine looks are mostly orthogonal to male attractiveness but this doesn't make sense to me since most of the male celebrities considered most attractive by females (adult ones at least) have stereotypically chiseled jaws and muscled physiques.

    “…most of the male celebrities considered most attractive by females (adult ones at least) have stereotypically chiseled jaws and muscled physiques.”

    http://www.people.com/people/package/gallery/0,,20315920_20154495,00.html#30229116

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Suppose we were studying female left-hander-sexual behaviour (females who have had sex with someone who is left handed). If we looked at a table of their number of sexual partners we would notice that they were quite promiscuous. For example, we would expect that females with 2 lifetime sexual partners would be a little less than twice as likely to have had a left-hander-sexual experience than those with 1 lifetime sexual partner.

    To what extent does the apparent promiscuity of females who have had sex with females reflect a similar, more hits on random humans therefore more likely to hit (on) a female, situation.

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  • e says:

    http://www.genengnews.com/gen-news-highlights/brain-gender-altered-by-lifting-epigenetic-repression/81251103/

    http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-03-female-mammalian-phenotype-results-repression.html

    Jayman, we’ve known for several years that the rodent brain has two functional circuits, male/female, and that pheromonal cues are processed differently by the female and male brains, resulting in all kinds of different behaviors, all the way from parental behaviors to reproductive behaviors but not until recently have we understood how the brain became either female or male.

    The latest research is pretty exciting. The male-female differentiation of the pre-optic area doesn’t take place as early as was once thought. In fact, it happens pretty late in gestation, perinatally, and evidently continues post-natally as well. The area is heavily methlylated in the undifferentiated POA until a hormone release from the gonads masculinizes the male brain by removing the methyl groups from many genes, allowing expression resulting in typical male reproductive behaviors. Repressing this unsilencing maintains the default female brain.

    Perhaps this gets us closer to understanding how male homosexuality (and even female homosexuality) might come about. Maybe it can even explain why some male homosexuals are so much more effeminate than others, with a low number of unsilenced genes resulting in a less feminine gay male and a high number of unsilenced genes resulting in a more effeminate gay male.

    Especially interesting to me in light of our many discussions of the likelihood of a pathogenic cause is the following observation by the research team:

    “Intriguingly, the latest study also found that inflammatory immune cells known as microglia appear to play a role in masculinization, in part through their production of prostaglandins, a neurochemical normally associated with illness. In recent years, scientists have increasingly realized that the immune system is integral to the development of the brain;”

    Very interesting. (Isn’t it also true that the male immune system is not quite as effective as the female’s? Perhaps that explains the higher prevalence of male homosexuality.)

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @g:

    Perhaps this gets us closer to understanding how male homosexuality (and even female homosexuality) might come about. Maybe it can even explain why some male homosexuals are so much more effeminate than others, with a low number of unsilenced genes resulting in a less feminine gay male and a high number of unsilenced genes resulting in a more effeminate gay male.
     
    Not genes, but yes, the human brain does apparently contain circuits for attraction to males as well as circuits for attraction to females. One set is normally silenced in each sex during development. In gay men, pathogenic damage activates those the androphillic circuits.

    But yes, it's good you that you've highlighted how the various brain regions may be involved.

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  • @chrisdavies09
    Great post Jayman, thanks. Good to have you back.

    "A British survey (Mercer et al, 2013) finds that among the youngest cohorts of women (ages 16-34), as much as 19% claim to have sexual contact with another woman"

    But according to that data, less than 50% of these actually involved 'genital contact'. I would class those as the genuine lesbians. The rest might be just 'bi-curious', or might have kissed and fondled a female friend in a nightclub to attract some male attention?

    Yeah I wondered about that myself. What are talking here with sexual contact without genital contact, playing with breasts? Maybe some of the respondents interpreted “genital contact” with another woman to mean tribbing…

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  • @Lion of the Judah-sphere
    Hey Jayman,

    I have a newb question here. Why are men regarded as being attractive also fairly masculine in appearance (I know people are can think of counter-examples like Bieber and Di Caprio)? Is it just a byproduct of higher testosterone, some kind of signal of fighting abilities, or did masculine traits actively evolve through sexual selection? You claim in this post that masculine looks are mostly orthogonal to male attractiveness but this doesn't make sense to me since most of the male celebrities considered most attractive by females (adult ones at least) have stereotypically chiseled jaws and muscled physiques.

    You claim in this post that masculine looks are mostly orthogonal to male attractiveness but this doesn’t make sense to me since most of the male celebrities considered most attractive by females (adult ones at least) have stereotypically chiseled jaws and muscled physiques.

    I suspect there’s more to the puzzle of mating success than simple attractiveness for men. Both sexual antagonistic and balancing selection may explain why not all men have the chiseled jaws and strong chins.

    Our friend genetic load likely plays a part in all this as well.

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  • @chrisdavies09
    Scientists have conducted experiments with serotonin receptor-knockout mice. If I recall correctly they became hypersexual and indiscriminately mounted other mice of both sexes. I don't whether such a mechanism has any bearing on bisexuality in humans, female or male. But I do wonder whether there is some kind of link between bisexuality and hypersexuality, promiscuity, and very high sex drive in humans.

    Correction, for women, number of sex partners of both sexes are certainly correlated if I don’t exclude those who report 0 of either.

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  • @chrisdavies09
    Scientists have conducted experiments with serotonin receptor-knockout mice. If I recall correctly they became hypersexual and indiscriminately mounted other mice of both sexes. I don't whether such a mechanism has any bearing on bisexuality in humans, female or male. But I do wonder whether there is some kind of link between bisexuality and hypersexuality, promiscuity, and very high sex drive in humans.

    A simple test of that idea: I checked the GSS to see if men who report both male and female sex partners had any correlation between the number of both. They were uncorrelated (hovering around 0). I doubt such a mechanism exists in men, but then, male homosexuality is pathogenic in origin.

    For women, it was also uncorrelated. But, nonetheless, I suspect what we’re seeing is the effect of masculinizing genes in women, with gynephilia presenting itself as a side effect that was weakly selected against.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Scientists have conducted experiments with serotonin receptor-knockout mice. If I recall correctly they became hypersexual and indiscriminately mounted other mice of both sexes. I don’t whether such a mechanism has any bearing on bisexuality in humans, female or male. But I do wonder whether there is some kind of link between bisexuality and hypersexuality, promiscuity, and very high sex drive in humans.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @chrisdavies09:

    A simple test of that idea: I checked the GSS to see if men who report both male and female sex partners had any correlation between the number of both. They were uncorrelated (hovering around 0). I doubt such a mechanism exists in men, but then, male homosexuality is pathogenic in origin.

    For women, it was also uncorrelated. But, nonetheless, I suspect what we're seeing is the effect of masculinizing genes in women, with gynephilia presenting itself as a side effect that was weakly selected against.

    , @JayMan
    @chrisdavies09:

    Correction, for women, number of sex partners of both sexes are certainly correlated if I don't exclude those who report 0 of either.

    , @JayMan
    @chrisdavies09:

    But I do wonder whether there is some kind of link between bisexuality and hypersexuality, promiscuity, and very high sex drive in humans.
     
    Like "maleness" promoting genes? ;)
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @EvolutionistX
    More masculine women => higher sex drives => being less picky
    or
    More masculine women => higher sex drive and attraction to females ?

    Socially, "bisexual" may be a more acceptable way of signalling or thinking about "promiscuous".

    I recall from my college days a great deal of anger directed by "true lesbians" and "true bisexuals" against "cuddle girls" and the like who "claim" to be gay or bi in social situations in order to pick up men. There were even accusations of "cultural appropriation"--yes, of "straights appropriating gay culture", to which I very confusedly responded that I thought gay was an orientation, not a culture. The ultimate irony was that the "true lesbians" and "true bisexuals" making these claims were themselves primarily engaged in hetero-relationships during the time I knew them.

    As someone who has only ever had two significant relationships in her life, the idea of trying to suss out such tiny variations in attraction seems rather pointless.

    @dip:

    More masculine women => higher sex drives => being less picky
    or
    More masculine women => higher sex drive and attraction to females ?

    Socially, “bisexual” may be a more acceptable way of signalling or thinking about “promiscuous”.

    If the Burri et al study is to be believed, the common latent factor isn’t commensurate with number of sexual partners (here assumed to be an imperfect proxy for sociosexuality, although testing that directly would have been better). Same-sex attraction, sex-atypicality, and number of sexual partners all have their own additive genetic influences operating over and above the latent factor (which I assume is genetic masculinization).

    We need better, larger twin studies to know for sure.

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  • @EvolutionistX
    Looking at the data, it looks like SSA is just a side effect of promiscuity. Promiscuous people just aren't all that picky.

    Women who aren't seeking out dozens of partners simply pick the partner they like best and stick with them. Such women might find other women just as attractive as "non-hetero" women do, but not bother mentioning it because they have no need for more partners.

    More masculine women => higher sex drives => being less picky
    or
    More masculine women => higher sex drive and attraction to females ?

    Socially, “bisexual” may be a more acceptable way of signalling or thinking about “promiscuous”.

    I recall from my college days a great deal of anger directed by “true lesbians” and “true bisexuals” against “cuddle girls” and the like who “claim” to be gay or bi in social situations in order to pick up men. There were even accusations of “cultural appropriation”–yes, of “straights appropriating gay culture”, to which I very confusedly responded that I thought gay was an orientation, not a culture. The ultimate irony was that the “true lesbians” and “true bisexuals” making these claims were themselves primarily engaged in hetero-relationships during the time I knew them.

    As someone who has only ever had two significant relationships in her life, the idea of trying to suss out such tiny variations in attraction seems rather pointless.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @dip:

    More masculine women => higher sex drives => being less picky
    or
    More masculine women => higher sex drive and attraction to females ?

    Socially, “bisexual” may be a more acceptable way of signalling or thinking about “promiscuous”.
     

    If the Burri et al study is to be believed, the common latent factor isn't commensurate with number of sexual partners (here assumed to be an imperfect proxy for sociosexuality, although testing that directly would have been better). Same-sex attraction, sex-atypicality, and number of sexual partners all have their own additive genetic influences operating over and above the latent factor (which I assume is genetic masculinization).

    We need better, larger twin studies to know for sure.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Polynices
    Why does homosexuality have to be anything more than a variety of minor developmental errors that are inevitable with something as ludicrously complex as the human brain and sexual/reproductive behavior in particular? About 10% of people are left-handed and my understanding is that it's pretty much just an error in development. Everyone is supposed to be right handed but sometimes something goes wrong. Can't homosexuality be something similar? There's fewer homosexuals than left-handers but then homosexuality is more harmful to your reproductive chances so there'd be selection to make it less common -- but no amount of selection can completely eliminate simple developmental error, can it?

    Being left-handed has very little impact on the number of children one has.

    Being unattracted to the opposite sex can have a big impact on the number of children one has.

    Ergo, one of these things is likely to be strongly selected against.

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  • @EvolutionistX
    Looking at the data, it looks like SSA is just a side effect of promiscuity. Promiscuous people just aren't all that picky.

    Women who aren't seeking out dozens of partners simply pick the partner they like best and stick with them. Such women might find other women just as attractive as "non-hetero" women do, but not bother mentioning it because they have no need for more partners.

    @dip:

    Natural selection is pretty good at its job. High sex drive would lead to bisexuality unless there was something that was driving both, as twin studies suggest.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Looking at the data, it looks like SSA is just a side effect of promiscuity. Promiscuous people just aren’t all that picky.

    Women who aren’t seeking out dozens of partners simply pick the partner they like best and stick with them. Such women might find other women just as attractive as “non-hetero” women do, but not bother mentioning it because they have no need for more partners.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @dip:

    Natural selection is pretty good at its job. High sex drive would lead to bisexuality unless there was something that was driving both, as twin studies suggest.

    , @EvolutionistX
    More masculine women => higher sex drives => being less picky
    or
    More masculine women => higher sex drive and attraction to females ?

    Socially, "bisexual" may be a more acceptable way of signalling or thinking about "promiscuous".

    I recall from my college days a great deal of anger directed by "true lesbians" and "true bisexuals" against "cuddle girls" and the like who "claim" to be gay or bi in social situations in order to pick up men. There were even accusations of "cultural appropriation"--yes, of "straights appropriating gay culture", to which I very confusedly responded that I thought gay was an orientation, not a culture. The ultimate irony was that the "true lesbians" and "true bisexuals" making these claims were themselves primarily engaged in hetero-relationships during the time I knew them.

    As someone who has only ever had two significant relationships in her life, the idea of trying to suss out such tiny variations in attraction seems rather pointless.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Michael
    "Doesn’t matter. The only way for them to be preserved in this scenario is a complete lack of additive effect (which is implausible). All such alleles would quickly go to zero over evolutionary time."

    Lots of genes have slight negative effects. They haven't all vanished.

    Please see my HBD Fundamentals page on the topic of genetic load.

    Michael, you are woefully uninformed here, and are cluttering up my comments section. Please see the relevant resources before commenting further.

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  • @Michael
    "The low heritability and evolutionary contradiction of male homosexuality necessitates the pathogenic explanation. "

    Not true. It just means human sexual attraction is complex and it is easy for nature to 'get it wrong' -- unlike insects that use pheromones.

    If 10% of birds get confused and don't migrate to where they are supposed to each year, it does not mean that there is a pathogen. It just means that migration has a high failure rate because it is a complex behavior. Lots of things can go wrong.

    “Doesn’t matter. The only way for them to be preserved in this scenario is a complete lack of additive effect (which is implausible). All such alleles would quickly go to zero over evolutionary time.”

    Lots of genes have slight negative effects. They haven’t all vanished.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    Please see my HBD Fundamentals page on the topic of genetic load.

    Michael, you are woefully uninformed here, and are cluttering up my comments section. Please see the relevant resources before commenting further.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Michael
    Jayman -- great to get you in real time!

    "What do you think happens to any such genes that cause such malfunction in attraction in humans? Iterate it over time. "

    Obviously if there were just one gene or two genes involved, their rate of incidence would go toward zero quickly. On the other hand, if it is a complex behavior that involves many genes, this would not necessarily be so.

    Note, no more comments about male homosexuality or the gay germ here. There are several other of my posts for that.

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  • @Michael
    "The difference here is that long distance migration is inherently difficult and dangerous. F$, not so much. "

    A million articles on game blogs would beg to differ. These blogs would not exist if it were that easy.

    Citing game: there’s your problem right there. :)

    But, exactly. Competition for mates between men is rather fierce. How do you think men who weren’t even trying would fare, evolutionarily?

    There’s a difference between failing a challenge you evolved to take on and being designed not to even try properly.

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  • @Michael
    "The low heritability and evolutionary contradiction of male homosexuality necessitates the pathogenic explanation. "

    Not true. It just means human sexual attraction is complex and it is easy for nature to 'get it wrong' -- unlike insects that use pheromones.

    If 10% of birds get confused and don't migrate to where they are supposed to each year, it does not mean that there is a pathogen. It just means that migration has a high failure rate because it is a complex behavior. Lots of things can go wrong.

    “The difference here is that long distance migration is inherently difficult and dangerous. F$, not so much. ”

    A million articles on game blogs would beg to differ. These blogs would not exist if it were that easy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Michael:

    Citing game: there's your problem right there. :)

    But, exactly. Competition for mates between men is rather fierce. How do you think men who weren't even trying would fare, evolutionarily?

    There's a difference between failing a challenge you evolved to take on and being designed not to even try properly.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Michael
    Failing to migrate is highly maladaptive and leads to death, nature can never completely select it out. Every generation, a substantial portion of birds screw it up.

    The difference here is that long distance migration is inherently difficult and dangerous. Fucking, not so much. It’s a fairly basic thing for evolution to get right. Selection would remove any such errant genes. Without some counteracting pressure, all such alleles would trend to extinction.

    Obviously if there were just one gene or two genes involved, their rate of incidence would go toward zero quickly. On the other hand, if it is a complex behavior that involves many genes, this would not necessarily be so.

    Doesn’t matter. The only way for them to be preserved in this scenario is a complete lack of additive effect (which is implausible). All such alleles would quickly go to zero over evolutionary time.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Jayman — great to get you in real time!

    “What do you think happens to any such genes that cause such malfunction in attraction in humans? Iterate it over time. ”

    Obviously if there were just one gene or two genes involved, their rate of incidence would go toward zero quickly. On the other hand, if it is a complex behavior that involves many genes, this would not necessarily be so.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    Note, no more comments about male homosexuality or the gay germ here. There are several other of my posts for that.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Michael
    "The low heritability and evolutionary contradiction of male homosexuality necessitates the pathogenic explanation. "

    Not true. It just means human sexual attraction is complex and it is easy for nature to 'get it wrong' -- unlike insects that use pheromones.

    If 10% of birds get confused and don't migrate to where they are supposed to each year, it does not mean that there is a pathogen. It just means that migration has a high failure rate because it is a complex behavior. Lots of things can go wrong.

    Failing to migrate is highly maladaptive and leads to death, nature can never completely select it out. Every generation, a substantial portion of birds screw it up.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Michael:

    The difference here is that long distance migration is inherently difficult and dangerous. Fucking, not so much. It's a fairly basic thing for evolution to get right. Selection would remove any such errant genes. Without some counteracting pressure, all such alleles would trend to extinction.


    Obviously if there were just one gene or two genes involved, their rate of incidence would go toward zero quickly. On the other hand, if it is a complex behavior that involves many genes, this would not necessarily be so.
     
    Doesn't matter. The only way for them to be preserved in this scenario is a complete lack of additive effect (which is implausible). All such alleles would quickly go to zero over evolutionary time.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Michael
    "The low heritability and evolutionary contradiction of male homosexuality necessitates the pathogenic explanation. "

    Not true. It just means human sexual attraction is complex and it is easy for nature to 'get it wrong' -- unlike insects that use pheromones.

    If 10% of birds get confused and don't migrate to where they are supposed to each year, it does not mean that there is a pathogen. It just means that migration has a high failure rate because it is a complex behavior. Lots of things can go wrong.

    What do you think happens to any such genes that cause such malfunction in attraction in humans? Iterate it over time.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • “The low heritability and evolutionary contradiction of male homosexuality necessitates the pathogenic explanation. ”

    Not true. It just means human sexual attraction is complex and it is easy for nature to ‘get it wrong’ — unlike insects that use pheromones.

    If 10% of birds get confused and don’t migrate to where they are supposed to each year, it does not mean that there is a pathogen. It just means that migration has a high failure rate because it is a complex behavior. Lots of things can go wrong.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Michael:

    What do you think happens to any such genes that cause such malfunction in attraction in humans? Iterate it over time.

    , @Michael
    Failing to migrate is highly maladaptive and leads to death, nature can never completely select it out. Every generation, a substantial portion of birds screw it up.
    , @Michael
    "The difference here is that long distance migration is inherently difficult and dangerous. F$, not so much. "

    A million articles on game blogs would beg to differ. These blogs would not exist if it were that easy.

    , @Michael
    "Doesn’t matter. The only way for them to be preserved in this scenario is a complete lack of additive effect (which is implausible). All such alleles would quickly go to zero over evolutionary time."

    Lots of genes have slight negative effects. They haven't all vanished.

    , @e
    Michael said, "It just means human sexual attraction is complex and it is easy for nature to ‘get it wrong’ — unlike insects that use pheromones."

    Sounds as if you haven't been following the decades' worth of work on mice and olfaction.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Polynices
    Why does homosexuality have to be anything more than a variety of minor developmental errors that are inevitable with something as ludicrously complex as the human brain and sexual/reproductive behavior in particular? About 10% of people are left-handed and my understanding is that it's pretty much just an error in development. Everyone is supposed to be right handed but sometimes something goes wrong. Can't homosexuality be something similar? There's fewer homosexuals than left-handers but then homosexuality is more harmful to your reproductive chances so there'd be selection to make it less common -- but no amount of selection can completely eliminate simple developmental error, can it?

    Ah, I’d read the discussion over at Cochran’s but failed to read your much more illuminating post and comments discussion. Interesting stuff.

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  • @Polynices
    Why does homosexuality have to be anything more than a variety of minor developmental errors that are inevitable with something as ludicrously complex as the human brain and sexual/reproductive behavior in particular? About 10% of people are left-handed and my understanding is that it's pretty much just an error in development. Everyone is supposed to be right handed but sometimes something goes wrong. Can't homosexuality be something similar? There's fewer homosexuals than left-handers but then homosexuality is more harmful to your reproductive chances so there'd be selection to make it less common -- but no amount of selection can completely eliminate simple developmental error, can it?

    :

    No. See the discussion linked in the gay germ post. Male homosexuality is too maladaptive to be the result of genetic noise.

    Left-handedness is likely an adaptation, maintained by frequency-dependent selection.

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  • Why does homosexuality have to be anything more than a variety of minor developmental errors that are inevitable with something as ludicrously complex as the human brain and sexual/reproductive behavior in particular? About 10% of people are left-handed and my understanding is that it’s pretty much just an error in development. Everyone is supposed to be right handed but sometimes something goes wrong. Can’t homosexuality be something similar? There’s fewer homosexuals than left-handers but then homosexuality is more harmful to your reproductive chances so there’d be selection to make it less common — but no amount of selection can completely eliminate simple developmental error, can it?

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Polynices:

    No. See the discussion linked in the gay germ post. Male homosexuality is too maladaptive to be the result of genetic noise.

    Left-handedness is likely an adaptation, maintained by frequency-dependent selection.

    , @Polynices
    Ah, I'd read the discussion over at Cochran's but failed to read your much more illuminating post and comments discussion. Interesting stuff.
    , @EvolutionistX
    Being left-handed has very little impact on the number of children one has.

    Being unattracted to the opposite sex can have a big impact on the number of children one has.

    Ergo, one of these things is likely to be strongly selected against.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Great post Jayman, thanks. Good to have you back.

    “A British survey (Mercer et al, 2013) finds that among the youngest cohorts of women (ages 16-34), as much as 19% claim to have sexual contact with another woman”

    But according to that data, less than 50% of these actually involved ‘genital contact’. I would class those as the genuine lesbians. The rest might be just ‘bi-curious’, or might have kissed and fondled a female friend in a nightclub to attract some male attention?

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @chrisdavies09:

    Yeah I wondered about that myself. What are talking here with sexual contact without genital contact, playing with breasts? Maybe some of the respondents interpreted "genital contact" with another woman to mean tribbing...

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Hey Jayman,

    I have a newb question here. Why are men regarded as being attractive also fairly masculine in appearance (I know people are can think of counter-examples like Bieber and Di Caprio)? Is it just a byproduct of higher testosterone, some kind of signal of fighting abilities, or did masculine traits actively evolve through sexual selection? You claim in this post that masculine looks are mostly orthogonal to male attractiveness but this doesn’t make sense to me since most of the male celebrities considered most attractive by females (adult ones at least) have stereotypically chiseled jaws and muscled physiques.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Lion of the Judah-sphere:

    You claim in this post that masculine looks are mostly orthogonal to male attractiveness but this doesn’t make sense to me since most of the male celebrities considered most attractive by females (adult ones at least) have stereotypically chiseled jaws and muscled physiques.
     
    I suspect there's more to the puzzle of mating success than simple attractiveness for men. Both sexual antagonistic and balancing selection may explain why not all men have the chiseled jaws and strong chins.

    Our friend genetic load likely plays a part in all this as well.

    , @Staffan
    "...most of the male celebrities considered most attractive by females (adult ones at least) have stereotypically chiseled jaws and muscled physiques."

    http://www.people.com/people/package/gallery/0,,20315920_20154495,00.html#30229116

    , @Lion of the Judah-sphere
    @ Staffan

    Most of them were pretty chiseled at one point or another except for Johnny Depp (arguably) and Jude Law.

    , @Greying Wanderer
    "Why are men regarded as being attractive also fairly masculine in appearance (I know people are can think of counter-examples like Bieber and Di Caprio)? Is it just a byproduct of higher testosterone, some kind of signal of fighting abilities"

    Imagine a standing start where women were attracted to male traits on a purely random basis then the male traits that would be selected for would be those that led to higher reproduction and survival of the various females. So in a violent environment women randomly attracted to those male traits which signaled a high capacity for violence might have more surviving kids so attraction to those traits would spread.

    If the environment changed and other traits began to confer that advantage then over time women attracted to those other traits would be selected for instead so the weighted basket of traits that women were attracted to would change over time with the environment e.g. from being attracted to 80% thug to only being attracted to 20% thug.

    , @Jedi Master
    The notion that male celebrities viewed as most attractive by women are particularly masculine is quite debatable. I just looked at one such list, and by my lights only a small number of the top 25 on the list seemed masculine (e.g., Hugh Jackman, George Clooney).

    At any rate, there’s a lot of evidence that masculinized men with testosterone-laden bodily and facial features, and inter-sexually competitive, socially dominant personalities, become attractive to women in the fertile (follicular) phase of the menstrual cycle. This effect is strongest among women with boyfriends/husbands who are especially lacking in such masculine traits (what the manosphere guys would call ‘beta males’), and it dissipates or disappears completely when they are in their infertile, luteal phase, where they instead prefer more feminized, ‘good dad’/’good provider’ men. Also, more attractive women tend to be most attracted on average to masculine men throughout their ovulatory cycle.

    These kinds of phenomena have the hallmarks of being a psychological adaptation in women, namely for selective sire choice (viz., good genes for offspring) in certain contexts. In other words, a strong case can be made that the systematic, multi-layered empirical patterns observed are best explained as the result of a cognitive adaptation in women. Granted, such fantasies about and desires for men with good genes traits should be put in proper context: it’s not to say that all women suddenly become obligate raging whores during their fertile window and seek out men with good genes for intercourse; this is more of an ‘at-the-margins’ phenomenon. And supposedly many factors play into the cost-benefit analysis of whether a particular woman actually ends up acting on those desires. Another thing to keep in mind is that, by hypothesis, less attractive women are less able to secure long-term commitment from good genes males; so such women might instead opt to secure commitment from a man of lesser genetic quality, then cuckold him and secure better genes via a dalliance with a man in possession of good genes.

    The general empirical patterns have also been found in at least a couple of traditional small-scale societies - so it does not appear to be merely an artefact of the evolved human cognitive architecture interfacing with modern ‘WEIRD’ conditions.

    This stuff is pretty well documented in the evolutionary psychology literature on mating.

    A short overview can be found here:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2394562/pdf/rspb20071425.pdf

    This book is a longer, in-depth analysis:
    https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-evolutionary-biology-of-human-female-sexuality-9780195340990?cc=ca&lang=en&

    , @Jedi Master
    @JayMan

    It’ll be interesting to see how those research programs address allegations of publication bias (etc.). Having said that, there was a recent response to various criticisms, including publication bias:

    http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/comm/haselton/unify_uploads/files/Gildersleeve,%20Haselton,%20Fales%20(2014)%20reply%20to%20Wood%20et%20al.,%20Harris%20et%20al.%20psych%20bull%20.pdf

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  • WHOA! First on the first Jayman post in a long time.

    Haven’t read it yet, but will do soon. Especially since it’s about lesbians, what a great topic.

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  • Post edited (5/31/13) See below. As promised, here is my post on this fascinating, and rather mysterious topic. Who doesn't love bisexual women? Before my foray into the HBD world, I thought that that was a trick question. In any case, I'm certainly quite fond of them. :) But bisexuality, or for that matter lesbianism—like...
  • […] female same-sex attraction remains the realm of speculation. My previous foray into the matter, The Evolution of Female Bisexuality, contains much of that speculation. I’ve learned quite a bit since then, so the time has come […]

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  • @Rob
    I am a 57 year old male raised in a very permissive California home. I am not at all concerned with sexual orientation; nor do I take exception to anyone's sexual preferences. Indeed, as a younger man, I was involved in swinging with couples seeking a threesome. However, I take exception to absolute statements such as your above assertion that men who claim not to be aroused by bisexual women are lying. I have absolutely no interest in seeing two women have sex together and intentionally chose a woman as a wife who is heterosexual, Your assertion reminds me of the often quoted claim that there are no bisexual men, but only gay males who lie about their orientation.

    I was being facetious there Rob.

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  • I am a 57 year old male raised in a very permissive California home. I am not at all concerned with sexual orientation; nor do I take exception to anyone’s sexual preferences. Indeed, as a younger man, I was involved in swinging with couples seeking a threesome. However, I take exception to absolute statements such as your above assertion that men who claim not to be aroused by bisexual women are lying. I have absolutely no interest in seeing two women have sex together and intentionally chose a woman as a wife who is heterosexual, Your assertion reminds me of the often quoted claim that there are no bisexual men, but only gay males who lie about their orientation.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Rob:

    I was being facetious there Rob.

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  • Read More
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  • Greg Cochran argues that it is highly likely that exclusive male homosexuality is caused by an infectious agent, likely a virus. As he explains, there are several good reasons to suspect that this is the case, including: the low heritability of male same-sex attraction (0.22) the absence of homosexuality in hunter-gatherer populations the relatively high...
  • […] Consider: Progressivism causes the people and institutions it infects to operate in the interests of progressivism instead of in their own interests. A few years ago, West Hunter wrote about his hypothesis that homosexuality is caused by a pathogen (his very excellent article is here: Depths of Madness.) A year later, Jayman suggested that homophobia (more accurately, homosexual revulsion) may indicate so. His article and some fascinating discussions in the comments are here: A Gay Germ? Is Homophobia a Clue?. […]

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  • Post edited (5/31/13) See below. As promised, here is my post on this fascinating, and rather mysterious topic. Who doesn't love bisexual women? Before my foray into the HBD world, I thought that that was a trick question. In any case, I'm certainly quite fond of them. :) But bisexuality, or for that matter lesbianism—like...
  • @RealityCheck
    Much more women nowadays are gay and bi, and many women love sleeping around with so many men and other women today more than ever.

    Various self-report data seem to indicate that. The reasons why are unknown.

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  • @Rebekah
    From my perspective, a young 23 year old, attractive married girl, it is about love, the feeling of being close, sexual fulfillment, and relationship. I don't want my husband and my girlfriend to have sexual relations with each other because I will get very jealous from both sides. My first sexual experiences were with a girl. I have always been sexually attracted to both girls and guys. I married my husband because he is the best man in the world and I want him to be mine. He is the best lover, provider, companion, and housekeeper. I love my girlfriend because she is the best female lover, female companion, she understands me like a man can't, and she is my best friend.

    :
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

    I don’t want my husband and my girlfriend to have sexual relations with each other because I will get very jealous from both sides.

    I’ve heard that before from other women. But that seems to take the fun right out of the whole thing…

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  • From my perspective, a young 23 year old, attractive married girl, it is about love, the feeling of being close, sexual fulfillment, and relationship. I don’t want my husband and my girlfriend to have sexual relations with each other because I will get very jealous from both sides. My first sexual experiences were with a girl. I have always been sexually attracted to both girls and guys. I married my husband because he is the best man in the world and I want him to be mine. He is the best lover, provider, companion, and housekeeper. I love my girlfriend because she is the best female lover, female companion, she understands me like a man can’t, and she is my best friend.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Rebekah:
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

    I don’t want my husband and my girlfriend to have sexual relations with each other because I will get very jealous from both sides.
     
    I've heard that before from other women. But that seems to take the fun right out of the whole thing...
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  • Much more women nowadays are gay and bi, and many women love sleeping around with so many men and other women today more than ever.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @RealityCheck:

    Various self-report data seem to indicate that. The reasons why are unknown.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Greg Cochran argues that it is highly likely that exclusive male homosexuality is caused by an infectious agent, likely a virus. As he explains, there are several good reasons to suspect that this is the case, including: the low heritability of male same-sex attraction (0.22) the absence of homosexuality in hunter-gatherer populations the relatively high...
  • @Lady Gaga
    I think I've contracted the "Gay Germ" while I was in my adolescent phase. What should I do to cleanse myself of this germ? Please leave feedback!

    If so, and by that you mean you’re now gay, the damage is done. No way to undo it any more than to undo the (post infection) paralysis of a polio victim.

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  • I think I’ve contracted the “Gay Germ” while I was in my adolescent phase. What should I do to cleanse myself of this germ? Please leave feedback!

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Lady Gaga:

    If so, and by that you mean you're now gay, the damage is done. No way to undo it any more than to undo the (post infection) paralysis of a polio victim.

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  • Post edited (5/31/13) See below. As promised, here is my post on this fascinating, and rather mysterious topic. Who doesn't love bisexual women? Before my foray into the HBD world, I thought that that was a trick question. In any case, I'm certainly quite fond of them. :) But bisexuality, or for that matter lesbianism—like...
  • @H
    I am 33 and a bisexual woman. I was attracted to women as a toddler and have a high sex drive. In the past I have lived with both boyfriends and girlfriends. I prefer women to men (slightly). It may be that more women settle with men for procreational reasons, but also because it's more socially acceptable.

    I think there are a vast range of types of bisexual women, whether I would personally class them all as bi is debatable. One example is that I've seen many apparently 'bi women' on sex sites, who sleep with women only if a man is present, or specifically to satisfy a male.

    Thanks for the information.

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  • I am 33 and a bisexual woman. I was attracted to women as a toddler and have a high sex drive. In the past I have lived with both boyfriends and girlfriends. I prefer women to men (slightly). It may be that more women settle with men for procreational reasons, but also because it’s more socially acceptable.

    I think there are a vast range of types of bisexual women, whether I would personally class them all as bi is debatable. One example is that I’ve seen many apparently ‘bi women’ on sex sites, who sleep with women only if a man is present, or specifically to satisfy a male.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @H:

    Thanks for the information.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Fascinating discussioin–just found you when researching the subject of “genetic basis for bi-sexuality”. I’d love to know your opinion on the evolutionary predisposition for various sexuals identities versus the impact that the sexual revolution of the past few decades has on the sexual behaviors of people now, a time when people feel freer to do sexual experimentation. I am a 68 year old veteran of the sexual/social revolutions since the 60′s and continue to both promote sexual freedom in our culture and identify as bi-sexual female. I confess my information is more antidotal but I am a licensed social worker as per trained observer. I am well read on female sexuality as well. What I would like to add to the discussion on an upsurge in female bisexuality is the angle of “Try it–You’ll like it!!” One of the best forms of sexual pleasure for women is cunilingus. When sex do you thing is bettter at giving that form of pleasure to a woman–men or women?? I think there are mutiple reasons to generally judge women as being better at giving that pleasure to another woman–primarily, a woman instinctively understands what is sexually pleasant to another woman’s genitalia than a man does. Second, I think that men are still way to sqeamish (or whatever) at doing cunilingus for a woman. Also some seem to think that it diminshes their masculinity to do so. I do recall seeing a study that showed that women give and men receive much more oral sex than the other way around. So–given the greater freedom to try woman with woman sex, I believe that a significant number of women are finding out how delightful such sex is. And isn’t simply finding pleasure an evolutionary factor?

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  • @Tabitha
    You say the purpose of sex is reproduction as if there are no other reasons for sex. That is not factual. We are very closely related to the bonobos; considering their sexuality might re-balance your thoughts on the subject. In the same vein, if sex were only for reproduction, why are women so libidinous on their periods and when pregnant? Sex has many purposes and assuming that just because a woman has children and passes on her genes means that she only has sex for reproductive purposes is silly.

    The key problem with most commenters on these matters is that most lack a decent understanding of evolutionary theory. The primary goal of all life is reproduction. In humans, sex appears to play a social bonding function, so that explains non-reproductive sex. But let’s think through what you’re saying:

    I’m saying that the fewer children a woman has, the more likely she is to survive and help her children survive, and that’s why bisexuality would be selected. Sleeping with women is a form of birth control.

    They why:

    1. Do bisexual women have higher sex drives that straight women?
    2. Are bisexual women primarily attracted to men?
    3. Are they more orgasmic and apparently have more heterosexual sex than their straight counterparts?
    4. Aren’t all women bisexual?
    5. Does female same sex attraction have such a low heritability?

    Hopefully you see the problem.

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  • @Tabitha
    You say the purpose of sex is reproduction as if there are no other reasons for sex. That is not factual. We are very closely related to the bonobos; considering their sexuality might re-balance your thoughts on the subject. In the same vein, if sex were only for reproduction, why are women so libidinous on their periods and when pregnant? Sex has many purposes and assuming that just because a woman has children and passes on her genes means that she only has sex for reproductive purposes is silly.

    I’m saying that the fewer children a woman has, the more likely she is to survive and help her children survive, and that’s why bisexuality would be selected. Sleeping with women is a form of birth control.

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  • You say the purpose of sex is reproduction as if there are no other reasons for sex. That is not factual. We are very closely related to the bonobos; considering their sexuality might re-balance your thoughts on the subject. In the same vein, if sex were only for reproduction, why are women so libidinous on their periods and when pregnant? Sex has many purposes and assuming that just because a woman has children and passes on her genes means that she only has sex for reproductive purposes is silly.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Tabitha
    I'm saying that the fewer children a woman has, the more likely she is to survive and help her children survive, and that's why bisexuality would be selected. Sleeping with women is a form of birth control.
    , @JayMan
    @Tabitha:

    The key problem with most commenters on these matters is that most lack a decent understanding of evolutionary theory. The primary goal of all life is reproduction. In humans, sex appears to play a social bonding function, so that explains non-reproductive sex. But let's think through what you're saying:


    I’m saying that the fewer children a woman has, the more likely she is to survive and help her children survive, and that’s why bisexuality would be selected. Sleeping with women is a form of birth control.
     
    They why:

    1. Do bisexual women have higher sex drives that straight women?
    2. Are bisexual women primarily attracted to men?
    3. Are they more orgasmic and apparently have more heterosexual sex than their straight counterparts?
    4. Aren't all women bisexual?
    5. Does female same sex attraction have such a low heritability?

    Hopefully you see the problem.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Tabitha
    You are only focusing on the men's contributions to evolution when you are talking about women's sexuality! Wake up! First, did it occur to you that bisexual women might be the descendants of lesbians? Or the common theory that having childless gay aunts greatly increases a child's chance of survival? And you seem not to be able to separate our culture from our biology. Almost all of human biological evolution was complete before written history. Before tools and weapons, the women chose the men - and not to marry, but to mate with. Men were not picking women based on what arouses them. Biologically, women are the choosy ones about who to mate with because we can only have so many children. Men are more likely to sleep with a random person, and that fact gave women the power in human evolution. Probably women are bisexual so they won't risk pregnancy, which for most of human life has been a dire ordeal.

    You need to be brought up to speed on quite a bit. I suggest either my “About Me” page on the right or my Race, Inheritance, and IQ FRB, also at right

    Wake up! First, did it occur to you that bisexual women might be the descendants of lesbians?

    No, because, by and large, that’s not much of a good explanation. Lesbians are rare, far rarer than bisexual women. And even lesbians themselves appear to be hard to explain, so that wouldn’t be adding anything.

    As well, what we seek to explain is the prevalence of female same sex attraction, which in some cases has been claimed to be as high as 20%. You don’t get to that high level of prevalence without either some selective advantage, or at least a side-effect of one.

    Or the common theory that having childless gay aunts greatly increases a child’s chance of survival?

    Didn’t even consider it – because that is plain old nonsense. See my post on Greg Cochran’s Gay Germ theory for some explanation of why anything along the “gay uncle” hypothesis cannot work.

    And you seem not to be able to separate our culture from our biology

    You’re presupposing that I should do so…

    Almost all of human biological evolution was complete before written history.

    Wrong. See the aforementioned introductions.

    Men were not picking women based on what arouses them.

    That’s why women have secondard sex characteristics

    Probably women are bisexual so they won’t risk pregnancy, which for most of human life has been a dire ordeal.

    Since the purpose of sex is reproduction, why would that trait have been selected for?

    There is much you don’t know, and much you haven’t thought through. But no worries, that’s what my blog is for. Please see the aforementioned intro pages and posts.

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  • You are only focusing on the men’s contributions to evolution when you are talking about women’s sexuality! Wake up! First, did it occur to you that bisexual women might be the descendants of lesbians? Or the common theory that having childless gay aunts greatly increases a child’s chance of survival? And you seem not to be able to separate our culture from our biology. Almost all of human biological evolution was complete before written history. Before tools and weapons, the women chose the men – and not to marry, but to mate with. Men were not picking women based on what arouses them. Biologically, women are the choosy ones about who to mate with because we can only have so many children. Men are more likely to sleep with a random person, and that fact gave women the power in human evolution. Probably women are bisexual so they won’t risk pregnancy, which for most of human life has been a dire ordeal.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Tabitha:

    You need to be brought up to speed on quite a bit. I suggest either my "About Me" page on the right or my Race, Inheritance, and IQ FRB, also at right


    Wake up! First, did it occur to you that bisexual women might be the descendants of lesbians?
     
    No, because, by and large, that's not much of a good explanation. Lesbians are rare, far rarer than bisexual women. And even lesbians themselves appear to be hard to explain, so that wouldn't be adding anything.

    As well, what we seek to explain is the prevalence of female same sex attraction, which in some cases has been claimed to be as high as 20%. You don't get to that high level of prevalence without either some selective advantage, or at least a side-effect of one.


    Or the common theory that having childless gay aunts greatly increases a child’s chance of survival?
     
    Didn't even consider it - because that is plain old nonsense. See my post on Greg Cochran's Gay Germ theory for some explanation of why anything along the "gay uncle" hypothesis cannot work.

    And you seem not to be able to separate our culture from our biology
     
    You're presupposing that I should do so...

    Almost all of human biological evolution was complete before written history.
     
    Wrong. See the aforementioned introductions.

    Men were not picking women based on what arouses them.
     
    That's why women have secondard sex characteristics...

    Probably women are bisexual so they won’t risk pregnancy, which for most of human life has been a dire ordeal.
     
    Since the purpose of sex is reproduction, why would that trait have been selected for?

    There is much you don't know, and much you haven't thought through. But no worries, that's what my blog is for. Please see the aforementioned intro pages and posts.

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  • Greg Cochran argues that it is highly likely that exclusive male homosexuality is caused by an infectious agent, likely a virus. As he explains, there are several good reasons to suspect that this is the case, including: the low heritability of male same-sex attraction (0.22) the absence of homosexuality in hunter-gatherer populations the relatively high...
  • @Anonymous
    Jayman - anyone who has spent any time at a strip club and who has taken the time to get to know the dancers will quickly find a correlation between sexual molestation and promiscuous sexual behavior later in life. Of course correlation does not equal causation, but there is a LOT of correlation.

    @cdt:

    Correlation in actual events, or correlation in what they tell you?

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  • Post edited (5/31/13) See below. As promised, here is my post on this fascinating, and rather mysterious topic. Who doesn't love bisexual women? Before my foray into the HBD world, I thought that that was a trick question. In any case, I'm certainly quite fond of them. :) But bisexuality, or for that matter lesbianism—like...
  • In short, the lesbianism in female bisexuality is like breast development in men due to hormonal imbalance. Possible.

    It could also be a side effect of sexual empathy. It might be quite useful for a female to be able to ‘read’ a mans sexual mind, to know what arouses him instinctively because she can look at a woman herself with desire.

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  • Greg Cochran argues that it is highly likely that exclusive male homosexuality is caused by an infectious agent, likely a virus. As he explains, there are several good reasons to suspect that this is the case, including: the low heritability of male same-sex attraction (0.22) the absence of homosexuality in hunter-gatherer populations the relatively high...
  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @SOBL1
    "Gallup hypothesizes that this may be due to “sexual imprinting” stemming from sexual contact between gays and young children. He proposes that sexual molestation of young boys by gay pedophiles “imprints” on the boys, making it more likely that these boys become homosexual themselves."

    I actually buy this idea. Do we have any survey results for rates of homosexual molestation reported by gay men vs. straight men? How often does molestation cause odd hypersexual behavior in women? It could make perfect sense that men might ereact in an odd way if a man molests him that causes hypersexual behavior just with the model of the person who first touched them. I've talked to some gays about this, and even they buy it as a theory of how there are more gay men than gay women.

    Jayman – anyone who has spent any time at a strip club and who has taken the time to get to know the dancers will quickly find a correlation between sexual molestation and promiscuous sexual behavior later in life. Of course correlation does not equal causation, but there is a LOT of correlation.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @cdt:

    Correlation in actual events, or correlation in what they tell you?

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Post edited (5/31/13) See below. As promised, here is my post on this fascinating, and rather mysterious topic. Who doesn't love bisexual women? Before my foray into the HBD world, I thought that that was a trick question. In any case, I'm certainly quite fond of them. :) But bisexuality, or for that matter lesbianism—like...
  • @Anonymous
    actually guys liking girl on girl action is pretty international, i am north African (Libya) and it is pretty popular here, ask your Moroccan friend (if your close that is, otherwise it would be pretty awkward),

    I wouldn’t be surprised.

    The mystery continues.

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  • @ogunsiron
    jayman says :
    Consider that most bisexual women, despite maintaining SSA throughout life, tend to ultimately end up with men. And, of course, let’s not forget to consider that most men (those who don’t lie) are massively aroused by girl-girl sex (myself included), as the enormous popularity of lesbian porn attests. Perhaps then female bisexuality is so common because it serves some function. Perhaps the fact that men like (love) it is a clue.
    -------
    Meh.
    How long have most men been aroused by girl on girl sex ? I know that I don't mind it at all but I attribute that to me being a 30 something north-american male with a more than average interest and exposure to the fringe and the marginal.
    I can't imagine my dad (black caribbean) being into it at all.
    I also can't imagine my morrocan muslim colleague finding it hot at all.

    Let's not exagerate what current porn trends have to say about essential human nature.

    actually guys liking girl on girl action is pretty international, i am north African (Libya) and it is pretty popular here, ask your Moroccan friend (if your close that is, otherwise it would be pretty awkward),

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Anonymous:

    I wouldn't be surprised.

    The mystery continues.

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  • It's been nearly three years since the JayMan has been chugging away on the innerwebs about all this heritable biological impact on human behavior and society. I thought I would leave a quick snapshot of my most time-honored posts here at JayMan's blog. Now this is only for its life on Wordpress. For about the...
  • […] we saw previously (see My Most Read Posts), my post Maps of the American Nations is the single most popular post so far here on my blog. […]

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  • JayMan says: • Website
    @Luke Lea
    "Before I would argue with you, define your terms." Voltaire

    Since this whole argument began over the question of whether free-will exists or not, maybe you should define your terms. Define free will.

    The absence of free will does not mean that all human decisions are determined, does it? After all, indeterminacy is a fundamental, bedrock principle of modern physics. And while most macroscopic events are deterministic for all practical purposes, even Lubos Motl (my authority for all things physical) acknowledges that certain neural events -- whether a particular neuron fires or not at a particular moment -- may, in certain well-balanced situations, be due to something as elementary as a quantum fluctuation. Thus certain decisions may be indeterminate in that sense.

    So, please define free will rigorously. I can't imagine what it means. Nor its absence.

    A lot of clever commenters on the matter have tried to play with the definition of free will such that it would be possible that it exists. We can say free will is that actions and behaviors originate from something other than the physical processes that occur in the brain. Clearly such a phenomenon cannot exist without invoking something supernatural.

    But even then, Sam Harris showed that even if that were the case, it wouldn’t rescue free will since human behavior is predictable, based on physical correlates. Invoking the supernatural wouldn’t solve anything, it would merely shift explanation elsewhere – in a way that add extra postulates without increasing explanatory power.

    Yes, human behavior is “deterministic” in the sense of being physically determined. But as we know, quantum mechanics shows that there exists a certain level of indeterminism in the world: events are only probabilistically deterministic. That too doesn’t rescue free will, since behavior is the still result of physical processes, just with the vagaries of nature’s random element involved.

    For the record, I don’t buy Lubos Motl in that the macro world is functionally deterministic. That’s simply impossible when its constituents are not. There’s just no way to square that circle without logical legerdemain (Motl’s tactic) or invoking magic.

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  • “Before I would argue with you, define your terms.” Voltaire

    Since this whole argument began over the question of whether free-will exists or not, maybe you should define your terms. Define free will.

    The absence of free will does not mean that all human decisions are determined, does it? After all, indeterminacy is a fundamental, bedrock principle of modern physics. And while most macroscopic events are deterministic for all practical purposes, even Lubos Motl (my authority for all things physical) acknowledges that certain neural events — whether a particular neuron fires or not at a particular moment — may, in certain well-balanced situations, be due to something as elementary as a quantum fluctuation. Thus certain decisions may be indeterminate in that sense.

    So, please define free will rigorously. I can’t imagine what it means. Nor its absence.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Luke Lea:

    A lot of clever commenters on the matter have tried to play with the definition of free will such that it would be possible that it exists. We can say free will is that actions and behaviors originate from something other than the physical processes that occur in the brain. Clearly such a phenomenon cannot exist without invoking something supernatural.

    But even then, Sam Harris showed that even if that were the case, it wouldn't rescue free will since human behavior is predictable, based on physical correlates. Invoking the supernatural wouldn't solve anything, it would merely shift explanation elsewhere - in a way that add extra postulates without increasing explanatory power.

    Yes, human behavior is "deterministic" in the sense of being physically determined. But as we know, quantum mechanics shows that there exists a certain level of indeterminism in the world: events are only probabilistically deterministic. That too doesn't rescue free will, since behavior is the still result of physical processes, just with the vagaries of nature's random element involved.

    For the record, I don't buy Lubos Motl in that the macro world is functionally deterministic. That's simply impossible when its constituents are not. There's just no way to square that circle without logical legerdemain (Motl's tactic) or invoking magic.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • JayMan says: • Website
    @Luke Lea
    Jayman writes: "You can append any of an infinite number of “hidden”, effectively invisible propositions to the way the world works. The requirement (and the problem) is that they are all superfluous: we can apparently make things work without them."

    You are always a challenge Jayman! Still, when it comes to understanding history and human interactions, I think hard, empirical science has very little to offer, not only now, but forever. You cannot "make things work" in any satisfactory way using the limited set of tools to which you are restricting yourself.

    This is true even if there is no interactionism (? is that a word) between the subjective and objective sides of experience.

    The nexus between ideas and human behavior is too subtle for science to penetrate. There will never be a satisfactory "science" of history. Or even of economics. Useful understanding in these areas will forever remain an art to which only a few exceptional individuals (statesmen) with a lot of wordly experience and knowledge of history combined with high intelligence (of course!) plus intuitive heuristic "theories of mind" (as evolutionary psychologists use that term) will achieve valuable verstehen (understanding).

    But then these are the subject areas with which you are little concerned at the present time -- or else with which you switch to more informal modes of analysis along the lines I suggest.

    But then I may be wrong about all this. Style is the deference which action pays to uncertainty. I think Oppenheimer said that.

    Cheers to you and your good work.

    The advantage of the scientific method is that it helps you get to the truth independent of content. Allow me to show you by applying it here.

    You cannot “make things work” in any satisfactory way using the limited set of tools to which you are restricting yourself.

    This is true even if there is no interactionism (? is that a word) between the subjective and objective sides of experience.

    The nexus between ideas and human behavior is too subtle for science to penetrate. There will never be a satisfactory “science” of history. Or even of economics. Useful understanding in these areas will forever remain an art to which only a few exceptional individuals (statesmen) with a lot of wordly experience and knowledge of history combined with high intelligence (of course!) plus intuitive heuristic “theories of mind” (as evolutionary psychologists use that term) will achieve valuable verstehen (understanding).

    If this was true, we wouldn’t be making the progress that we’re clearly making, which has been the focus of this entire blog. We are making clear strides towards explaining both human behavior and the course of history. Indeed, my key tweet:

    …shows this.

    If the methods of science were useless at explaining human behavior, then behavioral genetics at the very least certainly wouldn’t work.

    Now, in order for these extra postulates of yours to have a place, we would need to show that the simple hard materialism was incapable of explanation what we see. Einstein’s take on Occam’s Razor: as simple as you can, but no simpler. We invoke ideas as needed. The problem is they’re not needed, so we don’t invoke them.

    Thanks for the compliments! :)

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  • Jayman writes: “You can append any of an infinite number of “hidden”, effectively invisible propositions to the way the world works. The requirement (and the problem) is that they are all superfluous: we can apparently make things work without them.”

    You are always a challenge Jayman! Still, when it comes to understanding history and human interactions, I think hard, empirical science has very little to offer, not only now, but forever. You cannot “make things work” in any satisfactory way using the limited set of tools to which you are restricting yourself.

    This is true even if there is no interactionism (? is that a word) between the subjective and objective sides of experience.

    The nexus between ideas and human behavior is too subtle for science to penetrate. There will never be a satisfactory “science” of history. Or even of economics. Useful understanding in these areas will forever remain an art to which only a few exceptional individuals (statesmen) with a lot of wordly experience and knowledge of history combined with high intelligence (of course!) plus intuitive heuristic “theories of mind” (as evolutionary psychologists use that term) will achieve valuable verstehen (understanding).

    But then these are the subject areas with which you are little concerned at the present time — or else with which you switch to more informal modes of analysis along the lines I suggest.

    But then I may be wrong about all this. Style is the deference which action pays to uncertainty. I think Oppenheimer said that.

    Cheers to you and your good work.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Luke Lea:

    The advantage of the scientific method is that it helps you get to the truth independent of content. Allow me to show you by applying it here.


    You cannot “make things work” in any satisfactory way using the limited set of tools to which you are restricting yourself.

    This is true even if there is no interactionism (? is that a word) between the subjective and objective sides of experience.

    The nexus between ideas and human behavior is too subtle for science to penetrate. There will never be a satisfactory “science” of history. Or even of economics. Useful understanding in these areas will forever remain an art to which only a few exceptional individuals (statesmen) with a lot of wordly experience and knowledge of history combined with high intelligence (of course!) plus intuitive heuristic “theories of mind” (as evolutionary psychologists use that term) will achieve valuable verstehen (understanding).
     

    If this was true, we wouldn't be making the progress that we're clearly making, which has been the focus of this entire blog. We are making clear strides towards explaining both human behavior and the course of history. Indeed, my key tweet:

    https://twitter.com/JayMan471/statuses/437684250389659648

    ...shows this.

    If the methods of science were useless at explaining human behavior, then behavioral genetics at the very least certainly wouldn't work.

    Now, in order for these extra postulates of yours to have a place, we would need to show that the simple hard materialism was incapable of explanation what we see. Einstein's take on Occam's Razor: as simple as you can, but no simpler. We invoke ideas as needed. The problem is they're not needed, so we don't invoke them.

    Thanks for the compliments! :)

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Post edited (5/31/13) See below. As promised, here is my post on this fascinating, and rather mysterious topic. Who doesn't love bisexual women? Before my foray into the HBD world, I thought that that was a trick question. In any case, I'm certainly quite fond of them. :) But bisexuality, or for that matter lesbianism—like...
  • You might wanna look into the caregiver hypothesis. That in tribes, bisexual women looked after one another’s children better.

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  • It's been nearly three years since the JayMan has been chugging away on the innerwebs about all this heritable biological impact on human behavior and society. I thought I would leave a quick snapshot of my most time-honored posts here at JayMan's blog. Now this is only for its life on Wordpress. For about the...
  • @Luke Lea
    Jayman: "A fact is something for which the likelihood of truth is very high, such that it takes every more incredible propositions to render it false. "

    Close, but no cigar. A fact, by which I mean a scientific fact, is an inter-subjective phenomenom, a datum outside our heads, such that two or more heads (observers) agree that it is there.. In other words, a fact is an external event in time and space. This is not my own definition. I learned it from Karl Popper, the only philosopher of science ever worth a flip.

    What goes on inside our heads therefore are not scientific facts. Pain is not a scientific fact. Consciousness itself is not a fact. It is not part of the empirical world. It is a subjective experience, part of our own private world. It lies beyond the realm of science, and always will. Inter-subjectivity is the key word here.

    Now you may say, you probably will say, that there is a correlation between the physical activity going on in the brain and our conscious experience as reported by a subject. Let me grant such a correlation for the purposes of argument. Correlative phenomena are like the two sides of a coin. You cannot have one without the other. It is perfectly conceivable -- not provable, conceivable -- that their is interaction between them. As long as there is no violation of the statistical laws of physics it is perfectly conceivable that the subjective side influences the objective side. You cannot rule that out a priori. Nor can you prove it false a posteriori. You can jump up and down and yell that it is blindingly obvious one way or the other. But you are just jumping up and down yelling.

    Moving on, let us look at the interplay of ideas, not only in ones head, but between heads, as in this conversation, or as what goes on when one is reading the writings of another person. There is no conceivable way of proving anything approaching a strict causal relationship between these ideas, right down to the last jot and tittle of the way we try to express them. Why not? Because ideas are subjective phenomena. The same idea can (and very often does?) mean different things to different people. Thus the whole world of intellectual discourse lies in the realm of the supra-natural: beyond science, available for understanding (verstehen) only by our "theories of mind," which themselves are not part of science.

    One metaphysical model that I entertained in my youth was that space-time itself is conscious, and that it is only the things (particles, events) that occur in space and time that constitute the empirical world. We conscious entities are like bubbles of space time floating within and yet somehow cut off from (except through our senses) by a wall or membrane of interference from that larger field of space-time in which we float. We perceive the external world, the empirical world of matter and energy, through our senses. And if there is a kind of symmetry here then, who knows, maybe that larger field sees into the world inside our heads. And when we die, what was on the inside looking out suddenly becomes on the outside looking in.

    I no longer think about such matters much, but at one time they satisfied my itch. Just a possible metaphysics and nothing more.

    Luke, sorry for the awkward intrusion, but have you checked your Facebook messages lately?

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  • JayMan says: • Website
    @Luke Lea
    Jayman: "A fact is something for which the likelihood of truth is very high, such that it takes every more incredible propositions to render it false. "

    Close, but no cigar. A fact, by which I mean a scientific fact, is an inter-subjective phenomenom, a datum outside our heads, such that two or more heads (observers) agree that it is there.. In other words, a fact is an external event in time and space. This is not my own definition. I learned it from Karl Popper, the only philosopher of science ever worth a flip.

    What goes on inside our heads therefore are not scientific facts. Pain is not a scientific fact. Consciousness itself is not a fact. It is not part of the empirical world. It is a subjective experience, part of our own private world. It lies beyond the realm of science, and always will. Inter-subjectivity is the key word here.

    Now you may say, you probably will say, that there is a correlation between the physical activity going on in the brain and our conscious experience as reported by a subject. Let me grant such a correlation for the purposes of argument. Correlative phenomena are like the two sides of a coin. You cannot have one without the other. It is perfectly conceivable -- not provable, conceivable -- that their is interaction between them. As long as there is no violation of the statistical laws of physics it is perfectly conceivable that the subjective side influences the objective side. You cannot rule that out a priori. Nor can you prove it false a posteriori. You can jump up and down and yell that it is blindingly obvious one way or the other. But you are just jumping up and down yelling.

    Moving on, let us look at the interplay of ideas, not only in ones head, but between heads, as in this conversation, or as what goes on when one is reading the writings of another person. There is no conceivable way of proving anything approaching a strict causal relationship between these ideas, right down to the last jot and tittle of the way we try to express them. Why not? Because ideas are subjective phenomena. The same idea can (and very often does?) mean different things to different people. Thus the whole world of intellectual discourse lies in the realm of the supra-natural: beyond science, available for understanding (verstehen) only by our "theories of mind," which themselves are not part of science.

    One metaphysical model that I entertained in my youth was that space-time itself is conscious, and that it is only the things (particles, events) that occur in space and time that constitute the empirical world. We conscious entities are like bubbles of space time floating within and yet somehow cut off from (except through our senses) by a wall or membrane of interference from that larger field of space-time in which we float. We perceive the external world, the empirical world of matter and energy, through our senses. And if there is a kind of symmetry here then, who knows, maybe that larger field sees into the world inside our heads. And when we die, what was on the inside looking out suddenly becomes on the outside looking in.

    I no longer think about such matters much, but at one time they satisfied my itch. Just a possible metaphysics and nothing more.

    Jayman: “A fact is something for which the likelihood of truth is very high, such that it takes every more incredible propositions to render it false. ”

    Close, but no cigar. A fact, by which I mean a scientific fact, is an inter-subjective phenomenom, a datum outside our heads, such that two or more heads (observers) agree that it is there.. In other words, a fact is an external event in time and space. This is not my own definition. I learned it from Karl Popper, the only philosopher of science ever worth a flip.

    I’m going to stick with my definition. The idea that multiple observers will agree on something is, ultimately, just another way of increasing certainty, not an inherent quality of facts themselves.

    at goes on inside our heads therefore are not scientific facts. Pain is not a scientific fact. Consciousness itself is not a fact. It is not part of the empirical world.

    No offense now, but you see this is what drives me nuts when most people try to talk philosophically about things: they often end up making absolutely no sense. Let’s even apply your own standard here: when Rafiki whacks Simba over the head, would all outside observers not agree that it appears Simba is in pain? If you asked him (taking the cartoon example to its limits), would he not tell you he’s in pain?

    The same thing goes for consciousness, or all other brain states. Every single observation we can make, down to sticking the subject in an fMRI, sure makes it look like the subject is conscious or having whatever experience is in question (pain, sight, etc), observations which include simply interacting with the individual. So if it looks that way – Occam’s Razor – the simplest explanation is it is that way.

    Now you may say, you probably will say, that there is a correlation between the physical activity going on in the brain and our conscious experience as reported by a subject. Let me grant such a correlation for the purposes of argument. Correlative phenomena are like the two sides of a coin. You cannot have one without the other. It is perfectly conceivable — not provable, conceivable — that their is interaction between them. As long as there is no violation of the statistical laws of physics it is perfectly conceivable that the subjective side influences the objective side

    Luke, Hume’s Dictum & Occam’s Razor again. We cannot absolutely prove that life isn’t all a dream, that we are not in the Matrix, and everything we assume to be a physical law isn’t just a sham. That’s accepted. But again, the simplest explanation is that things are as they appear.

    You can append any of an infinite number of “hidden”, effectively invisible propositions to the way the world works. The requirement (and the problem) is that they are all superfluous: we can apparently make things work without them. This includes the soul or things beyond that level. So why do we need them? Answer? We don’t.

    The rest of your notion rests on these points. You could drive yourself batty pondering the “possibilities”, because like I said, there are infinitely many. But not only are they unsolvable, they are also (thankfully) unnecessary.

    In the end, even if it doesn’t bother you, because so being the case, I proceed from this view, and draw my conclusions accordingly. And that is why I say what I say, and why I say free will does not exist, for one.

    Read More
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  • Jayman: “A fact is something for which the likelihood of truth is very high, such that it takes every more incredible propositions to render it false. ”

    Close, but no cigar. A fact, by which I mean a scientific fact, is an inter-subjective phenomenom, a datum outside our heads, such that two or more heads (observers) agree that it is there.. In other words, a fact is an external event in time and space. This is not my own definition. I learned it from Karl Popper, the only philosopher of science ever worth a flip.

    What goes on inside our heads therefore are not scientific facts. Pain is not a scientific fact. Consciousness itself is not a fact. It is not part of the empirical world. It is a subjective experience, part of our own private world. It lies beyond the realm of science, and always will. Inter-subjectivity is the key word here.

    Now you may say, you probably will say, that there is a correlation between the physical activity going on in the brain and our conscious experience as reported by a subject. Let me grant such a correlation for the purposes of argument. Correlative phenomena are like the two sides of a coin. You cannot have one without the other. It is perfectly conceivable — not provable, conceivable — that their is interaction between them. As long as there is no violation of the statistical laws of physics it is perfectly conceivable that the subjective side influences the objective side. You cannot rule that out a priori. Nor can you prove it false a posteriori. You can jump up and down and yell that it is blindingly obvious one way or the other. But you are just jumping up and down yelling.

    Moving on, let us look at the interplay of ideas, not only in ones head, but between heads, as in this conversation, or as what goes on when one is reading the writings of another person. There is no conceivable way of proving anything approaching a strict causal relationship between these ideas, right down to the last jot and tittle of the way we try to express them. Why not? Because ideas are subjective phenomena. The same idea can (and very often does?) mean different things to different people. Thus the whole world of intellectual discourse lies in the realm of the supra-natural: beyond science, available for understanding (verstehen) only by our “theories of mind,” which themselves are not part of science.

    One metaphysical model that I entertained in my youth was that space-time itself is conscious, and that it is only the things (particles, events) that occur in space and time that constitute the empirical world. We conscious entities are like bubbles of space time floating within and yet somehow cut off from (except through our senses) by a wall or membrane of interference from that larger field of space-time in which we float. We perceive the external world, the empirical world of matter and energy, through our senses. And if there is a kind of symmetry here then, who knows, maybe that larger field sees into the world inside our heads. And when we die, what was on the inside looking out suddenly becomes on the outside looking in.

    I no longer think about such matters much, but at one time they satisfied my itch. Just a possible metaphysics and nothing more.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Luke Lea:

    Jayman: “A fact is something for which the likelihood of truth is very high, such that it takes every more incredible propositions to render it false. ”

    Close, but no cigar. A fact, by which I mean a scientific fact, is an inter-subjective phenomenom, a datum outside our heads, such that two or more heads (observers) agree that it is there.. In other words, a fact is an external event in time and space. This is not my own definition. I learned it from Karl Popper, the only philosopher of science ever worth a flip.
     

    I'm going to stick with my definition. The idea that multiple observers will agree on something is, ultimately, just another way of increasing certainty, not an inherent quality of facts themselves.

    at goes on inside our heads therefore are not scientific facts. Pain is not a scientific fact. Consciousness itself is not a fact. It is not part of the empirical world.
     
    No offense now, but you see this is what drives me nuts when most people try to talk philosophically about things: they often end up making absolutely no sense. Let's even apply your own standard here: when Rafiki whacks Simba over the head, would all outside observers not agree that it appears Simba is in pain? If you asked him (taking the cartoon example to its limits), would he not tell you he's in pain?

    The same thing goes for consciousness, or all other brain states. Every single observation we can make, down to sticking the subject in an fMRI, sure makes it look like the subject is conscious or having whatever experience is in question (pain, sight, etc), observations which include simply interacting with the individual. So if it looks that way – Occam's Razor – the simplest explanation is it is that way.


    Now you may say, you probably will say, that there is a correlation between the physical activity going on in the brain and our conscious experience as reported by a subject. Let me grant such a correlation for the purposes of argument. Correlative phenomena are like the two sides of a coin. You cannot have one without the other. It is perfectly conceivable — not provable, conceivable — that their is interaction between them. As long as there is no violation of the statistical laws of physics it is perfectly conceivable that the subjective side influences the objective side
     
    Luke, Hume's Dictum & Occam's Razor again. We cannot absolutely prove that life isn't all a dream, that we are not in the Matrix, and everything we assume to be a physical law isn't just a sham. That's accepted. But again, the simplest explanation is that things are as they appear.

    You can append any of an infinite number of "hidden", effectively invisible propositions to the way the world works. The requirement (and the problem) is that they are all superfluous: we can apparently make things work without them. This includes the soul or things beyond that level. So why do we need them? Answer? We don't.

    The rest of your notion rests on these points. You could drive yourself batty pondering the "possibilities", because like I said, there are infinitely many. But not only are they unsolvable, they are also (thankfully) unnecessary.

    In the end, even if it doesn't bother you, because so being the case, I proceed from this view, and draw my conclusions accordingly. And that is why I say what I say, and why I say free will does not exist, for one.

    , @Michael
    Luke, sorry for the awkward intrusion, but have you checked your Facebook messages lately?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • JayMan says: • Website
    @Luke Lea
    I'm beginning to think you are right on the free will issue, at least on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Maybe the ancients were right. Fate and fortune shape each individual's course through life.

    OTH, individuals must be held responsible for their actions. The idea that absence of free will somehow negates that proposition needs to be addressed more forcefully than you have thus far.

    I’m beginning to think you are right on the free will issue, at least on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Maybe the ancients were right. Fate and fortune shape each individual’s course through life.

    OTH, individuals must be held responsible for their actions. The idea that absence of free will somehow negates that proposition needs to be addressed more forcefully than you have thus far.

    A key problem with human sciences in general, especially behavioral sciences, is that while the facts by themselves are value free, and don’t have any inherent implications, because of the nature of the way the human brain works, people automatically attach value and perceived implications to the facts. That is part of the reason that HBD is meeting such pitched resistance.

    In the case of free will, its nonexistence just is, and it will be so whether we accept or not (as is the case with all facts). Because the human brain is not a perfectly empirical evaluator of facts, but rather relies on hitherto useful heuristics and emotions, some people feel that in order for their to be a social concept of culpability for wrong doing, there must be free will, when that is obviously ludicrous.

    No, the nonexistence of free will doesn’t mean we should do away with our legal apparatus or the idea of holding people accountable for their actions. If anything, I would imagine that recognition of the nonexistence of free will means that these institutions are all the more important. It is important that if certain people are going to want to behave a certain way, we need to give them deterring factors to consider to affect their mental calculus that leads to the decision to transgress. That, and we need a system in place to keep dangerous people away from innocents.

    What do you call it when individuals choose to seize the moral opportunities that history presents? For example, what Lincoln did? Or Jesus (the man) as far as that goes? Aren’t certain of our decisions more of a toss up than others?

    What do you call it when the chess computer checkmates your king? The program is working as intended. The purpose of brains is to take the enormous amount of input our senses provide and turn it into output: output that has historically served the purpose of aiding our survival and reproduction. The lack of free will doesn’t preclude the existence of comtemplation and self (and other) awareness.

    “since all actions have causes, human behavior is no less the result of physical processes than any other event in the universe”

    Aren’t you assuming here what you are trying to prove? I refer to Hume’s demonstration of the irrationality of induction.

    Luke, all science is based on Hume’s Dictum and Occam’s Razor. We cannot absolutely prove that the universe is internally consistent or that our sense are in fact telling us the truth. But we have absolutely no reason to think that either of these aren’t the case. Combining these two principles gives us our answer: since the universe overwhelming appears to be that way, the explanation with the fewest terms is that it is in fact that way.

    Then, too, there is the assumption that the objective (empirical, physical) world is prior to the subjective, the objective world as we actually experience it.

    Why do we feel pain, to take the most primitive (and powerful) example? Wouldn’t it be enough for evolutionary purposes if we were simply impelled away from the sources of biological damage by the mere act of perception without any accompanying feelings? Is the feeling of pain a scientific fact?

    Hopefully you get the point.

    What is a fact?

    A fact is something for which the likelihood of truth is very high, such that it takes every more incredible propositions to render it false. That the Sun will rise tomorrow is one example, as are the things you’re positing.

    The simplest explanation is that we experience pain because the response aided our reaction to injury. Sure, the existence of chronic pain shows the system has its draw backs, but like all evolutionary adaptations, it’s more advantage than handicap.

    Just look at people who “suffer” from congenital analgesia.

    The behavior of an individual human being is not predictable in most circumstances of life the same way an electron is

    Sure it is. Just ask highly Machiavellian people, or people who know someone else well.

    If supernatural events are events which violate the laws of nature (in highly improbable ways)

    The problem with the concept of the “supernatural” is this: at what point do we declare something is “outside” of nature? If our universe is the realm of our existence and all within it, then how could something “supernatural” even exist?

    It is merely for the purpose of introducing a note of uncertainty. It is one thing to have a powerful drive to know, especially when you are young (I’ve been there), another to have a capacity to tolerate uncertainty

    Isn’t the whole point of science to reduce uncertainty, by improving our knowledge of the universe?

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  • “since all actions have causes, human behavior is no less the result of physical processes than any other event in the universe”

    Aren’t you assuming here what you are trying to prove? I refer to Hume’s demonstration of the irrationality of induction.

    Then, too, there is the assumption that the objective (empirical, physical) world is prior to the subjective, the objective world as we actually experience it.

    Why do we feel pain, to take the most primitive (and powerful) example? Wouldn’t it be enough for evolutionary purposes if we were simply impelled away from the sources of biological damage by the mere act of perception without any accompanying feelings? Is the feeling of pain a scientific fact? What is a fact?

    The behavior of an individual human being is not predictable in most circumstances of life the same way an electron is, and even the electron’s behavior is only governed by laws of probability: identical situations do not lead to identical results. If supernatural events are events which violate the laws of nature (in highly improbable ways) what do you call human actions which are within the laws of nature but have added human significance for the actor and his audience? I would call it the realm of the supra-natural. It encompasses everything that we hold most valuable, as, for example, the collective action of our Founding Fathers.

    None of this is by way of proof. It is merely for the purpose of introducing a note of uncertainty. It is one thing to have a powerful drive to know, especially when you are young (I’ve been there), another to have a capacity to tolerate uncertainty, which has its advantages also. Cock-sureness is a word that comes to mind, no offense.

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  • @Luke Lea
    I'm beginning to think you are right on the free will issue, at least on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Maybe the ancients were right. Fate and fortune shape each individual's course through life.

    OTH, individuals must be held responsible for their actions. The idea that absence of free will somehow negates that proposition needs to be addressed more forcefully than you have thus far.

    What do you call it when individuals choose to seize the moral opportunities that history presents? For example, what Lincoln did? Or Jesus (the man) as far as that goes? Aren’t certain of our decisions more of a toss up than others?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • I’m beginning to think you are right on the free will issue, at least on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Maybe the ancients were right. Fate and fortune shape each individual’s course through life.

    OTH, individuals must be held responsible for their actions. The idea that absence of free will somehow negates that proposition needs to be addressed more forcefully than you have thus far.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Luke Lea
    What do you call it when individuals choose to seize the moral opportunities that history presents? For example, what Lincoln did? Or Jesus (the man) as far as that goes? Aren't certain of our decisions more of a toss up than others?
    , @JayMan
    @Luke Lea:

    I’m beginning to think you are right on the free will issue, at least on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Maybe the ancients were right. Fate and fortune shape each individual’s course through life.

    OTH, individuals must be held responsible for their actions. The idea that absence of free will somehow negates that proposition needs to be addressed more forcefully than you have thus far.
     

    A key problem with human sciences in general, especially behavioral sciences, is that while the facts by themselves are value free, and don't have any inherent implications, because of the nature of the way the human brain works, people automatically attach value and perceived implications to the facts. That is part of the reason that HBD is meeting such pitched resistance.

    In the case of free will, its nonexistence just is, and it will be so whether we accept or not (as is the case with all facts). Because the human brain is not a perfectly empirical evaluator of facts, but rather relies on hitherto useful heuristics and emotions, some people feel that in order for their to be a social concept of culpability for wrong doing, there must be free will, when that is obviously ludicrous.

    No, the nonexistence of free will doesn't mean we should do away with our legal apparatus or the idea of holding people accountable for their actions. If anything, I would imagine that recognition of the nonexistence of free will means that these institutions are all the more important. It is important that if certain people are going to want to behave a certain way, we need to give them deterring factors to consider to affect their mental calculus that leads to the decision to transgress. That, and we need a system in place to keep dangerous people away from innocents.


    What do you call it when individuals choose to seize the moral opportunities that history presents? For example, what Lincoln did? Or Jesus (the man) as far as that goes? Aren’t certain of our decisions more of a toss up than others?
     
    What do you call it when the chess computer checkmates your king? The program is working as intended. The purpose of brains is to take the enormous amount of input our senses provide and turn it into output: output that has historically served the purpose of aiding our survival and reproduction. The lack of free will doesn't preclude the existence of comtemplation and self (and other) awareness.

    “since all actions have causes, human behavior is no less the result of physical processes than any other event in the universe”

    Aren’t you assuming here what you are trying to prove? I refer to Hume’s demonstration of the irrationality of induction.
     

    Luke, all science is based on Hume's Dictum and Occam's Razor. We cannot absolutely prove that the universe is internally consistent or that our sense are in fact telling us the truth. But we have absolutely no reason to think that either of these aren't the case. Combining these two principles gives us our answer: since the universe overwhelming appears to be that way, the explanation with the fewest terms is that it is in fact that way.

    Then, too, there is the assumption that the objective (empirical, physical) world is prior to the subjective, the objective world as we actually experience it.


    Why do we feel pain, to take the most primitive (and powerful) example? Wouldn’t it be enough for evolutionary purposes if we were simply impelled away from the sources of biological damage by the mere act of perception without any accompanying feelings? Is the feeling of pain a scientific fact?
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EF39O_OQm6M

    Hopefully you get the point.


    What is a fact?
     
    A fact is something for which the likelihood of truth is very high, such that it takes every more incredible propositions to render it false. That the Sun will rise tomorrow is one example, as are the things you're positing.

    The simplest explanation is that we experience pain because the response aided our reaction to injury. Sure, the existence of chronic pain shows the system has its draw backs, but like all evolutionary adaptations, it's more advantage than handicap.

    Just look at people who "suffer" from congenital analgesia.


    The behavior of an individual human being is not predictable in most circumstances of life the same way an electron is
     
    Sure it is. Just ask highly Machiavellian people, or people who know someone else well.

    If supernatural events are events which violate the laws of nature (in highly improbable ways)
     
    The problem with the concept of the "supernatural" is this: at what point do we declare something is "outside" of nature? If our universe is the realm of our existence and all within it, then how could something "supernatural" even exist?

    It is merely for the purpose of introducing a note of uncertainty. It is one thing to have a powerful drive to know, especially when you are young (I’ve been there), another to have a capacity to tolerate uncertainty
     
    Isn't the whole point of science to reduce uncertainty, by improving our knowledge of the universe?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Post edited (5/31/13) See below. As promised, here is my post on this fascinating, and rather mysterious topic. Who doesn't love bisexual women? Before my foray into the HBD world, I thought that that was a trick question. In any case, I'm certainly quite fond of them. :) But bisexuality, or for that matter lesbianism—like...
  • […] 2. The Evolution of Female Bisexuality – Here I engage in some spirited conjecture about the nature and possible evolutionary function – if any – of female bisexuality. Unlike its counterpart, male homosexuality, the reason female bisexuality exists largely mysterious and poorly understood. […]

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  • […] women being bisexual. Male SSA, on the other hand, appears to be a more J-shaped distribution. Sexual fluidity seems to be common enough in women that it is a “normal” trait, so to speak. Indeed, I […]

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