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    Updated, 10/17/15. See below! In this post, I will review Gregory Cochran's "gay germ" hypothesis. I wanted to make an index of Cochran's posts from his and Henry Harpending's blog West Hunter that discuss it. These posts don't seem to all show up under the "Homosexuality" category there, and I wanted links to them to...
  • I was trying to say that I wouldn’t deliberately submit to any “cure.” If you could slip it in the water, well who knows? As it may be, many individuals lose enthusiasm for sex as they get more established and don’t miss it. Along these lines, I assume on the off chance that I was all of a sudden hot for ladies, I wouldn’t miss men. In any case, it is odd to experience such a colossal change. Furthermore, as I stated, I can’t perceive any reason why it would make me more joyful.

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  • The only such compensating fitness benefit that has been documented for major human genetic diseases is resistance to infection

    What about Tay-Sach’s disease, a genetic found disproportionately in Ashkenazis – found recessively in about 1 in 30 in American Ashkenazis. It is a genetic condition that is correlated with cognitive enhancement rather than resistance to infection.

    When carried recessively it is thought to confer cognitive benefits. However it manifests itself as a debilitating condition when both parents are carriers, and their child receives a marked copy of the gene from each parent, there is a 1/4 chance of this when both parents are carriers.

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  • In my previous post, I noted that the oft-mentioned association between obesity and poor health and "early" death may be a function of the lower average IQ of obese people. I suggested that the true correlate of these things was in fact low IQ. And indeed, I've stumbled on additional studies that suggests that this...
  • […] IQ and Death Trans Fat Hysteria and the Mystery of Heart Disease […]

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  • Updated, 10/17/15. See below! In this post, I will review Gregory Cochran's "gay germ" hypothesis. I wanted to make an index of Cochran's posts from his and Henry Harpending's blog West Hunter that discuss it. These posts don't seem to all show up under the "Homosexuality" category there, and I wanted links to them to...
  • @Henk
    I've read (and agreed with) much of this material over the years. I don't recall any of it to specifically analyze homosexuality in a son as an extended phenotype of the mother. Given your deep interest, I hoped you might recall such an analysis and that's why I asked. Looks like you don't do questions ;-)

    If you compare with classic Gay Uncle, the mother benefits just as her son would, but the cost of sterility of a son (out of say, 4 or 5 children) is lower for the mother than it would be for the son himself. A lot lower. This is not to argue that this works out, but it's why I'm interested.

    If you compare with classic Gay Uncle, the mother benefits just as her son would, but the cost of sterility of a son (out of say, 4 or 5 children) is lower for the mother than it would be for the son himself. A lot lower. This is not to argue that this works out, but it’s why I’m interested.

    To what possible benefit?

    There’s a question for you.

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  • @JayMan

    As to my actual question: Do you know of anybody who has pursued the idea of male homosexuality as the mother’s strategy?
     
    I see you didn't take my advice.

    The short answer is there is absolutely no way to get homosexuality to work via inclusive fitness. Don't even mention group selection.

    I’ve read (and agreed with) much of this material over the years. I don’t recall any of it to specifically analyze homosexuality in a son as an extended phenotype of the mother. Given your deep interest, I hoped you might recall such an analysis and that’s why I asked. Looks like you don’t do questions ;-)

    If you compare with classic Gay Uncle, the mother benefits just as her son would, but the cost of sterility of a son (out of say, 4 or 5 children) is lower for the mother than it would be for the son himself. A lot lower. This is not to argue that this works out, but it’s why I’m interested.

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    • Replies: @JayMan

    If you compare with classic Gay Uncle, the mother benefits just as her son would, but the cost of sterility of a son (out of say, 4 or 5 children) is lower for the mother than it would be for the son himself. A lot lower. This is not to argue that this works out, but it’s why I’m interested.
     
    To what possible benefit?

    There's a question for you.

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  • @Henk
    @JayMan: Huh? Of course it is, at least as far as I remember Cochran's original formulation. I know there are some who posit homosexuality as an incidental effect of the pathogenic action, but IMHO that doesn't really work nearly as well as the "extended phenotype" version.

    As to my actual question: Do you know of anybody who has pursued the idea of male homosexuality as the mother's strategy?

    As to my actual question: Do you know of anybody who has pursued the idea of male homosexuality as the mother’s strategy?

    I see you didn’t take my advice.

    The short answer is there is absolutely no way to get homosexuality to work via inclusive fitness. Don’t even mention group selection.

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    • Replies: @Henk
    I've read (and agreed with) much of this material over the years. I don't recall any of it to specifically analyze homosexuality in a son as an extended phenotype of the mother. Given your deep interest, I hoped you might recall such an analysis and that's why I asked. Looks like you don't do questions ;-)

    If you compare with classic Gay Uncle, the mother benefits just as her son would, but the cost of sterility of a son (out of say, 4 or 5 children) is lower for the mother than it would be for the son himself. A lot lower. This is not to argue that this works out, but it's why I'm interested.
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  • @JayMan

    Gay Germ is basically an “extended phenotype” theory of male homosexuality
     
    You should read the linked posts, and the comments there, very closely. Do so before posting such foolishness.

    : Huh? Of course it is, at least as far as I remember Cochran’s original formulation. I know there are some who posit homosexuality as an incidental effect of the pathogenic action, but IMHO that doesn’t really work nearly as well as the “extended phenotype” version.

    As to my actual question: Do you know of anybody who has pursued the idea of male homosexuality as the mother’s strategy?

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    • Replies: @JayMan

    As to my actual question: Do you know of anybody who has pursued the idea of male homosexuality as the mother’s strategy?
     
    I see you didn't take my advice.

    The short answer is there is absolutely no way to get homosexuality to work via inclusive fitness. Don't even mention group selection.

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  • @Henk
    Gay Germ is basically an "extended phenotype" theory of male homosexuality, thus circumventing the need for any contribution of the phenotype to the homosexual's own inclusive fitness. However, there's a much closer source of potential extended-phenotypic influence: The mother. Do you know of any sources considering the possibility of a "gay son gene" in any depth?

    Gay Germ is basically an “extended phenotype” theory of male homosexuality

    You should read the linked posts, and the comments there, very closely. Do so before posting such foolishness.

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    • Replies: @Henk
    @JayMan: Huh? Of course it is, at least as far as I remember Cochran's original formulation. I know there are some who posit homosexuality as an incidental effect of the pathogenic action, but IMHO that doesn't really work nearly as well as the "extended phenotype" version.

    As to my actual question: Do you know of anybody who has pursued the idea of male homosexuality as the mother's strategy?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Gay Germ is basically an “extended phenotype” theory of male homosexuality, thus circumventing the need for any contribution of the phenotype to the homosexual’s own inclusive fitness. However, there’s a much closer source of potential extended-phenotypic influence: The mother. Do you know of any sources considering the possibility of a “gay son gene” in any depth?

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    Gay Germ is basically an “extended phenotype” theory of male homosexuality
     
    You should read the linked posts, and the comments there, very closely. Do so before posting such foolishness.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Abelard Lindsey
    I find the infectious agent explanation for male homosexuality to be highly credible. If true (and I'm convinced it is), it is likely something that does not affect adults or even children. It would affect the fetuses in pregnant women and, perhaps, small children whose immune systems are still developing. This would explain why it is so hard to identify the responsible agent. I also agree that there will be social consequences once the responsible agent is identified. In the West and more liberal parts of the rest of the world, I think the consequences will be to isolated gays from children and to encourage pregnant women not to associate with gay men. The consequences will be more draconian in less liberal parts of the world (Middle-east, South Asia, Africa).

    It is the likelihood of such social consequences that drives many PC liberal-left types to attempt to stifle such research. Cochran has said on his blog that he has encountered such opposition into this work.

    “I find the infectious agent explanation for male homosexuality to be highly credible. If true (and I’m convinced it is), it is likely something that does not affect adults or even children. It would affect the fetuses in pregnant women and, perhaps, small children whose immune systems are still developing. This would explain why it is so hard to identify the responsible agent.”

    There’s no need to explain why the pathogen hasn’t been observed. I really feel like many people are grossly underestimating how difficult it would be to observe a pathogen (assuming its even still present), when you know essentially nothing about it, and don’t even know where in the body to look for it, or what its signature might be. Really think about that; if there were some unknown micro-organism in your body, one which we knew virtually nothing about, how would we locate it? There isn’t just some blood test we can administer for unknown microbes, after all.

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  • @Mark
    If homosexuality is the result of an infection, how do we account for the following:
    homosexuality being more prevalent in cultures and sub cultures that accept homosexuality ie ancient Greece
    men who are homosexual in prison but revert to heterosexuality when released
    bisexuality

    Do we have firm numbers for any of that? That’s the kicker…

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  • If homosexuality is the result of an infection, how do we account for the following:
    homosexuality being more prevalent in cultures and sub cultures that accept homosexuality ie ancient Greece
    men who are homosexual in prison but revert to heterosexuality when released
    bisexuality

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Mark:

    Do we have firm numbers for any of that? That's the kicker...

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  • […] in the population.  Greg Cochran has proposed that homosexuality is the result of a pathogen (see here), this being the only explanation that fits these facts.  I have to position on the […]

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  • […] does. Though it will be interesting to see how attitudes towards homosexuality will be affected by knowledge of its pathogenic origin. I expect it will not be […]

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  • In my previous post, I noted that the oft-mentioned association between obesity and poor health and "early" death may be a function of the lower average IQ of obese people. I suggested that the true correlate of these things was in fact low IQ. And indeed, I've stumbled on additional studies that suggests that this...
  • […] Health and body weight follow similar patterns (high heritability, zero shared environment). See my page Obesity Facts for more, or my post IQ and Death. […]

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  • Updated, 10/17/15. See below! In this post, I will review Gregory Cochran's "gay germ" hypothesis. I wanted to make an index of Cochran's posts from his and Henry Harpending's blog West Hunter that discuss it. These posts don't seem to all show up under the "Homosexuality" category there, and I wanted links to them to...
  • Nice

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  • @Perspective
    I think this article from the daily mail lends credence to Greg Cochran's theory. Though it was discussing the impacts of infections on the brain and IQ, it does mention this: "'Infections have previously been associated with both depression and schizophrenia, and it has also been proven to affect the cognitive ability of patients suffering from dementia.

    'This is the first major study to suggest that infections can also affect the brain and the cognitive ability in healthy individuals.'

    He added it may be the immune system that causes the mental impairment, not just the infection.

    Normally, the brain is protected from the immune system, but with infections and inflammation, the brain may be affected.

    Dr Eriksen Benrós added: 'We can see that the brain is affected by all types of infections.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3092806/Catching-simple-infection-damage-IQ-years.html

    Interesting, but doesn’t establish causation. Hopefully, it’s not racially confounded.

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  • I think this article from the daily mail lends credence to Greg Cochran’s theory. Though it was discussing the impacts of infections on the brain and IQ, it does mention this: “‘Infections have previously been associated with both depression and schizophrenia, and it has also been proven to affect the cognitive ability of patients suffering from dementia.

    ‘This is the first major study to suggest that infections can also affect the brain and the cognitive ability in healthy individuals.’

    He added it may be the immune system that causes the mental impairment, not just the infection.

    Normally, the brain is protected from the immune system, but with infections and inflammation, the brain may be affected.

    Dr Eriksen Benrós added: ‘We can see that the brain is affected by all types of infections.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3092806/Catching-simple-infection-damage-IQ-years.html

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Perspective:

    Interesting, but doesn't establish causation. Hopefully, it's not racially confounded.

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  • @Perspective
    This is my first post on your blog. On the Noli Irritare Leones comments section the commenter misdreavus wrote: "We also know that homosexuality is strangely absent among hunter gatherer groups such as Inuits and Aka pygmies." So would this mean that if an adult Inuit man in northern Canada living a hunter gather lifestyle were to travel to say, Toronto, and become infected with the pathogen they could become homosexual even if he is an adult? Or is the risk only when the male child is at a particular stage of development? It does seem plausible that the infection is a side effect from having the germ (an autoimmune response). Though some people could be carriers? We know that approx. one in ten male sheep exhibit exclusive homosexuality, has anyone found a germ common to both sheep and humans? I found this interesting article; Quoting article: "Specifically, they cut open the offending sheeps' skulls, attached electonic sensors to their grey matter and monitored them while "varying the hormone levels, mainly by injecting hormones into the brain". They reported "considerable success" in getting previously gay rams to consider a bit of boy-on-girl.

    The purpose behind these experiments is to "improve the productivity of herds" since "approximately one ram in 10 prefers to mount other rams rather than mate with ewes". The implications are far more sinister, opponents claim, since the acquired knowledge could in the future be used to "cure" human homosexuality, or may offer the prospect that "pregnant women could one day be offered a [hormone] treatment to reduce or eliminate the chance that their offspring will be homosexual".

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/01/02/sheep_research/ It appears the gay sheep lobby is strong

    I just want to add that my above comment was not recommending conversion or any other so called reparative therapy. I just posted it as a possible explanation for homosexuality. I understand that this subject matter could make some uncomfortable. This was not my intent. Just wanted to clarify my position on all this.

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  • This is my first post on your blog. On the Noli Irritare Leones comments section the commenter misdreavus wrote: “We also know that homosexuality is strangely absent among hunter gatherer groups such as Inuits and Aka pygmies.” So would this mean that if an adult Inuit man in northern Canada living a hunter gather lifestyle were to travel to say, Toronto, and become infected with the pathogen they could become homosexual even if he is an adult? Or is the risk only when the male child is at a particular stage of development? It does seem plausible that the infection is a side effect from having the germ (an autoimmune response). Though some people could be carriers? We know that approx. one in ten male sheep exhibit exclusive homosexuality, has anyone found a germ common to both sheep and humans? I found this interesting article; Quoting article: “Specifically, they cut open the offending sheeps’ skulls, attached electonic sensors to their grey matter and monitored them while “varying the hormone levels, mainly by injecting hormones into the brain”. They reported “considerable success” in getting previously gay rams to consider a bit of boy-on-girl.

    The purpose behind these experiments is to “improve the productivity of herds” since “approximately one ram in 10 prefers to mount other rams rather than mate with ewes”. The implications are far more sinister, opponents claim, since the acquired knowledge could in the future be used to “cure” human homosexuality, or may offer the prospect that “pregnant women could one day be offered a [hormone] treatment to reduce or eliminate the chance that their offspring will be homosexual”.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/01/02/sheep_research/ It appears the gay sheep lobby is strong

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    • Replies: @Perspective
    I just want to add that my above comment was not recommending conversion or any other so called reparative therapy. I just posted it as a possible explanation for homosexuality. I understand that this subject matter could make some uncomfortable. This was not my intent. Just wanted to clarify my position on all this.
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  • @Anonymous
    Shouldn't you see the pathogen(and thus homosexuality) in some locations at much higher rates than in others?

    The Angu were known to practce homosexual and pedophillia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angu

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  • […] 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 matter, […]

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  • […] Instead, I want to comment on the responses to his post, in particular JayMan‘s comment and hyperlinked post about the topic of the causes of homosexuality. I wrote a reply there, but I want to make a post […]

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  • […] Jayman on the irony of genetic homophobia: “Irony comes in because (obligate homosexual men, who most are concerned with) were not “born that way” at all, since male homosexuality almost certainly is the result of a childhood infection. […]

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  • @Magus Janus
    if conservatives spent a fraction of the money they spend fighting gay marriage on researching the virus (es) likely causing homosexuaity they could severely outflank the Left on this and get a big W.

    but they're way too dumb for that.

    Cheap shot. There are sensible reasons for opposing the gay agenda, and speaking of general stupidity no one has it over liberals, whose ideological brethren allowed Islam to colonize Europe. How do you suppose that will work out?

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  • […] When did the industrial revolution begin? Gay germ hypothesis. […]

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  • […] Cochran first proposed that homosexuality is the result of an unknown pathogen. Here’s JayMan’s write up on it from earlier this year. The idea that pathogens could be the root cause of things like heart […]

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  • Can be quite substantial. Jump off the Empire State Building and see for yourself. But, beyond that, the question remains how much of the variation in health outcomes and longevity can be explained by behavioral variation? Well, we don't quite know. But we do have evidence which indicates that – at least in the developed...
  • @elijahlarmstrong
    What???????? That makes no sense. I mean, something like two-thirds of smokers will have lung cancer in their lifetime. Is the general population rate that high? Even the general low-IQ population rate?

    @Elijah:

    Actually, the lifetime incidence of lung cancer for heavy smokers is only 25%. Odds are still pretty good for the average smoker.

    I don’t know what’s going on there. But it’s certainly not as clear as we’ve been led to believe.

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  • @Anonymous
    Have you heard about the Klotho gene. A variant of it in the heterozygous form increases intelligence at all ages and is associated with longevity--especially by decreasing the risk from cardiovascular disease. It may be the major gene for intelligence that Volkmar Weisse has always said would be found.

    http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2014/05/114196/better-cognition-seen-gene-variant

    There is almost certainly no major gene for intelligence. It would have been found already.

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  • @Anonymous
    I'm a little confused, mainly because I don't understand your Tweats. Isn't smoking a "behavior?" Doesn't quitting smoking -- something which almost all my friends have done -- improve health and longevity?

    What???????? That makes no sense. I mean, something like two-thirds of smokers will have lung cancer in their lifetime. Is the general population rate that high? Even the general low-IQ population rate?

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Elijah:

    Actually, the lifetime incidence of lung cancer for heavy smokers is only 25%. Odds are still pretty good for the average smoker.

    I don't know what's going on there. But it's certainly not as clear as we've been led to believe.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Updated, 10/17/15. See below! In this post, I will review Gregory Cochran's "gay germ" hypothesis. I wanted to make an index of Cochran's posts from his and Henry Harpending's blog West Hunter that discuss it. These posts don't seem to all show up under the "Homosexuality" category there, and I wanted links to them to...
  • @Anonymous
    "The pathogen is likely not acquired in utero. If it were, we’d see higher concordance between twins.

    It’s likely an early childhood infection."

    I am late to the discussion. Pardon, please, I just saw your comment at Steve Sailer's.

    Your idea of an early childhood infection makes some sense. Consider: celiac disease (which is a confluence of digestive and immune systems malfunction) is more common in children born by C-section. The thinking is, the neonate's sterile digestive system needs to be colonized by beneficial microbes received by passing through the birth canal, and C-sections bypass that, so pathogenic organisms colonize the baby's bowel instead, making the immune system freak out. Some researchers are suggesting that C-section babies should have their mouths swabbed with fluids from the vagina just post birth.

    Celiac disease has many manifestations all over the body, including neurological (such as peripheral neuropathies as well as brain: cognition, moods and behavior.)

    Which leads me to speculate: Imagine there is some pathogen in the mother's feces which requires as its life cycle to be passed to her newborns. (TMI, but the birth pushing generally causes the mother to defecate on the table.) If the infant is a girl, the pathogen can assume its host will birth infants for it to infect, later on. But if the baby is a boy, the infectious cycle stops, unless the boy can be made to desire receiving rectal sex, so the pathogen does brain damage to facilitate that.

    Is my idea nonsense? A test might be, C-section boys ought to be far less likely to homosexual. Has anyone ever looked at that?

    @banned56:

    Your idea of an early childhood infection makes some sense. Consider: celiac disease (which is a confluence of digestive and immune systems malfunction) is more common in children born by C-section. The thinking is, the neonate’s sterile digestive system needs to be colonized by beneficial microbes received by passing through the birth canal, and C-sections bypass that, so pathogenic organisms colonize the baby’s bowel instead, making the immune system freak out. Some researchers are suggesting that C-section babies should have their mouths swabbed with fluids from the vagina just post birth.

    I’ve seen that said. Here’s the problem with all such ideas:

    As an example of a worthless correlational study, I present this meta analysis published in the journal PLOS ONE of observational studies looking at birth by Cesarian section versus vaginal delivery and later obesity. It found that babies delivered by C-section were more likely to be obese as adults. It’s an example of the best and baddest of correlational studies. Did even one of those studies control for parental obesity? Doesn’t look that way. Did any of them try to look at differences between siblings where one was delivered vaginally and the other by C-section? Nope. It is a completely worthless study; all it shows is that obese people may be more prone to give birth via C-section – with no idea of the true causes or best correlates at least. Yet, it is being circulated as if it was definitive proof. Give me a break.

    That’s not to say there isn’t something to the c-section effect, but until that perform that basic check to minimal familial (i.e., genetic) effects, they’ve got nothin’.

    But if the baby is a boy, the infectious cycle stops, unless the boy can be made to desire receiving rectal sex, so the pathogen does brain damage to facilitate that.

    I’m guessing probably not, because if the pathogen were vertically transmitted, we’d see higher heritability/shared environment impact, which we don’t.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    “The pathogen is likely not acquired in utero. If it were, we’d see higher concordance between twins.

    It’s likely an early childhood infection.”

    I am late to the discussion. Pardon, please, I just saw your comment at Steve Sailer’s.

    Your idea of an early childhood infection makes some sense. Consider: celiac disease (which is a confluence of digestive and immune systems malfunction) is more common in children born by C-section. The thinking is, the neonate’s sterile digestive system needs to be colonized by beneficial microbes received by passing through the birth canal, and C-sections bypass that, so pathogenic organisms colonize the baby’s bowel instead, making the immune system freak out. Some researchers are suggesting that C-section babies should have their mouths swabbed with fluids from the vagina just post birth.

    Celiac disease has many manifestations all over the body, including neurological (such as peripheral neuropathies as well as brain: cognition, moods and behavior.)

    Which leads me to speculate: Imagine there is some pathogen in the mother’s feces which requires as its life cycle to be passed to her newborns. (TMI, but the birth pushing generally causes the mother to defecate on the table.) If the infant is a girl, the pathogen can assume its host will birth infants for it to infect, later on. But if the baby is a boy, the infectious cycle stops, unless the boy can be made to desire receiving rectal sex, so the pathogen does brain damage to facilitate that.

    Is my idea nonsense? A test might be, C-section boys ought to be far less likely to homosexual. Has anyone ever looked at that?

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @banned56:

    Your idea of an early childhood infection makes some sense. Consider: celiac disease (which is a confluence of digestive and immune systems malfunction) is more common in children born by C-section. The thinking is, the neonate’s sterile digestive system needs to be colonized by beneficial microbes received by passing through the birth canal, and C-sections bypass that, so pathogenic organisms colonize the baby’s bowel instead, making the immune system freak out. Some researchers are suggesting that C-section babies should have their mouths swabbed with fluids from the vagina just post birth.
     
    I've seen that said. Here's the problem with all such ideas:

    As an example of a worthless correlational study, I present this meta analysis published in the journal PLOS ONE of observational studies looking at birth by Cesarian section versus vaginal delivery and later obesity. It found that babies delivered by C-section were more likely to be obese as adults. It’s an example of the best and baddest of correlational studies. Did even one of those studies control for parental obesity? Doesn’t look that way. Did any of them try to look at differences between siblings where one was delivered vaginally and the other by C-section? Nope. It is a completely worthless study; all it shows is that obese people may be more prone to give birth via C-section – with no idea of the true causes or best correlates at least. Yet, it is being circulated as if it was definitive proof. Give me a break.
     
    That's not to say there isn't something to the c-section effect, but until that perform that basic check to minimal familial (i.e., genetic) effects, they've got nothin'.

    But if the baby is a boy, the infectious cycle stops, unless the boy can be made to desire receiving rectal sex, so the pathogen does brain damage to facilitate that.
     
    I'm guessing probably not, because if the pathogen were vertically transmitted, we'd see higher heritability/shared environment impact, which we don't.
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  • @meh
    Science blogger Ed Yong recently wrote about narcolepsy being confirmed as an autoimmune disease.

    http://www.nature.com/news/narcolepsy-confirmed-as-autoimmune-disease-1.14413

    "As the H1N1 swine flu pandemic swept the world in 2009, China saw a spike in cases of narcolepsy — a mysterious disorder that involves sudden, uncontrollable sleepiness. Meanwhile, in Europe, around 1 in 15,000 children who were given Pandemrix — a now-defunct flu vaccine that contained fragments of the pandemic virus — also developed narcolepsy, a chronic disease."

    Update: Ed Yong writes that the narcolepsy paper has been retracted.

    http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2014/07/30/narcolepsy-paper-retracted/

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  • Can be quite substantial. Jump off the Empire State Building and see for yourself. But, beyond that, the question remains how much of the variation in health outcomes and longevity can be explained by behavioral variation? Well, we don't quite know. But we do have evidence which indicates that – at least in the developed...
  • Reblogged this on Philosophies of a Disenchanted Scholar and commented:
    The wonderful world of RT tests, I know it well.

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  • @Anonymous
    Thought: part of the reason low IQ people have poorer health is not just genetic load, but reduced ability to fight pathogens cc @johndurant
    9:55 AM - 23 Jul 20

    Source?

    My brain. That’s what “thought” signified. It’s speculation that I need to follow up on.

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  • Thought: part of the reason low IQ people have poorer health is not just genetic load, but reduced ability to fight pathogens cc @johndurant
    9:55 AM – 23 Jul 20

    Source?

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Anonymous:

    My brain. That's what "thought" signified. It's speculation that I need to follow up on.

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  • I agree with you. any explanations/refutations for Finch & Tanzi (1997), & Herskind, McGue, Holm, Sorensen, Harvald, & Vaupel (1996), where the party line for 20 years has been “(‘only’) about 25% of the variability in lifespan among twins is genetic” – is that perhaps a restriction in range problem attenuating the h-squared heritability?

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  • @Anonymous
    Have you heard about the Klotho gene. A variant of it in the heterozygous form increases intelligence at all ages and is associated with longevity--especially by decreasing the risk from cardiovascular disease. It may be the major gene for intelligence that Volkmar Weisse has always said would be found.

    http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2014/05/114196/better-cognition-seen-gene-variant

    @David Benson:

    Likely a false positive like most of these purported hits. Let’s wait for the BGI results.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Have you heard about the Klotho gene. A variant of it in the heterozygous form increases intelligence at all ages and is associated with longevity–especially by decreasing the risk from cardiovascular disease. It may be the major gene for intelligence that Volkmar Weisse has always said would be found.

    http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2014/05/114196/better-cognition-seen-gene-variant

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @David Benson:

    Likely a false positive like most of these purported hits. Let's wait for the BGI results.

    , @elijahlarmstrong
    There is almost certainly no major gene for intelligence. It would have been found already.
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  • @JayMan
    @Foolish Reporter:

    There sure was. I found an older meta-analysis that spanned the Western world that found the same. Self-report, though, so take that for what it's worth.

    good deal. nice write-up as always!

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  • @Anonymous
    I'm a little confused, mainly because I don't understand your Tweats. Isn't smoking a "behavior?" Doesn't quitting smoking -- something which almost all my friends have done -- improve health and longevity?

    @karenjo12:

    That’s the thing, it doesn’t. It took me by surprise, but turns out large RCTs find that quitting smoking does nothing for longevity (at least during the study).

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  • I’m a little confused, mainly because I don’t understand your Tweats. Isn’t smoking a “behavior?” Doesn’t quitting smoking — something which almost all my friends have done — improve health and longevity?

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @karenjo12:

    That's the thing, it doesn't. It took me by surprise, but turns out large RCTs find that quitting smoking does nothing for longevity (at least during the study).

    , @elijahlarmstrong
    What???????? That makes no sense. I mean, something like two-thirds of smokers will have lung cancer in their lifetime. Is the general population rate that high? Even the general low-IQ population rate?
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  • @FoolishReporter
    Wasn't there something in the news in the last few weeks about propensity to working out etc being heritable?

    @Foolish Reporter:

    There sure was. I found an older meta-analysis that spanned the Western world that found the same. Self-report, though, so take that for what it’s worth.

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    • Replies: @FoolishReporter
    good deal. nice write-up as always!
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  • Wasn’t there something in the news in the last few weeks about propensity to working out etc being heritable?

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Foolish Reporter:

    There sure was. I found an older meta-analysis that spanned the Western world that found the same. Self-report, though, so take that for what it's worth.

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  • There is no evidence that diets even work outside of the South Beach Concentration Camp diet.

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  • @Sisyphean
    Fit people often say to others: "Behave like me and you will be as fit as I am." unfortunately they forget to mention that to behave like they do requires patience, commitment, willingness to experiment, and willingness to accept when things aren't working and make changes to make them work. Those are a lot of cognitive and emotional hurdles.

    This is why I like to say that it's both true that all diets work and that all diets fail. If you can make it over those hurdles it doesn't matter which diet you choose, you'll keep going until you reach your goal. If you can't make it over the hurdles, there's no diet good enough to help you. The dieter is the key, not the diet.

    Of course, this reality doesn't sell many diet books.

    I didn’t mean to imply that. There are definitely people who can’t make any of the hurdles and will never be able to achieve a lean physique unless they were to live in a starvation environment devoid of any extra calories, which might very well mean those people are better adapted to such an environment, but I digress. However the fact that it’s fallacious doesn’t stop people from peddling solutions for everyone, it’s hard to make money saying: “Hey all you super dedicated people who chance has caused to gain a few extra pounds, pick up this routine that you will surely be able to stick to and you’ll lean out in no time!” What is that, like 5% of dieters?

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  • @Sisyphean
    Fit people often say to others: "Behave like me and you will be as fit as I am." unfortunately they forget to mention that to behave like they do requires patience, commitment, willingness to experiment, and willingness to accept when things aren't working and make changes to make them work. Those are a lot of cognitive and emotional hurdles.

    This is why I like to say that it's both true that all diets work and that all diets fail. If you can make it over those hurdles it doesn't matter which diet you choose, you'll keep going until you reach your goal. If you can't make it over the hurdles, there's no diet good enough to help you. The dieter is the key, not the diet.

    Of course, this reality doesn't sell many diet books.

    @Sisphyean:

    I think it’s fallacious to say that everyone has something out there that work for them, even in principle.

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  • Fit people often say to others: “Behave like me and you will be as fit as I am.” unfortunately they forget to mention that to behave like they do requires patience, commitment, willingness to experiment, and willingness to accept when things aren’t working and make changes to make them work. Those are a lot of cognitive and emotional hurdles.

    This is why I like to say that it’s both true that all diets work and that all diets fail. If you can make it over those hurdles it doesn’t matter which diet you choose, you’ll keep going until you reach your goal. If you can’t make it over the hurdles, there’s no diet good enough to help you. The dieter is the key, not the diet.

    Of course, this reality doesn’t sell many diet books.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Sisphyean:

    I think it's fallacious to say that everyone has something out there that work for them, even in principle.

    , @Sisyphean
    I didn't mean to imply that. There are definitely people who can't make any of the hurdles and will never be able to achieve a lean physique unless they were to live in a starvation environment devoid of any extra calories, which might very well mean those people are better adapted to such an environment, but I digress. However the fact that it's fallacious doesn't stop people from peddling solutions for everyone, it's hard to make money saying: "Hey all you super dedicated people who chance has caused to gain a few extra pounds, pick up this routine that you will surely be able to stick to and you'll lean out in no time!" What is that, like 5% of dieters?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • In my previous post, I noted that the oft-mentioned association between obesity and poor health and "early" death may be a function of the lower average IQ of obese people. I suggested that the true correlate of these things was in fact low IQ. And indeed, I've stumbled on additional studies that suggests that this...
  • […] post a series of tweets I made on the subject. Much of the matter is discussed in my post IQ and Death (see also my post “Squid […]

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  • […] correlation between IQ and longevity is said to be about 0.2, which means high IQ people have a small tendency to live longer (actually, since IQ tests are imperfect measures of intelligence, typically having a […]

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  • Updated, 10/17/15. See below! In this post, I will review Gregory Cochran's "gay germ" hypothesis. I wanted to make an index of Cochran's posts from his and Henry Harpending's blog West Hunter that discuss it. These posts don't seem to all show up under the "Homosexuality" category there, and I wanted links to them to...
  • […] liberal or conservative. He is an atheist, but a nationalist; a social libertarian who favors the “gay germ” theory of […]

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  • […] liberal or conservative. He is an atheist, but a nationalist; a social libertarian who favors the “gay germ” theory of […]

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  • […] to get it past censors, but the raw results speak for themselves to anyone who’s heard of the Germ Hypothesis covered there and here. Good evidence going forward to get other studies along the same lines […]

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  • […] identical, there are other factors, such as developmental stochasticity (noise) in utero, pathogenic and other biological insults, and plain old randomness that contributes to the differences between […]

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  • […] um certo tempo também que eu me deparei com a ”teoria do germe gay”, que abriu a possibilidade para uma explicação patológica da homossexualidade. Segundo esta […]

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  • […] from normal, reversed (female as in-utero hormone exposure instead). HBD chick here and Jayman here. Wouldn’t it be ironic if after all this complaining they weren’t born that […]

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  • @Abelard Lindsey
    Of course a vaccine will be developed to prevent homosexuality. I think there will be initial political pressure from the PC liberal-left types on the U.S. pharmaceutical companies NOT to develop such a vaccine. However, it will get developed nevertheless and many prospective parents will get it for themselves and their kids, regardless of the PC lobby wishes. Even liberal parents would prefer that their sons not be gay, and it is well-known that parenthood makes one politically conservative.

    Abelard, I daresay that gay parents themselves would ensure that their children were vaccinated.

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  • @Gottlieb
    I said I would not comment but I would really like to give some contribution to it. But my contribution not in a scientific sense, because I'm not that much better than you (I'm worse). At the most, I think you're not realizing when he says a lot of things, particularly conservative tone (I hate liberals, I'm a liberal brother, I've said this like 500 times, but I can not agree with people who believe in bible).
    The first thing, I'm just responding and breaking my promise not to fill your bag for now, because this issue affects me, after all, we are talking about individual freedom and morality.
    First, let their interpretations about what is desirable and what is not. When you say that homosexuality is undesirable, you are departing from personal considerations and considerations of society in general. But we know or should have clearly in mind that most of the parameters of society should not be considered, because as you know, people are stupid. (you probably consider me one, but I do not care)
    Yes, we are dealing with moral issues, yes, we are dealing with abstractions, yes, there is full free will, unfortunately, but that does not mean we are totally stuck to genetic determinism.
    You know you live in an idiocracy. How do you think people will react when they find out that this assumption may be true?
    We know that even people of high IQ are not able to make thoughtful observations about racial issues. There are no millions of Jayman there.
    Why science must bow and meet requests based on foolish assumptions of the masses? Why humanism and science appear to be two conflicting poles?
    The first urgent here , moral issue basing on the individual freedom and rights of the individual.
    I had already concluded that you are free to do what you want and that while there may be conditions that push you to act a certain way , or genetic (or epigenetic ) , this is not important , from the moment that you do not is violating the rights of outrens and that relates to what you want .
    Parents can not , in a perfect world , have authority over his child. Sorry , but only can children have the right to decide what is better for them . I know, it sounds ridiculous , you 've probably read about it , but it makes a lot of sense . This talk of '' parents only want the best for their offspring '' is a lie , they do not want , they want to dominate and decide on their lives . I agree that they make the best of intentions , but you 've probably heard that famous saying , hell is full .
    Parents can think of gene therapy, but homosexuality is a modern aberration of a conceptual kind of behavior among many behaviors that we display throughout the day. Lies the problem of Huber- identification, a feature of modern society. No one is homosexual and only that, people are a combination of traits and characteristics where sexual orientation is peripheral, or should meet. One explanation for the genetic incongruity of homosexuality is precisely because of its socially constructive character and its relative insignificance as to the actual identity of the individual. I can think of that might be better than people who have the habit of spitting in the street, are cured by this type of undesirable behavior.
    Let us return to society. This kind of choice first, should not be taken by parents, but by the individual. Second, the stupid society we live in, it is simply not morally possible to be done. Humanity is not fully evolved to understand all this complexity.
    Now going back to the themes
    how mutations occur,
    What are infections,
    what we are,
    what genes are
    I am of the opinion that all mutational processes are the result of infectious processes . Recessive traits are minority and therefore , at first sight , epigenetic and more complex than the demographically predominant traits .
    The same process that causes homosexuality , causes left-handedness , causes autism, causes creativity and his atheism (relate to ''nerdism'') . Probably , there will be strong similarities to each other.
    Our genes are pathogens , are a combination or an accumulation of viruses and bacteria cooperative , as he had said before , every form of life is like . Life itself is a kind of infection.
    If the first forms of life were viruses and bacteria , then we are directly derived .
    I see that the idea of infection is far more complex than you think . Not so, you see, have an infection , will soon have a disease . Not exactly like this. If there is a direct relation of clinical pathology in '' homosexuality '' , I can begin to think less critically , not in theory but in the way aims to expose it to people.
    Also, the supposed implications of cheap moralism who are scheming.

    Another possibility is that the fact that the vast majority are heterosexual, sends the wrong idea that it is'' most'' then it is correct, is a methodical bias prejudice, you look for the white stripes and despises black stripes.

    If homosexuality does not cause any direct clinical symptom , then it can not be compared to tuberculosis . Impulsivity can not be considered as a clinical symptom.
    Let's think hypothetically if the theory of gay terme becomes reality and from this, humanity pass to cure the infected and change the nature of their children so they are not susceptible of contracting the rainbow plague .
    What would be the next step , heal the sadness or better , heal anger
    or cure men who treat women gentlemanly way , of course , this is wrong , man is man should treat women as disposable sex objects .
    I do not know if you are aware of what is proposed , the visceral and painful consequences for those affected and more ... and after all the sick are healed , the behavior persists ?
    You must now test your theory ...
    I will not agree with this theory without evidence of long-term indeed to withdraw a particular pathogen or group of pathogens of the brain of a man (specifically an exclusive homosexual man ) he will cease to be sexually attracted to another man . Moreover , Coch will studying the pathogens to other behaviors , why not heterosexuality ?
    I have already said, including provision leaves the two links in the blog hbd chick. The first talks about the extinction of the sexual instinct of the human being, I do not agree that we have no sex instinct, but I agree that we are not like animals during their period of reproduction becomes insatiable.
    The other link lists cultural conformity with the presence of pathogens and what was discovered was that the societies where cultural conformity is predominant, was the predominance of pathogens.
    I know I promised that for now, I no longer would comment on your blog, but as I've previously reported, this issue affects me not only because of the acute moral issues that are involved and that you assume and Cochran are not paying proper attention but also because I believe that these assumptions are based on a very linear idea about genetics, mutation processes, the identity of life concept and complexity of infections, but especially you guys run the main idea that all human traits by priority must first, be determined by genetics only and that all presently existing or advantageous, traces must have been selected. You guys are dealing with the deepest cracks of the human mind and you believe find ''total'' truths very quickly...
    The normativity is as totalitarian as political correctness or cultural Marxism. We are not dealing with numbers, but with lives.
    His idea that there is something wrong with homosexuality, it must be proven, especially if it directly predisposes affected people to health risks and I am not talking about sexually transmitted diseases. If this does not happen, then I suggest you and Cochran forget to try to peek in humanism.
    If homosexuality were the means of normative sexual satisfaction of the species, the reality would be different, I do not doubt it.
    The funny think is the huge amount of great geniuses of the past and present geniuses probably infected by DIFFERENT pathogens. Without them, there would be all here. The masses to explode, I really do not care what they regarded as desirable.
    I hope you have the kindness to retort my comment.

    Gottlieb, your comment was touching and compassionate. I appreciate the thoughtfulness that went into it. I’ve had many discussions of homosexuality over the years, along with the other conditions your relate. I realized immediately that your attitude has no resemblance to the mindset driving this topic, neither here nor in society at large. You might ask yourself why these threads generate so much interest in the first place.

    Obviously, many people don’t like homosexuality – a point acknowledged many times throughout this thread. I credit some of bloggers here for going into clinical detail on the topic of homo-aversion. It’s rarely given fair time. In any case, men dislike who they dislike, whatever the reasons. It’s our intuitive self. Each of the wonderful discussions here on the various hypothesis for the cause homosexuality boils down to one question: what went wrong? Jayman’s distillation of Cochran’s theories, which touched on many other rival suppositions, serves to characterize some of the specific undesirability from both the first and third-person POVs. I submit he’s proven his point in that regard.

    So while you rightfully question some of the assumptions running through many of these posts, you might have missed the point of the discussion itself. The folks here are seeking some level of understanding about homosexuality, how to characterize it, how to understand those affected by it, and how to judge the condition. I see no blanket rejection of natural diversity nor a desire to impose arbitrary norms. In fact, the posts remained remarkably focused on obligate male homosexuality as a individual trait. Where this was described as undesirable, the judgement was specific to the trait itself and for more or less practical concerns.

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  • @disenchantedscholar
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10508-008-9449-3 have you seen this? curious, that only male abusers seemed to increase % chance of gay, almost like a transmission

    Interesting. Worth a closer look.

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  • http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10508-008-9449-3 have you seen this? curious, that only male abusers seemed to increase % chance of gay, almost like a transmission

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @disenchantedscholar:

    Interesting. Worth a closer look.

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  • JayMan says: • Website
    @Doug S.
    Here's a question:

    Historically, has male same-sex attraction actually been something that causes a large drop in genetic fitness? I imagine that, in times past, many gay males were socially obligated to marry women and have children, and that they in fact did so in spite of their lack of sexual attraction to women.

    Historically, has male same-sex attraction actually been something that causes a large drop in genetic fitness?

    Yes. Think of it: a significant percentage of men failed to reproduce at all. Throughout human history, that rate was as high as 40%. The competition for mates was fierce. Now how do you think men that we’re even trying would fare? Even if there were a few gay men who had exceptional reproductive success, on average, such men would have had reduced fitness. Iterate that over many generations, and any such alleles would trend towards extinction. Even very small fitness losses can cause an allele to evaporate over evolutionary time. Such genes certainly couldn’t have reached 3-5% prevalence.

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  • Here’s a question:

    Historically, has male same-sex attraction actually been something that causes a large drop in genetic fitness? I imagine that, in times past, many gay males were socially obligated to marry women and have children, and that they in fact did so in spite of their lack of sexual attraction to women.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Doug S.:

    Historically, has male same-sex attraction actually been something that causes a large drop in genetic fitness?
     
    Yes. Think of it: a significant percentage of men failed to reproduce at all. Throughout human history, that rate was as high as 40%. The competition for mates was fierce. Now how do you think men that we're even trying would fare? Even if there were a few gay men who had exceptional reproductive success, on average, such men would have had reduced fitness. Iterate that over many generations, and any such alleles would trend towards extinction. Even very small fitness losses can cause an allele to evaporate over evolutionary time. Such genes certainly couldn't have reached 3-5% prevalence.
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  • […] and possible evolutionary function – if any – of female bisexuality. Unlike its counterpart, male homosexuality, the reason female bisexuality exists largely mysterious and poorly […]

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  • @JayMan
    If that were true, how do gay males get it as boys?

    Owing to the likely mechanism, it's possible that an infection wouldn't produce similar symptoms in women.

    Hospital professionals, public spaces, the majority of preschool teachers and nurses…?
    It could produce a partial effect. Bisexual populations are under-researched as too complicated, as is female sexual fluidity. It would be a neat explanation of another social group and its features in sex research too.

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  • I was just saying that I wouldn’t voluntarily submit to any “cure.” If you could slip it in the water, well who knows? As it is, a lot of people lose interest in sex as they get older and don’t miss it. So, I suppose if I was suddenly hot for women, I wouldn’t miss men. But it would be odd to undergo such a huge change. And as I said, I can’t see why it would make me happier.

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  • @disenchantedscholar
    I wonder if bisexual women couldn't be the carriers? Women have very high bisexuality rates and since they'd build up enough of a partial resistance to maintain an attraction to both, it suggests of any human vector demo it may still be present and effective, moderating the renowned fluidity of female sexuality over lifespan.

    If that were true, how do gay males get it as boys?

    Owing to the likely mechanism, it’s possible that an infection wouldn’t produce similar symptoms in women.

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    • Replies: @disenchantedscholar
    Hospital professionals, public spaces, the majority of preschool teachers and nurses...?
    It could produce a partial effect. Bisexual populations are under-researched as too complicated, as is female sexual fluidity. It would be a neat explanation of another social group and its features in sex research too.
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  • I wonder if bisexual women couldn’t be the carriers? Women have very high bisexuality rates and since they’d build up enough of a partial resistance to maintain an attraction to both, it suggests of any human vector demo it may still be present and effective, moderating the renowned fluidity of female sexuality over lifespan.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    If that were true, how do gay males get it as boys?

    Owing to the likely mechanism, it's possible that an infection wouldn't produce similar symptoms in women.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • In my previous post, I noted that the oft-mentioned association between obesity and poor health and "early" death may be a function of the lower average IQ of obese people. I suggested that the true correlate of these things was in fact low IQ. And indeed, I've stumbled on additional studies that suggests that this...
  • […] quite a few other HBD’ers, I try not to focus so much on IQ. Although it is of preeminent importance, it is not the be-all end-all of when it comes to human traits, particularly traits that differ […]

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  • Updated, 10/17/15. See below! In this post, I will review Gregory Cochran's "gay germ" hypothesis. I wanted to make an index of Cochran's posts from his and Henry Harpending's blog West Hunter that discuss it. These posts don't seem to all show up under the "Homosexuality" category there, and I wanted links to them to...
  • […] can be taken to be a sign something is seriously amiss. We saw that with male homosexuality (see Greg Cochran’s “Gay Germ” Hypothesis – An Exercise in the Power of Germs). Now I will discuss two curious exceptions to this […]

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  • @Mark F.
    Many gay men, including myself, would not want to experience the radical change that would result if they could be "cured" of homosexuality. I've thought about it, and being attracted to women would not make me happier.

    A “cure” would be a lot longer off than a vaccine that would prevent infection in the first place. That is, if a cure would even be possible. So no, don’t expect a change.

    And even if there was a “cure”, quite likely once you had it, you probably couldn’t even imagine how it could have been any different.

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  • Many gay men, including myself, would not want to experience the radical change that would result if they could be “cured” of homosexuality. I’ve thought about it, and being attracted to women would not make me happier.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Mark F.

    A "cure" would be a lot longer off than a vaccine that would prevent infection in the first place. That is, if a cure would even be possible. So no, don't expect a change.

    And even if there was a "cure", quite likely once you had it, you probably couldn't even imagine how it could have been any different.

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  • […] irrationality of it all is proof we’re dealing with lunatics. Some very smart people think pathogens may lie at the heart of currently unexplained biological phenomenon like homosexuality. Maybe the […]

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  • […] the impact of pathogens – particularly behavioral impacts such as the previously discussed gay germ hypothesis of Greg Cochran – is amongst the most solid known examples of true “environmental […]

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  • @Anonymous
    Shouldn't you see the pathogen(and thus homosexuality) in some locations at much higher rates than in others?

    Part of the problem with the hunter-gatherer example is incidence: If 1 out of 10 men are homosexual there may be only one in a random generation. Without a cultural backdrop that even acknowledges homosexuality, they may never realize what’s up.

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  • Szopeno,
    but ‘they’ get ‘to cure’ the obligate or exclusive man (macho) homossexuality in sheep. It was that i read here.

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  • homosexuality could be caused by germsn AND still it could be incurable (it would be just preventable)

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  • I change completely my view about it, yes, you convince me, at least i’m now 80% predisposed to accept that homossexuality could be a disease and would be cured or or create a vaccine, but how i say in my other comment, you will need to prove it.

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  • @erica
    Jayman,

    Reconsidering, I don't think we can rule out t. gondii quite yet. They keep finding out more about this little baby.

    As about one third of the world's pop. seems to have at one time been infected, it's very ususual for infection to have left lasting damage (that we know of), just as it's unusual for the polio virus living in the guts of most people to wander elsewhere and cause damage.) So, yes, if the transmission takes place in utero, the problems for the fetus are severe but what if the kids are exposed in childhood?

    Then it would make sense that concordance of MZ twins would be somewhat higher than that of DZ twins, yet that neither show high concordance. The odds of the parasite making its way into the brain is low to begin with but when it does, the higher concordance for MZ twins might be accounted for by the likelihood that their immune system responses would be more similar than that of the DZ twins.

    We used to think someone infected would show symptoms of infection severe enough to be recognized but that's out the window now that research on this parasite has increased over the last few years. They've even found that it changes the body's immune response.
    _________________________________________________________

    Once in the Brain, Toxoplasma Spurs GABA Secretion
    The researchers didn't examine how the toxoplasmosis parasite changes host behavior, they were more interested in what it does in the brain.

    They found that it takes over one of the brain's neurotransmitters: the chemical messengers that carry signals between various parts of the brain.

    In one test tube experiment, they infected human dendritic cells with the parasite. Dendritic cells form the frontline of the immune system, and play a key role in triggering and adapting immune responses. Once infected, the dendritic cells started secreting GABA, a chemical messenger.

    In another experiment with live mice, the researchers tracked infected dendritic cells from their initial point of infection to other parts of the brain where they continued to affect the GABA system.

    In their author summary, the researchers note:

    "Dendritic cells are considered the gatekeepers of the immune system but can, paradoxically, also mediate dissemination of the parasite."

    "This study establishes that GABAergic signaling modulates the migratory properties of dendritic cells and that the intracellular pathogen Toxoplasma gondii sequesters the GABAergic signaling of dendritic cells to assure propagation," they add.

    GABA does a number of things, but one of them is to inhibit the sensations of fear and anxiety. People with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar diseases, anxiety syndrome and depression show disturbances in GABA systems.

    Barragan describes the parasite's ability to make the immune cells secrete GABA as "very clever" and says the finding was "as surprising as it was unexpected".

    The researchers call for further studies.

    "It would now be worth studying the links that exist between toxoplasmosis, the GABA systems and major public health threats," Barragan suggests.
    ______________________________________________

    The findings that t. gondii is associated with higher than usual correlations with mental illness and anxiety is similar to what researchers find in larger sample studies of homosexual males--higher than usual rates of depression, bi-polar disorder, drug addiction, and anxiety.

    I don't think we can toss out this little baby yet.

    It certainly could be T. gondii, although I suspect that is unlikely. We definitely can’t rule it out.

    If it is T. gondii though, I wouldn’t be too horrendously surprised to see the return of cat burning, as fruitless as that would be…

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  • @Abelard Lindsey
    The pathogen is likely not acquired in utero. If it were, we’d see higher concordance between twins.

    It’s likely an early childhood infection.

    This makes it even more likely that there will be a strict isolation between gays and kids until the vaccine is developed.

    It’s probably not spread by adult gay men. It may even be generally cleared from their systems.

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  • @Abelard Lindsey
    I find the infectious agent explanation for male homosexuality to be highly credible. If true (and I'm convinced it is), it is likely something that does not affect adults or even children. It would affect the fetuses in pregnant women and, perhaps, small children whose immune systems are still developing. This would explain why it is so hard to identify the responsible agent. I also agree that there will be social consequences once the responsible agent is identified. In the West and more liberal parts of the rest of the world, I think the consequences will be to isolated gays from children and to encourage pregnant women not to associate with gay men. The consequences will be more draconian in less liberal parts of the world (Middle-east, South Asia, Africa).

    It is the likelihood of such social consequences that drives many PC liberal-left types to attempt to stifle such research. Cochran has said on his blog that he has encountered such opposition into this work.

    The pathogen is likely not acquired in utero. If it were, we’d see higher concordance between twins.

    It’s likely an early childhood infection.

    This makes it even more likely that there will be a strict isolation between gays and kids until the vaccine is developed.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Abelard Lindsey:

    It's probably not spread by adult gay men. It may even be generally cleared from their systems.

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  • @erica
    Jayman,

    Reconsidering, I don't think we can rule out t. gondii quite yet. They keep finding out more about this little baby.

    As about one third of the world's pop. seems to have at one time been infected, it's very ususual for infection to have left lasting damage (that we know of), just as it's unusual for the polio virus living in the guts of most people to wander elsewhere and cause damage.) So, yes, if the transmission takes place in utero, the problems for the fetus are severe but what if the kids are exposed in childhood?

    Then it would make sense that concordance of MZ twins would be somewhat higher than that of DZ twins, yet that neither show high concordance. The odds of the parasite making its way into the brain is low to begin with but when it does, the higher concordance for MZ twins might be accounted for by the likelihood that their immune system responses would be more similar than that of the DZ twins.

    We used to think someone infected would show symptoms of infection severe enough to be recognized but that's out the window now that research on this parasite has increased over the last few years. They've even found that it changes the body's immune response.
    _________________________________________________________

    Once in the Brain, Toxoplasma Spurs GABA Secretion
    The researchers didn't examine how the toxoplasmosis parasite changes host behavior, they were more interested in what it does in the brain.

    They found that it takes over one of the brain's neurotransmitters: the chemical messengers that carry signals between various parts of the brain.

    In one test tube experiment, they infected human dendritic cells with the parasite. Dendritic cells form the frontline of the immune system, and play a key role in triggering and adapting immune responses. Once infected, the dendritic cells started secreting GABA, a chemical messenger.

    In another experiment with live mice, the researchers tracked infected dendritic cells from their initial point of infection to other parts of the brain where they continued to affect the GABA system.

    In their author summary, the researchers note:

    "Dendritic cells are considered the gatekeepers of the immune system but can, paradoxically, also mediate dissemination of the parasite."

    "This study establishes that GABAergic signaling modulates the migratory properties of dendritic cells and that the intracellular pathogen Toxoplasma gondii sequesters the GABAergic signaling of dendritic cells to assure propagation," they add.

    GABA does a number of things, but one of them is to inhibit the sensations of fear and anxiety. People with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar diseases, anxiety syndrome and depression show disturbances in GABA systems.

    Barragan describes the parasite's ability to make the immune cells secrete GABA as "very clever" and says the finding was "as surprising as it was unexpected".

    The researchers call for further studies.

    "It would now be worth studying the links that exist between toxoplasmosis, the GABA systems and major public health threats," Barragan suggests.
    ______________________________________________

    The findings that t. gondii is associated with higher than usual correlations with mental illness and anxiety is similar to what researchers find in larger sample studies of homosexual males--higher than usual rates of depression, bi-polar disorder, drug addiction, and anxiety.

    I don't think we can toss out this little baby yet.

    Additionally, T. gondii is found commonly in sheep as well as man and is a major cause of spontaneous abortion.

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  • Jayman,

    Reconsidering, I don’t think we can rule out t. gondii quite yet. They keep finding out more about this little baby.

    As about one third of the world’s pop. seems to have at one time been infected, it’s very ususual for infection to have left lasting damage (that we know of), just as it’s unusual for the polio virus living in the guts of most people to wander elsewhere and cause damage.) So, yes, if the transmission takes place in utero, the problems for the fetus are severe but what if the kids are exposed in childhood?

    Then it would make sense that concordance of MZ twins would be somewhat higher than that of DZ twins, yet that neither show high concordance. The odds of the parasite making its way into the brain is low to begin with but when it does, the higher concordance for MZ twins might be accounted for by the likelihood that their immune system responses would be more similar than that of the DZ twins.

    We used to think someone infected would show symptoms of infection severe enough to be recognized but that’s out the window now that research on this parasite has increased over the last few years. They’ve even found that it changes the body’s immune response.
    _________________________________________________________

    Once in the Brain, Toxoplasma Spurs GABA Secretion
    The researchers didn’t examine how the toxoplasmosis parasite changes host behavior, they were more interested in what it does in the brain.

    They found that it takes over one of the brain’s neurotransmitters: the chemical messengers that carry signals between various parts of the brain.

    In one test tube experiment, they infected human dendritic cells with the parasite. Dendritic cells form the frontline of the immune system, and play a key role in triggering and adapting immune responses. Once infected, the dendritic cells started secreting GABA, a chemical messenger.

    In another experiment with live mice, the researchers tracked infected dendritic cells from their initial point of infection to other parts of the brain where they continued to affect the GABA system.

    In their author summary, the researchers note:

    “Dendritic cells are considered the gatekeepers of the immune system but can, paradoxically, also mediate dissemination of the parasite.”

    “This study establishes that GABAergic signaling modulates the migratory properties of dendritic cells and that the intracellular pathogen Toxoplasma gondii sequesters the GABAergic signaling of dendritic cells to assure propagation,” they add.

    GABA does a number of things, but one of them is to inhibit the sensations of fear and anxiety. People with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar diseases, anxiety syndrome and depression show disturbances in GABA systems.

    Barragan describes the parasite’s ability to make the immune cells secrete GABA as “very clever” and says the finding was “as surprising as it was unexpected”.

    The researchers call for further studies.

    “It would now be worth studying the links that exist between toxoplasmosis, the GABA systems and major public health threats,” Barragan suggests.
    ______________________________________________

    The findings that t. gondii is associated with higher than usual correlations with mental illness and anxiety is similar to what researchers find in larger sample studies of homosexual males–higher than usual rates of depression, bi-polar disorder, drug addiction, and anxiety.

    I don’t think we can toss out this little baby yet.

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    • Replies: @erica
    Additionally, T. gondii is found commonly in sheep as well as man and is a major cause of spontaneous abortion.
    , @JayMan
    @erica:

    It certainly could be T. gondii, although I suspect that is unlikely. We definitely can't rule it out.

    If it is T. gondii though, I wouldn't be too horrendously surprised to see the return of cat burning, as fruitless as that would be...

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  • Jaaaay. This is totally off-topic, but I was reading this article this morning and thought of you: http://harvardmagazine.com/2014/03/baby-talk

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  • @Anonymous
    Shouldn't you see the pathogen(and thus homosexuality) in some locations at much higher rates than in others?

    “Shouldn’t you see the pathogen (and thus homosexuality) in some locations at much higher rates than others?”

    Who says we don’t? It seems that at least a few studies indicate men born in urban areas are more likely to be homosexual than men born in rural areas (although the latter do relocate to urban areas).

    Hunter-gatherer groups seem not to understand what homosexuality is.

    One wonders about the Far East, (Thailand) where people live in dense populations in close proximity to animals and where pathogens spread rapidly.

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  • @Abelard Lindsey
    Of course a vaccine will be developed to prevent homosexuality. I think there will be initial political pressure from the PC liberal-left types on the U.S. pharmaceutical companies NOT to develop such a vaccine. However, it will get developed nevertheless and many prospective parents will get it for themselves and their kids, regardless of the PC lobby wishes. Even liberal parents would prefer that their sons not be gay, and it is well-known that parenthood makes one politically conservative.

    Parenthood doesn’t make one conservative.

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  • @Abelard Lindsey
    I find the infectious agent explanation for male homosexuality to be highly credible. If true (and I'm convinced it is), it is likely something that does not affect adults or even children. It would affect the fetuses in pregnant women and, perhaps, small children whose immune systems are still developing. This would explain why it is so hard to identify the responsible agent. I also agree that there will be social consequences once the responsible agent is identified. In the West and more liberal parts of the rest of the world, I think the consequences will be to isolated gays from children and to encourage pregnant women not to associate with gay men. The consequences will be more draconian in less liberal parts of the world (Middle-east, South Asia, Africa).

    It is the likelihood of such social consequences that drives many PC liberal-left types to attempt to stifle such research. Cochran has said on his blog that he has encountered such opposition into this work.

    @Aberlard Lindsey:

    The pathogen is likely not acquired in utero. If it were, we’d see higher concordance between twins.

    It’s likely an early childhood infection.

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  • Of course a vaccine will be developed to prevent homosexuality. I think there will be initial political pressure from the PC liberal-left types on the U.S. pharmaceutical companies NOT to develop such a vaccine. However, it will get developed nevertheless and many prospective parents will get it for themselves and their kids, regardless of the PC lobby wishes. Even liberal parents would prefer that their sons not be gay, and it is well-known that parenthood makes one politically conservative.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    Parenthood doesn't make one conservative.
    , @IsTruthEverUgly
    Abelard, I daresay that gay parents themselves would ensure that their children were vaccinated.
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  • I find the infectious agent explanation for male homosexuality to be highly credible. If true (and I’m convinced it is), it is likely something that does not affect adults or even children. It would affect the fetuses in pregnant women and, perhaps, small children whose immune systems are still developing. This would explain why it is so hard to identify the responsible agent. I also agree that there will be social consequences once the responsible agent is identified. In the West and more liberal parts of the rest of the world, I think the consequences will be to isolated gays from children and to encourage pregnant women not to associate with gay men. The consequences will be more draconian in less liberal parts of the world (Middle-east, South Asia, Africa).

    It is the likelihood of such social consequences that drives many PC liberal-left types to attempt to stifle such research. Cochran has said on his blog that he has encountered such opposition into this work.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Aberlard Lindsey:

    The pathogen is likely not acquired in utero. If it were, we'd see higher concordance between twins.

    It's likely an early childhood infection.

    , @Abelard Lindsey
    The pathogen is likely not acquired in utero. If it were, we’d see higher concordance between twins.

    It’s likely an early childhood infection.

    This makes it even more likely that there will be a strict isolation between gays and kids until the vaccine is developed.

    , @Kevin O'Keeffe
    "I find the infectious agent explanation for male homosexuality to be highly credible. If true (and I’m convinced it is), it is likely something that does not affect adults or even children. It would affect the fetuses in pregnant women and, perhaps, small children whose immune systems are still developing. This would explain why it is so hard to identify the responsible agent."

    There's no need to explain why the pathogen hasn't been observed. I really feel like many people are grossly underestimating how difficult it would be to observe a pathogen (assuming its even still present), when you know essentially nothing about it, and don't even know where in the body to look for it, or what its signature might be. Really think about that; if there were some unknown micro-organism in your body, one which we knew virtually nothing about, how would we locate it? There isn't just some blood test we can administer for unknown microbes, after all.
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  • @SMERSH
    Did anyone ever get Cochran's take on Calhoun's rat experiments?

    By putting rats in an environment that approximates modern cities (overcrowded but resource abundant), Calhoun was able to turn rats both pansexual and asexual. Some of them humped anything that moved without regard to normal rat mating rituals while others didn't even try to pass on their genes and just sat there grooming themselves.

    Kind of seems like we might be over thinking this one, especially when you take into account cheater strategies (among Orangutans some males don't develop male secondary sexual characteristics (at least for a time) and they mimic female behavior, so they don't have to fight the large, dominant males for territory. This allows them to infiltrate the a large male's territory and mate with females when he's not looking. Rats don't have such a strategy and life in a modern urban center still turned them gay (ish), who knows what it might do to primates that already have a built in "act like a female" strategy.

    They need to do the Rat experiment with orangutans, I guess. It'd be Cruelty to animals though.

    “They need to do the Rat experiment with orangutans, I guess. It’d be Cruelty to animals though.”

    Its already cruelty to animals (rats), so whats the difference?

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  • could unrestrained fervent altruism (such as in the US & Europe – where we give our resources to other populations unlike us) mean we’ve been exposed to a pathogen – one that makes us less ethnocentric (like being less phobic to cat urine) & makes us embrace other cultures & their peoples? what’s in it for the pathogen – the opportunity to spread?

    shouldn’t xenophobia be our SOP – wasn’t it for most of history? especially given our old genes from say 50,000 years ago, back when human groups were even more different from each other than they are now.

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  • Shouldn’t you see the pathogen(and thus homosexuality) in some locations at much higher rates than in others?

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    • Replies: @erica
    "Shouldn't you see the pathogen (and thus homosexuality) in some locations at much higher rates than others?"

    Who says we don't? It seems that at least a few studies indicate men born in urban areas are more likely to be homosexual than men born in rural areas (although the latter do relocate to urban areas).

    Hunter-gatherer groups seem not to understand what homosexuality is.

    One wonders about the Far East, (Thailand) where people live in dense populations in close proximity to animals and where pathogens spread rapidly.

    , @Anonymous
    Part of the problem with the hunter-gatherer example is incidence: If 1 out of 10 men are homosexual there may be only one in a random generation. Without a cultural backdrop that even acknowledges homosexuality, they may never realize what's up.
    , @Anonymous
    The Angu were known to practce homosexual and pedophillia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angu
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  • @erica
    1) Jayman, you're probably right about the odds of t. gondii not being the cause of homosex; nevertheless, recent studies point to there being certain strains that are the cause of brain changes problems AND such studies discovered that rodents which had undergone lasting neurological changes showed no other signs of the infection, that is, they had cleared it. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2013/09/19/cat-lady-parasite-linked-to-permanent-brain-damage/

    “ 'Even when the parasite is cleared and it’s no longer in the brains of the animals, some kind of permanent long-term behavior change has occurred, even though we don’t know what the actual mechanism is,' Ingram said.

    " 'Ingram said it is possible the parasite could directly alter neurons involved in memory or learning, or trigger or damage the smell center of the brain. She is particularly interested in the possibility that the effect could be related to a host response, similar to an auto-immune response in a human.' "


    Very interesting......even if not related to homosexuality, at least we know of some researchers interested in studying bugs that cause changes in the brain, thus changes in behavior.


    2) Jayman, as you said on more than one occasion and as you stated above to Patrick Boyle, "There is no evidence that gays are born gay."

    That is in conflict with the conclusions of Dr. Charles Roselli, the sheep researcher. He has concluded that the morphological differences between the brains of male-oriented rams and female-oriented rams are due to hormonal irregularities that occur in utero, but I think he's had a hard time
    illustrating that. All I can see that he "knows" is that upon dissecting the brains of rams that are male-oriented versus those that are female-oriented, he sees some morphological differences in a tiny area of the brain.

    My idea is that you interview him and post the interview on your blog. If anyone should be directly asked if it's possible those rams become male-oriented from a triggering event AFTER birth (caused by a pathogen) OR even from a triggering event by a maternal pathogen during development, it's he.

    Also, it would be great if you could ask him if he's considered studying pathogens that might be at the root of it all, and if not, why?

    Why does he think natural selection wouldn't have worked to have reduced the really high percentage of "gay" sheep?

    How about it? He has a youtube up and he's given plenty of other interviews, why not with you. I'd love for someone who has your grasp of selection to have a discussion with him. Cochran has thought all along that the most direct line to discovering male homosex in humans is by studying those sheep, and while Roselli knows them well, he seems to be taking a very indirect route.

    Roselli interview is a great idea – go for it Jayman!

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  • @chrisdavies09
    @ staffan - "Schizophrenia is highly heritable so to say that it’s caused by T Gondii seems an overstatement"

    HLA genes which appear to confer susceptibility to (or protection from) schizophrenia are heritable though:-

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006322312005549
    "Genome-Wide Association Study Implicates HLA-C*01:02 as a Risk Factor at the Major Histocompatibility Complex Locus in Schizophrenia"

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22966150
    "Evaluation of HLA polymorphisms in relation to schizophrenia risk and infectious exposure."

    Maternal influenza infection appears to alter the serotonin and glutamate systems in the fetal brain increasing the risk of schizophrenia in adulthood. I see no reason why a virus can't alter the fetal brain in other ways, causing autism, bi-polar disorder, homosexuality, or whatever else later on. Presumably there are heritable MHC genes which either confer susceptibility to or protection from developing these conditions.

    Interesting. I’m not ruling it out, I’m just pointing out that schizophrenia has a much higher heritability than homosexuality so the susceptibility would be the major factor for that whereas the pathogen would be the major factor for homosexuality.

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  • @SMERSH
    Did anyone ever get Cochran's take on Calhoun's rat experiments?

    By putting rats in an environment that approximates modern cities (overcrowded but resource abundant), Calhoun was able to turn rats both pansexual and asexual. Some of them humped anything that moved without regard to normal rat mating rituals while others didn't even try to pass on their genes and just sat there grooming themselves.

    Kind of seems like we might be over thinking this one, especially when you take into account cheater strategies (among Orangutans some males don't develop male secondary sexual characteristics (at least for a time) and they mimic female behavior, so they don't have to fight the large, dominant males for territory. This allows them to infiltrate the a large male's territory and mate with females when he's not looking. Rats don't have such a strategy and life in a modern urban center still turned them gay (ish), who knows what it might do to primates that already have a built in "act like a female" strategy.

    They need to do the Rat experiment with orangutans, I guess. It'd be Cruelty to animals though.

    Some diseases remain dormant in smaller populations, but spread when there’s expansion. If anything, Calhoun’s rats could support a pathogen theory.

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  • @Pat Boyle
    I posted my theory of homosexuality maybe three years ago in a long comment on Steve Sailer's blog. Basically I just deduced what was the most likely infectious agent. I concluded it was toxoplasma gondii.

    BTW Cochran is probably less important in this area than Paul Ewald. Cochran doesn't seem particularly interested in following up on his original speculation.

    The case for T. Gondii is pretty simple. Homosexuality is about 2 or 3% of the population. Too big obviously to be caused by point mutations. But too small to be a normal outcome from a normal infection. The numbers argue for a widespread pathogen that only intermittently is expressed as homosexuality. It also seems to be persistent rather than one of periodic epidemics. It isn't infectious in any normal way. There may have been an epidemic of gayness in the Doric expansion into Greece but that's far from certain.

    We know what causes homosexuality. The IAH3 nuclei in the hypothalamus are reversed such that males target males and females target females. What could cause that?

    Many parasites mess with their host's sexual behavior but homosexuality doesn't seem to benefit any known parasite. This suggests that the gay effect is parentenic. T. Gondii exhibits all sorts of different effects when it is in the wrong host. Recently it has been found in the eyes of polar whales. It causes schizophrenia and bad driving in humans.

    In any case if I'm right there is an easy test to prove my deduction. All mothers of gays should test positive for T. Gondii. If someone will just test a group of mother's we could settle this once and for all.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csjCdlp_giA

    Staffan, you’d also have to look at folks whose mothers (or possibly parents) had cats at any point in their early lives or were exposed to cat poo, which is going to be a huge number, because cats are really common in our society, and so might not show anything…

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  • @erica
    Nice job of indexing and summarizing GC's posts on the subject at WH, Jayman.

    You say:

    "you can come across as harsh and I’m learning that to connect with the mainstream, you must tell them that 2+2=4 before you can tell them 4+2=6. If you don’t make the effort to tell them you’re not evil in each post you write, if it’s the first post they’ve read, they’re going to want to think you’re evil, because everyone wants to think that everyone else on the internet is 1) evil and 2) wrong."


    You might take a lesson from the field of politics. What's in a name counts a great deal in how far people get in letting you present your case and in how they view what you've presented if they let you get through your explanation.

    "The Gay Germ Hypothesis" is immediately frightening to both those who themselves aren't gay and thus fear that they might "catch the gay" or, more particularly, that their children might, and it immediately angers gays for the same reason--they think they're being tagged as lepers.

    It's a catchy phrase and those frequenting blogs like the old Gene Expression where gc sometimes posted often referred to it as that, as I recall, but blogs like GE were not frequented by the average guy or gal so now that this hypothesis has indeed begun getting more press, you might get further with a different name.

    Think, for example how successful the GOP and conservatives were when "the inheritance tax" was renamed as "the death tax." (Of course, that's one of their few successes in learning how to use language, as Frank Luntz laments, esp. compared to the success the Progressives have in using language (for instance, "The WAR against WOMEN").

    I myself haven't come up with another phrase that encompasses the all the basics of the hypothesis, which allows either for an infectious etiology or for an inflammatory/ autoimmune response.....but you need a phrase that doesn't suggest at once to those who've never heard of such a possibility some other name for it.

    The minute you say "Gay Germ Hypothesis" they react with "You're saying I'm infectious!" or 'You're saying this is an illness or a disease!" or "You're saying there's something wrong with me!", yada, yada. Of course, as they suffer a fitness cost, yes they ARE "suffering" from something having gone "wrong": yes, they are or more likely were "infected" since, yes they have likely had some destruction to a crucial part of their brain or damage to pathways perhaps, neurotramission, etc. but GAY GERM suggests there's a particular bug that goes around infecting men and making them gay, and that therefore, those who are gay are infectious and ....well, we see what they do with lepers and people with active tb.

    Thus, if you wish to be both accurate and able to hold a conversation without alienating your friends before they even let you get a few sentences out, seriously consider some new nomenclature.

    For laymen's discussions, consider phrases such as "likely childhood inflammatory response" or "likely result of an early infection" made into acronyms as ways to begin the discussion. As in, "male homosexuality might be LCIR or LREI, did you hear? "

    I've tried that before and at least it let me get the whole way through with straight lib friends. I've tried it on two gay friends and gotten further than "Gay Germ theory/hypothesis." They at least listened before turning up their noses.

    I'm not saying I like my acronyms, but maybe you can think of one that works even better.

    excellent post, Erica

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  • @Dan
    In trying to figure out AIDS, tens or hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent looking for pathogens in the bodies of gay men. Thousands of researchers have committed their lives to this task. If a 'gay germ' did not show up through all of this, nothing will ever show up.

    The great hunt has already occurred.

    "if conservatives spent a fraction of the money they spend fighting gay marriage" -- what a silly statement. The traditional marriage cause has consumed not 1/1000 of the resources of the above great hunt.

    Whoops, sorry for the double post:

    Dan: “In trying to figure out AIDS, tens or hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent looking for pathogens in the bodies of gay men. Thousands of researchers have committed their
    lives to this task. If a ‘gay germ’ did not show up through all of this, nothing will ever show up.”

    1) They weren’t looking for evidence of what caused them to be gay. They were looking for what was the origins of their immune suppression.

    2) As I’ve heard someone say, “gay men are walking petri dishes,” making looking for bugs they share a not very productive plan.

    3.) Whatever destroyed their ability to identify a proper mate is likely long gone but sign of its damage must remain

    so……..

    4.) Study those sheep——–no way nature selects for 8% of rams to perceive confuse males as females.

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  • @Dan
    In trying to figure out AIDS, tens or hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent looking for pathogens in the bodies of gay men. Thousands of researchers have committed their lives to this task. If a 'gay germ' did not show up through all of this, nothing will ever show up.

    The great hunt has already occurred.

    "if conservatives spent a fraction of the money they spend fighting gay marriage" -- what a silly statement. The traditional marriage cause has consumed not 1/1000 of the resources of the above great hunt.

    “In trying to figure out AIDS, tens or hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent looking for pathogens in the bodies of gay men. Thousands of researchers have committed their
    lives to this task. If a ‘gay germ’ did not show up through all of this, nothing will ever show up.”

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  • @meh
    Science blogger Ed Yong recently wrote about narcolepsy being confirmed as an autoimmune disease.

    http://www.nature.com/news/narcolepsy-confirmed-as-autoimmune-disease-1.14413

    "As the H1N1 swine flu pandemic swept the world in 2009, China saw a spike in cases of narcolepsy — a mysterious disorder that involves sudden, uncontrollable sleepiness. Meanwhile, in Europe, around 1 in 15,000 children who were given Pandemrix — a now-defunct flu vaccine that contained fragments of the pandemic virus — also developed narcolepsy, a chronic disease."

    Interesting. Thanks!

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  • @Dan
    In trying to figure out AIDS, tens or hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent looking for pathogens in the bodies of gay men. Thousands of researchers have committed their lives to this task. If a 'gay germ' did not show up through all of this, nothing will ever show up.

    The great hunt has already occurred.

    "if conservatives spent a fraction of the money they spend fighting gay marriage" -- what a silly statement. The traditional marriage cause has consumed not 1/1000 of the resources of the above great hunt.

    In trying to figure out AIDS, tens or hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent looking for pathogens in the bodies of gay men. Thousands of researchers have committed their
    lives to this task. If a ‘gay germ’ did not show up through all of this, nothing will ever show up.

    Incorrect. The infection could usually have already been cleared in adult gay men.

    Further, read the Cochran/Ewald paper linked in the post. Pathogens aren’t necessarily easy to find, especially currently unknown ones.

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