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Female Same-Sex Attraction Revisited
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azX1nhB1eeU An enduring mystery (among many mysteries) is the existence of women exhibiting sexual attraction to other women. Unlike male homosexuality, where a likely explanation has been put forth (see Greg Cochran’s “Gay Germ” Hypothesis – An Exercise in the Power of Germs), female same-sex attraction remains the realm of speculation. My previous foray into the matter, The Evolution of Female Bisexuality, contains much of that speculation. I’ve learned quite a bit since then, so the time has come to revisit the matter. This time I will make use of one of the most powerful exploratory methods in social science, behavioral genetics.

The first thing to look at is the heritability. An analysis of large twin registry studies pegs the heritability of female same-sex attraction (SSA) as 33% (Whitehead, 2011). This is in contrast to the very low heritability of male SSA, 22%, as reported in the same study. However, these heritabilities were not significantly different.

Unfortunately, a key weakness here (as with virtually all sex research) is that this relies entirely on self-report – worse, with no form of corroboration from any other measurement. Hence, measurement error can be expected to be large.

Looking at the various studies examined by Whitehead, heritabilities were quite variable. A lot of this stems from the relative rarity of SSA, making samples of SSA individuals small even in large studies. (Another problem with that non-response was generally high in these studies, which may have biased heritabitlity estimates.) Only the largest population-based studies with good compliance can firmly pin down the heritability of SSA.

The low heritability and evolutionary contradiction of male homosexuality necessitates the pathogenic explanation. But, assuming the 0.33 heritability of female SSA is reliable, is an evolutionary explanation workable? It is quite possibly is.

A big component is the fitness impact of female SSA. It appears to be much more common than male non-heterosexuality (again, assuming self-reports are to be believed). A British survey (Mercer et al, 2013) finds that among the youngest cohorts of women (ages 16-34), as much as 19% claim to have sexual contact with another woman (the fraction maxes out at around 9-10% for men).

Female Same Sex However, the racial composition of the sample changes considerably across age, going from 92% to only 82% White from the oldest to the youngest cohort. Hence it’s unclear how much demographic changes are driving this apparent generational change (more on that shortly).

Nonetheless, female SSA is quite common. Its historic fitness impact then would appear to be – at worst – not as deleterious male same sex attraction. According to the Add Health data (a nationally representative U.S. teen/young adult sample), the predominant (de facto) orientation of non-heterosexual women is some sort of bisexual, indeed “mostly heterosexual” (from Udry & Chantala, 2006):

Homo-Bi Fraction Add Health

(My own personal suspicion is that most of the men claiming to be “mostly heterosexual” are in fact gay.)

As a check, I looked at the General Social Survey (GSS) to see what the reported overall behavior of non-hetero woman was. I looked at women (all races) who reported 1 or more female sex partners. This is the number of male sex partners these women claim to have had:

Bisex nummenHow Lesbian Are You

As we can see, non-hetero women are apparently quite promiscuous; such women with no or only a few male sex partners are very much the exception. Indeed, a third or more have had more than eight male partners; ~15% or more claim to have had more than 20 male partners!

The second chart is the number of female sex partners women who report one or more female sex partners claim to have had (all races). As we see, the most common value is just the one. All these indicate that such women are indeed primarily attracted to men.

If this is representative of past potential inclination (not necessarily realized behavior]), then the fitness impact of female SSA couldn’t have been too negative, at worst. An interest in other women likely did not preclude marrying and having children for women historically, especially if they were primarily attracted to men.

Lesbian Percent White Also, for the record, I checked the GSS to see if the apparently highish frequency of women reporting SSA was driven by racial differences in SSA. As we see, even when we look at Whites only, we see a noticeable generational rise in the fraction of women who report sexual experiences with other women. I also looked at racial differences, and the values are similar for other races, except for Hispanics, who have consistently reported a 10-13% female-female sex rate for all of these cohorts. Whites and Blacks have merely converged with the Hispanic rate as of late.

Could the fitness impact of female SSA have been positive? That is, was it specifically selected for? I suspect not. While it is common, its nonetheless minority status would entail some sort of balancing selection to remain at its low level. The most plausible type, frequency-dependent selection, implies that female SSA is beneficial when it is rare. I can’t see how this would be the case (especially since it would be tough for such a girl who can’t find other women who are interested in her).

No, I don’t think female SSA is an adaptation at all. Rather, if it is actually genetic in nature, then the most likely explanation appears to be that it is some sort of side effect of something else. I suspect that it may be due to sexual antagonistic selection. That is, its existence may be driven by selection on alleles that have positive effects in men.

Key to this idea is the apparently near neutral past fitness impact of female SSA (its present impact is decidedly deleterious, as per the GSS). It was not rapidly selected out, unlike any alleles which would cause male homosexuality.

A clue here is the characteristics of non-hetero women. They are often masculinized relative to other women, with higher sex drives and, as we see, greater promiscuity.

Here again, twin studies are informative. One twin study (Burri, Spector, and Rahman, 2015) found that in female twins, masculinity (measured by childhood “gender non-conformity”) was genetically correlated both with female non-heterosexuality and number of sex partners, through a latent genetic factor. EDIT: added the genetic pathway image:

Burri pathway

This latent phenotype found here is a set of masculinizing genes, I suspect.

One idea that we can lay to rest here is the notion that female masculinization and SSA stem from prenatal exposure to male hormones. The way to test this idea is to look at females with a male fraternal twin (Fm) compared to women with female fraternal twins (Ff). If the Fm women were more masculine that Ff women, then it would imply prenatal hormones were at work. A massive review looking at such twin studies (Tapp, Maybery, and Whitehouse, 2011) found little support for this notion, particularly from the larger studies examined. Another recent twin study out of Denmark (Ahrenfeldt et al, 2015) found no such effect on women’s academic performance (Fm twins didn’t exhibit a more male-typical cognitive profile).

madonna-and-britney-spears-share-stage.jpgIt also has been said that non-heterosexual women look different from straight women, the former appearing more masculine. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find much by way of good studies examining female appearance and sexual orientation. There are a few small and questionable ones, but nothing I’d take too seriously. That said, there’s another way to look indirectly at the matter.

Two twin studies by the same team (Mitchem et al, 2014 and Lee et al, 2014) looked at the heritability of facial attractiveness and facial masculinity-femininity in two sets of large and well-measured samples. They found that both are highly heritable (primarily driven by additive genetic factors), but what’s more, high facial masculinity in men led to high facial masculinity in their sisters, decreasing these women’s attractiveness.

This spillover of male traits on their female relatives can also be seen in “sociosexuality” (promiscuity). A largish twin study out of Australia (Baily et al, 2000) found sociosexuality in men predicted the same in their female co-twins. As well, there is the Zietsch et al (2008) study that found that masculinized women were more likely to be non-heterosexual, and that straight women with a non-heterosexual female twin reported somewhat more sexual partners.

Unfortunately, all these fall short of a more ideal of study, one that examines the morphological and psychological characteristics of women and their male relatives to pin down good familial predictors of female SSA.

http://toseekagreatperhaps.com/2013/12/02/elton-john-justin-bieber-lesbians-and-miley-cyrus/Nevertheless, taken together, these point in the direction of masculinity being a distinct suite of traits and that appears related to female SSA. In terms of facial features, that masculinity is distinct from attractiveness in men is interesting. It speaks to perhaps a set of “masculinity promoting” genes that act somewhat orthogonal to those that lead to good looks. Research is mixed on the extent that women find masculine facial features attractive, but I’d say it’s safe to say that these alleles underwent positive selection in men. However, unfortunately, manly men beget manly daughters. Some of these alleles may serve to increase “gynephilia” (attraction to women), and they may have this effect in both sexes. This may be where SSA comes from in women. Unlike male SSA, female SSA appears to be continuously distributed – consistent with what we’d expect if it arose from the general load of various gynephilic alleles (resulting in pure lesbianism in the most extreme cases). The female SSA itself, being near selectively neutral, could reach high frequencies in women, just as masculinity in general has. However, the general suite of masculinized traits (e.g., sociosexuality, facial masculinity) was likely maladaptive in women, and was selected against, counteracting the positive selection in men. In other words, sexual antagonistic selection. A GWAS (Drabant et al, 2012) found no genetic hits to sexual orientation, indicating that female SSA – if primarily genetically driven – is caused by many genes of small effect, as we might expect.

Of course, much of this info comes from WEIRD countries (i.e., NW European and offshoots). As with much of social science in general, these investigations should be repeated with large samples from non-Western societies.

As for the male interest in girl-girl sex (*guilty*), I still suspect it’s a simple matter being able to have multiple women. Even men from highly conservative cultures may not express interest, but often such men harbor rather “colorful” sexual proclivities. Further research needed.

Now, is all of this compatible with a pathogenic source for female SSA? Absolutely, especially if the true heritability turns out to be truly low. See Peter Frost (Yes, Demons Do Exist). Perhaps the recent trend towards more women displaying SSA is due to the spread of a new pathogen. Time will tell. However, unlike male homosexuality, I don’t think we can retire the pure genetic explanation, yet.

The obvious theme song for this post:

(Republished from JayMan's Blog by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. WHOA! First on the first Jayman post in a long time.

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

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  2. Hey Jayman,

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

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

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

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

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

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

    , @Lion of the Judah-sphere
    @ Staffan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    , @Jedi Master
    @JayMan

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

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

  3. Great post Jayman, thanks. Good to have you back.

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

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

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @chrisdavies09:

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

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

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Polynices:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    :

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

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

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

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

    Read More
  7. “The low heritability and evolutionary contradiction of male homosexuality necessitates the pathogenic explanation. ”

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

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

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Michael:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Michael:

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


    Obviously if there were just one gene or two genes involved, their rate of incidence would go toward zero quickly. On the other hand, if it is a complex behavior that involves many genes, this would not necessarily be so.
     
    Doesn't matter. The only way for them to be preserved in this scenario is a complete lack of additive effect (which is implausible). All such alleles would quickly go to zero over evolutionary time.
  10. Jayman — great to get you in real time!

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

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

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    Note, no more comments about male homosexuality or the gay germ here. There are several other of my posts for that.
  11. @Michael
    Failing to migrate is highly maladaptive and leads to death, nature can never completely select it out. Every generation, a substantial portion of birds screw it up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Michael:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  14. @Michael
    Jayman -- great to get you in real time!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Read More
  17. Looking at the data, it looks like SSA is just a side effect of promiscuity. Promiscuous people just aren’t all that picky.

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

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @dip:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    @dip:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @dip:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    @dip:

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

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

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

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

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

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @chrisdavies09:

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

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

    , @JayMan
    @chrisdavies09:

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

    , @JayMan
    @chrisdavies09:

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

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

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

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

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

    Read More
  25. @Lion of the Judah-sphere
    Hey Jayman,

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

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

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

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

    Read More
  26. @chrisdavies09
    Great post Jayman, thanks. Good to have you back.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @g:

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

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

  28. Anonymous says: • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment

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

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

    Read More
  29. @Lion of the Judah-sphere
    Hey Jayman,

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

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

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

    Read More
  30. @Lion of the Judah-sphere
    Hey Jayman,

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

    @ Staffan

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

    Read More
  31. […] Female Same-Sex Attraction Revisited – from jayman. […]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    (and vice versa for the behavioral component)

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

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

    Read More
  34. @Lion of the Judah-sphere
    Hey Jayman,

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

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

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

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

    Read More
  35. @Lion of the Judah-sphere
    Hey Jayman,

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

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

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

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

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

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

    A short overview can be found here:

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

    This book is a longer, in-depth analysis:

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

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Jedi Master:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    @g:

    Humans aren’t mice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    @g:

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

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

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

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

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

    Like “maleness” promoting genes? ;)

    Read More
  41. @Lion of the Judah-sphere
    Hey Jayman,

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

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

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

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

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Erik Sieven:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    @tl:

    Good find!

    Read More
  46. I remember reading something of yours about how liberals aren’t breeding but conservatives are.

    Here is a questions for you.

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

    Read More
  47. @chris
    I remember reading something of yours about how liberals aren't breeding but conservatives are.

    Here is a questions for you.

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

    Conservatives are more r typed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    I wouldn't say r per se. But conservatives generally tend towards earlier breeding, at least today.
  48. @Lion of the Judah-sphere
    Conservatives are more r typed.

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

    Read More
  49. This was from your Twitter in relation to the Guardian article on ‘Born that Way’:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Thoughts?

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    See my post on Cochran's gay germ theory above for my thoughts on that matter.
    , @Shooter
    Crap. I just realized that you said you don't want any more comments on male homosexuality. My bad.
  50. @Shooter
    This was from your Twitter in relation to the Guardian article on 'Born that Way':

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Thoughts?

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

    Read More
  51. @Shooter
    This was from your Twitter in relation to the Guardian article on 'Born that Way':

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Thoughts?

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

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    Feel free to comment on the matter on one of the previous posts on it.
  52. @Shooter
    Crap. I just realized that you said you don't want any more comments on male homosexuality. My bad.

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

    Read More
  53. My suspicion regarding male interest in female homosexuality is that it’s at least partially rooted in an aversion to male homosexuality. It allows men to watch female sexuality without having to watch another man.

    Read More
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