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The notion of a Gay Germ—homosexuality transmitted as some sort of infection—probably horrifies many mainstream intellectuals unfamiliar with the details of modern evolutionary biology. Therefore, it is perhaps unsurprising that my recent column discussing that subject quickly provoked a striking example of Internet censorship. But the circumstances were different than people might naively expect.

Most of the responses to my analysis were quite reasonable and respectful. Anthropologist Peter Frost published a column questioning some of my arguments, which generated an extended comment thread. George Mason University’s Genetic Literacy Project also provided a brief summary and link.

However, a target of my critique had been Dr. Gregory Cochran, a leading Gay Germ advocate, who had recently ridiculed the intelligence of my old professor E.O. Wilson for remarks supporting the contrary Gay Gene hypothesis. I merely pointed out that to the extent powerful selective pressures would have weeded out any hypothetical Gay Gene, exactly those same selective pressures would have tended to remove susceptibility to a Gay Germ as well, so that to a considerable extent the two theories suffered from similar theoretical weaknesses and were not so obviously distinct.

Now Cochran is a notoriously arrogant and irascible researcher, and he reacted to my views by launching a blistering attack on his own blogsite, sharply questioning my intellect and knowledge. Moreover, when I showed up to explicate my analysis as a commenter, he quickly banned me, possibly because I was defending my position a bit too well, and perhaps thereby “confusing” his coterie of worshipful fanboys. My impression is that publishing a lengthy blog attack against someone and then banning the victim when he politely attempts to provide his own side of the argument is considered “bad form” on the Internet, but there are obviously individuals for whom these usual rules do not apply.

My dispute with Cochran had hinged on a very simple point, namely whether or not the hypothetical Gay Germ in question induced the orientation for some deliberate reason or whether the effect was merely a more or less random byproduct of the pathogen’s bodily activity. Cochran has provided no suggestion of the former possibility, which seems equally implausible to me, so his theory hinges on the notion that gayness is simply an unintentional aspect of the infection. However, such a hypothesis seems to suffer from severe theoretical weaknesses.

Host/parasite systems are always undergoing the fiercest sort of evolutionary struggle, with both sides facing powerful selective pressures to gain the upper hand. Indeed, many evolutionists in recent years have concluded that one of the most fundamental and important of all plant and animal traits—namely sexual rather than asexual reproduction—probably evolved primarily as an anti-parasitic defense mechanism.

But now consider the hypothetical Gay Germ. If the induced orientation serves no useful purpose for the bug, maintenance of that particular extended phenotype would not be supported by any selective pressure, while the genes of the host would be under enormous contrary pressure to eliminate the trait by producing modifier genes or other neutralizing responses. As a result, the evolutionary arms-race would be entirely one-sided, and we would expect the gayness-inducing aspect of the Gay Germ to quickly disappear, whether through changes to host or to parasite. The human body is already filled to the brim with germs, and since the hypothetical germ produces no other apparent symptoms, the host DNA certainly wouldn’t care about one more free rider hanging around once it stopped trying to fatally compromise host reproduction. A mutually-acceptable evolutionary truce would have been declared.

While it is possible to hypothetically posit that the induced orientation provides no benefit to the germ but is nonetheless inextricably linked to the pathogen’s life-cycle, this seems quite unlikely. As I pointed out in a couple of my comments on Cochran’s blog, the harmful effects of virtually all other diseases are directly due to the needful activity of the germs in question. Sometimes these involve digesting the body-organs of the host, sometimes clogging up the circulatory system by multiplying and spreading, or sometimes even manipulating the host’s behavior in order to more effectively spread to other hosts. Since the alleged Gay Germ seems utterly asymptomatic, I find it doubtful that a germ would induce gayness and attack the host’s reproductive system merely out of pure maliciousness toward the host’s DNA.

Cochran countered by citing as a counter-example the “sterility belt” of Central Africa, in which Chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease, sterilizes up to 30% of all adult women. He argued the germ gained nothing from inducing this trait while the infected host population suffered massive harm.

In response, I pointed out that the likely benefit to this particular STD activity was quite obvious. Such sterilized African women would probably be divorced by their husbands and cast into dire poverty, thereby often being forced into a life of formal or informal prostitution as a consequence. Since prostitutes might have hundreds of times as many sexual partners each year as married women, the gains to the transmission-vector of such a sterility-inducing STD would be absolutely enormous, providing exactly the sort of powerful selective pressure able to balance that operating on the host population. Thus, such a “Divorce Germ” makes perfect evolutionary sense in the way a Gay Germ seemingly does not.

Now Cochran has devoted the last decade almost exclusively to these sorts of evolutionary biology issues, and for him to have apparently spent all those years believing that a 30% germ-induced host sterility rate—with absolutely enormous selective impact—served no useful purpose for the responsible pathogen is tantamount to revealing that he has Creationist-leanings. Hence he immediately banned me from his blogsite for making such “lawyerly” arguments, and later declared that the corpus of my published articles had anyway proven that I was simply a “loon.”

ORDER IT NOW

There is an ironic subtext to this minor blogosphere contretemps. In his own political views, Cochran is an extreme right-winger, and he and his friends are always denouncing our mainstream media for its climate of total censorship and bias against views that contradict the reigning Blank Slate theory of human nature. Such criticism is perfectly valid. But I find it a bit amusing that the moment anyone politely points out the holes in Cochran’s own pet scientific theories, his guillotine comes down and the heretic is expelled to the Outer Darkness.

Early in the twentieth century, the Trotskyites endlessly bewailed how their Stalinist foes had gained the upper hand and brutally purged them. Yet I’ve always suspected that if the Trotskyites had been the ones who ended up on top, they would have treated their defeated opponents in exactly the same manner.

 

On a related matter, a reader of my previous column happens to be an old friend of Robert Trivers, one of the world’s foremost evolutionary theorists, and forwarded him my remarks, soliciting his opinion on the Gay Gene/Gay Germ question. Trivers explained that the evolutionary problem of homosexuality had been an important focus of his thinking and research for thirty years and that no one had yet proposed a satisfactory model; he sketched out the various hypotheses and their obvious weaknesses. Given my cursory knowledge of the field and his great eminence, I found it reassuring that my views were quite compatible with his. However, he didn’t seem to think that anyone had ever seriously proposed a Gay Germ theory, so perhaps my original discussion gave far too much attention to that particular bit of occasional blogosphere speculation.

His theoretical brilliance aside, Trivers has also occasionally attracted attention for his politics. Although evolutionary biology is frequently perceived as a stronghold of reactionary sentiment, perhaps due to years of public vilification and dishonest smears by Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Lewontin, and other critics of their ilk, the actual facts seem otherwise, with leading figures such as Richard Dawkins and E.O. Wilson being strong liberals. And Trivers himself turns this stereotype completely on its head, being a figure of the Radical Left. For example, he was one of the tiny handful of whites who joined the Black Panther Party during its heyday, and apparently still holds those same views, having personally dedicated his most recent book to the memory of Panther leader Huey Newton.

My personal inclination is to focus on the scientific validity of a theory rather than the ideological leanings of the particular figure providing the analysis.

 

On another matter, I’m pleased that my article How Social Darwinism Made Modern China continues to generate steady traffic six weeks after publication, with total readership time now heading toward 20,000 hours.

Finally, the front page of his morning’s New York Times announced that NYC’s Cooper Union had officially ended its 150-year-old tradition of providing a top-quality education without charging tuition. I had previously provided my own opinion on that proposal earlier in the year.

(Republished from The American Conservative by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Science • Tags: Gays/Lesbians 
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  1. My understanding of the gay germ theory is that it is likely something that infects the mother while the child is in utero. Something similar has been suggested for schizophrenia, which is more heritable than gayness (twin concordance for example), but also tends to be more common in winter births (hence a possible infectious element). Whatever the environmental influence (germ hormonal or whatever) it seems to me that it almost has to be an in utero effect since gayness is associated with other physical traits such as “gay face” and hair swirl patterns that it is difficult to imagine happen after birth. In fact, every parent who has tried to style a child with ornery hair knows that hair swirl patterns are there form birth.

  2. Without evidence, the issue seems moot, but suppose the ‘germ’ lay dormant in its host and was only activated by via some interaction with ovum or egg chemistry depending in which sex they germ resided.

    I acknowledge that whole idea is speculative as no such gene, germ, or indocrinal reaction is ever likely to be found.

  3. df says:

    The conversation about “gay genes” and “gay germs” makes me curious as to why one rarely, maybe never, hears about “straight genes”.

    And what is it that would be infected? What patch of DNA if a “gay germ” exits?

    As a side note, keep in mind that the vast majority of cells on any multi-cellular organism are bacterial cells, and without them, we and other multi-cellular organisms would be dead because of the benefits they provide.

  4. M.N. says:

    So, you are attempting the ultimate smear technique in today’s age of pc types who are just waiting for a reason to cry “racist” or “homophobe” or “Islamophobe” or “woman-hater”, huh? You have resorted to calling GC an “extreme right winger.” Oh, really? So extreme that he excoriates the Bush administration often (indeed excoriates many things Bush) for believing Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and going to war on that basis in Iraq? That kind of “right winger”?

    It was Trivers himself that said the germ theory was plausible, I do believe.

    What about this little notion that other organisms often out-evolve us? Are you arguing that all effects that arise from pathogens occur only when the germ benefits? Even when the germ doesn’t have to worry about having a lot more hosts that can be infected? Or even when there may only be a relatively small population susceptible to a fitness hit from either the direct effect of the bug or from a side effect of it?

    I thought Cochran was pretty patient with you in his earlier comments, and very polite and reasonable in his explanations. From his comments it became clear the two of you “have a history.”

    Are you claiming you have his knowledge of evolutionary science? I mean, you claim you went to another source since you have a “cursory knowledge of the field.” A person with a cursory knowledge of the subject, it seems to me, wouldn’t make an appearance and argue the point unless that wasn’t the actual reason he insisted on staying.

  5. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    It’s out of fashion these days, but I still suspect it’s a domineering mother who causes homosexuality in her son. That coupled with the father’s passivity. Actually, there’s some pretty good evidence to support this. I’m highly skeptical of gay hair swirls and lesbian finger length having anything at all to do with homosexual desire (does size really matter if you’re a lesbian?).

    I’m doubtful of gay germ theory too, but it’s a pity you’re being censored. Like germ theory, pathological psychological theories tend to get censored, too. Really, these need to be given so much more credit. Really, it’s just too obvious.

    On another tangential front, how about those Frenchmen! Boy, I’m impressed with all the rabble-rousing they’re causing over there. No, they’re not going to take this abuse of eros lying down, bending over like the Anglo-Saxons in NZ. There are some things worth rioting over. Vive la France! Vive la difference! Vive Brigitte Bardot!

    • Agree: Stephen R. Diamond
  6. JonF says:

    Re: I merely pointed out that to the extent powerful selective pressures would have weeded out any hypothetical Gay Gene

    Um, no: until very recently most gay people (especially lesbians) bowed to familial and social pressure and married and had kids– and then loved and philandered on the side (as many straight men and some women also did when they tired of or were incompatible with their spouses). So being gay never meant “no kids”. Even today it’s not hard to find gay men and lesbians with children from former straight marriages.
    Moreover there’s no evidence that homosexuality is simply inherited, as blue eyes or hemophilia are. Or that there’s “a” gay gene (I am agnostic on the genetic question, though the evidence is that it’s innate, much like handedness– which is not genetic– is overwhelming). If homosexuality is the result of several genes coming together, like getting a royal flush in poker, they would survive quite handily in the gene pool despite the occasional exclusive homosexual.

  7. Ampersand says:

    Disagreement isn’t censorship. If you were being censored, your original article would have been taken down or changed (doesn’t look like it has been), and you wouldn’t have been able to publish this.

  8. tbraton says:

    “Now Cochran is a notoriously arrogant and irascible researcher, and he reacted to my views by launching a blistering attack on his own blogsite, sharply questioning my intellect and knowledge.”

    Well, you have admitted that you have never taken an economics course or opened an economics text in your life, so he may have a point there based on your economic speculations that I have read. But, then, you recently (within the past year) revealed that you had become a skeptic with regards to man-made global warming, so I would have to classify you as smart but slow in that area. As to the other stuff you write about, IQ and gay germs, I can only read part ways through since it is way over my head, so I am in no position to question your intellect and knowledge.But, if forced to give you an overall grade, I would say a Gentleman’s C would be appropriate—and that assumes you are a Gentleman.

  9. Vive Brigitte Bardot!

    Oh, yeah, vive le beatings on the street. Vive le firebombing of gay bars.

  10. Dahlia says:

    “If the induced orientation serves no useful purpose for the bug…”

    Gay male sex is useful for *all* diseases that can be sexually transmitted, whether there is a gay germ or not.

    “…I pointed out that the likely benefit to this particular STD activity…Since prostitutes might have hundreds of times as many sexual partners each year as married women, the gains to the transmission-vector of such a sterility-inducing STD would be absolutely enormous, providing exactly the sort of powerful selective pressure able to balance that operating on the host population.”

    I don’t know how long Africa has had its sterility belt, but if you replaced “prostitutes” with “homosexual men” in the above, it would probably still hold. Given what I heard about some of the activities in the 70s and 80s, they may be worse than prostitutes.

    My own personal opinion is that germs are involved. Too many people take too much off the table when discussing it. Why not take into account that some get it in older age? It’s too often forgotten. Why take off the table that an std can’t be at fault? That it could have multiple causes? Why does everyone assume it has to be simple? So on and so forth.

  11. Dahlia says:

    In my comment, I took knowledge and beliefs of STDs for granted.

    I believe that stds play a much larger role in our lives and health than most people believe. How much, I’m not certain, but Paul Ewald has me convinced that most illnesses, particularly many cancer, that strike in middle age are caused by stds. And many we know don’t such as HPV! He recently was given a large grant by the National Breast Cancer Coalition to research more his theory of sexually transmitted infectious agents causing breast cancer.
    BTW, I am not at all surprised that it was a woman’s group who was open to the implication that promiscuity can be harmful beyond a handful of STDs that are easily treated with antibiotics…

    So, pathogens, especially sexually transmitted pathogens, are very much with us (well, not me :)), and gay men do these pathogens a huge service, but not themselves. I don’t know how, but it just makes sense that pathogens are the cause, too. And when you add in that hunter-gatherers have never heard of homosexuality and that it is more prevalent in crowded places… well it’s hard to believe it could be otherwise.

    BTW, I wasn’t endorsing anything that I complained of “being left off the table”. I’m frustrated at the closed-mindedness, no matter where they come down, that I so often see in comment threads.

  12. It’s out of fashion these days, but I still suspect it’s a domineering mother who causes homosexuality in her son.

    “Fashion” has nothing to do with it (yes, I know, the irony 🙂 ). The “mean momma” theory dates back to Freud, and like much of what ol’ Sigmund hypothesized, has been utterly debunked by researchers:

    Sexual orientation probably is not determined by any one factor but by a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences. In recent decades, biologically based theories have been favored by experts. Although there continues to be controversy and uncertainty as to the genesis of the variety of human sexual orientations, there is no scientific evidence that abnormal parenting, sexual abuse, or other adverse life events influence sexual orientation. Current knowledge suggests that sexual orientation is usually established during early childhood.

    American Academy of Pediatrics.

  13. Liam says:

    Oh, that creaky Freudian theory is so laughable. First, it doesn’t explain the coexistence of perfectly straight siblings. Second, even if arguendo there was some correlation, the causative direction could more plausibly be reversed: that parental perception of a child’s gender conformity affects how the same-gender and opposite-gender parents relate to that child.

  14. I am very very hesitant to attribute any feature as complex as sexuality to a single causative, wether its germ or genelike agent.

  15. Thursday says:

    Cochran has responded extensively to Unz’s arguments here:
    http://westhunt.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/evolution-of-virulence/

    Unz’s arguments do not come out well.

  16. Thursday says:

    Um, no: until very recently most gay people (especially lesbians) bowed to familial and social pressure and married and had kids– and then loved and philandered on the side (as many straight men and some women also did when they tired of or were incompatible with their spouses).

    This is just plain stupid. Natural selection will tend to weed out a trait that has even a 1% reproductive disadvantage. To say that gay men don’t have a more than 1% reproductive disadvantage when competing against guys who really want to have sex with women is ludicrous.

    Let me emphasize again how extremely stupid this argument is.

    If homosexuality is the result of several genes coming together, like getting a royal flush in poker, they would survive quite handily in the gene pool despite the occasional exclusive homosexual.

    2-4% of the population is not occasional, so the genes would be weeded out together.

  17. M.N. says:

    “I am very very hesitant to attribute any feature as complex as sexuality to a single causative, wether its germ or genelike agent.”

    The desire to mate is a primitive one, like eating and sleeping. It is controlled by the primitive brain….not so “complex.” Now, the evolution of how/why mates are selected is another story.

  18. Thursday says:

    >Natural selection will tend to weed out a trait that has even a 1% reproductive disadvantage. To say that gay men don’t have a more than 1% reproductive disadvantage when competing against guys who really want to have sex with women is ludicrous.

    You can’t define “reproductive advantage” in humans as simplistically as in, say, earthworms. There is no reproductive advantage when children born to families, however large, do not survive to the point where they can themselves reproduce. Neither is there a reproductive advantage when they grow up so maladjusted that they blow other people’s limbs off.

    It is easily conceivable, therefore, that the presence of a few people in society who are prepared to assist parents with upbringing, or even step in and finish the job when parents are unable to do so, can constitute a reproductive advantage to the population as a whole. In fact, I believe that a cross-cultural examination will show gay people to have a particular talent for cultural transmission between generations, and to gravitate to the corresponding occupations.

    Furthermore, the fact that a gene, a germ, or what-have-you produces one trait doesn’t mean that it, or another gene very nearby on the same chromosome, might not produce others not yet recognized. They do so often.

  19. Thursday says:

    It is easily conceivable,

    No, it’s completely retarded.

    therefore, that the presence of a few people in society who are prepared to assist parents with upbringing, or even step in and finish the job when parents are unable to do so, can constitute a reproductive advantage to the population as a whole.

    I’ll let Cochran answer this:

    “E. O. Wilson would have benefited from having that extra sense. If he had it, he might not have suggested that ridiculous “gay uncle” theory, in which homosexuality pays for itself genetically thru gay men helping their siblings in ways that produce extra nieces and nephews. First, that doesn’t even happen – so much for field work. Second, it’s impossible. The relationship coefficients don’t work. Nephews and nieces are only half as closely related as your own kids, so you’d need four extra to break even, rather than two, as with your own kids. Maybe if Wilson had ever learned to divide by two, he wouldn’t have made this mistake.”

    In other words, gays’ nurturing instincts would have to be much stronger than mother love and be focussed exclusively in nieces and nephews.

    Group selection is a non-starter. You need a hell of a lot of evidence to even suggest it.

    I’d strongly suggest you minimally inform yourself about the issues in this debate.

  20. Thursday says:

    In response, I pointed out that the likely benefit to this particular STD activity was quite obvious. Such sterilized African women would probably be divorced by their husbands and cast into dire poverty, thereby often being forced into a life of formal or informal prostitution as a consequence. Since prostitutes might have hundreds of times as many sexual partners each year as married women, the gains to the transmission-vector of such a sterility-inducing STD would be absolutely enormous, providing exactly the sort of powerful selective pressure able to balance that operating on the host population.

    Except, of course, that the same thing happens in other species. One thinks of all those Koala bears forced into prostitution, as Cochran points out.

  21. “I am not at all surprised that it was a woman’s group who was open to the implication that promiscuity can be harmful beyond a handful of STDs that are easily treated with antibiotics…”

    Ohh really. That one needs any group to come to that conclusion is surprising.

    _____________

    “You can’t define “reproductive advantage” in humans as simplistically as in, say, earthworms.

    I was unfamiliar with the term reproductive advantage. I looked up and discovered that it is a unique term but as described. Homosexuals have no reproductive advantage if they never so engage in coupling with women.

    The further description as to care taking has nothing to do with reporduction and is unsuited for the scenario you describe. Since the homosexual behavior is limitted to exchanges with men — they transmit nothing that adds to reproductive transmission of anything. Actually your response makes no sense to me. Anymore than contentions about a genetic bind of genes that are responsible for homosexuality because no has ever uncovered such a biologic structure.

  22. Dahlia says:

    “Ohh really. That one needs any group to come to that conclusion is surprising.”

    When Steve Sailer pointed out years ago that polygamy results in a few men doing very well, but many with no wife at all, everyone recognized the truth of it immediately. Until he said it though, nobody had ever pointed it out. He intuited that men *cannot* see themselves as a loser. In other words, they had blind spots.

    Similarly, there are blindspots in regards to promiscuity, particularly for men. Not as severe as the polygamy/monogamy one, though. HPV was discovered to cause cervical cancer in the early 80s, I think, but not until a vaccine was created did the general public even know this. People just don’t want to know or think anything bad about STDs; ignorance is bliss.

  23. “When Steve Sailer pointed out years ago that polygamy results in a few men doing very well, but many with no wife at all, everyone recognized the truth of it immediately. Until he said it though, nobody had ever pointed it out. He intuited that men *cannot* see themselves as a loser. In other words, they had blind spots.”

    Interesting. But even in polygamous unions women get make choices. So while the argument here is that men without wives lose out because a certain number of men monopolize the the pool of women, there is no evidence that even if that was not the case the same men who are signle would not still be single. When I was college a certain cadre of men really attracted a large pool of women. Now I could argue that had that not been the case I would have more opportunities to date X women because there would have been more in the pool. But there is no evidence that even if there were more women available I would have dated more because there are a multitude of unaccounted for factors as to who dates a who and why. The same as in polygamy. Whether or not those of without wives are losers is quite another matter, also dependent on a multitude of factors.

    So while the observation is intersting, it is not clear that is all that useful. Further, unless they ceased the monopoly, actually asked the women unavailable and available whether they would have chosen those available men – the conclusion is guess work. I guess, one would need to examine whether in polygamous communities if the polygamous practices ended the single men would end with mates and whether that was the direct result of the end of female monopoly or some other indirected factors.

    But it is interesting — though whether it is obvious based on the description even after it was stated is unclear, at least to me.

  24. “Similarly, there are blindspots in regards to promiscuity, particularly for men. Not as severe as the polygamy/monogamy one, though. HPV was discovered to cause cervical cancer in the early 80s, I think, but not until a vaccine.”

    Your observation is also interesting on this. But my comment is about the understanding that promiscuity has unhealthy consequences. Not that it can result in HPV. That is one of many potential negative results of multiple partner behavior. Based on the reality that chemistry involving the human exchange of blood and other bodily fluids from among multiple partners who’s chemistry is unknown could result in negatice consequences seems an obvious conclusion.

  25. The genes that code for sexual orientation are probably turned on and off during the development of the fetus. Homosexuality exists outside of the human species so wouldn’t it be easier to test the gay germ hypothesis on other creatures first and use those findings as a trojan horse to push the hypothesis that germs can lead to human homosexuality?

  26. Glaivester says: • Website

    “I am not at all surprised that it was a woman’s group who was open to the implication that promiscuity can be harmful beyond a handful of STDs that are easily treated with antibiotics…”

    Ohh really. That one needs any group to come to that conclusion is surprising.

    Let me rephrase what Dahlia was saying:

    “I am not at all surprised that it was a woman’s group who was not in complete ‘put your fingers in your ears and sing’ denial over the fact that promiscuity can be harmful beyond a handful of STDs that are easily treated with antibiotics.”

  27. Glaivester says: • Website

    The conversation about “gay genes” and “gay germs” makes me curious as to why one rarely, maybe never, hears about “straight genes”.

    Because heterosexuality is normative, for obvious reasons. Homosexuality, if genetic, would be the result of some error in the system. Put another way, the “straight gene” would simply be the normal way the gene works.

  28. M.N. says:

    Dahlia: “I believe that stds play a much larger role in our lives and health than most people believe. How much, I’m not certain, but Paul Ewald has me convinced that most illnesses, particularly many cancer, that strike in middle age are caused by stds.”

    Yes, per Paul Ewald, “deep kissing” is probably responsible for the transmission of all kinds of things that ultimately lead to cancer.

    So, it seems even the relatively sexually non- promiscuous among us are at great risk if we just did some necking when we were young. Pretty scary. Makes sense, though. I enjoy watching Ewald (several lectures on Youtube) and reading him.

  29. TTT says:

    This is the stupidest hypothesis I’ve ever seen.

    Same-sex desires and fantasies are extraordinarily common among humans, even among those who never act upon them. Many “gay” men in our culture have also had heterosexual encounters – Dan Savage, Andrew Sullivan, Jim McGreevy, Ted Haggard come to mind. Look at pretty much any pre-Judeo/Christian society – from Greece to Rome to Sparta to Japan to Arabia to Melanesia to New Guinea – and you’ll see an “understanding” that many, or even a majority of men, would engage in some amounts of homosexual couplings at some stage in their lives, while ALSO marrying women and fathering children. In other words, male humans would behave exactly the same as do males of the overehelming supermajority of all other mammals closely studied. No serious person can cite “evolutionary biology” while ignoring the ravenous pansexualism of the bonobo and the more downtuned but still quite present proclivities of the other great apes. In New Guinea, male homosexuality was MANDATORY until a youth was judged to have “absorbed enough male essence” to overcome the mysterious juju spirits inside women and make babies with them.

    The notion of lifelong exclusive devoted sexual orientation, along with the very words “heterosexual” and “homosexual”, is only about 110 years old and is firmly anchored in one specific set of cultural assumptions.

    “Gay germ… gay gene…” …please. People are horny and curious creatures, men most of all.

  30. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “What patch of DNA if a “gay germ” exits?”

    Straight men get aroused at pictures of women. Gay men get aroused at pictures of men. I’d suggest the dna involved in visual arousal would be the most likely culprit.

  31. I by no means think Mr. Unz has demolished Mr. Cochran’s speculation (too loose to be called a hypothesis) on the subject, but I’m nonplussed that he banned Mr. Unz, who was civil enough in his comments.

    It’s too bad, but scientists can be as grumpy and polemical as bishops and parsons.

  32. “Straight men get aroused at pictures of women. Gay men get aroused at pictures of men. I’d suggest the dna involved in visual arousal would be the most likely culprit.”

    Evidence would be nice. There have been a myriad of suggestions. But lacking evidence — it’s just pie in the sky speculation.

  33. “The notion of lifelong exclusive devoted sexual orientation, along with the very words “heterosexual” and “homosexual”, is only about 110 years old and is firmly anchored in one specific set of cultural assumptions.”

    A little history of human development would do you some good.

  34. “In New Guinea, male homosexuality was MANDATORY until a youth was judged to have “absorbed enough male essence” to overcome the mysterious juju spirits inside women and make babies with them.”

    Ok, excuse me while I have a laugh. Assuming that this is accurate, and that is a big assumption. The context places the matter in an entirely unique context than what is being advocated in the west. I wonder if the indiginous people of NG would advocate that this is the dynamic that advances thier survival. No your contention is about a ritual/practice designed to ensure male fertility and manhood so as to fulfill their role as men in the community.

    Not establish some pair bond. The example is not related to the existence of a genetic marker nor a germ that causes homosexual behavior. Their practice does not even conform to homosexuality as normal, even if certain ape species have these rare encounters.

    I find always enlightening that proponents of homosexual normalcy use other abnormalities to their case. Strange this. Nonetheless, it does not appear that NG men are so engaged by anything other than choice to instill manhood. As described — irrelevant.

  35. “Yes, per Paul Ewald, “deep kissing” is probably responsible for the transmission of all kinds of things that ultimately lead to cancer.

    So, it seems even the relatively sexually non- promiscuous among us are at great risk if we just did some necking when we were young. Pretty scary. Makes sense, though. I enjoy watching Ewald (several lectures on Youtube) and reading him”

    I am not a big Tube fan unless it involves home remodeling or some project.

    What is the evidence for his conclusions and just what is that link to that of homosexuality?

  36. Obviously the exchange of bodily fluids can result in the transmission of harmful germs, bacteria and other assorted negatives including HIV afterall there is blood in saliva.

    But I would be curious what he points to as evidence for his suggestions.

  37. Regarding TTT: it is interesting the extent to which the history of human sexuality, and of mammalian sexuality more broadly, gets left out of account in this discussion. I’ve always assumed that there are a plethora of genetic, hormonal and cultural effects going on within brains and gonads that account for sexual attraction; that sexual behavior can’t be reduced to any one thing with one set of evolutionary advantages, the way sharp teeth and powerful jaws can be (more or less).

    But arguments based on the the “naturalness” of same-sex attraction cuts two ways. If it is in fact the case that the potential for same-sex attraction is latent in many or even most human males, and that it is only kept tamped down in the contemporary West by cultural forces, then conservatives, particularly religious conservatives, have a case to make that it is, indeed, important to maintain a cultural disapproval of homosexuality. Otherwise, gay behavior will in fact increase — contra gay-rights advocates who claim that people simply are what they are and no one can be “converted” to being gay.

    Of course it is also difficult to argue that something that is ubiquitous in non-human mammals can be “sinful,” as animals cannot sin. I’m glad I’m not a conservative or a believer, so I don’t have to worry about which way to come down on this.

  38. JayMan says: • Website

    I dare say that the term “gay germ” was first coined by me:

    A Gay Germ? Is Homophobia a Clue? | JayMan’s Blog

    I’m open to being proven wrong on that, though.

  39. Nick says:

    I think we are being thrown off by the word “gay” here. Cross-cultural studies show that “gay” is a recent (modern, ‘western’) pattern of homosexual behavior. Past male homosexual practices (unless informal) were always linked to some kind of gender crossing, i.e., the man became a woman (Fa’afafine in Samoa, Berdache in North America, Hijra in India, Xanith in Oman, etc.).

    In these cases, the individual took on the gender role of the women of that society, both domestically and sexually.

    These ‘pre-modern’ patterns were very different from modern gay/lesbian, etc., that emerge in a society where gender division of labor is more narrow, where reproduction is not mandatory, and where choice in partners is maximum, (among other changes).

    In sum: we should not try to think an evolutionary or germ “same-sex practice” theory through the lens of “gay.”

    Robert Endleman has a good survey of cross-cultural homosexual practices in his 1986 “Homosexuality in Tribal Societies.” Also relevant is Towle and Morgan’s 2002 “Romancing the Transgender Native,” (among many others). I can’t pass up the chance to also mention Massad’s provocative essay “Re-Orienting Desire” (also 2002).

  40. Dahlia says:

    M.N. said,
    “So, it seems even the relatively sexually non- promiscuous among us are at great risk if we just did some necking when we were young. Pretty scary. Makes sense, though. I enjoy watching Ewald (several lectures on Youtube) and reading him.”

    Oh my stars, I’d forgotten about the deep kissing which Razib at Gene Expression has discussed, too. Add in that the placental barrier isn’t always perfect: untreated HIV mothers have a 25-30% chance of transmitting to baby. HIV’s lethality comes from it mainly being transferred via other means.

    Anyway, it’s refreshing that this is one of the few times you can discuss this without accusations of scaremongering and joy killing being levelled at you.
    Did you see Ewald at the Darwin symposium on germs back in 2008? Even in a professional setting with other scientists, he **still** got ribbed and questioned about being a square. I don’t remember the joke except he was caught off-guard, embarassed, and responded kind of lamely that at least he didn’t have stds or some such. Also, he was so, so, SO nervous about bringing up the STD part, but when I watched a video of him recently when he received that grant, he was far more relaxed in explaining his theories.

    Yeah, Ewald is great. Nice man.

  41. @M.N.

    The desire with whom exactly we mate is a lot higher up than our “Stammhirn” or reptile brain or however its called in English.
    The different brain parts are by no means isolated, complex big brain decisionmaking quite strongly influences things, also concerning sexuality.
    If you look at the number of influences tangentiantly related to sexuality, it becomes a fairly childish fantasy to associate (indeed, how we associate is a big influence on how we select our sexual partners) sexual preference with a single factor.

    Especially since homesexuality is actualy a gradual process. That either/or thing is basically specialisation that happens later, since maneurisms that are attractive for females may not be attractive for males, as well as due to cultural pressure.

  42. M.N. says:

    “Furthermore, the fact that a gene, a germ, or what-have-you produces one trait doesn’t mean that it, or another gene very nearby on the same chromosome, might not produce others not yet recognized. They do so often.”

    Regarding “another gene very nearby on the same chromosome”….recent large sample linkage studies came up with ZIP.

  43. M.N. says:

    “The desire with whom exactly we mate is a lot higher up than our “Stammhirn” or reptile brain or however its called in English.”

    Sexual selection is not the same as the primitive biological urge to mate/breed. One cannot breed with a member of the same sex. There is no way to get one’s genes into the next generation with same-sex lust than overrides opposite-sex lust.

    Gay men do not feel lust for women, even if they on occasion have sex with women in order to stick it somewhere. Their desire for sex with men is not really the puzzle: it’s their disdain or their disinterest in sex with women. It’s their inability to get worked up over breasts, hips, female legs, waist to hip ratios, soft skin….and on and on.

    That some population groups show preference for mates that have a different HLA type shows selection that strengthens the immune system.

    That kind of selection is of an entirely different sort than having powerful attractions for people who can’t get their genes into the next generation. It also defies the functional aspects of their anatomy. Males who have a typical, functioning sperm delivery system deliver that sperm to infertile “mates.” It’s akin to delivery sperm into a hole in a rock.

  44. TTT says:

    EliteComminc:
    Assuming [mandatory homosexuality in New Guinea is even true, and that’s a big assumption

    Why assume, when the primary literature is so clear?
    http://tinyurl.com/ch95zwz

    And it’s only an “entirely unique context” if you ignore (as you did) the other half-dozen cultures I listed off the top of my head, plus the anthropological / primatological issues that are really chapter-1 stuff.

    “The example is not related to some germ causing homosexual behavior” because the example (and all others listed) is based off real scientific evidence and thus doesn’t match the creationist-caliber layman bafflegab being trotted out here. How much of the Class Mammalia do you propose is infected by this “germ”? And if it IS a germ, wouldn’t that make it just as “natural” regardless – rather like the endosymbiont hypothesis of the mitochondrion? Your reasoning is highly confused, if it is reasoning at all.

    Again: before Western culture standardized lifelong exclusive sexual preferences (entirely unnatural) and monogamy (even more unnatural), the concept of “gay marriage” would have been absurd even to people who enjoyed homosexual encounters. What you define as “normal homosexuality” probably post-dates the photograph. But this is the society we’ve got, and everybody wants to be treated as being just as good as every other Sneetch on the beach.

  45. M.N. says:

    Should have read “Sexual selection starts with the primitive biological urge to mate/ breed.”

  46. M.N. says:

    “The notion of lifelong exclusive devoted sexual orientation, along with the very words “heterosexual” and “homosexual”, is only about 110 years old and is firmly anchored in one specific set of cultural assumptions…

    ““Gay germ… gay gene…” …please. People are horny and curious creatures, men most of all.”
    _________________________________________

    The words mean nothing. Let’s not get hung up on the word “gay” or “homosexual.” We are talking about lust and attraction and about fitness hits.

    The puzzle is not why some men screw other men or are screwed by them; the puzzle is why some men are incapable of being turned on by women and so have no desire to pursue them.

    People are horny, yes, esp. the male of the species. Expressions like, “He’d screw a hole in a light fixture” don’t exist for no reason at all. However, that has nothing to do with answering the questions about no attraction to the opposite gender with only attraction to the same gender.

    I think too that it’s easy in such discussions to forget about the other characteristics of many homosexual males: a suite of behaviors that usually fall under the adjective “effeminate.” It’s very difficult to ascribe many of these behaviors to acculturation because they emerge at a very early age, as early as the beginning of toddlerhood, and they persist throughout early childhood, proceed for many of these boys into adolescence, and into adulthood. For some, they exist all their lives.

    When you talk to many homosexual males who in adulthood believe that they are not effeminate, they will tell you that they realized when they were young that they had behaviors and mannerisms that they felt set them apart from their male peers and that they purposefully set out to rid themselves of those so as not to face ridicule. In other words, they admit to having been effeminate in many ways even in their own estimation and so sought to obscure, obliterate, hide those traits/behaviors. There are some gay males who, it seems, were not at all and are not now “effeminate.”

    Anyway, these behaviors may include mannerisms or speech patterns, yes, but they are not limited to them. For example, homosexual men do not, on the whole, have the same interests as straight men: they often have hobbies that are very different from those of straight men and jobs/careers that are very different.

    The brain chemistry that is responsible for their disinterest in the opposite sex is no doubt also responsible for the interests and behaviors that distinguish them from most straight males.

  47. “And it’s only an “entirely unique context” if you ignore (as you did) the other half-dozen cultures I listed off the top of my head, plus the anthropological / primatological issues that are really chapter-1 stuff.”

    Well, I won’t get side tracked. Even if those cultures practiced this behavior as amethod of ensuring manliness. It is not realated to any biological detyerminent. Which id the overall issue, if one bypasses the censorship discussion. If the cultures I do not reference use the behavior in the same manner, to ensure some manner of maleness, that context is is unique from the discussion of homosexuality as predetermined by some genetic or bacterial/germ cause. Which was the focus of my comments. In fact, the emhasis as you so state is not some manner of fulfillment as to bonding, but maleness. That context is unique and does not support homosexuality as norm. I would note that rather exclusive grous that so engage.

    Now as to the next portion as to a bacterial or germ causation of homosexual behavior — I am not a subscriber to the idea anymore than I ascribe to ahormonal or genetic cause. I am not sure why you think I do. I have stated repeatedly, that such suggestions are only suggestions/speculative in nature having no evidentiary support.

    As for the natural norm of homosexual behavior. I am going to be as clear as possible here. I don’t think homosexuak behavior is normal. Are there abnormalities or anonmalies in nature sure. But pointing to such only indicates that within the natural world there are anomolies. Abnormal in the case of homosexuality is in my estimeation, the old definition of normal once used by the APA, operating as one is designed. In this case males do not engage in with males in copulation by design. But by some manner or choice, in my view.

  48. So to sum up:

    1. Your example does not support germ or biology. (I won’t bother reading url, it’s not neccessary, even if I find the matter dubious.}

    2. I do not believe homosexual behavior are derived from a gene or germ. I would and I so state, I would like the support for those conclusions. I doubt that either will be found. But evidence is paramount. Which is my position throughout and my concern. The dialogue as advanced has that suspicious smell of “these are facts” when they are speculation of possibilities.

    3. Just because an abnormality exists in other areas of nature does not negate that what is observed is normal. If everyday at noon you saw me banging my head against the wall. You might very note that such behavior is abormal. If you noted that my behavior was abnormal, that everyday at noon, I was banging my head against the wall and ask me about it. If I said, it just feels good. You might say, “Okay, have fun bang away.” But you would not call my behavior normal. And you would look at me quite askance if I pointed to evidence that some dogs also bang their heads against the wall and it is therefore normal.

    Note: I may no be a scientist by education or anything else. But there are some foundational principles that apply to all argument. For example, your complaint about the germ determinent of homosexuality which you have attributed to me, may be the result of my lousy writing. But it is certainly not my position. I ventured but a moment into the speculation. That should sucha germ exists, perhaps it lies dormant until so activated. But my comments are just speculation about a condition I doubt exists.

  49. Nick says:

    Homosexual practices were not mandatory among all New Guinea groups. Perhaps 250 among thousands practiced rituals of male insemination (mainly oral, some anal).

    In other areas, there was a boy-adult pairing involving some sexual exchange (Azande, Spartans).

    While all the practices did not eschew pleasure, they were also always closely linked to accompanying practices to promote biological, social, and sexual maturity, all leading to marriage and reproduction. They often co-existed with intense misogyny. They did not give rise to sexual identities and permanent pairing.

    More common, as I noted, was homosexual gender crossing, which did result in a recognized identity: a man would become a woman, and carry out domestic and other duties of the woman, while also serving as sexual partner for a variety of single and married men. These men were having sex with a classificatory “woman” and not another man.

    These were the formal practices recognized by the societies; informal sex was probably occurring, for men and women, though obviously this is not well documented.

    Any theory of homosexuality, genetic or otherwise, has to account for these different, pre-modern practices.

  50. TTT says:

    EliteComminc: you can have your own opinion but not your own facts. And since you are discussing science while not being a scientist, maybe you shouldn’t be so bold in forming an opinion at all. Homosexual couplings among mammals are normal. If you disagree you are wrong, and I’d advise you against saying such to a scientist in person because you’d probably be rather badly humiliated. It’s like saying people can never kick soccer balls because the only “normal” function of your feet is to walk…. and then when shown evidence of, say, geese using their wings to bludgeon rivals instead of for flying, or thresher sharks using their tails as whips instead of for swimming, likewise condemning that too as an “abnormality” that only further proves the weirdness of those soccer-ball-kicking abominations.

  51. “EliteComminc: you can have your own opinion but not your own facts. And since you are discussing science while not being a scientist, maybe you shouldn’t be so bold in forming an opinion at all. ”

    Ohhh Yawn, the you can’t participate unless you are a such and such. And yawn. I provided a definition as the basis of my conclusions. It is the definition used prior to 1973 by the APA and is a standard definition for the term.

    I have had these discussions with people in the scientific community, some agree and others do not. You seem to be assuming that all scientists agree on the matter. I think you should think about getting out more. Outside your indivvidual conclave who agree with you. You’ll find you’ll extend your ability to respond beyond the suggested, “your too dumb for us,” response.

    But allow me to address your examples.

    “It’s like saying people can never kick soccer balls because the only “normal” function of your feet is to walk…. and then when shown evidence of, say, geese using their wings to bludgeon rivals instead of for flying, or thresher sharks using their tails as whips instead of for swimming, likewise condemning that too as an “abnormality” that only further proves the weirdness of those soccer-ball-kicking abominations.”

    I am a bit disappointed in that are incorrect. A persons feet has multiple purposes: walking, standing, running, hopping, jumping, crouching, leaning, strectching and of course kicking, certainly not an exhaustive list. Now there are all kinds of kicking: kicking balls, kicking dances, kicking, marches, kicking in play, kicking to allevieate a pian, kicking to remove something on the leg which doesn’t belong, like a bug might be an abnormal entity that one might want to kick off, kicking as pushing, even kicking so as to get another’s attention, and kicking in self defense — all part and parcel to what the legs are designed to do, again not an exhaustive list. far be it from me to suggest that anyone so engage one leg or two is behaving abnormally. Unless that leg kicks unvoluntarily, beyond a person’s control. I am quite content to recognize the various uses of the leg beyond walking, standing, running, etc.

    I think your exampled, analogies are woefully inadequate. As the one description you provide is certainly part and parcel to what the leg is designed to do and so engaging is a function of legs.

  52. As for our pals in the animal kingdom: “geese using their wings to bludgeon rivals instead of for flying, or thresher sharks using their tails as whips instead of for swimming, likewise condemning that too as an “abnormality” that only further proves the weirdness of those soccer-ball-kicking abominations.”

    One could only say, that both appendages: wings and shark tails in the instances you describe are quite within the norm of what these appendages were designed to do aid in the animals survival. Certainly wins could be quite effective bats and a tails shark well, there’s no accounting for the uses of a powerful slapping around a potential or manuvering tight turns in play. But again, while the use of these appendages are quite normal and interesting — they are inadequate examples of the argument you are attempting to make.

    Having played soccer, I can from personal experience say the only abomination of the game is having to play a professional German team as HS student — that was abominable. I never knew that soccer was just a tackle shy of US football.

    I suggest that before you atempt to engage me on te matter again. That you first read my post throroughly. Men as to function for their sexuality are designed to couple with females. And there’s a very specific reason for doing so. That coupling while it has several purpose has one that is unique and it can only occur via the coupling between men and women. I will allow to figure out just what that is. The consequence of such is normal. Now there is another manner of understanding normalcy. It is examining a thing from the perspecive of what is practiced or occurs as to a general population. I won’t get into a spat about what the numbers are, but the evidence makes it very clear that homosexuality is not the norm. Now I am not sure what school of science you are coming from but I think most scientists would conceded my understanding of norm — even if they hated doping so. Even at three percent, such a population would not be the norm.

  53. The argument that you are making and one that has become popular about the term normalcy is not one rooted in science or math. It is rooted in a pathos. It is the argument which appeals to the emotional import or impact. The current use of the term normal as it is being applied is an argument designed to alleviate the stigma associated with homosexual behavior.

    So here’s what I think is the actual contention you are aiming at. Abnormalities are not unique among animals. That abnormailities themselves are not abnormal. But one would certainly not attempt to bend all of those abnormalities into the standard as the norm. Of course not . . . , but that is exactly what has been and is going on so as to alleviate the stigma and some emotional pain of those whose sexual practice contradicts most (and that is no small number) on the planet.

    The APA decision in 1973 to change the classification of this behavior is not based on science, but a desire to alleviate and address the emotional turmoil occurring in the mind. So the APA violating their own principles of evidentiary inquirey, did just that.

    The behavior is and was abnormal. I have not interjected any religious or moral view on the dynamic.

  54. The fact that some men and women have found other uses for their sexual reproductive organs — does not ean that such use is normal.

  55. TTT says:

    I don’t think many scientists would agree with or respect your selective and ad-hoc definitions of which extremely common behaviors found throughout the entire animal kingdom are actually “normal” and which are not. Nor would many be impressed by your attempted lectures on “leaving the conclave of those who agree with you” while obtusely refusing to read the print sources that have been cited.

    You don’t know anything about animal behavior and your bluffing on the matter is woefully inadequate.

    Oh, and the “p” in APA stands for “psychiatric,” so it does no good to invoke it in the same breath as a discussion of how animals behave.

  56. This “gay germ” theory is one of the most idiotic ideas I’ve ever encountered (and this is the first time I’ve heard of it), perhaps equaled only boy some of the wilder “911 Truth” theories.

    How is a germ supposed to cause only this specific behavior of seeking out the intimate company of one’s own gender, but somehow leave no other symptoms, physical or mental, that can be discerned? For example, how would a germ that attacks the brain and nervous system manage to instinctively “know” enough to attack only those pathways that have to do with sexual orientation, and do this in both genders? How does such a disease tell a nerve cell that is part of the sexual orientation of an individual from one that is involved with vision, or hearing? Diseases that attack the nervous system cause damage to sensory and motor systems, cause pronounced physical symptoms, and sometimes can cause violent or aggressive behavior. Even a “venereal disease” type explanation is silly, since it would take more than damaged genitalia to change sexual orientation, and even tertiary syphilis in the brain has never been known to change sexual orientation, for the reasons stated above.

    I am not an expert in these fields by any stretch, but I defy anyone to come up with a biological mechanism by which a “gay germ” could operate this way. It defies common sense, but perhaps some expert here might at least have a plausible theory.

  57. M.N. says:

    A.G. Phillbin,

    If you are legitimately interested in finding out how it is evolutionary theorists can feel a “gay germ” is a decent hypothesis, I offer these.

    A good start is the 1999 Atlantic Monthly article in three parts. This will give you a good background and look at the Germ Theory:

    Part 1: http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/99feb/germs.htm
    Part 2: http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/99feb/germ2.htm

    Part 3: http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/99feb/germ3.htm

    Next, try this on for size

    http://entitledtoanopinion.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/cochranrants.pdf

    Then, go to the blog West Hunter http://westhunt.wordpress.com/

    These particular posts:

    http://westhunt.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/depths-of-madness/

    http://westhunt.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/paternal-age-and-homosexuality/

    http://westhunt.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/group-selection-and-homosexuality/

    http://westhunt.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/group-selection-and-homosexuality/

    http://westhunt.wordpress.com/2013/04/16/hamilton-rules-ok/

    http://westhunt.wordpress.com/2013/04/18/not-final/

    http://westhunt.wordpress.com/2013/04/21/biological-determinism/

    http://westhunt.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/evolution-of-virulence/

    Not all directly explain how it is a neurotropic pathogen could strike a portion of the brain responsible for our sexual search image, but many do.

    There are more on the net, but these can get you going.

    You might also want to read some Paul Ewald .

  58. “You don’t know anything about animal behavior and your bluffing on the matter is woefully inadequate. ”

    What I know about animal behavior is only what I have read and studied the matter as to communication. On a lighter note: I live with ten cats. I think I know something. You accuse me of bluffing about what I have no idea. The accusation makes no sense. I do know that pointing to animal abnormalities in support of human abnormal behavior begs the questions. It only that abnormalities occur in nature to include human beings — it does indicate that such abnormalities are normal in any manner. By the way this is not a new advance. And my response to it is the same now as whenever it is posited.

    There is no bluff, no attempt evade. I have tackled the matter head on. Asking me to read literature that there are some in some cultures that enage in this behavior when i already acknowledge that such is the case is redundant. your making hay where there is none to be made. Ohh did you that Romans and Greeks practiced it as well? Snore? Again, I may be dubious about the extent and the scope. But that such exists — more of no kidding.

  59. Oh, and the “p” in APA stands for “psychiatric,” so it does no good to invoke it in the same breath as a discussion of how animals behave.

    Now we come to it. The American Psychological Association has been examing this matter for quite some time. And they have tackled it in conjunction with biologists, anthropologists probably long before evolutionary researchers. No slight on them. But the APA is the premeir organization in this area of research — my opinion. To include research of the animal behavior of a similar kind. It’s not as if I have read no material by evolutionary researchers — the problem and what is at the heart of all is hard evidence. The theoretical speculation is fine. But no school has uncovered a biologic determinent for this behavior. And if they did that would still not indicate normalcy. Which I will address in a later post. I am keenly aware that there are homosexuals who influence the reasearch and the language of the research. But to date, neither evolutionary biology, psychiatry, neuro-sciences or anthropologists have said — “Eureka. We have it found it.” I doubt that they ever will. So when i read the research on this matter especially from scientists — I have but one question and one goal — to examine the evidence. The theory is fine — but the support is crucial. I learned that in elementary school. It has been reinforced in every academic arena I know.

    Now on a more serious note: You don’t have a clue what I know or don’t know. You don’t know what I have read or haven’t. Further nothing I have said indicates any lack of knowledge about anything. You are attempting to reach conclusions based on what I don’t do. That’s a conclusion based on negatives — maybe you are part of that let’s go attack Iraq because of what I don’t know.

    I suggest that you read the posts on the ,matter. What you hear is what could be. And that is not disrespectful of anyone’s back ground, experience, research or education — it just what it is. It could be this and here’s why. Ok gt it. the what that supports the why?

  60. M.N. says:

    1.) The APA is like all organizations that wish to remain relevant: they fall to political pressure. They wish to be “scientific” yet they don’t want to cost their practioners clientele. In short, the APA lacks credulity on a whole host of things. Thus, invoking it for support of a position is a highly risky strategy.

    2.) As for the “all or most animals practice homosex” argument….sheep and human beings are the only mammals that evidence exclusive sexual attraction to their own gender and disinterested in breeding.

  61. Same gender sexual behavior is found across many species. If such a, probably silly thing exits, it would be found in other animals, duh. This post is what’s called “hand waving.”

  62. Anonymous [AKA "lenoirest"] says:

    Gays just have more sex partners. In the 80’s AIDS spread first and most in the Gay community. So much that Christians at first called it a punishment from god for their Gay sins.

    Men have evolved to seek out the maximum number of (female) sexual partners, thereby maximizing their number of offspring. Women are the limiting factor and have evolved to counter this, to seek out males who are capable and willing to invest resources into her and thereby her offspring. This reduces the opportunity of males to be promiscuous.

    When a male is gay his predisposition to be promiscuous meets multiple opportunities in other gay males. The increase in sexual contact with numerous other sexual partners increases the changes of a pathogen to spread itself.

    So there you have the benefit to a pathogen: spread by promiscuous homosexual sex.

    This only applies to male homosexuality. Lesbians in general are much less promiscuous and tend to form stable pair bonds. But closet male homosexuality is even effective in infecting women: http://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/guide/20061101/hiv-bisexual-bridge-to-women

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