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Have you ever thought about why you're gay?

Beyond same sex attraction. The science of it. Have you ever read any theories on sexuality? Any suggestions for good reading material?

The only reason I'm asking is because, last month my nephew asked me why I was left-handed and I really couldn't tell him. So I spent the last several weeks reading about left-handedness. Talk about a persecuted group. There are a bunch of theories and scientific explanations, etc. I found it all fascinating.

This lead me to wondering about the science of being gay. Is there a good place to start in terms of reading material, studies?

by Anonymousreply 4704/02/2013

Because my mother is

by Anonymousreply 103/30/2013

Because Joan Crawford.

by Anonymousreply 203/30/2013

No more than I have thought about why I am right handed or have brown hair.

by Anonymousreply 303/30/2013

AYB's foreskin is very tight and ripe.

by Anonymousreply 403/30/2013

My earliest memories are gay. I guess I went through a gender confusion period: "If I like boys, I must be a girl" (I had three sisters, no brothers and a mostly absent father for chrissakes). But I eventually realized I have a penis, I like it and I prefer to love and have sex with other penises.

I never dated or pretended to like women.

I'm glad I was born in '68 because the world has seemed to grow-up with me. I've watched it all happen and it's been fascinating.

by Anonymousreply 503/30/2013

R4 I assure you NOTHING about my person is 'ripe', and if you continue to suggest as much you'll be in for a well-deserved vicious face-slapping.

by Anonymousreply 603/30/2013

I am the youngest boy of a large family with several much older brothers. Science is discovering that the female body builds up antibodies after several boy babies. re:y chromosome.

by Anonymousreply 703/30/2013

I was bottle fed.

by Anonymousreply 803/30/2013

For OP:

I believe that scientific studies have shown that left-handed boys (like you and me both) are more likely to be gay than right-handed boys.

I would try to find a link, but I am in bed with bronchitis and am just too tired.

by Anonymousreply 903/30/2013

Homosexuality may start in the womb due to hormonal fluctuations in the mother's system.

by Anonymousreply 1003/30/2013

AYB is fun to flame. It's a heartwarming DL tradition.

by Anonymousreply 1103/30/2013

Leave ayb alone.

by Anonymousreply 1203/30/2013

Read the book "Biological Exuberance." It's all about gay animals.

by Anonymousreply 1303/30/2013

Homosexuality is one form of nature's birth control.

by Anonymousreply 1503/31/2013

Not a very good form of birth control, considering all the gay men and lesbians who have biological children.

by Anonymousreply 1603/31/2013

Hormones and so-called gay gene theories are all about proximate mechanisms - they answer "how" but they don't answer deep functional questions about "for what reason". For that, you should read up on theories of reciprocal altruism (Kirkpatrick is good), which relies on a hard-wired bisexual potential, or kin selection (gay uncle theory - inclusive fitness is improved by enabling nieces' and nephews' greater survivability.

(I also recommend Biological Exuberance as someone did above - for the factual commonness of homosexual and bisexual behaviour in Nature. You will note that often there is a correlation between highly social and long lived species (reciprocal altruism alert) and homosexual/bisexual behaviour.)

by Anonymousreply 1703/31/2013

Ps R15, that would not work, as group selection has been discredited. Organisms are selfish and do not act for the good of the species evolutionarily speaking unless there is a survival or reproductive benefit for them or their close kin. Such an "altruistic" tendency would not be able to be selected for or passed on.

Therefore, homosexual/bisexual behaviour must confer some sort of advantage since it is so common and because there is some evidence of genetic influence (proximate mechanisms that enable the deep survival/reproductive advantage).

by Anonymousreply 1803/31/2013

No,I don't think about why I'm gay. I usually just think about getting laid. Why ask why.

by Anonymousreply 1904/01/2013

R16, they are having children due to SOCIAL pressures. If left to nature, they could still contribute to the group, only without children.

by Anonymousreply 2004/01/2013

R18, if homosexuality is biological, then it isn't occuring for simply alturistic reasons.

by Anonymousreply 2104/01/2013

'thought' about why? My darling, I have collapsed on busy street corners waling at the top of my lungs "WHY?? WHY? OH GOD! WHY?"

by Anonymousreply 2204/01/2013

[quote]But I eventually realized I have a penis


by Anonymousreply 2304/01/2013

And, as you point out, social species don't only restrict 'altruistic' behaviors to close kin. This isn't an argument for group selection, just that if there are pressures that give way to pro-social strategies in a species, then that might extend to wider networks beyond close kin (e.g. theories on the evolution of vocalization and speech in addition to gestural signalling in humans) While you may be right with the altruism approach, I don't think all traits must necessarily confer benefits to be passed down. Homosexual (or bisexual) tendencies could just be piggy-backing and, since it's not maladaptive (we can breed if we want to; unless your stuff just doesn't work gay or straight) be passed on without being actively selected for. I don't know though, I used to think about this when I took bio anth classes and tried to make sense of it.

I realized, however, that I didn't really care why I am gay, I just wanted to rebut the 'unnatural' arguments with science. I now know that I don't have to do that, and I just don't give a damn what anyone thinks about anything at all. If there are benefits of homosex to the individual or species, then great; if not, that's great too.

by Anonymousreply 2404/01/2013

I'm just so grateful I'm not straight. Being gay is a gift. We are the true chosen ones. So, no I don't think very much about the why.

by Anonymousreply 2504/01/2013

You know how it is when you're driving down the street and you see someone attractive walking beside the road and you want to run them down with your car, abduct them, take them back to your sound-proofed underground abattoir, and then slowly vivisect them?

With me, i don't need to know what gender they are, I still want to run them down. That makes me bisexual. Or a serial killer, I'll have to get back to you on that.

by Anonymousreply 2604/01/2013

{quote] [R18], if homosexuality is biological, then it isn't occuring for simply alturistic reasons.

No, I agree - that is exactly my point. "Altruism" does not really exist - pseudo-altruism (or hard-wired tendencies (as R24 suggests on a wider scale) towards altruism that ultimately benefit the individual or the individual's close kin) DOES exist though.

An inheritable tendency to be seen as an altruistic individual would be a survival benefit, R24. And it would be advantageous except for the problem of greenbeards/cheaters. So then it wouldn't have a selective advantage or be evolutionarily stable, unless the marked advantage to be social (like you, I believe this probably exists) outweighs the problem of potential system-cheaters.

I think we're generally in agreement, but I don't agree that selection can ever act on the group due to the problem of "cheaters" - ergo, there must be some hard-wired, biological advantage (manifested via genes/hormones; brought about by a social advantage in terms of survivability/reproduction that results in adaptations that have those genes/hormones as mechanisms).

My guess (suggested by Kirkpatrick and many others) is an inherent "flexible" biseuality that increases chances for both survivability through reciprocal (pseudo-)altruism, AND reproduction) for same-sex sexual behaviour. Within that bisexual gamut you will have many people who prefer both sexes to varying degrees, and some that prefer only one sex.

by Anonymousreply 2704/01/2013

You sound odd and unstable R27. As ants prove, evolution works at the level of the species, not the individual, and altruism is indeed genetically manufactured.

by Anonymousreply 2904/01/2013

Er, no, natural selection operates on the individual. It is one of the major principles of Darwinian evolutionary theory. Group selection in ants, wasps, all Hymenoptera a-la-Lorenz has been entirely discredited unless it is so-called multi-level group selection. Look it up.

And, for the third time, I am in agreement that (pseudo-)altruism is based on genes. But genes are proximate mechanisms, not evolutionary functions. Genes/hormonrs etc. just tell us that an adaptation exists - they don't tell us WHY the adaptation exists (function). Look that up too.

by Anonymousreply 3004/01/2013

I agree, R27, I never meant to imply selection takes place at the group level. I don't agree with your assessment of cheaters. I believe they can most certainly be entirely be dealt with through social mechanisms and reward/punishment systems, with no underlying biological advantage, if cohesion at the group level exists and the system is enforced. In particularly social species this isn't a problem. This has probably very little to do with being gay, unless we are all just acting (I'm not). In that case, one would expect a biological cause.

I've never heard of this Kirkpatrick guy, I will definitely have to look up his work. I'm inclined to actually go along with your last paragraph in R27. It makes sense.

by Anonymousreply 3104/01/2013

No evolutionary reason why homosexuality would die out.

by Anonymousreply 3204/01/2013

The food is better?

by Anonymousreply 3304/01/2013

Nonsense R30 and R31. Selection does take place at the species level. Groups which favor individual competition are usually wiped out by natural selection. It is your position which has been discredited.

by Anonymousreply 3404/01/2013

Shit happens, I don't know why people are attracted to people of their own sex, but you know what? So be it. Be happy, be loving , and by all means, be married if you wish.

Sexuality is a sliding scale, everybody has the possibility, yet some have more than others.

by Anonymousreply 3504/01/2013

R34, the article does NOT say individual selection leads to extinction, or that selection takes place at the species-level. It looks into the outcomes of selfishness and competitive adaptation at the individual level and effects on species density and reproduction. What it says is that intraspecific competition increases the risk of extinction, it may drive it but does not cause extinction, due to low species density. What's more, they are using selfish and competitive traits; species don't only exhibit 1 or 2 traits, there are very many at play and they are responses to pressures (and not all will be selfish or competitive).

[q]The evolution of traits like fighting will depend not only on the demography and the environment, but also on the constraints and life-history characteristics of the species in question. Because species differ in their constraints, the incentive to invest in selfish competition with other members of their species will also differ between species. [/q] (p.3)

This is all they are saying:

[q]we show that species-level selection can operate through competitive exclusion whenever selfishness weakens the competitive ability of a species, even in the absence of true evolutionary suicide. [/q] (p.7)

It's a great argument and, like they say, competition and selfishness in individuals can work against a species.

But the kind of selection they are really talking about is really pro-social strategies. That's what I referred to in my first post at R24 by the evolution of deliberate vocalization, decoupled from emotive triggers, and speech in humans for instance. This would be a clear species-level adaptation because any one individual can't benefit from speech with no one else to speak to. You might expect to find simple vocalization like shouts and growls, but not several distinct phonemes.

by Anonymousreply 3604/01/2013

R14 we could be twins. Men can drive me up the wall but a woman. I see how my straight male friends are pussy whipped by their wives. I could never take a women as an equal in my sexual life.

by Anonymousreply 3704/01/2013

Well...I have three older sisters, I'm a lefty whose ring finger is longer then my index and my hair swirls left. But I think the real reason that I'm gay is because I love cock.

by Anonymousreply 3804/01/2013

Stupid verbiage. The point is that natural selection will wipe out a species which strives always for individual advantage, leaving only species which work for species advantage. All the rest of your verbiage is nonsensical attempts to misconstrue words. You obviously have no grasp on high school level biology, let alone academic biology.

by Anonymousreply 3904/01/2013

Remember what the point of this argument that evolution cannot create altruism is. It is a bunch of theological horseshit, not science. It's an attempt to deny the material nature of the world.

by Anonymousreply 4004/01/2013

R39, you can't be helped. Natural selection doesn't wipe out anything, extinctions happen for varying reasons that may or may not be related to intraspecific competition. Individual advantage is not a useful unit of analysis because any one individual's lifespan can't serve as a measure for evolutionary stability. Also, species advantage is what exactly?

by Anonymousreply 4104/01/2013

I wasn't born gay.

I was sucked into it.

by Anonymousreply 4204/01/2013

I sincerely believe that for the majority of gay men, it's related to the mother's hormone levels during pregnancy that lead to a more feminized brain (or a more masculine brain in lesbians). People don't believe me when I say this, but I remember feeling different from other little boys when I was six months old. I can clearly remember feeling less aggresive, less assertive, extremely sensitive and shy...just totally different from how little boys are supposed to be. Something happens in the womb. I don't believe it's genetic.

by Anonymousreply 4304/01/2013

This gender specific compartmentalization is really fucking people up.

by Anonymousreply 4404/01/2013

I read someplace long ago that's its less likely for the first born son to be gay, more likely for the second third etc son to be gay, because the mothers body make up after the first born son is changed, and certain hormones in the mother are depleted, increasing the chances for the next son(s) to be gay. Makes sense to me, whether its true or not I have no idea. I am the second born son to my mother, and I know of many others second male born also gay.

by Anonymousreply 4504/01/2013

R43 I think that is a strong possibility as well. A number of other things that are connected with the prenatal hormone levels are linked with homosexuality. There have been some studies concerning dyslexia, which is believed to be caused by hormone levels and its link to homosexuality. I think I read someplace too that the size of your penis is determined by the mothers hormone levels, and that gay men statistically have larger penises, so there is another possible link.

R45 I've read that too. The more boys a woman has, the more likely one of them being gay will be.

by Anonymousreply 4604/01/2013

Hormones would also exist for a deeper reason, R43. The adaptations don't come out of nowhere. Now, maybe there is some sort of linked trait (balanced polymorphism) that gives those with "gay" genes (and remember, hormonal response is also due to adaptation) an evolutionary advantage, though I doubt it. But at least that is a functional explanation. I think pro-social adaptations towards reciprocity (including same-sex behaviour, which would allow for more alliances, as indeed it does it many male primates such as gorillas), would indeed be enough in terms of functional explanations to explain why same-sex behaviour is so common (and it is). (R24, I am in general agreement with you - it wasn't you I was having a go at regarding group selection.)

R39, I don't know what to say. If you are seriously arguing that group selection is more widely accepted than individual selection than it is you who do nit understand basic biology. Maybe I have misunderstood - perhaps you are stating that we have adaptations towards pro-social, non-cheating behaviour - and THAT I would agree with. I also believe we have adaptations towards (pseudo-)altruism - that is the advantage of living in social species - it benefits the individual as well as the species.

R24, I will try to look up the Kirkpatrick article when I get a chance. It is interesting because it shows statistically that homosexuals/bisexuals reproduce nearly as much as so-called heterosexuals (based on a Japanese study).

by Anonymousreply 4704/02/2013
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