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spikegifted - Random thoughts

 

Genes and Sexuality

October 20, 2003

[Originally posted by Alicia]

I'm pretty aware that this will start a long controversial thread, but I think it's an interesting subject and wonder what people think regarding genetics or choice in sexuality.

http://www.cnn.com/2003/HEALTH/10/2...reut/index.html

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October 20, 2003

Sexuality is wired into genes... Yes, that's completely true.

However, studies have shown that some male, due to hormonal inbalances when inside the womb (as well as possibility in early childhood), become effeminated. Within this group of male, a high proportion of them develop homosexual tendencies or practice homosexuality. Additionally, studies have shown that there are four different types of homosexual practices, three of which are supported by evidence found in mammals:

- ‘effeminated’ men acting as female for heterosexual male (what can only be described as 'substitution');
- older men/younger men (as a form of dominant/subversive display or even a mentor/student relationship);
- and premarital homosexual relationships (as a form of 'training')

By the way, participants of all of the above have heterosexual relationships with their 'normal' partners also.

The forth type is only as 'gay rights' which is not found in animals and it is exclusivly homosexual practice. This is one that most researchers in North America and Europe try to understand. As far, studies have suggested that this behavior is a complex mixture of social, psychological, biological and environmental influences.

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October 21, 2003

I agree that there is a possibility that gay tendency and gay behavior can be caused by genetic 'defects', however, I strongly believe that there is more than just one gene that determines whether someone will turn out gay or not.

As a number of areas in genetics have indicated, certain aspects of appearance and particularly behavior can be determined by a number of genes. Moreover, the behaviors are often helped or determined by the environment. Take a baby's idea (that's a thought) of its own sex. According to a recent study (I think I was out around 6 months ago), a baby doesn't have any idea what sex it is up until it is around 18 months to 2 years old. Additionally, it is possible to make a baby think and behave like its opposite sex if you create the environment and make it think so. If something as fundamental as what sex a baby can be determined by environmental influences, it is therefore entirely possible that 'gayness' can be determined by environmental effects.

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October 21, 2003

quote:
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Many species change in behaviour under stressed environmental conditions. Some fish can even change sex. 
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That's not quite true... (btw, I'm against 'Gay culture')

There has been a long list of scientific studies that have documented homosexual behavior in a range of mammals particularly in primates and dolphins. However, every one of these species, while exhibits homosexual behavior outside mating seasons, exhibits heterosexual behavior during them.

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October 22, 2003

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The outside mating season behaviour... I think I read somewhere that they thought this was a dominance mechanism.
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If you notice one of my earlier post (my first on this thread), that's one of the three types that I mentioned have been observed in animals.

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October 24, 2003

quote:
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"...and would rather you just keep it to yourself."
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Bingo!! The Word!

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October 28, 2003

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as in, keep it to yourselves...simply
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Exactly! I couldn't put it better myself...

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October 31, 2003

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Alot of people just find it fundamentally repulsive. If you want to be totally Darwinistic(And I ain't even about that) about it, then be it genetic or environmental, the reasons for repulsion are simple. It's a trait that negatively impacts the furtherment of the species, period (some homosexuals have kids before they "discover" they are queer, or whatever. But on the whole homosexuals have a lot less offspring.). Therefore it is undesirable, and the response is to reject from the social group. That's typical of pack/herd behavior in the wild: the alpha males drive out those with undesirable traits. Welcome to the other side of the coin.
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As I've mentioned before, in certain cultures, there are some forms of homosexuality that were (and probably still are) acceptable and in fact they were (and possibly are) seen as a sign of social progression or other forms of sociological progression.

Take, for example, homosexual practice of feudal Japanese and Greeks and Romans in the Classic ages. Homosexual practices in these cultures were well documented and they, to a large extent, enforced social order, reinforced a mentor/student relationship and acted as a form of substitution. I think the development of homophobic tendencies in European societies and those of their descendents is the result of the Christian (and related) views.

However, I'd like to point out that practitioners of all the abovementioned forms of homosexuality were not exclusively homosexual. These people conduct (or conducted) very healthy heterosexual relationships also. One of the more famous example was Julius Caesar.

There is one form of homosexual practice that is exclusively homosexual and it should be distinguished from the others. That is something called 'gay culture' - the dominant form of homosexuality found in European societies and those of their descendents (North and South America and Australia). For me, it is rather interesting that these are the very places that are (or have been) heavily influenced by Christian ideals...

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December 30, 2003

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I do not understand what you mean by "Gay culture." That comes across as very ignorant.
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You should check out this piece of research. While it is very good (looking at all forms of homosexuality in animals and humans), it draws on the wrong conclusion, IMO.

If you've read my first post, you'd know that as far as a certain part of the scientific community is concern, homosexuality in animals and humans can be broken to four relatively distinct types of behavior. I'm not going to repeat them again. One of these types of behavior is 'gay culture'. Parts of your argument against my lines of reasoning is based on an misunderstanding of the term 'gay culture'. I'd urge you to read the document linked above...

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December 31, 2003

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You are obviously biased or just really ignorant.
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I cannot accept your accusation of my ignorance and my prejudice.

You're assuming that I've no personal dealings with homosexuals at a personal or professional level, yet you don't know me. You don't know the kind of environments I've worked in and you don't even pretend to assume that I've worked with or dealt with homosexuals before. I'm not sure who is ignorant. To put the record straight, I've worked for, worked with and managed homosexuals. In my dealings with them, I have not and do not hold anything against them at a personal or at a professional level - as long as they don't bang on and on about being gay. I don't go round to bang on and on about being straight, I'd assume other straight people don't either. Personally, I don't think it is prejudice on my part to block out their arguments because I don't prejudge them. Even if they do bang on and on about being gay, there's nothing on a professional level I can do about it and I simply can't be bother to do much about them on a personal level except to disagree. Take that whichever way pleases you.

'Gay culture', defined to a large extent in the article I linked to, can be found in the following extract:

quote:
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The cross-cultural variation in homosexuality is great. If we wanted to, we could show that each culture has its own unique identities, roles, values, and symbolic associations with regard to homosexuality. But it is also possible to make a few generalizations. Elsewhere (Werner 1990) I suggested that the world's societies might be categorized into only a few types according to who has sex with whom in same-sex relationships. The first type ("gay" culture) is defined by the fact that predominant homosexuals have sexual relations primarily with other predominant homosexuals. This is the system of Northern Europeans and their descendants, and may be spreading with the processes of economic globalization. However, it is actually the most rarely found ethnographically. In an examination of the HRAF records I have been unable to find a single non-Northern European "traditional" (i.e. not influenced by Europeans) culture with this system. The second system, probably the most widespread, might be labeled the "bicha/bofe" type (using Brazilian terms). In this system, more or less exclusive homosexuals (not always, but very often transvestite or at least effeminate males) have sexual relationships with men who are not culturally distinguished from other men. This system is found among such diverse peoples as southern Europeans and their descendants (e.g.Brazilians), many Native North American Indian societies (Navaho, Sioux, Mohave, Utes, Zuni, Apaches, Shoshones, Yurok, Pomo, Pawnees, Mandan, Crow, Fox, Bellacoola, Aleuts, etc.), many Native South American societies (Guayaki, Kanela, Tupinamba, Tapirape, Warao, Tucano, Toba, Tehuelche, pre-contact Mapuche, Aymara, and Cuna, etc.), Far East and Asian cultures (Bengali, Burusho, Kashmir, Karen, Burma, Philippines, Semai, Malaysians, Indonesians, China, lower class Japan, Chuckchee, Koryak, etc.), a few Oceanic societies (Iban, Toradja, Belan, Makassar, Pukapuka, Marquesans, Tonga), and a few Middle Eastern and African cultures (Oman, Teda, Amhara, Hausa, Twi, Tanala, Zulu, etc.). The third system (the "age-grade" system), somewhat less widespread, consists in homosexual relations between older men and younger boys or men, often with a "master/apprentice" type of relationship. This system is found in traditional Europe (ancient Greeks), Africa (Azande), the Middle-East (Siwans), Asia (Badaga, Tibetan monasteries, Samurai/aristocratic caste Japanese), and Oceania (Etoro, Sambia, Malekula, Aranda, etc.). The fourth type might be labeled the adolescent-sex system, and consists in homosexual relationships between adolescents but which disappear after marriage. This system is found in many oceanic societies (Lau, Manus, Wogeo, Ifugao, Marquesans, Tikopia), in some African societies (Ngonde, Hottentot, Shona, Mongo), and in some South American societies (Nambikwara, Yanomamo, Araucanians).
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(my italics)

You would have found that if you've read the paper. I'm not going to quote anymore from the paper. It is there to be read and it's up to you.

However, as I've mentioned in my last post, while it is a good piece of research, but it draws a wrong conclusion. But then again, each reader is entitle to his/her own opinion to the same piece of writing. That's why humans are equipped with a large brain - for us to use it. The reason I use this article as a reference is that it is a good summary of many other research pieces and I'm not going to try and impress you with an extensive reading list - that's just showing off. No, I don't do that often. To a certain extent, I'm lazy, but not the extent that you accuse me of using some 'pseudo-research' as evidence. Additionally, the paper is written in a relatively accessible language, explore the subject matter in reasonable depth and provides references to further reading, should the reader choose to explore further some of the arguments presented.

My opinion is based on my culture, my family, my education, the environments that I've lived in and continue to live in, my social surroundings and my own research and understanding. In a way, it is heavily conditioned. However, I'm prepared and have carried out my own investigation, in however small a way, in a subject we're debating about. Based on what I've found, if I'm not in agreement with you, so be it. But I find your accusation that I'm ignorant hurtful and irresponsible. No many people go around telling others that they're ignorant just because they hold a different opinion to others.


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