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Evolutionary dynamics of male homosexuality.

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posted on Jun, 21 2008 @ 10:13 PM
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June 18th 2008, a new paper has been published which attempts to reconcile the development of the "homosexual" gene when it seems to exist in opposition of Darwinian evolution:

since male homosexuals don't mate with the opposite sex, shouldn't any ‘genes promoting homosexuality’ have died out of the population by now?


The foundation of this paper is:

Abstract
Several lines of evidence indicate the existence of genetic factors influencing male homosexuality and bisexuality. In spite of its relatively low frequency, the stable permanence in all human populations of this apparently detrimental trait constitutes a puzzling ‘Darwinian paradox’. Furthermore, several studies have pointed out relevant asymmetries in the distribution of both male homosexuality and of female fecundity in the parental lines of homosexual vs. heterosexual males. A number of hypotheses have attempted to give an evolutionary explanation for the long-standing persistence of this trait, and for its asymmetric distribution in family lines; however a satisfactory understanding of the population genetics of male homosexuality is lacking at present. We perform a systematic mathematical analysis of the propagation and equilibrium of the putative genetic factors for male homosexuality in the population, based on the selection equation for one or two diallelic loci and Bayesian statistics for pedigree investigation. We show that only the two-locus genetic model with at least one locus on the X chromosome, and in which gene expression is sexually antagonistic (increasing female fitness but decreasing male fitness), accounts for all known empirical data. Our results help clarify the basic evolutionary dynamics of male homosexuality, establishing this as a clearly ascertained sexually antagonistic human trait.


The full version of the paper PLoSOne

Now please read the full paper if you wish to comment on this topic. And please try to be respectful of other members' sexual orientation. This kind of research is undertaken when evolutionary science is willing to look at itself and question it's own assumptions.

A synopsis of the findings of this study can be found at Physorg

[edit on 21-6-2008 by schrodingers dog]




posted on Jun, 21 2008 @ 10:38 PM
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I thought perhaps that some would need some evidence of the underlying foundation that the "gay" gene actually exists. I will concede that the issue is still open and there still is no consensus between scientists on the subject. However the natural hereditary predisposition to homosexuality is well documented:

PET and MRI show differences in cerebral asymmetry and functional connectivity between homo- and heterosexual subjects

Ivanka Savic* and Per Lindström

Stockholm Brain Institute, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, 171 76 Stockholm, Sweden

Edited by Jan-Åke Gustafsson, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, and approved April 30, 2008 (received for review February 27, 2008)

Abstract

Cerebral responses to putative pheromones and objects of sexual attraction were recently found to differ between homo- and heterosexual subjects. Although this observation may merely mirror perceptional differences, it raises the intriguing question as to whether certain sexually dimorphic features in the brain may differ between individuals of the same sex but different sexual orientation.

www.pnas.org...


Mod Edit: External Source Tags – Please Review This Link.

[edit on 21/6/2008 by Mirthful Me]



posted on Jun, 21 2008 @ 11:02 PM
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Indeed! The factors that affect human sexuality are entirely genetic in nature, but (at least) two-fold, directly and indirectly. Firstly, the genes of the person in question (the direct), and also the nature of hormonal influence on the developing foetus (the indirect). Once the brain has developed, no amount of "My Two Dads" is going to change one's sexual orientation


Genetics, as tricky as it is, is not about "on" or "off", but about the effect of a series of genes affecting each other. Kind of like a feed-back loop. Couple in with that the effect of hormone washes of the foetus and how that affects development, and indeed any aspect of physical development that affects the brain.

You can't look at someone's DNA and go "Yup - there's the gay gene - he must like Dolly Parton and scented candles". That is a horrifically patronising view of the human genome, homosexuality, and human sexuality in general.

[edit on 21/6/08 by dave420]

[edit on 22/6/08 by dave420]



posted on Jun, 21 2008 @ 11:57 PM
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Homosexuality is a choice not a gene or a disease.
a simple choice that someone makes to be gay.



posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 12:05 AM
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reply to post by ObamaMomma
 


For some people it may be, for others, it's not. Genetics may have a role in it, true, since brain anonmalies have been found to be present in those who are homosexual. Upbringing can have a hand in it as well. A few homosexuals transvestites, and other alternate gender or whatevers have had bad relations either with their mother or their father.
Not as a rule of course, but a few of them do.
SO there are several different reasons why someone is homosexual, and there is not likely to be one single root cause.



posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 12:27 AM
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reply to post by ObamaMomma
 


Nope. All the evidence gathered on the subject blows your narrow-minded opinion out of the water. Sorry about that. Try learning science from a science book, not a bible or some other intolerant piece of rubbish.

reply to post by RuneSpider
 


Nope. Upbringing has NOTHING to do with it. If someone "chooses" to be gay, they're not homosexual, any more than someone who chooses to think they're a dolphin is an actual dolphin. As for other people with gender assignment issues, the exact same thing applies.

After all, if what you say is true, then maybe you're gay and your upbringing "turned" you straight. It has to work both ways, right?



posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 12:47 AM
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reply to post by dave420
 


"Nope. All the evidence gathered on the subject blows your narrow-minded opinion out of the water. Sorry about that. Try learning science from a science book, not a bible or some other intolerant piece of rubbish."

Now who's being intolerant and narrow-minded? Isn't it funny how rampant hypocrisy runs through militant atheists?

As for your statement, it is condescending, yet wrong. Scientists still have NO consensus. Please refrain from insulting people with differing opinions, especially when you cite zero evidence in support of your own.



posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 02:55 AM
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Research tends to lean more that sexual aberration is largely psychological/behavioral; not that there's anything wrong with that.

There are, of course, exceptions. You may be chromosomally XY but due to some factors you developed female organ(s) or vice versa. You may also be born hermaphrodite. It is really determined by chromosomes.

As for the brain: This is really no surprise. If you conditioned yourself or were conditioned to be sexually aberrant, chances are your neurons will adapt which is what they are known to do. Hence the deviant brain development.



posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 03:03 AM
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Originally posted by dave420
reply to post by ObamaMomma
 


Nope. All the evidence gathered on the subject blows your narrow-minded opinion out of the water. Sorry about that. Try learning science from a science book, not a bible or some other intolerant piece of rubbish.

reply to post by RuneSpider
 


Nope. Upbringing has NOTHING to do with it. If someone "chooses" to be gay, they're not homosexual, any more than someone who chooses to think they're a dolphin is an actual dolphin. As for other people with gender assignment issues, the exact same thing applies.

After all, if what you say is true, then maybe you're gay and your upbringing "turned" you straight. It has to work both ways, right?
agreed, which means a man who chooses to think he is a woman ISN'T an actual woman; or that a woman who chooses to think she is a man ISN'T an actual man.



posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 03:38 AM
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Originally posted by ObamaMomma
Homosexuality is a choice not a gene or a disease.
a simple choice that someone makes to be gay.


Ok, I can't sit here and read this anymore.

I am a gay male. I have been gay since my earliest memory; memory that goes beyond the point at which we begin to self-identify with our sexuality. If I had to put a time label on it, I would say that I knew something "was up" or different by about age 6. I can assure you that, at age 6, you are not making any life-long sexual orientation "decisions". From that age until I was approximately 11 or 12, I played a torturous internal game with myself. A game in which I tried to convince myself that, while I found other boys my age sexually fascinating and infinitely more attractive than girls, I was, indeed, straight. I cannot even begin to describe to you how many nights I spent awake, worried or terrified, that somebody would figure out my "secret", inform my friends or parents, and then my entire world would come crashing down around my head - my 11 year old head. You know? The same one that you contend "decided" to be gay? Yeah - that one.

Flash forward 5 years...years filled with seemingly unending cringing at words like fag, faggot, homo, etc, that was I subjected to in school on almost a daily basis; not because they had any proof or really thought I was gay, but because those words were the most hurtful they could hurl at you. To be called 'gay' or 'fag' in high school was, at the time (mid 1980's), to be sent into a special kind of social isolation - an isolation that few dared to breach for fear of having the same labels attached to them. At a time in life when the acceptance of ones' peer group is so paramount to a happy and contented existence, it is almost unfathomable to me that anybody can have the audacity to suggest that a socially awkward and shunned teenager would "choose" to be gay. With the non-stop barrage of negativity, who the hell would willingly choose that? There may be a few who would, but I can tell you with absolute certainty, that I was not one of them. Nor were most other 'tortured' gay teens I knew at the time - one of which went on to commit suicide thanks to his "decision". It's because of events like these, that touched my life so personally and so deeply, that I find the entire "decision" line of thought to be so utterly repugnant. While things have improved by a significant margin for gay people in the last 20 years, you really have to ask yourself - if this were truly some sort of lifestyle "choice" or "decision", why in gods name would anybody have made such a choice or decision 20 or more years ago, when the mere suggestion of being gay was enough to ruins lives and cause some to kill themselves. It's a question, I suspect, most poeple who espouse the "choice" theory really haven't considered.

I could go on, at length, with the story of my coming out, my friend who committed suicide and many other stories, but it's not really germane to this discussion. What is important, however, is that people understand what kind of consequences gays and lesbians have to deal with, thanks to this entire "choice" theory, put forward by so many people. By positing that 'gay' is a 'choice', it opens the door for far too much unfounded homophobia.
It's far easier and, more importantly, socially acceptable to hate or discriminate against someone for a choice than it is for a birth trait - a trait that, in my case, I had no more input into than my blue eyes.

As a side note, after over 10 years of lurking, this is my 1st ATS post =) It's funny what finally spurs you into action, no? I guess when the topic hits so close to home, sometimes you have no choice...

--Nyteskye



posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 03:43 AM
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reply to post by dave420
 


Actually, it's fairly likely you are correct. It's possible that my uprbringing made me straight. So yeah, it makes sense that it swings both ways. I see what you mean, though. Choosing versus actually being.
As for gender reassignment... yes, good, reject, you watch South Park. Biologically, they are still a man or woman. mentally, they consider themselves female.



posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 03:47 AM
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reply to post by Nyteskye
 


Thank you so much for sharing your story. Too many times opinions are shared on this board by people who don't have a personal connection to the discussions they are contributing. I suspect that I have been guilty in the past of this attitude myself.
I should say that I am not gay. So if I may ask, what do you think of the premise of this thread.
It was my intention to provide the latest pertinent research to dispel the idea that homosexuality is a choice. Thus disarming bible thumping zealots who depend on this preconception as a foundation for their discrimination.



posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 03:52 AM
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reply to post by dave420
 

(PLEASE read my following response in YODA-speak)

Shocked I am, that agreeing with Dave420 I am doing.

Amazing to me it is...........that I find Dave on the side of things I ponder and believe to be true.
It is a good thing when two beings can come to agreement.



posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 03:54 AM
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Originally posted by Nyteskye I found other boys my age infinitely more attractive than girls


what do you mean by attractive exactly? Could you clarify this for me please? I'm just having trouble grasping exactly what you mean, considering you were only 6.



posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 04:44 AM
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A Swedish study has shown that if you are gay then you are most likely born gay - there is no choosing in the equation. It shows that gay men have similar brain structure to straight women and gay women have similar structure to straight men. These structures can not be explained by 'learned' mechanisms.

Link here.


G



posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 04:59 AM
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Originally posted by JPhish

Originally posted by Nyteskye I found other boys my age infinitely more attractive than girls


what do you mean by attractive exactly? Could you clarify this for me please? I'm just having trouble grasping exactly what you mean, considering you were only 6.


Indeed. I had no small amount of trouble trying to answer that for myself. It's almost unquantifiable, even now - more so at 6!

The best and most simplistic way I can put this is this : I recall somewhere around that age that a friend of mine had "a girlfriend". lol It was just a cute thing to say at that age, of course; no sexual connotations at all. I, however, wanted a "boyfriend". haha. Yes, at at 6 or 7, I wanted a boyfriend! It was at that point, even at that tender age, that you start to put things together - even in those innocent terms, there are are hints of what's to come. It's funny to think about now as an adult, but back then, it was confusing. But oddly enough, even at that age, I knew to keep my mouth shut about it. It was something to be wrestled with internally but never spoken out loud until much later on. It's rather incredible what kids can pick up and internalize about what's socially acceptable, even at that age and even as they're coming to terms with what they're feeling.

Oh and to schrodingers dog : thank you for the thread and it's premise. I truly enjoy threads like these and the debate with thoughtful people. Anything we can learn from each other, be it social or scientific, is a good thing. As far as the original paper is concerned, I'm in agreement with the vast majority of it. I've tended to view things much along these lines for some time now. This is really only another layer of confirmation for me



posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 06:26 AM
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reply to post by RuneSpider
 


If you try to unravel the processes that define us through only looking at yourself, you are bound to fail. You and your upbringing are obviously not illustrative of every single human being who has lived or who will ever live. Try reading some scientific studies on this whole subject, and you'll see just how wrong you are. We are born with our sexualities. It doesn't matter what you are put through as a child, that will not change. You might get some sort of disorder, but don't think for a single second that being gay is a disorder. It's perfectly natural, and thanks to ignorance (as well-meaning and innocent as it might be), it causes untold pain and suffering for people just trying to live their lives in the harsh, critical gaze of an often-uncaring society.

Your claims make as much sense as claiming that if you holiday in Canada when you're a kid, you'll grow an extra leg. Our brains and bodies simply don't work that way.



posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 06:52 AM
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Originally posted by RuneSpider
reply to post by dave420
 


Actually, it's fairly likely you are correct. It's possible that my uprbringing made me straight. So yeah, it makes sense that it swings both ways. I see what you mean, though. Choosing versus actually being.
As for gender reassignment... yes, good, reject, you watch South Park. Biologically, they are still a man or woman. mentally, they consider themselves female.
agreed again...it's all mental; unless, like the anonymous poster pointed out, there is really some underlying physiological congenital condition like in some RARE cases.

It feels like a compulsion because it is one.


[edit on 22-6-2008 by reject]



posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 06:52 AM
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reply to post by Nyteskye
 


of course you wanted a "boyfriend". Your 6, because there is no sexual connotation to it, there's actually no reason you would want a girlfriend (over a boyfriend) unless you saw that society wanted you to. When you are six you are more inclined to want to be with members of the same sex; because you feel more comfortable being with the familiar.

You said yourself that you couldn't really explain it . . . The males of most species on this planet are "considered" to be more attractive than the females. Sexual dimorphism . . . Perhaps the same holds true for humans? When your six you have no predisposition for males or females in a sexual way. You view the sexes unbiased unless programmed otherwise through society . . . Maybe it is natural for both very young girls and boys to perceive males as more "beautiful"?

Just some things that came to mind when reading your story. Which i'm thankful that you shared.

the subject is controversial.

[edit on 6/22/2008 by JPhish]



posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 07:09 AM
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reply to post by JPhish
 


Sorry, are you telling Nytesky what he felt when he was 6 years old? He already spelled it out. He clearly knows more about his own childhood than you do. Shoe-horning motives and feelings into another person's painful childhood to somehow reinforce your own beliefs is, well, disgusting. My apologies if this is not what you're doing, and if that's the case, you might want to re-read what you wrote and possibly fix it if you come to the same conclusion as I did.



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