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reply to post by Astrocyte
Whats your opinion of this? Should we promote homosexuality as a way to counter over-population? Or should people be given the choice to have (their own genetic) children if they so choose?
I think you're presenting a false dichotomy in the last few sentences. I'd say that developed countries are having trouble enough replacing their population, and are as much in a trouble because of overpopulation, as they are underpopulation in the coming years. The game changer may be teching our way out of the demographics to fill in the gap with AI robots.
Having made decades of amateur sociological observations myself, it doesn't surprise me at all that you are interested ( both ) in trauma, and homosexuality.
You don't have to be homo to not have kids. In fact, more people than ever are choosing not to live together, get married, or have kids. Many I hear of choosing this lifestyle aren't even consciously reasoning it out. It seems to be instinctual to some degree. People have it better than ever, colliding with the notion that the next generation may have it much worse = no kiddos for me!
Human beings have very complex social structures and like all great apes, same sex sexual behaviors are common place. They have been common place before homosexual and heterosexual identities were even created. Now there's a name for every type of sexual preference. Imagine if we labelled people based on the flavors of ice cream they preferred.
I think in the context of humans that same sex behaviors are actually the norm and might actually be healthy from social structure standpoint. I don't think it's caused by anything, rather people identifying with extremes(hetero or homosexual) is the behavior that's created from conditioning. In a natural environment humans would probably enjoy sex without feeling ashamed one way or the other, thus creating a label to have to "explain" their attractions.
It's weird and intrusive and unfair.
What flavor ice cream one likes is superficial compared to the general orientation of your sexual preference. In sexual preference - there are two viable options, corresponding to the primary categories of gender. So, I don't think this is an unnecessary distinction, inasmuch as it describes a very basic aspect - a fundamental one - in human sexual relationships.
Another thing which cannot be controlled is one's own intuitive preference. Although same sex relationships have occurred in all cultures, strangely enough, it was practiced more often amongst the upper classes (people who thought more), and derided by the common people. One could argue that the mainstream cultural attitude towards homosexuality is inbuilt by evolution as a way to promote reproduction.
Within the animal kingdom in particular, primates specifically, homosexuality doesn't come with the social/metaphysical input that human beings ascribe to these sorts of actions. Meaning, I think, that human beings and bonobos are in two very different existential categories. Although they are related to us, their experience of the world is dramatically different from ours. We ask questions of the world - something no other animal can do (so far as we've been able to discern from research), and one of those natural questions which occurs to us: is homosexuality right? People ask this question because they are pattern finders: we see patterns in nature, within the mammalian kingdom in particular, where males and female come together and reproduce. Seeing this drives our higher cortical functions into overdrive and we begin to hypothesize fundamental principles in the world: A "male" principle and a "female" principle - and we imagine that this dynamic forms a fundamental metaphysical relationship that human beings should imitate. It's one way we find to live a life of meaning.
Of course, the above isn't logically justified - it's just one of many possible ways to interpret the world an our experience of it. My problem, i feel, is that your interpretation might be a bit authoritarian, where you basically say that making a distinction between sexual preference is arbitrary.
I'm straight myself. I feel that, given what I know about how the brain works, that if I "trained" my brain, I could experience homosexual experiences. But I don't want to do this - not because I am homophobic, or that I hate gays - far from it! I am super-understanding and make a strong effort to empathize with why they've decided to live this, and I support them in anyway I can (compassion eliminates categories), but because, inside, I want to live heterosexually. It is a relevant distinction to me - because I have to admit, that metaphysical idea I described above sort of does resonate with me.
That idea simply does not jibe with an evolutionistic or biological framework. I find it hard to understand how you think natural mechanisms i.e. the female+male relational context - hasn't biased are biology towards heterosexual behavior.
I agree with a lot of what you are saying. Many have talked about a "gay gene" but I have not found anything identifying such a gene, and while I do think there may be a genetic component to homosexuality I have always thought of it as a kind of psychological manifestation.
Human beings derive pleasure from sexuality. Therefore it is akin to which flavor of ice cream one enjoys. There is also the reproductive angle of human sexuality, but except in the context of state marriages that remove the personal choice of the experience, pleasure comes first. So because pleasure comes first, what people enjoy during sexual experiences is as broad as the flavors of ice cream that exist out there(and the people who eat them).
Sexuality among other primates is very social more often than not. I am not sure what you're saying in regard to it not being social(metaphysical is an unknown since we don't have the ability to read ape's minds).
Sexual preference is arbitrary and is more fluid than people like to think it is. Otherwise the men in prison would never have sex and women would find the L Word boring and no fun to watch(still haven't met any straight woman who wouldn't admit that they would go there with at least one of the women on that show).
You are misunderstanding how survival of the fittest works. Survival of the fittest means each person is going to pursue the reproduction strategy that holds the greatest benefit to them. Sexual reproduction and biology is not about what's best for the species but rather what's best for the individual. So for women the hetero-normative relationship isn't always the best for her. An example of that would be a young woman being married off at 11 and having a baby before her body is ready. The relationship is great for the man from a pleasure standpoint, but from the girl's reproductive standpoint it is harmful to her health. So in comparison, a woman in a lesbian relationship waits til she is 30 and then chooses very carefully which man sires her child, then has the full support of another woman to raise the child. If you were to compare those two reproduction strategies the latter is much more beneficial to the woman.