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  1. 17 Mar '13 23:35
    "Jim McKnight has speculated about a trait on which male homosexuality might
    ‘‘piggyback’’ via a balance polymorphism mechanism (McKnight, 1997: 92–108).
    His hypothesis is that ‘‘women control the homosexual gene’s penetrance’’
    (McKnight, 1997: 101). On this view, women are attracted to heterosexual men who
    carry a homosexual gene(s), i.e., sexual orientation heterozygotes, because women
    seek the benefits offered by the homosexual gene(s): similarity to themselves. Such
    ‘‘homosexually-enabled’’ heterosexual men tend to make good lovers, partners and
    fathers by offering more ‘‘sensitivity, creativity and better communication skills’’
    than do boorish, unfaithful homozygous heterosexuals" (McKnight, 1997: 106)."

    http://www.fed.cuhk.edu.hk/~lchang/material/Evolutionary/Evo%20homosexual.pdf

    Not that there is anything wrong with being a "boorish, unfaithful homozygous heterosexual." You just won;t father as many children.

    The author of this cited paper covers an alternative but not fundamentally contradictory hypothesis to the one above; but several alternative theories for the idea that there are genetic influences on sexual orientation are covered in this paper.

    One possibility under any evolutionary theory, is that given any particular stress situation, there may be an optimal ratio of heterosexuals to homosexuals (female and male ratios possibly differing) and the morality of the population will eventually adjust to reflect tolerance or even a preference for that optimum, with all the trouble that the adjustment process involves.

    Of course this has the potential of being construed as supporting fact-based policy making, which some people seem to hate.
  2. 18 Mar '13 01:17
    Originally posted by JS357
    "Jim McKnight has speculated about a trait on which male homosexuality might
    ‘‘piggyback’’ via a balance polymorphism mechanism (McKnight, 1997: 92–108).
    His hypothesis is that ‘‘women control the homosexual gene’s penetrance’’
    (McKnight, 1997: 101). On this view, women are attracted to heterosexual men who
    carry a homosexual gene(s), i.e., sexual orientat ...[text shortened]... of being construed as supporting fact-based policy making, which some people seem to hate.
    Sounds initially like unsound socially motivated theorizing. However, I think I've observed considerable bisexuality in both men and women. It is hardly uncommon for people to change preference or orientation several times during a lifetime.

    A very simple, incontrovertible fact is that heterosexual activity is necessary to the survival of most species. Homosexual activity may not harm this, but doesn't appear to enhance the survival in any way.

    A "boorish, unfaithful homozygous heterosexual." might in fact father more children in a polygamist culture.
  3. 18 Mar '13 03:08
    Originally posted by normbenign to JS357
    Sounds initially like unsound socially motivated theorizing. However, I think I've observed considerable bisexuality in both men and women. It is hardly uncommon for people to change preference or orientation several times during a lifetime.

    A very simple, incontrovertible fact is that heterosexual activity is necessary to the survival of mos ...[text shortened]... ithful homozygous heterosexual." might in fact father more children in a polygamist culture.
    "It is hardly uncommon for people co change (sexual) preference or
    orientation several times during a lifetime."
    --Normbenign

    If it's 'hardly uncommon', what percentage of people would you estimate
    have changed their sexual 'preference or orientation several times during
    (their) lifetime'?

    "Homosexual activity may not harm this, but doesn't appear to enhance
    the survival in any way."
    --Normbenign

    If it's true that homosexuality has no value for survival, then why has not
    evolution simply 'weeded' it out by now? If a human group with a lower
    proportion of homosexuals has a survival advantage, all else being equal, over
    a group with a higher proportion, then should the proportion of homosexuals
    today not be the lowest in human history? But there's no evidence that the
    proportion of homosexuals is declining. Therefore, I would submit that
    'homosexual activity', while not contributing directly to reproduction, does
    lend some value for human survival.
  4. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    18 Mar '13 16:38
    Originally posted by JS357
    "Jim McKnight has speculated about a trait on which male homosexuality might
    ‘‘piggyback’’ via a balance polymorphism mechanism (McKnight, 1997: 92–108).
    His hypothesis is that ‘‘women control the homosexual gene’s penetrance’’
    (McKnight, 1997: 101). On this view, women are attracted to heterosexual men who
    carry a homosexual gene(s), i.e., sexual orientat ...[text shortened]... of being construed as supporting fact-based policy making, which some people seem to hate.
    Evolution happens to groups and not individuals. An individual who doesn't reproduce doesn't pass on their particular genes, but the presence of the genes in them implies that it's present in reproducers in the group and if the group benefits then the gene will persist. This stuff about women being more attracted to heterosexual men who carry but don't express a gay gene is speculation - unless they show that women can detect this gene and that the gene gives the attributes they claim (why shouldn't a gay gene make men more aggressive?) then they haven't shown anything.
  5. 18 Mar '13 16:56
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Sounds initially like unsound socially motivated theorizing. However, I think I've observed considerable bisexuality in both men and women. It is hardly uncommon for people to change preference or orientation several times during a lifetime.

    A very simple, incontrovertible fact is that heterosexual activity is necessary to the survival of most species ...[text shortened]... ithful homozygous heterosexual." might in fact father more children in a polygamist culture.
    "Sounds initially like unsound socially motivated theorizing."

    The author refers to McKnight as speculating, so we can treat it that way and not get too caught up in whether it is "correct."

    There are 5 proposed mechanisms summarized in the paper, plus a new one presented by the author. These 6 are not necessarily mutually exclusive of one another.
  6. Standard member vivify
    rain
    18 Mar '13 20:09 / 2 edits
    I think homosexuality persisted through human history, because of lack of sexual outlets, and the taboo against it.

    For example, early humans with homosexual tendancies were most likely in the minority (only 2 percent of the U.S. population admits to being gay). So without Craigslist to find potential partners (especially when human languages were still being developed), gays had no outlest for their sexual desires, besides the opposite sex. This is one way the so called "gay gene", if it really exists, would've passed on.

    Secondly, when humans started becoming civilized, homosexuality was a taboo in many parts of the world, with many ancient civilizations killing anyone found to be gay. So for their own safety, most gays at that time probably kept their homosexuality to themselves, and got married in hetero-marriages, like the "normal" folk. Any "gay gene" would've been passed on the the resulting children.

    Also, let's not forget bisexuals, who may pass on the "gay gene" through thier hetero relationships.
  7. 18 Mar '13 20:55
    Originally posted by vivify
    I think homosexuality persisted through human history, because of lack of sexual outlets, and the taboo against it.

    For example, early humans with homosexual tendancies were most likely in the minority (only 2 percent of the U.S. population admits to being gay). So without Craigslist to find potential partners (especially when human languages were still b ...[text shortened]... forget bisexuals, who may pass on the "gay gene" through thier hetero relationships.
    There's no evidence of homosexuality being hereditary, so any theories based on that are irrelevant. They have; however, found that the more boys a mother has the more likely the youngest is to be gay. This is true regardless of whether or not he is raised by his maternal family, so that eliminates environmental factors. It is believed an excess of testosterone in the womb causes baby boys to become faaaabulous!
  8. 18 Mar '13 21:35
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    "It is hardly uncommon for people co change (sexual) preference or
    orientation several times during a lifetime."
    --Normbenign

    If it's 'hardly uncommon', what percentage of people would you estimate
    have changed their sexual 'preference or orientation several times during
    (their) lifetime'?

    "Homosexual activity may not harm this, but doesn't appe ...[text shortened]... contributing directly to reproduction, does
    lend some value for human survival.
    I've never done a scientific study on bisexuality. I've casually observed quite a few people in my own circle, including a daughter who has changed her preference.

    In what way do you believe homosexuality is vital to survival? Why, if it is neutral towards survival, would it have to disappear? Redheadedness remains, although it is hard to find any necessity for it as a matter of survival. If homosexuality is genetic, still unproven, then it is likely a recessive genetic characteristic, which survives in a minority of people. Such recessive genetics might take millenniums to disappear entirely, and might never do so.
  9. 18 Mar '13 21:35 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by vivify
    I think homosexuality persisted through human history, because of lack of sexual outlets, and the taboo against it.

    For example, early humans with homosexual tendancies were most likely in the minority (only 2 percent of the U.S. population admits to being gay). So without Craigslist to find potential partners (especially when human languages were still b forget bisexuals, who may pass on the "gay gene" through thier hetero relationships.
    That is not inconsistent with the "Fertile Females" speculation in the paper I cited.

    Suppose that the "gay gene" is carried by the female's X chromosome. Then,

    "Trivers and Rice speculate that the relevant ‘‘gene’’ might be expressed the same way in both sexes, namely enhanced sexual interest in men."

    Females that had an enhanced interest in men would mate more than enough to make up for any male brothers born with that interest. In men it would be called a gay gene, whereas in a woman all it would do is make her somewhat loose -- thereby passing on that gene to more offspring.

    But also, what you say suggests that if we were to fully accept male homosexuality, it would die out, if genetic, unless such men were attractive to, and successfully seduced by, enough women.
  10. 18 Mar '13 21:38
    Originally posted by JS357
    "Sounds initially like unsound socially motivated theorizing."

    The author refers to McKnight as speculating, so we can treat it that way and not get too caught up in whether it is "correct."

    There are 5 proposed mechanisms summarized in the paper, plus a new one presented by the author. These 6 are not necessarily mutually exclusive of one another.
    It is interesting speculation, but the danger of credentialed people speculating is that the speculations can be seen by common people as scientific.
  11. 18 Mar '13 21:40 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by USArmyParatrooper
    There's no evidence of homosexuality being hereditary, so any theories based on that are irrelevant. They have; however, found that the more boys a mother has the more likely the youngest is to be gay. This is true regardless of whether or not he is raised by his maternal family, so that eliminates environmental factors. It is believed an excess of testosterone in the womb causes baby boys to become faaaabulous!
    That's a new one on me. Interesting speculation. Is it possible that the urge to copulate and to have orgasms is so strong that it adapts to the lack of appropriate mating, opposite gender, same species targets? This would explain not only homosexual activity, but cross species sex. In animals, "gay" behaviours are manifested in young males who have not matured sufficiently to mate with mature females. This is manifest in some cultures of humans as well.
  12. Standard member vivify
    rain
    18 Mar '13 22:12
    Originally posted by JS357
    [b]That is not inconsistent with the "Fertile Females" speculation in the paper I cited.

    Suppose that the "gay gene" is carried by the female's X chromosome. Then,

    "Trivers and Rice speculate that the relevant ‘‘gene’’ might be expressed the same way in both sexes, namely enhanced sexual interest in men."

    Females that had an enhanced interest in men w ...[text shortened]... oint: what I posted implies that homosexuality could die out, if fully accepted by society.
  13. 18 Mar '13 22:29
    Originally posted by normbenign
    It is interesting speculation, but the danger of credentialed people speculating is that the speculations can be seen by common people as scientific.
    The irrational side of science is that the proposer of a hypothesis will be motivated to prove it is true. The rational check on this is that there are rules on how this is to be done. So the danger you point out should not be a problem when the speculation is between scientists, and they have standards for testing their speculations, and are held to those standards by their peers -- most of the time.

    But people come on a forum like this with some scientist's speculation, and either present it as fact, or defend it as being fact when challenged. I know first hand that this is a temptation. So I try to indicate that a speculation is just that.

    The danger is that popularizers and politically motivated people, professionals and amateurs alike, distort these speculations for their own reasons. I also know first hand that this is a temptation. One of the best things we can do to house-keep on this forum, is to call such instances when we see them, and admit to it, at least to ourselves, when we have done it.
  14. 18 Mar '13 22:47
    Originally posted by JS357
    The irrational side of science is that the proposer of a hypothesis will be motivated to prove it is true. The rational check on this is that there are rules on how this is to be done. So the danger you point out should not be a problem when the speculation is between scientists, and they have standards for testing their speculations, and are held to those sta ...[text shortened]... such instances when we see them, and admit to it, at least to ourselves, when we have done it.
    The only thing I would add to that is that scientists are also humans, social and political creatures. They are subject to the same vices and temptations that the layman is.
  15. 18 Mar '13 22:59
    Originally posted by USArmyParatrooper
    There's no evidence of homosexuality being hereditary, so any theories based on that are irrelevant. They have; however, found that the more boys a mother has the more likely the youngest is to be gay. This is true regardless of whether or not he is raised by his maternal family, so that eliminates environmental factors. It is believed an excess of testosterone in the womb causes baby boys to become faaaabulous!
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/simon-levay/the-paradox-of-gay-genes_b_1929641.html

    This is an interesting article where the author believes there are multiple causes including genetics for homosexuality. It also goes into how the genetics are passed on despite the words of wisdom of Duchess. The author is gay and you may be able to relate to what he is saying.