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Science Forum

Science Forum

  1. Standard member epiphinehas
    Luke 12:24
    10 Dec '08 09:54 / 2 edits
    I'd like to discuss what evidence there is in support of homosexuality as a biologically and/or environmentally (prenatal) determined anomaly.

    _________

    I know of two recent articles of import.

    (1) http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/jun/16/neuroscience.psychology

    (2) http://www.findingdulcinea.com/news/science/2008/December/Males-of-All-Species-Are-Becoming-More-Female.html

    One deals with the shape of the brain and the other with the effect pollution may have on the masculinity of males.
  2. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    10 Dec '08 11:47
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    I'd like to discuss what evidence there is in support of homosexuality as a biologically and/or environmentally (prenatal) determined anomaly.
    It's perfectly natural ... http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=bisexual-species
  3. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    10 Dec '08 12:10
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    It's perfectly natural ... http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=bisexual-species
    Have you ever thought of the implications of US being a different SPECIES from rabbits?
  4. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    10 Dec '08 12:13
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    (2) http://www.findingdulcinea.com/news/science/2008/December/Males-of-All-Species-Are-Becoming-More-Female.html

    One deals with the shape of the brain and the other with the effect pollution may have on the masculinity of males.
    Are homosexuals less 'masculine' biologically? If I read it correctly, the article relates 'masculinity' with penis size. Is there any evidence for a relation between penis size and homosexuality?
  5. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    10 Dec '08 12:14
    Originally posted by Palynka
    Have you ever thought of the implications of US being a different SPECIES from rabbits?
    "Female bonobos rub one another’s genitals so often that some scientists have suggested that their genitalia evolved to facilitate this activity. The female bonobo’s clitoris is “frontally placed, perhaps because selection favored a position maximizing stimulation during the genital-genital rubbing common among females,” wrote behavioral ecologist Marlene Zuk of the University of California, Riverside, in her 2002 book Sexual Selections: What We Can and Can’t Learn about Sex from Animals. Male bonobos have been observed to mount, fondle and even perform oral sex on one another."
  6. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    10 Dec '08 12:23
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    "Female bonobos rub one another’s genitals so often that some scientists have suggested that their genitalia evolved to facilitate this activity. The female bonobo’s clitoris is “frontally placed, perhaps because selection favored a position maximizing stimulation during the genital-genital rubbing common among females,” wrote behavioral ecologist Mar ...[text shortened]... s. Male bonobos have been observed to mount, fondle and even perform oral sex on one another."
    Bipedality is CULTURAL!

    Lulz
  7. 10 Dec '08 12:47
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    It's perfectly natural ... http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=bisexual-species
    Well, anything that happens in nature is natural, which also includes homosexuality. However, it's an anomaly in the same sense as green eyes are an anomaly.
  8. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    10 Dec '08 12:57
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Well, anything that happens in nature is natural, which also includes homosexuality. However, it's an anomaly in the same sense as green eyes are an anomaly.
    Homosexuality is a behaviour, not a colour. But what makes green eyes an anomaly?
  9. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    10 Dec '08 13:04
    Originally posted by Palynka
    Bipedality is CULTURAL!

    Lulz
    “The more homosexuality, the more peaceful the species,” asserts Petter Böckman, an academic adviser at the University of Oslo’s Museum of Natural History in Norway. “Bonobos are peaceful.”
  10. Standard member adam warlock
    Baby Gauss
    10 Dec '08 13:42
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    I'd like to discuss what evidence there is in support of homosexuality as a biologically and/or environmentally (prenatal) determined anomaly.
    Why use the negatively connoted word anomaly?
  11. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    10 Dec '08 13:43
    Originally posted by adam warlock
    Why use the negatively connoted word anomaly?
    Perhaps we should rather ask if homosexuality is a functional adaptation.
  12. Standard member adam warlock
    Baby Gauss
    10 Dec '08 13:44 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Perhaps we should rather ask if homosexuality is a functional adaptation.
    What do you mean by functional adaptation?

    Edit: Just to clarify a few things. I believe, even though I have no other sources than my hunches, that a person's sexual orientation is determined genetically. I also believe that environmental effects have their influence even though it is a less profound one than genetical factors.
  13. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    10 Dec '08 14:15
    Originally posted by adam warlock
    What do you mean by functional adaptation?
    A beneficial novelty.

    Let's deal with bisexuality in animals first.

    "In some birds, same-sex unions, particularly between males, might have evolved as a parenting strategy to increase the survival of their young. “In black swans, if two males find each other and make a nest, they’ll be very successful at nest making because they are bigger and stronger than a male and female,” Böckman says. In such cases, he says, “having a same-sex partner will actually pay off as a sensible life strategy.”
    In other instances, homosexual bonding between female parents can boost the survival of offspring when male-female pairings are not possible. In birds called oystercatchers, intense competition for male mates would leave some females single were it not for polygamous trios. In a study published in 1998 in Nature, zoologist Dik Heg and geneticist Rob van Treuren, both then at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, observed that roughly 2 percent of oystercatcher breeding groups consist of two females and a male. In some of these families, Heg and van Treuren found, the females tend separate nests and fight over the male, but in others, all three birds watch over a single nest. In the latter case, the females bond by mounting each other as well as the male. The cooperative triangles produce more offspring than the competitive ones, because such nests are better tended and protected from predators.
    "Such arrangements point to the evolutionary fitness of stable social relationships, whatever their type. Biologist Joan E. Roughgarden of Stanford University believes that evolutionary biologists tend to adhere too strongly to Darwin’s theory of sexual selection and have thus largely overlooked the importance of bonding and friendship to animal societies and the survival of their young.“ [Darwin] equated reproduction with finding a mate rather than paying attention to how the offspring are naturally reared,” Roughgarden says."

    Is homosexuality in animals genetically determined or is it a bit more fluid, more circumstance-dependent, than that?

    (I have no fixed ideas on genetic determinism and homosexuality; for some people, it's a question of a relationship with a person of the same sex (I know one person who had a heterosexual relation, then a homosexual relationship, then another heterosexual relationship, all fairly long-term); for others, it's a sexual preference ('boys turn me on, girls don't' -- a variety of factors seem to be at play there ... We'd have to delve deep into human sexuality in general.)
  14. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    10 Dec '08 14:22 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    “The more homosexuality, the more peaceful the species,” asserts Petter Böckman, an academic adviser at the University of Oslo’s Museum of Natural History in Norway. “Bonobos are peaceful.”
    Did anything I said made you believe I think homosexuality is "bad"? Your arguments are sounding conspicuously Fabian-like.

    Are homo sapiens peaceful?
  15. 10 Dec '08 17:14
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Perhaps we should rather ask if homosexuality is a functional adaptation.
    A possible explanation for homosexuality in human males I've read is that the (hypothetical) gene for homosexuality also increases fertility in women. It appears that mothers and maternal aunts of gay men tend to have more children on average.