Oh dear: some nonsense being spouted here

Homosexuality is only partly genetic with sexuality mostly based on environmental and social factors, scientists believe.

A study found that, while gay men shared similar genetic make-up, it only accounted for 40 per cent of the chance of a man being homosexual.

But scientists say it could still be possible to develop a test to find out if a baby was more likely to be gay.

In the most comprehensive study of its kind, Dr Michael Bailey, of Northwestern University, has been studying 400 sets of twins to determine if some men are genetically predisposed to being gay.

The study found that gay men shared genetic signatures on part of the X chromosome – Xq28.

Dr Bailey said: “Sexual orientation has nothing to do with choice. Our findings suggest there may be genes at play – we found evidence for two sets that affect whether a man is gay or straight.

“But it is not completely determinative; there are certainly other environmental factors involved. “The study shows that there are genes involved in male sexual orientation.

The nonsense part being that whether or not there is a genetic component it is still false to state that there is no choice in orientation.

We know this from simple observation of human beings. As an example, male on male sexual expression increases in all male societies, decreases when the same people are put into mixed sex societies.

There is therefore a matter of choice in it all.

That there’s a genetic and or developmental (say, exposure to hormones in the womb) component as well wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest. Indeed, I think they’re likely (for all my opinion matters). But “no choice” simply isn’t true as the behaviour of humans shows us.

29 thoughts on “Oh dear: some nonsense being spouted here”

  1. Who cares?

    If I remember this correctly, the main driver here is a US legal / Constitutional one? If they can show that it is genetic (and I’ve no idea how genetic it would need to be – is 40% enough?) then they should be able to have any legal restrictions on gay rights overturned on Constitutional equality grounds.

    On the other hand, if it is choice, then they need to fight each battle on its own territory.

  2. I think right-on opinion is that prison and navy gayers aren’t True Gayers – opportunism is not orientation. My gut feeling is there is even some merit in that view.

  3. So Much For Subtlety

    cjcjc – “Who cares?”

    Well they clearly do.

    “It wouldn’t be “wrong” even if it were 100% “choice”.”

    That is an interesting philosphical position to take. Why not? Attraction to children may or may not be a matter of choice either. Is it wrong? Both are probably caused by trauma in childhood. Which suggests there might be a cure. You think most parents wouldn’t want said cure?

    Surreptitious Evil – “If I remember this correctly, the main driver here is a US legal / Constitutional one? If they can show that it is genetic (and I’ve no idea how genetic it would need to be – is 40% enough?) then they should be able to have any legal restrictions on gay rights overturned on Constitutional equality grounds.”

    What legal restrictions are left? They want to make a moral argument on par with being Black – they are piggy backing (if you will forgive the expression) on the Civil Rights movement. A criminal can choose crime, but a Black person cannot, or usually cannot, choose to be Black. If they can say it is not their fault God made them that way, there is no moral case to persecute them.

  4. @SMFS,

    Attraction to children is not wrong, at most it’s thoughtcrime. It’s the acting on such an attraction that is wrong.

  5. Slightly OT

    ” Attraction to children may or may not be a matter of choice either.”

    A book I’ve read recently, Neoteny & Two-Way Sexual Selection in Human Evolution by David Brin, made a case; sexual attraction for children may be driven by the way human females have many of the characteristics of juveniles. Lack of body hair & facial hair, smaller stature & less defined musculature etc. And many of the features deemed as attractive, proportionally large eyes, long legs, finer hair & smooth skin,tend towards the same direction. It’s suggested, in a species that benefits from lengthy pair bonding, the overlap of the female features, with immature members of the species, serves to provoke a more protective & nurturing reaction in the male.

    Seems possible.

  6. Should have added: As sexual dimorphism is much less pronounced in children, there would be less tendency to discriminate over the sex of the target of attraction.

  7. As was said previously, who cares. But I find it amusing how it’s now PC to say homosexuality is a wholly genetic while a couple of decades ago the opposite was insisted to be true.

    The larger problem seems to be the intolerance and prevalence of enforced groupthink across society, stretching from the scientific to the cultural. Marxist struggle sessions writ large 🙂

  8. Men are evolutionarily programmed to prefer younger wimmin because that gives you the greatest chance of having grandchildren. Puberty having been established for a year or so being pretty much optimal. Neoteny my arse, there is too much variation. Yours truly could pass for a gorilla, his brother smooth as a new-born’s ballsack. And most women of reproductive age have prominent features of sexual maturity, hell there’s a multi-billion-dollar industry devoting to enabling women to enhance, decorate, and tastefully (or less) display said features. Pubes might go in and out of fashion, boobs don’t.

    It’s an idiotic quirk of the legal system that someone whose girlfriend is 15 years and 364 days old is a filthy disgusting dirty old pedo who should have his balls flushed down the toilet but having the same girlfriend 1 day later makes him a jammy bastard.

  9. “boobs don’t”

    Er, they do actually. Go in and out of fashion, that is. They spend less time “out” over history than, say, ankles, but there has been tempora et mores when breasts haven’t been seen as sexual on their own.

  10. What interests me here is the assumption that there is only one source of sexual preference. It is at least possible that some people are born gay, and some people acquire gay.

    It’s like transgenderism. It might be that some people are biologically transgender, and some are suffering a psychological delusion.

  11. Teh gayers are very keen to establish a “gay gene” but here’s what might happen:

    1. Identify gay gene
    2. Test in utero for gay gene
    3. Selectively abort.

    Be careful what you wish for.

  12. What legal restrictions are left?

    Please remember we are talking about the USA, here. Both in terms of NWU and the legal situation.

    Gay marriage (only allowed in 16 states with Illinois later this year). The “Defence of Marriage Act”. Gay adoption. Federal recognition (in any form). At a rough count, 20 states still ban gay civil partnerships.

    In the UK – yes, you have a point. Gay marriage in church being the last remaining hurdle. Unless you are a Quaker, of course (albeit waiting for the national legalisation laws to come in to force.) Not that they have “churches” as such.

    If they can say it is not their fault God made them that way, there is no moral case to persecute them.

    Indeed – except for the moral bit. My point was that if they can prove (for a legal rather than scientific use of the term) that gayness is caused or mostly caused by genes and/or environment, then they can claim (and will probably win) Constitutional protection for wholly equal rights.

    However, the moral argument, whether from personal disgust, Leviticus, Paul or the Koran, is hardly going to be wiped out. Those sorts of people, especially in the USA, don’t believe in “evilution” (sic) or plate tectonics. Xq28 is hardly going to make them throw away their bigotry and cheer a Pride march.

  13. It’s an idiotic quirk of the legal system that someone whose girlfriend is 15 years and 364 days old is a filthy disgusting dirty old pedo who should have his balls flushed down the toilet but having the same girlfriend 1 day later makes him a jammy bastard.

    Pendantry – it’s not having the girlfriend – it is shagging her that is illegal.

    And I’m probably not the only one who can find very significant age differences more than a bit creepy. Even exploitative. While being entirely legal (and not something I would want “banned”.) As above, the difference between morality and legality.

  14. Still confusing sexuality with sexual activity I see Mr Worstall.

    Yes a person can choose with whom they have sex, but they cannot choose their sexuality.

    If a homosexual man gets married to a woman and has a sexual relationship, even children, he is still a homosexual.

    Similarly a heterosexual man, in certain circumstances such as after three pints of lager, may have sex with another man, but that does not make him a homosexual, even if the other man is homosexual.

    It really is easy to understand.

  15. @JohnB
    Your argument is on dodgy ground with bi-sexuals, isn’t it? Being neither homosexual nor straight & having no sexual preference.
    It equates with neither;
    ” homosexual man gets married to a woman and has a sexual relationship, even children, ”
    Nor:
    “a heterosexual man, in certain circumstances such as after three pints of lager, may have sex with another man,”

  16. If homosexuality was both absolute and 100% heritable, it would not exist.

    That presupposes that the elements of the gene complex have no beneficial effects when they aren’t in the exact combination to cause evil-gayness.

    But, then, the history of the English (and then British) Royal Family is proof that male homosexuality isn’t absolute. As is the common process where lesbian couples get one or both of them knocked up by gay mates in order to have kids (which shows non-absoluteness for both male and female homosexuality in at least a fraction of both populations.)

  17. Noting, as I should have above that tolerating unpleasant sexual experiences for the purposes of reproduction is sufficient “non-absoluteness” in the genetic sense Thomas was commenting on. As, I suppose, would be rape (including drug or drink induced.)

    Absoluteness in preference isn’t sufficient.

  18. So Much For Subtlety

    Surreptitious Evil – “That presupposes that the elements of the gene complex have no beneficial effects when they aren’t in the exact combination to cause evil-gayness.”

    It would be hard to think of any beneficial effect it may have. But it does not have to have some beneficial effect, it has to have a reasonable beneficial effect. Both in the sense that it is plausible – as they claim that homosexuals stay home and raise their brothers’ children is not – and in the sense that it must be a sizeable benefit. Because if being homosexual (which, remember, did not exist before the 19th century) meant you had even 1% fewer surviving children (or the equivalent in brothers and cousins), the gene would have disappeared by now

    “But, then, the history of the English (and then British) Royal Family is proof that male homosexuality isn’t absolute.”

    As does the entire British Upper Class. Michael Portillo was Gay, then he was not. Same with Evelyn Waugh.

  19. So Much For Subtlety

    bloke in spain – “A book I’ve read recently, Neoteny & Two-Way Sexual Selection in Human Evolution by David Brin, made a case; sexual attraction for children may be driven by the way human females have many of the characteristics of juveniles.”

    So let us assume that paedophillia is a normal part of the human spectrum of sexual preferences. They cannot help it. They were born that way. Should it be a crime to act on it? Isn’t it cruel to condemn men to a life without sex?

    Remember until about the day before yesterday, the Left was strongly arguing for the decriminalisation of sex between children and adults. The German Green Party for instance. Peter Tatchell.

    bloke in germany – “Men are evolutionarily programmed to prefer younger wimmin because that gives you the greatest chance of having grandchildren. Puberty having been established for a year or so being pretty much optimal.”

    Not sure that it would be a year or two after puberty. That probably isn’t long enough for female sexual queues to have formed. The problem here is that the upper bound for male preference is easily established – men’s magazines have little interest in women after 25. Or 29 at the worst. But the lower bound is set by law. So we don’t know. Someone like Sam Fox was and is an outlier.

    But cultures vary. Japanese culture, for instance, is clearly strongly paedophilic in that what men want is probably illegal everywhere but Iran.

    “hell there’s a multi-billion-dollar industry devoting to enabling women to enhance, decorate, and tastefully (or less) display said features. Pubes might go in and out of fashion, boobs don’t.”

    Display what features though? Some of them are clearly sexual – lipstick for instance. But a lot of what women do is to look more like children. Hair removal in general is clearly to look less like an adult.

    Matthew L – “Er, they do actually. Go in and out of fashion, that is. They spend less time “out” over history than, say, ankles, but there has been tempora et mores when breasts haven’t been seen as sexual on their own.”

    I would like to know when that was. Apart from some minor outliers like Rubens, Western Art seems pretty consistent to me. Few men would object to any of Raphael’s models turning up on Page Three.

    Ian B – “It’s like transgenderism. It might be that some people are biologically transgender, and some are suffering a psychological delusion.”

    For various values of “some”. As long as you include the possibility that one value might be zero, sure. Remember there were no homosexuals until doctors invented the medical condition in the 19th century.

    To all intents and purposes there are so few transsexuals there are no transsexuals.

    Surreptitious Evil – “Gay marriage (only allowed in 16 states with Illinois later this year). The “Defence of Marriage Act”. Gay adoption. Federal recognition (in any form). At a rough count, 20 states still ban gay civil partnerships.”

    Except there is no lobby for Gay marriage at all apart from a small number of activists who simply want to rub straight people’s noses in it. Civil partnerships may be an issue. But if they allow it in one state, it is hard to keep it out of others.

    “Gay marriage in church being the last remaining hurdle.”

    There are no real numbers of Gay people who want to get married and certainly the numbers who want to get married in a Church are a minute sub-set of those.

    “Those sorts of people, especially in the USA, don’t believe in “evilution” (sic) or plate tectonics. Xq28 is hardly going to make them throw away their bigotry and cheer a Pride march.”

    That also applies to such a tiny minority it is irrelevant. Mainstream Christianity has long accepted homosexuality as an identity. And suffered for it.

    Ian B – “Creepy: Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn (34 years) Not creepy: Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow (29 years)”

    Quite. As Gary Glitter banging a 14 year old is a crime but David Bowie having a relationship with a 13 year old is not.

    John B – “Yes a person can choose with whom they have sex, but they cannot choose their sexuality.”

    That is a theological statement. Not necessarily a factual one.

  20. @SMfS
    “So let us assume that paedophillia is a normal part of the human spectrum of sexual preferences. They cannot help it. They were born that way. Should it be a crime to act on it? Isn’t it cruel to condemn men to a life without sex?”

    That doesn’t follow from suggesting there’s certain wired in triggers in the human genome that are there because they’re species beneficial. There’s a wired in trigger, if challenged beat the challenger to a bloody pulp. Restraining it over the dispute of a parking space is expected behavior. it isn’t species beneficial, now.. Acknowledging it exists isn’t condoning the action. It’s explaining the action..

  21. It would be hard to think of any beneficial effect it may have.

    I appreciate that you find it hard to think, especially when you are off on one of your bigotry rants but you are clearly and possibly wilfully misunderstanding here both the concept of a gene complex and the phrase “they aren’t in the exact combination”.

    It is entirely possible for a gene complex that expresses, in one combination, homosexuality, to express, in other combinations, evolutionarily desirable characteristics. The gene complex can then survive, in its variety of combinations, despite one of the expressions leading to fewer offspring.

    Except there is no lobby for Gay marriage at all apart from a small number of activists who simply want to rub straight people’s noses in it. Civil partnerships may be an issue. But if they allow it in one state, it is hard to keep it out of others.

    There is quite a significant lobby for gay marriage. Including from people who aren’t gay and aren’t otherwise gay (or other) rights activists. Maybe they just have gay friends or are embarrassed by the overt inequality? Maybe they are a wee bit younger and simply don’t get where all the bigotry is coming from.

    I note, also, your ignorance of US law. A number of states have laws specifically forbidding recognition of gay marriages (I’m not sure about civil partnerships) entered in to in less bigoted states. Or countries.

    There are no real numbers of Gay people who want to get married and certainly the numbers who want to get married in a Church

    Bollocks.

    That also applies to such a tiny minority it is irrelevant.

    Religious Conservatives are a tiny minority in US politics? Young Earth Creationists are represented in state and federal legislatures and regularly get bills passed to demand their wibble is taught as science. That they usually get overturned on 1st Amendment grounds is not a denial of their existence. You’re trolling now.

    Mainstream Christianity has long accepted homosexuality as an identity.

    An identity? Possibly. But one denied rights, seen as a sin, and only encouraged in seminary.

    To all intents and purposes there are so few transsexuals there are no transsexuals.

    You are not just a troll and a bigot, you are also an idiot. Sorry, but you really are.

  22. So Much For Subtlety

    bloke in spain – “Acknowledging it exists isn’t condoning the action. It’s explaining the action..”

    Sure but would you agree someone might apply the same logic to homosexuals?

    Surreptitious Evil – “I appreciate that you find it hard to think, especially when you are off on one of your bigotry rants but you are clearly and possibly wilfully misunderstanding here both the concept of a gene complex and the phrase “they aren’t in the exact combination”.”

    I am pleased to see you appreciate it. A pity that you cannot match the fairness you demand in others.

    “It is entirely possible for a gene complex that expresses, in one combination, homosexuality, to express, in other combinations, evolutionarily desirable characteristics. The gene complex can then survive, in its variety of combinations, despite one of the expressions leading to fewer offspring.”

    Sure. It might. As I understood perfectly well. But as I explained, it is not enough for it to have some other beneficial side effect. It must have a beneficial side effect that does not reduce the number of offspring the people with this variation have – either directly or indirectly. If you have two populations of 10 families, and one of them has a gene which means one male does not reproduce but the others all have three children, except for the brother of the one who has four children, while at the same time the other population has ten males who all have three children, the first population will disappear.

    “There is quite a significant lobby for gay marriage. Including from people who aren’t gay and aren’t otherwise gay (or other) rights activists. Maybe they just have gay friends or are embarrassed by the overt inequality? Maybe they are a wee bit younger and simply don’t get where all the bigotry is coming from.”

    Maybe. Perhaps I should have said there is no demand for Gay marriage. Because I have to admit there is a small and very loud group demanding it. But they are tiny in number. Gay marriage has been available in the US for a while. It has been available in other places longer. There ought to be something like 30 million Gay people in America. The number of licences issued, last I checked, was something like 11,000. Now perhaps that is for one year. Let us agree it is. But it represents a freeing of pent up demand. Which is to say, there was no real demand for Gay marriage.

    “I note, also, your ignorance of US law. A number of states have laws specifically forbidding recognition of gay marriages (I’m not sure about civil partnerships) entered in to in less bigoted states. Or countries.”

    They are welcome to pass whatever laws they like. But the US Constitution has this thing about recognition of others State’s laws. Virginia might be able to ban Gay marriages in Virginia. But they have to show good faith to other State’s laws. Which is why back in the day people ran off to Nevada to get married or get divorced – their own State’s laws may not have allowed it, but they had to recognise it.

    But please, don’t let me stop you lecturing me on my ignorance of any subject at all.

    “Bollocks.”

    Simple statement of fact.

    “Religious Conservatives are a tiny minority in US politics? Young Earth Creationists are represented in state and federal legislatures and regularly get bills passed to demand their wibble is taught as science. That they usually get overturned on 1st Amendment grounds is not a denial of their existence. You’re trolling now.”

    No, that is not what you said and hence that is not what I was objecting to.

    “An identity? Possibly. But one denied rights, seen as a sin, and only encouraged in seminary.”

    Now that is classy trolling. Sure, that is what some of the more mainstream Churches say. Some of them. Some of them do not even see it as a sin.

    “You are not just a troll and a bigot, you are also an idiot. Sorry, but you really are.”

    It is remarkable how much time and attention is spent on Gay people much less on Transsexuals when essentially there are none, or at least so few as to be irrelevant. This is not trolling, it is a simple statement of fact. They are grossly outweighed in numerical terms by trains spotters. But they don’t have a loud and powerful lobby acting on their behalf.

  23. John B,

    It is well established that humans can be conditioned to find pretty much anything sexually arousing. Stockings, gas masks, latex high heels — and that’s just the normal stuff… hell, some Furries can’t even become aroused unless their partner is dressed as a teddy bear, and that’s definitely not natural. The position that the one thing humans can’t be conditioned to find sexually arousing is another human of the same gender strikes me as extremely unlikely; certainly, the burden of proof falls on those who believe in this one single exception, not on those who believe there isn’t an exception.

    The position that homosexuality is 100% unchosen was always a political move, and an astute one at that. I reckon it’s probably still a good idea for the gay rights lobby to stick to it for some time yet. But let’s not confuse it with science.

    bloke in france,

    >1. Identify gay gene
    2. Test in utero for gay gene
    3. Selectively abort.

    This will certainly happen. What will be particularly interesting will be the lawsuits against scientists and doctors when a couple who have used this test to abort their gay babies have a child who ends up gay anyway. I wonder how much the phrase “scientific consensus” will crop up in court.

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