Pharyngula

Gay roundup

This is a nice, short summary of some of the explanations for the evolution of homosexuality. It could be shorter; there are really just two classes of explanation, the adaptationist strategy of trying to find a necessary enhancement to fitness, and the correct strategy of recognizing that not all attributes of an individual organism are going to be optimal for that individual’s reproduction, so don’t even try. Love isn’t hardwired by biology, and it can go in all kinds of different directions.

So I’m saying the best answer in the list is #5. I wouldn’t be biased by the fact that the author is quoting me, no, not at all.

Comments

  1. #1 David Marjanovi?
    July 12, 2007

    Strange that the latest hypothesis isn’t mentioned. There is a published correlation between the occurrence of homosexual men and the occurrence of women who are more fertile than usual in the same family. This looks like the same (unidentified) gene/s are involved in both traits, and that the evolutionary advantage of higher female fertility outweighs the disadvantage of reduced male fertility, so the allele stays in the population. Male homosexuality as a genetic byproduct.

    No such studies seem to exist for female homosexuality.

  2. #2 David Marjanovi?
    July 12, 2007

    Strange that the latest hypothesis isn’t mentioned. There is a published correlation between the occurrence of homosexual men and the occurrence of women who are more fertile than usual in the same family. This looks like the same (unidentified) gene/s are involved in both traits, and that the evolutionary advantage of higher female fertility outweighs the disadvantage of reduced male fertility, so the allele stays in the population. Male homosexuality as a genetic byproduct.

    No such studies seem to exist for female homosexuality.

  3. #3 Rienk
    July 12, 2007

    @PZ: I see how love can be hardwired since it leaves us with relatively monogamous relationships in which the male contributes more to raising the child, improving thus the survival of its genes.

    @David Marjanovi?: This is an Italian study that was published, if I’m not mistaken, about 1 1/2 years ago. I amn unfortunately unable to find it on PubMed right now. Although it sounds compelling I do have some reservations to studies like these. Is there really a causal connection or do some environmental aspects come into play?

  4. #4 MAJeff
    July 12, 2007

    This is just an interesting scientific question.

    Until the righties get ahold of in order to find a “cure.” Then again, such a “cure” could hardly be more cruel that what psychiatry/psychology did to us in the middle parts of this century.

  5. #5 MAJeff
    July 12, 2007

    I leave you with graffitti observed on a bathroom wall: “My mother made me a homosexual!”.

    Underneath someone scrawled, “If I give her enough yarn, will she make me one too?…”

    Dugan’s Deli, Ames, IA?

  6. #6 PennyBright
    July 18, 2007

    Hrm.

    David Marjanovi? mentioned (indirectly) the Italian research.

    That’s this paper: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1691850

    The research concludes that some male homosexuality is conserved through maternal lines because it is associated with increased female fecundity.

    I personally think that we will eventually conclude that homosexuality has multiple causes of variable heritability, some of which may be adaptive.

  7. #7 Paul
    June 30, 2008

    Homosexuality seems to be about psyhcic androgyny as well. And that kind of androgyny seems a reguirement for rebirtth and divinization.

    http://www.world-mysteries.com/PhilipGardiner/index.htm

  8. #8 MAJeff, OM
    June 30, 2008

    And that kind of androgyny seems a reguirement for rebirtth and divinization.

    *giggle/snort*

    That’s funny.

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