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Old 10-15-2010, 04:53 PM   #1
West491
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Homosexuality and Natural Selection

I'm currently doing some research on this topic(via Google) and I might even find some good answers during the process. But anyway, here's my idea:

If natural selection favors those genes that allow a species to survive to propagate the species, shouldn't it have "weeded out" homosexuality among our species by now since homosexuals won't reproduce. This is assuming that homosexuality is a gene and not a conscious decision. Am I missing something?

What do you guys think?
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Old 10-15-2010, 05:24 PM   #2
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But variation continually reintroduces alleles that may or may not propagate.

Have you studied anything about the genetic side of sexuality? For example, from conception the fetus is female until the expression of a gene sequence called SRY. That one trigger starts a cascade of other expressions that turn the fetus into a male.

What if there's variation in that process? Let's say the mom's immune system is especially good at combating the raging testosterone levels of a developing male fetus, reducing the masculinization of the boy. He may have balls and the right ration of x to y, but there are obvious physical indicators that he left the testosterone pump without a full tank. Things like hair-swirl chirality, finger-length ratios, and obvious effeminate traits that set off your Gaydar.

What if it's really common that genetic and developmental circumstances lead to a stable ratio of homosexuality in the general population?

"Science and Mother Nature are in a marriage where Science is always surprised to come home and find Mother Nature blowing the neighbor." - Justin's Dad
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Old 10-15-2010, 05:25 PM   #3
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West491 wrote View Post
I'm currently doing some research on this topic(via Google) and I might even find some good answers during the process. But anyway, here's my idea:

If natural selection favors those genes that allow a species to survive to propagate the species, shouldn't it have "weeded out" homosexuality among our species by now since homosexuals won't reproduce. This is assuming that homosexuality is a gene and not a conscious decision. Am I missing something?

What do you guys think?
Problems with your position

Sexual preference is not exclusive to humans, which somewhat negates the "choice" idea.

But more importantly, the prevalence of heterosexuality over homosexuality strongly suggests that it is a genetically based characteristic. If it was a choice, wouldn't it be a 50/50 split?
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Old 10-15-2010, 05:58 PM   #4
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ubs wrote View Post
If it was a choice, wouldn't it be a 50/50 split?
Well, unless enough alcohol was involved.

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Old 10-15-2010, 06:01 PM   #5
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But variation continually reintroduces alleles that may or may not propagate.

Have you studied anything about the genetic side of sexuality? For example, from conception the fetus is female until the expression of a gene sequence called SRY. That one trigger starts a cascade of other expressions that turn the fetus into a male.

What if there's variation in that process? Let's say the mom's immune system is especially good at combating the raging testosterone levels of a developing male fetus, reducing the masculinization of the boy. He may have balls and the right ration of x to y, but there are obvious physical indicators that he left the testosterone pump without a full tank. Things like hair-swirl chirality, finger-length ratios, and obvious effeminate traits that set off your Gaydar.

What if it's really common that genetic and developmental circumstances lead to a stable ratio of homosexuality in the general population?
That might explain what is going on with Extra Stupid Theist. Maybe something in his syphilitic mother's system turned him into a big sweaty ball sack.

The Leprechauns do not forbid the drawing of Their images, as long as we color within the lines. ~ Ghoulslime H Christ, Prophet, Seer, Revelator, and Masturbator
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:36 PM   #6
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But variation continually reintroduces alleles that may or may not propagate.

Have you studied anything about the genetic side of sexuality? For example, from conception the fetus is female until the expression of a gene sequence called SRY. That one trigger starts a cascade of other expressions that turn the fetus into a male.

What if there's variation in that process? Let's say the mom's immune system is especially good at combating the raging testosterone levels of a developing male fetus, reducing the masculinization of the boy. He may have balls and the right ration of x to y, but there are obvious physical indicators that he left the testosterone pump without a full tank. Things like hair-swirl chirality, finger-length ratios, and obvious effeminate traits that set off your Gaydar.

What if it's really common that genetic and developmental circumstances lead to a stable ratio of homosexuality in the general population?
First of I would like to say sorry if I use the wrong terms on this topic, I was always terrible at biology and it usually bores me to...super...boredom. Anyway...

Ahh yes! I have heard about that. I once heard someone say that "it may be fair to say that nature's first instinct is to create a female" .

Also, that's a very interesting idea about "a stable ratio of homosexuality in the general population". I also know for a fact that testosterone/estrogen levels in our bodies determine some physical characteristics. It seems that you are saying this: Genes get aligned in a balance and that will determine the femininity/masculinity of a person. Homosexuals are people who have this certain balance of hormones that causes them to be sexually attracted to the same sex. Is this accurate?

Question: When you say "stable ratio", what do you mean?

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Problems with your position

Sexual preference is not exclusive to humans, which somewhat negates the "choice" idea.

But more importantly, the prevalence of heterosexuality over homosexuality strongly suggests that it is a genetically based characteristic. If it was a choice, wouldn't it be a 50/50 split?
Okay so you're saying that homosexuality is a gene NOT a choice. I agree. However, I don't understand what you mean when you say "50/50 split" though. 50/50 split of what? Explain.

**ALSO I WOULD LOVE IT IF A BIOLOGIST COMMENTED ON THIS THREAD AND ENLIGHTENED ME.**
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Old 10-15-2010, 07:16 PM   #7
ubs
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Okay so you're saying that homosexuality is a gene NOT a choice. I agree. However, I don't understand what you mean when you say "50/50 split" though. 50/50 split of what? Explain.

**ALSO I WOULD LOVE IT IF A BIOLOGIST COMMENTED ON THIS THREAD AND ENLIGHTENED ME.**
If it was choice - if we all just sat down at 13, went through the brochures and then made a decision - you would not expect a consistently lower ratio of homosexuality to heterosexuality. You would expect a higher more even split, or perhaps wild swings, as with hemlines.

Edit: I don't think we have any biologists, but you could always throw it up on r/biology and see if you get any takers.
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:30 PM   #8
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Wink

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West491 wrote View Post
Genes get aligned in a balance and that will determine the femininity/masculinity of a person. Homosexuals are people who have this certain balance of hormones that causes them to be sexually attracted to the same sex. Is this accurate?
It would be closer to what science has discovered to say, Homosexuals are people who, through a combination of genetic expression and environmental interaction, are not strongly typed toward mating with the opposite sex.

Quote:
Question: When you say "stable ratio", what do you mean?
I mean that a certain trait like homosexuality will stabilize at say, 3% of a balanced population (remember, variation means that traits like homosexuality will keep showing up in a population). This is true of other traits - from hair color to aggressiveness - in different ratios.

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Okay so you're saying that homosexuality is a gene NOT a choice. I agree. However, I don't understand what you mean when you say "50/50 split" though. 50/50 split of what? Explain.
That was ubs' comment, not mine.

Quote:
**ALSO I WOULD LOVE IT IF A BIOLOGIST COMMENTED ON THIS THREAD AND ENLIGHTENED ME.**
As would I.

"Science and Mother Nature are in a marriage where Science is always surprised to come home and find Mother Nature blowing the neighbor." - Justin's Dad
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:07 AM   #9
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West491 wrote View Post
I'm currently doing some research on this topic(via Google) and I might even find some good answers during the process. But anyway, here's my idea:

If natural selection favors those genes that allow a species to survive to propagate the species, shouldn't it have "weeded out" homosexuality among our species by now since homosexuals won't reproduce. This is assuming that homosexuality is a gene and not a conscious decision. Am I missing something?

What do you guys think?
I'd say you're missing a lot. At least, I don't think you're asking the right question as it pertains to homosexuality.

Now, I'm no expert on the topic, but I don't think there is any gene that specifically prevents homosexuals from reproducing. Unless the homosexuals in question are sterile, they're as capable as any fertile heterosexual of impregnating someone of the opposite sex or becoming pregnant by someone of the opposite sex.

And if one is too squicked out by the thought of becoming physically intimate with a member of the opposite sex, well, there are other avenues that homosexual person can pursue to pass along his or her genes. With the advent of artificial insemination, actual sexual congress with a member of the opposite sex is not even required for reproduction.

Otherwise, I don't really know what biological factors come into play to account for why some people are decidedly homosexual while most are not, but I do know that it is not an insurmountable impediment to the propagation of the species.

"So many gods, so many creeds! So many paths that wind and wind, when just the art of being kind is all this sad world needs."
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:20 AM   #10
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I'm currently doing some research on this topic [homosexuality] (via Google).
you a google reacharound researcher yet?

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Old 10-16-2010, 12:29 AM   #11
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But variation continually reintroduces alleles that may or may not propagate.

Have you studied anything about the genetic side of sexuality? For example, from conception the fetus is female until the expression of a gene sequence called SRY. That one trigger starts a cascade of other expressions that turn the fetus into a male.

What if there's variation in that process? Let's say the mom's immune system is especially good at combating the raging testosterone levels of a developing male fetus, reducing the masculinization of the boy. He may have balls and the right ration of x to y, but there are obvious physical indicators that he left the testosterone pump without a full tank. Things like hair-swirl chirality, finger-length ratios, and obvious effeminate traits that set off your Gaydar.

What if it's really common that genetic and developmental circumstances lead to a stable ratio of homosexuality in the general population?
When you start talking about alleles, I have to admit that you are talking over my head. I was very bad at biology and even worse at physics.

However, I would like to understand what testosterone levels and implied sterility have to do with homosexuality? Again, I'm assuming that that is what you're talking about in reference to "alleles that may or may not propagate" and battered "male testosterone levels" in developing male fetuses.

On the surface, it would appear that a particular trait of homosexual men is effeminacy, but I think that's only because those particular types of gay men are so easy to spot. However, I don't know that there is any evidence that a majority of such men are necessarily deprived of testosterone, at least, not to the point that they're actually sterile.

But what about the raging macho men whose orientations skew homosexual? If homosexuality is a result of insufficient testosterone, how does one account for them?

"So many gods, so many creeds! So many paths that wind and wind, when just the art of being kind is all this sad world needs."
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:55 AM   #12
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Old 10-16-2010, 01:05 AM   #13
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Ahh yes! I have heard about that. I once heard someone say that "it may be fair to say that nature's first instinct is to create a female" .
We're entering some very dicey territory here, if the topic is homosexuality.

Homosexual men are not women, even if some are effeminate. If you've ever been around a group of homosexual men-- and I have been, often-- their energy (for lack of a better way of putting it), is nothing like being around a group of women.

And let's keep in mind that male homosexuals are not the only homosexuals in existence. There are a lot of lesbians out there, too, and some of them don't conform to conventional ideals of what is appropriately feminine, if we're talking about nature having a preference in that direction.

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West491 wrote
Also, that's a very interesting idea about "a stable ratio of homosexuality in the general population". I also know for a fact that testosterone/estrogen levels in our bodies determine some physical characteristics. It seems that you are saying this: Genes get aligned in a balance and that will determine the femininity/masculinity of a person. Homosexuals are people who have this certain balance of hormones that causes them to be sexually attracted to the same sex. Is this accurate?
It sure doesn't sound accurate to me. Has any scientist ever isolated a collection of alleged "gay" hormones that are of a radically different composition than the hormones that "rule" straight people's sexuality?

Keeping in mind that I have an extremely weak background in science, my suspicion is that human sexuality, let alone homosexuality as a specific subset of human sexual proclivities, is far too complex and unwieldy to be approached in such a shallow manner. There are so many different kinds of homosexuals out there with varying levels of same-sex attraction, specific sexual predilections and behavioral traits that it seems rather unlikely that there is some specific biological anomaly that unites them all.

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West491 wrote
Okay so you're saying that homosexuality is a gene NOT a choice. I agree. However, I don't understand what you mean when you say "50/50 split" though. 50/50 split of what? Explain.
Why on earth would an estimated 10 percent of the population purposely "choose" to be misunderstood, maligned and targeted? For kicks?

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West491 wrote
**ALSO I WOULD LOVE IT IF A BIOLOGIST COMMENTED ON THIS THREAD AND ENLIGHTENED ME.**
If there is one in existence with the appropriate background to take on the topic, I would love to hear from him or her, too.

"So many gods, so many creeds! So many paths that wind and wind, when just the art of being kind is all this sad world needs."
--Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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Old 10-16-2010, 01:07 AM   #14
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When you start talking about alleles, I have to admit that you are talking over my head. I was very bad at biology and even worse at physics.

However, I would like to understand what testosterone levels and implied sterility have to do with homosexuality? Again, I'm assuming that that is what you're talking about in reference to "alleles that may or may not propagate" and battered "male testosterone levels" in developing male fetuses.

On the surface, it would appear that a particular trait of homosexual men is effeminacy, but I think that's only because those particular types of gay men are so easy to spot. However, I don't know that there is any evidence that a majority of such men are necessarily deprived of testosterone, at least, not to the point that they're actually sterile.

But what about the raging macho men whose orientations skew homosexual? If homosexuality is a result of insufficient testosterone, how does one account for them?
The discussion of testosterone as it relates to expression and the mother's immune system can be found in birth-order research, as a possible explanation for the tendency of consecutive male newborns to express less and less testosterone with each subsequent birth.

The great thing about Nature and genes and shit is that nothing is ever hard and fast... there are males who got to their homosexuality by a different route than low testosterone expression, just like different organisms came about eyesight in different ways; call it convergent homosexuality.

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Old 10-16-2010, 01:10 AM   #15
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Homosexual men are not women,
According to what I have seen on Jerry Springer, very occasionally, they don't correct you if you make the opposite assumption...

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