Re: Disorders

Bradley Felton (
Tue, 14 Jul 1998 23:58:08 -0500

At 12:45 AM 7/14/98 -0400, Harvey Newstrom wrote:
>> The "normal" mating pattern for humans has the young males competing with
>> each other to "get laid",
>Yes, but you seem to assume that they want to get laid with a female. I
>do not believe that this is the motivation for gay males.

I don't assume that gay males desire females, I used "normal" in above sentence to contrast with "gay". Perhaps I should have used "straight" instead. Sorry....

>> The prize for the winners is a bit of
>> sexual experience, which will make them more impressive to the next female
>> they mate with. Eventually most of them will impress a female enough to
>> form a semi-permanent, largely monogamous partnership.
>You are assuming that finding a female and reproducing is the goal for
>all genetics. You therefore assume that gay males are only practicing
>with males for when they finally get a female.

How many of our genes came from males who never mated with a female? Our whole genetic sequence evolved bit by bit by providing a reproductive advantage every step of the way. If the so called "gay gene" is what we think it is, it codes for a reproductive strategy that was, at the time it was coded, successful. Successful reproductive strategies for males all involve mating with females....

>> Males who are highly valued in the mating game have the opportunity to try
>> out more mates than males who aren't, gaining experience in the process.
>> Evolution naturally found a way to take advantage of this situation: Males
>> who were willing to fool around with other males could build experience
>> that would mark them as experienced mates to the females, without having to
>> compete directly with the other males for the privledge.
>You assume that males don't compete for male mates. In animals where
>homosexuality is seen (all higher mammals) the straight males fight over
>female mates and the gay males fight over male mates.

Is this revelant? There is no free lunch--every successful strategy that evolves soon finds individuals competing in it.

>> The downside to this strategy was that a propensity to have sex with males
>> tended to stick with them even after they had found a female mate, which
>> means they didn't tend to settle into the same, largely-monogamous
>> relationship that the straight males did,
>This seems to indicate that the gay gene is not evolved for reproductive
>purposes. I thought this was what you were claiming earlier.

I'm not sure I understand this objection. The gay males don't have much attraction for their female partners, so they tend to get their kicks on the side (also, "going out with the boys" doesn't tend to arouse a jealous reaction from one's spouse, so fooling around on the side is easier to get away with for gays). I didn't mean to imply that a lack of fidelity was the downside to the stratedgy, it is the increased risk of disease that accompanies it.

>> but rather continued to have sex
>> on the side with other gay males. This increases their risk of disease,
>> which is the natural limit on this stratedgy.
>You seem to think that gay animals (and maybe humans) have more STD's
>than straight animals. I no of no evidence for this.

Gays tend to have more sex partners than straights, which entails a greater risk of disease.

>> If there were no STD's, we
>> would all be gay (or "bi", as we would say today).
>The only way this could be true is if more gays are born, and the gay
>gene could over-compete with the straight gene, and that diseases kill
>most of the gay population down so that they don't outnumber the
>straights. We would see such a pattern in nature if it existed.

There was a study that I read (which, if I didn't give away my books as fast as I read them, I might be able to provide a reference to), which did a historical analysis of the incidence of homosexuality in different cultures. The upshot (if I remember correctly) was that small isolated societies tended to have high levels of homosexual activity (some >50%), while societies that weren't isolated had much smaller rates. This matched what one would expect for a disease-limited strategy.

>> The current memetic environment that encourages gays to only have sex
>> with other gays is, of course, devastating to this stratedgy.
>With all this talk about gay genes, I'm suprised that you still assert
>that gay males override their natural interest in females by choosing to
>be gay. Scientific research shows that gays don't choose to act gay,
>but really are attracted one way over the other.

No, I am happy to assume that gays with the "gay gene" "really" prefer men to women. However, the fact that there is a genetic correlation means that they must usually overcome their natural interest and mate with females anyway....

Healthy cultures and wise parents both seek to back-up the inclinations that nature provides with a dose of indoctrination. The young gay male would normally have it explained to him in no uncertain terms what the requirements of manhood were, with the finding of a mate and the fathering of children ranking high on this list.

As for gays who lack the "gay gene", who knows? A different "gay gene"? A memetic code taking advantage of the same niche? Guys "apeing" other guys who have a successful stratedgy? A genetic glitch? Perhaps all of these, and more.

-Bradley Felton