: "Spike Jones"
> Not necessarily. Suppose he was copulating with another gay mantis.
> After sex, the receptor mantis would devour the head of his companion.
> The notion of gay mantises lends an entirely new meaning to the term
> "giving head".
Good one, Spike. But, you see, the female of the species, being much larger than
the male, is more capable of devouring her mate. Gay praying mantises would
probably be more equal in size.
> After quietly listening to the exchange on this topic, I submit this notion:
> that there is some yet unknown mechanical/genetic explanation for
> homosexuality that is a completely random event. It comes from inheriting
> the genital configuration from one parent and the sexual orientation
> from the other, and that the probability of this is about 5% regardless
> of other factors. I have had gay friends tell me they were gay since
> as far back as their earliest memories, cases where twin boys were
> raised identically as far as anyone could tell, yet only one is gay. It
> must be something genetic, decided at the moment of conception.
The mechanism involved is called "imprinting" and it works like this:
The sensory stimuli which accompany the first experience of sexual feelings are
"imprinted" -- that is, permanently associated with sexual feelings in the
Similar imprinting occurs in, for example, geese, which imprint on the first
moving object they see after hatching, and consider that as their mother hen,
and follow it wherever it goes. So, human experimenters can have a gosling brood
follow them around when they wear the footwear they had on to imprint the
And humans will follow up on the set of stimuli which they first associate with
feelings of sexual attraction.
> It is easy to see how societies with gays would have advantages
> over those that do not, however the above notion would suggest
> that *all* human societies have about the same percent gay, therefor
> no group selection advantage there. spike
That's because it's not a function of genetics. It has to do with imprinting.
basin of attraction If one thinks of the attractor as the low point of a
washbowl, then starting points on the counter top lie outside the basin of
attraction. Starting anywhere within the basin results in a trajectory that
circles around the attractor. Basins can be discontinuous, as seen in pinball
games. A bifurcation is a change from one basin of attraction to another, in the
manner of changing gaits.  binding In linguistics, binding is the part of
the grammar which determines the reference of such words as he, himself, each
other. In cognitive neuroscience, binding is the notion that some process must
maintain links between the various features of a perceived object during
cognitive processing, given the dispersal of object features to those what
specialists in temporal lobe and to the where aspects specialists up in parietal
areas. One simple proposal is that the involved neurons in these dispersed areas
actually become synchronized, and that this is what recouples red with the top
light on the traffic signal (another object's features -- say, those
characterizing the approaching pedestrian -- synchronize at different times).
This proposed use of synchrony is, of course, on a much grander scale than I
propose for the triangular arrays, which might span a few millimeters. Binding
may not be needed except for very complex sensory scenes, such as the streaming
encountered when brachiating through the trees or driving a car; some suspect
that the perceived need for binding to reassemble specialists is a remnant of
the cartesian theater reasoning that Dennett critiques.  bottleneck An
evolutionary event that greatly narrows the variability in a population.
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