Re: homosexuality as an evolutionary adaptation...

Charlie Stross (
Thu, 2 Dec 1999 10:14:37 +0000

On Wed, Dec 01, 1999 at 01:49:37PM -0800, john grigg wrote:
> Perhaps this is stereotyping but gays are often seen as very organized,
> creative and artistic. A high proportion of gays tend to be in theater,
> film, acting, clothes design and the arts in general. Perhaps the "side
> effect" of this condition is a propensity for talent in these areas and by
> that society benefits. And yet there are hererosexuals who are also very
> gifted in these areas.

Ahem: homosexual people are not sterile and in many cases (not just self-identified bisexuals) have engaged in heterosexual activities at some time in their lives. In fact, the exclusive, 100%-homosexual lifestyle is pretty rare. I know a couple of gay men who've never had sex with women -- or say they haven't -- but most of the other gay, not to say bisexual, people I know have had heterosexual and homosexual relationships. I also know more than one lesbian with children.

In fact, there seems to be an underlying assumption in this thread about homosexuality not being a trait likely to be transmitted. This is just plain wrong, if it _is_ a hereditable trait. There are big cultural dependencies, as even a cursory glance at ancient Greek cultural history will indicate.

I'm inclined to think that much sexual behaviour in humans is entirely orthogonal to reproductive issues and has little, if anything, to do with reproductive fitness. But then, that goes for a lot of behaviour; alcoholism or drug use, for example. (Which, incidentally, are not specific to humans.)