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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » "gay gene"

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Author Topic: "gay gene"
000
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Well my understanding was that there is no consensus on homosexuality being caused by a genetic thing. In fact, I would assume who a person is attracted to is very complex and that it has varying biological and pscyhological components for each individual.

However, my mom and I have been watching t.v. lately and a few times I've heard her go "oh he looks gay". I respond with my feeling that she's being sexist and that "I don't like it when you make assumptions about people based on superficial characteristics. Don't you know how a person acts or looks and their sexuality aren't directly related?" And she says "but common understanding now is that homosexuality is genetic. I'm not talking about people in a derogatory way, but there are certain ways gay people usually act."

/My/ understanding was that the big push to say that homosexuality was genetic came from scientists and activists in order to defend queer people from Christians, who were more likely to accept homosexuality if they thought it was absolutely not malleable. With the way the public currently views genetics vs. other factors, they tend to view "biological traits" as less malleable.

Now I know for sure that I know a lot more female and male gay people than my mom does, and nearly all my friends will occasionally be attracted to someone of a sex different than who they're normally attracted to. And I'm on the liberal east coast, where people actually talk about these things. The "gay gene" thing just doesn't make any sense to me. Plus I got the impression that was /not/ what the "common consensus" was, even though my mom says so. Is there somewhere I could read about the history of this "homosexuality is genetic" debate?

Other beliefs my parents hold onto that drive me nuts are the idea that women can be attracted to either sex, because it's mostly emotional, whereas men are either gay or straight. They say bisexual boys I know are just experimenting, because they're young. I mean, I don't know any personally, but there are also bisexual older men, right?

[ 01-17-2007, 11:33 PM: Message edited by: iheartdc ]

Posts: 443 | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dannie
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I don't know how much fact there is behind the 'gay gene' but I can say that it jokingly come up in conversation with one of my best friends. She was adopted when she was three and she's mixed race, she and her older sister ( biologically from the same mother) where both adopted after being removed from an abusive house hold. And she's a lezbian, and we love her to death. She likes to joke about the 'gay gene' because her biological father was bi ( her older sister has contact with their mother and was told that was the reason he left her)...We all know it most likely isn't true, but its and interesting thought. As to the comment about bi-sexual boys...One of my good friends from a few years ago ( we accually dated for a while, which makes this story more interesting on my end) is a bi-sexual twenty one year old male. He just simply likes both, he's not confused and its obvious to all his friends.
Posts: 47 | From: New Jersey | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
000
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Yeah, I think maybe part of this, may be that my parents belong to the not uncommon faction of people who claim to be fine with queer people and gay rights, but in reality are not totally comfortable with the whole idea. I think my mom might not be as accepting of homosexuality if /she/ didn't believe it was like a "biological fate" sort of thing, b/c my parents so firmly believe that anything psychological can be overcome, and they're relatively judgmental of certain sexual practices as-is. I still don't know how my mom would react if she knew for sure I considered myself relatively Bi. She'd probably either think it was a phase or a fad, or else think I was being hedonistic (which to my mom is a very bad word -go figure)
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Menthol
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I read this years ago.

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn3008

TL;DR a brain abnormality has been identified as a possible reason for homosexuality in male sheep.

However, I read more recently that some sheep have gay sex all the time when the ladies aren't in season.

Humans aren't sheep, of course, but a mammal is a mammal when it gets right down to it.

I've come to the conclusion that homosexuality may not be *GENETIC*, per sey. There may be a few genetic FACTORS involved... but it's not as simple as one single gene.

And then, of course, there is an infinite number of non-genetic influences. For example, soy has estrogen-like compounds, which may have unseen effects on a developing fetus.

While I am of the belief that genetics have alot more to do with who we are and how we behave than most people want to believe; there are always other factors. For example, perhaps there is no gay gene or genes... but a child born to a gay person will probably be more open to having a gay relationship... and thus, it may only APPEAR to be hereditary.

We simply... don't know. We don't know, yet.

--------------------
"I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction."
~Ayn Rand

Posts: 85 | From: Savannah, Georgia | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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