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#144496 - 02/15/06 01:01 PM Re: Gay Penguins Shun Mates [Re: Atheon]
Linguascelesta Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 11/01/05
Posts: 2352
Loc: Europa
I agree wholeheartedly.

I often make this point to people, although it naturally makes Me unpopular with conservationists, when I do.

If, on the other hand, the reason for the attempt at conservation is "it pleases me/us to have them around, I'd miss them if they were gone", then that, I can understand entirely.

But conservation for its own sake? Conservation because of some vague yet perceived moral obligation? Nah.

#144497 - 02/15/06 01:44 PM Re: Gay Penguins Shun Mates [Re: Atheon]
Obolisk Offline

Registered: 02/10/06
Posts: 30
I have read some excellent studies on the biological origins of human homosexuality and the benefits it confers (very little in nature occurs that doesn't provide some sort of competative evolutionary advantage in the proper environment.) The genetics root is mostly bunk.

Male homosexuality in mammals finds its root in the first 2 trimesters of pregnancy. A pregnant mother subjected to certain stresses, lack of food, sleep, security, will generate excesses of androsterone rather than testosterone, the hormones tied to male sexual development. Androsterone binds competatively with testosterone in the same receptor sites and results in a homosexually oriented male baby. Now there can be other causes of the hormonal imbalance in the pregnant mother besides stress, for example genetic glandular deficencies (which is the origins of the false start for a genetic tag.) This has been tested in the lab and is reproducible since as early as 1972, but human studies require invasive procedures in early pregnancy and are seldom conducted.

This actually confers an indirect evolutionary benefit. A pregnant mother under primitive circumstances (think 60,000+ years ago) would be subjected to stress when there was a lack of food, or high danger. Having a homosexual baby would still provide for the sustenance of the tribe, but would not increase the population pressures to compete for future resources. All done with one little chemical switch, and observable in all mammalian species, and most social avians.

However, we have far less information on femal mamalian homosexuality. There have been studies citing smoking and apnea in the pregnant mother as dramatically increasing female homosexuality occurances, so it is believed to be connected to O2 content - but it is harder to study than a quantifiable hormone level and socially recieves less attention and funding.

Sorry if I bore...

#144498 - 02/16/06 09:21 AM Re: Gay Penguins Shun Mates [Re: Obolisk]
Atheon Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 11/27/05
Posts: 42
Loc: Long Beach, CA
Problem is this hypothesis is that it doesn't account for both male and female variations in sexuality. Remember that not all homosexual behavior is linked to exclusive homosexuality. Even in humans quite a large percenteage around fall between exclusive heterosexuality and homosexuality. The minority are 100% straight or gay. (see A. Kinsey's studies on the subject, you probably already are familiar with them)

This also does not account for the fact that homosexuality among animals is observed in times of plenty as well as scarcity. Of course, a genetic component is present. In your hypothesis, the hormonal switch is only possible if the mother has the genetic capability to make the switch.

The fact is that we don't really know the cause of sexualities. We only know that it occurs. We are still learning.
Hail Satan! Hail Thyself!

Atheon Naturali

#144499 - 02/16/06 04:40 PM Re: Gay Penguins Shun Mates [Re: Atheon]
Obolisk Offline

Registered: 02/10/06
Posts: 30
Certainly in the nature v nurture argument, nurture cannot be ignored. I was addressing only the nature side of the issue. We are social creatures and behaviors are widely learned, including expressions of sexuality. The fact that cultural encouragement of female lesbian experimentation and a stigmata to male expressions of it have resulted in a circumstance where a straight woman can comfortably make out with another straight woman irrespective of her actual internal drives simply because it is not only accepted, it is encouraged. Furthermore, Kinsey's study was of humans and, while excellent work, is limited by the subjects personal views. The studies I cite to were animal studies and controlled strictly for the non-learned behaviors of natural orientation and drives (as opposed to nurtured / learned behaviors.)

I don't think personally that it can really be explained much better than our present understanding for humans. The topic and our own physical morphology don't allow for it. For some people, other traits are more important to determine attraction than such basic physical ones as even gender, and that will always bar tracing it to a root origin.

Oh, one other thing about the homosexuality in animals in times of plenty and genetics, I think I mentioned (I'd have to go back and look, but I think I did) that the genetics of the mother could have a bearing, but not in the fetus, if it were a genetic root to some glandular cause for the over-abundance of androsterone or shortage of testosterone. Even in times of plenty, an animal can starve.

The important part in my opinion is that ultimately, we shouldn't really care. Gay, straight, bi, whatever. I don't want to be told whom I can and cannot feel for, just simple quid pro quo. It is ignorant to say it is a conscious choice for homosexuals when it wasn't one for heterosexuals, it is ignorant to say it is unnatural when we have natural causes and see it in nature all over, it is ignorant to treat it inequitably when there really isn't a justification to. That's all, just too much ignorance.

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