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news and politics » Gay gene.

phi_'s avatar
13 years ago
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phi_
... and let the Earth be silent after ye.
My buddy Schlembach sent me this e-mail:

These four, found on pubmed.


Anyone ever gives you shit about "no gay gene" (which is bullshit to begin with. I've got ten bucks that orates that should such a thing be located, fundies would suddenly find an exception to abortion. That or they would make their children's lives more miserable than I think anyone could comprehend. In all likelihood, it's probably not a single gene but a set of alleles that corresponds to a certain frequency of homosexuality, but is by no means a sure thing (you'll find people with them who aren't gay and people without who are)), you show them these links:


Patterns of Brain Activation during Visually Evoked Sexual Arousal Differ between Homosexual and Heterosexual Men.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18768725?o … rezSystem2 .PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

Neural correlates of sexual arousal in homosexual and heterosexual men
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17469913?o … rezSystem2 .PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=5&log$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed

Sexual orientation and its basis in brain structure and function
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18653758?o … rezSystem2 .PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

PET and MRI show differences in cerebral asymmetry and functional connectivity between homo- and heterosexual subjects.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18559854?o … rezSystem2 .PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=3&log$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed


Be aware also that the fourth study notes, "The present study shows sex-atypical cerebral asymmetry and functional connections in homosexual subjects. The results cannot be primarily ascribed to learned effects, and they suggest a linkage to neurobiological entities."


Of course, the gay rights movement, obviously, is not predicted on biology, but that we all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
sriehl's avatar
13 years ago
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sriehl
surreal
If there were a 'gay gene' or a set of alleals that determined it (or just gave a pre-disposition), those genes would have disappeared by now because they would have not been passed on (or much less likely to be passed on) to offspring.

edit: I'm not saying being gay is a choice, I just doubt it has to do with genetics.
Chiken's avatar
13 years ago
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Chiken
Don't Let Your Walls Down
it's most likely a combination of things such as genetics, enviroment, also brain development and not one specific thing that causes someone to be gay.
nny's avatar
13 years ago
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nny
M̮͈̣̙̰̝̃̿̎̍ͬa͉̭̥͓ț̘ͯ̈́t̬̻͖̰̞͎ͤ̇ ̈̚J̹͎̿̾ȏ̞̫͈y̭̺ͭc̦̹̟̦̭̫͊̿ͩeͥ̌̾̓ͨ
If it's proven to be a genetic condition it ends the debate over gay parenting. Without it, there is a need for anecdotal evidence supporting the argument that homosexual parents do not in fact lend to the development of homosexual offspring. The reason for this is simply a question of child abuse, as well as continuation of the species.

I think anyone homosexual or not can make a great or horrible parent, but the legitimate question of the effects of homosexual parenting will need to be studied.

=/ Don't take that as some form of fear mongering. I could really care less if more people end up gay... with 7 billion people on the planet I wish a lot more people would keep themselves from procreating.
Chiken's avatar
13 years ago
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Chiken
Don't Let Your Walls Down
i truly think that having homosexual parents can possibly lead to a child ending up homosexual but it all depends on when the child gets adopted (all goes back to the brain development part of the equation).
asemisldkfj's avatar
13 years ago
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asemisldkfj
the law is no protection
child abuse in what sense, nny? if you mean in the sense that a gay person is going to have a harder time in society, I think that is a weak argument. to raise a kid based on wanting their life to be free of hardship is an admirable goal, but to deny the right of someone to raise a child based on the possible outcome of the child being gay and facing adversity just seems like a poor excuse to take away that right. the burden of society's prejudices should not have to be carried by those unfortunate (in this sense) enough to be victims of prejudice.

I do agree that the effects of homosexual parenting are worth studying in depth. but I'm not aware of how much research is out there currently and what the general conclusions of it are, so I won't say any more on that.
Chiken's avatar
13 years ago
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Chiken
Don't Let Your Walls Down
I doubt there's very much research on it at all since it hasn't become such a sensitive topic until recently. I would say if you were going for a psychology doctorates it would make for an excellent thesis paper.
Fsmart's avatar
13 years ago
r1, link
Fsmart
sriehl - it is not clear that genetic traits must ensure the highest survival possibility of the individual. all that is important for a gene to survive is for it to preserve its own survival. perhaps primitive men or women who had homosexual lovers were more likely to have those lovers fight to ensure their own survival or take care of their children if they were to die. it might be more similar to sickle-cell-anemia, that is sure if there are two instances of the genetic trait then it may be fatal to itself. but if there was only one instance (bi-sexuality) then it might be more likely to be passed on. there are a number of primate species (as well a number of non-primates) which systemically exhibit homosexual behavior (http://www.springerlink.com/content/t18t2213605303j7/). This indicates to me that there is probably a genetic component.
Carpetsmoker's avatar
13 years ago
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Carpetsmoker
Martin
A disadvantage may also serve as an advantage in some odd way not obvious at first, a classic and often-quoted example of this is sickle-cell disease, which helps protect the patients from malaria.
Fsmart's avatar
13 years ago
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Fsmart
:P that is what I meant to say with "cycle-cell-anemia".
Carpetsmoker's avatar
13 years ago
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Carpetsmoker
Martin
Ok, I missed that in your post ... :-/
nny's avatar
13 years ago
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nny
M̮͈̣̙̰̝̃̿̎̍ͬa͉̭̥͓ț̘ͯ̈́t̬̻͖̰̞͎ͤ̇ ̈̚J̹͎̿̾ȏ̞̫͈y̭̺ͭc̦̹̟̦̭̫͊̿ͩeͥ̌̾̓ͨ
Never responded on the abuse aspect...

If one can prove that homosexuality is a psychological condition and not a genetic one, than it stands to reason that one could argue raising children raised by homosexual couples have an increased likelihood of being gay. Now... this correlation is in no way causal... and there are a ton of other factors in play. The question ultimately I have is... what if... it was the reason? What if someone could prove that raising a child in a homosexual household contributed to the childs development psychologically in such a fashion they had a proclivity to being homosexual they would not have otherwise have had?

As accepting as you want to be of peoples choices in sexual preference you ultimately will have to come to the acceptance that homosexuality deprives people of natural reproduction. This is in effect a handicap ( of sorts ).

If being deaf was a psychological condition... and deaf couples raising children lead to a proclivity for children to end up deaf... would we respect the parents parental rights when so many children were being deprived of hearing ( another natural capability ).

Obviously not directly analogous but it raises a few questions of moral ambiguity.

Is it alright to raise a child into a position that contributes to a psychologically proclivity that puts them at a disadvantage to what is consider "the norm". At that point its not a question of the persons right to choose, it's a question of the childs right to choose of their own accord.

And at that point the argument is that the child is being raised in a household that could potentially deny him opportunities that are considered to be baseline human rights.

I mean there's so much that can be said on the subject ethically and societal from so many angles that it's an interesting thing to ponder.

Anyways that was my thought process.
asemisldkfj's avatar
13 years ago
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asemisldkfj
the law is no protection
the comparison to deafness doesn't work exactly, because when one is deaf, they have no realistic way of gaining their hearing back (save for cochlear implants, but forget those for the sake of what I'm saying). when one is homosexual, they still have the ability to reproduce with the opposite sex. their fertility has not been compromised like their hearing would be. I see your point, I just think this is an important distinction.

Is it alright to raise a child into a position that contributes to a psychologically proclivity that puts them at a disadvantage to what is consider "the norm".



I still think that my point stands from before: the burden of society's prejudices should not have to be carried by those unfortunate (in this sense) enough to be victims of prejudice.

if you could point out concrete opportunities missed in society by a gay person because they are gay, and then you can draw a line from their homosexuality to their parents, then sure, your argument works. but I think that these are some seriously difficult things to link.

further, let's make another comparison. what about race? say a kid grows up with African-American parents. (depending on the parents' backgrounds obviously) the kid is more likely than someone else to develop language and speech patterns around African-American Vernacular English (Black English, Ebonics, whatever you want to call it) rather than Standard English. sure they'll still learn Standard English at school, but you could make the argument that growing up in a household that uses AAVE puts them at a disadvantage. you could make this same argument for any kid growing up with parents who don't always speak Standard English.

who should carry the burden? should peoples' right to parent be called into question, or should society's prejudices be rethought?

I think that your first point still stands, and it's an interesting one: that natural reproduction (or the enjoyment of natural reproduction?) is a right that shouldn't be taken away or put in jeopardy on account of someone's parents' rights.
nny's avatar
13 years ago
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nny
M̮͈̣̙̰̝̃̿̎̍ͬa͉̭̥͓ț̘ͯ̈́t̬̻͖̰̞͎ͤ̇ ̈̚J̹͎̿̾ȏ̞̫͈y̭̺ͭc̦̹̟̦̭̫͊̿ͩeͥ̌̾̓ͨ
Actually I've seen kids raised in families that stick largely to their local cultural dialects and it does generally close doors for those children later on in life. You are setting your child up to fail. And I'd say that's not right. Communication skills are a social and moral imperative that are central to the existence and function of our civilization. They are at the core of human rights and the basic tenants of law.

I mean I am all for cultural diversity but not at the expense of an ability to communicate. Being unable to communicate is a tremendous problem to overcome and there are a great number of adults that I know who still have trouble communicating on a business level or in the international arena.

For instance americans are in a way at a disadvantage from europeans in that we live in a largely homogenous environment and really don't need to know more than one language. This leaves us generally incapable of learning foreign languages well, should we need to. Where as in europe a person may grow up knowing multiple languages and therefore have a statistically much better time learning more languages later on in life.

Maybe that's a better parallel? I don't like the idea of people raising their children to be unable to communicate well. And just now on the subway I wanted to severely throttle several teenage youths who couldn't keep themselves from throwing crap at each other and causing a great deal of annoyance to other passengers on the train. Fun I like. And I am all for throwing stuff at my friends. But being a nuisance to 40 other people you don't know in tight quarters... that's just plain stupid as hell. I never did that growing up not the the scale some kids do in the city. Those kids regardless of race color creed or gender are going to have problems later on in life. Raising a child without a knowledge of boundaries concerning their rights will leave that child to find out the very hard way that they will not be tolerated as they mature into adults.

For better or for worse being gay has been culturally frowned upon because it isn't normal. Is that right? Well probably not. We don't really need people to fuck the opposite sex as a society. Obviously at some point if it becomes an issue we can address it, but for now it's certainly not a luxury. Beyond that the regular cultural rules apply... don't oppress anyone else or otherwise hinder their pursuit of happiness.

But the question is thus... for homosexual couples looking to have a child there are a variety of options, however none of them are optimal. Adoption means no genetic link to the child. Artificial insemination is costly. Finding a woman to bear your child equally so for men ( that's ignoring the potential psychological trauma to the child that never knows its mother ). I mean functionally the simple fact is some of the biological components aren't there and there will be consequences. Is it fair to a child to force them down a path that will increase their likelihood of facing these consequences? Can we address these concerns with technology? Maybe... but to what end? Ultimately I think it is unfair to the child to raise them into a psychological condition that leaves them at a disadvantage knowingly.

Now here's the mindfuck.... you can apply everything in that argument to religious upbringing. And I'd have no problem with that.
asemisldkfj's avatar
13 years ago
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asemisldkfj
the law is no protection
you can argue all you want about how it is unfair to raise a kid who will end up at a disadvantage in society, but I think the real question is, "are you willing to legislate against it?" I think that's what the whole argument we're having is about.

re: language: there is still the question of who the burden is placed on. you are one hundred percent correct about how reality is, and how being gay, or speaking non-standard English is a disadvantage. BUT, at the same time, I think that we have to ask, "how can we change this?" I don't think that the fact that something is a disadvantage in itself necessarily means that the person themselves has to be at a disadvantage. someone who is gay has to learn how to navigate society so as to not put themselves at a disadvantage in various situations. their presence in society may also work to facilitate more positive or tolerant attitudes toward gay people. similarly, someone who can speak a non-standard form of English as well as Standard English may have certain advantages as well, in particular being able to teach others how language and power are intertwined. this is kind of where the analogy breaks down, since people can be multilingual but can not choose to be heterosexual. you could work bisexuality in somehow, but I think the analogy is starting to become a mess :).

just to question your "in the city" comment: do you think that if you took a bunch of kids from the suburbs and stuffed them in close quarters with a bunch of other people that they would behave much differently? I'm just not sure why you're limiting your comments to kids "in the city."

Is it fair to a child to force them down a path that will increase their likelihood of facing these consequences?



it might not be fair, but whose decision is it to make? how much of a burden or disadvantage does it truly, inherently place on the child? enough to say that gay couples raising children is wrong? I don't know, but I suspect not.
Fsmart's avatar
13 years ago
r3, link
Fsmart
I think it is interesting the point you mention about languages. i see sexual openness as being somewhat analogous. okay for those people who are strictly either gay or strait this doesn't matter. But for those who are open (only 50% of males have had no experience with some homosexual behavior http://books.google.com/books?id=72AHO0rE2HoC … p;resnum=1 ). for those on the edge would being raised by a gay couple not encourage your own openness? creating people who are more comfortable speaking several sexual languages, so to speak. if this is the case, perhaps being raised by a gay couple would be an advantage over the traditional experience. just because it is traditional does not make it superior. (love the revision feature)
nny's avatar
13 years ago
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nny
M̮͈̣̙̰̝̃̿̎̍ͬa͉̭̥͓ț̘ͯ̈́t̬̻͖̰̞͎ͤ̇ ̈̚J̹͎̿̾ȏ̞̫͈y̭̺ͭc̦̹̟̦̭̫͊̿ͩeͥ̌̾̓ͨ
Hrmm regarding the willingness to legislate against... that's a good point. I myself would agree it's really not worth legislation against. But in our nanny state it's by no means the bottom of the proverbial barrel.