Homosexuality and science

56


Discussion by: Jc Pierre
Hello everyone,

I’m a new user and a admirer of Richard Dawkins for a long time, and I really love this website. Very complete, and very enriching. First of all, I must warn you : I am French, so, sometimes, some of my sentences might be a bit incorrect. Therefore, I must apologize before writing my message…

I really enjoy doing debates with religious people, most of the time about homosexuality, as I proudly defend homosexuals. I am said to be a good debator, but there are always some arguments too absurd to be answered. I simply can’t find an answer to them. Furthermore, I am a law student. My science knowledge is limited to my personal curiosity. And, as I saw there are many scientists, science lovers and science students discussing on this forum, I think you may really help me! 

The first argument that often comes back is “homosexuality is not natural, because it goes against reproduction.” So, is it true? Is nature really limited to reproduction? I’ve read that some animals, mostly mammals like monkeys, actually practice homosexuals acts in order to relax a strained situation… But I didn’t find any evidence to prove that. I would really like to know what you think about homosexuality and nature…

Another argument is “homosexuality is a mental disorder”. Now, I’ve read a lot of “official” studies (unfortunately, I forgot where I found them…), mostly carried out during the 70′s and 80′s. Those studies prove that homosexuality is NOT a mental disorder… But then comes some kind of a strange conspiracy theory with psychological and psychiatric institutes. Some people actually say that the institutes that made the studies were forced to claim that homosexuality wasn’t a mental disorder because of homosexual lobbys (of course). So, please, if you have any scientific evidence, or any study that proves that homosexuals are not mentally ill, I would love to be able to read them. That would help me a lot… 

Thank you for taking the time to read that message, it does really mean a lot to me. And have a great year 2013!

56 COMMENTS

  1. Off topic, I suppose, but the discussion title made me think at once of Alan Turing. Brilliant mind, whose contribution to modern technology and the defeat of Nazi Germany cannot be overstated, persecuted to death for his sexual orientation.

    BTW your written English is easily better than many a native speaker, including a good many of the commentators on this site.

  2. “The first argument that often comes back is “homosexuality is not natural, because it goes against reproduction.”

    Before you complete law school, as I did so many years ago, you must understand the concept of relevance. Whether an act is “natural” or not does not inform on whether it is “evil.” Thus slavery turns out to be a very natural act, but few today would argue that it is “good.” In other words, being unnatural is not automatically being wrong, as your opponents tacitly imply. It is irrelevant.

    The foregoing notwithstanding, homosexual acts are not unnatural. In fact they have occurred, as far as we know, in all societies of recorded history. No, homosexuality does aid in the promulgation of the species, but neither does celibacy or antisocial personality disorder. Evolution does make moral judgments on the subjects of its process.

  3. Hi Jc Pierre,

    I wish my French was as good as your English!

    The argument you seem to be engaged in appears to boil down to one item: Natural.

    If someone defines natural sexuality to mean only those who feel attracted enough to the opposite sex to breed are natural then, of course, homosexuality is excluded. That statement excludes many millions of people who define their sexuality somewhere between homosexual and heterosexual. Human sensuality and nature is not simply red or white, heads or tails, up or down, left or right – it’s much more nuanced than that.

    The question then is what is natural?

    Most of us think of natural as meaning: Existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind.

    This is a very different definition to the one you are faced with. The people you are arguing with are defining natural to mean something less than it really is.

    Homosexuality is seen so often in other species that there is no doubt that it is natural in our normal, broader, definition.

    My homosexual friends would say that this also describes their experience of being gay; it is simply a part of their nature.

    How it is a part of their nature is still being investigated. The most likely answer would appear to be particular combinations of genes. That would mean, once we know what those combinations are, we will know how people are born homosexual in the same way that we know how people are born male, female, blue-eyed, brown-eyed, tall, short, etcetera.

    Wikipedia has a whole series of articles on sexuality. I suggest you start with this one:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology_and_sexual_orientation

    Obviously, as a encyclopaedia, it links to source material if you really want to drill down into the detail.

    Also, understanding the basics of sexuality is a must if you’re going to win a scientific argument. Based on what you have said so far, I don’t think you will need to go this far, but here is another excellent starting point at Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_differences_in_humans

    Bon chance, mon ami.

    Peace.

  4. Hi JC, your opponents are actually committing the naturalistic fallacy. Just because you see something is exhibited in nature, it does not provide any evidence to say that it is right or wrong.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalistic_fallacy

    Bro, you should not fall for their game. If you are always trying to prove their claim wrong, then there is no end to it because intolerant people will keep pulling whatever out of their asses to prove their point. You need to be able to call them out and discredit them, providing the killing blow, so that they can’t muddy the discussion by clinging onto the arena and shifting the paradigm with the repetition of their groundless ideas.

  5. Look up the behaviour of Bonobos (our closest relative), they freely engage in homosexual sex, masturbation, oral sex etc, so it is hardly unnatural. Similar behaviours exist in other great apes.

    Reproduction isn’t some end goal or proper purpose, people pass on ideas, culture and attitudes without having children. Look up memetics. Besides, there is no reason that you have to pass on anything.

  6. “So, please, if you have any scientific evidence, or any study that proves that homosexuals are not mentally ill, I would love to be able to read them. That would help me a lot.”

    Hi JC,

    Here’s an interesting study from 2008 on the neuroscience regarding homosexuality:

    Gay brains structured like those of the opposite sex

    The results showed that straight men had asymmetric brains, with the right hemisphere slightly larger – and the gay women also had this asymmetry. Gay men, meanwhile, had symmetrical brains like those of straight women.

    An interesting study from The Journal of Adult Development (2009) on mental health itself, and causal influences, by Sullivan et al:

    Are Gay Men in Worse Mental Health than Heterosexual Men? The Role of Age, Shame and Guilt, and Coming-Out

    Meyer (2003) identifies concealment of sexual identity as one of the primary reasons why gay individuals may experience mental health problems. Individuals may hide their sexual identity out of shame and guilt, or because they fear they will be stigmatized, ostracized, disowned, fired from a job, or even physically attacked.

    And the latest from the American Psychological Association (APA):

    Is homosexuality a mental disorder?

    “No, lesbian, gay, and bisexual orientations are not disorders. Research has found no inherent association between any of these sexual orientations and psychopathology. Both heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Both have been documented in many different cultures and historical eras. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual relationships are normal forms of human bonding. Therefore, these mainstream organizations long ago abandoned classifications of homosexuality as a mental disorder. “

    Best of luck in your debates.

  7. History tells us that a lot of the world’s most gifted people are / were homosexuals .
    Homosexuality is a reality and should be recognised as such.
    The biography of Alan Turing made me weep.
    A mega talent bullied by a bigoted legal system.

  8. Homosexuality might one day turn out to be an accident, similar to left-handedness. Just something that toggles one way or the other at a particular stage of foetal development. Perhaps there’s an environmental determinant that causes the relevant gene expression, or non-expression. Which might one day be identified or which might explain why it doesn’t appear to be a hereditary characteristic. Anyone might have become homosexual by pure chance. There are probably also many varieties and degrees of homosexuality, same as for heterosexuality.

    The main thing is that homosexuality is very much not the same thing as reproductive sterility or infertility. So it cannot be unnatural and against reproduction.

    Homosexuality is also not incompatible with child-rearing and family life. Most homosexuals actually had a mother and father and live in regular and extended families, which have the entire purpose of raising generations of kids, and will contribute directly or indirectly to raising many kids. Though not necessarily their own kids. This is no different from adoption, or playing any child nurturing role in an extended family and wider community, however indirectly.

    But I’d better not disclose too much on this otherwise religious nutcases might then want to add adoption or infertility to their list of deadly heresies, along with the existing sins of masturbation, abortion, contraception, sinful thoughts, pre-marital sex, unmarried mothers, or being a female.

    I’m pretty sure that homosexuality is not a mental disorder, is not caused by a mental disorder, and cannot cause other mental disorders. But there would very likely be a significant correlation and association with mental disorder. Though hardly likely to be actual malfunctions like schizophrenia or psychosis. The mind is very adaptable and responsive to circumstances. Being the target of incessant negative emotions and abuse owing to one’s sexual orientation, e.g. via being born a female heterosexual muslim in much of the middle east, would inevitably accumulate some mental health baggage eventually. Same would apply to people of equivalent anathema status in early 20th century European nations: homosexuals. More likely you’d see impacts that were a consequence of drug abuse or social dysfunction, like the very common phenomenon of many people’s irrational fear of public speaking. Becoming socially withdrawn or depressed in the face of community ostracism and bullying is not a good thing, but it is the mind operating normally. So it’s hardly unnatural and dysfunctional.

    Perhaps as a result of not sharing common values with the majority of the community, assuming it’s an anti-homosexual religious community, might tend to put homosexuals on the fringes of any community during the formative years of early adulthood. Which exposes them to other fringe groups and ideas. Typically anti-conservative. So it may be that there are other related but indirect influences that might degrade mental health. E.g. Marxism or vegetarianism and other substance abuse.

    Religious people are often just as vehemently opposed to other things associated with marriage. The institution of marriage in law is essentially about property rights and inheritance. Based on a legal system in which females are effectively property. Homosexuality doesn’t fit with the simple idea that people are either male or female. And that it is better to be male.

    I would support the right of homosexuals to be as equally miserable as anyone else. That includes the right to marry and subject themselves to the usual array of irrational whims and dysfunctional interpersonal relations that partners tend to inflict on each other. From a mental health perspective it might not be clear whether homosexual marriage would improve or worsen the mental health of homosexuals. Which puts them on the same basis as non-homosexuals.

    The main advantage might be that homosexual marriage annoys the religious idiots to the extent they’re compelled to expose their irrational arguments to the light of day. Which will inevitably further undermine any remaining vestiges of misplaced public credibility they might have.

  9. Every argument against homosexuality comes down to disgust, when you root down to the bottom of anti-gay rhetoric and force the person spewing it to admit to their deepest, most honest feelings. I only ever met 2 gay people, that I know of, in my whole life up until my daughters started high school. Now I know a bunch, and they’re not special or fabulous ( well Tony is because he can get me in to free movies :P) they’re just boring people with boring lives. In actuality you don’t need to offer any evidence because I guarantee they don’t have any actual evidence. That is how you should argue with an anti-gay bigot, ask for evidence, make them back up their claims with something other than what they pulled out of their ass. All they have is hate. When they can’t substantiate their claims with anything other than “jeebus this” and “babble that” just ignore them and repeat your query for evidence. That drives them absolutely nuts. Dismissing their argument as if they hadn’t spoken is a surefire way to boil the kettle but it’s also much more than they actually deserve.

  10. “homosexuality is not natural, because it goes against reproduction.”

    Too much reproduction is a bad thing. I can’t think of anything more natural than homosexuality to even things out.

    “homosexuality is a mental disorder.”

    I think the people who argue this point have never met a gay person in their entire lives. They’re some of the most anal(no pun intended), organized, high-maintenance and orderly people I’ve ever known.

  11. In reply to #11 by ugeshkumar:

    homosexuality is neither natural nor disorder. it is the last option for inferior men to overcome sexual tension because they often face difficulty getting a chance for heterosexual relationship. In the case of women, it is the best way to protect their personal attitude, because being penetrated by men brings shame for them.

    In what respect are homosexual men ‘inferior’? Why should penetrative sex bring ‘shame’ on a woman? Explain yourself!

  12. It’s interesting that those who are most vocal in their condemnation of homosexuality, i.e. fundamentalists of any faith, like to use the argument that it’s against nature and unknown outside human society, yet these are the same people who deny the evidence for evolution and elevate our species above all others. It doesn’t seem to occur to them that by saying we didn’t come from other animals and are not connected by evolution to every other living thing on Earth, they lose the right to complain that homosexuality is wrong because they think it isn’t seen in the natural world.

    If it’s your assertion that human beings are seperate and distinct from every other living thing on the planet, then you don’t get to use the it-isn’t-seen-in-nature argument, ’cause what does nature have to do with us? You don’t get to decide when we’re part of the animal kingdom and when we’re not.

    Vouloir le beurre et l’argent du beurre et le sourire de la crémière.

    Je vous souhaite bonne chance.

  13. I remember years ago when I began debating religious people that I was also clueless about certain scientific things. I had trouble for example to explain gaps in the fossil record. I kind of new what I was talking about, but I could not coherently explain my case which was frustrating. Anyway, here are a few pointers:

    1. Question the use of the word “natural”. Using the word “natural” is a rhetoric trick. If certain things are labelled natural, then the expectation is that everything else is unnatural. And no one wants to be that, do they? It’s kind of the same trick used by those who are against abortion. They call themselves “pro-life”, because it sounds better to be for something. Everyone else, i.e. those who are for abortion, must therefore be anti-life which sounds terrible. Using the word natural is just a word that people throw around to justify their position. But who can say what is natural? According to whose standards is homosexuality not natural?
      Just because homosexual sex does not lead to reproduction does not mean it is not natural. By the same logic most heterosexual sex without the intent to conceive is unnatural too. I would dare to claim that most heterosexual people are not trying to reproduce every time they have sex. They do it for other reasons; fun, enjoyment, to feel closeness, to reduce stress, etc. And homosexual people have sex for the very same reasons.

    2. Homosexuality is natural! This is a follow up to the last point. If someone claims homosexuality to be unnatural, I assume that they mean it does not come naturally to animals. That claim is unfortunately wrong. Homosexual behaviour is observed in several species. But even if it wasn’t observed in other animals, it’s still observed in humans! That should be enough. Why should we find examples from the rest of the animal kingdom to justify a human behaviour? Isn’t human homosexual behaviour natural since we are part of nature? Humans do many things – for example religion – which other species don’t, and we don’t deem our practices unnatural. If you need to find species which practice homosexual behaviour it shouldn’t be difficult. Here is an example.

    3. It’s a logical fallacy. Saying that something should not be practised because it’s not natural is logically not sound. I see three logical flaws in the argument of homosexuality being unnatural. Firstly, appeal to nature. They are saying that because homosexuality is not natural, it is wrong. But this is a flawed argument. Just because something is not natural (however that’s defined) does not mean it’s automatically not desirable. Even if we could somehow determine that homosexuality is in fact unnatural would say nothing about whether it is good or bad. Secondly, it’s a naturalistic fallacy. Just because some behaviour can be determined good or bad by it’s properties, does not mean it is desirable or not. Even if homosexuality could be determined not to be helpful for our species or for individuals, it would say nothing about whether it is a desirable behaviour. The naturalistic fallacy is closely related to the appeal to nature argument. And finally, it’s an ought-is problem. Whether homosexuality happens or not, tells us nothing about if we should be doing it or not. When it comes to homosexuality, we can determine that it does happen in nature (i.e. it “is”). But that homosexual behaviour exists does not tell us if we ought do it. That must be determined independently.

  14. I remember years ago when I began debating religious people that I was also clueless about certain scientific things. I had trouble for example to explain gaps in the fossil record. I kind of new what I was talking about, but I could not coherently explain my case which was frustrating. Anyway, here are a few pointers:

    1. Question the use of the word “natural”. Using the word “natural” is a rhetoric trick. If certain things are labelled natural, then the expectation is that everything else is unnatural. And no one wants to be that, do they? It’s kind of the same trick used by those who are against abortion. They call themselves “pro-life”, because it sounds better to be for something. Everyone else, i.e. those who are for abortion, must therefore be anti-life which sounds terrible. Using the word natural is just a word that people throw around to justify their position. But who can say what is natural? According to whose standards is homosexuality not natural?
      Just because homosexual sex does not lead to reproduction does not mean it is not natural. By the same logic most heterosexual sex without the intent to conceive is unnatural too. I would dare to claim that most heterosexual people are not trying to reproduce every time they have sex. They do it for other reasons; fun, enjoyment, to feel closeness, to reduce stress, etc. And homosexual people have sex for the very same reasons.

    2. Homosexuality is natural! This is a follow up to the last point. If someone claims homosexuality to be unnatural, I assume that they mean it does not come naturally to animals. That claim is unfortunately wrong. Homosexual behaviour is observed in several species. But even if it wasn’t observed in other animals, it’s still observed in humans! That should be enough. Why should we find examples from the rest of the animal kingdom to justify a human behaviour? Isn’t human homosexual behaviour natural since we are part of nature? Humans do many things – for example religion – which other species don’t, and we don’t deem our practices unnatural. If you need to find species which practice homosexual behaviour it shouldn’t be difficult. Here is an example.

    3. It’s a logical fallacy. Saying that something should not be practised because it’s not natural is logically not sound. I see three logical flaws in the argument of homosexuality being unnatural. Firstly, appeal to nature. They are saying that because homosexuality is not natural, it is wrong. But this is a flawed argument. Just because something is not natural (however that’s defined) does not mean it’s automatically not desirable. Even if we could somehow determine that homosexuality is in fact unnatural would say nothing about whether it is good or bad. Secondly, it’s a naturalistic fallacy. Just because some behaviour can be determined good or bad by it’s properties, does not mean it is desirable or not. Even if homosexuality could be determined not to be helpful for our species or for individuals, it would say nothing about whether it is a desirable behaviour. The naturalistic fallacy is closely related to the appeal to nature argument. And finally, it’s an ought-is problem. Whether homosexuality happens or not, tells us nothing about if we should be doing it or not. When it comes to homosexuality, we can determine that it does happen in nature (i.e. it “is”). But that homosexual behaviour exists does not tell us if we ought do it. That must be determined independently.

  15. In reply to #11 by ugeshkumar:

    homosexuality is neither natural nor disorder. it is the last option for inferior men to overcome sexual tension because they often face difficulty getting a chance for heterosexual relationship. In the case of women, it is the best way to protect their personal attitude, because being penetrated by men brings shame for them.

    You mean apart from the over 400 species of animals that practice it in nature? What is an inferior man and how you you make this judgement? Based on what scientific or rational criteria?

  16. In reply to #8 by Pete H:

    Which exposes them to other fringe groups and ideas. Typically anti-conservative. So it may be that there are other related but indirect influences that might degrade mental health. E.g. Marxism or vegetarianism and other substance abuse.

    This is a joke, right? Exposure to non-conservative ideas can can cause mental ill health? Are you writing from the 1950s?

    And what’s your beef with vegetarianism?

    “That woman’s eating a carrot when there are cheeseburgers readily available. Strike her, someone, she’s clearly hysterical.”

  17. Thank you for this topic. I find that people who dislike gay people tend to not be able to list the names of any gay people they know on a piece of paper excluding any famous people like Elton John, Ellen Degeneris, etc. They simply do not know or befriend any gay people or know a couple at a distance. I asked someone online to do this and he couldn’t. I did it and came up with a list nearing 100!

    The fact is, if you put a group of lesbians in one room and a group of straight women in another room and have someone visit each room briefly, if the visitor is honest and observant, they would clearly see, hear, and experience a difference between the groups. Sometimes subtle differences (obvious to some) need to be exaggerated by numbers to make the point. I have commented (and been disputed) here that gay people can be identified physically – by voice, bone structure, facial features, interest, etc. But gaydar does exist and some straight people have gaydar too. It is a matter of noticing/analyzing the differences. I will see if I can find the links to studies confirming gaydar later. Another person in my defense here, posted a video that showed a young effeminate male. A person would need to be blind or a liar to not see a difference between him and a gay male.

    Frequently people will comment that there is no gay gene. I would like to hear from anyone who could update or elaborate any information on this matter. Is there anything else known (switches, hormonal, etc) Is there any research going on? or is the funding lacking in this area? I have heard that homosexuals frequently (not always) tends to be the youngest of the family. (or maybe they are more likely to come out?)

    I think from a legal standpoint being gay or even participating in an act between two adults is a right that no one can ( or should) trample on. You may want to consider this approach also.

  18. ugeshkumar11
    “homosexuality is neither natural nor disorder. it is the last option for inferior men to overcome sexual tension because they often face difficulty getting a chance for heterosexual relationship. In the case of women, it is the best way to protect their personal attitude, because being penetrated by men brings shame for them.”

    Way wide of the mark, here. Homosexuality is not only natural, but common, as I mentioned above, in all societies of which we have knowledge. I know several homosexuals who had a loving relationship with persons of the opposite sex before realizing that their true desires were elsewhere. Thus, the thrust of your argument is nonsense.

  19. In reply to #11 by ugeshkumar:

    homosexuality is neither natural nor disorder. it is the last option for inferior men to overcome sexual tension because they often face difficulty getting a chance for heterosexual relationship. In the case of women, it is the best way to protect their personal attitude, because being penetrated by men brings shame for them.

    LOL. Poe’s law definitely in effect here, please tell me that was meant as a joke because it really was very amusing. If it wasn’t a joke then you haven’t known very many out of the closet gay people. I’m straight but my best friend in high school was gay and even though at the time (the 1970′s) the idea of being out of the closet for a high school kid wasn’t really accepted anywhere he was as open about it as it was possible to be at the time.

    And I can assure you it wasn’t because he was a loser that couldn’t get a girl. Just the opposite he had a girl friend for appearances and she was very cute (yes I was kind of envious). He was an amazingly smart and talented guy, we got along well because we were both in all the advanced classes and we both had to worry about fighting off the jocks (back then I was a “fag” anyway because I had long hair, liked classical music and got good grades). My friend went on to become principal French horn in a major symphony orchestra at a very young age, I think the youngest they ever had.

    You should get to know some actual gay guys. Many of them are in excellent shape, handsome, make a good living, etc. If they liked women they would have no trouble finding one. And the same can be true for women. The first openly gay woman I knew was a colleague who worked with me at a psych hospital. She was gorgeous and all the guys wanted to date her, we were all broken hearted when we realized she was gay.

  20. In reply to #12 by Detective Lazy:

    “homosexuality is not natural, because it goes against reproduction.”

    Too much reproduction is a bad thing. I can’t think of anything more natural than homosexuality to even things out.

    Well, not really. Homosexuality is kind of a puzzle from the standpoint of evolution. From the standpoint of the selfish gene there is no such thing as too much reproduction. Genes have no concept of preserving their environment they just want to replicate as often as possible.

    Of course that has no impact on whether gay people deserve rights. For one thing even if homosexuality was un-natural, nature is a terrible metric for morality. As Harris says by the standpoint of nature (selfish genes) rape is “natural” as is putting to death people who are no longer fertile, for any civilized society we obviously need to look past nature for our morality. But even with that in mind as others have pointed out homosexuality IS natural, it occurs in many species. The thing is WHY it does so is still kind of a puzzle, an interesting scientific question that when we understand it better will probably shed a lot of light on more general questions of altruism and behavior.

  21. Many things are not “natural”, that doesn’t make them evil or wrong. Wearing clothes, showering, using a computer are not natural. Many other things go against reproduction, such as celibacy, castration or the raping of children, and the Church didn’t see any problem with that, quite the opposite. So, what’s the point? That something is not natural or that reproduction should be our guiding principle? If so, in order to maximize reproduction, we should embrace polygamy and priests should be allowed to have sex like animals do; it’s only “natural”. And if we say that only what is natural is good, then religions should be banned, because you don’t see any animals praying. Good luck convincing religious people of that.

  22. I really want to thank everyone for all the really interesting, constructive, and enriching answers! Here in France, we are in the middle of a really red-hot debate about the homosexual marriage, since it was one of the main promises of our present president.

    I heard that England was also getting into this subject. But, contrary to Great Britain, France is, since 1901, a lay country, with church and state completely separated. And, also contrary to Great Britain, the majority of christians are roman catholics, (blindly) following the pope and all his “clique”… So they follow every word the pope says (since the pope is considered as the “representative” of God on earth), and the pope officially said thay homosexuality WAS a mental disorder. The catholics are the major parts of the opposition to this project. Although muslims and jewish people were also opposed to homosexual marriage, catholics are by far the most vociferous group right now.

    And, growing in a catholic conservative family, I have the chance to hear, to read, and to learn the main arguments I could hear, read, and learn, in christian newspapers and radio shows. The first thing I don’t understand is the fierceness of religious people against civil marriage, as they have nothing to do with that. In the articles written by catholics organizations, they claim that allowing gay marriage would be “an insult to the natural order established by God”.
    But this is not the main argument. The main argument is “If we authorize two men or two women to marry, soon we will authorize a man to marry his dog, a man to marry a child, two brothers and sisters to marry, etc!” Now, the main point that I often aswer is, “let’s take other countries as examples. Netherlands have allowed gay marriage more than 10 years ago. Have they allowed zoophily, incest or pedophilia? Of course not. Among all the other countries allowing gay marriage, how many actually thought about legalizing any of these? None of them.”

    But some people actually answer that it’s only a matter of time, but a very long time. Now, I know that homosexuality and bisexuality have absolutely no link with zoophilia or pedophilia, but knowing and being able to prove it thanks to scientific studies is not the same. Would there be any difference, like the proportion of some brain parts as I saw in Tyler Durden’s comment, or anything else that proves the absolute absence of connections between homosexuality and pedophilia/zoophilia/incest? But, anyway, the pope said there was a link, so it’s true!

    Thanks again for all your great answers!

  23. In reply to #23 by Jc Pierre:

    But some people actually answer that it’s only a matter of time, but a very long time. Now, I know that homosexuality and bisexuality have absolutely no link with zoophilia or pedophilia, but knowing and being able to prove it thanks to scientific studies is not the same.

    Keep in mind that when it comes to science its very difficult (and not necessary) to prove a negative. The starting point in science is the Null Hypothesis, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Null_hypothesis you assume things aren’t related unless you have data and a theory that suggests that they are and only then do you worry about disproving the theory. So the real question goes back to the people who make these ridiculous claims, its their responsibility to provide the evidence that such links exist which they can’t do.

  24. Hi Jc,

    Bonobos (relatives of chimpanzees) are the classic animal that I know about that have been observed to engage in homosexual behavior. Wikipedia has an accurate description (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonobo). I have read estimates of up to 1500 animal species that do so, but the number of documented cases is probably nearer to 500 depending on what definitions you use.

    From a Christian perspective, Christians are against homosexuality because of Scripture verses condemning it. It should be noted that only 5 verses out of 32,000 mention homosexuality, and the interpretations of those verses are disputed.

  25. In reply to #17 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #8 by Pete H:

    Which exposes them to other fringe groups and ideas. Typically anti-conservative. So it may be that there are other related but indirect influences that might degrade mental health. E.g. Marxism or vegetarianism and other substance abuse.

    This is a joke, right? Exposure to non-conservative ideas can can cause mental ill health? Are you writing from the 1950s?

    And what’s your beef with vegetarianism?

    “That woman’s eating a carrot when there are cheeseburgers readily available. Strike her, someone, she’s clearly hysterical.”

    Yes, meant to be a joke.

    However there’s elements of truth. Flawed thinking might not physically damage one’s brain, but there can be mental and other health-related consequences.

    Homosexuals are often targeted as a convenient out group to blame or hate as a relatively defenceless common enemy for the purposes of demagogues seeking to cultivate mob support. Targeting red heads, left handers, and vegetarians instead might be a good start to undermine this strategy.

    Only problem is that it’s particularly harsh on homosexuals who also happen to be red heads, left handed, and vegetarian.

    The link with homosexuality, mental health, and Marxism is that the essence of what Marxism really is often gets overlooked. Marx is highly regarded for some insights (e.g. invented the word capitalism I think) but a key aspect of his economic views is known to be flawed. (I’m not an economic historian but I believe he was the last of the classical economists and held on to the labour theory of value.)

    Economic Marxism is essentially that unregulated free markets (i.e. capitalism) are inherently instable, at least on a large national or global macroeconomic scale. Which makes most conventional macroeconomic theory fundamentally Marxist. i.e. Economic theory that depends on central banking, fiat money, and the prevailing economic assumption of macroeconomics to manage cyclical fluctuations in economies – a silly example being the recent proposal for Obama to print new trillion dollar coins to save the US economy from impoverishment.

    A major influence on modern economic theory, particularly as an explanation and policy implications for managing economic instability, was Keynes. I’ve read that Keynes’ homosexuality was very relevant to his outlook on social and economic matters. And the other intellectuals he was associated with. He was a prominent intellectual around the time when the likes of Alan Turing were pursued by the secret service over his homosexuality. Most homosexuals were very much in the closet.

    One of Keynes’ lifelong purposes was to completely change society, by breaking things apart if necessary. i.e. anti-conservative. Presumably on the assumption that pretty much anything that arose in its place would have to be better than the world he grew up with. Socialism was the obvious way forward around that time. Just like cigarette smoking compared to cigars or pipes. But there was also good reason to avoid the communists. So pretty much everyone was a socialist, or at least a social democrat. Perhaps this was because the Queen was so nice. The legacy is that pretty much every economist who assumes markets are inherently instable is effectively a Marxist, even though they can’t all be homosexual despite the obvious economic benefits of homosexuality (kids are very expensive to raise these days).

    There are alternative schools of economics which take a more evolutionary approach, compared to the intelligent design, top down command economy approach. Though they’re not particularly influential, probably because evolutionary thinking is a little counter-intuitive and doesn’t imply any real role for political elites. Similar to religious institutions.

    There may be a genuine link with bad economics and vegetarianism. There’s multiple motives that influence vegetarianism. Possibly mistaken assumptions involving nutrition science, or the unethical treatment of animals. The economic flaws lie in the area of agricultural practises and the relative environmental costs of sustaining an exponentially growing population. Vegetarianism might be a plausible answer to a massively growing global population, but it might be answering the wrong question.

    Agricultural policies, subsidies, taxation etc, in highly centralised economies, subject to intense political lobbying by vested interests, might be an absolutely huge problem. Especially when combined with nutritional science that shares a similar historical basis to macroeconomic science. Vegetarianism is probably just a minor symptom, not a cause.

  26. In reply to #23 by Jc Pierre:

    In the articles written by catholics organizations, they claim that allowing gay marriage would be “an insult to the natural order established by God”. But this is not the main argument. The main argument is “If we authorize two men or two women to marry, soon we will authorize a man to marry his dog, a man to marry a child, two brothers and sisters to marry, etc!”

    It might be worth pointing out that the bible – while harshly condemning bestiality – actually seems to endorse marital pedophilia and is ambivalent at best about the desirability of incest. Several important biblical figures engaged in incest or were the products of uncondemned incest.

  27. My post is based in logic, not science.

    After figuring out what irrational argument they default to, I go for emotions and challenge their identity.

    “If you were attracted to the same sex, would that be a problem for you? Would you fight it, try to be otherwise?”

    They invariably say yes, which means we can not know if they are straight or gay, because they would not allow for one option to express. This demonstrates they are filled with issues, are intellectually dishonest. All of their thoughts are thus invalid.

    Reproduction: There are many congenital conditions which result in infertility. This is no argument,

    Conspiracy and political lobbies: There was a campaign to normalize homosexuality. The same goes for racial and sex equality laws. That pattern does not suggest anything about nature. Plus, homosexuality was considered a disease at a time that now looks barbaric and primitive (ice-pick lobotomies, overuse of electroshock, thorzine, etc).

    Nature: There are tons of gay animals, and this is well known. The frontlines of this debate now assert animals also practice cannibalism and infanticide, so should we not be better than animals? That’s circular. My argument is, heterosexuality is biologically determined, right? How is is even possible that there would not be variation? Why aren’t all people bisexual? I also point to Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia as one cause of lesbianism.

  28. In reply to #26 by Nordic11:

    Christians are against homosexuality because of Scripture verses condemning it. It should be noted that only 5 verses out of 32,000 mention homosexuality, and the interpretations of those verses are disputed.

    Is there anything  written in Scripture that is not disputed? :)

  29. In reply to #30 by Tyler Durden:

    In reply to #26 by Nordic11:Christians are against homosexuality because of Scripture verses condemning it. It should be noted that only 5 verses out of 32,000 mention homosexuality, and the interpretations of those verses are disputed.Is there anything written in Scripture that is not disputed? :)

    Lots of stuff.

  30. In reply to #6 by Tyler Durden:

    .”Hi JC,Here’s an interesting study from 2008 on the neuroscience regarding homosexuality:

    Gay brains structured like those of the opposite sexThe results showed that straight men had asymmetric brains, with the right hemisphere slightly larger – and the gay women also had this asymmetry. Gay men, meanwhile, had symmetrical brains like those of straight women.

    “Gay brains” ? I don´t know if I quite agree in calling it “gay brains”.

    when I was about 19, I spent almost a whole day in a lab where blood samples were taken from time to time, and after I showed the result to a doctor who told me: “your personality is completely masculin, you don´t have absolutely nothing of feminin”, and I really got hurt and upset, as “treatment” I had to take both feminin and masculin hormones “for the body to balance it and react in it´s own way”, but the doctor who prescribed it was not apologist of giving me too much feminin hormones, because of cancer.

    After that, I always feel kind of fear from the test results of my blood samples and almost avoid it, and I prefer to think that my body could well have balanced both in it´s own way.

  31. This may have already been stated, as I wasn’t able to real ALL the comments, but there is a video interview with Dawkins on YouTube discussing three different hypothesis’ for the evolutionary reason for homosexuality in humans. I’d link it, but I’m at work and don’t want “Dawkins homosexual” search results on my computer! Haha.

  32. I am more familiar -from my study field or social sciences/anthropology- not to bring explanations to a single factor from these three: social, cultural and natural.
    Havingsome these studies focused on Margaret Mead too (a bisexual woman herself by the way, as far as Ruth Benedict, another anthropologist with whom she had a romantic affair, despite both being both of them married women) and her study conclusion about how culture can shape our personality (masculine and feminine that could be instead a stereotype, or patterns of personality that are considered cultural) and having watched a TV documentary – a long time ago I´m afraid- I suppose her work might have been very influential .The documentary focused on a boy that for some reason didn´t have a penis (and I don´t recall why), as far as I don’t recall either the name of the psychologist that had the idea that everything would be simple if it was chirurgically constructed a vagina for that boy and, from an early age that boy would raised culturally as a girl (instead of the reconstruction of a penis). The boy in this case was really raised culturally as a girl –but in fact he never the result didn´t match what was expected and the psychologist even falsified data to adjust it to his simplistic “theory”. In fact, the boy latter in his life assumed a masculine identity, and I think it ended up with the chirurgical reconstruction of a masculine sexual organ, as it was thought to be the best solution for him.
    Yesterday, reading the daily newspaper I found an article about Maria do Mar Pereira and goggled about her and find out that there is a study field area called queer studies an institute for the study of gender, take a look:

  33. I think that homosexuality is natural insofar as it happens in nature. Yet the same is true of rape, infanticide and numerous other things. Even if you can prove that homosexuality is natural you still have all your work in front of you to prove that it is desirable.

    A friend of mine is gay and he says that he has always known it, so it is hardly something he had a choice in. At the time he apparently thought to himself, ‘My God, that on top of everything else!’ So, as far as I’m concerned this is natural. Even so, I also consider it abnormal, in the same way that having a squint or alopecia is. After all, it’s hardly a great way of perpetuating your genes which, if there is a point to life, must be the main one, at least from an evolutionary perspective. However, describing it as a mental disorder is just weird. That would never have occurred to me.

  34. And, when you come right down to it, homosexuals may be an actual boon to the world just because they don’t reproduce. Our world is overpopulated with humans as it is, & the fewer folks who reproduce, the better, in my opinion. In addition to not reproducing themselves, the often provide loving homes for orphans & other children who desperately need homes. reply to #2 by JHJEFFERY:

    “The first argument that often comes back is “homosexuality is not natural, because it goes against reproduction.”

    Before you complete law school, as I did so many years ago, you must understand the concept of relevance. Whether an act is “natural” or not does not inform on whether it is “evil.” Thus slavery turns out to be a very natural act, but few today would argue that it is “good.” In other words, being unnatural is not automatically being wrong, as your opponents tacitly imply. It is irrelevant.

    The foregoing notwithstanding, homosexual acts are not unnatural. In fact they have occurred, as far as we know, in all societies of recorded history. No, homosexuality does aid in the promulgation of the species, but neither does celibacy or antisocial personality disorder. Evolution does make moral judgments on the subjects of its process.

  35. In reply to #8 by Pete H:
    For the most part, I agree with you, but I take exception to your comment that vegetarianism & Marxism are dysfunctional conditions. I’ve been a vegatarian for almost 40 years & most folks find me quite mentally fit.> Homosexuality might one day turn out to be an accident, similar to left-handedness. Just something that toggles one way or the other at a particular stage of foetal development. Perhaps there’s an environmental determinant that causes the relevant gene expression, or non-expression. Which might one day be identified or which might explain why it doesn’t appear to be a hereditary characteristic. Anyone might have become homosexual by pure chance. There are probably also many varieties and degrees of homosexuality, same as for heterosexuality.

    The main thing is that homosexuality is very much not the same thing as reproductive sterility or infertility. So it cannot be unnatural and against reproduction.

    Homosexuality is also not incompatible with child-rearing and family life. Most homosexuals actually had a mother and father and live in regular and extended families, which have the entire purpose of raising generations of kids, and will contribute directly or indirectly to raising many kids. Though not necessarily their own kids. This is no different from adoption, or playing any child nurturing role in an extended family and wider community, however indirectly.

    But I’d better not disclose too much on this otherwise religious nutcases might then want to add adoption or infertility to their list of deadly heresies, along with the existing sins of masturbation, abortion, contraception, sinful thoughts, pre-marital sex, unmarried mothers, or being a female.

    I’m pretty sure that homosexuality is not a mental disorder, is not caused by a mental disorder, and cannot cause other mental disorders. But there would very likely be a significant correlation and association with mental disorder. Though hardly likely to be actual malfunctions like schizophrenia or psychosis. The mind is very adaptable and responsive to circumstances. Being the target of incessant negative emotions and abuse owing to one’s sexual orientation, e.g. via being born a female heterosexual muslim in much of the middle east, would inevitably accumulate some mental health baggage eventually. Same would apply to people of equivalent anathema status in early 20th century European nations: homosexuals. More likely you’d see impacts that were a consequence of drug abuse or social dysfunction, like the very common phenomenon of many people’s irrational fear of public speaking. Becoming socially withdrawn or depressed in the face of community ostracism and bullying is not a good thing, but it is the mind operating normally. So it’s hardly unnatural and dysfunctional.

    Perhaps as a result of not sharing common values with the majority of the community, assuming it’s an anti-homosexual religious community, might tend to put homosexuals on the fringes of any community during the formative years of early adulthood. Which exposes them to other fringe groups and ideas. Typically anti-conservative. So it may be that there are other related but indirect influences that might degrade mental health. E.g. Marxism or vegetarianism and other substance abuse.

    Religious people are often just as vehemently opposed to other things associated with marriage. The institution of marriage in law is essentially about property rights and inheritance. Based on a legal system in which females are effectively property. Homosexuality doesn’t fit with the simple idea that people are either male or female. And that it is better to be male.

    I would support the right of homosexuals to be as equally miserable as anyone else. That includes the right to marry and subject themselves to the usual array of irrational whims and dysfunctional interpersonal relations that partners tend to inflict on each other. From a mental health perspective it might not be clear whether homosexual marriage would improve or worsen the mental health of homosexuals. Which puts them on the same basis as non-homosexuals.

    The main advantage might be that homosexual marriage annoys the religious idiots to the extent they’re compelled to expose their irrational arguments to the light of day. Which will inevitably further undermine any remaining vestiges of misplaced public credibility they might have.

  36. I’m a bit bummed coming back to read this topic to find that several people here have fed the trolls. There are thousands of topics disputing someone anti gay rhetoric. I thought it was about sharing scientific evidence. It would be nice if for once people chimed in facts – all in one place.

    Any evidence showing how birth order affects homosexuality?
    Any confirmed evidence? I know some exists. Maybe someone has heard about some studies.

  37. In reply to #38 by QuestioningKat:

    Any evidence showing how birth order affects homosexuality?
    Any confirmed evidence? I know some exists. Maybe someone has heard about some studies.

    I had only heard of this phenomenon from an anecdotal perspective, and only for males – and it seems to have some reputable studies behind it:

    How Many Gay Men Owe Their Sexual Orientation to Fraternal Birth Order?

    “In men, sexual orientation correlates with the number of older brothers, each additional older brother increasing the odds of homosexuality by approximately 33%. However, this phenomenon, the fraternal birth order effect, accounts for the sexual orientation of only a proportion of gay men.”

    And:

    Quantitative and theoretical analyses of the relation between older brothers and homosexuality in men

    “Meta-analysis of aggregate data from 14 samples representing 10,143 male subjects shows that homosexuality in human males is predicted by higher numbers of older brothers, but not by higher numbers of older sisters, younger brothers, or younger sisters. The relation between number of older brothers and sexual orientation holds only for males.”

    Also:

    A Possible Second Type of Maternal–Fetal Immune Interaction Involved in Both Male and Female Homosexuality

    “Recent research has found that the mothers of firstborn homosexual sons produce fewer subsequent offspring than do the mothers of firstborn heterosexual sons.”

    While Blanchard (2012) states that the finding that each older brother increases the odds of homosexuality in later siblings is “well-established”.

  38. “The first argument that often comes back is “homosexuality is not natural, because it goes against reproduction.” So, is it true? Is nature really limited to reproduction? I’ve read that some animals, mostly mammals like monkeys…”

    The above quote did not display in my post after the line “For example”, I put it in angled brackets but it made the line disappear.

  39. Good on you, JC Pierre, for insisting on reason and evidence in a debate on something like gay marriage. The book I have found most helpful in placing homosexuality firmly in nature is Biological Exuberance by Bruce Bagemihl. I do not know whether there is a French translation of it, but I suspect you would have no trouble reading the book in English. It provides a wealth of information on homosexuality in the animal kingdom, covering a vast range of species. Chapter 5, “Not for Breeding Only”, presents some interesting approaches to how homosexuality fits in with the wider biological scheme of things.

  40. So, having said that, let’s look at the first contention. Is homosexuality natural or not. I find there are arguments too absurd not to be answered. Obviously homosexuality per se is irrelevant with regard an argument based on humans as animals. Because it inhabits a realm that is purely psychological.

    Provide evidence that homosexuality is purely psychological. More research is starting to show that it is physically identifiable. It takes one to know one seems to be a phenomenon based in fact. Gay people can be identified physically, voice, expression, etc.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaydar http://nymag.com/news/features/33520/
    Someone here also pointed to research showing structural differences in a homosexual’s brain.

    I think when most people comment that it is natural, they mean does it occur in a typical flow of life’s cycles or is it a choice or manipulated through a procedure. By their definition, they would need to weed out many roses from their garden.

  41. Brahms,

    I am in the process of propounding an entirely paradigm shifting complete sexual philosophy.

    At which university are you doing the research? Who are you working with? Who is going to peer review your paper? Or is this a kind of perpetual motion machine paradigm shift?

  42. Is there room for the idea that most homosexual behaviour is strictly homosexual in nature (characterized as behaviour between two people who are engaging in expressions of emotionally driven sexual interest) while another form of seemingly homosexual behaviour is actually an expression of power dominance? The power dominance behaviour is used by one member of the same sex against another member of the same sex to establish a hierarchy (put one in one’s place), where there is absolutely no expressions of emotional sexual interest but rather an expression of physical, social and sexual reproductive dominance?

  43. In reply to #46 by aquilacane:

    Is there room for the idea that most homosexual behaviour is strictly homosexual in nature (characterized as behaviour between two people who are engaging in expressions of emotionally driven sexual interest) while another form of seemingly homosexual behaviour is actually an expression of power dominance? The power dominance behaviour is used by one member of the same sex against another member of the same sex to establish a hierarchy (put one in one’s place), where there is absolutely no expressions of emotional sexual interest but rather an expression of physical, social and sexual reproductive dominance?

    Recentely, when the same gender marriage became legal in Brazil, the news didn´t mention homosexual, but homoafective, I find it nice.

    I always consider it as you stated, men that are homophobic sometimes rape “gays” despite being homophobic, I always wondered why

    A matter of dominance, I actually think so.

  44. Is there room for the idea that most homosexual behaviour is strictly homosexual in nature (characterized as behaviour between two people who are engaging in expressions of emotionally driven sexual interest) while another form of seemingly homosexual behaviour is actually an expression of power dominance? The power dominance behaviour is used by one member of the same sex against another member of the same sex to establish a hierarchy (put one in one’s place), where there is absolutely no expressions of emotional sexual interest but rather an expression of physical, social and sexual reproductive dominance?

    There may be physical room for such an idea on this comments page but whether it deserves it is another matter. Personally I think the idea ranks alongside the idea that rape is really all about exercising power over another person rather than being about sex. I agree with Steven Pinker when he says that this is a daft idea. And why should homosexual relations be any more about power than heterosexual relations? Or perhaps it all comes down to which of the two owns the means of production (I’m joking).

    It seems that Freud’s conviction that things are never as they seem and that it needs a sharp mind (like his) to ferret out the real meaning of an action is hard to eradicate from some people’s heads.

  45. In reply to #43 by Garrick Worthing:

    Good on you, JC Pierre, for insisting on reason and evidence in a debate on something like gay marriage. The book I have found most helpful in placing homosexuality firmly in nature is Biological Exuberance by Bruce Bagemihl. I do not know whether there is a French translation of it, but I suspect you would have no trouble reading the book in English. It provides a wealth of information on homosexuality in the animal kingdom, covering a vast range of species. Chapter 5, “Not for Breeding Only”, presents some interesting approaches to how homosexuality fits in with the wider biological scheme of things.

    Indeed, as soon as I have the opportunity to discuss, or to debate about homosexuality, I try as much as I can to insist on reason, evidences and science. This subject often brings some people to base their thoughts on absurd arguments in order to confirm their groundless ideas. As an example, I heard one day someone claiming he didn’t “believe in gays”! Furthermore, some people simply refute scientific studies and evidences, even if they don’t have any prove themselves…

    I really want to thank you for the book you adviced me to read, I’ll try to find it in the following weeks, or months, depending on the free time I have beside my studies. I don’t think that the English language will be a real problem, but the scientific level required for its full comprehension might be the main issue… Anyway, nothing ventured, nothing gained!

    Thanks again!

  46. In reply to #44 by QuestioningKat:

    So, having said that, let’s look at the first contention. Is homosexuality natural or not. I find there are arguments too absurd not to be answered. Obviously homosexuality per se is irrelevant with regard an argument based on humans as animals. Because it inhabits a realm that is purely psychological.Provide evidence that homosexuality is purely psychological. More research is starting to show that it is physically identifiable. It takes one to know one seems to be a phenomenon based in fact. Gay people can be identified physically, voice, expression, etc. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaydar http://nymag.com/news/features/33520/ Someone here also pointed to research showing structural differences in a homosexual’s brain.I think when most people comment that it is natural, they mean does it occur in a typical flow of life’s cycles or is it a choice or manipulated through a procedure. By their definition, they would need to weed out many roses from their garden.

    Funny that you repeat it more than once, don´t you ever consider homosexualty as a choice, do you ?
    Do you know I have heard at least two men with woman´s voice ? One of them for the first time on the phone and I kept asking him if he wasn´t a woman.
    Later I became aware he was in fact a sexual predator, and he used the internet (and phone) to seduce boys or whatever, in fact he really had a woman´s voice, but it was his natural voice not fake.
    This kind of discussion leads to may missunderstandings, and science itself is the main point (of course I am not able to answer in that case).

  47. In reply to #50 by maria melo:

    In reply to #44 by QuestioningKat:So, having said that, let’s look at the first contention. Is homosexuality natural or not. I find there are arguments too absurd not to be answered. Obviously homosexuality per se is irrelevant with regard an argument based on humans as animals. Because it inhabits a realm that is purely psychological.Provide evidence that homosexuality is purely psychological. More research is starting to show that it is physically identifiable. It takes one to know one seems to be a phenomenon based in fact. Gay people can be identified physically, voice, expression, etc. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaydar http://nymag.com/news/features/33520/ Someone here also pointed to research showing structural differences in a homosexual’s brain.I think when most people comment that it is natural, they mean does it occur in a typical flow of life’s cycles or is it a choice or manipulated through a procedure. By their definition, they would need to weed out many roses from their garden.Funny that you repeat it more than once, don´t you ever consider homosexualty as a choice, do you ? Do you know I have heard at least two men with woman´s voice ? One of them for the first time on the phone and I kept asking him if he wasn´t a woman. Later I became aware he was in fact a sexual predator, and he used the internet (and phone) to seduce boys or whatever, in fact he really had a woman´s voice, but it was his natural voice not fake. This kind of discussion leads to may missunderstandings, and science itself is the main point (of course I am not able to answer in that case).

    I mean: ** you ever consider Homosexuality as a choice ?**
    (In fact I have met some people-men- that seem to have are special tone of voice- and gesturing- and in fact they aren´t “gays”, as far as there are people who don´t have have any particular detail to “judge” as “gay”, and that are in fact.

  48. The only quibble I have with homosexuality is that, if everyone in the world were to become homosexual, then the human race would eventually die out, i.e homosexuality represents an evolutionary dead end. However, if only a relatively small fraction of the human race are homosexual then I can see nothing wrong with it.

    It is only those who indulge in organised religion that use the term evil, and then only because a group of people in the distant past wrote down an invented set of arbitrary rules concerning human behaviour.

  49. From a science perspective there have been some recent research revealing the possibility that epigenetic markers intended to protect females from gaining masculine traits and males from female traits during fetal development are possibly transmitted from mother to son or from father to daughter, with the outcome masculine girls or boys with feminine traits. If you’re interested you can look this up on the Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News at http://www.genengnews.com/gen-news-highlights/epigenetics-underpins-b-homosexuality-b/81247763/

    From a perspective of reason I have to place myself in the other person’s shoes: Women undoubtedly trigger my interest (I’m heterosexual by the way), and believe it would be unfair if I were told that my interest in women is wrong and shouldn’t be pursued. From a homosexual’s perspective I have to imagine the same applies; if a release of hormones are triggered by members of the same sex it would seem unnatural and wrong for anyone to propose that their activity is wrong, especially if it does no harm to anyone.

  50. I think there are some more problems to figure out for this topic.

    But for the “natural” or “unnatural” thing:

    There is no such thing as “unnatural” because everything happening in the universe is natural, some thing happen more frequently than others, thats all.
    Of cause there are things that are (not) desirable for our current civilization, but that does not make them in any sense unnatural or natural.

    Going with this unnatural aka supernatural thing, I might say that I as a homosexual boy be from now on called “god” by religious people because god is supernatural (unnatural) according to their claims. Bow before me! (pun intended!) :P

    On the other hand this reproduction thing seems too easy as an explanation. Yes in evolutionary terms reproduction might be one of the main reasons agains homosexuality, BUT the human brain is far beyond it’s evolutionary purpose. Our brain is not meant to handle quantum physics, it’s evolved to survive and flee from predators. Thought and emotions are a very high level of abstraction from the biological hardware it runs on and I thing cannot be only answered by biological mechanisms.

    Sexuality seems to be based on biology, but takes place primarily in neurology. Something like a basic program running all the time along billions of other programs that can have an effect on it.

    I for myself had never any interest in girls, it’s not a choice for me, it just happens to be that way.

  51. “homosexuality is not natural, because it goes against reproduction.”

    Well the first point is that to say that because something is natural means its good is a fallacy of ethics. Its called the Naturalistic Fallacy. A favorite example that Dawkins and others use is that there is a wasp that paralyzes its prey and lays her eggs in it and the new wasps eat the prey alive as they are born. One would hardly say that is moral even though its natural. Or perhaps a better example would be rape, forced sexual intercourse happens in the animal world. Infanticide also. Just because something happens in nature does not make it moral.

    As to the science, it is kind of a puzzle (at least to many people including me) how there could be a genetic trait that survived for same sex attraction. On the surface, looking from the standpoint of “selfish genes” there is no stronger drive than the drive to reproduce so wasting sexual energy and attraction on a partner whom you can’t have children with is from that standpoint a puzzle. But that’s all it is, something we haven’t completely figured out yet. There are all kinds of similar unanswered questions about behavior that seems maladaptive but when we dig down deeper we find out its either not really maladaptive or there is some reason why the maladaptive behavior survived. (Note: when I say maladaptive there I’m just talking like a biologist, strictly from the standpoint of reproducing genes with no intention that the behavior is moral or right, from this standpoint not raping someone can be maladaptive as well)

    The other thing is that its possible that being gay may not be completely genetic. If I had to make a bet based on what I know on the topic I would say its probably not only genetic. But not being genetic is not the same thing as being a “choice”. Its possible that very early childhood experiences play a significant role as well. Note this isn’t the Freudian BS about strong mothers and weak fathers or whatever but things that happen much earlier in childhood, even possibly in the womb.

    Finally, I think the whole “choice” issue is a bit of a red herring. Even if it were a choice (I don’t think it is) what difference would that make? The people who are the loudest opponents of gay rights are also the ones who scream the most about hating big government. Is there anything more intrusive than the government telling you who you can love or have sex with? I usually start the debate that way, even though I think its not a choice, I claim that even if it was, so what? America is supposed to be all about Freedom right? Is there anything more precious than the freedom to have sex, love, and marry the consenting adult of your choice?

Leave a Reply