Biology behind homosexuality in sheep, study confirms

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by vniow, Aug 3, 2004.

  1. vniow macrumors G4

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    #1
    http://www.innovations-report.de/html/berichte/biowissenschaften_chemie/bericht-26668.html

    [​IMG]
     
  2. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    #2
    interesting as this news is, i have to wonder if gay genetics (and biological underpinnings) are even worth investigating-- the Right will just switch from "you're evil by choice" to "you're evil because god predestined you to be evil". And it won't change the "marriage is man/woman because of sociological history" crap... which is just using historic prejudice to defend current.

    Homosexual animals are a part of nature, recorded in a vast array of species. Rams seem to have a high instance, or at least a lot of observations have been done on the species... Birds in general seem to be the most likely to have homosexual animals.

    paul
     
  3. michaelrjohnson macrumors 68020

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    #3
    You may be right, however, perhaps information like this with further research can help sway some of the general population (moderates). There will always be the extremes (both Right and Left), but perhaps studies like this can shift the bell-curve.
     
  4. AhmedFaisal Guest

    #4
    ... Nah...

    We'll more likely see some righties going "See, I told you they are retarded, lets drug'em straight!" and the whole herd of goats that is the retarded electorate going after them 'cuz they speak god and god is good...

    Ahmed
     
  5. Stike macrumors 65816

    Stike

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    #5
    This story is on a certain perspective a no-brainer.
    If you follow a certain philosophy that there is nothing like a "soul" or anything non-material, it leads to the conclusion that everything we are, every thought we have, all memories we have in our head - and all decisions, like being homo-/heterosexual, have a physical and biological basis.
    I think that you can (at least with animals, should be easier) "program" any lifeform to be or to act as biogically determined - be it from inside or outside. Luckily the normal lifeform is "self-programming" (i.e. learning) and not easily influenced.

    This is going far now, but this may become critical once we build computers which communicate directly with the brain.

    Hey cool I have a story idea haha... have to go write now, bye! ;)
     
  6. vniow thread starter macrumors G4

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    #6
    Yeah, that's what I'm a bit afraid of as well, the problem with those people isn't lack of evidence, its bigotry. One thing that also disturbs me is this line from the article:

    While it makes for a good research paper and more insight on to how the brain works, there's so much social baggage that comes along with being queer in humans that I'm afraid that if something similar were to be found in our brains and it could be reversed with drugs that more than a few parents would go for it with their child.

    *shudder*

     
  7. fawlty macrumors regular

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    #7
    My understanding is that the genetic component to sexuality in humans is small; the far more significant factor is what happened in your childhood, and especially your relationship with your parents.

    Homosexuals have not usually chosen to be that way. But it is still a flaw, not just a preference thing.

    I suspect generalising from animals is invalid anyway, precisely because domestic animals are raised in such an artifical environment.
     
  8. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    #8
    'Flaw' is awfully broad. I mean, look at left-handed people. They're a small minority, but who's to say that that particular genetic diversity isn't integral to the human species? Without many of the 'flaws' in our species, we'd be a step closer to globally inbred.

    Personally speaking, I find that relationships with parents tend to be a symptom of homosexuality, rather than a cause. As a gay man, i believe fate was sealed before I was born. Just as I believe heterosexuals are the same way; hardwired. I had a bad relationship with my father, true; but I had identified as gay about age 5, whereas my relationship with my father deteriorated around 10-12. It didn't get better when I came out.

    Nature continually breeds diversity into a genetic pool as a matter of survivability. If everyone is the same on every level, a single variable could wipe the species out. There are also a lot of theories that homosexuality is a form of natural population control... Hardly a flaw if nature's intention is to conserve natural resources for the good of the species.

    And as I said, birds are the most likely to show homosexuality, and wild birds have very little domestication. It's all secondary to humans' impact on the environment, and I cannot believe humans could alter it in such a way as to introduce homosexuality into so many species of animals...

    paul
     
  9. LeeTom macrumors 68000

    LeeTom

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    #9
    Yeah, I don't know what they're teaching down there in New Zealand, but you gotta get with the times!

    Lee Tom
     
  10. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #10
    I've never seen anything to back that up. The closest I've seen is that, in some adults, there's a slight tendency for those who have been abused often by the opposite sex to turn to members of their own sex, although this tendency is more out of preservation than sexual attraction.

    I don't see how childhood factors could cause one to decide that men, instead of women (or vice versa, depending on one's sex) were more attractive.

    paulwhannel was very calm in his reply to this. "Flaw" isn't appropriate.

    How in God's name would that make a difference in sexual preference?
     
  11. voicegy macrumors 65816

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    #11
    Uh-oh. 'nother one of THESE threads, that will soon spin out of control with extreme viewpoints. :rolleyes:

    Hi fawlty. Blaming the parents is old skool. So's enviornment. Out the door. Got along great with my dad. Mom and I are ok with each other as well. So are just about every one of my homosexual friends' situations. I see more "flawed" heterosexuals from poor parenting/enviornment than homosexual outcomes.

    I, too, have brought up the horrific scenario as others have here about continued research into genetic predispositioning of homosexuality one day being thought of as an "option" for parents to be "excised" from the expected child, just as one day parents will be offered "choice" for their offspring, such as hair color and sex.

    Because I've always believed in genetics playing the crucial role in sexual orientation (and it IS "orientation,: NOT "preference,") I just hope I don't live to see the day that it is finally isolated and accepted as a medical "fix."

    I'm an Aries, therefore a Ram. :p
     
  12. Zaty macrumors 65816

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    #12
    I, too, belive that sexual orientation depends on your brain wiring. You're born as a heterosexual, homosexual or transsexual. Parents can't change their child's sexual orientation even if they wanted to. That's why I think the argument that same sex couples shouldn't be allowed to adopt children because they could change sexual orientation is invalid. If a lesbian couple adopted a girl, she wouldn't become a lesbian unless she was "destined" to become one anyway.
     
  13. fawlty macrumors regular

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    #13
    Your patient and considered responses to my remarks are a credit to both the Mac community, and the gay community.

    JSW - I meant that lambs are raised only by their mothers, with no exposure to male pheremones, for example.
     
  14. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #14
    On the surface one would hope that news like this would open minds. Yet I can see drugs, or worse yet pre-birth testing for "gayness", and that is ugly with that.
     
  15. hansen macrumors regular

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    #15
    I'm a happy flaw and I don't want to be fixed! (in any interpretation!)
     
  16. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #16
    Should we say that some of us are absolutely flawless? :)
     
  17. Zaty macrumors 65816

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    #17
    Exactly, no human being is perfect. That's why we're humans and not gods :)
     
  18. gekko513 macrumors 603

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    #18
    It's not a flaw. If the only purpose of a human being is to bring his or her own individual genetic material on, then you can consider it a flaw, I suppose. Some less complicated forms of life may only have procreation as the only purpose of an individual, but humans are much more complicated.

    Even if we limit the notion of purpose to an evolutionary perspective, homosexuality is still not a flaw since humans are social animals. Any individual who directly or indirectly helps the survival of his or her family or genetically related humans makes perfect evolutionary sense. If all humans were homosexual, our race would have a fundamental flaw. A small percentage of humans being homosexual, on the other hand, does not reduce the ability of the human race to survive. In fact, from an evolutionary perspective, a small percentage of homosexuals must be a good thing, since if it was a bad thing, then evolution would make the societies with more homosexuals diminish while societies with less and eventually no homosexuals would survive.

    If we consider not just the mere survival of the human race but the state of the whole of nature and the universe as a means of making something have a purpose, then a human being's purpose would be defined by any way that human being affects the world around him. This definitely does not make homosexuality a flaw.

    From a religious perspective I admit that homosexuality can be considered a flaw, just because the only thing that defines the religion is the religion itself.
     
  19. kettle macrumors 65816

    kettle

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    #19
    having grown up on a sheep farm in the deepest darkest west of Wales, I can add observation/anecdotal evidence to say that "Gay" sheep had little to do with the price of wool or lamb, in fact, not just rams but ewes that preferred (or at least had no preference) other ewes had no impact on flock development, the risk of transferring the "Gay Biology" to spawn a "I'll only shag the same sex" sheep was very low, so low that after many a wasted hour of sheep worrying, scientists decided that it was much more likely that a ram covering a ewe would lead to the insemination of eggs and the usual odds of sexually indifferent/ignorant offspring. The basis being that a ewe is more likely to be impregnated by a ram with a preference, than a ram doing it by random or not at all.

    Needless to say Gay sheep are as warm and tasty as other sheep, thus eliminating the need for specific persecution.

    :rolleyes:

    Also, most of the time a pedigree flock will have one chosen (preferably champion) ram of a separate gene pool to cover a flock of related ewes.

    In the wild/common land flocks will be less easy to regulate but you still have low odds of 1) a gay ram and 2) another ram, gay or not willing to take it from behind.

    Most other rams are rubber ringed as soon as their balls drop and the sent off to market as soon as they're worth selling.

    "gay sheep rights and peace!"
     
  20. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #20
    I've also heard that sheep are incredibly stupid, sometimes lacking in the most basic of survival skills (as a result of trying to breed docile ones). So then I have to ask... Is it possible they didn't realize what they were trying to breed with? I mean if it's possible for a sheep to starve to death because you moved the feeding trough 5 meters away (a friend from the Ministry of Agriculture told me that one), then isn't it also possible that the sheep lacked the intelect to choose a sexual preference?
     
  21. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #21
    It boils down to the issue of biology and genes. Do I or anyone else want to choose a lifestyle that subjects us to scorn and less rights? There was just one woman that I loved, but that was a "soul mate" situation, and together we were asexual. In the end it was probably better that we never married.

    You raise an issue with the sheep study. But there are plenty of others that show that homosexuality exists naturally within nature (even in the wild).

    We are not talking of situations where homosexuality develops out of need (prisons and the such). In those cases those that "became" homosexual, went back to heterosexual behavior; when the choice of mates improved.

    One facet of homosexuality that has not been explored from what I have seen, is one where homosexuality may be natures way of controlling population.
     
  22. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #22
    I post this only to stir up discussion of a somewhat more scientific nature...

    Let us assume that there is a genetic predisposition for sexual orientation. That is, there is a gene, which, when present in one of its forms (alleles), predisposes to heterosexuality, while another allele predisposes to homosexuality.

    Now, lets say that this gene has been present in humans (and our ancestors) for thousands of years. Those who receive the 'hetero' allele (for want of a better term) will be heterosexual more often than would be expected, while those with the 'homo' allele (again, dont shoot me for nomeclature) would be homosexual more often than would be expected. What this implies is that throughout these thousands of years, since homosexuals would be expected to reproduce less than heterosexuals, the 'homo' allele would be gradually phased out of the genome. That is, a higher proportion of the next generation would carry the 'hetero' allele rather than the 'homo' allele, and thus over time, the 'homo' allele would be reduced in prevalence in the overall population. As such, the genetic predisposition for people to be homosexual would, gradually, subside.

    Why then, you ask, do other genetic traits that lower the likelihood of passing genes (i.e. genetic diseases like Cystic Fibrosis) not disappear over time? Well, like these other traits, it is possible that the sexual orientation gene is constantly being mutated and the 'homo' allele is constantly being replenished in the population.

    All in all, I have no answer to these questions. I personally feel that there is a part of the phenomenon of sexual orientation that is in-born. I dont recall ever saying, "I think I'm going to be heterosexual". I just was.

    However, it would be interesting to understand the genetics of the whole thing, I think!
     
  23. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #23
    To be honest, the reason why may be in that homosexuals do sometimes deny their "natural" tendencies and reproduce. There by passing on the "homo" gene.
     
  24. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    #24
    edge100, you answered your own question the way i was going to-- While true, homosexuals have (more often than not) historically taken heterosexual roles and reproduced, that cannot account for the perpetuation of the gay gene, so if such a gene does exist, it would be a common mutation rather than a line. Your example of genetic disease is sound-- Often genetic disease renders a person unable to reproduce, yet the disease has not been isolated out of the gene pool yet. I'm no geneticist but it seems like some variations are naturally reoccurring without needing to be passed on. The other possibility is that a recessive gay gene is present in a large sector of the population, and so heterosexuals can be carriers until it becomes dominant because of both parents. This might explain why some families seem to have much higher incidences of gays.

    Interesting sidenote, when one identical twin is gay, the other has a 50% chance of being gay as well. Or is it 50% better? stats confuse me. But that seems to occur whether the twins were raised in the same environment or not. Google it, it's one stat that's been fairly well studied.

    Personally I do believe that it's a form of natural population control, it's not so hard to believe that as medicine improves, nature must find a way to keep us from breeding ourselves out of food and water. Unfortunately, the most overcrowded places on the planet tend to be overcrowded because of religious opposition to birth control, which tends to go hand-in-hand with religious opposition to homosexuality. I still don't understand why China hasn't done a better job of embracing homosexuality, it seems like a very natural step for them to take-- making sure that people don't feel forced into breeding if they're not a breeder.

    paul
     
  25. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #25
    Still, you'd imagine that statistically, homosexuals would be less likely to reproduce. You might delay the progress of removing the gay allele from the population, but you'll still see that allele be removed eventually.
     

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