An honest question to gay/lesbian forum members

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by CalWizrd, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. CalWizrd Suspended

    CalWizrd

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    #1
    To start off, let me state unequivocally that from the "social" point of view my opinions and beliefs are on the liberal side. Which means, when one considers the two (probably) most debated and contentious social issues today, abortion and sexual orientation, I am firmly on the side of a woman's (total) right to choose whether or not to have an abortion, and I am equally firmly on the side of equal rights/privileges for all individuals, without regard to whether they are attracted to the same or opposite sex.

    Given that preamble, I have an honest, and I think thoughtful question that I would be interested in hearing some perspectives on an answer or answers. I would first like to layout some of my own reasoning leading up to the question.

    Since I am heterosexual, I must rely on the posts of others to get some basic understanding. I think it is pretty apparent from things said by leekohler, Moyank24, MadeTheSwitch, et al, that it is not a conscious choice to be gay or lesbian (I will limit my concepts to these basic male and female life styles without delving into any other non-heterosexual life styles).

    From my (limited) understanding of human development, there are two primary factors that shape the transition from infant to thinking, reasoning human being… those factors being environment and genetics (ignoring things like Love Canal, Hiroshima and Chernobyl as abnormal environmental factors). In thinking specifically about homosexuality, I have read nothing that supports the theory that it is environmentally rooted. Certainly, "straight" families have produced both heterosexual and homosexual offspring, and gay/lesbian couples have produced heterosexual offspring.

    Assuming my two controlling development factors, environment and genetics, are correct, it is certainly not a stretch to reach the conclusion that homosexuality is somehow rooted somewhere in that myriad of chromosome pairs.

    Let me digress for a moment and expend some words on evolution. If I recall correctly from my school years (from a lot of years ago:)), the concept of evolutionary changes that occur in all species is pretty much driven by the simple, yet effective, theory of survival of the fittest. To fine tune that concept a bit, it would seem logical that evolution causes those minute changes in successive generations that either promote the perpetuation of the species, or provides a one way ticket to extinction.

    (OK, so you see where I'm heading. Bear with me)

    Given the current biological/physiological makeup of the human male and the human female… the male cannot produce eggs, and the female cannot produce sperm, if one then considers the evolutionary impetus to perpetuate the species, is it then a stretch to consider the "homosexuality gene" (crude, but lacking a better description) to be "defective" in terms of the afore-mentioned perpetuation?

    Before I get blasted, please understand this… I am absolutely not implying that anyone other than a heterosexual is defective or a freak in any way, shape or form. I AM NOT A HATER… that which I stated at the beginning of this treatise is absolutely the truth in terms of my feelings and beliefs. I am trying to deal with, what to my rational thought process, seems a logical analysis.

    I would truly like to understand others' thoughts on this. I have lived my whole adult life trying to be as logical and rational as I am capable of, yet I feel a disconnect somewhere here. Help me to understand, please.
     
  2. fox10078 macrumors 6502

    fox10078

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    #2
    So then by that logic wouldn't any gene that directly effected our reproductive abilities for the negative also be considered "defective"?
     
  3. CalWizrd thread starter Suspended

    CalWizrd

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    #3
    Yes
     
  4. Moyank24, Aug 22, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012

    Moyank24 macrumors 601

    Moyank24

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    #4
    Interesting question.


    Studies have shown that homosexuality exists not just in humans, but other animals as well. Could it be some type of built-in population control?

    Another thought, especially in these modern times, is that although theoretically two women can't make a baby together (or two men), we have the same ability to get pregnant as straight women do. For instance, I have 2 children, while most of my straight friends don't have any (I started young).

    If there was really some sort of "defect" wouldn't it be in our reproductive organs - which would make it impossible to procreate.
     
  5. fox10078 macrumors 6502

    fox10078

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    #5
    I'd have to say you're correct, in a strictly evolutionary view of reproduction.

    But if we look at how many people there on this earth and the resources it has, maybe non reproduction is going to be the savior of our species, maybe homosexuality could be a natural gene to curb overpopulation.
     
  6. MorphingDragon macrumors 603

    MorphingDragon

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    #6
    Evolution is only applicable at a species level, applying this logic to individuals is the same fallacy that Social Darwinism suffers.
     
  7. Grey Beard macrumors 65816

    Grey Beard

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    #7
    OK, firstly I am a gay male and am not noted for my effusive postings. I was very lucky and I drew a gay straw. This in it's self is personally not a 'bad' thing, it means that I have a lot of love to share around. I have been aware of carrying your 'gay gene' since the age of about nine to 10. After some other members of our 'family' have posted, and I see the direction that the replies go, I'll come back and make a further post.

    I'd also suggest that you take a look in the wasteland for the thread that was eventually titled "The Gay Way" it is quite long and a lot of members had poured forth their gay points of view, while other members spewed forth bile and vitriol. I have tried to find it, to no avail but you may have more luck

    KGB:cool:
     
  8. CalWizrd thread starter Suspended

    CalWizrd

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    #8
    Perhaps it is a manifestation of some type of population control... I'm certainly not smart enough to surmise an answer.

    As to the capability to get pregnant and produce offspring... of course there is no barrier there.

    That is certainly not my intention. I posed this as an honest query to attempt to solve my own disconnect on the subject.
     
  9. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #9
    Albinos and alopecia are also genetic defects and when carriers reproduce it doesnt mean the end of "normal" skin color or hairy bodies. I've seen some studies that suggest more gay men are 2nd or 3rd born rather than first born. I think your idea of population control is probably best.
     
  10. AhmedFaisal Guest

    #10
    The problem is that in higher multicellular organisms the question of perpetuation starts to blur between self and species. In many pack animals, only the alpha males get to reproduce. This also applies to our closest relatives, the Chimps, Orangutans and Gorillas. Chimps somewhat less than Orangutans and Gorillas but there is still a pack-leader in place. Humans are originally pack animals themselves so in a way, you could assume that gayness is part of our genetic makeup. Considering also that humans are exceptional in so far as we are I believe the only species that enjoys sexual intercourse with the other gender, one could actually propose that being exclusively hetero is a recent development. Ancient history would support that notion considering that all the major powers of Antiquity openly accepted homosexuality.
     
  11. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

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    #11
    You're trying to turn evolution into a logical plan designed by someone. It isn't. It just is what it is.

    Beyond that, if you're thinking there's a polite way to ask people if they agree that they're defective, no there isn't.

    Goodness knows there's been enough theorizing and speculation on this by people who've devoted their lives to studying evolution and genetics. A simple google search could have yielded you more than enough reading material to either give you an answer you're satisfied with or to realize that no one knows and it's all speculation.

    Really, WTF were you thinking? No matter how verbose you get, no matter how many emoticons you stick in it, your question is patently offensive. You may not be a hater, but perhaps you need to consider the possibility that you're a jerk whose social skills are a greater barrier to reproduction than mere homosexuality.

    I also question the sincerity of someone who actually advertises his intention to vote for someone who has pledged to do everything he possibly can to harm gays and lesbians in every conceivable way he can AND take away a woman's right to choose. You're not a hater? Could have fooled me. At best you're callously indifferent to others.
     
  12. Grey Beard macrumors 65816

    Grey Beard

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    #12
    Oh no, I hope I didn't imply that. I think I had taken the right import of your posting. I made the comment of bile and vitriol as to it being a major reason for the 'GayWay's' demise.

    Just to be contrary, I am the first born and I had three siblings. On the population control, I do not think that the 'mutation' in anyway affects the ability to procreate, just that the attraction to the opposite sex is not there. However, I'll not tread in the area of bisexuality as I am a full time, card carrying f*ggot.

    KGB;)
     
  13. CalWizrd thread starter Suspended

    CalWizrd

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    #13
    Thanks for your thoughtful and insightful reply.
     
  14. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #14
    This, I think, has lead you astray.

    Evolutionary change is driven by natural selection, which operates not only on individuals, but populations as well. For example, individuals exhibiting altruistic behavior can be found in many species, not just humans. If natural selection only operated on individuals, then altruistic behavior would not exist. Admittedly, this is a drastic over-simplification, and the details are controversial in the field of biology.

    You can read more about biological altruism at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/altruism-biological/

    For our purposes, just remember that natural selection is more complex than "survival of the fittest." :) Traits that harm the fitness of an individual and help the population as a whole have propagated themselves throughout the animal kingdom. For some this is evidence that natural selection operates at the species level. For others, this is evidence of kin selection, whereby a gene causes its bearer to act altruistically only towards relatives (i.e. organisms with which the bearer shares genes). The jury is still out, so to speak.
     
  15. CalWizrd thread starter Suspended

    CalWizrd

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    #15
    Thanks. I will read that reference, and what you said helps to clarify my simplistic thought process.
     
  16. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #16
    I don't think so. There are certainly more effective means of population control (allowing a disease to overtake, for example) which our species (and every species) is constantly expending energy to prevent.

    Plus, population control is in direct conflict with the purpose of reproduction, which is the ultimate goal of every organism. That, and it certainly isn't working. :)

    But I do think it's helpful for populations to contain adult members without offspring of their own. The "gay uncle" hypothesis is a specific version of kin selection: a gay relative, without offspring of their own, may be able to increase the prevalence of their family's genes in future generations by providing resources (food, supervision, defense, shelter, etc.) to the offspring of their closest relatives.
     
  17. Grey Beard macrumors 65816

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    #17
    Little Maple Leaf, I certainly took no umbrage from CalWizard's initial posting. However I can see this becoming a train wreck unless there is some careful navigation.

    CalWizard had specifically stated in the topic/title that he was addressing his question to 'gay/lesbian forum members' so perhaps the hetrosexual members who respond should bear this in mind.

    KGB:cool:
     
  18. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #18
    You're welcome. :) The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is an excellent resource for philosophy of biology, which is where these types of questions are usually raised.
     
  19. MorphingDragon macrumors 603

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    #19
    It isn't, it is probabilistic like a lot of other areas of science.
     
  20. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

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    #20
    When did we (the gay/lesbian forum members) become imbued with special knowledge of genetics and evolution? We have no special insight into his questions, nor is this the place to get an informed answer.

    Moreover, if the supporter of the bigoted, anti-choice Romney absolutely HAD to ask the question, HAD to ask it here, and HAD to ask it of people with no particular knowledge of the subject he STILL could have asked it without specifically going to the trouble of calling them genetically defective.
     
  21. AhmedFaisal Guest

    #21
    I found his question pretty benign compared to what guys like radiogoober, TheWitt, dime21 and others spout. At least he asked and is willing to learn. And hey, maybe after learning he might even change his stance on Romney/Ryan. You are not going to convert someone by screaming at them. And considering how much everyone these days likes throwing genetics around to explain all sorts of things, I am not surprised by him asking that kind of a question. The problem is, it's often hard to tell what's really a defect and what is not. Huntington's is clearly one, so is fragile X but others? Who knows what benefit they may convey. The problem is the press likes throwing absolutes around, they don't deal well with nuance as it doesn't sell copy as well as absolutist hyperbole.
     
  22. CalWizrd thread starter Suspended

    CalWizrd

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    #22
    I don't think you understood the intent of my question.

    I was not necessarily looking for a thoroughly scientifiic treatise on the subject... rather, I was wondering if any gay/lesbian forum members had any thoughts and/or opinions on the (clearly now) simplistic logic that I had followed, and whether they had speculated on anything similar to this themselves.

    I apologize if you found the post offensive, as this was not my goal.

    As to my candidate choice... you can feel free to read my post here (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=15464684#post15464684) where I attempted to reconcile how I could have the stated beliefs while still supporting my candidate of choice.

    Sorry again if you felt my question offensive.
     
  23. Grey Beard macrumors 65816

    Grey Beard

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    #23
    I sincerely believe that this a good place for 'spreading the word' Our special insights that we can share, can include, but not limited to; that we are the same as anyone else. I'd reserve the biological/genetic aspect. We are caring and sharing. We can be compassionate and loving. We have a strong loyalty, but we can also be stroppy, cheeky and bloody minded.

    See, just like everyone else.

    KGB:)
     
  24. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #24
    You belief appears to be in error, there is one other species that has been observed to engage in social/recreation sex. As I understand it, if you were French, your would probably be familiar with them.
     
  25. MadeTheSwitch macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    My thoughts on this subject is that it could be a natural population control thing, but who knows. Lots of species do all sorts of different things. Some eat their young which sounds counter productive. Then there are the lemmings who go over a cliff which seems unwise and unreasonable for a species to further itself. But yet these things happen.

    I chalk it up to just another trait, like blue eyes, or red hair, or hairy vs. smooth or height. All people are a combination of all sorts of things. Some things can skip a generation or two even. But before we could figure out why people are gay, we might have to figure out why people are even straight. Why does a women turn on a man? What causes that? Then there are the question of other species on the planet. Why do male seahorses give birth for example?

    A bigger question to me, is why are different things on different biological clocks? Some species last many decades, others die after only a few days. That concept seems really strange to me. You'd think that everything on the planet would have roughly the same birthrate and lifespan but nope...not the case at all. There are no good answers.

    In other words, all this stuff is complicated! Which is why we haven't figured any of it out yet.
     

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