Homosexuality: evolutionary necessity?

iBrian

Peace, Love and Unity
Veteran Member
Messages
6,542
Reaction score
30
Points
48
Location
Scotland
Sticking to the issue of viewing Homosexuality in strictly scientific terms...

It occured to myself that the whole issue of why homosexuality should be a survivable trait in humanity, rather than benig a genetic dead-end, made sense if the social role of people with homosexual tendencies was re-evaluated.

Something I posted on the chronicles forum for consideration for discussion:

Homosexuality, from an evolutionary perspective, is a bizarre thing - normally individuals of a species are driven to procreate. And if Homosexuality was a gene, then why has it not died out?

Interestingly, the exception is when an individual sacrifices it's own procreative rights to protect that of siblings.

So I would actually hypothesise that homosexuality is actually completely natural, and a development in which population pressures would be balanced by a minority of males and females of a social group forsaking their reproductive rights to invest in the protection and development of other people's childrens - the evolutionary "nannies".

Sexual orientation would certainly be a simple and effective mechanism for this to express itself.

The tragedy is, in modern Western society, the extended family is often framented and dispersed, so the role and purpose of homosexuals within the social group is extensively diminished.

Issues such as seeking same marriage and parental rights may be considered as a way for homosexuals to try and reorientate themselves and compensate for their evolutionary roles, in the modern society.

Just something to consider as a generalisation.
 
There's been a bit in the news somewhat recently speculating along these lines, and I'd think it points to you being spot on, Brian. The following is all I could find quickly--my dog needs her walkies--but I'm sure futher info is out there--

http://www.bloggingbaby.com/entry/2883334012266434/

Survey suggests moms who carry “gay gene” have more babies

Posted Oct 15, 2004, 10:32 PM ET by Sarah Gilbert
Related entries: Media, Pregnancy & Birth

One of the great mysteries of biology is how, given a genetic predisposition to homosexuality, the genes are not removed by natural selection. It hasn’t been until the last few decades, after all, that monogamous gay couples could have biological children through the miracles of IVF.



By quizzing around 200 men of different sexual orientations, researchers at the University of Padua have discovered that maternal relatives of homosexual men tend to produce more offspring than those of heterosexuals. This suggests that the mothers and maternal aunts of homosexuals have a genetic advantage - but one that reduces reproduction when passed to male offspring.​
It’s an interesting theory. Another one posited by the author of Sex, Time and Power: How Women’s Sexuality Shaped Evolution is that the tribal nature of the human race’s predecessors “required” that 10% of each group be non-reproducing, so that the men and women with children would have additional resources to help look after the offspring. They are all fascinating pieces in a complex genetic puzzle.
 
I said:
It occured to myself that the whole issue of why homosexuality should be a survivable trait in humanity, rather than benig a genetic dead-end, made sense if the social role of people with homosexual tendencies was re-evaluated.
Presently, I'm inclined to agree that "homosexuality is a survivable trait in humanity". It seems in ancient Greece and Rome and later in Spain was something ordinary. The disaproval began with the flourish of Christianity. The Justinian code from 529 AD condamned to death all those with homosexual behaviour. During the centuries a lot of homosexuals were killed.

I have found a very interesting article from the Enclyclopedia of Homosexuality, ed. Wayne Dynes (New York: Garland, 1990) about the countries with a rich homosexual history and some of those officially recognized :

http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/deisenbe/encyclopedia/Spain.pdf

After the lecture of this article is difficult to see homosexauality like a disease.


 
BluejayWay said:
There's been a bit in the news somewhat recently speculating along these lines, and I'd think it points to you being spot on, Brian. The following is all I could find quickly--my dog needs her walkies--but I'm sure futher info is out there--

http://www.bloggingbaby.com/entry/2883334012266434/

Survey suggests moms who carry “gay gene” have more babies

Posted Oct 15, 2004, 10:32 PM ET by Sarah Gilbert
Related entries: Media, Pregnancy & Birth

One of the great mysteries of biology is how, given a genetic predisposition to homosexuality, the genes are not removed by natural selection. It hasn’t been until the last few decades, after all, that monogamous gay couples could have biological children through the miracles of IVF.




By quizzing around 200 men of different sexual orientations, researchers at the University of Padua have discovered that maternal relatives of homosexual men tend to produce more offspring than those of heterosexuals. This suggests that the mothers and maternal aunts of homosexuals have a genetic advantage - but one that reduces reproduction when passed to male offspring.​
It’s an interesting theory. Another one posited by the author of Sex, Time and Power: How Women’s Sexuality Shaped Evolution is that the tribal nature of the human race’s predecessors “required” that 10% of each group be non-reproducing, so that the men and women with children would have additional resources to help look after the offspring. They are all fascinating pieces in a complex genetic puzzle.
Is there a gene or series of genes for homosexuality? I must admit to a scientific faux pas if a legitimate set have been discovered. Perhaps I've been sleeping and too engrossed in other endeavors. And if maternal relatives produce more offspring - isn't that just making sure the line of genes has a better chance of proliferating? Not necessarily the 'homosexual' genes but the output in general?
 
I said:
Sticking to the issue of viewing Homosexuality in strictly scientific terms...

It occured to myself that the whole issue of why homosexuality should be a survivable trait in humanity, rather than benig a genetic dead-end, made sense if the social role of people with homosexual tendencies was re-evaluated.

Something I posted on the chronicles forum for consideration for discussion:
Interesting thought. But can you explain these "sacrificers" sudden (recent) need to raise kids, to the point (in the US anyway) that they "fight" biological parents for the right to maintain custody of the children?

I personally think the phenomenon occuring now is more than genetic. I think it is personal and political, and emotional.

v/r

Q
 
Quahom1 said:
Interesting thought. But can you explain these "sacrificers" sudden (recent) need to raise kids, to the point (in the US anyway) that they "fight" biological parents for the right to maintain custody of the children?

I personally think the phenomenon occuring now is more than genetic. I think it is personal and political, and emotional.

v/r

Q
This time its me, again, asking for scientific proof Quahom, its not about the sexes but raising an infant if you ask my opinion about morality in this one that your opinions suck

i do believe that science will overcome most unknowns, homosexual opposers will need to accept them since, ive travel quite a lot myself, from the tiniest forgotton villages of Laos to Venus ive never been to a place where there is no homo-sexuality doesnt live.
Do you belive in what science can provide to you?
 
PersonaNonGrata said:
This time its me, again, asking for scientific proof Quahom, its not about the sexes but raising an infant if you ask my opinion about morality in this one that your opinions suck

i do believe that science will overcome most unknowns, homosexual opposers will need to accept them since, ive travel quite a lot myself, from the tiniest forgotton villages of Laos to Venus ive never been to a place where there is no homo-sexuality doesnt live.
Do you belive in what science can provide to you?
Hello Persona,

How can I offer "scientific proof" over legal facts in history? How can I show scientific proof over actual historical events (recent events in the US)?

I do not have to defend anything. You only have to read the papers. I didn't make these cases up. Nor did I judge them as right or wrong. Brian posed a question, and I countered with another possibility. Where is the morality (or lack of), in that? But more specifically, where is the "holier than thou" attitude you perceive me to have?

You know nothing of me or my own, yet you judge, based on a question, or a pondering speculation (what if)? Isn't it fortunate that I don't do the same...

And I got news for you. No one "MUST" accept anyone. It doesn't matter who, what or why. We choose to accept. Humans can not be forced to accept (oh maybe for a little time, but eventually man revolts), anything their will says no to.

I'll stop here, as I'm a bit hot under the collar right now.

v/r

Q
 
quahom1 said:
Interesting thought. But can you explain these "sacrificers" sudden (recent) need to raise kids
First, in a not-so-far-ago era (and right now in many places), most gays simply lived their life as heterosexuals since there were no ways for them to live as gays. So those gays were actually having and raising kids.

Those who stayed single, I'm sure, had this "need" too without any way for them to make up for it (except raising others' kids as this theory suggests).

The phenomenon we see right now is that gays no longer need to hide. They can be who they really are... but that lifestyle doesn't produce any kids. As many gays choose to be out of the closet nowadays, it would explain the "sudden need" which you're refering to.

IMHO, it always was an issue, but now it's happening at a wider scale and on the public place.
___
Kal
 
Kaldayen said:
First, in a not-so-far-ago era (and right now in many places), most gays simply lived their life as heterosexuals since there were no ways for them to live as gays. So those gays were actually having and raising kids.

Those who stayed single, I'm sure, had this "need" too without any way for them to make up for it (except raising others' kids as this theory suggests).

The phenomenon we see right now is that gays no longer need to hide. They can be who they really are... but that lifestyle doesn't produce any kids. As many gays choose to be out of the closet nowadays, it would explain the "sudden need" which you're refering to.

IMHO, it always was an issue, but now it's happening at a wider scale and on the public place.
___
Kal
Hello Kal,

That is about the best explanation I've heard yet, and it makes logical sense. Personally, I could care less who "raises" the child, as long as that child is raised well, loved, and looked after. So many kids get nothing, and have to raise themselves. And what parent isn't "flawed" (as a human being),in some fashion or another. And what kid really cares, as long as they feel "home".

You know what my problem is (concerning anyone)? I don't care for the "in your face" attitude, some people project. It makes me prep for a confrontation.

"Please accept me", goes alot farther with me than "You WILL accept me".

Think I'll stop here, since I'm straying from the original thought of the thread.

v/r

Q
 
I said:
Issues such as seeking same marriage and parental rights may be considered as a way for homosexuals to try and reorientate themselves and compensate for their evolutionary roles, in the modern society.
One problem I see with this theory is that people try to apply it to today's society. As an evolution theory, it has to be applied to a huge timescale and should only explain why the "gay gene" (may it exist or not) has survived through natural selection. That's all.

Out there in real life, gays don't try to find out why they exist, they simply want to be happy. Having children is The way for many of them, as it is for many heterosexuals.

My 2 cents,
___
Kal
 
I have a hard time accepting this hypothesis, although it is something to think about and fun to ruminate over, this proposed "nanny" position that homosexuality would fulfill seems very interesting. Amongst apes, "wet nurses" are essential in the communial social structure, but in order for these wet nurses to provide sufficient milk for young, females would need to provide milk with a instinctual trigger (aside from pregnancy, I mean at any moment, with the trigger of young, start secreting milk) when young is present, like when dogs spit-up for the sake of their young when the puppy graces the side of their muzzle, or be able to tap in a source that never shuts off ( a breast that never runs dry). If this hypothesis is going to withstand itself, then one needs to operate off the fact that homo sapiens sapiens have the same capability. Clearly, women are not running on a constant supply, lactating usually ends when the baby stops suckling, with few exceptions, although this is not enough to be statistically significant and base a theory of a gene on. Women also don't have an enviromental trigger to produce milk (other than pregnancy), there are rare cases, but, again, not statistically significant enough to state that humans have this within the general genotype. With this all stated, from a purely scientific perspective, which this discussion is about, "nannies", evolutionarily, provide milk for young. Only for species with long post-natal development do other implications manifest, like the need for a proposed "nanny" to raise young. Although, the purpose for this position, not the wet nurse, but the nanny position, amongst apes, is because biologically, not socially, it is necessary or else the young would die. Evolutionarily speaking, prolonged post-natal developement occured because of increased intelligence and with increased intelligence comes a longer dependency period. So, the only reason that the "nanny" position has developed in nature is because of purely biological factors. I exemplify this with apes because they are amongst the few species in nature to have wet nurse positions and prolonged post-natal care, second to us.

Now with all that as a preface, the hypothesis that is mentioned here states that this nanny position is evolutionarily legitamized through social implications. That is the problem right there. Social implications isn't predation or an enviromental trigger that would need to evolutionarily produce this nanny position. Animals sacrfice their sexual reproduction for many factors, usually for predational purposes, and humans just don't face that type of pressure. If our young were under the same pressures as other anmals in nature, then maybe this could develope (in comparison to the other important genes evolutionarily over time and observing animal evolution, it seems that a gene would express itself to increase efficiency in collecting reasources, a "nanny" position doesn't seem to have a large enought trigger). Also, if this gene of homosexuality is for the sake of the protection of young, then only females would have this homosexual gene, because, amongst apes and most animals, the females are the protectors, the males are out securing their genes. That would then not explain male homosexuality. The bottom line is that it takes true enviormental factors for a trait to manifest or express itself.

Another point is in the hypothesis it states that population pressures would create this nanny position. The only problem with that is that if overpopulation happens in nature, resources run scare and others die off. With resources depleted the next logical step would not be to have a nanny position developed to help the population survive and deplete the already scare resources, but other behaviors to maximize efficiency in hunting, the consumption of the other resources, possibly a more efficient system of producing ATP requiring less carbon or resources . Resources are the primary key here. If over population is a problem the others will just simply die and that's it. A nanny position wouldn't develope because the pressure for resources would still be there; the nannies would eat the resources for the young, defeating the purpose to begin with.

As I said above, social pressures (unless impeding on resources or predation) don't express genes or create genes, but for this next example let's just say this hypothesis is true for the moment. This would then suggest that pre-natal and post-care, sexual preference, estrus, organ development (I'll synthesze all these examples for this scenario I'm setting up, of course there isn't a gene for this, it's many genes, but the point is that this hypothesis actual ends up suggesting a number of genentic traits) and many more genetic expressions are all correlated. This also suggests that these genetic expressions code for eachother on the same codon, or that the allele frequency is all correlated amongst these traits. Each one of these traits may be coded by any number of genes and to assert that these are effected by each other or that they are even on the same codon is myth. We have yet to discover this, although the genome is mapped we have yet to understand its implications.

Also, cormparing homo sapien sapiens to other animals in nature is simply ridiculous. I'm not saying that this actually stated, but the implications of this hypothesis assume all that I have mentioned and also suggest this. I say this in reference to the hypothesis, which states that this is a gene and other animals in nature have this for the sake of population pressures. If this were actually a gene and a monkey got it and a human got it the result would be completely different. Animals have no higher cortial functioning (for the most part), so the gene would be expressed and the monkey would not be able to control itself. Although, if this was expressed in a human, then the human being has higher cordial functioning ,and although the person would be in all intent puroses homosexual meaning: sexually attrated to the same gender, not desire the other gender in any way shape or form, amongst other correlative behavioral habits, higher coridial functioning can supercede what is instinctual. We make decisions every day and override what is instinctual. Animals can't do that (for the most part), they obey their instincts, but humans can. For exmaple, a gay person who inhereted the gene could, even if it was the most disgusting thing in the world, procreate with the other gender, produce live young and have fitness. In order for this nanny position to be truly fulfilled evolutionarily one must also not inherit the capability to procreate (this is explained just a little further down). Gay people have the ability to procreate but don't want to because they aren't attracted to the other gender, sexually and chemically (remember this is under the assumption that this is an actual gene). Again, they have the ability and would be able to procreate against much disgust. That doesn't seem to me as a biological gene when one inherits the necessary anatomy to procreate. Here is the explaination, in nature, the scent of other males are what trigger territorial skirmishes and problems. If one is endowed with the material to procreate all hormonal secretions and anatomy are there, therfore other animals would never allow another animal to enter their territory and expose their young to danger. So, in order for this to be a gene it would be necessary to remove any threat, which is the anatomy, accompanying secretions and marking scents. Amongst male chimps, securing one's genes of pivotal importance, also females want the fitest male in the bunch (the most successful number of offspring born amongst other females, that's fitness), therefore if another male who was supposedly homosexual was a nanny (which would never happen because men don't protect young only females) and entered into the unit to help protect the young the alpha male would lash out for dominance, because neither the female or the male want to lose their fittest partner. The challenge would come from the fact that the "nanny" could actually procreate with the female or vice versa and the alpha male's genes are replaced. It is common amongst monkeys to shortly after one has impregnated another female that males race to fornicate with her so that their genes will produce the young. This whole hypothesis doesn't gel with animal behavior, biological, or evolutionary processes. Also, if this gene were real and let's say that anatomy would not be their for homosexual animals, then that would suggest that both of those gentic traits (which may comprise of multitudes of genes) code for each and are near or on the same codon, or that they are even correlated. An essential fundemental understood in biology is that nature doesn't waste anything, everything we are given is for a reason, whether they serve us purpose now, they are there for a reason. Nature doesn't waste resources and wouldn't produce homosexual animals with the proper procreative anatomy rather nannies would take on the ability to not be a threat like not having anatomy to superced another males genes or for females vice versa.

Lastly, homosexuals have the anatomy to procreate; it is then understood that this is only a chemical/hormonal factor. This is very sticky because there are so many neurotransmitters and 20billion neurons in our brains with 40 trillion synapses and ephapses with a multitude of hormonal secretions. There are two processes in the brain (obviously this is unbelievably simplified and these processes are only pointed out with my point), chemicals can effect certain parts of the brain, and certain parts of the brain can effect chemicals. This is a two-way street. We are now left with the fact that a gene isn't to blame necessarily (without evidence of the genome, no one knows)but rather higher corital functioning. I won't go into behvioral patterns and synaptic frequencies with homosexual patients, but so far the closest that us Neuropsychologists can say is that homosexuality is chemical, not necessarily saying that homosexuality is expxlained behavior, but gay patients seem to have some correlated frequencies. The statistical signifciance of this is to pre-mature to guess.

It is actually a pretty neat hypothesis, but I would love to see this when we find out more genetically. I know that half of what I mentioned was not stated in the hypothesis, but without realizing it, the hypothesis, in what it said, implied and assumed all of this. This all needed to be taken into account. Brian, that was a good hypthoesis that required a lot of information.

I love some feedback. Looking forward to the other replys, take care all. Fun topic Brain. Thanks.:D :D :D
 
Back
Top