U.S. News & World Report declares that “ Scientists May Have Finally Unlocked Puzzle of Why People Are Gay.”
A group of scientists suggested Tuesday that homosexuals get that trait from their opposite-sex parents: A lesbian will almost always get the trait from her father, while a gay man will get the trait from his mother.
The hereditary link of homosexuality has long been established, but scientists knew it was not a strictly genetic link, because there are many pairs of identical twins who have differing sexualities. Scientists from the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis say homosexuality seems to have an epigenetic, not a genetic link.
Long thought to have some sort of hereditary link, a group of scientists suggested Tuesday that homosexuality is linked to epi-marks — extra layers of information that control how certain genes are expressed. These epi-marks are usually, but not always, “erased” between generations. In homosexuals, these epi-marks aren’t erased — they’re passed from father-to-daughter or mother-to-son, explains William Rice, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California Santa Barbara and lead author of the study.
Tristero isn’t buying it:
I’m not buying this masculinization of females/feminizing of males stuff. I know far too many people of all genders and all sexual orientations who don’t fit the stereotypes.
Not saying that there isn’t a heritable component to sexual preference and gender identity, just saying that the way this is reported sounds way too schematic to be believable.
Also, the reporter, if not the researchers, thoroughly confuse gender identity (male/female) with sexual preference (choice of gender in a sexual partner). The two are notes necessarily paired together. Furthermore, both male/female gender identity and gay/straight preferences are false dichotomies: both are continuums. Both identity and preference can be quite fluid.
All true, but there’s a much more obvious red flag in the article. I didn’t even bother to keep reading once I reached this paragraph (emphasis is mine):
Rice and his team created a mathematical model that explains why homosexuality is passed through epi-marks, not genetics. Evolutionarily speaking, if homosexuality was solely a genetic trait, scientists would expect the trait to eventually disappear because homosexuals wouldn’t be expected to reproduce. But because these epi-marks provide an evolutionary advantage for the parents of homosexuals: They protect fathers of homosexuals from underexposure to testosterone and mothers of homosexuals from overexposure to testosterone while they are in gestation.
Total crap, that. They (reporter and researchers) are conflating sexual orientation with sexual activity. Unhappily married gay, lesbian, and bisexual men and women have been having children and raising families for far longer than they’ve had the relative freedom to come out of the closet and live openly in committed same-sex relationships. And heterosexuals have been not reproducing, because of infertility or lack of opportunity or conscious choice, for all of human history. I mean, for possibly the one hundred thousand bajillionth time, sexuality is about the physical and emotional affinity a person feels inside. It is NOT about your gender or the gender of the person(s) you have sex with, or whether you have sex at all.
Also, need I point out that we live in a time when human beings, whether heterosexual or homosexual, can reproduce without having sex at all?
So no, it can NOT be “expected that homosexuals will not reproduce.”
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