December 12, 2012

"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."

112 comments:

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Boyd said...

Suppose they came up with a way to prevent this trait from resulting in gay or lesbian offspring. Should they?

Ann Althouse said...

Inga, that's trolling. I won't delete it, but I advise others to stick to the posted topic, not derail to the same old boring back and forth.

Ann Althouse said...

Please look at the proposition in the quote I've extracted. The linked article has a lot of material that you probably haven't seen before.

This isn't: Another Generic Homosexuality Thread For You To Air Your Usual Grievances.

Don't act like it is.

Ann Althouse said...

"Suppose they came up with a way to prevent this trait from resulting in gay or lesbian offspring. Should they?"

The article suggests that could be done.

Mitchell the Bat said...

I look forward to the day that scientists explain why I got a soul-destroying crush on Lauren Vanner in the third grade.

MayBee said...

Can someone here smarter than I explain this to me:

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.

"These epi-marks protect fathers and mothers from excess or underexposure to testosterone — when they carry over to opposite-sex offspring, it can cause the masculinization of females or the feminization of males," Rice says, which can lead to a child becoming gay. Rice notes that these markers are "highly variable" and that only strong epi-marks will result in a homosexual offspring.


I don't understand the part about protecting fathers of homosexuals from underexposure to testosterone.
When is this underexposure taking place?

Drago said...

Actually, the "hereditary link of homosexuality has long been established..."....not.

If you actually read the article you will find it chock full of caveats and spin. The authors of the study have a theory..and that's about it.

Although I do find it an interesting theory, there is not a single definitive conclusion with supporting evidence offered.

The headline writers are jumping the gun...again.

We can all guess why that might be.

El Camino Real said...

Tread carefully here. We're on a tricky intersection of science and religion here. And it's mighty difficult to tell which is which...

Petunia said...

It's interesting that the article's claim is based on a mathematical model, and not actual studies. And the comments by Dr. Rice, the lead author, establish that his approach to this issue is not at all objective, and therefore not scientific.

Not to say that his theory might not be correct.

The comments are interesting to say the least.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Gender identity is socially constructed, but sexual orientation identity is innate. Got it.

Greeks and Romans must have had very different heredity. As must the many other cultures and subcultures around the world where men have sex with each other but do not consider that an identity.

Inga said...

Ann, it's not trolling, it's the argument that will be presented. It's not my opinion and you know this, I've presented studies showing the fetal development link several times on your blog.

El Camino Real said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RonF said...

"The hereditary link of homosexuality has long been established, "

News to me. Is that assertion truly non-controversial?

edutcher said...

This was on Insta a couple of weeks ago and would seemingly blow the post's contention out of the water - a society where homosexuality doesn't exist.

They view sex as a means of making babies. Interesting stuff whether you buy it or not.

Drago said...

Inga: "But doesn't the Bible say it's an abomination?"

Who cares if the Bible reads that way.

The reality today is that homosexuals are being executed for simply being homosexual in muslim countries.

Today.

But islam is a "protected" faith for the left, so it must not be mentioned.

Anyway, back to the article, there are quite a few interesting facets to the discussion (even though the theory is just that).

The MOST interesting politically is what Bob Boyd and Ann have already brought up: What if you could determine, in utero, that your child was "destined" to be homosexual and it was not yet possible to prevent the trait?

Would the left still support abortion for that reason?

traditionalguy said...

The "scientific" DNA studies are really statistical researches that have been so far unable to pin down the human souls existence in the DNA constructed bodies of men. Material/cellular causation is the only theory allowed to the scientists.

But honest scientists have also known for years that spiritual inheritance in a family line seems to explain what the DNA has not explained.

But a man is a man for all of that.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@edutcher: Most interesting part of that article was the comments. Literally hundreds of people said the anthropologists who had lived with those people for years were deceived or ignorant. People have a very hard time seeing outside the lens of their culture.

Gayness as an identity is something very new, but in our culture we confuse this with same-sex attraction and same-sex sex, which has been around forever and has been quite popular with majorities of people in some cultures.

It cannot be reduced to fetal development or heredity, because when a whole culture thinks it's all right, most people in that culture go along.

Prolixus said...

It's important to understand that the paper doesn't claim to show that homosexuality is caused by hereditary gene expression. What they did was develop a model that gives them a testable hypothesis. So it's possible that sex-specific methylation is behind homosexuality, but it's not correct to treat this new paper as proving that it is.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@tradguy:But honest scientists have also known for years that spiritual inheritance in a family line seems to explain what the DNA has not explained.

Cite please? Oh, I see, this is more tautology. Carry on then.

MayBee said...

Oh wait.

Is it that some men have the epi-mark to protect them from being underexposed to testosterone while they are in utero, and some women have the epi-mark to protect them from being over-exposed to testosterone when they carry a male baby.
But overly strong epi-marks influence the development of a carrier's opposite-gendered children?

sonicfrog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. Colby said...

Stands to reason. A startlingly large percentage of men who are sexually attracted to men also have mothers who were so attracted. You could look it up.

sonicfrog said...

Oh... Look what someone wrote back in November in reply to St Croix!

sonicfrog said...


Not only is that not "Darwin 101", it's not science. The genes, plural, not singular, are there, they just are not expressed if they are not all paired, or epigenetic factors occurring within the womb or even after birth, can determine which genetic traits are expressed or not, or to a degree.


And then there is the argument that gayness can't be genetic because we haven't found any genes that cause it. This is why I brought up eye color. Thought that has been one of the most often used examples to show that traits are a product of genetics, only in the last 12 years or so have scientists figured out the exact location of the genes that contribute to eye color. And note, it's not one gene, but a combination of them - genes.


Don't bother me... I'm taking my victory lap!!! :-)

Shouting Thomas said...

Inga's opening remark is particularly troubling because it is also incorrect.

The abomination of homosexuality has not been a predominant theme among commenters. Maybe, one commenter. I don't think of homosexuality as an abomination, but neither do I buy the gay activitist agenda. I continue to refer to the AIDS epidemic because the left has insisted all my life that the common view of gay male sexual behavior is a form of "bigotry." My life experience tells me otherwise.

All my life, the left has been obsessed with the "gay problem," and the answers always presume that such a problem exists and that it is the fault of somebody else, with the culprit almost always being hetero men. Why do we think that there is a "gay problem" to be resolved, and if such a problem does exist, why is it the fault of everybody but gays themselves?

Bob Boyd said...

@edutcher
I don't think the Insta article you refer to "blows this study out of the water". It supports it.
The culture discussed in that article had an isolated gene pool.

Writ Small said...

I found the concluding paragraph most reassuring:

"We've found a story that looks really good," he says. "There's more verification needed, but we point out how we can easily do epigenetic profiles genome-wide. We predict where the epi-marks occur, we just need other studies to look at it empirically. This can be tested and proven within six months. It's easy to test. If it's a bad idea, we can throw it away in short order."

That is how scientists are supposed to talk. The argument entirely persuasive because it provides answers for long-standing mysteries. Why hasn't evolution eliminated homosexuality? Why are identical twins often oriented differently? It's a smart theory that is falsifiable and answers those conundrums.

To go political for just a moment, how did I get this far in life and not know that identical twins are routinely of different orientation. Is that quite relevant fact widely understood?

MikeR said...

Liked this in the article:
'Though scientists have long suspected some sort of genetic link, Rice says studies attempting to explain why people are gay have been few and far between. Most mainstream biologists have shied away from studying it because of the social stigma," he says. "It's been swept under the rug, people are still stuck on this idea that it's unnatural.'
Yeah, that's why these studies have been few and far between, because your average geneticist is a fundamentalist Christian. Not because the Political Correctness Police will crucify you if you say anything on the subject that's the least bit complicated.

As for the theory itself, this is a good example of why so many science articles aren't any use. What are epi-marks? Who knows. The article certainly won't help you. Do epi-marks actually explain homosexuality? Apparently not, but we'll might know in six months! How about if you let me know then, and incidentally tell me what you're talking about too.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Writ Small:Why hasn't evolution eliminated homosexuality?

For the same reason it hasn't eliminated worker bees and worker ants, or the large numbers of mateless bull walruses. There is more to reproductive success than reproduction.

Gay people have relatives. Those relatives share some of their heredity. If gay people are a net benefit to their relatives having children, then gayness, if hereditary, would be selected for rather than against. Not without limit, of course, because there have to be some children, but they need not be one's own in order for your genes to spread through the population.

Bob Boyd said...

The statement, "The hereditary link of homosexuality has long been established." is contradicted by the first sentence in the following paragraph:
"Long thought to have some sort of hereditary link, a group of scientists suggested Tuesday that homosexuality is linked to epi-marks..."
Am I nit-picking?

Gabriel Hanna said...

@MikeR:this is a good example of why so many science articles aren't any use.

Science journalism is atrocious, what else is new? And scientists get blamed for the excesses and stupidities of science journalism.

Shouting Thomas said...

As for the observation about the tribe where masturbation and homosexuality do not exist...

I suspect it's the truth... when men get a constant diet of sex, both disappear.

This is borne out by my experience. I have a decided preference for women of a certain ethnic group, and the truth in my experience is that those women understand that most men need sex every day, and they are willing to provide it. They do not see it as a diminution of themselves to provide this service, and, in fact, enjoy providing that service. White women, in general, view this need of men as an nasty imposition on them.

I've also known many men, courtesy of the men's rights movement that I was involved in for a short period, tell me that they deliberately turned to sex with men because focusing their sex lives on women left them starving for satisfaction of their basic needs. And, when I lived in SF, as a young man, the pitch from gay men trying to seduce me was always... "Why put up with women when they don't put out enough to keep you happy? You won't have that problem with men."

Methadras said...

Inga said...

But doesn't the Bible say it's an abomination?


Only in the old testament, you poor dear. See, there is this thing called the New Testament that really doesn't deal with the issue to much. You should try it sometimes. You poor thing.

YoungHegelian said...

A common epigenetic phenomenon that we see all the time is coat color in cats & dogs.

Like Writ Small, I, too, see the last paragraph as a marker of scientific sanity. But I wonder if the move to an epigenetic explanation isn't really the last gasp of trying to explain homosexuality as a genetic phenomenon.

But, hey, they've got a testable hypothesis. Go test it & tell us what you've found!

Methadras said...

By the way, I don't see a single peer reviewed study showing a hereditary link to homosexuality, much less a genetic one. Is there one?

Drago said...

Methadras: "By the way, I don't see a single peer reviewed study showing a hereditary link to homosexuality, much less a genetic one. Is there one?"

No, there isn't.

I'm not saying there never will be, I'm simply saying there isn't one today.

Similar to the extraordinary gaps in the fossil record which even Dawkins and Gould acknowledge.

The first sign of enlightenment is to become aware (at some level) of how much you DON'T know.

edutcher said...

Bob Boyd said...

@edutcher
I don't think the Insta article you refer to "blows this study out of the water". It supports it.
The culture discussed in that article had an isolated gene pool.


Disagree, what the article says is that homosexuality is a purely psychological affectation. Since our genes originated in Africa, to say Ann's article is right is to say homosexuality is a mutation.

YMMV.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

Meth, perhaps I'm a Jew, who doesn't believe the New Testament was Divinely inspired.

Writ Small said...

@GH - Your argument seems to imply it is largely a matter of genetics. If I'm reading you right, how do you explain the differences between identical twins?

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann, it's not trolling, it's the argument that will be presented."

You're accusing yourself of trolling by saying that! The first comment is you saying what you just know others will say. How about furthering the subject, instead of advance-insulting other people? You're completely disrespectful of the community and of my posting on something that is new and interesting. That is bad faith. That is trolling. That you don't say you're sorry but try to justify your behavior makes it much worse. I call absolute bullshit.

Drago said...

Wait a minute, hasn't the left been telling us for years that all this gender "stuff" is simply a social construct?

Why yes they have!

It's so hard to keep up with the contradictory swings of the lefty thought-process.

Ann Althouse said...

Any comments from here on that discuss "abomination" will be deleted. Off topic. Don't feed the troll.

Ann Althouse said...

Email if you want to discuss the deletion or the opinion that Inga was trolling.

That goes for Inga too.

Stay on topic.

MikeR said...

Gabriel, I've heard this idea before that gay relatives are a net benefit to the family. It's always seemed far-fetched to me, especially since we have a very nice gay uncle. It would have to be a very big benefit indeed to pay for an individual who will likely not reproduce.

I think they have to do better. I'm still waiting for a decent explanation. In the meantime, I'm still interested in the Greg Cochrane approach. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregory_Cochran#Homosexuality
Also not politically correct, of course.

Drago said...

If you take away only a couple of observations/thoughts about this article, I would recommend Petunia's observation at 10:03 and Gabriel Hanna's at 10:03 and 10:09.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Renee said...

What is the practical use for knowing what results knowing before hand?

None.


The gay community is diverse, we may have one study that shows gay individuals make more on average and another study that shows gay teens have higher rates of homelessness.





Peter said...

"Science journalism is atrocious, what else is new?"

Yes, but isn't that photo of a blackboard filled with elaborate equations impressive? Even if what's on it has nothing to do with what's discussed in the article?

Basic calculus is not all that difficult, yet how many journalists even recognize the symbols on that blackboard?

(Well, at least it appears to be a real blackboard- not some type of new-fangled whiteboard.)

What would help: Journalists who realize they don't understand much of anything about science, and who therefore provide links to the actual science.

Jon said...

Methadras: "By the way, I don't see a single peer reviewed study showing a hereditary link to homosexuality, much less a genetic one. Is there one?"

There have been many studies showing that siblings of a gay person are much more likely to be gay than the general population, even when raised in different homes from birth. For identical twins, when one is gay, the odds that the other will also be gay are about 50%. So clearly there is some hereditary component, although of course genes are not entirely responsible, or identical twins would both be gay 100% of the time.

Hagar said...

Beware of people who play with computer models (cf. AGW!).

I still think we all have all the genes necessary for all possible outcomes, and that the Rube Goldberg process for getting the "right" genes turned on accounts for the variation in results. And, it is not a strictly either-or thing; we are all shades of gray.

MadisonMan said...

Why is it, when "popular" press has a science-y article, they throw some algebra-on-the-chalkboard equation out to illustrate the science-ness of it all?

How do those equations relate one iota to the subject at hand?

They use a mathematical model in their study, as I read the links ("epigenetically canalized sexual development" Good lord) so some editor finds an old picture of a chalkboard? Lame.

I think they're asking an interesting question, though: If homosexuality is detrimental to a species' perpetuation, how is homosexuality perpetuated?

I'm also amused by the name: Working Group on Intragenomic Conflict.

Sam L. said...

Yes, math DOES explain it all. Why else would there be a picture of equations on a blackboard?

MadisonMan said...

I write more slowly than Peter does :)

Cedarford said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Suppose they came up with a way to prevent this trait from resulting in gay or lesbian offspring. Should they?"

The article suggests that could be done.

==================
Part of homosexuality is genetic, part cultural.
The genetic part may be treated as a birth defect - while it may outrage homosexual activists - parents if they had a choice would probably opt for non-homosexual offspring. Though, if like being born without a hand or with cystic fibrosis, etc. the same parents would love and cherish the homosexual child as much as a perfectly healthy and "normal child" or one born without a hand...

The cultural part is tricky - many people "convert" to homosexuality for a variety of reasons. For a straight underaged male to make money off gay chickenhawks..and finding he doesn't "mind it that much" aside from risk of disease. Prisoners. Straight black men who want easy sex and find women are too much hassle to get all they want from, so they switch hit on the "down low". Feminists that are so into feminist ideology that they "liberate their sexuality" from the penised oppressors. The old Greek and Prussian Armies making do with comely little drummer boys.

The genetic side could be one day resolved into yet another "woman's choice" affair.
The cultural side could be then made even more a matter of conflict as the gays left seek to proselytize in school and in media claiming gay is great and all young people should try it for a while. Especially with older queens and bulldykes.
And we will always have prisons. And for some reason, liberals and progressive jews running the media have yet to start a campaign to force prisons to become coed. That leaves masturbation or gay sex as the remaining options.

Bob Boyd said...

@edutcher
Maybe it is a mutation...in the sense that light skin or blue eyes are a mutation.
Those folks aren't jerking off down there either. I wonder if that's a genetic trait or maybe they just aren't innovators.

What is YMMV?

traditionalguy said...

This is another reason straights should favor Gay Marriages. Getting men into a stable life style is a plus for everyone. Gay marriage and straight marriage have the same tendency in that regard. Boundaries are needed for stable relations.

If there is trouble today it is youths committed finding mates in a culture of permissiveness. The DNA inheritance or the family line spiritual inheritance debate is still about causation and that is not anyone's fault. So enjoy life the way you want, and let me do the same.

Shouting Thomas said...

I'm having a little trouble reconciling the article with the use of the term "epigenetic." which is puzzling to say the least.

Here's the Wikipedia definition:

Epigenetic theory is an emergent theory of development that includes both the genetic origins of behavior and the direct influence that environmental forces have, over time, on the expression of those genes. The theory focuses on the dynamic interaction between these two influences during development.

There's a way in which I agree with this. My observation of gay men (and that's a lot of them because I lived in the gay ghettos of NYC and SF) is that a small percentage (maybe 20%) were "just born that way." A much larger percentage had made a decision over a very long period from puberty into their early 30s to identify solely as gay because sex with women was too infrequent and too restrictive, i.e., lacking in the variety they wanted.

Filipino society provides some very interesting clues here. If you've ever been to Manila or Cebu, you'll find that both hetero and homo prostitution are right out in the open and readily available. Both seem to be accepted, to a large extent, because Filipino women recognize that men need sex much more frequently, and with greater variety, than "normal" women.

So, even the homo prostitution is oriented toward hetero men, most of them married, who routinely take a night off to frequent the tranny prositutes who are right out there on the street and tolerated.

mccullough said...

Since homosexuality is becoming widely accepted in the U.S., is there a practical reason to try and isolate this stuff?

I find it interesting as to whether there's a genetic disposition, the effects of in utero, and the effect of parenting/environment, but I'm not inclined to favor genetic testing to rid the planet of gays or to cure babies in utero by toying around. Unlike a propensity to a disease, I see no reason to abort or try and genetically alter gays. It strikes me as a form of Aryanism.

edutcher said...

Bob Boyd said...

@edutcher
Maybe it is a mutation...in the sense that light skin or blue eyes are a mutation.
Those folks aren't jerking off down there either. I wonder if that's a genetic trait or maybe they just aren't innovators.


I imagine they give in to their impulses frequently and the need for anything else is obviated.

As I said, interesting stuff.

What is YMMV?

Your mileage may vary; ie, you may agree or disagree as you see fit.

jr565 said...

This is borne out by my experience. I have a decided preference for women of a certain ethnic group, and the truth in my experience is that those women understand that most men need sex every day, and they are willing to provide it. They do not see it as a diminution of themselves to provide this service, and, in fact, enjoy providing that service. White women, in general, view this need of men as an nasty imposition on them.

which ethnic group are you referring to. I might have to start dating a few of them.

Michael K said...

The article sounds a lot like the epicycle theory that kept Ptolemaic astronomy alive even as the observations didn't fit with the old theory.

Somebody is trying very hard to avoid a socialization theory of homosexuality.

Quayle said...

"This can be tested and proven within six months. It's easy to test. If it's a bad idea, we can throw it away in short order."

The accountability of theoretical science.

Nice work when you can get it.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@WritSmall: Your argument seems to imply it is largely a matter of genetics. If I'm reading you right, how do you explain the differences between identical twins?

Gayness? No, I don't believe that "gayness" is hereditary, and I think there is a a great deal of evidence for that view, if people can keep straight what it is they are talking about and try to remember that humans have a much wider variety in cultures than many Americans seem to be aware.

If you are talking about reproductive fitness, no, that is not all genetic, but gene frequencies in the population are what evolution is dealing with.

Of course identical twins are not purely identical. Their DNA is, but they did not have exactly the same experiences, they are different organisms. If you starve one twin as a child he won't be as strong or smart as his brother, right?

jr565 said...

Mcullough wrote:

I find it interesting as to whether there's a genetic disposition, the effects of in utero, and the effect of parenting/environment, but I'm not inclined to favor genetic testing to rid the planet of gays or to cure babies in utero by toying around. Unlike a propensity to a disease, I see no reason to abort or try and genetically alter gays. It strikes me as a form of Aryanism.

but are you prochoice? Then you'd have to be for Aryanism as a choice, no?
What if some parents didnt want gay kids and wanted research to go forward that would "cure" heir kids before they are born? There are a lot of negatives involved in being gay. Even if you don't hate gays, it should be pointed out that it is not the norm. Here is a high level of suicide in the gay community. In the interest of not putting children through all the horrors of being gay in the first place, what's wrong with science going down that road?

Carol said...

It sounds like the theory in vogue in my mother's day: lesbians had too much T and gays not enough. Or something. I mean it's not that far off, just explains how and why it would happen that way.

Anyway I think the culture war is over the borderline cases.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Madison Man:If homosexuality is detrimental to a species' perpetuation

A very big if. And as I pointed out above, you can perpetuate your heredity without reproducing anyway.

Ever watch the yellow jackets? The mother builds a little nest and raises a little batch of daughters. These daughters grow up, feed the mother and the mother's second batch of babies. These daughters do not reproduce. The second batch does.

Those daughters that didn't reproduce are helping their mothers produce their sisters. They are a benefit to reproduction even though they do not themselves reproduce.



sonicfrog said...

Cedarford said:

Part of homosexuality is genetic, part cultural.
The genetic part may be treated as a birth defect - while it may outrage homosexual activists - parents if they had a choice would probably opt for non-homosexual offspring. Though, if like being born without a hand or with cystic fibrosis, etc. the same parents would love and cherish the homosexual child as much as a perfectly healthy and "normal child" or one born without a hand...


My favorite:

The cultural part is tricky - many people "convert" to homosexuality for a variety of reasons. For a straight underaged male to make money off gay chickenhawks..and finding he doesn't "mind it that much" aside from risk of disease. Prisoners. Straight black men who want easy sex and find women are too much hassle to get all they want from, so they switch hit on the "down low". Feminists that are so into feminist ideology that they "liberate their sexuality" from the penised oppressors. The old Greek and Prussian Armies making do with comely little drummer boys.

Hmmm... I know a few gays who were abused and molested, and thus ascribe their gay condition to that, but what you describe for "many" is new to me. Maybe I'm not hanging around the right gays though.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@sonicfrog:but what you describe for "many" is new to me. Maybe I'm not hanging around the right gays though.

Not necessary. Read about times and cultures other than your own. You will be astounded at what large majorities consider normal.

"Gay" and "regularly having sex with men" do not mean the same thing. "Gay" and "exclusively having sex with men" is not the same thing either.

Paul said...

"The hereditary link of homosexuality has long been established..."

So tell me kemosabe, if it's 'hereditary' how do homosexuals reproduce to pass on the genes? Over the hundreds of thousands of years why has it continued if they don't, by definition, breed?

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Paul:So tell me kemosabe, if it's 'hereditary' how do homosexuals reproduce to pass on the genes? Over the hundreds of thousands of years why has it continued if they don't, by definition, breed?

Answering the same damn question over and over again.

You don't have to breed to pass on genes.

This is why we still have cystic fibrosis even though they all used to die as children.

Baron Zemo said...

Inga said...
But doesn't the Bible say it's an abomination

Ann Althouse said...
Inga, that's trolling. I won't delete it, but I advise others to stick to the posted topic, not derail to the same old boring back and forth.

Ann Althouse said...
Please look at the proposition in the quote I've extracted. The linked article has a lot of material that you probably haven't seen before.This isn't: Another Generic Homosexuality Thread For You To Air Your Usual Grievances.
Don't act like it is.

Inga said
Ann, it's not trolling, it's the argument that will be presented. It's not my opinion and you know this, I've presented studies showing the fetal development link several times on your blog.

Ann Althouse said...
"Ann, it's not trolling, it's the argument that will be presented."
You're accusing yourself of trolling by saying that! The first comment is you saying what you just know others will say. How about furthering the subject, instead of advance-insulting other people? You're completely disrespectful of the community and of my posting on something that is new and interesting. That is bad faith. That is trolling. That you don't say you're sorry but try to justify your behavior makes it much worse. I call absolute bullshit.

Ann Althouse said...
Any comments from here on that discuss "abomination" will be deleted. Off topic. Don't feed the troll.

My Dear Lady. It must be December. This always happens around holiday time. Merry Christmas!

Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,
ha,ha,ha,ha,ha!!!!!!

creeley23 said...

I'm passing familiar with "epigenetics" but I've never heard of "epi-marks." Almost all the Google hits I find on epi-marks relate to this homosexuality study.

The wiki entry on Epigenetics is worth reading, though it didn't mention epi-marks either. There's an interesting passage on "Transgenerational epigenetic observations" with an example similar to the gay theory:

...the paternal (but not maternal) granddaughters of women who experienced famine while in the womb (and therefore while their eggs were being formed) lived shorter lives on average.

Baron Zemo said...

Although I must admit that "Absolute Bullshit" is my favorite vodka!

deborah said...

There's a Hawthorne short story called 'The Birthmark,' in which a scientist marries a beautiful woman with but one flaw. A little hand-shaped mark on her face. He can and does cure it. Guess what happens next?

Baron Zemo said...

But seriously folks.

If homosexuality is proven to be determined by heredity and to be genetically detectable it might be the cause for some to abort a baby.

Then the two great overriding causes of the Democratic party would be at odds.

Would the homosexual lobby demand that it be illegal for a baby to be killed if it is know that it would be homosexual?

Very interesting.

buwaya said...

There would be a strong interest in many cultures for such a test. If one is going to invest a great deal in a single child - in Asia for instance, either because of China's one child policy or the low birthrate of high status women anywhere in Asia - and there is also a very strong desire to have such a child breed grandchildren, then it is sensible to select for one that will meet the requirements.

Baron Zemo said...

There you go libs.

"There would be a strong interest in many cultures for such a test."

Hmmmmmmmmm. I wonder what wonderful cultures that would be. You know the ones we need to tailor our rights to show respect.

Nice.

Baron Zemo said...




Of course if you wrote a law that said abortion would be illegal because of the homosexuality of the baby could other "special" categories be included?

Women? Handicapped people? People of color?

Would it only be legally permissible to abort heterosexual white men?

buwaya said...

Not strict Muslims, mostly.
They don't seem to have a birthrate problem, even in the upper classes.
Chinese, Japanese and Indians most likely.

sonicfrog said...

Gabriel Hanna said...

Read about times and cultures other than your own. You will be astounded at what large majorities consider normal.

Had Cedarford used the correct tense of the verb "convert" to indicate past tense, i.e. "converted", that would have been more clear in indicating he was talking about past cultures. In fact, convert isn't the right term here. If you're referring to people who are not gay, but engage in acts considered to be "homosexual", then the better way to write that for clarity would probably be something along the lines of "engaging in homosexual acts". Convert implies that the person becomes gay, becomes attracted to the same sex and becomes able to feel a deep loving bond for members of the same sex, by doing those things. Now, I can't say that "never" happens, but it certainly isn't the cause of gayness in "many" homosexuals as Cedar implies.

If having homosexual sex was all it took to turn people gay, then indeed having hetero sex should have the same effect on those who have gay tendencies / feelings / however you want to say it. There just isn't much evidence, anecdotal (yep, been there, tried that) or empirical, that shows that is the case, that it truly changes one from a homo to a hetero.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Baron Zemo,

A Merry Christmas indeed, God bless us, everyone.

And to your query about which interest group within the democratic coalition gets higher priority when the medical technology advances, my money is on the pro abortion crowd.

Cedarford said...

jr565 said...
Mcullough wrote:

I find it interesting as to whether there's a genetic disposition, the effects of in utero, and the effect of parenting/environment, but I'm not inclined to favor genetic testing to rid the planet of gays or to cure babies in utero by toying around. Unlike a propensity to a disease, I see no reason to abort or try and genetically alter gays. It strikes me as a form of Aryanism.
===============
Why not?
Why must everything be forced through a Nazi test to see if it is good or bad.
Evironmentalism was favored by National Socialists, therefore it is bad?
Hitler liked dogs, therefore it is wrong to like dogs?

Same goes for eradicating genetic problems. Not all of it is instantly bad by noting that Nazis would have preferred a technique to tweak genes to end cystic fibrosis or gay defect or genetically realated mental retardation before pregnancy - had such technology been available 80 years ago.

Let the prospective parents decide, preferably by means that obviate a late term decision to abort or not abort...but even there..there is strong reason to not expect parents to bring a fetus with massive and crippling or lethal in the near term birth defects to term.
If the parents want to tweak for adorable gay babies and have gay offspring...more power to them. If they on the other hand, do not want gay offspring, that should be their call as well once the medical technology, training of people and protocols make testing or tweaking available.

DADvocate said...

Rice's model still needs to be tested on real-life parent-offspring pairs, but he says this epigenetic link makes more sense than any other explanation, and that his team has mapped out a way for other scientists to test their work.

Sounds like bullshit to me. They have a theory. A theory that fits popular notions, but hasn't been tested yet. I wonder how this theory will fit the tribes in Africa where homosexuality doesn't exist.

I guess I missed that hereditary link being established, too. Or, is that just some other bullshit we're all supposed to believe because it fits the narrative?

creeley23 said...

Read about times and cultures other than your own. You will be astounded at what large majorities consider normal.

Gabriel Hanna: I have read widely about other times and cultures. What are you getting at?

"Gay" and "regularly having sex with men" do not mean the same thing. "Gay" and "exclusively having sex with men" is not the same thing either.

Perhaps you could tell us what they do mean, at least in your view, instead of all this vague talk about what things are not and what might be astoundingly different elsewhere.

Bob Ellison said...

In an article to which the original article linked:

"Casey Pick, spokesman for the Log Cabin Republicans, a group that supports gay rights, [said] "I will put Ted Olson, former George W. Bush solicitor general up against Tony Scalia any day.

Vivid imagery!

sonicfrog said...

I do find it interesting that, when we talk about ones musical abilities, if you're very gifted musically (or at math, or whatever) people have no problem at all ascribing this to genetic factors, even though there is no evidence there is a specific "music" gene or set of genes. Yet, when it comes to sexuality and being gifted in the gay dept.....

Cedarford said...

Sonic Frog - point taken. I was not implying that having gay sex turned one permanently and irrevocably into a homosexual - but for all intents and purposes if someone goes into gay sex as part of the culture they inhabit, then it is indistinguishable from a "born that way" gay.

In the examples I gave, prison lifers doing gay sex are going to keep at it until they die or are too old to sexually function.
A hardcore militant man-hating feminist born heterosexual that liberates herself from phallic needs in an evil male-dominated world and starts rug-munching out of conviction will be converted and keep at it until her ideology changes.
And it wasn't the problem it once was historically in the military, but Prussian pederast officers rotated young smooth skinned drummer boys, swapping them out when the last one got too old and entered puberty.
We probably will have some gay sex scandals related to the US military..and I predict they will be more on the women's side as mannish senior enlisteds seek to pressure younger females, gay and straight, to join their covens.

sonicfrog said...

Cedar said:

I was not implying that having gay sex turned one permanently and irrevocably into a homosexual - but for all intents and purposes if someone goes into gay sex as part of the culture they inhabit, then it is indistinguishable from a "born that way" gay.

But therein lies the rub. Being gay is more than just having sex. Men typically are kind of dogs when it comes to sex. If the desired type of mate is not available, we'll hump a proverbial leg to satisfy the itch. I don't speak for everyone here, but, for those who were sexually active in college, guys and girls included, you probably have at least one or two eventful evenings that happened, not because you really desired to have carnal relations with that person, you just had to scratch the itch. I don't think it's common, but I do know of a few guy high school classmates who, I found out years later, did mess around with another guy one or two or a few times. They went on to get married and have kids, and I presume, even though they dallied, they are not gay.

Now, at what point does it become indistinguishable? I don't know. If you become a male prostitute who caters to men, are you doing it because you like it, or are you doing it to earn "easy" money to buy meth? If it's the latter, I still don't define that person as "gay".

Again, to be gay, to me, you must have strong sexual and emotional desires to be with members of the same sex. It is your desire, and not a means to an ends.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It seems that it is more of a chemical or hormonal link rather than genetic. The exposure or lack of exposure at just the right moment to hormones is suspected.

Maybe I read the article incorrectly.

Methadras said...

This is the junk science that the left swims in. And it's accepted wholesale. What a farce.

Quayle said...

Where is the science verifying that genes and epi-marks are not and cannot be altered by behavior.

Because the science is pretty clear that it can.

(Meaning that the Bible's observation that sins are visited upon the heads of the children to the third generation isn't necessarily bunk.)

Note: my person belief is that God proscribes behavior because it causes pain to human souls, and that God's only interest is to prevent the pain he can prevent, suffer the pain for others that they'll let him suffer, and weep about the pain he can neither prevent nor suffer.

Every person in this faces consequences from decisions that their grandparents and parents made, and I consider this no different.

I do not put gays on the other side of some line from me or anyone else. I put us all in an experience (life) that we all chose to come experience, and which we knew would present tendencies, weaknes, bodily urges, passions, joy, pain, etc.

We're all in the soup.

But just because something is made more probable by geners or epi-marks doesn't necessarily mean they have a free pass to do anything they want.

creeley23 said...

It seems that it is more of a chemical or hormonal link rather than genetic. The exposure or lack of exposure at just the right moment to hormones is suspected.

DBQ: As I make it out, the idea is that the body can add markers (I think of them as asterisks) to genes with instructions on how the genes will express themselves. Normally these markers get stripped away from the DNA before it reaches the parents' sex cells, but in some cases the markers, or epi-marks, make it all the way into the DNA of the new child, thus we have a pathway for a parent to pass information to the child beyond the DNA.

In the article's homosexual theory, males have epi-marks that cause their genes to compensate for underexposure to testosterone. Females have epi-marks that cause their genes to compensate for overexposure to testosterone.

Everything's fine and then the male or female becomes a parent. In some cases, according to the theory, these epi-marks related to testosterone get passed along with the parent's DNA instead of being stripped out.

If the parent is male and the child is female, then the epi-marks will cause the daughter's genes to compensate for too little testosterone. If the parent is female and the child is male, then the epi-marks will cause the son's genes to compensate for too much testosterone. Presumably, this nets out that gay boys will have less testosterone and gay girls will have more than their straight counterparts.

It's an interesting theory -- "a good story" as the article puts it -- but that's all they've got so far.

Renee said...

sonicfrog,

completely get it, there is someone who is gay and someone who had sex with the same sex. Orientation and behavior should not assume to be the same thing.

RonF said...

"It's suspected there is a genetic component to homosexuality" is a long way from "The hereditary link of homosexuality has long been established". As I figured, the statement is propaganda loosely associated with a scientific article to make it seem as though a political/social assertion is in fact scientific.

SukieTawdry said...

I submit that if homosexuality becomes genetically "correctable," 99 percent of hetero parents will opt to correct it. (Providing, of course, it's not cost prohibitive.)

Saint Croix said...

I thought this was kinda bizarre...

it can cause the masculinization of females or the feminization of males," Rice says, which can lead to a child becoming gay.

Gay men are feminine? Lesbians are masculine? I would think a scientist would test that before jumping to a gay evolutionary theory.

I always thought that was pure bigotry. And you're just going to assume it?

Why not test testosterone and estrogen levels in straight and gay people? Start with something you can actually test and prove, or disprove. You know, do some actual science.

Stephen A. Meigs said...

The paper tries to claim too much. I think creeley23 is about right in understanding what the paper is saying. But really it just replaces one problem, namely, How can it be reasonable to believe that people not infrequently naturally have a particular extremely maladaptive trait arising directly from traits coded by DNA? to another problem, namely, How can it be reasonable to suppose that people not infrequently naturally have the particular extremely maladaptive tendency to not infrequently epigenetically inherit sex traits from the opposite parent notwithstanding most of the time those traits are erased and rewritten in a sex-specific way?

I am guessing the authors at least originally were trying to show something stronger by considering what happens in the sex-linked case. E.g., if there were some marker on the X-chromosome that when in fathers benefits all daughters, but which hurts all sons (notwithstanding, of course, that no son has an X-chromosome from the father), such a marker could prosper even if the harm to sons is extreme, because none of the sons will inherit the marker. If the marker had selfish interests, it wouldn't care about sons of males containing it. But, I don't think it reasonable to suppose that such a thing exists, except possibly insofar as it affects sperm fitness (when an allele codes diploidly for the failure of those sperm not containing it, as is believed to happen occasionally at least in fruit flies, this is a case of what in the literature is called meiotic drive). As the Wikipedia entry for genomic imprinting puts it,

However, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind genomic imprinting show that it is the maternal genome that controls much of the imprinting of both its own and the paternally-derived genes in the zygote...

The homosexuality paper is written rather obscurely, as well; it doesn't do a very good job explaining things, in my opinion. The appendix 2 would appear to be the heart of its argument, and it takes much guessing to figure out what it is saying because it is labelled so poorly. I came to believe it is assuming that the original father and mother have epigenetic marks normal for their respective sexes, which is not at all what I expected. And if you don't realize that it is assuming that the equality only holds to the extent the advantages are assumed small, it appears totally preposterous.

Stephen A. Meigs said...

Of course, the other thing that annoys me is assuming that a male who wants to sodomize or be sodomized by a male, which I mostly think is what people mean by male homosexuality, is somehow effeminate. Females never sodomize because it is physiologically impossible for them to do so. Moreover, as evinced by their natural tendency to typically more dislike dirty messy things and to be more against alcohol and marijuana, females are probably naturally more averse to being sodomized than males are. Now, I don't think my unusually large hatred of sodomy is a sign that some male hormone deficiency or insensitivity has made me effeminate and thus gay, but it wouldn't be any more illogical to think so than to think that male homosexuals (in the sense of males who enjoy being sodomized or of males who enjoy sodomizing males) are somehow naturally effeminate on account of some male hormone deficiency, etc., which shows how completely ridiculous so many people on the left or even otherwise are when it comes to considering male homosexuality.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Baron beat me to it--at what point will advocates for gay rights sound the alarm?

The subtext--if not for the actual scientists in question, then for the journalists who get excited about this--is that showing a genetic "cause" for same-sex attraction somehow means something for morality. Of course lots of gay-rights advocates have made that point, but it doesn't follow.

For one thing, it seems to me the most anyone could establish is that genetics give some sort of pre-disposition, subject to other things coming into play. How would science "prove" that same-sex attraction is only a function of something genetic? That seems a move from science to ideology.

And, in any case, as indicated, if it really is a matter of genes, then there can be a cure. Why doesn't that solve the moral conundrum?

Phil 3:14 said...

Professor,
"Why" is such a hard question.

"What now?" is even harder.

Dante said...

In my experience, you need to be careful in understanding what the Scientists are saying and what the Press is saying. Hard sciences, and I'm not talking about Climate "Science," requires a lot of rigor, caveats, etc.

To me, the interesting thing here is that mathematical models have projected a solution to OBSERVED behavior. That's different than climate science, for instance, in which a theory attempts to alter the observed behavior to match the theory.

Furthermore, there is a way to investigate the theory, and DISPROVE it. In climate science, they are always changing the variables to fit the theory.

In any event, this theory (outside of the lesbos, which may have been added by some fairness thinking journolist), makes a lot of sense. MEN are good providers. WOMEN engineered us to be that way. We are strong. We are smart (or very stupid). When things get tough, you want to spend less time fighting for reproductive rights, and more time WORKING. Gays are a product of women. A post I had on another thread was lost, in which I posited that gayness genes would be on the "X" chromosome. It's not surprising at all that these people are assuming the women select gayness in the womb. It's a more flexible mechanism to adapt to environmental considerations.

The extra production from gays adds to the excess. It makes sense. The males don't have to spend all that time listening to the Oprah issues of weepy vaginas (aka PMS), turning the little savage children into human beings (aka discipline), etc., but can cavort around to the dismay of all hetero males getting as much as they want.

The only flaw is in the fairness argument, which I think someone pointed out makes zero sense. That has to be the result of some journolist trying to foist their ego bound universe on scientists trying to pursue some interesting idea.

When all is said and done, I think you will find that gay males occur more frequently when women are stressed, when too many males are born and it's better to have siblings that are gay than getting killed to get the chick, etc.

Lesbos don't fit into the evolutionary theory. They are simply damaged people, ugly, or abused by their fathers, who can't relax enough to feel the wonder of the stinky male gutterely moaning over them. But, they still swing. My sister, who always dominated the men in her life, finally fell in love, and then he dumped her. She declared she was a lesbo. And lived the lesbo lifestyle for years. When I told her I didn't think she was a lesbo, she got so angry with me we stopped talking. Now, though, I understand she is changing her mind. Imagine a guy doing that. We even have laws to prevent it.

Guys, you like buts or boobs, that's all there is too it. Science will catch up to me on this sooner or later.

By the way, Ann, if you read this, I wanted you to know that I am reading 50 Shades of Grey simply because you brought it up so many times on this blog. So far, it seems pretty trite, reproducing all the stupid ideas like "Oh, the guy had a condom."

What a stupid meme that is. Women should control reproduction. They get to decide anyway, and in a world of natural laws, they are the ones that have the most interest in it. Stupid meme in the book.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Let's play out the string...

1. The genetic component is established.

2. Scientists develop an "in utero" treatment.

3. Lawsuits are filed by those who (a) as an unborn baby, received the treatment and it failed; (b) received the treatment and it worked; (c) didn't receive the treatment.

Dante said...

Gay men are feminine? Lesbians are masculine? I would think a scientist would test that before jumping to a gay evolutionary theory

Agreed. Gay men are violent, for sure. There was a study that showed almost all men beating up gay males were, now get this, excited by gay male porn. Oh, nothing is certain in the world of science, and I haven't seen more research on this.

But let's face it. Fags beat up fags, and blame it on heterosexual males.

chickelit said...

Creeley23 wrote:
Presumably, this nets out that gay boys will have less testosterone and gay girls will have more than their straight counterparts.

As Saint Croix already pointed out, that hypothesis is easily tested. I'd be surprised if it has not been already.

chickelit said...

I'd wager that violent football players and irascible pundits have elevated testosterone as well.

Renee said...

Stephen, At least from my comprehensive sex-ed, we were taught that anal sex was normal to be performed on young women.

harrogate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
creeley23 said...

chickelit: As far as I know, gays don't have significantly different testosterone levels from straights.

I suspect this gay theory "nets out" to the effect of having more testosterone for females and less for males probably in the womb, when testosterone levels are key for determining gender identity.

creeley23 said...

Human sexuality is enormously complex. I doubt it can be accounted for purely by genetics or environment or choice.

I have a female friend who was incested repeatedly when she was ten. She grew up in the early seventies when counter-cultural feminism was the rage. She had lesbian lovers, because she was open to women, and in her circles that was more than all right.

But she was also interested in men and had male lovers. Unfortunately, either through bad luck or damage from the incest, she picked real SOBs who would beat her up and threaten her. After her divorce from one of these, she decided to switch back to women. She would prefer to be with a man, but since she also found women attractive, she went with women -- they would be less likely to beat her.

She has been with the same woman for over ten years now. It's a solid relationship and I'm happy for them.

chickelit said...

Renee said...
Stephen, At least from my comprehensive sex-ed, we were taught that anal sex was normal to be performed on young women.

Let not your choice of the passive voice defend your vigilance against violation.

jimspice said...

"This comment has been removed by a blog administrator."

"Really? Where's the strangling? Calling speech offensive is more speech, not censorship."