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  • #61
    OK, since we don't have a definitive answer, I'm willing to put forward a half-baked proposal.

    Nature will fill every niche, and the success of a species is enhanced through diversity.

    We humans have been successful in large part due to the diversity within our species. Artists, scientists, warriors, leaders etc.
    Thinkers and doers,etc.
    A large sector of our diversity probably correlates with the full spectrum of gender attributes being a mixed bag throughout both males and females. Thats how we find people that fill each societal niche.
    And although gender attributes arent particularly aligned with sexual orientation, I think it would be a healthy direction for shaping the modern paradigm.

    Is there any value in my ramblings...or do I need more fat in my diet ?
    "Continue being a man and you will be excellent. Pussy will rain from the sky. " - Legbiter
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    • #62
      Originally posted by wiltondeportes View Post
      I don't think it's a question of why, it just is. Why do some animals commit infanticide?

      At the end of the day, it's just a result of random mutations. You can conclude if this behaviour of homosexuality is recent and exclusive to certain conditions, then it may be an ailment or failure of some sort. If this behaviour appears to be widespread historically and culturally, then you have to conclude that these genes have been more successful in the past at competing for survival and reproduction than the other options.
      Actually, scientists have never found any genes relating to homosexuality and probably won't. Not because it isn't innate, but rather because sexuality has a certain amount of fluidity which is more easily influenced by environmental factors. And by environmental I'm talking about that in the womb, not the home. Someone mentioned earlier that the youngest of a series of boys has a higher probability of being gay, which is true, and there are also some physical characteristics of either sex that are influenced by developmental hormones which have a higher incidence of appearing in gay men and women that indicate opposite sex. Digit ratio being the most widely known, although not guaranteed, and it sometimes accompanies gendered, as opposed to sexual, traits.
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      • #63
        I'm unsure of the actual mechanisms involved - undoubtedly a mixture of nature and nurture. But to really understand why homosexuality persists and isn't bred out, and may in fact be an evolutionary advantage, we need to look at humans as members of a community instead of in isolation.

        Why do humans live so long, in the case of women, well past reproductive age? - because a healthy tribe benefits from the wisdom and extra childcare help of grandparents.
        Why do disabilities and other genetic quirks persist? - because a healthy tribe thrives on division of labour, with different personalities and abilities making a tribe adaptable to environmental pressures.
        Why do humans feel a strong sense of altruism, especially towards related humans? - because the tribe's collective 'selfish' genes are not only passed on through one's own offspring, but through related offspring such as nieces/nephews.

        Similarly we could look at homosexuals as being not only, not harmful enough to be bred out by natural selection, but actually as a useful trait, because the tribe might benefit from having one less adult reproducing, but one more adult who will still work hard to protect others' offspring. I've also heard of a theory that homosexuals/asexuals in prehistoric times may have been chosen as shamans/priests and not expected to reproduce but provide spiritual guidance to the tribe.

        Homosexuality has caused conflict through the ages, but think of all the eras where it might have been viewed differently (ancient Greece for example, where male/male relationships were encouraged) and actually lead to less conflict. All the millenia that straight people have been having gay babies, there must have been advantages.

        Perhaps something inherent and persistent in human nature and human culture, that you have a 10% chance of growing up to be gay.
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        • #64
          Frankly, I think today's society has far too many lables, and people want to feel special. Whether is gay or straight or even beastiality, it's sex. Homosexual sex doesn't add (or in Grok's day) subtract from society. Straight sex has the possibility for procreation. But, most people have sex because it feels good. Why are there homosexuals? Because sex feels good in many ways.

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          • #65
            I'm a gay.

            That out of the way, I tend to lean on the side of it being more the conditions of the womb (hormone exposure/balance), which can be affected by a number of things (nutrition, stress, recovery from previous pregnancies, etc.) than a genetic trait.

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            • #66
              Originally posted by Rusty View Post
              Frankly, I think today's society has far too many lables, and people want to feel special. Whether is gay or straight or even beastiality, it's sex. Homosexual sex doesn't add (or in Grok's day) subtract from society. Straight sex has the possibility for procreation. But, most people have sex because it feels good. Why are there homosexuals? Because sex feels good in many ways.
              I think I read somewhere that ancient Greece didn't even put binary labels on folks engaging in sex with their own gender.

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              • #67
                Originally posted by patski View Post
                I think most people, if not all, are bisexual, and lean one way or the other, consciously or not.
                I don't know... I think as with any continuous spectrum, some people are distributed everywhere on the spectrum and that includes a proportion who are right on the ends, essentially 100% straight or gay, who would not be attracted to, or enjoy sex with, a person of the same/opposite sex in any reasonably-conceivable situation they might find themselves in. But most people are probably not quite that far to either end of the spectrum.

                Originally posted by patski View Post
                I think men who are overtly homophobic are suppressing some homo desires. Women are typically more open to experimentation.
                Again, I think this is sometimes true rather than usually or always true. That said, it does seem to be often the case that people who are extremely, rabidly homophobic do turn out to be gay (certain evangelical pastors well-known for their airport-bathroom sexcapades spring to mind). But I don't know that people who are more "garden-variety" homophobes are necessarily closet cases--mostly I think they're just ignorant and haven't made the effort to separate their squeamishness from their moral sense.

                There is also the fact that you can be very, very straight without being a homophobe--case in point, me, as far as I know. I did my best to answer those Kinsey questions honestly, and I scored a 0. No homosexual tendencies. I have no problems whatsoever with gay people, I have gay friends and am a staunch supporter of gay rights. But thinking about two men having sex makes my dick go soft and is mildly repulsive to me on a visceral physical level. I'm not disgusted by the male form in general, and I can appreciate masculine beauty aesthetically, but it does nothing to arouse my sexual response unless it is paired with and complementary to a female body, as in straight porn. My automatic response to (male) gay porn is to avert my eyes, even though I don't think there's anything wrong with it in any way, KWIM?
                Last edited by Uncephalized; 08-06-2012, 01:35 PM.
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                • #68
                  "There is also the fact that you can be very, very straight without being a homophobe--case in point, me, as far as i know. I did my best to answer those Kinsey questions honestly, and I scored a 0. No homosexual tendencies. I have no problems whatsoever with gay people, I have gay friends and am a staunch supporter of gay rights. But thinking about two men having sex makes my dick go soft and is mildly repulsive to me on a visceral physical level. I'm not disgusted by the male form in general, and I can appreciate masculine beauty aesthetically, but it does nothing to arouse my sexual response unless it is paired with and complementary to a female body, as in straight porn. My automatic response to (male) gay porn is to avert my eyes, even though I don't think there's anything wrong with it in any way, KWIM?"

                  Wow, you sound exactly like my DH when I gave him the test.

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by JudyCr View Post
                    "There is also the fact that you can be very, very straight without being a homophobe--case in point, me, as far as i know. I did my best to answer those Kinsey questions honestly, and I scored a 0. No homosexual tendencies. I have no problems whatsoever with gay people, I have gay friends and am a staunch supporter of gay rights. But thinking about two men having sex makes my dick go soft and is mildly repulsive to me on a visceral physical level. I'm not disgusted by the male form in general, and I can appreciate masculine beauty aesthetically, but it does nothing to arouse my sexual response unless it is paired with and complementary to a female body, as in straight porn. My automatic response to (male) gay porn is to avert my eyes, even though I don't think there's anything wrong with it in any way, KWIM?"

                    Wow, you sound exactly like my DH when I gave him the test.
                    I'm not sure if you are ascribing any value judgment to that statement, but I don't think my type of person is terribly uncommon, so I'm not surprised to hear it.
                    Today I will: Eat food, not poison. Plan for success, not settle for failure. Live my real life, not a virtual one. Move and grow, not sit and die.

                    My Primal Journal

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                    • #70
                      population control

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by SacredBeaver View Post
                        population control
                        Not really - Evolution myths: Natural selection cannot explain homosexuality - life - 16 April 2008 - New Scientist

                        Originally posted by Rusty View Post
                        Straight sex has the possibility for procreation. But, most people have sex because it feels good. Why are there homosexuals? Because sex feels good in many ways.
                        These primates seem to have that figured out - Bonobo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Uncephalized View Post
                          I'm not sure if you are ascribing any value judgment to that statement, but I don't think my type of person is terribly uncommon, so I'm not surprised to hear it.
                          No judgment at all, he just used more vulgar language where you dressed it up a bit.

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                          • #73
                            To answer the OP's question: because chicks are hot and sex feels good.

                            I think the link between heterosexuality and reproduction (furthering the survival of the species) is sketchy at best considering that humans evolved as a social (tribal) species, where adults who don't/didn't reproduce still contribute to the tribe (i.e. "it takes a village to raise a child").
                            I'm not sure what percentage of gay/lesbian couples have children, but it's not as uncommon as one might think.
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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by AmyMac703 View Post
                              I think the link between heterosexuality and reproduction (furthering the survival of the species) is sketchy at best considering that humans evolved as a social (tribal) species, where adults who don't/didn't reproduce still contribute to the tribe (i.e. "it takes a village to raise a child").
                              Reproduction is about the survival of genes, not the species. The apparent paradox of homosexuality has to be explained in that context. Not reproducing but still contributing to the tribe can only be an explanation if the specific contribution led to an increase in reproduction of the homosexuals nearest kin at a rate that would overcome his own lack of procreation bearing in mind that a sibling only shares on average 50% of the homosexuals genes.

                              The point about modern gays and lesbians having children isn't really that instructive due to the overwhelming religious/social taboo against open homosexuality that has existed our most recent past. Gays having children was still is in many parts of the world a function not of their own biological desires but rather a need to "fit in" and hide their true nature. And even with the intense modern social pressures gays still reproduce at much lower rates.

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                              • #75
                                Originally posted by Blackcatbone View Post
                                Actually, scientists have never found any genes relating to homosexuality and probably won't. Not because it isn't innate, but rather because sexuality has a certain amount of fluidity which is more easily influenced by environmental factors. And by environmental I'm talking about that in the womb, not the home. Someone mentioned earlier that the youngest of a series of boys has a higher probability of being gay, which is true, and there are also some physical characteristics of either sex that are influenced by developmental hormones which have a higher incidence of appearing in gay men and women that indicate opposite sex. Digit ratio being the most widely known, although not guaranteed, and it sometimes accompanies gendered, as opposed to sexual, traits.
                                This may be true, however, keep in mind that detection of gene expression is becoming much more advanced. Sequencing, not just of the genes, but of how the genes are expressed is now possible. There is a whole new world of analysis opening up to ask these questions.
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