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  1. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by SacredBeaver View Post
    population control
    Not really - Evolution myths: Natural selection cannot explain homosexuality - life - 16 April 2008 - New Scientist

    Quote 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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    Quote 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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    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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    Quote 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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    Quote 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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  6. #76
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    Quote 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.
    Then it's genetics for the woman's womb. If this womb environment led to the youngest being gay and this was disadvantageous or less advantageous, it would have been out competed by other women's wombs who did not have a changing environment to produce gay kids. One way or another, it is genetics.

    Beyond that, I'm sure there is quite a bit of fluidity too.
    Last edited by wiltondeportes; 08-07-2012 at 11:11 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JWBooth View Post
    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
    Valid point. But survival of the species is as much about behavior as it is about genetics (nature vs. nurture). If the best hunter in the tribe happens to be gay, he'll still play a vital role in educating the next generation, thus helping the tribe survive and be more efficient.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmyMac703 View Post
    Valid point. But survival of the species is as much about behavior as it is about genetics (nature vs. nurture). If the best hunter in the tribe happens to be gay, he'll still play a vital role in educating the next generation, thus helping the tribe survive and be more efficient.
    But that would have nothing to do with why homosexuals exist. Enhancing the survival of the tribe's genes at the expense of his own would select against homosexuality, not for it. Being useful to society is meaningless from an evolutionary perspective unless that usefulness makes you a attractive person for a female to mate with or dramatically increases reproductive success of your very near kin.

    Personally, I think the two most likely explanations for homosexuality are either sexually antagonistic selection (homosexuality confers no advantage in males but the same genes produce increased fecundity in their sisters), or simply that the reproductive disadvantage of homosexuality just isn't great enough to wipe it out completely when you factor in genetic drift and such. But that would just be a hunch. This is still very much an open scientific question and we need a lot more research before figure it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JWBooth View Post
    But that would have nothing to do with why homosexuals exist. Enhancing the survival of the tribe's genes at the expense of his own would select against homosexuality, not for it. Being useful to society is meaningless from an evolutionary perspective unless that usefulness makes you a attractive person for a female to mate with or dramatically increases reproductive success of your very near kin.

    Personally, I think the two most likely explanations for homosexuality are either sexually antagonistic selection (homosexuality confers no advantage in males but the same genes produce increased fecundity in their sisters), or simply that the reproductive disadvantage of homosexuality just isn't great enough to wipe it out completely when you factor in genetic drift and such. But that would just be a hunch. This is still very much an open scientific question and we need a lot more research before figure it out.
    Also, if it is genetic, it could be a result of many genes interacting, which could be advantageous for any number of reasons, if they are not combined in such a way as to result in homosexuality. This would explain why we keep getting a certain number of homosexuals in each generation--it's a side effect of a certain mixture of otherwise-adaptive genes that statistically affects a certain proportion of the population due to those genes' prevalence.
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    Quote 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.
    But isn't this reasoning poor?

    People don't always eat food because they want to provide their body with sustenance; sometimes they just want to enjoy the sensory rewards of eating. This is especially so when the foods they choose are very rewarding, but not healthy. Or worse yet, if they binge and purge.

    The fact that people do eat without the express intent of nourishing their bodies does not change the simple biological truth that eating is there for the sake of nourishment.

    You can thwart the reproductive aspect of sex, or bypass it entirely, but that still doesn't change the fact that sex is there for the sake of reproduction.

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