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July 10, 2012 / JayMan

Special Post: The Decline of Male Homosexuality

Updated: 8/30/12. See below.

First and foremost welcome to my new blog site! From now on all my posts will on WordPress, http://jaymans.wordpress.com. All of the posts from my old blog can be found here on the new site, however the old blog will remain active so readers can find my previously linked articles. Please update your links accordingly. Hopefully the new site fixes the issues with commenting that posters have had (WordPress does require a log-in, but once that’s done, it’s smooth sailing).

Also some of you may have noticed my WordPress avatar, which is a still from a video of the International Space Station flying over the Earth. I chose this photo because it speaks to all that we discuss, and more. HBD’ers talk about the world around us and its people, which is represented by the whole Earth, seen in all its brilliant glory below the space station in this photo. But the starry sky lying above is a reminder that this world is but a tiny part of an entire universe beyond it. The ISS in the foreground is itself a sign of Man’s ability and desire to reach into this great beyond. This photo is perfectly symbolic.

I need to interrupt my announced multi-part series (which I will continue shortly) because of a recent discussion on Peter Frost’s blog. Dr. Frost noted that the GSS data showed a rise in the percentage of women that report having sex with other women, whereas the number of men that report same-sex sexual activity has remained constant or even declined. Jason Malloy has further delved into the matter and noted that there does indeed appear to be a real decline in proportion of male non-heterosexuals. Dr. Frost’s post has spurred a vigorous discussion into the origin of LGB, which at this point is far from clear. At least with respect to female bisexuality, I have my own hypothesis about its potential origin and why its frequency appears to be rising, which I will discuss in its own blog post in the future; in short, I believe the rise in the occurrence of female bisexuality is wholly a phenotypic change. However, I suspect that if there is a decline in the rate of male homosexuality, that it indeed maybe a genotypic change—i.e., evolution.

As we’ve seen in my previous post discussing the Pioneer Effect and its relation to fertility and political orientation, rapid evolutionary changes have been happening all around us. In this case, I suspect the decline in male homosexuality might have something to do with the very drive to promote its acceptance. In the past, when homosexuality was strictly socially unacceptable, many gay men were forced to “go through the motions” and marry women and have children. As being gay became less socially taboo, fewer gay men (though by no means all)…

…felt the need to keep up this pretense, and now many forgo it entirely and live openly gay lives. This would lead to fewer gays having children, and hence, fewer gays passing on their genes. As such, if same-sex attraction to any extent heritable—which it appears that it is (h/t Jason Malloy)—the genes for the trait would begin to diminish in the gene pool. In perhaps what is the ultimate irony (of this month, anyway), the push accept homosexuality may lead to its eventual disappearance, as psychologist Jesse Bering pointed out on his blog.

(As an additional note, Greg Cochran’s hypothesis that exclusive male homosexuality is caused by a pathogen is not necessarily incompatible with a partial genetic source. The trait may manifest only from an interaction of the pathogen with a genome susceptible to giving rise to a homosexual orientation).

So, to see if this is the case, I decided to take a look at the GSS data:

Edit 8/30/12: [As with my more recent post on liberal/conservative fertility, to get a better look at older cohorts, I included older GSS datasets in my analysis in order to increase sample size. The years included for each cohort are given below.]

Mean number of offspring of non-Hispanic White men, by decade of birth, from the 1990-2010 GSS data:

Decade of birth Hetero- (n) Gay & Bi- (n) GSS years included
1900s 2.12 (46) 2.67 (2) 1972-2010
1910s 2.54 (250) 2.17 (10) 1972-2010
1920s 3.02 (570) 1.9 (28) 1979-2010
1930s 2.8 (757) 2.18 (42) 1989-2010
1940s 2.32 (596) 1.64 (41) 1999-2010
1950s 2.13 (354) 1.92 (41) 2005-2010
1960s 1.83 (377) 1.2 (31) 2005-2010

Sexual orientation is gauged here by the NUMMEN variable (number of male sex partners since age 18), which I grouped into those with 0 (straight) and those with 1 or more (gay or bisexual).

As we can see, while the number of offspring of gay/bisexual men is lower than that for straight men, as we would suspect, it fell to sub-replacement level far sooner than it does for straight men, being well below replacement level for the cohort of gays born in the 60s. (I noted a similar pattern of fertility for women with respect to sexual orientation, but as I believe that that is an interaction between overall declining female fertility and political orientation, I’ll discuss that when I talk about female bisexuals).

This would lead to much fewer genes for homosexuality in the gene pool today. While, obviously, one does not need to have a gay parent to be gay oneself (and indeed, there is evidence that the siblings of gays have a higher fecundity), unless the loss of fertility from gay men themselves in modern times is counteracted by a simultaneous boost in fertility of their siblings or parents (who presumably carry genes for such traits)—which is unlikely—the genes for homosexuality will diminish.

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14 Comments

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  1. szopeno / Jul 10 2012 8:24 AM

    Testing the new place :)

    Actually the genes may not diminish, if the gay people will be allowed to have their own biological children (via surogatory mothers or whatever).

    • Kevin Riley O'Keeffe / Jul 11 2012 5:19 AM

      That’s never going to occur at a high enough of a rate to have a particularly large impact. It may ameliorate the larger trend by five or ten percent, but to suggest it would reverse it seems to be the product of wishful thinking, or perhaps a certain naivety about human nature.

    • Daniel Latta / Jul 12 2012 12:54 AM

      I take it neither of you have heard of gay men donating to sperm banks?

  2. Gubu90 / Jul 11 2012 2:53 AM

    Homosexuals won’t be able to have surrogates in the future if feminism dies. IVF has been hijacked by feminism since feminists can’t breed and need ART to compete with the patriarchy replacing the population.

    If the patriarchy returns then IVF will be heavily monitored and only married heterosexual girls who are truly infertile may use it. Not girls who delayed motherhood and suddenly think “Oh, I’m infertile.” I’m like “Not really honeybuns. Women’s fertility peaks at 30 and then starts declining until menopause.”

    IVF was also pretty Nazi and eugenist in the past. People talking of having “perfect babies” evokes memories of fascism and survival of the fittest (or the best).

    IVF is also not superior to natural conception, despite what people tell you. Human eggs and sperm were not made to be frozen. In reality you look at zoos and you see all of these animals in captivity and you see how weak and mutant like they are. The ones who are born free and wild are stronger. I don’t see how a human born soulessly and in a cage is in any good station. That’s demonic. Dare say it: inhuman.

  3. m / Jul 11 2012 3:11 AM

    Let’s presume for a minute there is heritablity to the trait:

    Most gay men don’t want and won’t have kids. Some who will want them will be quite older when they decide they want them and will reconsider and choose not to. A small % will decide to use a surrogate and produce a biological child.

    However, of those who will do this, the vast number of them will have only one child. (A surrogate is expensive and the situation is legally and emotionally messy).

    Thus, the trait will lose groud. You have to produce two kids just to break even genetically.

  4. Monty / Jul 11 2012 8:55 PM

    If this was the case, gay men would have gone extinct thousands of years ago. Your own statistics show that gay men born in the twenties had one fewer child, on average, than straight men, and these men came of age before gay liberation. Gay men have always had significantly fewer children than straight men, because we don’t enjoy straight sex and have it much less often. Even if we marry for social reasons, we aren’t pestering our wives for it. We’re avoiding it.

    • JayMan / Jul 11 2012 10:09 PM

      Before the cohort born in the 1940s, gays apparently reproduced at above replacement levels. That would have been enough to keep the trait going.

  5. Bhuni8jo / Jul 12 2012 5:42 PM

    Daniel Latta – You are retarded. Even if gay men DO donate to sperm banks how many women out there want their children to be gay? I’m not a feminist. I’m not even a liberal chick. Lots of girls who go to sperm banks are racist and they want “perfect babies”. If I ever went there I would not have a gay sperm. I would terminate every and all children that were shown to be gay before birth. Got it?

  6. Bhuni8jo / Jul 12 2012 5:46 PM

    So many people here forget that IVF started out as something fascistic and racist. Look at all of these modern liberal couples who have designer babies: rich whites. White liberals are perhaps the biggest hypocrites. They say they love blacks and hispanics but in their little gated communities there’s a lot of whites (and Jews) and little to no diversity. Look at all of the rich liberal classes that didn’t get affirmative action: white. The lower classes have much more diversity.

  7. t / Jul 29 2012 10:55 PM

    It would be interesting to see if the data show any similar trend in male homosexuality in Denmark, where legal gay partnerships have been around a while and where gays were out earlier than American gays were.

    Denmark keeps great records. If the same holds true there, then maybe there actually is a decline.

Trackbacks

  1. About Developmental Noise | JayMan's Blog
  2. The Evolution of Female Bisexuality « JayMan's Blog
  3. A Gay Germ? Is Homophobia a Clue? « JayMan's Blog
  4. Me… « JayMan's Blog

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