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June 14, 2013 / JayMan

No one building a fallout shelter?

Interestingly, none of the commenters to my previous post (Gay Germ Fallout?), with the exception of Luke Lea, seems to be talking about the main point of the post: the consequences should people discover that there is a gay germ. The discussion is focusing on whether or not the pathogen exists, which it almost certainly does.

Is no one concerned about what would happen should this become widespread knowledge?

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81 Comments

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  1. chrisdavies09 / Jun 14 2013 3:14 PM

    There would surely be a rise in *actual* homophobia, ie fear of homosexuals, as opposed to merely intolerance of them. Parents would want their young children to be vaccinated against the germ. The public would demand that practicing homosexuals be prevented from working in medicine, health and social care, teaching, etc. etc. They would be banned from adopting children. Homosexuality would be driven underground. Gays would no longer be able to come out of the closet and would go to great lengths to hide their sexuality. They would be at risk of being murdered. Maybe lynchings would occur and we would have the anti-gay equivalent of the KKK operating. Gays would be publicly identified. Witch hunts would take place. They would be driven out of their jobs and homes. Maybe they would be forced to live in newly set aside ‘gay ghettos’ in certain parts of towns and cities. Gay suicides would increase. Eventually gays might be rounded up and sent to live in prisons, gulags or concentration camps in remote regions such as Siberia, or on uninhabited islands. This is all a worst-case scenario..

  2. chrisdavies09 / Jun 14 2013 3:16 PM

    Here’s a weird thought..what would happen if it transpired that the ‘gay germ’ was harboured by household pets like cats or dogs? Or what about farm livestock?

    • JayMan / Jun 14 2013 3:17 PM

      Definitely possible…

  3. m / Jun 14 2013 4:12 PM

    I thought it was clear that it “would depend.” If gays themselves were carriers of an infectious agent that could be spread to little boys or adolescents then yes, of course, there would be wide-spread fear. Yes, if I thought a homosexual, family member or not, could “spread the gay” to my youngster, I’d keep him away from him until such a time as the danger had passed. After all, I want my kid to be able to father kids himself, the old fashioned way, too. To expose my child to something that would, in essence, pose a great threat of making him sterile, would be child neglect. But, whoa, Nellie. We are getting way ahead of ourselves.

    First, if there is an infectious agent that can cause this condition, it surely appears it is not the result of gay men doing sexual things to little boys for most gay men have not been sexually accosted by someone when they were young. Further, among males who have been sexually accosted by gay men, we’ve no evidence these boys become gay.

    Second, there’s no evidence such a bug is passed by gays at all by any means, not just by sexual means. The likely pathogen is one that is common. Your brother, sister, classmates are just as likely to be those who pass it along, and for some unlucky reason, some kids have some cell damage as a result (hypothetically).

    You’d have to specify, as you mentioned earlier, the manner in which this germ spread for us to have any idea at all about the response to it and responses to gays, in general. If researchers announced tomorrow that there was such a bug, identified it and specified the area of damage but didn’t or weren’t able to specify the mode of transmission, then you’d see panic and real fear. At that point the word “homophobia” would have an accurate meaning, but I think this is far from the realm of possibility.

    While I think this germ hypothesis has legs, I don’t think male homosexuals pass it along. We’d have evidence of it by now in looking at family histories.

    • mighty / Jun 20 2013 4:21 PM

      This is no better than your comment because I have no backup, but, my impression is that it’s common that boys abused by men become gay in turn. How common, I don’t know. Maybe it’s just a couple of anecdotes.

    • JayMan / Jun 20 2013 11:49 PM

      Probably just anecdotal. Were most gay men abused as boys?

  4. Mark F. / Jun 14 2013 8:12 PM

    I agree with m here.

  5. Chip Smith / Jun 15 2013 1:17 AM

    It would be the worst of politics, the stuff wars are made of. At least that’s what I fear and suspect, especially so if it turns out that gay people transmit the germ. And even if that isn’t the case, good luck educating the masses once the genie’s out. This is a genuinely dangerous idea.

    Maybe it will also turn out that valuing truth is a pathogenic trait.

    • m / Jun 15 2013 2:06 AM

      Well, of course, once again, it would depend on the method of transmission, but I think the following scenario more likely than yours:

      Say it’s caused in utero–the mother has a latent herpes infection (there are all kinds of herpes viruses about which we know little) or say it’s caused after birth, in toddlerhood or early childhood by, say, the omninpresent RSV, something all kids get and most kids get more than once, total immunity being impossible for most. Say it’s cause by the flu, either flu in the pregnant mother or in the kid. Whatever–some neurotropic virus. No one likes neurotropic viruses, right? They can do damage we know of and that which we don’t know of. They can seemingly hang in places in which they don’t appear do damage (like polio in the gut) or they can wander into the CNS. Whoops.

      Say researchers finally find a vaccine for RSV–they’ve been after one for years as RSV is tough on kids, can be brutal, even fatal, and may even be a cause of adult asthma, may even be the cause of learning problems. Or, say they find a vaccine for an assortment of herpes viruses.

      If homosexuality is a side-effect of exposure of any one these kinds of viruses, and if vaccines are available for them (as they will be one day for reasons not related to homosexuality), then moms and dads will take in their children for inoculations against these bugs just as they take them in for MMR and the like today. The whole thing will take place in the privacy of the physician’s office and the inoculation needn’t be promoted as a “vaccine against homosexuality.” No, it will be a vaccine against a bug that can do other damage. The doctor will explain what the vaccine prevents and then he will add, “and it also protects against the damage that in a small percentage of kids causes homosexuality.”

      I see it going down that way. Little by little, fewer gay kids born. No biggie. If I’m a parent or a prospective parent, I’m very happy that science has helped my kid not get another illness like my older kid who had RSV and was very sick for two or three weeks and had trouble breathing, and frankly, when the doctor tells me in an aside that this shot will almost certainly insure my son will not be homosexual (as the virus is the number one cause of it), I’ll breathe a sigh of relief about that as well.

    • Anon / Jun 17 2013 1:14 PM

      Let me offer an alternative to m: assuming a germ cause, definitive proof of a germ cause will not be forthcoming anytime soon. It’s not like the medical community is falling all over themselves to study the topic. It’s taboo. What will happen is, again hypothetically, a new herpes vaccine will be introduced, and 20 or so years later people will start to note declining numbers of gays. Cause and effect will only be definitively known well after the fact.

    • JayMan / Jun 17 2013 1:41 PM

      That would be clever, and possibly quite effective.

  6. Staffan / Jun 15 2013 10:22 AM

    I think parents – even many liberals – will make sure their kids don’t become gay if they can. So if there is some way to protect children from this pathogen then homosexuality will become a very rare phenomenon in the future.

    I doubt the level of homophobia will change much though. There is a psychological mechanism known as Anchoring and Adjustment – people make up their minds and then they adjust a little but they don’t pull up the anchor. Also, outgroup hostility is in our nature; it doesn’t need science to bloom.

  7. Dan / Jun 15 2013 1:08 PM

    In your last post you wrote, “If the “gay germ” is real – which it almost certainly is”…

    Jayman, you stray very far from the tone of a scientist here. Scientists are skeptical and expect evidence. The tangible, positive observational evidence for a ‘gay germ’ so far does not exist as far as I know. Has even one trace of the germ been observed?

    Big issues:

    (1) Sexuality is extremely complex, and for a germ to do the complex job of reversing a person’s sexuality and leaving that person otherwise perfectly healthy and with no other symptoms would be astonishing indeed. Examples of infectious agents cause conditions once thought to be environmental or genetic (e.g. cervical cancer) are not like this at all.

    (2) The problem raised by Ron Unz in “Gay Gene” vs. “Gay Germ”, written in April
    “Cochran and others ridicule the gene model as absurd, arguing that strong selective pressure would have rapidly eliminated any such genes from the population, and this is not unreasonable. But similar criticism could applied to their own model, since genetic susceptibility to the germ would obviously be subject to equally powerful selective disadvantage.”

    (3) As yet, the no pathogen or trace of a pathogen has been discovered that causes homosexuality anywhere in the world. Considering that the population in question has tens of millions of members and that rare infectious diseases many orders of magnitude less common have been found, this is a huge hurdle.

    (4) The list of reputable scientists who hold this theory has only one name, Gregory Cochran, and he is a physicist who has no laboratory experience in pathology or epidemiology. I have not heard from a single expert in the field who shares this view.

    (5) There is a long list of sexual behaviors and fetishes that are maladaptive. Heterosexual anal and oral sex for instance are big turn-ons for many people even though they would be quite maladaptive (after all the man wasting his precious load in a place that has 0% chance of fertilization — any rationalization such as that it is good for bonding is no good because the man is wasting an excellent opportunity at present with no promise of anything in the future and actual sex would be just as good or better for bonding). Porn use is a behavior that is still more maladaptive.

    The best explanation that I can think of is that human sexuality is subject to conditioning (think Pavlov and his dog). The environment surrounding a reward is very important and automatic biological arousal can be attached to the environmental conditions that let to a reward. Eventually the dog becomes physically oriented to bell-ringing such that he has uncontrolled symptoms of physical arousal (salivation) in relation to bell ringing even when there is no reward (food) present.

    The conditioning explanation has much greater explanatory power because it addresses not only homosexuality but 100 other sexual behaviors, many of which are maladaptive and others (e.g. whips and chains, schoolgirl uniforms) of which have no analogue to the circumstances under which people developed.

    The gay germ theory explains none of the rest. Is there another separate germ for each of the myriad other sexual behaviors out there? They need to be explained too, and some of them are quite maladaptive as well.

    • JayMan / Jun 15 2013 9:43 PM

      @Dan:

      Well, it’s kinda too late for me to do what I wanted, I’d prefer to not turn every post about the gay germ into whether or not it exists. But since all the comments came here, I’ll run with that.

      Sexuality is extremely complex, and for a germ to do the complex job of reversing a person’s sexuality and leaving that person otherwise perfectly healthy and with no other symptoms would be astonishing indeed.

      Who’s to say there’s no other symptoms (think the “gay face”)?

      We have evidence of pathogens affecting sexual attraction (toxoplasmosis, Massospora cicadina fungus, syphillis). It’s not quite as hard as you think.

      Cochran and others ridicule the gene model as absurd, arguing that strong selective pressure would have rapidly eliminated any such genes from the population, and this is not unreasonable. But similar criticism could applied to their own model, since genetic susceptibility to the germ would obviously be subject to equally powerful selective disadvantage. But similar criticism could applied to their own model, since genetic susceptibility to the germ would obviously be subject to equally powerful selective disadvantage

      Unz is quite often spectacularly wrong about things, as the Hispanic IQ fiasco should have demonstrated. Look, pathogens are always going to have the evolutionary advantage over their hosts, because microorganisms evolve so much faster. See Greg Cochran on that.

      As yet, the no pathogen or trace of a pathogen has been discovered that causes homosexuality anywhere in the world. Considering that the population in question has tens of millions of members and that rare infectious diseases many orders of magnitude less common have been found, this is a huge hurdle.

      Not if no one is looking for it. You’d be surprised how easy it is to not find things.

      The list of reputable scientists who hold this theory has only one name, Gregory Cochran, and he is a physicist who has no laboratory experience in pathology or epidemiology. I have not heard from a single expert in the field who shares this view.

      Yeah, and, so? Let me see any one of them put together a serious discussion on why Cochran’s hypothesis is wrong.

      There is a long list of sexual behaviors and fetishes that are maladaptive. Heterosexual anal and oral sex for instance are big turn-ons for many people even though they would be quite maladaptive (after all the man wasting his precious load in a place that has 0% chance of fertilization — any rationalization such as that it is good for bonding is no good because the man is wasting an excellent opportunity at present with no promise of anything in the future and actual sex would be just as good or better for bonding).

      Are you serious? Do you know what it would take to make those things “maladaptive”? They would need to preclude procreative sex, which they clearly do not. Humans enjoy all manner of sexual behaviors other than regular intercourse. Obviously that’s a silly proposition.

      The best explanation that I can think of is that human sexuality is subject to conditioning (think Pavlov and his dog). The environment surrounding a reward is very important and automatic biological arousal can be attached to the environmental conditions that let to a reward.

      1. There’s little evidence of that happening.
      2. Evolution would not allow it, because individuals who could be swayed to having no interest in the opposite sex would be clearly selected out. This is why the people worried about porn are on really shaky ground. Because of the primacy of sexual attraction and functioning, evolution would have made failure of the system rare.

      The gay germ theory explains none of the rest. Is there another separate germ for each of the myriad other sexual behaviors out there? They need to be explained too, and some of them are quite maladaptive as well.

      As we can see, that’s nonsense.

    • Dan / Jun 16 2013 10:50 PM

      @Jayman —

      (A)

      I wrote “As yet, the no pathogen or trace of a pathogen has been discovered that causes homosexuality anywhere in the world. Considering that the population in question has tens of millions of members and that rare infectious diseases many orders of magnitude less common have been found, this is a huge hurdle.”

      And you replied: Not if no one is looking for it. You’d be surprised how easy it is to not find things.

      I now reply: I am a bit older than you so I have more memory of the massive hunt to identify get to the bottom of AIDS which consumed a decade of the top minds in epidemiology and virology and infectious diseases and pathology. The investment of time and money was enormous and this was the biggest problem in medicine for many years running. The primary test subjects were gay men since these men were overwhelmingly the ones who got AIDS in America. Pathologists had to sort through a whole variety of common and rare diseases that these gay men were facing, because the immunosuppressive nature of AIDS. Scientists had no idea what they were looking for and looked high and low for unusual pathogens seen in the bodies of gay men and not in others. And they were looking with a very open mind because they didn’t know at all what the cause would turn out to be.

      (B)

      I quoted Unz: “Cochran and others ridicule the gene model as absurd, arguing that strong selective pressure would have rapidly eliminated any such genes from the population, and this is not unreasonable. But similar criticism could applied to their own model, since genetic susceptibility to the germ would obviously be subject to equally powerful selective disadvantage.”

      And you replied: “Unz is quite often spectacularly wrong about things, as the Hispanic IQ fiasco should have demonstrated. Look, pathogens are always going to have the evolutionary advantage over their hosts, because microorganisms evolve so much faster.

      I now reply: Ad hominem re Unz is not an argument. In any case, Unz is (unfortunately) righter than most journalists on the Hispanic case since he at least admits that the present IQ gap is real (he imagines it will soon close for dubious reasons but at least his assessment of the present is better than most).

      But to continue on this line, what evolutionary advantage could a germ possibly derive from changing the sexual orientation of its host?

      (C)

      I wrote: There is a long list of sexual behaviors and fetishes that are maladaptive. Heterosexual anal and oral sex for instance are big turn-ons for many people even though they would be quite maladaptive (after all the man wasting his precious load in a place that has 0% chance of fertilization.

      And you replied: Are you serious? Do you know what it would take to make those things “maladaptive”? They would need to preclude procreative sex, which they clearly do not. Humans enjoy all manner of sexual behaviors other than regular intercourse. Obviously that’s a silly proposition.

      I now reply: Of course I am serious. This is a real objection. Heterosexual anal sex and oral sex *do* preclude vaginal sex, at the time that they occur. Every load deposited in the anus or rectum is a load not deposited where acts procreatively. When I ‘blow my wad’ that is it. I physically cannot follow it up with another instance. I am done for the entire encounter. If a person has anal or oral sex 50% of the time, that means they biologically have sex 50% less often than they would if they had vaginal sex exclusively. That this is a reproductive hit is obvious.

      (D)

      I wrote: The best explanation that I can think of is that human sexuality is subject to conditioning (think Pavlov and his dog). The environment surrounding a reward is very important and automatic biological arousal can be attached to the environmental conditions that let to a reward.

      You replied: Evolution would not allow it, because individuals who could be swayed to having no interest in the opposite sex would be clearly selected out. This is why the people worried about porn are on really shaky ground.

      I now reply: Conditioning in general (gaining a positive feeling about some environment when rewards are associated with it) is a huge evolutionary plus generally in terms of learning, generally.

      As for the issues with porn, the big porn consuming nations of Korea and Japan have among the lowest fertility rates in the world. Correlation is not causation, but the jury’s definitely still out on the porn thing.

    • JayMan / Jun 17 2013 12:13 PM

      what evolutionary advantage could a germ possibly derive from changing the sexual orientation of its host?

      Changing sexual orientation is probably not the main effect (i.e., what aids the pathogen’s reproduction), it’s probably a side effect.

      And you replied: Are you serious? Do you know what it would take to make those things “maladaptive”? They would need to preclude procreative sex, which they clearly do not. Humans enjoy all manner of sexual behaviors other than regular intercourse. Obviously that’s a silly proposition.

      I now reply: Of course I am serious. This is a real objection. Heterosexual anal sex and oral sex *do* preclude vaginal sex, at the time that they occur. Every load deposited in the anus or rectum is a load not deposited where acts procreatively.

      You’re touching on a bigger issue, one that should illustrate the problem with what you’re describing. You’re talking about the difference between procreational and recreational sex. Biologists define “recreational” sex as sex when conception is not possible, i.e., when the female is not in heat. Many other species engage in recreational sex (bonobos, dolphins) in addition to humans. What those animals do is similar to human sex that is not vaginal intercourse. Obviously, those things are not selectively disadvantageous, otherwise they wouldn’t evolve.

      When I ‘blow my wad’ that is it. I physically cannot follow it up with another instance. I am done for the entire encounter. If a person has anal or oral sex 50% of the time, that means they biologically have sex 50% less often than they would if they had vaginal sex exclusively. That this is a reproductive hit is obvious.

      You act as if sperm is an expensive resource, and when it’s lost, it’s gone. This is clearly not true. Many, if not most, men are capable of ejaculating several times a day, often in succession. Even if a couple derive 50% of the male orgasms from non-vaginal sex, that wouldn’t mean 50% fewer pregnancies. Indeed, the fitness loss would be negligible. The bonding aspect of the sex clearly demonstrates the advantage.

      And then, what about male masturbation to orgasm? Men clearly do this even when they have a female partner available.

      That was a pretty silly claim. Please don’t bring it up again.

      I wrote: The best explanation that I can think of is that human sexuality is subject to conditioning (think Pavlov and his dog). The environment surrounding a reward is very important and automatic biological arousal can be attached to the environmental conditions that let to a reward.

      You replied: Evolution would not allow it, because individuals who could be swayed to having no interest in the opposite sex would be clearly selected out. This is why the people worried about porn are on really shaky ground.

      I now reply: Conditioning in general (gaining a positive feeling about some environment when rewards are associated with it) is a huge evolutionary plus generally in terms of learning, generally.

      But it would be a big evolutionary minus if that derailed something as vital as sexual attraction to the opposite sex. Just as you can’t be conditioned to dislike food or drink, a man can’t be “conditioned” to lose sexual attraction to women.

      As for the issues with porn, the big porn consuming nations of Korea and Japan have among the lowest fertility rates in the world. Correlation is not causation, but the jury’s definitely still out on the porn thing.

      Fair enough. We will see.

    • Dan / Jun 17 2013 1:55 PM

      “That was a pretty silly claim. Please don’t bring it up again.”

      I will bring it up again because, with sincerest respect and no snark (I am very impressed with the general quality of your posts — that is why I am here), I feel quite certain that your argument on this one point is not valid.

      Perhaps a man in a committed relationship will have plenty of additional chances, but the last time I checked a very large percentage of pregnancies are outside of a committed relationship. In such cases, passing up one change for vaginal intercourse does not bring a guarantee of another. And even among pregnancies within a committed relationship, many of those are unplanned. I cannot even imagine that a proclivity toward anal or oral sex can be anything but a reproductive hit. Monica Lewinsky (among many others) might be a mother to Clinton’s child if history took a slightly different trajectory. As it stands, one of the most powerful men in recent American history has a single child. Another charismatic southern politician, John Edwards, was it seems more traditional in his predelictions and the results show.

      The reproductive hit for these activities will certainly not be total, but neither will it be negligible.

    • JayMan / Jun 17 2013 2:08 PM

      @Dan:

      What you’re saying simply makes no sense. As noted, you have a whole plethora of sexual behaviors that clearly do not have that problem, most prominent being masturbation.

      Humans are, all told, K-selected (even the more r-selected peoples are K-selected relative to the rest of the animal kingdom). Most pregnancies occur in the confines of semi-permanent relationships. What you’re saying would predict only a bias towards vaginal sex in opportunistic sexual encounters. I’d imagine that that is in fact what occurs. The penchant for indulgence in non-vaginal sex – which is hardly a negative in the arena of an ongoing relationship – that leads to the occasional missed opportunity for conception in opportunistic sexual encounters is hardly a mystery.

    • Dan / Jun 17 2013 4:06 PM

      You said, “What you’re saying simply makes no sense.” That is not an argument.

      As for ‘a whole plethora of behaviors that clearly do not have that problem, the most being being…’

      It is not at all clear to me that those are not a problem. The fertility rate in Japan has been far below replacement for a generation with one of the highest standards of living anywhere in history (if life expectancy is any measure). A high percentage of Japanese men make do with nothing but an Internet connection and satisfaction derived from the virtual. Meanwhile Japanese production of adult material has gone parabolic.

      from the everpresent wiki…
      “Herbivore men (草食(系)男子, Sōshoku(-kei) danshi?) is a social phenomenon in Japan of men who shun marriage or gaining a girlfriend.[1] They are characteristically described as frugal, and interested in personal grooming.[2] Under this categorization scheme, men and women are either herbivore type (草食系, sōshoku-kei?) or carnivore type (肉食系, nikushoku-kei?). As of September 2010, 36% of Japanese men between the ages of 16 and 19 perceived themselves in this way.[3] Additionally, two surveys of single men in their 20s and 30s found that 61% and 70%, respectively, considered themselves grass-eating men.[4] This phenomenon is viewed by the Japanese government as a leading cause in the nation’s declining birth rate, prompting the government to provide incentives for couples that have children, including payouts and free health care”

      Is it your contention that this enormous percentage of Japanese men is not engaging in any type of, ahem, substitution?

      You talk about ‘the arena of an ongoing relationship’ — entirely ignoring my points that (1) much of conception is outside of committed relationships, and (2) even within committed relationships unplanned pregnancies are the norm.

    • JayMan / Jun 17 2013 4:25 PM

      @Dan:

      You said, “What you’re saying simply makes no sense.” That is not an argument.

      Dan, By itself it’s not. It the context however…

      It is not at all clear to me that those are not a problem. The fertility rate in Japan has been far below replacement for a generation with one of the highest standards of living anywhere in history (if life expectancy is any measure). A high percentage of Japanese men make do with nothing but an Internet connection and satisfaction derived from the virtual. Meanwhile Japanese production of adult material has gone parabolic.

      The low fertility rate in Japan exists, fundamentally, for the same reason it does in much of the developed world. Overpopulation, with correspondingly tight resources.

      In any case, even if something is up in Japan today, it doesn’t support your case because you’re talking about fitness over evolutionary time. It’s possible for a trait to have been adaptive in the past and be maladaptive today.

      You talk about ‘the arena of an ongoing relationship’ — entirely ignoring my points that (1) much of conception is outside of committed relationships,

      I didn’t ignore them Dan, I addressed your points.

      The vast majority of pregnancies historically have occurred in the confines of semi-permanent relationships. Your problem is a non-problem.

      and (2) even within committed relationships unplanned pregnancies are the norm.

      I fail to see the relevance of this.

    • Dan / Jun 17 2013 4:31 PM

      My own personal experience tells me that the types of behaviors matter quite a lot. My wife is expecting number five in seven years, and we had four blessed surprises even with ‘measures taken’ in part by being so darn one-tracked. If my wife and I were into BJs or something else, at least some of these surprises probably wouldn’t have occurred. I am rather glad they did.

    • JayMan / Jun 17 2013 5:04 PM

      This is where I though you were coming from. In today’s developed world, there is a fertility difference between liberals and conservatives, as you know. One of the big thing that separates the two, by in large, is their attitudes towards sex. As Jason Malloy demonstrated, the most fecund today shun recreational sex in favor of procreational sex. (also see here at Neuropolitics). The trouble arises here because you are projecting this distinction backwards in time. This fertility divide between those that favor procreational vs. recreational sex didn’t always exist, and indeed, may not have gone much past the Baby boom. In fact, the ancestors of many of today’s American liberals, the Puritans, averaged 7 children (and that’s just the number they brought to adulthood)!. Contrary to the misconception, the Puritans weren’t “puritanical” when it came to sex (indeed, the gave us most modern American liberal values). Recreational sex, including non-vaginal sex, was not evolutionarily maladaptive.

      My wife is expecting number five in seven years, and we had four blessed surprises even with ‘measures taken’ in part by being so darn one-tracked. If my wife and I were into BJs or something else, at least some of these surprises probably wouldn’t have occurred. I am rather glad they did.

      Congrats! But do know it doesn’t take much (vaginal) sex to generate a lot of children…

    • Anon / Jun 17 2013 4:45 PM

      Please continue this discussion, very interesting read.

    • Dan / Jun 17 2013 4:51 PM

      “The low fertility rate in Japan exists, fundamentally, for the same reason it does in much of the developed world. Overpopulation, with correspondingly tight resources.”

      We cannot possibly know definitively why Japan has such a low fertility rate. For one thing, Japan has a much higher level of resources per capita than at almost any time in its history. For another, nations do not necessarily go to extremely low fertility. They settle at different levels and some are Malthusian.

      That you would make the argument “it doesn’t support your case because you’re talking about fitness over evolutionary time” shows that you missed my central point in the conversation that just occurred. I made the point about ‘conditioning’ — as in the general concept of conditioned response to reward. The concept of evolutionary fitness misses the point because these are learned behaviors not rooted in genes at all except at the very general level of ability to respond to conditioning and rewards.

    • JayMan / Jun 17 2013 5:42 PM

      We cannot possibly know definitively why Japan has such a low fertility rate. For one thing, Japan has a much higher level of resources per capita than at almost any time in its history. For another, nations do not necessarily go to extremely low fertility. They settle at different levels and some are Malthusian.

      Indeed, but my money is on population density, and its impact on peoples with certain (highly K-selected) evolutionary histories.

      That you would make the argument “it doesn’t support your case because you’re talking about fitness over evolutionary time” shows that you missed my central point in the conversation that just occurred. I made the point about ‘conditioning’ — as in the general concept of conditioned response to reward.

      You were talking about the “maladaptive” nature of non-vaginal sex (as a supposed maladaptive sexual behavior, like obligate homosexuality, that is purportedly mysterious, evolutionarily). My discussion of this was to demonstrate that these weren’t maladaptive, hence, there is no mystery there.

      The concept of evolutionary fitness misses the point because these are learned behaviors not rooted in genes at all except at the very general level of ability to respond to conditioning and rewards.

      Let’s review: you are claiming that human sexuality can be “conditioned” to find various things desirable, and that this “conditioning” can explain male homosexuality. Apparently, as evidence, you use the instance of Japan and the phenomenon there of young men who are voluntarily celibate (apparently “conditioned” to prefer pornography to real women).

      Now here’s the problem with that, and why evolutionary fitness is relevant: male homosexuality has existed for a very long time. If you’re claiming that gay men are gay because they’ve been “conditioned” to prefer men over women, the trouble is with that is this: natural selection would have made this potential rare. Unless you’re saying the factors “conditioning” men to be gay are brand new (which they’re not), evolution would have selected out men with this problem.

      On top of that, the evidence for sexual conditioning in humans is weak, at best.

      Indeed, the low-heritability of homosexuality further makes “conditioning” suspect – if it were real, twins would be similar in their response (as they are with any other personality trait); the heritability would be even higher.

      Even in the case of Japan, even if the modern environment is proving detrimental to their fitness, this is example of a previously adaptive traits becoming maladaptive in a new environment (say the Japanese aversion to confrontation, which suits them poorly today). Homosexuality is not like that. It’s an old trait, immune to change, with gays apparently exhibiting morphological changes in brain and body. “Conditioning” just doesn’t work as an explanation.

      I would add that conditioning would have been the likeliest answer from experts and scientists to these questions for most of the 20th century… until TPTB required innateness. It is surprising to me that conditioning now gets virtually no airtime.

      This is an appeal to authority, not an argument… 😉

    • Dan / Jun 17 2013 5:18 PM

      I would add that conditioning would have been the likeliest answer from experts and scientists to these questions for most of the 20th century… until TPTB required innateness. It is surprising to me that conditioning now gets virtually no airtime.

    • Dan / Jun 19 2013 10:50 AM

      My point is that conditioning is not something that is easily selected against because:

      The genes for conditioning are not about sex specifically. The genes for conditioning are about response to reward generally.

      Conditioning is a general thing where if there is a rewarding physical stimulus (from nerve endings, taste buds, the stomach, etc.) the surrounding conditions that were present at the time of physical stimulus become so deeply ingrained that even physical arousal can occur just from the conditions and not the physical stimulus. In the case of Pavlov’s dog, there was salivation in response to bell ringing, with no food present. Pavlov used bell ringing, but he could have clapped or shown a blue card or something else.

      Conditioning which is a general thing, is not something to be selected against because it terribly useful in most cases. Environments are different in every era and it is much better than instinct in such circumstances because individuals can adjust within their lifetimes.

      People have such an enormous range of sex fetishes that get them going that I don’t see how it can be anything other than conditioning.

    • JayMan / Jun 19 2013 10:58 AM

      @Dan:

      My point is that conditioning is not something that is easily selected against because:

      The genes for conditioning are not about sex specifically. The genes for conditioning are about response to reward generally.

      Conditioning is a general thing where if there is a rewarding physical stimulus (from nerve endings, taste buds, the stomach, etc.) the surrounding conditions that were present at the time of physical stimulus become so deeply ingrained that even physical arousal can occur just from the conditions and not the physical stimulus. In the case of Pavlov’s dog, there was salivation in response to bell ringing, with no food present. Pavlov used bell ringing, but he could have clapped or shown a blue card or something else.

      Dan, you can’t mix and match. That’s not how the human brain works. Pop neuroscience (which includes the yourbrainonporn crowd) may make it seem like the superficial similarities in brain response to pleasure derived from different sources (like food, drugs, and sex) are all the same, but they are all distinct systems in the brain. The brain processes each in different ways, with many dedicated responses for each. Basic sexual attraction to the opposite sex simply cannot be hijacked that way.

      People have such an enormous range of sex fetishes that get them going that I don’t see how it can be anything other than conditioning.

      All human behavioral traits are heritable, Dan, that’s how. Your incredulity means nothing.

      I’m starting to have my fill of this discussion. Please think carefully before commenting further on it (or I will have to start moderating your comments)…

  8. Gottlieb / Jun 15 2013 2:53 PM

    Thanks Dan.
    Interesting that homossexuality or non-heterossexuality are more common in left handed persons and probably, in jews. Kanazawa theory make strong sense for me, smarter people TEND to experiment new behaviours, for men= long hair, radical sports, living in a extrem conditions or new conditions, adopt new costumes, ideologies or create new costumes or and ideologies…. for women= feminism, lesbianism…
    Higher intelligence are related with many traits, are probably influences indirectly. Smarter people tend to have less testosterone (obviously, many smarter men are more ‘masculine’ and more testosterone but there are many subtypes, much more than left of bell curve).
    Intelligence stronger related for curiosity, individualism, divergent thinking, creativity and obviously openess. Obviously that there are many types of intelligence or ”cognitive styles”.
    This people with these traits and openess behaviour tendencies (genetic expression) tend to have one intelligence type, ”non-iq intelligence type”.
    Don’t exist ”gay genotype”, this is a typical western predisposition to classify everything. In many differentes cultures determined behaviours are commons than others.
    Gay and lesbians actually are people that find tolerance by express our sexual preferences than old times.Many others nominal heterossexuals, have unusual sexual preferences but don’t persecute this way of life, multiple explanations, personality traits like impulsivity, cognitive intelligence that explain ”environmental explanations”. I think that when intelligence level increase ”abstract and philosofical intelligence”, an a luxurious traits.

    • m / Jun 15 2013 4:23 PM

      Know of any studies that show left-handed folks taking a fitness hit? Nope.

    • JayMan / Jun 15 2013 11:28 PM

      Gay and lesbians actually are people that find tolerance by express our sexual preferences than old times.Many others nominal heterossexuals, have unusual sexual preferences but don’t persecute this way of life, multiple explanations, personality traits like impulsivity, cognitive intelligence that explain ”environmental explanations”. I think that when intelligence level increase ”abstract and philosofical intelligence”, an a luxurious traits.

      Look, what we’re trying to explain are male homosexuals who have no interest in women. That’s hard to explain evolutionarily.

    • Amber / Jul 13 2013 3:16 AM

      m–actually, lefties do take a fitness hit, I have seen articles about this.
      It probably has to do with attempting to function in a society where major things like cars are designed for righties. But it might also have to do with some lefties being lefties because of brain damage in the first place.

  9. chrisdavies09 / Jun 15 2013 4:42 PM

    I’m definitely very open to the strong likelihood that Greg Cochran’s ‘Gay Germ’ theory is true.

    The only other compelling hypothesis which I’ve seen is Blanchard et al, 2007: “Review and theory of handedness, birth order, and homosexuality in men.”

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13576500701710432#.UbzJuNhuS_I

    Abstract

    “Research has repeatedly shown that older brothers increase the odds of homosexuality in later-born males. This phenomenon has been called the fraternal birth order effect. The most highly developed explanation of this phenomenon is the maternal immune hypothesis, which proposes that the fraternal birth order effect reflects the progressive immunisation of some mothers to male-specific antigens by each succeeding male foetus and the concomitantly increasing effects of anti-male antibodies on the sexual differentiation of the brain in each succeeding male foetus. Recent studies indicate that older brothers increase the odds of homosexuality in right-handed males but not in non-right-handed males. The present article explores how the maternal immune hypothesis might be extended or modified to account for the apparent interaction of older brothers and handedness. Two possibilities are considered: (1) non-right-handed foetuses are insensitive to the presence of maternal anti-male antibodies, and (2) mothers of non-right-handed foetuses do not produce anti-male antibodies.”

    • Dan / Jun 15 2013 5:53 PM

      Why is conditioning not a possibility?

      Keep in mind that there is a whole range of maladaptive sexual behaviors as I have outlined above. A satisfying comprehensive theory should address the general range of sexuality and not just a narrow and specific type.

      Conditioning is the only theory that reasonably addresses the general range of sexuality, no?

  10. Gottlieb / Jun 15 2013 5:12 PM

    M,

    ???

  11. Gottlieb / Jun 15 2013 5:14 PM

    There is a relative incidence between both, lefthandedness and homossexuality. There are some studies about that.

  12. chrisdavies09 / Jun 15 2013 6:35 PM

    @Dan – “Why is conditioning not a possibility?”

    I can see your point about the other maladaptive sexual behaviours besides homosexuality. But in the case of homosexuality, if a male has absolutely no innate sexual attraction to the physical characteristics another human male’s body, and is only sexually aroused by female bodies, it is a bit of a stretch to suggest that he can be ‘conditioned’ in to desiring sexual activity with another male. Unless the other male in question happens to be a very convincing transsexual. Of course, the ‘reward’ for various different types of sexual activity, including the maladaptive ones, should be achieving an orgasm. But if the male cannot be sufficiently aroused in the first place, he cannot achieve the ‘reward’ either, so no conditioning will take place.

    • Dan / Jun 17 2013 11:46 AM

      Prisons? The ‘entertainment’ in saloons of the early American West when it was 10-1 male out there? The things young male performing arts aspirants do to get ahead? A lot is mechanics and friction and nerve endings as right hands worldwide would attest.

    • Fliff / Jun 18 2013 5:24 PM

      Do prison homosexuals stay gay post release?

  13. chrisdavies09 / Jun 15 2013 6:47 PM

    If Blanchard et al [see my earlier post] is correct, as opposed to Cochran’s ‘Gay Germ’ theory, and homosexual identity of male offspring is linked with a greater number of sons already given birth to by a mother through the so-called ‘maternal immune hypothesis’ [and assuming this effect applies to all races], would that then imply that countries with higher birth rates nowadays should experience higher rates of male homosexual orientation than countries with very low birth rates? And if so, is the effect perhaps being concealed by greater religiosity and greater stigma about homosexuality in those high birth rate countries?

    • JayMan / Jun 16 2013 9:44 AM

      Or, that’s just a bunch of bullpuckies…

  14. Gottlieb / Jun 16 2013 11:55 AM

    ”Look, what we’re trying to explain are male homosexuals who have no interest in women. That’s hard to explain evolutionarily.”

    Yes, i know, but a plausible explanation for this is that the tendency for deviant sexual practices is a set of traits common to most people. Genes are not apparent. Think of the Herpes virus, I know that the vast majority of people have the virus, but it is inactive. The same could explain homosexuality.
    Some people may have a genotype which in combination results in levels of hereditary predisposition to certain specific behavior.

    There is a theory that homosexuals are maturationally delayed in comparison with others.
    There are so many possibilities for explanations, involves many subtypes I think a bit exaggerated summarize all this only parasitic bacteria.

    http://www.neoteny.org/neoteny/a/homosexuality.html

  15. Gottlieb / Jun 16 2013 12:02 PM

    Jay man,

    I know, but a plausible explanation for this is that the tendency for deviant sexual practices is a set of traits common to most people. Genes are not apparent. Think of the Herpes virus, I know that the vast majority of people have the virus, but it is inactive. The same could explain homosexuality.
    Some people may have a genotype which in combination results in levels of hereditary predisposition to certain specific behavior.

    There is a theory that homosexuals are maturationally delayed in comparison with others.
    There are so many possibilities for explanations, involves many subtypes I think a bit exaggerated summarize all this only parasitic bacteria.

    http://www.neoteny.org/neoteny/a/homosexuality.html

    • JayMan / Jun 16 2013 12:10 PM

      @Gottlieb

      I know, but a plausible explanation for this is that the tendency for deviant sexual practices is a set of traits common to most people. Genes are not apparent. Think of the Herpes virus, I know that the vast majority of people have the virus, but it is inactive. The same could explain homosexuality.
      Some people may have a genotype which in combination results in levels of hereditary predisposition to certain specific behavior.

      The only part of that that holds water is that perhaps homosexuals have a genetic susceptibility to the pathogen. It can’t be a straight-on genetic effect, not at a prevalence of 3% of men (natural selection wouldn’t allow it to reach that level).

      There is a theory that homosexuals are maturationally delayed in comparison with others.

      Unlikely, for the reason stated above.

  16. Chip Smith / Jun 16 2013 12:21 PM

    M,

    I sincerely hope you are right in your speculation about how this would go down, but there are a lot of necessary steps that might not fall in line, and I think you profoundly underestimate the political fallout that would follow the inevitable headlines no matter how the news is couched. Homosexuality isn’t like mental retardation or even deafness; it’s a culturally rooted and celebrated group identity that matters very much to a great many people for reasons personal and political. To understand what I am suggesting, imagine the same scenario you outline with the difference being that the doctor advises parents that the secondary effect of the recommended vaccine is that it will make their children far less receptive to religious belief (I know this is an outlandish hypothetical, but religiousity does have a biological component). Do you think this would remain a matter that takes place in the privacy of the doctor-patient relationship, or do you think it would explode in sensational headlines about doctors programming kids’ brains for atheism — and under Obamacare?! I think the latter scenario would predominate, and I think that’s more or less what we’ll see if pathogenic homosexuality is proven and treatable.

    Against this we should keep in mind the cultural — and cross-cultural — backdrop characterized by overwhelming scientific illiteracy and profoundly differing cultural priors regarding the moral status of same-sex attraction. Some governments would mandate vaccination, and in some Western democracies the issue would be politicized with genocidal rhetoric attending the debate. There would be appeals for political asylum. There would be folk beliefs about the germ’s origin. A cultural paradigm built around dubious science would be shattered. People would take sides

    Notwithstanding the best PR and the most optimal alignment of secondary facts, I can’t imagine this going well.

    • erica / Jun 17 2013 2:10 PM

      I’m not suggesting the homosexual community would be happy to hear that the way they became homosexual was via a pathogen (even though as young adolescents almost all gay or, for lack of a better term “pre-gay” boys knew they were “different” and didn’t like that difference.)

      I don’t think it likely the hypothetical finding would “explode” in sensational stories because the media (who are in charge of all “explosions” or lack of explosions) would not report the scientific research as “Are gays being euthanized?” The editors making those headline choices are people who are parents/grandparents and they realize that the actual sane prospective mothesr and fathers want a boy child who can reproduce and do so naturally and btw, they also want a masculine behaving boy child.

      However, let’s say, for the sake of argument I’m all wrong about this. Let’s say the editors use National Enquirer type headlines and write sensational stories about the research findings: yes, it’ll fire up the gay community, but to what end? No way would the gay community, no matter who they have in power and where they have people in power be able to stop anything. If we got so silly as to pass laws preventing the means we’ve discovered to prevent homosexuality, we could still go to nations who’d take care of things. If it ever reached that point, though, you’d likely have a nation in a civil war, though. Seriously, people would take up arms over that. I would. To tell me there’s a prevention or cure for my daughter who is infertile, but you won’t allow her the cure, or to tell me there’s a prevention of cure for my son who is infertile, but you won’t all him the cure (that’s the same as being homosexual), I’d take up arms.

      You are also leaving out the likelihood that this hypothetical germ does other damage. What if, for example, you found out the bug for mono is the bug that causes homosex in a few people? You think the gay lobby can prevent people from getting their kids vaccinations against it, even though no one wants to get mono? We now know that many of the bugs we get in childhood from which we escape the acute infectious stage with varying symptoms of discomfort/illness or no “illness” at all are responsible for chronic diseases that do damage over a lifetime or kill ( most obvious example, HPV). Who the hell would care if the gay lobby was “offended” if we developed vaccines against such bugs? Think I would give a damn if they said, “But, but, but, if you give your kid that vaccine against virus x, you are committing genocide against gay people.” Come off it, drama kings and queens, don’t try that. It’s MY CHILD!!!!! I have a duty to do all I can to keep him well. Besides, it’s not as if gay people would disappear all at once.

      I would say this. If we discovered there is a parasite that has actually hijacked the child’s brain, things get dicey because of the ick factor, but the reporting of that would be cloaked in scientific jargon, and you can still be sure the public would be advised how best to avoid the exposure that led to the parasitic infection.

      Face it: I don’t know when, but the kind of homosexuality about which we are speaking here, the kind resulting in males who don’t respond sexually to females (and to males who from an early age in childhood probably demonstrated strong aversion to typical boy play and aggression) will be a thing of the past one day. If you’re under 50 right now, I’d guess you’d see that happen, the beginning of the end. Perhaps much much sooner.

    • erica / Jun 17 2013 2:57 PM

      Of course, there is the possibility of great irony here, esp. with those liberals for whom abortion rights is a religion and with Obamacare…should ever there be the ability to determine in utero if a fetus will be gay and some decide to abort, you’d have liberals yelling their heads off but not having a leg to stand on as they already argue that a woman need no reason at all to abort for any reason at all and the most extreme of them arguing at any time at all, even up to and including a few minutes before the child travels the birth canal.

      On the other hand, religious fundamentalists who believe homosexual behavior to be sinful and abortion to be sinful would face something they’d not faced before.

  17. Gottlieb / Jun 16 2013 2:50 PM

    Jay man,
    You really think they are only 3%? 3% declare themselves as gay, the human fauna is much more complex than you think
    Already an old book of a famous couple sexologists, forgot the name of them (Johnson something) that said that a much larger number of people had already experienced some homosexual practice. Well, you just said that most women have bisexual tendencies. I agree that is a trait advantageous but first, not sure if bisexuality and homosexuality are traces, understand me. As I said before, it seems that many of our behaviors are a puzzle through random traits that in combination result in a phenotypically type, which is conceptual and socially established. I said that there are environmental factors and you agreed with me. There is only gene expression, I can be violent since my 3 year old or I can make, both are predominantly genetic. But the precise genetic environment to exist. Genetics fits more favorable environment.

    • JayMan / Jun 16 2013 3:15 PM

      A higher percentage is even harder to explain evolutionarily. 3% is the number that comes out most reliable estimates.

  18. Gottlieb / Jun 16 2013 3:43 PM

    Again and again…
    Why not??

    Homossexualism there only nominally.. Blue eyes there, dark skin there, shyness there but ‘specifically behaviour’ are very relative and change according culture, values
    Is a complexity scale here, 0 a 1 how much complex are the ”trait” higher the score. Color eyes= 0,2 Dark Skin= 0,3 Shyness= 0,6 homossexualism=0,8

    Homossexualism depends of the others (also) complex traits (combination of types of personality traits beyond other biological traits), the complexity within complexity

    there is nothing to explain evolutionarily… Homossexualism is not a trait, is very little ”hereditary”.
    Whell, if the women are naturally predisposed to bissexualism so, the combination of many complex traits turn 3% of nominal men, gay

    Think in the light eyes, i read that their traits are initially feminine, because was selected firstly in women (in Europe)… The same should be happen about ‘homossexualism’.

    • JayMan / Jun 16 2013 4:17 PM

      Homossexualism there only nominally.

      Look, we have physical evidence for the existence of men that don’t seem to have sexual attraction to women.

      Homossexualism depends of the others (also) complex traits (combination of types of personality traits beyond other biological traits), the complexity within complexity

      It doesn’t “depend” on any of that. It’s pretty straightforward – are you attracted to women, or men.

      Homossexualism is not a trait, is very little ”hereditary”.

      Look, if you’re going to deny reality, this is not the place for you. The facts say otherwise.

      Whell, if the women are naturally predisposed to bissexualism so

      Female bisexuality is quite distinct. Though there is evidence that suggests that many, perhaps most, or even all women have a bisexual potential, the exact nature of this is far from clear. This is irrelevant to the issue of obligate male homosexuality.

      Look, the problem with obligate male homosexuality from a genetic perspective is that evolution would have selected it out. Such men would have had a lower fitness than men who are interested in women.

      I’m happy to explain the particulars of this. I would strongly suggest reading the posts of Greg Cochran (and the comments there) for more.

      While I am happy to help you learn about the topic, you seem to be recycling the same nonsensical points in your posts. I ask you to please take a moment to reflect on what was discussed before posting again.

  19. Gottlieb / Jun 16 2013 4:07 PM

    Lunatics of the left created a group whose fundamental identity is sexuality, but that’s a bit stupid to think, after all, sexuality in times of parsimony was not exalted as is done today. There was the woman who prefers oral sex and the man who prefers to penetrate her anus by his wife (LOL).
    These identities, in a biological sense practically are very recent in human history. In the past, at least in the West, these people did not practice the way they see today.
    For example, how would you define a man who lets himself be sucked by another, he is gay because of it? Does the pathogen infected for the rest of his life.
    Amerindian peoples and the Indians have interesting ways of looking at it, they just realized that as I said, the human fauna is complex and it can be advantageous to have this diversity with them. I do not think bad human diversity, provided it is managed in a proper way. But the diversity in the West has a character clearly anti-European.

  20. Gottlieb / Jun 16 2013 5:12 PM

    1- Yes, i am aware… Many official nazis, warriors in the past were gay or similar… Ultra masculinity can result in sexual impulsivity and narcisism.

    2- we are not speaking the same language, not literally please. Personality traits influence much more in this aspects. For example, Two identical men in appearance, less masculine and less attractive to the opposite sex. However, one still attracted to women, why?
    Self esteem by not being attractive and have difficulty having sex, he is less impulsive, have more sexual control. If all human beings are originally XX and then become XY (speculation, is that right?) Then many or few humans would be halfway. The existence of biologically hermaphrodite explains why there are different subtypes sex.
    Neuroticism = more neurotic men tend to have low self esteem or lack of emotional control.
    Openess = people more open to new experiences they would not have difficulty experiencing homosexuality and nowadays with all this lobby …
    I do not see where the conscientiousness would fit, I think it would have some effect neutral. Depends on the cultural context, but I think people with a more open mind, are less conscientious because they do not care about the social fabric in which they are immersed.

    3-REALITY, why?? I love the true Jay man, love absolutelly. ..

    It was not clear to me what you think of it. A complex, human behavior can be summarized as opportunistic parasites?
    The fact that Greek prostitutes have been happier, allegedly caused by the pathogen of syphilis does not mean that for all other cases also be so.
    I see no problem with this theory be right, but I see very problem you, or Cochran believe that a complex behavioral chain comes down to a infection without first having examined all the many factors, biological and genetically not apparent (environmental factors) .
    Conclude that the brains of the GLBT population is identical to the heterosexual population in standard, conclude that cerebral asymmetry has a role, that rates of maturation hormone, finally, all these factors are also relevant, can not have any, then I I accept that human behavior is very easily molded with sheep and stop being an arrogant anthropocentric.

    4-I read about the theory of bisexuality. In my opinion the fact that women do not have penis as sexual organ mediator fundamental about their function in nature idem, it obviously likely to make them more androgynous, prone to experience deviant sexual practices of reproduction project.

    You do not need to tell me because it is difficult to understand the presence of homosexuality among humans as well as in several other species. But as I said from the beginning, and honestly, I would not feed him a bad impression of myself, I do not in bad faith … there isn’t an evolutionary explanation that explains why nominally 3% of men and women declare themselves as gay, assuming that only 3% is. If most women are predisposed to bisexuality then by logic I conclude that men are also. If sífilies made ​​a woman more happy and promiscuous in a brothel Greek, so maybe the germs only alter the state of the person and not their brain morphology. Logically we know that many gay men are not promiscuous.

  21. erica / Jun 16 2013 8:59 PM

    Did you see this?

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/05/22/1220712110.abstract

    It made it into the popular press: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/05/study-science-can-change-the-sexual-orientations-of-mice/276311/

    First, I offer it as some evidence that the question of how sexual orientation works being studied. We have the GWAS research; we have the sheep guy, Roselli (still looking for organizational effects on the brain by hormones in utero); we have Dulac, who has done remarkable work on the innate behaviors of rodents, including mating and gender discrimination in mating, and we have this Peking team (China, of course!):

    “We demonstrate that a genetic manipulation reverses sexual preference without involving sex hormones. Our results indicate that serotonin controls sexual preference.”

    Interesting sentence–“without involving sex hormones.”

    I realize that serotonin may be responsible for a whole kit and caboodle of behaviors, but I am glad to know that the sexual orientation angle is being pursued.

    It hasn’t escaped my attention that so many gay males suffer mood disorders and that mood disorders seem related to serotonin.

    • JayMan / Jun 16 2013 9:09 PM

      I’ve heard of it. A mutated gene that alters sexual orientation in humans could theoretically exist. Such a gene could never rise to a prevalence of 3% of all males, however.

    • erica / Jun 16 2013 9:33 PM

      ‘I’ve heard of it. A mutated gene that alters sexual orientation in humans could theoretically exist. Such a gene could never rise to a prevalence of 3% of all males, however.”

      Sorry, didn’t make myself clear. I don’t believe at all that there exists a mutated gene in humans, or at least not one that exists in enough people to account for the prevalence in which we find males who aren’t turned on by women.

      All I wished to offer is that I’m glad the subject is being studied at all. It’s clear, as gc and now you point out, that no one is specifically looking for a pathogen to explain the anomaly of male homosexuality. However, even though no one is, it may be fairly likely, with these studies going on, that the neurochemical processes of sexual attraction/orientation will be unraveled, first in rodents, maybe in sheep if Roselli goes in a different direction based on the work on rodents, and then, yes, in humans.

      Once you know how heterosexuality works, you can see where the sexual attraction goes awry and then look to cause. Yes, it seems the long way around the questions, but whatever gets us there, fine.
      It seems really silly that in the year 2013 we don’t know the chemosensory reason for a human male’s sexual attraction to a human female. It’s akin to not knowing the earth isn’t flat, isn’t it?

    • JayMan / Jun 16 2013 9:46 PM

      Indeed.

    • Gottlieb / Jun 17 2013 8:42 AM

      Many heterosexual men also suffer from mood disorder.
      I do not intend to further extend this conversation, because what he had to say, I said. It is simply too complex to summarize it all one or two fundamental causes. I have no problem accepting this theory as part of the puzzle, but it seems that you guys do not want to take into account a whole host of features that are involved.

      There are many questions that arise when we only see this other theory of the mutant gene. After all, is that all gay men have this gene, the effect will be the same?
      If this is true, then the heritability of homosexual behavior will not be only 10-30%, but much larger.
      Like I said, if homosexual behavior is a puzzle of different traits, including the main sexual attraction to the same sex, then maybe the heritability of this type of behavior should be added to the other traits that are related to it as openess, for example.
      So if this personality trait is around 60% of heredity, then the heritability of deviant sexual behavior, will be higher than what was found.
      It’s like in the case of the human races, the white race is not white just because of skin color. Millions of Asians are white skin.

    • JayMan / Jun 17 2013 12:14 PM

      Like I said, if homosexual behavior is a puzzle of different traits, including the main sexual attraction to the same sex, then maybe the heritability of this type of behavior should be added to the other traits that are related to it as openess, for example.
      So if this personality trait is around 60% of heredity, then the heritability of deviant sexual behavior, will be higher than what was found.

      That kind of equivocation doesn’t fly…

  22. chrisdavies09 / Jun 17 2013 7:56 AM

    In Daily Mail last week:-

    “Childhood diabetes could be triggered by an infectious disease spread by wild animals”

    -Study found distinct peaks in cases suggesting caused by environment
    -Scientists suspect that condition could be spread like flu or measles
    -Type 1 diabetes may be carried by rats or mice
    -Cases on the rise as is that many children have weaker immune systems

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2341209/Childhood-diabetes-triggered-infectious-disease-spread-wild-animals.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

    [Study carried out in North-East England, where HLA haplotype A1-B8-DR3-DQ2 which confers susceptibility to Type 1 Diabetes is at much higher frequency in the population relative to other parts of Europe: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HLA_A1-B8-DR3-DQ2#In_insulin_dependent_diabetes_mellitus ].

    Aside from any other theories doing the rounds, I am coming round to being convinced that the ‘Gay Germ’ theory holds weight and is the most plausible theory out there. Environmental exposure to the pathogen in infancy, coupled with inherited genetic susceptibility to the infection could be the two factors at work.

    • erica / Jun 17 2013 12:17 PM

      Thanks for pointing out this link –hadn’t seen it. The consensus for a while now has been that T1D is triggered by an infection prompting an autoimmune reaction. The question, of course, becomes which bug or bugs are involved. A quick google search shows how many are under suspicion.

  23. Gottlieb / Jun 17 2013 9:08 AM

    Still on homosexuality and handedness. Some early studies suggested that non-handers are more prone to autoimmune diseases. The theory of maturational delay in relation to homosexuals, many of them are left-handed and ambidextrous, quickly dismissed by Jayman, it makes sense to look at it this way.
    It would make sense that humans slower in maturation hormone have a tendency to present a weaker immune system than those with fast maturing.

    The theory of homosexuality-related creative intelligence (which would also be more related to non-destrismo) is interesting. Was seeing a chart, made ​​by Chris McManus, author of” Righ, Left hand”. In the specific case, the book was about the geographical distribution of left-handed people in the world. Interestingly, he found that lefties prevail nowadays, at least in Europe, in highly industrialized regions. For example, the emblematic case of Italy, north and south, lefties would be more common in northern Italy than in the south. Of course, many possible interpretations should be taken into consideration.
    I thought, if lefties are more likely to be homosexual, then homosexual lefties would also increase their desire to emigrate from southern Italy, tribalist and male-cultural, for most cosmopolitan regions as the major fashion centers of northern Italy.
    Throughout history left-handers have gone through periods of increase and decrease. MacManus found that by the eighteenth century, lefties were around 10% of the population, as it is today. But from this period the percentage of left-handed people dropped to 3%. How do you explain this collapse? Biological or cultural factors? Or both?
    Another interesting thing about the ‘two’ human brains, the left and right.

    The left brain would be predominantly active for the majority of the population, especially the right hand. In return the right brain is more active in 30% of left-handers, which could explain some advantage in creativity.
    An interesting case is also of Ashkenazi Jews, despite the small amount of work I could find, there seems to be a higher prevalence of left-handers in this population than in any other. That would explain many things. Greater use of the right brain, greater creativity, greater incidence for mental disorders, constant feeling of paranoia, persecution and differentiation, strong divergent thinking, higher rates for schizophrenic personalities, psychotic and neurotic etc …
    Besides the blatant campaign of the Jews in favor of tolerance for sexual diversity.
    In the same book about ‘autism and social change’ that I recommended for Jayman has a little text that talks briefly about the distribution of handedness among Jews, Protestant

    http://www.humanevolution.net/humanevolution/a/jewish.html

    ””As with handedness and marital status, the patterns do not match those for the total sample. For example, among white males, the highest proportions for each handedness group is: Lefts and Rights, Jews: Left Mixeds, None: and Right Mixed, Protestants.” (Lansky, LM, Feinstein H, & Peterson JM (1988) Demography of handedness two samples of randomly selected adults (N = 2083). Neuropsychologia 26: 474) [note: Jews polarized to the left right extremes]”

  24. chrisdavies09 / Jun 17 2013 9:35 AM

    @Gottlieb – What if left-handedness in men had a greater tendency to correlate with higher average i.q. as one factor, higher average level of creativity as another factor [right-brained men], and *also* with weaker immune function on average as a third factor? [Not that I can offer a mechanism as to why this should be so, this is purely hypothetical]. If this were the case it would mean that creative and higher i.q. left-handed men would be more susceptible to the ‘gay germ’ as they all had in common weaker immune function relative to the general population [or a specific MHC profile which conferred greater susceptibility to the germ].

    • Gottlieb / Jun 17 2013 12:09 PM

      Assumptions are based on logic.
      Creativity is a very complex and difficult to understand, although it is not entirely impossible. I leave the logic, if lefties are more likely to use more actively the creative part of the brain and more lefties than righties are gay, then there are some relationships, although they are complex.
      High creativity should not necessarily relate well with high qi. I start from the assumption that a truly creative person is not only or mainly one that invents things, leaving other ever created before. We know that most scientists are so. Creating something completely new is surely the main exercise in creativity.
      In science, it seems that more than half of what is discovered are just logical assumptions. But we do not make assumptions of nowhere. There is a pattern here.
      I believe in the power of qi have, but it fails in many other possibilities. I believe there is a kind of intelligence, convergent by nature, the qi can measure very well. But creativity is totally derived from divergent thinking.
      Most people with high qi are a lesser or greater degree, more creative than the low-qi. But there are hierarchies of creativity and I do not see most geeks as creative geniuses.

  25. chrisdavies09 / Jun 17 2013 9:58 AM

    Erica mentions a study where they apparently altered the sexual orientation of mice by interfering with them so that they could no longer make or respond to serotonin. If this is true, and the effect held true for other mammals, including humans, maybe if there is a ‘gay germ’, the pathogen alters sexual orientation by interfering with the functioning of the host’s serotonin system in the brain? Just a thought.

  26. Chip Smith / Jun 17 2013 4:46 PM

    erica,

    In your reply to my comment, you assert that I left out “the likelihood that this hypothetical germ does other damage.” Just wanted to note that my speculation was in reply to M’s scenario where such “other damage” is suggested as the primary basis for vaccination.

    But this makes me wonder: How likely is it that exposure to the hypothetical germ might instead turn out be beneficial in some other respect? This possibility is at least implicit in Steve Sailer’s first “gay germ” article, where he talks about SCA and malaria.

    • erica / Jun 17 2013 7:25 PM

      As for “the hypothetical germ might turn out to be beneficial in some other respect”….you’re thinking of something like heterozygote advantage that exists in sickle cell anemia or cystic fibrosis? The heterozygote advantage of one sickle cell protected against the biggest killer known to man, falciparum malaria. Last I read many still believe the cystic fibrosis carrier gene of Europeans protected against another huge killer, cholera, but others are now arguing it likely provided protection against tuberculosis. Whatever the case, these confer advantages against huge killers; in fact, so deadly are they, we notice them whether we are looking for them or not. Similarly, genomic scans reveal the genes that confer benefit.

      1.) What would be a disease so deadly, so far-flung in its ability to kill that a heterozygote advantage has resulted in approx. 3% of the population. Why don’t we know of such a disease that great?

      2.) Why hasn’t such a heterozygote advantage been spotted yet with our technology? (Answer: Because it doesn’t exist).

      As for balanced selection–go read comments on the subject from others at “West Hunter.” If traits that reduce the fitness of some members of a family (males) somehow are balanced by the enhanced fertility of other members of a family (females) even the least observant of us would have noticed the phenomenon by now.

  27. erica / Jun 17 2013 5:13 PM

    “what evolutionary advantage could a germ possibly derive from changing the sexual orientation of its host?”

    Say a bug that found it easier to reproduce in the gut of a male. Men and women differ in flora environment.

  28. The Man Who Was . . . / Jun 18 2013 2:57 AM

    I don’t know what we can do to protect gays when the gay germ is found, but I do applaud you for at least thinking about it. We really do need to think what we can do to minimize the violence.

    I also think we need to be thinking about how to manage the return of religion to the West. As a conservative, I generally applaud this, but religious people have their peculiar biases and there will be downsides. We need to start thinking about how to minimize those too.

    • Gottlieb / Jun 22 2013 12:08 AM

      I ever was favorable to TRUE aristocratic elite, noble, smart and fair to drive the masses. It look like a “iluminatti dolar discourse“ but i believe that is a unique form to educate people about the human nature, obviously without psychopath satanic leaders with power.

  29. Steve Sailer / Jun 20 2013 4:03 AM

    I doubt if much would happen for decades. Progress against non-epidemic germs tends to be very slow. When I had cancer 15 years ago, I was told it was probably caused by a virus. But I haven’t seen much progress on that.

  30. m / Jun 21 2013 3:01 PM

    HOFables,

    Oh my, such tolerance.

    Tell me, what is it that the blog host has said that would cause you to react in this manner? You attack him instead of his arguments. Is that because you have no good counter-argument?

    Assuming you are upset at his belief in the pathogen hypothesis, can you explain why? What does difference will it ultimately make what the biological cause of homosexuality is? A germ trigger? A blocked ion channel? An enzyme irregularity? Receptor problems? A mother who ate or drank x, y, or z in month a, b, or c of pregnancy? Huh? No matter the trigger, all will be explained in terms of neurochemistry as something over which no one has control.

    Or are you upset that understanding its etiology will one day lead to parents having kids who can have kids themselves? (I suspect that’s the real issue.) Convince me otherwise.

    • JayMan / Jun 21 2013 5:50 PM

      I banned him.

  31. konga / Jun 22 2013 3:20 AM

    Well we’d openly try to prevent its spread, so it would be in the open that we disapprove of it. But, we’re so good at using cultural glasses and speech filters to be nice that perhaps not much would change in how we treat gays. On the other hand, knowing that they’re the victim of some bug would make us feel sorry for them, in a bad way. They’d be cripples, perverted from what they were intended to be, poor things, because of a mechanism that’s not them, instead of gay being just how they are. A non-genetic mechanism would make their gayness would stop being a mystery making them untouchably holy; we’d go back to homophobia / looking down on them, but now with justification. Only, we’ll have become better at not discriminating, at least outwardly. I’m sure it would spin off a lot more interesting thoughts. Interesting question!

    As for the contagion aspect it depends on the form of transmission. I think we’d act about appropriately; we did get through AIDS, which will kill you after all, just settling on things not to do – certainly no mass slaughters or quarantines or anything.

  32. erica / Jun 23 2013 6:17 PM

    JayMan, you or others might enjoy this It’s a presentation by one of the lead researchers doing the work on the effects of serotonin on sexual orientation in mice, research to which I referred in a post above. He goes over his team’s earlier results on male mice (research published in 2011) and then on that on female mice (research published just recently.) I think his team and the ones lead by Catherine Dulac of Harvard are leading the way in the area of the mechanisms that control innate behaviors, including sexual behaviors. No, it has nothing to do with a pathogen connection, but I maintain that as long as no one is actually testing the pathogen hypothesis in labs, we might be able to get the cause of homosexual orientations if we first discover the mechanisms of heterosexuality, and these teams seem most likely to be the ones that provide answers to that question.

  33. raquel / Jun 25 2013 6:20 AM

    Jayman, I want to ask for some questions off topic, since you’re skilled on maps and statistics. I want to make a worldwide map with social features on cad/dad trends of each country. But I dont know what statistics markers I´d focus attention on: divorce rates? Illegitimacy Rate?, birth rate?, single-parent household? Age of the fist marriage? Operational sex ratio? Several mixed markers?

    By the other hand, I’m trying to find worldwide statistics about eating disorders (anorexia and bulimia) but there are few data sources available. I can not find information (large-scale national surveys or rates of hospitalization) for most of countries. How I could make a map about anorexia /bulimia?

    Thank u so much.

    • JayMan / Jun 25 2013 9:50 AM

      Jayman, I want to ask for some questions off topic, since you’re skilled on maps and statistics. I want to make a worldwide map with social features on cad/dad trends of each country. But I dont know what statistics markers I´d focus attention on: divorce rates? Illegitimacy Rate?, birth rate?, single-parent household? Age of the fist marriage? Operational sex ratio? Several mixed markers?

      I’d combine all of those, at least the ones you find easiest to obtain data.

      By the other hand, I’m trying to find worldwide statistics about eating disorders (anorexia and bulimia) but there are few data sources available. I can not find information (large-scale national surveys or rates of hospitalization) for most of countries. How I could make a map about anorexia /bulimia?

      Good question. If I come across any, I’ll let you know.

  34. Gottlieb / Jun 26 2013 4:31 PM

    About the ”germ gay” in mainstream and possibilities…
    We do not need to do absolutely nothing about” treat” homosexuals.
    Looks like you guys are trying to pass as a tractor over many evidences that help explain homosexual behavior. It is not so simple.
    As I see you using statistics on IQ to explain everything, is not so simple. Yes, I totally believe that IQ is very important to explain many things, but no work on it, try to give it legitimacy, should summarize the intelligence to him. That is why social scientists have a full plate to attack their work, after all, all the time you guys are making it clear that conventional intelligence tests alone can explain the human intellect.
    I continue with the main idea that pathogen and homosexual behavior is just a neutral relationship. Homosexuals tend to mature more slowly, have higher proportions of autoimmune diseases, precisely because they have higher proportions of left-handed and ambidextrous. So they have weaker immune systems and are more easily attacked by pathogens.

    The homossexual man split into two groups striking, hyper masculinized (high testosterone) and less masculine (low testosterone, high estrogen). This latter group may be more compatible with the pathogen infestation.
    But if all suffer the presence of germs in our bodies so the question” gay” seed should not be discussed in a separate way, after all, it is unfair to say that behavior outside of the rule and evolutionarily illogical is a disease, if we all have germs interacting with us.

    About heterozygous advantage, Ashkenazi Jews seem to be an example.

    http://www.humanevolution.net/humanevolution/a/jewish.html

    http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03014467800002861

    http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1945-02685-001

    http://akinokure.blogspot.com.br/2012/07/jews-more-than-twice-as-likely-to-be.html

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