February 4th, 2010
Those who study the etiology of sexual orientation know that genetics is not fully responsible for whether or not a man is gay. Other factors which are hypothesized to play a roll including either biological conditions (e.g. in utero hormone levels), natural environmental influences (early childhood infections), psychological influences, and many others.
But the results of twin studies have long since indicated that for at least some gay men, part of the causation of their orientation is due to genetics.
However, evolutionary biologists have been uncertain as to why this would be. Knowing that men who are primarily same-sex attracted and not opposite-sex attracted are less likely to reproduce, what evolutionary advantage would these genes have and how would they have carried for millions of generations without dying out?
One theory is that the advantages of having a small number of men without children of their own would be adequate to advantage the shared genes of their siblings, “super uncles” as it were. Now it appears that at least one study provides some credibility to that idea. (Montreal Gazette)
Interestingly, the study was conducted by someone who set out to prove it wrong. Paul Vasey, associate professor in the University of Lethbridge’s department of psychology, went to Samoa to study the fa’afafine [men who were raised female] to provide the conclusive evidence that the “super uncle” theory could be discarded. He found the opposite.
Researchers conducting similar studies in the U.S. and England did not find any supporting evidence for the theory, said Vasey. “So I thought, ‘Well, I’ll do it in a non-Western culture and chances are I’m going to find exactly the same results and it’ll be the nail in the coffin for this hypothesis,'” he said.
Vasey found that the fa’afafine said they were significantly more willing to help kin, yet much less interested in helping children who aren’t family — providing the first evidence to support the “kin selection hypothesis.”
It would be ill advised to draw too many conclusions based on this one study. And directly equating of fa’afafine to gay men in the West is a rather large leap.
However, this does provide additional data to inform the ongoing question as to why some people find themselves attracted to the same sex and others do not.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.