Etiology of gayness

Concerning question of the etiology of same-sex attraction: most of us so attracted, I think, are aware that it is not learned. Observation leads us to realize that it is very much "natural" in that it is in nature quite extensively, particularly among our nearest kin the other primates.

Whether created or evolved, the attraction is then by definition natural and purposeful. Sociobiologists have suggested that among primates, particularly chimps, the presence in a tribe of adults without offspring themselves is great assistance to the survival and growth of their tribe -- particularly in rapid movement to escape danger.

If you think of gays and their choice of profession, it is striking how many choose low paying high service occupations. The homes for the retarded, hospitals, almost any service institution you can find has a much higher percentage of gay staff than their percentage in the population. And it is not simply those marginalized by society seeking marginal jobs -- there are many other marginal jobs. I know few gay garbage collectors or ditch diggers.

In a very real sense, gayness in chimps produces for them what the celibate priesthood attempts to produce for humankind; but gayness does it better, I think, for humans as well. Well adjusted gays are less a threat than repressed priests. Witness the church schools and orphanages for Amerindians.

One of my close friends applied sociological and anthropological techniques to the study of chimps (techniques usually only applied to humans). Much that was new was learned (THE EGALITARIANS : HUMAN AND CHIMPANZEE (Cambridge University Press, 1991) Earlier studies of chimps often decided which chimp was male and which was female on the basis of behaviour, not getting close enough to observe genitals. So of course all nurturing chimps were seen as female, and females were then found to be nurturing. All chimps receiving intercourse were also so identified. It was a mobius strip, and reinforced stereotypes of human "natural" male and female behaviour.

What is considered "natural" says more about the attitudes of those making such assessments, than it does about the activity being assessed.

So your same sex attraction and attractiveness is natural, is found in nature, and among humans in all times and places of which we have record. Enjoy.

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Last modified: Tuesday, 18-May-2010 10:24:33 PDT