Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Explaining the Gay: A Swing and a Miss!

Sex at Dawn
Exploring the evolutionary origins of modern sexuality.

by Christopher Ryan on Psychology Today

This notion that human sexuality evolved to be more about establishing and maintaining relationships than just reproduction is something we explore in depth in Sex at Dawn.

Everybody seems to be scratching their heads about homosexuals these days. For evolutionary theorists, the question is: Why? If homosexuality (at least male homosexuality) is largely heritable, as seems to be pretty well documented, how does the "gay gene" persist in human populations over evolutionary time? If gay men – pretty much by definition – take themselves out of the gene pool, why are their genes still in there splashing around?

The currently dominant theory turns on self-interest, as is the case with most current evolutionary thinking. Gay men, the theory posits, will be much more nurturing of their nieces and nephews than would heterosexual men (who would, after all, have their own kids to worry about). Thus, in increasing the reproductive potential of their nieces and nephews (by helping more of them survive to adulthood), a fraction of the man's DNA is carried forward to future generations.

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