Saturday, July 7, 2012

Born this way?


Lady Gaga on the Monster Ball Tour, 2010
Note: Post has been updated with new data from Jason Malloy

“Why not? It will leave more women for the rest of us.” I remember hearing that argument for gay rights while in high school, the assumption being that gays greatly outnumbered lesbians. There was some exaggeration in both directions. Gays have never made up 10% of all males and lesbians have never made up only 1% of all females. Even so, the former seemed to outnumber the latter. Back then.

Today, the tables have turned. If we look at General Social Survey data (2010) from the United States (analysis by Jason Malloy), the proportion of gay or bisexual men has held steady at 5 to 6%, although there seems to have been a decline among men born since 1980. Meanwhile, the proportion of lesbian or bisexual women has risen from a low of 4% in the oldest cohort to a high of 9% in the youngest one.

Percentages of men who have had a male sex partner, by birth cohort:

1900-1919  =  6.0
1920-1939  =  5.7
1940-1949  =  5.1
1950-1959  =  6.4
1960-1979  =  6.4

1980-1992  =  5.0

For a better look at what's been going on among males born since 1980 (who are still young adults), the last two cohorts are compared only for the 18-23 age bracket:

1960-1979  =  6.0
1980-1992  =  4.6

Percentages of women who have had a female sex partner, by birth cohort:

1900-1919  =  3.9
1920-1939  =  3.5
1940-1949  =  3.7
1950-1959  =  5.8
1960-1979  =  7.4
1980-1992  =  8.9

This upward trend seems to be continuing among the youngest females (18 to 23 year-olds only):

1960-1979  =  6.5
1980-1992  =  9.2


What is going on? It looks like male homosexuality is much more hardwired than female homosexuality. As our social environment becomes more liberal, fewer gays are coming out of the closet—probably because so few are left there. In contrast, the number of potential lesbians seems much more open-ended. Is there an upper limit?

110 comments:

Jprezy87 said...

Hmmm, male homosexuality more hardwired (i.e. genetic) than female homosexuality? Interesting thought..I always thought homosexuality was equally genetic in both males and females...

Anywho, it's surprising that the proportion of lesbians (at least according to the survey lol) has increased much more in the past few decades than the proportion of gays...There's less stigma attached to Lesbians "coming out" versus gays...because society has always been more accepting of lesbians than gays. Maybe more women are being born gay...or maybe it's just more fashionable to be bi now days (Cause it turns the guys on lol).

Anonymous said...

No mystery there. Women pretend to be gay to excite men. The steep increase of women with "female sexual partners" includes women having threesomes to please their male partners, and women lying to feel edgy, and women experimenting to feel edgy.

Male homosexuality holds steady because men have no incentive to pretend to be gay. It does not attract women, it is not considered cool.

Female homosexuality is falsely elevated specifically because heterosexual females are rewarded for engaging in false homosexuality.

This does not mean homosexuality in females is any less hardwared than it is for men; it only means rates of female homosexuality are difficult to detect because younger women never miss an opportunity to pretend to be gay when they are trying to arouse or excite their male sexual interest.

The ironic thing is female homosexuality is often evidence of hetereosexuality.

Jason Malloy said...

These numbers are from a few posts I left on this blog in 2009. As I showed at the time, the rise in female homosexuality has already been in mainstream media reports. The more novel finding in those posts was that male homosexuality appears to be on the decline for Millennials.

Given that the GSS has now been extended with 2010 survey data, I've decided to leave an updated version of the analysis.

First we'll look at male homosexuality. The GSS variable is 'NUMMEN,' which asks how many male partners the respondent has had since age 18. Looking at different birth cohorts, here are the percentages of men who have had at least one male sex partner (with gay sample size in brackets):

1900-1919: 6 [22]
1920-1939: 5.7 [111]
1940-1949: 5.1 [100]
1950-1959: 6.4 [180]
1960-1979: 6.4 [281]
1980-1992: 5.0 [36]

There were fewer gay males born between 1920-1949 and after 1980. Again, post-1980 births reveal the lowest number of gays on record. This is even more evident when we compare only reports from 18-23 year olds in the two youngest cohorts (unfortunately, no GSS data for 18 year olds before the late 1980s):

1960-1979: 6.0 [29]
1980-1992: 4.6 [22]

Male homosexuality declined after the year 2000.

Jason Malloy said...

Now for females. The GSS variable is 'NUMWOMEN,' which asks how many female partners the respondent has had since age 18. Looking at different birth cohorts, here are the percentages of women who have had at least one female sex partner:

1900-1919: 3.9 [21]
1920-1939: 3.5 [79]
1940-1949: 3.7 [84]
1950-1959: 5.8 [195]
1960-1979: 7.4 [373]
1980-1992: 8.9 [80]

As with males, a dip in homosexuality for those born between 1920-1949… but unlike males no dip after 1980. In fact there has been a continual rise since the 1950s births. Again this is even more evident when we control for the age difference between cohorts:

Age 18-23
1960-1979: 6.5 [38]
1980-1992: 9.2 [44]

Since 2000 young females are now twice as likely to have had a homosexual partner than young males, even though the rate was just about the same in the previous generation.

Anonymous said...

Lots of the young women calling themselves lesbians do not share sexual experiences with one another. (I started to say, "do not have sex with one another" when I realized that's an impossible feat so I re-worded my statement.)

Young (and even older women) who've never really been pursued by young men, some who are physically unattractive, some who are socially withdrawn, some who fear men) choose to have companionship with other women, even build "nests" with them, but it's not a sexual thing the way it is with gay males.

However, Hollywood and the elite have now made being a lesbian chic, so lots of these women, including teens (oh, I could tell you stories of teens in the hallways of schools, holding hands, giggling, and announcing "we're lesbians" and much to their delight getting all the attention in the world) will naturally check "homosexual partner" even all they've shared is a kiss on the check as friends.

Either that or all the diet pills/amphetamine use (and thyroid medication) that their mothers used are now just showing up in higher numbers of lesbians. (a study showed higher rates of lesbianism among the children of mothers who used these).

Sean said...

Reproductive sex is presumably hardwired. Increasingly much of the sex in the modern west is not reproductive, I see the increase in heterosexual non-reproductive sex as being driven by males. According to 'man of the world' Arthur Jones, until the 50's hardly any women performed heterosexual oral sex (and no man would admit to performing it). That's changed completely. The percentage of men engaging in heterosexual anal sex has doubled in just over a decade here. One in three women admits to having had heterosexual anal sex by age 24. I think anal is usually suggested by men, women in a relationship comply to please the man. So mens' sexual behaviour is in important ways far less hard wired for reproduction than women, in the modern West the most marriageable (from a female perspective) men are interested in sexual adventures with the most beautiful women they can get.

Not being a lifetime exclusive heterosexual woman is a very different thing from being a lesbian. I have to wonder if the increase in lesbian relationships is in all ethnicities. It could be due to non-white women turning to other women for relationships after unsatisfactory social contacts with men who do not consider them attractive enough for anything but casual sex.

JayMan said...

Apparently, a study out of Norway has indicated that among the youngest cohort, the percentage of non-heterosexual women is as high as 20%.

The trend towards more girls identifying as non-heterosexual, at least in the Western world, appears to be solid.

I suspect that for women, sexuality is indeed more malleable than it is for men. Studies of the heritability of non-heretosexuality among women consistently find lower heritability estimates and higher "shared environment" estimates than they do for men (which, I believe, reflects peer effects for girls who share a peer group).

It's my thought that same-sex behavior among womenn is a conditional strategy. That is, a significant percentage of women—if not most (but by no means all), at least among Euro-populations—have the potential to become sexually attracted to women. Whether this behavior manifests itself depends on the circumstances. This, I believe, is primarily true for bisexual women, who, I believe (source escapes me at the moment) are making up the bulk of the increase in reported non-heterosexuals among women. I suspect that bisexuality is distinct from strict lesbianism among women, and probably operate through different, albiet related pathways.

As commenters here have noted, the purpose of this behavior (at least, with bisexuality) appears to be to attract men. There is no question that men (with perhaps a few exceptions) find female same-sex behavior sexually attractive, and perhaps this is why this behavior evolved (as a means of competing for mates). This is suggested by the fact that bisexual women tend to have both a higher number of male than female sexual partners and a higher number of male partners than straight women. As well, women with higher sex drives are more likely to be bisexual, and bisexual women are more open to sexual experimentation. There is some evidence that marriages between men and bisexual women are happier than those between men and straight women.

And indeed, while studies have indicated that bisexuality among women is a true sexual orientation, which is stable throughout life, and not a fleeting phase or young adult antics as commenters have suggested, the actual incidence of actual same-sex activity among bisexual women may decline throughout life. With Anne Heche being perhaps the most famous example, it seems that same-sex relationships among bisexual women tend to be unstable. I believe this is because such things are typically a stepping stone to acquiring a male mate, and are cast aside once that goal is acquired.

I think there's plenty of room for research on this topic. I'd like to see data from the rest of world as well, because unfortunately a lot of this stuff comes from studies of W.E.I.R.D people...

Jason Malloy said...

Just for good measure, here are the same numbers for the GSS variable SEXSEX5, which asks the sex of your partners over the last 5 years (male, female, or both).

MEN GAY+BI%
1900-1919: 1.6 [3]
1920-1939: 2.4 [36]
1940-1949: 3.2 [55]
1950-1959: 4.4 [102]
1960-1979: 4.5 [178]
1980-1992: 2.3 [15]

Age 18-23
1960-1979: 4.2 [14]
1980-1992: 2.1 [7]


WOMEN GAY+BI%
1900-1919: 3.2 [4]
1920-1939: 1.6 [16]
1940-1949: 1.7 [30]
1950-1959: 2.9 [83]
1960-1979: 4.7 [211]
1980-1992: 6.7 [51]

same: Age 18-23
1960-1979: 5.5 [25]
1980-1992: 7.1 [28]

Sean said...

Re 20% of Norwegian girls are lesbians. That explains why Norway has one of the highest birth-rates in Western Europe.
(Other people's comments are getting bounced due to you sensitizing the spam filter with multiple links.)

Anonymous said...

The GSS "Asks how many partners"...

So, the word "sexual" is not part of the question, as in "how many female sexual partners have you had..."?

Or, if it is part of the question is the word "sexual" further defined? So, does kissing only count as "sexual"?

Chris Crawford said...

I'll not engage in speculation regarding the motives of women engaging in bisexual activity, but I would like to toss in the recent finding by some Italian researchers that gays had a statistically significantly higher fraction of mothers and aunts with larger numbers of children. This suggests a means of resolving the evolutionary problem that gay orientation is self-anti-selecting.

The sudden jump in female bisexuality is certainly striking; it seems entirely too rapid to attribute to a genetic factor.

Anonymous said...

BTW, young females (high school age) don't consider giving oral sex to be "sex." Some of them will say it's a "sexual activity" but "sex" to them means vaginal penetration.

Similarly, anal penetration is not, to some, "sex"...because it doesn't result in pregnancy.

(I've a feeling Mr. Clinton's "it depends on what the meaning of 'is' is," has had lexical ramifications.

Anonymous said...

"First we'll look at male homosexuality. The GSS variable is 'NUMMEN,' which asks how many male partners the respondent has had since age 18. Looking at different birth cohorts, here are the percentages of men who have had at least one male sex partner (with gay sample size in brackets):

1900-1919: 6 [22]
1920-1939: 5.7 [111]
1940-1949: 5.1 [100]
1950-1959: 6.4 [180]
1960-1979: 6.4 [281]
1980-1992: 5.0 [36]"

Someone born 1960-1979 is between 33 and 52; someone born between 1980 and 1992 is between 32 and 20. Might this account for the drop-off? A significant portion of gay men are not out at 20 or even 25, though after 25, I think the number of gay men still in the closet tends to fall off rapidly. I also seem to recall reading that younger people were having fewer sexual partners overall.

Anonymous said...

"I would like to toss in the recent finding by some Italian researchers that gays had a statistically significantly higher fraction of mothers and aunts with larger numbers of children. This suggests a means of resolving the evolutionary problem that gay orientation is self-anti-selecting."

I saw that--Camperio-Ciani a few years ago concluded "that the mothers, maternal aunts and maternal grandmothers of gay men are more fecund, or fruitful, than average."

(Ah, well, couldn't it be argued that the more male children a woman has, yes, the more likely to have a homosexual son than a woman with few children?) That was his conclusion a few years ago--wasn't received too well elsehwhere.


And, his latest finding, intended to support his first:

"Using questionnaires, we investigated fecundity -- fertility -- in 161 female European subjects and scrutinized possible influences, including physiological, behavioral and personality factors," Ciani said in a statement. "We compared 61 females who were either mothers or maternal aunts of homosexual men. One hundred females who were mothers or aunts of heterosexual men were used as controls."

The analysis showed both mothers and maternal aunts of homosexual men show increased fecundity compared with corresponding maternal female relatives of heterosexual men.

A two-step statistical analysis found mothers and maternal aunts of homosexual men had fewer gynecological disorders; fewer complicated pregnancies; less interest in having children; less emphasis on romantic love; placed less importance on their social life; showed reduced family stability; were more extraverted; and were divorced or separated from their spouses more frequently."


Sounds as if he's arguing that mothers and maternal aunts of gay men are "looser" women than other women.

I wouldn't put much stock in this. It would seem natural selection would have corrected this imbalance of increased fecundity in one gender and reduced fitness in the other.


Read more: http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2012/06/16/Genetic-factors-linked-to-gay-men/UPI-38061339821190/#ixzz1zxpADDCh

Sean said...

Interesting about "less interest in having children; less emphasis on romantic love; placed less importance on their social life; showed reduced family stability; were more extraverted; and were divorced or separated from their spouses more frequently."

To me those sound like gender-inappropriate and maladaptive characteristics for a women. Being unusually willing to engage in sex without worrying about how the resulting child would be supported is hardly likely to have been at all adaptive before recent times. So maybe this is an example of gay men tending to have mothers of poor biological quality.

The Italian claim for superior fertility by mothers wasn't replicated anyway. Only viral causation would explain a rapid change in true bisexual orientation.

I think it's just an increase in women turning to each other through disillusion with mens' reluctance to commit in a permissive multi-ethnic society

Anonymous said...

"I suspect that for women, sexuality is indeed more malleable than it is for men.'

I suspect that "sexuality" is not really the word we want here, although I'm not quite sure what word would fit there and that is because we do have different immediate reactions to physical attraction.

I suppose it's because I am a woman that I doubt a lot of the conclusions people are drawing about a woman's sexuality by relying surveys questions that lack specificity.

By a certain age, males look at a female and/or her body parts and have an anatomical/physiological reaction that is rather immediate. Similarly, a small % of men have the same reaction when they look at other males.

Women? Well, clitorises don't stand at attention just like that, not usually, although around a certain time of month there's an aching yearning "in the loins" something many women feel from puberty on.

Nevertheless, while our sexual organ doesn't do what a man's does at first sight, we do feel strong attraction for men in the form of "Ooo, I'd like to feel *his* arms around me" or "I'd like to see how *he* could make me feel," my last phrase indicating the difference between male attraction patterns and women's. It's specific to certain men we find attractive and while the attraction is immediate, the sexual arousal is gradual.

The man looks, sees a female he finds attractive and is ready to go. The woman looks, sees someone she finds attractive and wants to get close enough to see if he indeed arouses her further. Male attraction: immediate. Female attraction: occurring in steps.

And why not? We had/have a lot to lose if we choose a brute and one who leaves us with kids and without provisions.

The hetero woman doesn't look, see a woman and think, "Ooo, I wonder what she can arouse in me." I suspect that's the reaction of a lesbian.

If I had a better idea of just what it is these women who claim to have same-sex partners "do" together versus what they "feel," I might know if it's just sexual mechanics they are engaging in, one way or another....or if they feel aroused by the sight of or the touch of or the thought of another woman.

Do they feel romantically attached? Do they love the sight of, the feel of breasts and vaginas and curves and soft skin the way straight women love the sight and especially the feel of a man's biceps, his thighs, his chest, his skin, his shoulders, his manhood?

Or are many of these women who are now identifying as "lesbian" not physically turned on by a same-sex partner but rather just participating in some kind of masturbation activities the way some young boys do (at least I have read this is often a practice of young boys--"Look, mine's bigger than yours.)?

A dog can relieve himself on your knee and get pleasure from it, but I'd not argue the dog was homo-sapien attracted any more than I'd argue he was, like one of my unneutered dogs who managed to crumple up his bedding when the need arose, attracted to blankets.

Sean said...

Anon, yes but it's male dogs not bitches that get frustrated.

Women engage in sex in order to further a relationship. Two women = Lesbian bed death

Anonymous said...

Sean, many spayed females hump things and people.

As for female frustration--I took in a a stray of about 10 weeks, and three weeks before her appt. to be spayed, she came into heat. Luckily, she was an indoor cat, so she wasn't impregnated, but I really felt bad for her--rear end in the air, howling, catterwalling, wailing and wailing for about a half hour on, half hour off all day until I was about to go crazy. So was she, it seemed. It was Sunday, no vet open, but for extra money because she was in heat, they spayed her within either the next day or the one after, don't recall.

Anonymous said...

It's also very possible some people see the political spoils that are now available to them by so identifying.

JayMan said...

Sounds as if he's arguing that mothers and maternal aunts of gay men are "looser" women than other women.

I wouldn't put much stock in this. It would seem natural selection would have corrected this imbalance of increased fecundity in one gender and reduced fitness in the other.


Actually, this sounds about right to me.

Interesting about "less interest in having children; less emphasis on romantic love; placed less importance on their social life; showed reduced family stability; were more extraverted; and were divorced or separated from their spouses more frequently."

To me those sound like gender-inappropriate and maladaptive characteristics for a women. Being unusually willing to engage in sex without worrying about how the resulting child would be supported is hardly likely to have been at all adaptive before recent times. So maybe this is an example of gay men tending to have mothers of poor biological quality.


It's important to remember that a certain percentage of women are well, "hos", and have always been, even among Europeans. This strategy is not necessarily maladaptive if a woman plays her cards right (finding male suckers to raise offspring—or relying on family for example). These types of "r-strategists" are still with us for a reason, even if they were somewhat selected against in the past in medieval Europe.

Anonymous said...

JayMan,

Know any gay men and their mothers? Trust your eyes?

Do they seem sexually looser, more extraverted, more socially unconcerned, less maternal than mothers of straight men?

Nah, I didn't think so.

Sometimes, you really can trust your eyes and your experience when it comes to HBD.

Anonymous said...

I'd imagine a fair number of women who have had same-sex liasons do drugs and that many, if not most of these encounters occur when the people involved are high. I'd also expect men to be in there with the women in what we'd all a free for all orgy (per Arnold Schwartzenegger's experiences).

Chris Crawford said...

There's definitely something revealing here about the entirely unsupported speculations that the mothers of gays are whores and drug users. If people are won't to speculate, why not speculate that they're butterfly collectors or bank robbers?

Such speculations reveal more about the speculator than the speculated-on.

JayMan said...

Very well said Chris!

Anonymous said...

Chris,

Not sure to whom you are referring: interviewed about his findings, the Camperio-Ciano said that he thought after his first study that he could conclude that these women were more attracted to men than other women were.

After this study, he says he has changed his mind--now he believe that these women are more attractive to men, and (with divorce figures and all) get around a bit more.

I don't believe he's on to anything. I think he's hell bent on showing an evolutionary reason for male homosexuality and so he looks at stats and works backward, trying to find a mathematical model that would explain how a trait that is not good at sustaining itself much less spreading, is still around.

He used 61 mothers/aunts of gays and 100 mothers/aunts of straight males and gave them a questionnaire--from their answers he concluded what you see here--less likely to be interested in stable family, more outgoing, less likely to have gynecological problems, more fecund yet less interested in children.....

Anonymous said...

What does "had a male sex partner mean?"

Do boys playing games tugging each other constitute sex?

Also, what is the mechanism? More later.

Chris Crawford said...

Anonymous, I agree that his data aren't overwhelming; they serve only to pique scientific interest, not prove anything.

But wouldn't you agree that homosexuality presents some serious incompatibilities with evolutionary theory? There doesn't seem to be any cultural foundation for it; would you not feel better if we could find SOME sort of genetic explanation, at least partial?

Anonymous said...

There doesn't seem to be any cultural foundation for it; would you not feel better if we could find SOME sort of genetic explanation, at least partial?

The problem with the genetic explanations is that they seem to try to strongly suggest that they're genetic in the sense of being actively selected for. When that doesn't necessarily have to be the case.

For example, let's say that there is a rural society in which everyone lives on a farm. In this society, there is a small but steady percentage of unmarried men who have sex with or sexually experiment with barn animals. It could be that these unmarried men tend to be more introverted and thus less aggressive in pursuing females to take as wives and turn to barn animals for sexual release. And this greater introversion could be largely genetic. In this case we could have a correlate between certain genes and the phenotype of sex with barn animals. So it is a "genetic" explanation but it doesn't mean that the behavior was directly selected for. A change in environment - say these men were moved into urban environments with no animals around before sexual maturity - and the phenotype wouldn't exist.

Anonymous said...

If we have a case of a "genetic" explanation - that is a correlate between a certain gene or genes and the phenotype of homosexual behavior - without sufficient evidence of homosexual behavior being directly selected for, then we might have a case of a certain environment or environments selectively targeting those genes for homosexual behavior.

Cleanthes said...

None of the people posting on this thread attended a Xena convention, did they?

Obesity has increased markedly; most lesbians are fat. More obesity = more lesbians.

Jason Malloy said...

A few comments seem concerned about the question wording. Both ‘NUMWOMEN’ and ‘SEXSEX5’ use the term ‘sex partners’ or ‘partners you have had sex with’, not simply ‘partners’.

One person wonders about cohort age differences: older people have had more time to experiment or "come out". This is why I also compared age-matched samples from the two younger cohorts. The question 'SEXSEX5' also limits experiences to the last five years for all cohorts.

Another issue: lumping homosexuals and bisexuals has possible advantages and drawbacks. So I've decided to show the same trends when we exclude bisexuals. The percentages are limited to men and women who have had exclusively same sex partners for the last five years:

MEN
1900-1919: .8 [1]
1920-1939: 1.8 [28]
1940-1949: 2.4 [41]
1950-1959: 3.3 [77]
1960-1979: 2.8 [116]
1980-1992: 1.6 [9]

Age 18-23
1960-1979: 1.6 [5]
1980-1992: 1.8 [5]

The oldest cohort is aged 53-89+, and many exclusive homosexuals have probably disproportionately died off. The numbers suggest a peak in male homosexuality for the 1950-1959 cohort, and a subsequent drop-off. However the age-matched sample are now less clear about a gay drop-off for Millennials. Perhaps Millennial men are only less likely to have bisexual experiences, which might even be interpreted as another example of increased sexual timidity (e.g. "hover hand"). My intuition here, though, is that you get a more reliable picture of male homosexuality by lumping in bisexuals, since I think more of these men are simply gay. But I don't believe this is the case for women.

Jason Malloy said...

... So then, let's see how the trends look when we take out bisexuals for women:

WOMEN
1900-1919: 2.7 [3]
1920-1939: 1.5 [14]
1940-1949: 1.2 [21]
1950-1959: 2.0 [53]
1960-1979: 2.2 [95]
1980-1992: 2.5 [14]

Age 18-23
1960-1979: 1.4 [6]
1980-1992: 1.9 [5]

The oldest cohort is aged 53-89+, and I think the elevated numbers might reflect facultative homosexuality among older women due to differential male mortality at advanced ages. But those differences could also be generational. I'll have to compare age-matched cohorts later.

While we see the same 1920-1949 dip, and continual increase in female homosexuality since 1950, the rise is far less steep than when we include bisexual behavior. The age-matched cohorts imply that the post-2000 rise in lesbians is real. It appears that male and female rates of exclusive homosexuality may now be close to equal. Lesbians may well outnumber gays in the near future.

Anonymous said...

"But wouldn't you agree that homosexuality presents some serious incompatibilities with evolutionary theory? There doesn't seem to be any cultural foundation for it; would you not feel better if we could find SOME sort of genetic explanation, at least partial?"

Heck, yeah, it has nothing BUT incompatibility with evolutionary theory.

It appears to occur randomly most of the time (stress "appear"), yet there's more than enough evidence now that there are familial clusters.

I can rely on my own experience in naming a couple of families where there are more than one gay son, and in one case, from different fathers. I know of a few gays with either a gay uncle or great uncle.

I know of the MZ and DZ twin studies.

I think the most parsimonious, explanation is that something in the environment (pre-natal or post) acts on a kid with a genetic disposition that is weak in mounting a defense and that sounds like a bug to me.

Jprezy87 said...

"It's important to remember that a certain percentage of women are well, "hos", and have always been, even among Europeans"

Um..excuse me?? I believe European women are the most sexually liberal and promiscous in the world thank you very much..

Chris Crawford said...

The problem with the genetic explanations is that they seem to try to strongly suggest that they're genetic in the sense of being actively selected for. When that doesn't necessarily have to be the case.

I always expected the resolution to involve some sort of indirect process. After all, a gene that directly selects for homosexuality is going to put itself out of business very quickly.

It seems obvious to me that this is something like a recessive gene that, when both alleles are present, sets up the conditions under which homosexuality may develop. A single allele would confer some benefit in exactly the same manner that the gene for sickle cell disease confers benefits against infection by malaria.

However, this is entirely too obvious and I'm sure that such things have been searched for with no success so far. The Italian study piqued my interest because it suggested a particularly roundabout genetic benefit for the gene. I suspect that, whatever we eventually figure out, it will be equally roundabout.

Evolution is full of examples of genes that lead to apparently bizarre behaviors that ultimately turn out to be due to an unexpected set of circumstances favoring the gene in question.

Beyond Anon said...

It is worth thinking about life histories to understand how homosexuality might come about.

Eleanor MacCoby in The Two Sexes: Growing up apart, coming together points out the differences between males and females growing up.

In particular, males show a strong desire to establish all-male groups and strongly police the absence of girls from such groups. There are very good reasons for this.

Then, of course, after puberty, they have to switch their behavior towards wanting to be involved with girls (while also maintaining male friendships.)

This suggests to me that there are at least two pathways to homosexuality among males:

1. Destruction of the brain cells/region that allows males to recognize females as appropriate sexual partners, and

2. A failure to switch from bonding with other males to bonding with females for sexual purposes after puberty.

Anonymous said...

If there is a real increase in female homosexuality, it may be related to the obesity epidemic as sarcastically suggested prevoiusly.

The adrenal gland makes male hormones prenatally. Insulin resistance will result in the adrenal gland making a lot of male hormones before birth. This may masculinize the brain of a female child in utero, resulting in lesbianism or other male/masculine behavior.

An easy way to test this would be to see if there is a relationship between family history of obesity/diabetes and subsequent lesbianism in children.

Anecdotally I absolutely see this being correlated. Diabetic and obese mothers seem more likely to have lesbian daughters, and lesbians themselves frequently have obesity/metabolic disease.

A common reproductive disorder PCOS, occurs in 10% of females these days. PCOS is caused by insulin resistance, and it results in excessive androgen levels/obesity. Females with PCOS are more likelty to be hypersexual, bisexual, and lesbian (all testosterone mediated behaviors).

Jason Malloy said...

Regarding Dr. Frost's "It looks like male homosexuality is much more hardwired than female homosexuality," and Jayman's "Studies of the heritability of non-heretosexuality among women consistently find lower heritability estimates... than they do for men," neither of these statements seem to be true. In fact the more advanced twin registry studies keep showing higher heritability for female homosexuality:

"An Australian study came up with heritabilities of 30% for men and 50-60% for women. A Swedish study found heritabilities of 34-39% for men and 50% for women. One U.S study found 0% for men and 48% for women..."
'Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why', p 164

A rough mental estimate from what I've read would be .20-.30 for men and .30-.40 for women, although the numbers and assessment questions are all over the place.

Of course, just as with the Flynn Effect, we see that heritability is more intuitive for within cohort variation than between cohort differences.

Returning to men: The only reliable environmental variable associated with male homosexuality is fraternal birth order. This suggests not only that larger families produce more gays (above and beyond the statistical tautology), but that declining family sizes possibly play a role in the Millennial decline (as well as in the mid-century spike).

Anonymous said...

Same Mechanism may control Male and Female Homosexuality
http://www.scientistsolutions.com/t294-same+mechanism+may+control+male+and+female+homosexuality.html

This is Peter Fros_ said...

Jason,

If female homosexuality has a higher heritability than does male homosexuality, how do you explain the greater instability of lesbian sexual orientation? Many women move back and forth between heterosexuality and homosexuality. Your own evidence points to a higher incidence of bisexuality among women than among men.

I haven't checked out your source, but I suspect the heritability studies date from a time when the incidence of lesbianism was lower than it is today. The study authors were thus examining a more hardwired group of lesbians.

P.S. I've just checked through my spam inbox (for the first time). It was 90% spam but there were comments by myself, Sean, and Kiwiguy.

Jason Malloy said...

Dr. Frost,

"If female homosexuality has a higher heritability than does male homosexuality, how do you explain the greater instability of lesbian sexual orientation?"

Heritability is not a measure of trait stability!

"Your own evidence points to a higher incidence of bisexuality among women than among men."

You're begging the question. What should this say about genes or environment? Bisexuality has changed more over time for women than men, but this is also compatible with higher heritability.

My opinion sort of drifts with the evidence here. I certainly did not expect heritability to be higher for females, but I follow enough twin studies to grasp the general pattern. It doesn't create theoretical contradictions unless you want it to, so it's not of high concern anyway. This is also true because genes are of such low explanatory value for homosexuality.

Sean said...

Immune system genes are known to have an influence on male homosexuality.

Male sexuality is more tightly focused.

Women get turned on watching monkey sex.
A sex difference in features that elicit genital response.

"Women showed small increases in genital arousal to the nonhuman stimulus and large increases in genital arousal to both human male and female stimuli. Men did not show any genital arousal to the nonhuman stimulus and demonstrated a category-specific pattern of arousal to the human stimuli that corresponded to their stated sexual orientation. These results suggest that stimulus features necessary to evoke genital arousal are much less specific in women than in men."

Sean said...

Chris, the most important nine moths of life is before you are born "genome-wide scans have revealed that genes most strongly associated with schizophrenia/bipolar risk are to be found in the mother's--not the sufferer's--major histocompatibility complex (containing the key genes for the immune system)." Here.

Depths of Madness

Anonymous said...

"This suggests to me that there are at least two pathways to homosexuality among males:

"1. Destruction of the brain cells/region that allows males to recognize females as appropriate sexual partners, and

"2. A failure to switch from bonding with other males to bonding with females for sexual purposes after puberty."
___________________________

I'd argue from my observations that many (certainly not all) pre-gay boys never bond with other boys at a young age. They remain apart from them.

In fact, I'd say that developmentally (I use that term loosely, for lack of a better one), the sequence of gender-group associations is the reverse of that of most hetero boys.

Most hetero boys from toddlerhood on associate most of the time with boys or wish to (if that group is available to them) until puberty, when the hetero boy; puberty hits and while they don't leave male pals behind at all, they do wish to extend their associations to females for obvious reasons.

Most pre-gay boys seem more interested in non-rough and tumble, non-confrontational play and so associate often with sisters or other girls or mom, some, I suppose, because they like the activities of girls, others, I'd guess, to avoid the rough stuff, which they either don't like or fear or both. Puberty hits and they now prefer to be around other males as they are attracted to them, but this presents a problem because most of the males are straight and engaged in pursuits that the gay guy isn't good at or interested in.


I'd add that I can see how years ago some people applied the word "neoteny" to some gays. Many gay boys exhibit mannerisms and/or behaviors that seem awfully similar to the behavior we notice exhibited by kids of both genders at 4 or 5. That is, note the propensity to dramatization of the average 4/5 year old--both in verbal and physical expressions.

I can't get out of my head that a large percentage of gays remain more facially, verbally, and otherwise physically expressive than other kids who've outgrown that stage. These expressions somehow don't quite get modulated with age as they do in straight kids.

That may be why so many gay kids like play acting and drama productions in church and school from an early age. Most kids do like such activities at certain ages, but the gay kid rarely outgrows this interest, whether he keeps participating in it or not. There's a reason an audience of a musicals includes a high percentage of gay men, a reason the audience at an opera has a high % of gay men. And, I'll throw this in--there's reason that gays don't outgrow the excitement of dressing up on Halloween. It seems this interest in performance and drama and play acting suggests a taste for hyperbole of expression. The more hyperbolic the better (think of the high camp of opera and of musicals); these activities are reminiscent of the interests and behavior of both sexes when they were quite young and engaged in play acting and "pretend" and dressing up in costumes.

There has to be some brain chemical in developmental stages of our lives that determine our interest in such things. Many gay men, but not gay women, remain interested in that which that which allows exaggeration.

Some neurochemical at work?

Anonymous said...

regarding the "older brother effect':

Francis at Emory University concluded he could find only weak correlation of any older brother effect. I grabbed this off Wiki: Francis, Andrew M. (2008) (PDF). Family and sexual orientation: the family-demographic correlates of homosexuality in men and women. 45. Journal of Sex Research. pp. 371–377.

Emory states:

"Using a nationally representative sample of young adults, I identify the family-demographic correlates of sexual orientation in men and women. Hence, I test the maternal immune hypothesis, which posits that the only biodemographic correlate of male homosexuality is the number of older brothers, and there are no biodemographic correlates of female homosexuality. For men, I find that having one older brother does not raise the likelihood of homosexuality. Although having multiple older brothers has a positive coefficient, it is not significant. Moreover, having any older sisters lowers the likelihood of homosexual or bisexual identity. For women, I find that having an older brother or having any sisters decreases the likelihood of homosexuality. Family structure, ethnicity, and education are also significantly correlated with male and female sexual orientation. Therefore, the maternal immune hypothesis cannot explain the entire pattern of family-demographic correlates. The findings are consistent with either biological or social theories of sexual orientation.

"I use the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), a nationally representative study of adolescent health in the United States (Udry, 2003). Adolescents in grades 7 through 12 were initially interviewed in 1995 and 1996 (Waves I and II) and were reinterviewed in 2001 (Wave III). The sample size of male respondents is about 5,000, and the sample size of female respondents is about 5,600. Table 1 displays summary statistics. At Wave III, all respondents in the sample were 18 years old or older. About 88% were between the ages of 20 and 24."

Respondents were asked to assess their orientation with this instruction:

"‘Choose the description that best fits how you think about yourself: 100% heterosexual; mostly heterosexual, but somewhat attracted to people of your own sex; bisexual, that is, attracted to men and women equally; mostly homosexual, but somewhat attracted to people of the opposite sex; or 100% homosexual.’ "

So, I'm not even sure, in spite of Blanchard's study, that the older brother effect is anywhere as strong as once claimed.

Sean said...

But it does exist, and it's related to the mother's immune response.

To get back on topic, Lady Gaga can hardly be described as a lesbian. I think for women 'bisexual' usually means 'primarily heterosexual' far more often than it does for men.

This is Peter Frost_ said...

Jason,

Normally, if a trait shows a lot of variability over time for a single individual, one can suspect that genetic influences are weak and that environmental influences are correspondingly strong.

Yes, there are cases where a genetic influence can assume different expressions over time, such as sexual development. Is that the kind of argument you're making?

I too follow twin studies, but I know their limitations. If one recruits lesbian subjects, one will probably get a sample that tends to exclude"hasbians" or others who are uncertain about their orientation. It's a biased sample.

Anonymous said...

Google Announces Worldwide Campaign To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/07/07/512554/google-announces-worldwide-campaign-to-legalize-same-sex-marriage/

"Today, Google has announced an ambitious effort to legalize same-sex marriage across the globe. The project, called “Legalize Love,” was annouced earlier today at an event in London focusing on LGBT issues in the workplace.

Dot429.com has the details:

'The “Legalize Love” campaign officially launches in Poland and Singapore on Saturday, July 7th. Google intends to eventually expand the initiative to every country where the company has an office, and will focus on places with homophobic cultures, where anti-gay laws exist.

Google’s Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe outlined the initiative at a Global LGBT Workplace Summit in London earlier today. “We want our employees who are gay or lesbian or transgender to have the same experience outside the office as they do in the office. It is obviously a very ambitious piece of work.

Their strategy involves developing partnerships between companies and organizations to support grass-roots campaigns.'

The project will initially focus on Poland and Singapore before expanding to other countries. Palmer-Edgecumbe explained that Google will impress on these countries that “being a global center and a world leader means you have to treat all people the same, irrespective of their sexual orientation.”

The initiative was immediately praised by representatives from Citi and Ernst & Young."

Anonymous said...

"But it does exist, and it's related to the mother's immune response."

No, it has been argued that 1) it does exist (esp.at the level claimed )

2) and it has been *hypthesized* that it's the result of an immune reaction by the mother's body to male fetus.

Seems natural selection would have had more than enough time to correct a process in which a pregnancy doesn't fully masculinize the fetus (after all, all that work and the danger of a 9month gestation in order to produce a male who will provide few or no offspring).

Hence, not a product of selection.

If any fraternal birth order is in effect, and IF the homosexuality occurs because of a mother's immune response, it would seem it occurs becauses the mother's system has been weakened, (perhaps by previous pregnancies and by her age) against outside agents/intruders.

Sean said...

Read the link I gave, it points up the evidence for prenatal infections causing schizophrenia and autism via immune response. No big surprise if male homosexuality is added to the list. Anyway this is all off topic, the post is about female bisexuality.

Anonymous said...

well, we all know women are not driven as are men to satisfy sex urges.

In a Western society in which media increasingly minimize the importance of motherhood, in fact, frequently show disdain for women who want to be moms and who want to have lots of kids, and in a society in which it has become medically more feasible to have one's first child at a much later age than one's great grandmother, and in a society in which males are very immature, their maturation having been postponed by a confluence of many factors, many young women postpone the search for a suitable mate and find family formation and companionship through other means.

That some of them who in previous decades might have been married and with a few kids by now but instead today say they've had same-sex experiences is no surprise: take a look at what young men and women have been fed by the media for some time.

Beyond Anon said...


This is also true because genes are of such low explanatory value for homosexuality.


Bingo! One would expect genes for homosexuality to be selected against.

However, it would take a lot longer for genes to evolve for the robust preservation of sex-specific behavior traits in the face of environmental insults.

Beyond Anon said...


I'd argue from my observations that many (certainly not all) pre-gay boys never bond with other boys at a young age. They remain apart from them.


well, I would agree that my limited experience with one boy who turned out to be gay is that he was not your typical boy.

On the other hand, I have (limited :-) experience with older males who claimed that as they got older they became more interested in boys. Then there is Jerry Sandusky. Then, there are the homosexual football players.

We need explanations for all of these etiologies.

Beyond Anon said...

With respect to robustness, see Robustness and fragility in Neural Development

princenuadha said...

"Today, the tables have turned. If we look at General Social Survey data (2010) from the United States (analysis by Jason Malloy), the proportion of gay or bisexual men has held steady at 5 to 6%, although there seems to have been a decline among men born since 1980. Meanwhile, the proportion of lesbian or bisexual women has risen from a low of 4% in the oldest cohort to a high of 9% in the youngest one.

...

It looks like male homosexuality is much more hardwired than female homosexuality"

Not at all. The culture towards male-male intimacy hasn't really changed at all in the last few decades. The "homosexual rights" are a horrible measure of actual gay acceptance. The insult of calling a dude gay is still very important and very pervasive. And that's one reason there isnt really any female equivalent to "no homo", the humorous avoidance of being called gay.

I might even suspect that the dip in male homosexuality could have something to do with the media or the lack of male/boy bonding (camping, rough n tough play, male spaces, etc). It might sound odd to suggest that the media has not really helped homosexuality in men but there is a big difference between politics/beliefs and real life in practice.

Many women say they "accept" male-male sex, but truth be told, women are more likely to leave a man who cheated with another man than a man who cheated with another woman. The same is not true for how men break up with women. Men.can easily pick up on this mindset and thus avoid sleeping with other men even if they are bi. It probably restricts gay men too.

Another thing our media does is make lesbians out to be hot, unlike the ugly duke stereotype that may have been, while the media rarely makes gays out to be hot. Game of thrones did it one though.

Most poignantly is that lesbians "come out" earlier than gays. That pretty much shows the greater shame men feel than women. I'm sure this extra shame means that some bi or gay men never "come out".

Many cultures, including the Greeks and celts, had widespread male-male intimacy. And theses weren't sissy guys, the celts were often warriors. Our culture, however, hugely oppressed male-male intimacy... and maybe even bonding. We don't know how men's sexual behavior naturally is in this society.

princenuadha said...

"In a Western society in which media increasingly minimize the importance of motherhood, in fact, frequently show disdain for women who want to be moms and who want to have lots of kids"

Are you kidding me? These recent generations have had far too much female/maternal influence.

Mothers are favoured in family court. Single mothers are seen as capable of raising kids without fathers. Hell, we even give wellfare and "child" support to these single moms who pump out 3 kids. Then our kids enter the school system not seeing a male teacher for years at a time.

Our generation is raised by women, fatherhood is what's undervalued.

Jason Malloy said...

Dr. Frost,

"... there are cases where a genetic influence can assume different expressions over time, such as sexual development. Is that the kind of argument you're making?"

Again, heritability is not a measure of trait stability over time, it is the proportion of phenotypic variance accounted for by genetic relatedness.

Male homosexuality has been more stable over time than female homosexuality, but that is not the same thing as being "more hardwired". Genetics need not enter the equation at all, and, indeed, do appear to be a somewhat marginal variable in the overall homosexuality puzzle. But to the extent it does relate to genes, female homosexuality more strongly mirrors itself among genetic relatives than male homosexuality. Therefore, if anything, female homosexuality appears "more hardwired".

"I too follow twin studies, but I know their limitations. If one recruits lesbian subjects, one will probably get a sample that tends to exclude"hasbians" or others who are uncertain about their orientation. It's a biased sample."

The specific kind of research I named and linked to was twin registry studies; the gold standard in non-biased samples: complete national samples of twins. And not only do the questions typically ask about past and present homosexual behavior, but the kinds of biases you suggest would serve to underestimate lesbian heritability vis a vis gays, not inflate it.

Jason Malloy said...

Checking through Google Scholar I find another recent summary (PDF) with numbers very close to my guesstimation:

"This paper uses the seven largest twin registry studies to emphasize that samesex attraction (SSA) is mostly caused neither by genetics (weak to modest influence) nor direct shared environment (very weak)... The mean genetic percentages for men and women are 22 and 33% respectively and are not significantly different statistically. They are almost certainly maxima, likely to halve with further research."

Ben10 said...

Maybe it's the evolutionary price to pay the trend to neoteny.
Broad shoulders and small breast, in particular in nordic female population, fall very well into a neotenic trend, which should go along with as a reduced sexualisation. But then, a shift to desexualised behavior should be expected as well, at least it doesn't surprise me.
Humankind doesn't need superfertile females and super viril manhood anymore. To me it's human evolution at work.

Anonymous said...

"Our generation is raised by women, fatherhood is what's undervalued."

Of course they're raised by women----because the men who fathered the kids aren't around.

That said, you act as if I feel women are somehow less responsible for the sorry state of family formation than are men, and I said no such thing. Lots of blame to go around, but it all gets back to a society that doesn't expect mature behavior, in fact one that glorifies remaining young and irresponsible for as long as possible.

JayMan said...

Jason Malloy said...

Checking through Google Scholar I find another recent summary (PDF) with numbers very close to my guesstimation:


Very interesting. The author makes some wild claims though (e.g., resurrecting within-family gene-environment interactions as a way to restore the influence of the family environment when the shared environment component is 0—the same interactions that Judith Harris and Steven Pinker already shot down; also his discussion about "deliberate choice" is a bit crazy too, apparently he hasn't heard that free will doesn't exist).

In any case, one of my sources for the low numbers for the heritability of same-sex attraction in females that I reported was Langstrom et al (2010), a twin registry study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18536986 – not hotlinked to avoid filter issues). My money is on same-sex attraction in women, specifically bisexuallity, having been selected for, for the reasons I mentioned earlier. I can't say the same about same-sex attraction in men. Homophobia (or, as Greg Cochran would prefer, "homoaversion") however, does appear to have some function that was the result of positive selection (http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/bering-in-mind/2011/03/09/natural-homophobes-evolutionary-psychology-and-antigay-attitudes/).

Sean said...

Re the 'recent summary' by the author of 'My Genes Made Me Do It' ("conventional scientific method and research findings are brought together in a fresh, original way to argue that no human behaviors are biologically determined.") . It marshals statistical arguments for conclusions that I find hard to believe on common sense grounds. EG Whitehead says bullying is one of a number of random events that cam lead to becoming gay. But being bullied is not unconnected with gender atypical behaviour.

A study (The Roles of Featural and Configural Face Processing in Snap Judgments of Sexual Orientation) found that "women’s sexual orientation is more obvious than men’s both in individual facial features and in facial configuration"


'2D:4D and sexually dimorphic facial characteristics.' says "High (feminine) values of 2D:4D were associated with feminine facial characteristics in women, but not in men. "

'Sexual orientation and the second to fourth finger length ratio: A meta-analysis in men and women'- "we found that heterosexual women had higher (more feminine) left- and right-hand 2D:4D than did lesbians, but we found no difference between heterosexual and gay men.'

The number of potential lesbians is limited by prenatal influences on development. There are a lot of females who are potentially Kinsey scale 1, ie will try it once or twice.

Sean said...

Given the attitude to male homosexuality I would think men in older cohorts would be much more likely to falsely claim no same sex partners even in an anonymous survey. So the decline in reported homosexuality is probably significantly higher than figures show. Biological explanation would be more Blanchard effect through bigger families and more late birth order sons. If male homosexuality is much more hardwired than female homosexuality a youth bulge does not explain what is probably a far steeper decline than the surveys show.

Sean said...

For what it's worth here is "Shape regression within females on the 2D : 4D ratio of the left hand (left figures), the right hand (middle figures), and the mean 2D : 4D ratio (right figures). The three upper figures are visualizations of predicted faces for 2D : 4D ratio 6 s.d. higher than the average. Accordingly, the lower figures are predicted faces for 2D : 4D ratio 6 s.d. lower than the average."

JayMan said...

Sean's comment that led me to realize a factor that could be behind decline in reported male same-sex sexual behavior:

Given the attitude to male homosexuality I would think men in older cohorts would be much more likely to falsely claim no same sex partners even in an anonymous survey. So the decline in reported homosexuality is probably significantly higher than figures show.

This brought me back my own research for the "Pioneer Effect", with respect to fertility rates and political orientation. Now, if we assume that the GSS data that Jason found does indeed underestimate the number of homosexuals in old (pre-1940) cohorts, then the recent decline can indeed be explained by evolution—specifically, the acceptance of homosexuality. However small the heritability of male homosexuality, it is apparently not zero. Gay men in the past were forced to "go through the motions" of being straight, that is, marry and have children. Today, they are much less so constrained, and many (though by no means all) forgo such pretenses and live openly gay lifestyles—and hence presumably breed a whole lot less than they once did. This would lead to genes for homosexuality to disappear from the gene pool—rather rapidly so in fact, and should be rapid enough to explain the loss.

I decided to take a look at the GSS, and as I discuss in my latest blog post (on my new blog on WordPress), I find that is in fact the case.

Anonymous said...

Some moron wrote:

Most poignantly is that lesbians "come out" earlier than gays. That pretty much shows the greater shame men feel than women. I'm sure this extra shame means that some bi or gay men never "come out".


Hmmm, have you considered that females mature emotionally earlier than males.

Sean said...

JayMan, but how explain the recent increase in lesbians from a low level? Women describing themselves as lesbians have always been a lot more likely to reproduce than self identified gay men.

A significant number of gay men sexually active in the AIDs epidemic era have passed away so the surveys of surviving cohorts are further underestimating the prevalence of homosexuality. A reduction in potent Environmental estrogens may have an effect.

In a permissive culture North European men are more likely to be preferentially homosexual. Assuming North European women are less likely to be lesbians, the decline in the proportion of the population that is north European would be expected to lead to reduced rates of male homosexuality and increasing rates of lesbianism in the general population.

JayMan said...

Sean said...

JayMan, but how explain the recent increase in lesbians from a low level?


First, the increases are primarily bisexual women, not lesbians. I believe that change is entirely phenotypic, i.e., more women on the cusp flipping to bisexual.

Women describing themselves as lesbians have always been a lot more likely to reproduce than self identified gay men.

Actually, oddly enough, I found that women who have had same-sex partners have fertility rates similar to non-hetero men. I suspect that that is somewhat different qualitatively; that is, women who are apt to experiment with sex with women are more likely to be politically liberal, and liberals have significantly lower fertility rates.

Anonymous said...

The most likely cause of homosexuality in both men and women will be early life or prenatal sex steroid imbalances which lead to the brain developing in a gender atypical fashion. Basically, a condition such as a female fetus or neonate being exposed to a shock of testosterone... or a male fetus/neonate being exposed to an insufficient testosterone, defaulting brain development to a female path.

This explains why gay men are notoriously more feminine identified and behaving. Gay men enjoy dressing up as women, enjoy wearing makeup, enjoy aesthetics. A commenter noted gay men have an interest in the arts and theater: that's because theater is social, dramatic, and aesthetic. These are things that appeal to a feminized brain. Aesthetics and dramatics are forms of social behavior, and female brains are very people-oriented; status and gossip. Look at all the major gossip rags, like perezhilton.com or dlisted.com. Run by GAY MEN, just like the theater. It's the same brain processes at work: drama, theatrics, aesthetics. The nitty gritty of social behavior. These are brain processes presumably modulated by prenatal estrogen vs testosterone on brain development.

Gay men are NOT women. Gay men are gay men; they are masculine-brained in some ways and feminine-brained in others. A third sex.


As for lesbians, the same is true but reversed. Lesbians are prone to take up male identity and social roles. Many will dress like men all the time (this is socially acceptalbe for gay women, but gay men can only dress like women in private or at gay clubs because it is considered socially shameful).
Many lesbians will masculinize their female names, e.g. patricia becomes pat.


It won't be genetics (all the time, maybe some of the time e.g. CAH for female lesbians)
It won't be environment/psychology (ever, this will NEVER cause any form of true homosexuality)

...It will ALWAYS be sex steroids vs brain development. What makes men men and women women is the level and ratio and timing of estrogen vs testosterone when your neuroanatomy was being formed. Some people turn out gay, and gender atypical. Some people are in between. Some are very slightly curious but otherwise heteronormative.

Common mistake: if it's not genetic, it's not hard wired. FALSE. Many many things are not genetic, but entirely biological/innate/hard wired. If you lose your leg in a car accident, this isn't genetic, but it is entirely biological and unchangable and physically real.

If a genetically typical fetus is exposed to excessive testosterone for whatever reason (e.g. mother used some kind of drug) then that fetus may become a lesbian adult even though otherwise there is no genetic reason sexual identity/gender behavior should have developed atypically.

On the other hand, if you are a genetically atypical fetus (e.g. you have a defective cortisol synthesis gene) you will also become lesbian, however this is a genetic cause, and not an environmental one. No less biologically real than the environmental cause.

Anonymous said...

To the anon who wrote this:

"f I had a better idea of just what it is these women who claim to have same-sex partners "do" together versus what they "feel," I might know if it's just sexual mechanics they are engaging in, one way or another....or if they feel aroused by the sight of or the touch of or the thought of another woman."


The thing is, the self applied label of "bisexual" or "lesbian" allows for a great many types of people and sexualities. This is because lesbian behavior is much more acceptable and even socially encouraged, which allows women who really aren't at all gay to wear this label from time to time.

When a MAN says he is gay, you know what you are getting. You are getting a man who has a brain which gets reflexively physically aroused by muscles, masculine faces, height, deep voices, male pheromones, etc. There is no ambiguity with gay men. When a man says he is gay, you know what that means... it means that his brain is sexually interested in masculinity, like a female's brain should be.
It means that his brain is sexually apathetic about boobs and butts and soft skin and high pitched voices and infantile faces and female pheromones (whereas this drives straight men crazy).


However when you meet a "lesbian" you could be meeting any number of types of people. On one extreme you have the true lesbian: a person who has a masuclinized brain, and behavior that is male identified, and sexuality which is masculine as well.

Your description of "passive and coy " is not the sort of sexual behavior this masculine brained person will elicit. They are more likely to take on a casanova role and initiate interactions with girls they think are physically attractive, just like masculine brained behavior would predict ("Hey, she's hot, let's get it!"). These women are "butch" in slang.

Then on the other hand you have "lesbians' who really aren't attracted to women physically and have feminized brains entirely, but they limit their sexual behavior to women due to either sexual trauma or other complicating issues. IT is very common among younger female victims of sexual abuse to claim they are lesbian. These women really aren't lesbian in the biological sense but socially they are, and this is a coping mechanism with their fear of sexual situations involving males.



Then you have cases of bisexual women, who are physically aroused by both women and men, but prefer one or the other (usually men).


So, when you want to know how these lesbian women "feel" you need to first accept that there is not just "one type of lesbian"... so the motivating behaviors and thought processes are going to be very different between each individual. All true lesbians/bisexuals are so biologically, however (i.e. the brain thinks the same sex is compelling... just like no one taught you to melt over muscles and athletic thighs and the feel of these, no one teaches a lesbian to become aroused by female form).

Anonymous said...

Anon at 12:15

Charles Roselli, Frank Stormshak have done the most work in this area of fetal brain differentiation as it might affect sexual orientation by looking at the effect of fetal hormonization on sheep. Progress, but still no cigar.

Assuming the hypothesis is correct, what is interfering with typical hormonization in the womb or shortly thereafter?

Anonymous said...

Anon at 12:35 said,

"When a MAN says he is gay, you know what you are getting. You are getting a man who has a brain which gets reflexively physically aroused by muscles, masculine faces, height, deep voices, male pheromones, etc. There is no ambiguity with gay men. When a man says he is gay, you know what that means... it means that his brain is sexually interested in masculinity, like a female's brain should be. "

I get your point, but there is something not quite right in what you have described, and it's worth mentioning.

It's not altogether accurate to say that gay men are attracted to "masculinity" as you have said.

Consider that straight males find sexually developed young females attractive. They are attracted to the "adult" form of the female, even if that female is only 15 or a precociously mature 14. As long as she has the developed curvature and other physical characteristics of a sexually mature female, the straight male finds her attractive.

But take a look at this link to gay cruises. (link at bottom of post). The males portrayed in the ad are hardly the masculine model you mentioned. These models may be of legal age, but physically they look like boys entering puberty, "twinks" as gay men call them. You might respond with, "Well, straight guys find young females attractive just as gays find young males attractive."

Yes, as I pointed out above, they do, but such young females are attractive to the male precisely_ because_ they_ exhibit_ the_ physical_ traits_ of_ female maturity (and fertility).

The young males pictured do not suggest "masculinity" at all--they are light, hairless, and posing for the camera in a manner that is associated with femininity, and further, they have an unimposing stature. In short, hey suggest youth and femininity, *not* youth and masculinity.

They are the physical type of male that a fairly substantial portion of the gay population finds attractive. There is a substantial percentage of gay men who find the coquettishness and other traits of young females (soft, hairless, physically smaller than a male) quite attractive and these models for a gay cruise indicate that preference among many.

It's interesting, then, that we don't find their analog in the straight world. We don't find a large percentage of straight men attracted to young women who simply have a vagina (just as these non-masculine models have a penis) but who do not exhibit other traits of feminine sexual maturity.

It's as if many gay men have brains that do indeed want a female mate in that they are attracted to female characteristics....but they want that femaleness/femininity coupled with a penis.

I realize other gay men are indeed attracted to fully masculizined men, but it's interesting to note that large percentage of them prefer what you see in the picture. For these men, I'd not say they were seeking masculinity but rather seeking a female/male combo.


(http://www.passportmagazine.com/destinations/GayCruiseCalendar2012.php

Ben10 said...

Yaeh, maybe maybe maybe. I don't deny the existence of hormones-like chemicals in our environment, starting with out tapwater, but the big picture is that the normal evolution we should expect is a desexualized and or delayed sexualized behavior and body, i.e., neoteny. That has been and should be the NORMAL trend in humankind evolution. So, young individuals who feel insecure or not yet determined fit very well in this trend. The problem is that these young people are preyed by our oversexualized marchandizing environment, which let them believe that if they are delayed in their sexual appetite, they must be gay or lesbian.
Not at all, here, the environment is abnormal. To me, the most counter-natural consequences of living in the occidental environment, with its constant references to sex in the medias in addition to oestrogen pollution, is the advancement of the age of first menstrues and puberty. That is the un-natural effect that runs the most counter to the trend of neoteny in humankind.
And absolutely everything is made to stop this natural evolutionary trend.
For example, in the caucasian populations, it has always been said that boys were slightly delayed (in sexual behavior and/or development) compared to girls of the same age. So when you had a mixed class of caucasian girls and boys in middle school, what hapened? mostly nothing, because girls were not attracted by the boys in their class and everything was OK. Now if you introduce some non-caucasian boys sexually more advanced (sometimes active) in these classes, the girls find their match and, in addition to have out of control classes, this promotes early sexual activities in girls. I even go to say that the presence of more mature males together with the hormonal stimulation accelerate in return the sexual maturation of girls.
At this rate all girls will be mature by ten and we will be back to erectus in 20 years. 800 000 years of human evolution trashed!

Now if the evolutionary trend to neoteny was respected, we would have individuals with late sexual maturation and therefore with a longer 'learning phase', that is, probably smarter, not as sexually active, more aware in general, in short more humans and less animals. Of course it doesn't go very well with our consumerism lifestyle and this could threaten the actual balance of power. Therefore Human Evolution is a threat to 'some' who might find more comfortable the idea of hyperprecocious girls and gay men, who are by the way, both a pillar of consumerism. Everything makes sense.

Sean said...

European women are further from the 'cusp'. Look at them. I cited studies showing that lesbian orientation is directly related to prenatal tetosteronization, which can be assessed from the face.

North Europeans are the least testosteronized people on earth. Look at them. I think it follows that European women are less predisposed to be lesbians as a result.

The liberal societies of Europe are increasingly permissive about homosexual experimentation, and increasingly made up of non Europeans. There is an increase in Kinsey scale 5 and 6 (ie exclusively or predominantly lesbian) from non European women. In an increasingly permissive culture it would be expected that women consenting to experimentation with previously taboo sexual activities would become more common. It is not just bisexuality, I cited data showing heterosexual anal sex is rapidly becoming common.

My proposed explanation accounts for a decrease in male homosexuality and bisexuality despite the culture becoming ever more permissive.

Anal = Recreation said...

Heterosexual anal sex is a result of birth control and the sexual revolution.

Anal has become the god of recreational sex since vagical intercourse is procreational.

Anonymous said...

Vaginal sex is inherently procreational and feminists don't like that so they focus on oral and anal (e.g. sodomy and recreation).

Anonymous said...

@anon 12:35 said "
Assuming the hypothesis is correct, what is interfering with typical hormonization in the womb or shortly thereafter?
"

It could be any number of things.

In the case of lesbianism, it may be Maternal stress and insulin resistance. Insulin resistance will result in adrenal glands making excessive testosterone (insulin sensitivity in the adrenal is necessary to turn off testosterone synthesis). The adrenal gland is a major source of testosterone for fetus prenatally, and people who are insulin resistant may overproduce adrenal testosterone. This also explains the high rates of weight problems in lesbian women, as there is a relationship between insulin signalling/obesity/adrenal androgens. A very common female reproductive disorder is PCOS, which is caused by an overproduction of androgens from ovaries and in 50% of cases the adrenal glands. Lesbian and bisexualism is much higher in women with PCOS than the general population, probably because this disorder (which causes very high testosterone) also was active and influencing brain development prenatally or early post natally. The woman has a brain that has been influenced by testosterone and so is oriented in a male fashion... just as PCOS also causes secondary sexual characteristics common to males like hair growth on face, loss of hair on head, masculinization of facial features (growth of jaw/nose/forehead) and so on.


There are a number of drugs, toxins, perhaps viruses that may interfere with the delicate balance of hormones shaping the fetal brain, or the early neonatal period. Perhaps the mother was taking estrogenic birth control while she was implanted with a male fetus?
Perhaps an autoimmune reaction to testosterone resulted in insufficient testosterone shaping the male brain to a masculine arousal pattern?

There are probably multiple routes to the hormonal signalling imbalance which causes true bi/homosexuality. Some will be genetic, some won't be at all, but ALL ARE BIOLOGICALLY INNATE AND UNCHANGEABLE.

If I inject an adult female with testosterone, after a few months she will look exactly like a man in terms of face and voice pitch. This is not a genetic disorder, but it is no less biologically real than the natural process of male puberty, where bathing in testosterone from his testes results in those same changes to voice and face.

Anonymous said...

@anon

"
Yes, as I pointed out above, they do, but such young females are attractive to the male precisely_ because_ they_ exhibit_ the_ physical_ traits_ of_ female maturity (and fertility)."


I would argue that youth preference is intrinsically masculine and male-brained. You are assuming normal heterosexual male behavior is to prefer sexually mature women with curves. I would argue that ironically natural male sexual behavior is to prefer very underdeveloped females who are barely passed puberty. Males are innately driven to youth, and PREFER children to older women in spite of the fact older women are more fertile and have healthier babies.

When males are shown unadorned female faces of varying ages the consensus is that the childish female of 15 years old is the most beautiful. She is more beautiful than the 21 year old, more beautiful than the 23 year old. Your average male brained person loses his shit for children who are at the most minimal level of fertility.

Now, the utility of this masculine brain preference for children is obvious: women can conceal pregnancy and can conceal paternacy of offspring. Males have responded to this by having a preference for sexually inexperienced females, virgins.

In natural human societies, men will occasionally form bands and engage in tribal warfare against other human groups. The spoils of the war are territory, other resources, and above all else: lots and lots of females. It has been observed that these men, engaging in totally unpoliced natural male human behavior, will PREFER the young girls, the teenagers, and will literally murder any woman older than 23 or so. Men want teenagers.

It is only in gentile modern society that men marry 32 year old women; in a natural human society, men pretty much prefer kids, and the reason is obvious: virgins are the best bet if you want to pass on your genes.


Youth preference is totally absent from feminine brained people, as it has no utility, and quite the opposite, may be very disasterous.

So, gay men who prefer masculine people but "Boys", may be expressing a sexual preference unique to some gay men. Jerry Sandusky may be expressing a specific type of hormone situation that can only happen in a man.

It should be noted NOT ALL gay men prefer "twinks" (boys), some gay men are more like women and prefer older men, masculine men, men with hair and roughness about them. Thus the "Twink vs bear" dichotomy in gay culture. I suspect the gay men who prefer "twinks" are more masculine brained, with more male traits, whereas the gay men who prefer "bears" are expressing a more feminine arousal pattern, to prefer dominance and mastery and a slightly older masculine partner.

Anonymous said...

I would also note that female biology responded to the male preference for virginal children, by estrogen modulating appearance to enhance youth. Estrogen lightens the skin and puffs up the face and widens the eyes and minimizes the harshness of the jawline, because these are all features of childhood. As one grows and develops the skin will darken, the skin will thin and wrinkle and lose suppleness and this is true regardless of gender.

Many of the things we describe as "feminine" are more accurately described as "juvenile". Light skin is feminine because men evolved to prefer children, so women responded by looking more childish (to enhance their sexual value). It's like a game of supply and demand; men prefer virgins, and children are virgins. Women want to land the fittest reproductive partner, so women who are successful at looking like children are considered the most beautiful by men, who prefer children. On and on and on until we arrive where we are today: women have a sex steroid (estrogen) which modulates the appearance to enhance youth and delay physical signs of age.

Women look younger when they are fertile (ovulating) because the very high estrogen at this time dials back signs of age.

Fertile women are good to enhance their beauty as much as possible (i.e. looking as minimally fertile as possible, as young as possible) because this results in better partners for them.

Anonymous said...

I would also point out that gay men who prefer "twinks" are in the minority. Most gay ads seeking gay hookups will advertise that they are masculine and "straight looking".

Most gay men prefer masculinity.
Those gay men who are twink oriented are very rare, probably about as rare as true pedophiles (which, I suspect, is a male brain specific aberration, where youth preference is abnormally dominant to the point where a pre-pubertal preference is manifested as opposed to the adaptive typical "cusp of puberty " or "early puberty" preference of typical males).

Anonymous said...

@Sean It doesn't stand to reason that prenatal testosterone can be reflected in the face, as postnatal testosterone is responsible for secondary sexual characteristics (i.e. the sexual dimorphic face).

What DOES stand to reason is that prenatal testosterone excess is predicative of postnatal testosterone excess (e.g. an adrenal gland that pours out testosteorne) so it only incidentally is true that masculine faced women are also masculine brained lesbians.


Heterosexual anal sex is a trend, mostly amongst heterosexual men. Women are not encouraging anal sex, this is a phenomenon men heard about from interent porn and encourage their partners to do it. The person saying anal sex is feministic: you are a crazy moron.


Non-european groups are very unaccepting of homosexuality so I find it hard to believe there are more homosexual identified people in non-europeans. There may be actually MORE true homosexuals in non-europeans but this would be purely a biological phenomenon (perhaps because insulin resistance is more common in non-europeans, resulting in more lesbian/bisexual orientation as stated there is a relationship between testosterone excess and insulin resistance in adrenal gland).

I would also argue your face chart doesn't demonstrate masculine faces but non-european faces, such as wide almond shaped eyes and a wide nose. Testosterone does not widen the nostrils and eyes, these are ethnic features unrelated to sex steroids. IMO much of your argument is thinly veiled racism/eurocentricity.

Anonymous said...

@Ben10
Basically if all the hot 12 year old white girls get with the brutish but rapidly mature brown guys, we will devolve and humanity is fucked and you won't get any poon.

Thumbs up!

Anonymous said...

"I would argue that ironically natural male sexual behavior is to prefer very underdeveloped females who are barely passed puberty. Males are innately driven to youth."

Give me a break. "A natural male sexual behavior" is to prefer young females (easy to please, easy to impress, inexperienced, easy to manipulate, yada, yada, yada) whose secondary sexual characteristics are right there in front of him--firm and young breasts, thighs, buttocks, nice waist to hip ratio, full lips, etc.

"Young" and "Underdevelottidped"? Yeah, right.

Anonymous said...

"Most gay ads seeking gay hookups will advertise that they are masculine and 'straight looking'."

Yeah, yeah, I know, I know, we all know about the ads. I've read Bailey's work on gay men who put up ads ...because we all know that gay men love masculinity and they themselves are masculine.... yet twinks abound and lots of gay men with facial hair call themselves bears to demonstrate their masculinity, yet when they open their mouths....the proverbial purse falls out.

Seriously. I live around a lot of gays and they come in all types and shapes, yes, but MOST have a great deal in common with one another--an inherent femininity and an attraction for many feminine/female characteristics in other men, including an attraction to smallish men.

Anonymous said...

"When males are shown unadorned female faces of varying ages the consensus is that the childish female of 15 years old is the most beautiful. She is more beautiful than the 21 year old, more beautiful than the 23 year old."

Did I not SAY that men are attracted to such females? Yes, I did? Can you read?

However, she is not flat-chested with sticks for legs; she does not have unarched brows and thin lips nor is her hip to waist ratio 1:1. These are the characteristics of the physically immature girl.

This is Peter Frost_ said...

"Again, heritability is not a measure of trait stability over time, it is the proportion of phenotypic variance accounted for by genetic relatedness."

I agree, but that wasn't my point. I also agree that male homosexuality seems to involve a weak genetic predisposition interacting with an environmental agent that acts either in utero or very early in life.

All this being said, if a trait shows much variability among individuals of a single population, the likelihood of high heritability is reduced.

Conversely, if a trait shows little variability within a single population, the likelihood of high heritability is greater. I'm not saying that this pattern is without exceptions. But the pattern is definitely there.

In the case of twin studies, higher heritability for lesbianism, may simply mean that women are exposed to a more restricted range of environmental variability than men are.

Anonymous said...

@anon 9:47

15 year old girls have less secondary sexual characteristics than 25 year olds but men prefer the 15 year olds. Nothing you say can undo the studies proving this over and over, and natural male human behavior in times of war (to murder women older than the very early 20s, and to preference the young daughters who have just started puberty) This has to be explained better than "OMG I AM NOT A PEDOPHILE!!".

No one is arguing that men prefer undeveloped children. I am arguing that men prefer children who have entered puberty.

Women do not prefer men who have just entered puberty. THis is a very real innate biological difference that needs to be explained.

The ironic thing is we have such difficulty seperating youth from feminity, that my arguments seem almost insane. Youth and feminity are synonymous.



@anon whether or not the gay men in the ads are masculine (or not) is irrelevant, the point is masculinity has a high sexual value to gay men. This is as fat women describe themselves as "athletic ".

Perhaps the reason gay men seem attracted to "small" men is because "small" men are usually gay, so it only seems this way? From whta I can tell, gay men prefer masculine/larger men: actors like the rock, and fassbender, and mannegelio, and chris hemmsworth (I murdered the spelling of a few of these names I'm sure).

I don't argue gay men are feminine inherently, I only argue that they prefer small feminine men most of the time. It only seems this way because their sexual opions are limited to men who like men, and this usually turns out to be feminine men.

A large buff gay man is the ideal from a gay male perspective...it's just rare to occur

Similar to how a femmie lesbian is super rare, so lesbians tend to pair up with very masculine looking partners. This doesn't necessarily mean lesbians prefer masculine women, it only means that most lesbians are very masculine, and hyperfeminine lesbians are extremely rare outside of straight male porn (as testosterone excess prenatally usually translates postnatally, so most strict lesbians look more or less like men).

Similarly if a fat unattractive woman pairs up with a fat unattractive man, it doesn't mean she prefers him to brad pitt, it only means she can't do better.

"Did I not SAY that men are attracted to such females? Yes, I did? Can you read?

However, she is not flat-chested with sticks for legs; she does not have unarched brows and thin lips nor is her hip to waist ratio 1:1. These are the characteristics of the physically immature girl."


Men exhibit a preference for 15 year olds even if the body is hidden from view.

An estrogen mediated body shape is a prerequisite for male attraction, but it is the youthfulness of the face and markers of extreme youth (like coyness and naivete and blonde hair that many older women fake) that determines the extent of his attraction; men prefer signs of extreme youth, this is true INDEPENDENT of boobs/butt/waist being equal. Needs to be explained better than all of the squirming here.

Anonymous said...

"15 year old girls have less secondary sexual characteristics than 25 year olds but men prefer the 15 year olds."

Such as? I know that on average their pelvic/uterine area is not as developed as females who are a bit older, but I'm interested in knowing what exterior secondary sexual characteristics they have fewer of.

I know 15 year old American girls well, having taught sophomores for 25 years.

Bottom line: a female of 15 is more mature looking than a male of 15. Go into any high school class and you can observe it. Most of the 15 year old boys haven't had the growth spurt that will occur in another year or two nor do they shave nor have their brows ridges formed as those of the mature male nor have their eyebrows grown bushy.....

Anonymous said...

"This has to be explained better than "OMG I AM NOT A PEDOPHILE!!".

HUH? Who suggested that?

Anonymous said...

@anon 11:04
By your own admission the WHR of a 15 year old girl is more childish than a 25 or 21 year old woman. However, men go crazy for the 15 year old face. That is the IDEAL.

It's almost as if you don't want to believe this: men PREFER teenagers. It's not just about boobs/hips/waist. Something in a masculine brain is sexually aroused by youth. Not prepuberty, but youth...as young as possible while being minimally fertile (and that is approximately 15 yrs old).


What utility could a youth preference have for men? It can't be fertility as fertility is crap for a 15 yr old compared to a 21 year old.

Virginity. It also nicely explains human social behavior to sell and trade female virginity, and this practice exists in all human cultures. Men value virginity and this is a genetic imperative, so male sexual behavior exhibits this youth seeking preference unique to males.

(and, i believe pedophilia and "twinks" culture among gay men may be a male specific phenomena related to this youth preference, being expressed maladaptively).

Men will do a 30 year old, but would they PREFER the 15 year old. That is the issue here. We are speaking preference and it is overwhelmingly clear the male preference is pretty much a female at the earliest fertility (even though this is inferior fertility compared to older women).

Regarding your argument that "girls mature faster"...this is true but irrelevant because women still do not prefer youth. Women do not ideally prefer an 18 or 20 year old man even though this is his peak testosterone and sexual drive. Most women value status and accomplishment in their male partners and prefer men with some signs of age (not being aged, but slightly older). The utility of this preference is equally obvious: slightly older dominant men likely possess good genes for your children.

Finally, male/female sexual dynamics always suggest inequity in age, where a sexually successful man is implied as older and a sexually desired female is implied as younger. Men are called "daddy" and attractive women are called "girls". We don't call attractive women "women", the word "woman" is reserved for older females who are not attractive to men. Men call hot girls "girls". Women do not call attractive men "boys", although gay men will (if they are into twinks).

It seems most females have a hard time accepting that men prefer very young females and only are interested in older ones as an afterthought, if they can't do better, or if they are too moral/social to chase the teenagers. I suppose it is like asking one to accept that their sexual value is uber low.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 4:45,

I can't tell if your message is to me or to another person as you have screwed up the message times, but I'll say this one more time and then let it die because for the most part, I can't figure out what you're arguing about.

Yes, for the last time, men are attracted to 15 year old females, or 13 or 14 *if* they possess certain secondary sexual characterisitics. That's not news! No one has been arguing against that point!

The disagreement is whether the young men in the cruise ad are 1)masculine-looking (since the comment was made that gay men like "masculinity" in the general sense of the word, a comment I felt too broad a statement to be accurate); 2) whether those young men in the ad are analogous physically in their "masculinity" to young females in their "femininity."

Conventional wisdom has said that gay men like boys because evolutionarily they are no different from straight men who like girlish females. (Of course there are many now who deny this and claim, "No, gay men overwhelmingly prefer manish men." Can have it both ways. )

I posited that it might be that those gay men who prefer the type of male like those in the ad do so because they like the female-type characteristics they display coupled with the fact they have the male body part. You say it's only the "youth" that they like and that "youth" and "female" are synonymous.

Until we know what a human's sexual circuits look like (as Dulac of Harvard has learned about the dual circuits that exist in the mouse, showing that the female mouse brain has both male and female circuits and that its male circuit is silenced by a gene controlling the VNO pheromone processing) we don't know what's controlling the attraction patterns, how the cues are processed, or how the circuit(s) work. Heck, we might find out that there are dual circuits and that in some people both of the circuits or parts of two circuits are flipped to the "on" position, flipped "on" for certain traits but not others. That could explain the "attracted to young but non-masculine" even more than "attracted to young period."

Several stimuli forming a kind of typical package may provoke a typical male sexual response while in a small percentage of other males sensory cues are processed differently. Receptors for both the typical and atypical responses leave a lot of room for mixed responses to certain traits.

In other words, in the homosexual male, we already have an atypical response in selecting a mate. It doesn't tax credulity to think it possible that in some who are already atypical there might not just be "youth + masculine" but also "youth + boyish-girlish."

Simply saying "youth = feminine" may not be what's going on.

When it comes to human sexual attraction, conventional wisdom has been wrong lots of times.

I'm done.

Sean said...

Male homosexuals are more common among north Europeans than other populations. North European men are possibly more likely to be exclusively gay than bisexual.

Non-European men are less likely to be homosexual, but Non-European women are more likely to be lesbians.

Given than North European culture is the most liberal on earth and getting more permissive by the year, it is surely true that North Europeans are more likely to self identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual than people in non North European culture. So how explain a fall in self reported male homosexuality and an increase in self reported lesbians, eh?

The ethnic composition of the population of western countries has altered since 1980. That explains a fall in men with same sex sexual experiences and an increase in women with same sex sexual experiences, if we accept that north European men are less likely to be hetrosexual and north European women more likely to be hetrosexual

Anonymous, in Britain the most read newspaper formerly featured huge photos of barely 16 year old models, topless. Samantha Fox was by far the most popular, and she was far from underdeveloped.

Anonymous said...

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/07/sexual-liberation-in-fish-is-nothing-to-celebrate/259739/

"Despite ongoing health concerns about the endocrine-disrupting chemical known as BPA -- that it may promote breast cancer growth, for instance, harm sperm quality, or cause erectile dysfunction -- the Food and Drug Administration has yet to come down hard on the use of the substance in consumer products. It's still regularly found in our water bottles, soda cans, and even receipts.

But while we might look past threats to our own health, a new study published yesterday in the journal Evolutionary Applications linking BPA to inter-species mating in fish may be troubling enough to make the issue worth revisiting."

"The study, which looked at the mating behavior between blacktail shiners and red shiners that spent two weeks in BPA-contaminated tanks, found that the substance messed with the fishes' hormones enough to cause changes in both appearance and behavior, culminating in an all-out cross-species lovefest."

Jason Malloy said...

"Male homosexuals are more common among north Europeans than other populations... Non-European men are less likely to be homosexual..."

Or, as I showed last week by comparing ethnic groups in the GSS, Northern European men averaged lower rates of male homosexuality, while non-white groups averaged higher rates.

The correlation of latitude with homosexuality was -.27 for men, and -.40 for women. Temperate ancestry is associated with less homosexuality.

Sean said...

It is not obvious to me that you have contradicted my suggestion that preferential exclusive homosexuality is more common in the north of Europe. Finland is an outlier.

Bisexuality is less common in North Europe.

Jason Malloy said...

Bisexuality is less common in North Europe.

So no shame whatever just making assertions backed up with no data?

At the time I made those posts I checked both the exclusively gay and gay+bi numbers. As noted above, though, I don't think bisexuality is a meaningfully different orientation for men (i.e. bisexuals are mostly gay). So I trust the numbers more when the two categories are combined.

But to address your assertion more directly, the ethnic ordering was very similar for exclusively male partners; groups with more gays tend to have more bisexuals.

Anonymous said...

@Sean
Did you ever consider perhaps the higher rates of male homosexuality in european cultures reflects the fact that open homosexuality results in MURDER in many third world countries?

Or is that getting in the way of your "blacks on blondes" fantasy? A hypermasculine minimally human brown brute taking all of your nubile young blonde girls? YOur superior intellect and slow puberty can't compete with them and their fertility and aggression and masculinity. Then we devolve and it's over. Isn't that how your delusion goes?


Anecdotally, in america, where no one is murdered for being gay, it seems that black men are disporportionately homosexual to their rates in the population. Of course, this is just an armchair observation, I don't know if it is correct or not, but I strongly doubt european men, or northern european men, are more homosexual than are non-europeans. This likely reflects cultural pressures and nothing at all biological (i.e. the non-european men are on the DL, but just as gay as everyone else).


I never argued men like prepubertal girls, my argument was that if fertility exists (i.e. there are breasts and hips and a butt) men prefer the youngest possible female even if older, more fertile ones are available. So if given a choice between a 16 year old and a 21 year old, the man will prefer the 16 year old, if he has not been exposed to any social brainwashing or shaming to inhibit his natural sexual impulse.

This clearly suggests a youth preference exists for men, a preference SPECIFICALLY for youth, which is not related to fertility, as stated over and over again fertility is lower for an early or mid teenage girl.

Sean said...

Jason Malloy, the assertion was similar to one Peter made: ""facultative male homosexuality seems to have been overtaken by the exclusive kind throughout northern Europe and North America. "Although Peter was suggesting environmental estrogens were responsible.

Homosexuality in Africa is often a expression of dominance. Symbol of Unhealed Congo: Male Rape Victims

The accelerating permissiveness of western countries should have produced a considerable increase in reported homosexual behaviour among males and females, but while female homosexualty has increased, male homosexuality has clearly declined significantly. If the population of the north European plain has been selected to optimise females' reproduction (as their appearance, biological fertility and 2D:4D seems to indicate) then the incidence of homosexuality among males ought to be particularly high, and the incidence of female homosexuality ought to be particularly low (all other things being equal). Of course all other things are not equal as the worlds lowest level of masculinity is found in the the least homophobic countries eg (previous post." Miller (2000) speculates that if a typical man inherits only a few of the alleles partially preventing androgenization, he would express more kindness, sensitivity, tendermindedness, and empathy.").

A corollary of the tender-mindedness of N. European societies is that they now have significant numbers of young who are NonEuropean. The observed decline in male homosexuality in Western countries fits rather well with NonEuropeans having lower rates of homosexuality. No conclusion can be drawn from the increase in female homosexuality as the ever increasing permissiveness of western society would account for that. In theory the widespread practice of polygyny could relax selection against females being preferentially and exclusively lesbian.

Sister Y said...

The sentiment that if same-sex female sexuality happens for social reasons, it's somehow fake (and, often implied, to be despised or mocked). However, consistent with the findings on the non-specificity of female sexuality (e.g., turned on by monkey sex, all females turned on by naked women regardless of stated orientation, etc.), it seems that same-sex sexuality can be enjoyed by most women, even if the motivation is partially social (as with bonobos).

The cost of same-sex sex for females has always been low reproductively, and now it is also low reputationally as well - in fact, it may be beneficial to one's reputation.

Men, on the other hand, demonstrate more orientation-specific arousal patterns, and there's still a reputational cost. The interesting question, to me, is whether a major reduction in the reputational cost to men for same-sex sex will allow many more men to experience same-sex sex, or whether the vast majority of guys will still be stuck with compulsory heterosexuality even if they'd like to be bisexual or gay.

Anonymous said...

"The interesting question, to me, is whether a major reduction in the reputational cost to men for same-sex sex will allow many more men to experience same-sex sex, or whether the vast majority of guys will still be stuck with compulsory heterosexuality even if they'd like to be bisexual or gay."


"Major reduction in the reputional cost to men"?

Honey, there IS no such "reduction." It's gone underground.

That men don't go around yelling "hey, faggot" and "look at the fairy boy," that women don't say outloud, "he's queer as a three dollar bill" or "ach, typical homo," or that gays aren't busted in the chops regularly on the streets does not mean there's been a "reduction in the reputational cost."

There's been an adoption of kinder language, a recognition among many(but certainly not all) that atypical biology doesn't make one a "perv," but make no mistake, every straight guy thinks, "God, I'm glad that's not me" and evey woman thinks, "God, I hope my son won't be gay," and men and women still look at one another after the limp-wristed and the gay couple walk off hand in hand and they say, "Uh...oh, well. They can't help it."

Just as attitudes about individuals and race have changed over the decades, you still don't find white men saying, "I wish I were black" and you don't find white women saying, "I wish I was black" and you don't find black males wishing to be white although I do know black females who wish they were.

So, no, no "reduction in reputational cost" much less a "major reduction in reputational cost."

And why would you expect it? After all, who would want to be less fit any more than they'd want to lose an arm or a leg?

Anonymous said...

"I would argue that ironically natural male sexual behavior is to prefer very underdeveloped females who are barely passed puberty. Males are innately driven to youth."

Die in excruciating pain.

.
On-topic:
I'd say partly a rise in adopted female bisexuality as a result of male sexual arousal i.e. on one hand lesbian sex as a form of heterosexual behavior (counter intuitive though that may sound) and on the other hand an increase in experimentation induced by the prevalence of male fantasies as expressed in both porn and the mainstream media.

However also, if there's any truth in the germ theory then it should spread itself by inducing both promiscuity and risky sexual practises. This fits for male homosexuals but not lesbians.

However it does fit for bisexual women so...i'd say the other big factor in the rise, if the germ theory is at least partly true, is the mainstreaming of anal sex and promiscuity among young girls by the media.

Anonymous said...

"However also, if there's any truth in the germ theory then it should spread itself by inducing both promiscuity and risky sexual practises"

This would only be true IF

1.) IF the pathogen seeks to spread itself through sexual contact (after all many pathogens spread through less sexy means such as sneezing/ coughing, etc.)

OR

2) IF homosexuality is the result of ANY strategy imployed by the bug rather than simply a side effect of having contracted the bug

Anonymous said...

"This would only be true IF"

Yes, i should specify i'm operating on the premise that the base bug, if it exists, is designed to spread sexually and does so by inducing compulsive promiscuity.

I also think it's a strategy of the gay version of the bug. I think originally (if it exists) it was a compulsive promiscuity / rape bug i.e. the sort of thing you could easily imagine being loose in the recent wars in the Congo and the gay variant arose (if it exists) because it spreads easier through anal sex.

Anonymous said...

"I also think it's a strategy of the gay version of the bug. I think originally (if it exists) it was a compulsive promiscuity / rape bug i.e. the sort of thing you could easily imagine being loose in the recent wars in the Congo and the gay variant arose (if it exists) because it spreads easier through anal sex."

My understanding is that same-sex practices in the Western world involved primarily frottage and oral sex, not anal sex. Only since "gay liberation" has anal sex become "acceptable."

If you think the bug spread through sexual means, that would mean it succeeded through other means as well.

You have to account for how the small child/infant contracted the bug. It's clear that most gay men were little boys whose homosexual orientation was established when they were very, very young, either children, toddlers, infants, or even fetuses.

Thus, they may have contracted in in the womb, during the birth, or shortly thereafter.

From Mom? Did Mom get it from Dad? Previous lovers? Through sex? Passed to the fetus, child?

Does this STD make the mother/female sexually promiscuous as it does the male? Any research that establishes that mothers of gay sons had more sexual partners than mothers of hetero sons? In ticking off quickly in my head a few mothers I know of gay men, I'd say, "No, the moms aren't promiscuous at all."

It seems just as likely the damage is a side effect of a non-sexually transmitted disease, doesn't it?

I wonder if the damage is actually to the brain or if it's damage to receptors that process sensory cues.

After all, Dulac found that mice have dual circuits, male and female, and that knocking out a gene that processed olfactory cues in the VNO switched the female's "search image" (I guess in this case we can call it the mouse's "search scent") to male and the females began behaving both in sexual ways and in overall aggression just like males.

Perhaps homosexuality in homo sapiens occurs in the processing of cues; that is, the brain itself has no damage, but the brain can only respond to what has been sent its way and maybe receptors for visual and/or auditory cues are damaged or turned "on"/"off" in some way. I wouldn't leave out tacile cues either.

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that same-sex practices in the Western world involved primarily frottage and oral sex, not anal sex. Only since "gay liberation" has anal sex become "acceptable."

My understanding is that AIDS spread *more* rapidly among gay men because sexual diseases transmitted through the blood stream transfer more easily through anal sex.

It also spread rapidly among some heterosexual populations with very high promiscuity who tend to have a lot of other sexual illnesses so the anal sex thing may be a red herring. I just mention it as a possibility.

If not, then if the bug exists and what you say is correct then the number of exclusively homosexual men would have gone up since the switch in behavior.

(As would the number of lesbian and / or bisexual women with the recent mainstreaming of young female promiscuity through education and the media and hetero anal sex via porn.)

.
If you think the bug spread through sexual means, that would mean it succeeded through other means as well.

Sexual means is a form of physical contact. As sex is a particularly intimate form of physical contact i imagine it's a particularly effective means of transmission but any physical contact may be the absolute, if low odds, minimum.

.
You have to account for how the small child/infant contracted the bug. It's clear that most gay men were little boys whose homosexual orientation was established when they were very, very young, either children, toddlers, infants, or even fetuses.

I don't think there is a single explanation. I think some of it is chimera / conditions in the womb and that lies behind Sailer's observation that lesbians aren't gay except i think lesbians and a percentage of gay men are gay for birth reasons and (if the germ theory is correct) there's another percentage of gay men and lesbian (or imo more likely bisexual) women who have the bug.

.
It seems just as likely the damage is a side effect of a non-sexually transmitted disease, doesn't it?

Could be. I should say what i tend to do is take an idea, assume it's true, and then run it into a wall to test it. So i don't *believe* in the germ theory as such but so far it is interesting to me as a possibility, not specifically because of homosexuality but more because, if it's true, i think there may be a connection to rape.

.
After all, Dulac found that mice have dual circuits, male and female, and that knocking out a gene that processed olfactory cues in the VNO switched the female's "search image" (I guess in this case we can call it the mouse's "search scent") to male and the females began behaving both in sexual ways and in overall aggression just like males.

Perhaps homosexuality in homo sapiens occurs in the processing of cues; that is, the brain itself has no damage, but the brain can only respond to what has been sent its way and maybe receptors for visual and/or auditory cues are damaged or turned "on"/"off" in some way. I wouldn't leave out tacile cues either.


Yes. Very interesting stuff.

Another variation on that theme could be if males physically feminized over time then the search image could remain the same but particularly feminine males could begin to match the cues.

Anonymous said...

Male homosexuals are more common among north Europeans than other populations. North European men are possibly more likely to be exclusively gay than bisexual.


Not in California. There's a huge gay Mexican population, and among the whites, the Mediterranean (eg Italian, Jewish) predominate. And many, many, many gay blacks.

North Europeans, and East Asians, seem to have the LOWEST rates of homosexuality. Yes, there are some gay blonds and gay Asians, but in my experience, they are rare.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Interesting.

We find out astronaut Sally Ride was lesbian, more interestingly, that her sister is too.

Research of female sexuality, esp. of families in which more than one sibling is lesbian, is esp. rare, is it not?

Mirco Romanato said...

Hypothesis for reasons for male homosexuality:

I was not aware gays were more frequent for mothers or aunts with many children.

The reason, IMHO, is pretty simple:

1) Mother with few children or one having one gay child will have a much lower fertility in the long run. 1:2, 1:3 is a severe reduction of fertility.

2) Mothers with many children will have a lower reduction of fertility if one male child is gay.

What could be the advantage to have a gay male over many children (of various sex) for the mother or the aunts?
Gays would stay in the family (until 100 years ago, the majority of people lived in farms) and lend their work to keeping the family or, if they worked out, they would leave inheritances to their family members.
This is simply a way to indirectly increase the K factor. This would not be only true for gays but also for disinterested in sex males. They would be the ox of the family.
There was a tradition in the past in Italy, where every good family would have at least one uncle going to seminar and becoming a priest (or a noun for the female). Often, from this position, they would relieve the family from the need to keep them feed, educated, etc. and when they become priests or higher, they would be in position to help their brothers/sisters sons to obtain a good job, access cheaper education, care for the older parents, uncle/aunts, etc.

So, I expect, a reduction of women fertility will result in lot less homosexuals men and more female homosexuality.

---
Male are attracted by just matured or near to maturation girls over mature women or too young babes for other simple reasons:

1) If they are the first male having sex with them, there is a larger probability they bond with them forever and give them children.
2) Younger need care and this is expensive (and then become difficult to bond with them for psychological mechanisms preventing inbreeding)
3) Older female (having already know other men or probable to have know other men) are more difficult to bond with the male long term, they could have offspring the male don't want (and causing their death or other damage will not make easier for the woman to bond with the male)

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Women are rarely attracted by younger men because they usually lack the ability to provide for her children. They prefer mature men for this.

My two cents

Yang Jiansheng said...

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She is right under mind programming, behavior modification, drug. I thought she has been labeled 'mental illness' in some way or the other. Any way, individual sexuality is under government medicalization of control, even fantasy can be labelled 'deviant'. It is the hardest truth we human had never been encount during the whole human history. Please visit my blog if got time, or if your want looking into psychiatrist mind programming, brainwashing, behavior modification, madicalization of sin, etc. My blog minddefensecoach.wordpress.com


JayMan said...

Peter, check out this new hypothesis about female bisexuality making the rounds. Note my comments there:

Born Both Ways? | Psychology Today