Homosexual behavior in primates

Ram Samudrala ram at mbisgi.umd.edu
Wed Nov 8 18:53:52 EST 1995


Nguyen Tri Duc (rh22384 at swt.edu) wrote:

>What I am suggesting is that we are sexual.  for example, juxtaposed with 
>the bipolar model, which is the result of dichotomous thinking, a model 
>which may more closely describe the reality of human sexuality was 
>proposed by Kinsey: the continuum model of sexuality.  I would NOT assert 
>that there does not exists a subset of humans who are "either" homosexual 
>"or" heterosexual.  However, like Kensey and so many others have 
>suggested is that the subset of people who are "either" homosexual "or" 
>heterosexual is only 6% in either case with 88% of people falling in a 
>continuum of categories with ambisexuality ("bisexuality") seerving as 
>the midrange point.  Along the continuum, according to Kensey, the 
>greates number on a bell curve fall somewhere between bisexual and 
>heterosexual.

Assuming what you say is true, this does not account for the fact that
most people do indeed practice a certain kind.  I presume the number
of heterosexuals who have not engaged in a homosexual relationships
plus the number of heterosexuals who have not at all engaged in a
heterosexual relationship are far fewer than the number of people who
have engaged in both sorts (whatever the reasons).

>This whole business of "either" homosexual "or" heterosexual is a
>social construction.  We have let our dualistic tail of language wag
>the dog.

I disagree that it is just a matter of language.  This behaviour way
well be a social construct: why are so many people heterosexual or
homosexual, but not both?  By "are" I mean "practice".  The reason for
this behaviour is what we're (or at least I am) interested in.

>No it is not Freudian. It is more of an "existential" analysis, in 
>Western terms. 

Well, Freud was an existentialist. <-: But I presume you are referring
to the Sartrean sort of reasoning, which I don't think is very
rigourous in this instance (at least in terms of understanding the
issue).  In a practical sense, this is of little use to anyone (see below).

>It it is useful for our purpose here to explaining the Western
>cultural phenomenon of "Homophobia."  I submit that that since we are
>NOT generally "either" heterosexual "or" homosexual, but are simply
>sexual, that the *anxiety* produced by the *conflict* between the
>extant homoerotic impulses in 94% of humans (cf. Kinsey) and the
>Post-Victorian taboo against our nautral sexual urges is channeled
>into the "formation" of negative cognitions directed against our
>*natural inclinations* as a controlling "reaction" - thus the term
>reaction formation, the defense mechanism employed by those given to
>the heterosexist delusion of bipolar sexual identity.

I'm sorry---I'm not following you here.  Are you saying that the fact
that there is a bipolar sexual division in current society a result of
"conflict anxiety", or are you saying that the fact that we look at
the phenonmenon of sexuality in dualistic terms is a result of
"conflict anxiety"?  The former is indeed what I am interested in, and
if you are correct, it's an explanation.  But I don't see any
rigourous proof of it, or any evidence.  I can come up with a
hypothesis that used "alien influence" instead of "conflict anxiety"
and we'd be in the same position. There's no way (as far as I know) to
demonstrate it.  The latter I think is pointless... because it is
evading the observed phenomenon.  That is, most people tend to have
sexual relations with only one sort of a person.  

>..Yes, as Kinsey suggested, the subset of the population with such a 
>"clear cut" orientation is %6 on "either" end of the continuum.

I am not sure about this, but instead of saying 6%, I will say that we
(or I, passively) have an interest in seeing how much of the
phenomenon above (that most people tend to have sexual relationships
with only sort of a person) is due to genetics and evolutionary
pressure in a measurable and provable way (at least in some
quasi-quantitative sense).  

Dean Hamer's results are indeed progress in this direction.  He was
able to show a correlation between a set of DNA markers and 64% of his
sample with a statistical confidence level of more than 99%.  If you
take these results as they are (which I do not), then it indicates
that 64% of his sample were influenced by genetic factors to be
homosexual.

Interestingly enough, > 90% of the homosexual subjects in the study
identified themselves as Kinsey 5 or 6 (the scale goes from 0-6) and >
90% of their nonhomosexual male relatives identified themselves as
Kinsey 0 or 1.

--Ram

me at ram.org  ||  http://www.ram.org  ||  http://www.twisted-helices.com/th
          He is most powerful who has himself in his own power. ---Seneca





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