jwoodson at ucla.edu
Wed Jun 25 20:22:30 EST 1997
> How? Just imagine a young primate who rescues two brothers
>but dies himself in the process. Simple-minded "naturalists" would say
>that any gene that made it possible for the primate to rescue his
>brothers (rather than ignore their plight) should be wiped out with
>his death. But brothers (and sisters) share Half their genes.
>This means that the 2 brothers saved collectively possess ALL the
>genes of their rescuer brother. Thus , at least ONE of the rescued
>brothers would share the "altruistic gene" and that gene would
The random 50% of the genome represented in each of the brothers would
collectively represent, on average only 75% of the original parents genes,
not 100% and would by no means represent 100% of any single brother's genes.
Kin selection theory is not a sufficient argument against the proposal
by some that a gay gene would be selected against by evolutionary forces.
The proposal is based upon the assumption that homosexuality is
reproductively maladaptive for the individual, and this assumption should
be the target of any criticism. Should the homosexual behavior be
exclusive, the assumption that homosexuality is reproductively maladaptive
might stand. However, in the event that heterosexual activity occurs once
or even twice in the lifetime, the potential for producing an equivalent
number of offspring to an exclusive (yet perhaps less successful)
heterosexual still exists.
I do, however, maintain that homosexuality is a complex combination of
behaviors, and is therefore of necessity the product of multiple genetic
and environmental influences.
James C. Woodson* - Behavioral Neuroscience
U.C.L.A. Dept. of Psychology, Franz Hall
405 Hilgard Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90095
"To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient
solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection." - Jules Henri
* Research in mechanisms and loci of sexual differentiation of the brain,
motivated responding, developmental interactions between nerve growth
factors and endogenous gonadal steroids, evolutionary psychology, & learned
helplessness. All opinions expressed are mine alone, and do not reflect
those of the University of California, Los Angeles.
P.S. You may be able to find out more about me by visiting my web site, at
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