gay "biology"

Masami Voelkel voelkel at bcs.rochester.edu
Wed Jul 2 16:06:35 EST 1997

On 25 Jun 1997, James Woodson wrote:

>    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.
Dr.Dean Hamer has hypothesized that a "gay gene" could be matrilinear,
thus explaining how a "reproductively maladaptive" trait could be

> 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.

I completely agree. Human beings are incredibly plastic, especially when
it comes to such complex behaviors as sexual ones. And, there are a huge
number of ways to "be gay" (or bi).
Mako Voelkel
University of Rochester
Brain & Cognitive Sciences Department

More information about the Neur-sci mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net