Genetics and homosexuality

Chris, London 100423.2040 at
Tue Nov 28 16:35:29 MST 1995

I would support Marcus Strom on the dubious democratic advantages
of a mechanically deterministic model of homosexuality. 

There is no more likely to be a single gene for schizophrenia than there
is for "homosexuality". Both terms are modernist conceptual artefacts.

Very good extensive research on sexuality  published in Britain
about a year ago, in which the questionnaires did not use the term
homosexual at all, showed a somewhat lower than expected figure for
reported homosexual contacts, but more insidiously, that these were on 
range of probability of sexual contact, of course heavily weighted towards
heterosexual contacts, but on a continuum of various bisexual contacts, 
reducing to a smaller proportion of people whose sexual contact in their
lives had been exclusively homosexual. There is absolutely no bimodal 
distribution of the sort that gay activists and the orthodox would equally
comfortably assert.

The human genome project is the latest big reductionist shiboleth. In fact even 
if you swallow the simple story that one gene determines one phenotype, there
are 100,000 genes, of which 25,000 are associated with psychological or 
behavioural features. Clearly the causal interactions are extremely complex.

Of course there tend to be various taboos and not-so strange attractors, in 
sexuality as well as  wider social customs, which produce patterns of considerable 
robustness, but none of these implies a mechanical determinism, independent
of human adjustment and consciousness .

Chris, London.

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