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New Jersey approves gay "unions"

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Postby josebach » Sun Dec 31, 2006 7:03 pm

knapplc wrote:And to be clear, I don't believe that it's always a conscious choice - in fact, I'd be inclined to believe it's much less a conscious choice than a condition caused by outside factors, such as abuse, neglect, trauma in general, or other things that I'm not aware of.

Other things you're not aware of like genetic/biological factors? It seems there's a significant percentage of evidence points to genetic/biological causes over environmental, yet a large percentage of people still refuse to even consider it. Why? How do they come to this conclusion?
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Postby knapplc » Sun Dec 31, 2006 7:08 pm

josebach wrote:
knapplc wrote:And to be clear, I don't believe that it's always a conscious choice - in fact, I'd be inclined to believe it's much less a conscious choice than a condition caused by outside factors, such as abuse, neglect, trauma in general, or other things that I'm not aware of.

Other things you're not aware of like genetic/biological factors? It seems there's a significant percentage of evidence points to genetic/biological causes over environmental, yet a large percentage of people still refuse to even consider it. Why? How do they come to this conclusion?


Because the preponderance of evidence does not point in the direction of genetic/biological evidence, but to the psychological arena. Further, the kinds of people who are proposing wholly "natural" causes for homosexuality have traditionally been rather biased, as in, people who are openly homosexual or transsexual, as in the case of Dr. Roughgarden, the foremost proponent of gay animals. Dr. Roughgarden is currently undergoing a sex change. While this in and of itself does not wholly discredit Dr. Rougharden's findings, it does call them into question, as you can see if you read up on his/her research. There are many, many voices in the field of science calling his/her methods and findings into question.
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Postby josebach » Sun Dec 31, 2006 7:24 pm

knapplc wrote:
josebach wrote:
knapplc wrote:And to be clear, I don't believe that it's always a conscious choice - in fact, I'd be inclined to believe it's much less a conscious choice than a condition caused by outside factors, such as abuse, neglect, trauma in general, or other things that I'm not aware of.

Other things you're not aware of like genetic/biological factors? It seems there's a significant percentage of evidence points to genetic/biological causes over environmental, yet a large percentage of people still refuse to even consider it. Why? How do they come to this conclusion?


Because the preponderance of evidence does not point in the direction of genetic/biological evidence, but to the psychological arena. Further, the kinds of people who are proposing wholly "natural" causes for homosexuality have traditionally been rather biased, as in, people who are openly homosexual or transsexual, as in the case of Dr. Roughgarden, the foremost proponent of gay animals. Dr. Roughgarden is currently undergoing a sex change. While this in and of itself does not wholly discredit Dr. Rougharden's findings, it does call them into question, as you can see if you read up on his/her research. There are many, many voices in the field of science calling his/her methods and findings into question.


Preponderance of evidence? I guess we've been reading different articles.

Wikipedia (as about a neutral site as you can get)

Issues
The declassification of homosexuality has largely ended the discussion of homosexuality as a mental disorder, although there is still some debate among mental health professionals. This has allowed a much wider discussion of the origins of homosexuality, and in general what sexuality is.


Homosexuality as curable psychological disorder
For more details on this topic, see Reparative therapy.
The idea of homosexuality as a disorder has been renounced by the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association and by the majority of mental health professionals. There is an ex-gay movement, comprised mostly of conservative and religious groups, which advocates an alternative psychology and regards homosexuality as a sexual disorder, one curable through conversion or reparative therapy. These organizations include NARTH, Exodus International and Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX). This point of view has also spawned the satirical group Parents & Friends of Ex-Straights.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual ... psychology

I'm sure you'll come back and say they only did this to be politically correct, so I'll save you the trouble, but what about a scientific retort to the article I posted earlier regarding the gay allele?
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Postby knapplc » Sun Dec 31, 2006 7:38 pm

Just because I used the word "psychological" does not mean that I think it's a disorder or that it can be "cured."

I would caution you against using Wikipedia - a website that you and I can both edit - as a source for any argument. It's good as a guide, but not a source.

I don't see what article about a gay allele you're talking about.
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Postby Matthias » Sun Dec 31, 2006 8:05 pm

knapplc wrote:I don't see what article about a gay allele you're talking about.

I believe he means the article he quoted, at length, back on page 22. The upshot of it was that in the case of identical twins separated at birth, if one twin was gay, the other twin was gay about 55% of the time. Religious conservatives took that as proof that it being gay is not genetic since if you had been completely genetic, it should have been 100%.

Other geneticists said it supported the genetic argument because only about 5% of men in America are gay so if genes had nothing to do with it, then the separated twins should have only been gay 5% of the time, making the 55% a pretty astounding figure. The author's best explanation was that there was some sort of gene, or allele, which required an environmental trigger. In the same way that some people are pre-disposed to Huntington's Disease but not all develop it.

That was the upshot that I took, anyway. The original is way longer.
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Postby Matthias » Sun Dec 31, 2006 8:12 pm

knapplc wrote:And to be clear, I don't believe that it's always a conscious choice - in fact, I'd be inclined to believe it's much less a conscious choice than a condition caused by outside factors, such as abuse, neglect, trauma in general, or other things that I'm not aware of.

That's a pretty negative list. You do caveat with it, "other things" but I have to say, of the people I personally have known that have are gay, none of them have suffered (or at least told me that they suffered) childhood trauma of any type. I know the conditions that my little brother grew up in. And I have a gay friend from high school whose parents may as well have been Ward and Betty Cleaver.

Although here's a vinette for you. When he was in college, I found out my brother had a boyfriend (to noone's knowledge) while he was in high school. We all just thought they were good friends. I asked my brother how he and his boyfriend identified each other since our hometown is 5,000 people in the middle of rural Minnesota and being gay... well, good way to have a miserable childhood... and he said that he was riding around in the car with this guy and another friend and someone put on showtunes and they all started signing along. And then he knew.

Partially I just think that's a funny story. But partially also to point out that there's other behavioral traits not linked to any trauma that becomine tendencies in gay men.
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Postby stomperrob » Sun Dec 31, 2006 8:41 pm

This article is from the WebMD
Medical News Archive

Is There a 'Gay Gene'?

New Genetic Regions Associated With Male Sexual Orientation Found By Jennifer Warner
WebMD Medical News Reviewed By Michael Smith, MD
on Friday, January 28, 2005


Jan. 28, 2005 - The genes a man gets from his mother and father may play an important role in determining whether he is gay or not, according to a new study likely to reignite the "gay gene" debate.

Researchers say it's the first time the entire human genetic makeup has been scanned in search of possible genetic determinants of male sexual orientation. The results suggest that several genetic regions may influence homosexuality.

"It builds on previous studies that have consistently found evidence of genetic influence on sexual orientation, but our study is the first to look at exactly where those genes are located," says researcher Brian Mustanski, PhD, a psychologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Those previous studies looked only at the genes located on the X chromosome. Genes on this chromosome are only passed to a son from his mother. But this study examined genetic information on all chromosomes, including genes from the father.

The findings show that identical stretches of DNA on three chromosomes were shared by about 60% of gay brothers in the study compared to the about 50% normally expected by chance.

Gay Gene Debate

A heated debate over the existence of a "gay gene" emerged from a 1993 report published in the journal Science by then-NIH researcher Dean Hamer, PhD. That study linked DNA markers on the X chromosome to male sexual orientation.

Since then, questions arose regarding the validity of those results. Other researchers are attempting to replicate and verify Hamer's findings. Hamer is also senior author of the current study, which appears in the March issue of Human Genetics.

But researchers say this study takes a different approach. Its goal was not to replicate those findings but to search for new genetic markers associated with male sexual orientation.

"Since sexual orientation is such a complex trait, we're never going to find any one gene that determines whether someone is gay or not," says Mustanski. "It's going to be a combination of various genes acting together as well as possibly interacting with environmental influences."

Previous studies in male twins have suggested that between 40%-60% of the variability in sexual orientation is due to genes. The rest is thought to be due to environment and possibly other biologic but nongenetic causes
study, researchers analyzed the genetic makeup of 456 men from 146 families with two or more gay brothers.

The genetic scans showed a clustering of the same genetic pattern among the gay men on three chromosomes -- chromosomes 7, 8, and 10. These common genetic patterns were shared by 60% of the gay men in the study. This is slightly more than the 50% expected by chance alone.

The regions on chromosome 7 and 8 were associated with male sexual orientation regardless of whether the man got them from his mother or father. The regions on chromosome 10 were only associated with male sexual orientation if they were inherited from the mother.

Mustanski compares the study's approach to a search for doctors in a town of 40,000 people, a number that roughly corresponds to the number of human genes.

Rather than guessing that doctors live in a particular type of house and going to only the houses that meet that criteria, researchers in this scenario would knock on every door to ask the residents if a doctor lives on their street. Using a similar approach, researchers were able to locate a few potential genetic neighborhoods that likely contribute to male sexual orientation.

Researchers say the next step is to verify these results in a different group of men to see if the same genetic regions are associated with sexual orientation. If the findings hold up, then Mustanski says they could start to look for the individual genes within these regions linked to sexual orientation.

New Targets for Gay Gene Research

Elliot S. Gershon, MD, professor of psychiatry and human genetics at the University of Chicago, says the study represents an important step forward in understanding how genes affect human sexual orientation.

"It is worth testing genes within a region of linkage to see if one of them has a variant that is more frequent in men who are gay than in men who are not," says Gershon, who is also currently involved in another study of gay brothers and genetic influences on sexual orientation.

"This report adds to the legitimacy of research on normal variations in human behavior," Gershon tells WebMD. "There is an argument that has been made in public press that it doesn't make sense to study conditions or traits that are behavioral. But this suggests that there is a genetic contribution to this particular trait of same sex orientation."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SOURCES: Mustanski, B. Human Genetics, March 2005 online first edition. Brian Mustanski, PhD, department of psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago. Elliot S. Gershon, MD, professor of psychiatry and human genetics, University of Chicago. News release, University of Illinois at Chicago. Council for Responsible Genetics.

[/quote]
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Postby deerayfan072 » Sun Dec 31, 2006 11:01 pm

so how about them Marlins :-o ;-) ;-7 :-D O:-)
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Postby knapplc » Sun Dec 31, 2006 11:32 pm

Matthias wrote:
knapplc wrote:I don't see what article about a gay allele you're talking about.

I believe he means the article he quoted, at length, back on page 22. The upshot of it was that in the case of identical twins separated at birth, if one twin was gay, the other twin was gay about 55% of the time. Religious conservatives took that as proof that it being gay is not genetic since if you had been completely genetic, it should have been 100%.

Other geneticists said it supported the genetic argument because only about 5% of men in America are gay so if genes had nothing to do with it, then the separated twins should have only been gay 5% of the time, making the 55% a pretty astounding figure. The author's best explanation was that there was some sort of gene, or allele, which required an environmental trigger. In the same way that some people are pre-disposed to Huntington's Disease but not all develop it.

That was the upshot that I took, anyway. The original is way longer.


And this all may be true. I see what you're saying up there about that list I used being pretty negative, and I guess it pretty much is, but just because that's what I have heard and read doesn't mean that it's the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I am fully willing to admit that I don't know everything about homosexuality, and I'm pretty open to new theories.

I will say that, Darwin-ically speaking, it seems quite hard to believe that a genetic cause for homosexuality has survived the eons to this day. That makes me lean toward a psychological cause for homosexuality, but I fully admit that this is not proof of anything.

The bottom line for me is this, and maybe it's taken all of this talk to anneal this for me, but I believe that gay or straight, what you do and who you love is your business. My gay coworkers and I get along quite well, and at the end of the day if they win the right to marry I'm not going to carry placards in the street in protest. I may not like it thanks to my belief in marriage, but I'm not going to get all pissy if it happens.

And really, why should anyone care what I think? I've never offered my opinion to my acquaintances or coworkers, and they seem to have survived this long without knowing whether I approve of them or not. Coincidentally, I've lived this long in my life without asking for their approval over my life, too. I can't imagine why I should care what anyone thinks about my sex life, and I can't imagine caring much about anyone else's.

I think I've overstayed my time in this discussion. I announced my retirement pages and pages ago, and I think now is a pretty good time to do it again. Honestly, my brain hurts from thinking about this topic so much. If I'd have spent this much time on my drafts maybe I would have done better this year. :-/
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Postby Art Vandelay » Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:17 pm

knapplc wrote:
josebach wrote:Here's an interesting article that just came out today on gay sheep. I thought it was worth a read.


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0, ... _1,00.html


What I'd like to see is the research on these animals who "mount" the same sex. The question I'd like to see an answer to is whether these animals are actually "homosexual" or if they're simply acting out mating actions on other males/females to show dominance. Do these animals also have sex with opposite sex animals? If so, does that make them "bi?"

My take on this, without having read any solid, convincing research to show that these animals are truly gay, would lead me to believe that they are, in fact, simply acting out sexually in a way to establish dominance. The "gay animal" diagnosis comes in from people wanting to see that result.


One of the links I posted earlier in this thread was about two male penguins in Central Park Zoo who have been a couple for more than six years now. They don't attempt to mate with the females, and they ignore all of the passes that the ladies have made at them. Anyway, they have been together exclusively for years now, and they have sex, but also display non-sexual affection exactly like what female/male penguin couples exhibit towards each other. Also, they hatched an egg and raised the chick to adulthood.
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