Friday, August 10, 2007

Bill Richardson Is Not A Scientist

Bill is seen here struggling with a question that a lot people have a hard time with and doing a very bad job of answering it. I don't think he is against homosexuality necessarily but he is reluctant to commit to the notion that someone is born gay. I would guess that as a Hispanic Catholic he feels the need to support the views of his church and community. To be fair, it is a loaded question that basically is looking for him to say something he doesn't believe even though his personal opinion might not necessarily direct his style of governing.

I have had many long discussions on this topic especially when I was studying anthropology in school. I even considered writing my thesis on the topic but the kind of studies needed to make my argument were not readily available at the time and I could not afford to pay for such a massive project. My theory on the subject is still valid even if I cannot provide concrete evidence at thtis time.

I do think that gay people are born gay. We are all born with certain predetermined talents and inclinations in a variety of things. Some people are born with gifts for athletics. Some are born with a knack for music or the arts and some people are born who will eventually have sexual feelings for members of their own sex. Some of these things are genetic and others are controlled by development. I believe that sexuality is a function of the latter.

It doesn't make sense that homosexuality would be passed along via genes. I make this assertion because gay people cannot have children. Over time the gene for homosexuality would have been selected against and would have died out. Sure, a few people who denied their true selves due to social constraints would have married and had children here and there but that would have been rare.

What's more probable is that during the embryo's development, factors such as hormonal exposure, temperature, diet and other things contribute to the child's sexuality. Hormones especially play a huge role in development. There have been some incredibly accurate predictors for a child's athletic ability that are directly related to the mother's testosterone levels during pregnancy. In males, there is a direct link between the percentage difference in length between the ring and index fingers that contributes to the average man's muscle composition. Testosterone levels during development have been proven to directly affect this equation. I think that these same types of factors are what decide a child's sexual preference as well as many other social characteristics.

At the end of the day, I think that Bill and I have very different ideas about how one becomes a homosexual but I think that we'd both agree that gays have the same rights as everyone else. Notice I don't say, "should have." They already have them. They were born with them but as of this day many of us have chosen not to recognize them.


thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

I think it's all of the above, with certain factors playing more (or less) important roles depending on the individual. I mean, wasn't a supposed "gay" gene mapped during the Genome Project? And wasn't it furthermore determined that in utero environmental factors could turn that gene on or off of something to that effect (similar to what you mention here)?

And even still, I think the procreation of homosexuals has been far more common throughout history than any of us would suspect. And even if they weren't procreating, their brothers and sisters -- who may have had a recessive gene -- were. And those recessive genes tend to crop up from time to time, particularly if both parents carry it.

Michael K said...

The "gay gene" was something that a certain group pushed very hard with no real support for the idea. It was pushed as a "born this way" argument. The problem is that if you push false science you injure your argument rather than help it.

No gene had been recognized as the gay gene ever. I am offering a true born gay option. The people who are fighting this theory the hardest are religious gays who think that God made them this way. As an atheist, I think people need to get their shit together.

Beth said...

Smart argument, Michael K. I also believe that most gay people are born that way. My mom and I often argue about it. A good Baptist, she believes that "something" happens to a person during his or her formative years that leads to that tendency (I hate using "tendency" here — it sounds demeaning, doesn't it? — but I can't think of a better word at the moment). I believe it's there, just as my creativity is there and not in my siblings' bodies. I've had this discussion with most of my gay friends, and they believe it, too. I hate that religions feel the need to pigeonhole something natural. As a semi-lapsed Baptist, I don't believe it's a sin to be gay; God wouldn't punish a person for something he or she was born with.

Grant Miller said...

I disagreed w/ Richardson but felt bad for him. Almost as though he knew his mouth spoke before his brain thought of anything to say.