I notice that once again the choice/not choice debate about homosexuality is going on.
Personally I think I’m a pretty strong-willed person and if heterosexuality were an exteme minority that was villified, I would probably be a homosexual. This probably wouldn’t be too difficult, as my wife says “penis is an acquired taste.”
Seeing as I learned to like coffee, I don’t see why this would be such a problem.
But seriously, I see no reason to doubt the opinions of homosexuals and the preponderance of evidence that says their sexual preference is not a matter of a choice, and I don’t want to debate it here.
Homosexuality is odd at first glance from an evolutionary standpoint. One would assume that if it were a genetic trait, it would have had a tough time propagating itself.
One wouldn’t really be able to consider it an abnormality or a deviance or a mutation any more than one would consider red hair an abnormality, deviance or mutation. Both pop up about as often.
Yet it seems that most of the time homosexuality arises from nonhomosexuals. It doesn’t appear to be a typical inherited trait.
Rather, it seems that it’s a part of our genome which shows up from time to time, maybe roughly 10% of the time.
This is common and frequent enough to come to the conclusion that there is an evolutionary advantage to having a minority homosexual population. It takes a lot of effort to raise a child. Raising one that it is not interested in competing to pass on its genes is on the face of it counterproductive, a waste.
Clearly this interpretation has to be wrong. Producing a certain percentage of homosexual children must be advantageous, otherwise our ancestors would have lost out to those that do not, and the tendency would have been eliminated.
The question then is what is the advantage?
Really, it can only be one thing. Having members of a society who are not competing for mates and having children every sixth months, and competing to provide for those children, must make it easier for those who are.
Simply put, a tribe or society with a percentage of the population being homosexual will have more adults on hand to help raise children and perform the tasks of society.
A tribe of 10 adults and 3 children is probably a lot stronger and more flexible than a tribe of 7 adults and six children. More redundancy, more of a safety margin, a better success rate. Such a tribe, such a society is tough.
That much seems pretty apparent. Let me delve into some speculation and take it further.
If you live in an environment with plentiful food and an easy climate, this advantage isn’t all that great. In fact, it might be counterproductive. A tribe that produces the occasional homosexual might get bred right out of existance, by a tribe that breeds less, or none.
If everything is easy, a higher ration of adults to children isn’t desirable. The advantage would be to those that maximize their offspring to take advantage of a favorable climate.
However, climates and environments change. New pressures occur. To maximize its advantages re homosexual population one would need a way of taking advantage of the homosexual population when it was needed, and getting rid of it when it wasn’t.
What possible trait could do this? It seems like a solution would be extremely difficult. In fact, though it may be simple.
Homophobia. Consider a population having a certain level of dislike and abhorrence toward homosexuals.
If a population had such a thing built into it would be overridden in times of need. As a cavedweller you find UROK you’re gay tribe member icky, and you may dislike him. But, if he’s helping bring meat back to the cave in tough times when you have mouths to feed, chances are you’re going to tolerate him.
If on the other hand, you are living in a place where the food jumps from the sea and falls from the trees, the climate is copacetic and life is easy, there’s no reason to tolerate UROK the gay caveman and he can be safely ostracized from the community.
So, the question for debate is:
Is homophobia a natural part of our genetic makeup?
It seems to me it might be. So many different society’s seem to have a large degree of it. It seems that a certain degree of homophobia might make some sense.
Now, from the standpoint of political correctness this an ugly possibility.
First off, it says something pretty shitty about humanity if we have the natural trait to be fair-weather friends and breed homosexuals simply for utility and then cast them off like worker bees if they’re not necessy.
Secondly, it gives validation to those who feel homophobic.
Homosexuality is not a choice. Therefore it doesn’t say anything about the quality of a person who is homosexual.
If homophobia is not a choice though, than wouldn’t homophobes deserve not to be ostracized for something that isn’t their choice either?
But why stop there?
Clearly, mankind is an animal that is prone to prejudice and discrimination. There’s a natural advantage to it. We view people that look and act like us as members of our tribe. We are inclined to look favorably upon them because we evolved in an environment with smaller populations, spread out.
If you were a short, stocky white man with a big nose and black hair, and everybody else in your tribe was also short, stocky, had a big nose and black hair, you might do well to be alarmed at the sudden appearance of a tall black man. It might mean danger, competitors. If you were inclined to look favorably upon people who were different from you, then the energy you spent assisting them is energy robbed from your tribe, your gene pool.
If a stallion takes over a herd, it will attack the pregnant mare that do not bear it’s children. It will attack colts that are not of its line.
There’s an evolutionary advantage to disliking and hurting people that are different, that don’t share your genes.
So, maybe a degree of racism, prejudice and discrimination are natural.
Which brings us to a difficult question. If we are not to judge a homosexual because it is likely he has no choice in the matter (and therefore it neither reflects positively or negatively on his quality,) then how can we judge a homophobe or a racist who also may not have choice in the matter?
At the start of this thread I made a joke about choice. It’s really not a joke though. I beleive we always have choice. I tend to believe that somebody is weak goods indeed, of poor quality, if they are not able to master themselves.
These things that we have are tendencies. Whether you are a homosexual, whether you have a racist tendency, whether like me you have the tendency to be a total prick, whether you have the tendency to be fat, or whatever tendency you have…
These tendencies are nothing more than the negative of a photograph. They are not you. You are the picture.
While it’s true that all you have to work with is what’s in the negative, any trait may be developed well, or poorly… or not at all.
How you do that is a matter of your nurture and the choices you make.
The bitch of this though is that no matter how hard you try, you can’t put anything into the picture that wasn’t there in the negative.
So, how does this apply to homosexuals, homophobes, racists and what have you?
Given the power of choice, one would assume that if a homosexual wanted to badly enough he could live as a heterosexual. There is choice.
There’s really no reason why a homosexual should exercise it, though.
If a gay guy were the last man on earth and there was a dozen fertile women, than we might make the argument that the gay guy owes it to humanity to perpetuate the race.
Failing that though, why should he exercise what choice he has?
But, if homophobia and racism are a natural part of our biology, what should a person do about these tendencies?
Within our current society these tendencies do no good. In fact, they harm the current society. Necessity dictates that one must exercise choice, one must master himself.
Now, I have no idea whether or not this is true. I don’t know whether or not homophobia or racism are biological traits. I thought it might be interesting enough to share though.