Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fecund Females Make For Gay Guys!

...A Darwinian explanation of male homosexuality.

The findings suggest that the proportion of male homosexuals may signal a corresponding proportion of females with higher fecundity. Consequently, these factors always contribute, all else being equal, a positive net increase of the fecundity of the whole population, when compared to populations in which such factors are lower or absent. This increase grows as the population baseline fecundity decreases; this means that the genes influencing male homosexuality end up playing the role of a buffer effect on any external factors lowering the overall fecundity of the whole population.

Can't say I totally understand this, but it seems that the "gay gene", when it appears in women, increases their fecundity to the point where this fertility boost more than compensates for the lack of offspring fathered by gay men, and keeps the “gay” genetic factors in circulation.

Congrats, fellas! You've officially been dubbed an "evolutionary by-product".


Ti-Guy said...

I'm a litte skeptical about this, but then I'm not a great fan of bioligical determinism.

What of the influence of those gay men who marry and have children? Like Myron Thompson, for example?

bigcitylib said...

Well, it doesn't presumably explain lesbianism either. Is there an entirely different evolutionary mechanism at work?

Steve Bloom said...

Maybe in traditional human societies most lesbians end up reproducing.

bigcitylib said...

Steve-- a "Close your eyes and think of England" sort of thing?

Steve Bloom said...

Something like that. But I'm sure some anthropologist somewhere has looked into it.