Is this a good argument against homosexuality being genetic?

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beepbeeprichie
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I didn't know where else to put this.

If homosexuality was genetic then homosexuals wouldn't exist (because they couldn't reproduce and so would die out).

Therefore homosexuality isn't (entirely) genetic.
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FiniteMr
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHDCAllQgS0

Some possibilities for gay evolution by genetics:
1) Gay men play the role of protecting their relatives' children, and so the gay genes that are also in their relatives' children are passed on.
2) Gay men play the part of being gay to be trusted alone with taken women, but then reproduce with the women when their men are not there. Gay people may have genuine gay feelings in order to play the part accurately, but would be bisexual.
3) Environmental conditions alter the effect of a gene that didn't always cause homosexuality.
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redferry
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(Original post by beepbeeprichie)
I didn't know where else to put this.

If homosexuality was genetic then homosexuals wouldn't exist (because they couldn't reproduce and so would die out).

Therefore homosexuality isn't (entirely) genetic.
female relatives of homosexual men are more fertile and have more children. Therefore homosexuality is genetic.
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username1042689
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(Original post by beepbeeprichie)
I didn't know where else to put this.

If homosexuality was genetic then homosexuals wouldn't exist (because they couldn't reproduce and so would die out).

Therefore homosexuality isn't (entirely) genetic.
But that would mean that genetic diseases that mean you don't live long enough to reproduce wouldn't exist in the population, which isn't true. If the genes were recessive (put simplistically - there's probably several genes involved, as well as hormones and environment, but just hypothetically) then heterosexual parents could have gay kids purely through the use of genetics. Or, they have straight kids that carry the recessive gene, and then they in turn have gay kids.
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joey11223
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I don't think it's believed that it's a genetic condition? Or at least if genetics are involved, they're clearly not the only factor. I think the only sure thing is the more male children you have, the higher likelihood there is of a child being gay? (for males, not sure about lesbians).

But really if your using that logic then any severely negative genetic condition would be wiped out, but it isn't. It can skip generations, or it could be whatever causes homosexuality, if its genetic, is just a mutation which isn't that uncommon to occur spontaneously.
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SNichol
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(Original post by FiniteMr)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHDCAllQgS0

Some possibilities for gay evolution by genetics:
1) Gay men play the role of protecting their relatives' children, and so the gay genes that are also in their relatives' children are passed on.
2) Gay men play the part of being gay to be trusted alone with taken women, but then reproduce with the women when their men are not there. Gay people may have genuine gay feelings in order to play the part accurately, but would be bisexual.
3) Environmental conditions alter the effect of a gene that didn't always cause homosexuality.
What?!

1) How exactly do you give someone a gene by protecting them? Genes are by their very nature biological, not cultural.

2) That is absolute nonsense. Gay men are not predatory lunatics who hunt down married women with the sole intent of impregnating them.

3) Are you suggesting that things such as rain and global warming "bring out the gay" in people?

Homosexuality is biological, in that a person is born gay and it's not learned. But it's not hereditary or contagious, you can't pass on or catch "gay."


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Gjaykay
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What if homosexuals were actually sleeper aliens, waiting to be triggered and start the Rainbow Apocalypse :eek:
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felamaslen
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(Original post by beepbeeprichie)
I didn't know where else to put this.

If homosexuality was genetic then homosexuals wouldn't exist (because they couldn't reproduce and so would die out).

Therefore homosexuality isn't (entirely) genetic.
That's a simplistic argument which is likely to be false. For example, you have not considered the possibility that a selective advantage carries with it the occasional incidence of homosexuality, a bit like how resistance to malaria counteracts the selective disadvantage of sickle cell anaemia (FYI, I'm comparing the two - homosexuality and sickle cell anaemia - solely on the basis that they both are hindrances to reproduction).
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gr8wizard10
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That is the argument with the most biological credibility.
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anarchism101
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Personally, I don't think being gay is genetic, but you're overlooking a couple of possibilities about the hypothetical 'gay gene':

1. That it could be the result of a regular mutation that happens every so often, and therefore doesn't need to be inherited.

2. That it could be recessive.
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Clip
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Almost one whole side of my family is gay - out of 6 children born to my mum's aunt, 5 are gay, and both of my mum's sister's daughters (my 1st cousins) are gay too. That's pretty convincing to me.
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username207685
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Implicit in your argument is the assumption that gay people do not and have not ever had their own children. This renders your argument demonstrably false even before the mechanisms of genetic inheritance and trait development would reveal it to be too simplistic to stand a chance of being accurate.

(Original post by SNichol)
What?!

1) How exactly do you give someone a gene by protecting them? Genes are by their very nature biological, not cultural.
You don't, you both inherit copies of the gene from your shared ancestors. If homosexuality has a genetic component then that genetic variation is present in both homosexuals and the relatives of homosexuals (though for whatever reason is not being expressed in the relatives).

2) That is absolute nonsense. Gay men are not predatory lunatics who hunt down married women with the sole intent of impregnating them.
It's not a statement about what gay men do now, it's a hypothesis about how genetic variation underlying homosexuality could have persisted historically. Males pretend to be disinterested in females in order to sneak copulations all over the animal kingdom. Having said that, I don't find the idea very convincing. It's much more easily explained by the threat of punishment causing gay men and women to hide their homosexuality and conform to what was expected of them.

3) Are you suggesting that things such as rain and global warming "bring out the gay" in people?
Phenotype is a product of several things, two of which are genotype and environment. Environment can alter the development of phenotype such that two individuals with the same genes can be very different if reared in different environments. Environment means the sum of everything both biotic and abiotic you are exposed to that isn't you, not just 'rain' - perhaps maternal hormone concentrations in the womb. The relationship between genotype and environment complicates the development of phenotype even further. It's not always as simple as gene -> trait.
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Slyca
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(Original post by beepbeeprichie)
I didn't know where else to put this.

If homosexuality was genetic then homosexuals wouldn't exist (because they couldn't reproduce and so would die out).

Therefore homosexuality isn't (entirely) genetic.
There will be many flaws with what I say now but I am very curious,
How comes humans haven't evolutionised enough for gay men so that they can reproduce?

Please give details and reference, thank you
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Magdatrix >_<
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(Original post by beepbeeprichie)
I didn't know where else to put this.

If homosexuality was genetic then homosexuals wouldn't exist (because they couldn't reproduce and so would die out).

Therefore homosexuality isn't (entirely) genetic.
Recessive alleles <- if we're thinking the most simple of genetic transmission, homosexuality as a recessive gene could be 'carried' by heterosexual (dominant gene) people.

But, it's more likely that it's a result of several cooperative genes...
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FiniteMr
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(Original post by SNichol)
What?!

1) How exactly do you give someone a gene by protecting them? Genes are by their very nature biological, not cultural.

2) That is absolute nonsense. Gay men are not predatory lunatics who hunt down married women with the sole intent of impregnating them.

3) Are you suggesting that things such as rain and global warming "bring out the gay" in people?

Homosexuality is biological, in that a person is born gay and it's not learned. But it's not hereditary or contagious, you can't pass on or catch "gay."


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1) Your relatives have a certain % of the same genes as you. That's how altruism also evolves.

2) Well, that's an evolutionary theory. (Also, it applies to ancient hunter-gatherer man, not modern man.)

3) Well, that's an evolutionary theory. Can you disprove it?

If you don't like the answers, don't ask.

"you can't pass on or catch "gay.""
You can't prove that.
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Snagprophet
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I was under the impression that it was the womb and it's more likely to happen the more a woman has a child.
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poohat
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(Original post by beepbeeprichie)
I didn't know where else to put this.

If homosexuality was genetic then homosexuals wouldn't exist (because they couldn't reproduce and so would die out).

Therefore homosexuality isn't (entirely) genetic.
Noone who knows anything about biology claims that homosexuality is 'entirely' genetic, that would be ludicrous. Almost all human traits are a combination of genetics and environment, there are very very few that are exclusively caused by one or the other. The amount of homosexual variance explained by genetics is estimated to be around 30-40%, based on adoption/twin studies.

Also there isn't a 'gay gene' in the sense you are thinking, that isn't how genetics works. Highly complex behaviours are usually the result of many genes interacting, not one particular gene.


(note: none of the above means that your particular argument is incorrect as such [there are other reasons for that, as above posters have pointed out], but your whole mental model of what it means for homosexuality to be genetic is incorrect. Its not a case of "if you have a particular gene then you are gay, and if you don't have it then you aren't")
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Brit_Miller
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(Original post by Clip)
Almost one whole side of my family is gay - out of 6 children born to my mum's aunt, 5 are gay, and both of my mum's sister's daughters (my 1st cousins) are gay too. That's pretty convincing to me.
Not looking good for your family name. :lol:
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beepbeeprichie
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(Original post by poohat)
I mean to see why your argument is wrong, just apply it to any other condition that has a genetic component but lowers reproductive fitness.

Tay Sach's disease, for example, has a huge genetic component, and sufferers are very unlikely to produce offspring before they die. But the gene(s) responsible for the condition obviously haven't been weeded out.
Yes, that is quite interesting (should have thought of that). Can a disease etc be genetic without it be heritable?
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poohat
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(Original post by beepbeeprichie)
Yes, that is quite interesting (should have thought of that). Can a disease etc be genetic without it be heritable?
Oops sorry, I deleted that post just before you replied because I thought it was a bad example. Tay Sachs is caused by a mutation to a single gene, and the reason that it hasn't died out is (I think) because mutations can occur to that gene at random (i.e. even if all current sufferers had died out, you would still get new people with it due to new mutations). From the little I know, most other genetic disorders are similar.

Because it is a high level behaviour, I don't think there's any evidence to suggest that homosexuality is caused by the mutation of a single gene (although its possible, we don't know yet). I know very little about the literature, but I would imagine that its going to be more like altruism which has some more subtle indirect benefit to carriers.
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