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devilgrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 11:35 AM
Original message
Get this... "Men with older brothers more likely to be gay"
Men with older brothers more likely to be gay

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 26 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Having several older brothers increases the likelihood of a man being gay, a finding researchers say adds weight to the idea that there is a biological basis for sexual orientation.
ADVERTISEMENT

"It's likely to be a prenatal effect," said Anthony F. Bogaert of Brock University in St. Catharines, Canada, "This and other studies suggest that there is probably a biological basis for" homosexuality.

S. Marc Breedlove of Michigan State University said the finding "absolutely" confirms a physical basis.

"Anybody's first guess would have been that the older brothers were having an effect socially, but this data doesn't support that," Breedlove said in a telephone interview.

The only link between the brothers is the mother and so the effect has to be through the mother, especially since stepbrothers didn't have the effect, said Breedlove, who was not part of the research.

More: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060626/ap_on_he_me/sexual_...

:eyes: as if....
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Archae Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
1. Saw that, laughed my ass off.
My Dad had 5 older brothers, all from the same mother.

He and my Mom will celebrate their 53rd wedding anniversary this September, and they had 5 kids.
:rofl:
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Ravenseye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #1
15. So?
The odds of being gay only increase to about 5%. It doesn't say that if you have 5 older brothers you WILL Be gay, just that you're more likely to. So your dad by having 5 older brothers is straight, just like 95% of the other men with 5 older brothers.
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Kingshakabobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #1
42. Try reading the article. n/t
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
2. There's also an older mother correlation, I believe.
The older the mother at birth, the more likely the child will be a homosexual. I think I read that somewhere. The same thing goes for left-handedness.

I suppose having an older brother would also correlate to having an older mother.

:shrug:
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BOSSHOG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Hmmm
My mother was 28 when I was born in 54. I have one older brother and I'm left handed. Also, happily married for 32+ years to my first wife. 28 may have been borderline "old" to have a baby in the 50's. I guess my inner gay is still closeted.
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. BOSSHOG...
we're talking about probabilities. Not certainties.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #5
24. Exactly. You're talking about 5% as opposed to around 3% chance
of being gay. Not saying I buy it, just saying, that Bosshog's example is irrelevant. He would have a roughly 95% chance of being straight, if the theory is correct. So, he falls right into what they are saying.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #2
46. that is what i concluded. hte more kids, the older the mother
that could explain why... the more children, not necessarily more boys.

but.... regardless, bottom line. genetics. and that is a cool find.
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robbedvoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
3. Uh, blame the mother again? O-key Dokey. At least is biologically
not because "she's too strong"
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ronnykmarshall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #3
27. Blame?
What's there to "blame" about?
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #27
34. Slips
are showing, eh?
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Kingshakabobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #34
43. All over the place. n/t
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #3
47. male baldness is passed thru the mother too..... is that "blaming"
lord, who is blaming here.
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Skink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 11:49 AM
Response to Original message
6. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
7. Wait til I tell my younger brother! nt
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shain from kane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. Don't ask, don't tell. n/t
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The2ndWheel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
8. Breedlove
Well, gay people have to come from somewhere. Have to love science sometimes though, I'm sure they'll tell us tomorrow that it's men with younger brothers who are more likely to be gay. Don't know why anyone gives enough of a damn to do research on it, but whatever.
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Bill McBlueState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #8
35. there is a lot of controversy over biological vs environmental origins
I personally don't care. All people deserve equal rights; that's the end of the story for me.

But I'm all for using the scientific method to evaluate the evidence for and against opposing claims. It's better than using "sacred" books and "common" sense as the basis for argument.
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im10ashus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 11:53 AM
Response to Original message
9. Too hilarious!
I am the older brother. The older gay brother. :shrug:
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swimboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. All my first-born male cousins are gay
In my family, you need a spare to score a straight.
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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. ROFL.
:rofl:

A spare to score a straight.... :rofl:



I wonder what my three straight brothers would think of this report? Especially the youngest?
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swimboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #12
37. Call me if you want to run them through the gaydar!
:rofl:
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #37
40. Is gaydar real? Or just an urban myth.
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swimboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #40
41. It's real, but not infallible.
I think it has to do with picking up visual cues. Although I do recall the day I came out, by which I mean came to accept who I was, it was like someone had flipped a gaydar "on" switch and I felt like I had suddenly acquired some sort of magic power I hadn't had before. I had set off other people's gaydar for years prior to that, though.

When people's gaydar malfunctions, it is usually due to a condition we call HOPE.
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Kingshakabobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #41
48. That's funny. Re: gaydar........
Before I "came out", I used to work out at Bally's near the "gayborhood" in Chicago. Even my boss mentioned to me that "a lot of fags" work out there. I had no idea....whatsoever....until I came out. THEN it became CRYSTAL CLEAR. How could I have been so blind? There was like three STRAIGHT people working out there at any given time. LOL.
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im10ashus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 09:21 PM
Response to Reply #10
56. Oh no you didn't!
:rofl:

:hi:
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Ravenseye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:14 PM
Response to Original message
13. Why "As If"?
Do you normally turn your nose up at scientific data?

I think it's an interesting finding. They're not claiming that is the be all end all of why people are gay, and they're not really sure why it happens, but while the rate of being gay can inrease a few percentage points (up to 5%) the more older brothers you have.

It doesn't say that you can't be gay if you're the first born. It doesn't say that if you have 5 older brothers you'll definately be gay. It doesn't correlate at all to women.

Why is that not interesting?
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. I was wondering that myself.
Notice the responses that reflect the same sentiment.

The most obvious reason would be what's called "scientific illiteracy" which is all to common. That's people not understanding the difference between correlation and causation, probabilites, etc.

But notice some of the other responses: "blaming" the mother, and the ubiquitious "I am not gay!" Things that make you go "hmm."
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Ravenseye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. I just don't understand
I mean, I guess it can be scientific illiteracy to a certain degree, but I doubt some of those people are even really reading the whole article, much less the study itself.

I have noticed though that a significant portion of the GLBT community doesn't even want to begin to talk about why or how people are gay. They just want acceptance. I can't blame people for that.

If people who accept the rights of GLBT people to exist and be who they are as not being 'mistakes' or 'sick', why can't we look to understand the biological or environmental causes?

This study is very interesting, as it doesn't indicate exactly what's going on, but it effectively eliminates environmental causes from male homosexuality and links it to the biological mother. Why is that so terrible?

What happens if this study is confirmed and a larger study shows the same correlations? Do we ignore it and make fun of it even more?
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Hold the phone.
It doesn't "effectively eliminate environmental causes" but it is further evidence of a genetic cause.
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Marr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. Good point- you know, actually, this reminds me of something else I read
Edited on Mon Jun-26-06 12:40 PM by Marr
a few years back. It was some other study on homosexuality. Anyway, the findings suggested that, if the mother was under extended emotional stress during her pregnancy, her child was more likely to be gay. I wonder if the study cited in the OP might be explained by this study on stress? I mean- a mother with a young son running around has got to be more stressed than one that does not.

I'm afraid I don't remember where the stress study was done.
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Ravenseye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. That's interesting
so if you combined the two, then an environmental cause on the mother, causes her body to biologically react in a certain way, to maybe release a certain hormone, which affects the development of the unborn child to be gay.

If that's the case, hypotehtically, what would the evolutionary advantage be?
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Marr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #23
30. I have no idea. I suppose it could be something like
Edited on Mon Jun-26-06 12:56 PM by Marr
the wrinkles in our ears, or the differently shaped noses between races. You know- it doesn't actually hurt anything, so it just hangs out in the stew. I'm no biologist myself- just a lowly animator, haha.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #30
36. Different noses do give survial advantages
Smaller noses retain heat better (less to get frostbitten). Eskimos and other northern peoples have smaller noses on average. In arid climes noses get bigger to retain moisture.
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Marr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #36
39. Oh, ok- that's cool.
But you know what I mean- sometimes you get a physical attribute that sticks around simply because it's never selected out. It may not help, but it doesn't hurt either.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #39
44. I'm reading this really cool book
It's called "Before The Dawn" and it describes how humans are constantly evolving and keep evolving. Read it because it describes how a lot of things - religion, amiability etc. are genetic traits within humankind that have helped us survive.

(I do know what you are talking about things not being selected out. I'm just a pedantic SOB!)
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Marr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #44
53. Sounds like a good read. There's one I've been dying to
get ahold of, but I can't find it since I don't know the title. I heard the author interviewed once and he described the thrust of the book.

Basically it's about the subtle physical differences between modern humans and our most recent ancestors (our reduced brow ridge, smaller jaw, etc.). These traits might not have helped modern humans all that much, but they wouldn't have hurt, either, so he attempts to explain why they're now gone. The author argued that it might have been comparable to recent attempts at breeding domesticated minks. They were unusable after 3 or 4 generations, because the breeders kept trying to breed docile mink, but the genetic markers that made the mink docile also turned on these various adolescent features. They had mottled fur, smaller jaws, floppy ears, etc.

Anyway, in a nutshell, he argued that early humans were, without really trying to, "breeding" more domesticated humans who could function in larger societies. People who could do that had a higher chance of survival, and with the more even temperament came a few more adolescent features, just like the minks.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #53
54. Might have been the same guy
Science writer for the NY Times. The younger looking faces in humans and fox breeding in Russia were discussed.
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Nia Zuri Donating Member (576 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #23
32. A way to limit reproduction of a given genetic line?
If the mother is living understressful conditions e.g. time of war, famine, perhaps it similarly would serve to limit population.
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Ravenseye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. biological cause
it could be a hormonal thing during pregnancy caused by the mother, it doesn't have to have a genetic aspect at all.

Part of this study is showing that environmental factors, during the person's life, how they're raised, etc, have no bearing statsitically.
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #22
26. Right, I should have said biological.
Although I do believe that hormonal regulation changes with age correspond to genetics.
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unblock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:17 PM
Response to Original message
14. why are people trying to bash this with individual counterexamples?
individual counterexamples, do absolutely nothing to knock down statistical tendencies such as describes in this study.

if a male is 3% likely to be gay under most circumstances and 5% likely to be gay if he has 2 or more older biological brothers of half-brothers of the same mother, then there will be plenty of examples in all categories.

in particular, the vast majority of males with older brothers are still overwhelmingly likely to be straight, even if the odds are slightly diminished (95% instead of 97%).


i have no idea if this research is a crock or not, but i do know that individual examples of gay or straight men having however many older brothers does not shed any light on the subject.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #14
31. You ever see the way people
around here analyze exit polls and pre-election polls to prove that the 2002 and 2004 elections were stolen? There's a lot of misunderstanding about statistics, here and in the general public.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
19. I am straight & have two gay younger brothers.
there was a study like this done a few years back, but I couldn't find it on the 'net.

Thanks!
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Marr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:34 PM
Response to Original message
20. That's really interesting.
My first assumption was that it must be some socializing affect from the elder brother, but apparently not- if step brothers and other similar situations didn't change the numbers. Very interesting- I wonder if there's any evolutionary explanation for this, or if it's just one of those random biological twists?
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ronnykmarshall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
25. My older brother IS gay.
My ex-boyfriend is second youngest of 5 brothers. Of those 5 only ONE is straight.
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Roon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. My half brother and I are both gay
Same mother, different fathers. My boyfriend is one of 7 brothers and he and his younger brother are both gay.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:54 PM
Response to Original message
29. I'd have to see a lot more on this, with more significant numbers
He studied less than a thousand people to determine that the odds of being gay would increase by about 2% under the right conditions. That's a swing of about twenty people if his sample group is representative of the population as a while.

First, I'd have to see how he defined "gay." Does he simply accept that a person is gay if they claim to be, or is there some criteria? Next, what percentage of his sample was gay, how did he go about selecting his sample, and how does he arrive at the statistical standard that 3% of men are gay? If his sample isn't representative, then he hasn't proven anything much. If his entire sample is gay, then where does he get a standard non-gay number to compare? Etc.

Seems weak. But interesting. There are so many opportunities for sample bias, and so little statistical difference compared to the whole. (Compared to only gay men, the chances nearly double from 3 to 5, but compared to all men, the statistics barely move--thus his sample method and size are critical.) I'm sure the study figured all of this into the study, but how well they figured it in is still a question. This finding would have to be born out in other studies using other criteria, to mean much.

Seems to me, anyway. But I haven't looked at his study or the facts, and probably wouldn't know how to analyze them if I did.

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KurtNYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #29
50. I was thinking along similar lines
Kinsey established that 10% of the population is exclusively gay. More recent studies have shown an 80/20 split across the population -- eg everyone is cross attracted but they are 4 times more attracted to one gender or the other (meaning 20% of their attraction is to one gender and 80% to the other). So how "gay" is defined makes a big diffence. Seems likely that he is reliant of people to self-identify as gay (and perhaps to categorize their siblings also).

Sample size IS small, especially for a difference as small as he cites.

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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
33. I'm straight, and I had two older foster brothers some of the time, except
when they ran away or before they came to live with us. And I was adopted, so I don't really know if I have older or younger biological brothers, although recently I walked into a Goodyear store in Slidell and one of the counter people thought he knew me. It took him almost thirty seconds before he believed I was serious, and was not the person he thought I was. So I wonder if the guy he thought I was was a true biological brother, since I was born in Baton Rouge, which is close to Slidell. Although I don't know if this brother was older and younger.

So that pretty much proves this survey is BS, doesn't it? :freak:
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onethatcares Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 01:32 PM
Response to Original message
38. I'll check with my younger brother
can he be happy instead of gay? I mean wtf???
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
45. i did research years ago, and saw it was genes thru the mother
and that the more boys, more chance of gay.

i don't see an issue with that.

also the reason i was doing the research, my hubby family, four boys, the last two gay....

so worked for me. just saying

it is a genetic thing. i don't see that it is bad or anyreason to roll eyes. am i wrong.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #45
49. Not wrong. I'm a little startled by some of the reactions.
Seems like a bit of self-defense, or something, going on. Surprising, here.

It was a scientific study with interesting results. Seems like it should be discussed on that level. If it's bunk, the way to debunk it is through analysis of the study, scientifically. Not rolled eyes, sarcastic remarks, individual stories supporting or rebutting the findings.

Whether homosexuality is genetic or environmental is an interesting question, and I can see some reasons to ask it. Although, I can also see a parallel to science last century that argued that certain "races" had certain inherent traits--intelligence, athleticism, etc. This science enabled Woodrow Wilson and others to revive the KKK, and it gave a scientific legitimacy to Hitler's policies. In the long run, and the short run, what I'd like to see is an awareness that it doesn't matter where a person's sexuality comes from or what it is. All that matters is the credo that all people are born equal, and have equal rights, and that includes the right to privacy, pursuit of happiness, and any other basic freedom that might be relevant. Whether a person chooses to be straight, is born straight, or has straightness thrust open them by unseen forces, should not matter one bit. The science is interesting, and possibly could hold medical findings that are useful, but it should be subordinate to the rights all humans are inalienably endowed with.

Okay, I'll stop sounding like SchoolHouse Rock now. <G>
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Kingshakabobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #49
52. Thank you! Spot on! n/t
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
51. Uh, they aren't statistics majors, are they?
It couldn't just be that, given a greater population, the probability that a homosexual will manifest is greater?
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mnhtnbb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
55. I'm an older mother and my oldest boy is gay, but
his younger brother is not (at least as far as we know). Oldest came out
at 15; the youngest is now 16.

I was 35 when my oldest boy was born.


My brother had 5 kids--4 boys and 1 girl. The youngest boy has not had a girl friend to my knowledge. He's 19.
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