Originally Posted by globetrotter
that is just one argument as to the possible genetic benifits of homosexuality - basically the idea is that if you have 5 siblings, and one of them doesn't breed, you have an additional adult working to help feed and take care of the kids.
I read about this idea in an article that discussed reasons why some family unit in the animal world seem to be set up like this.
I am well aware that among certain species of animals that live in family groups, only the alpha pair is allowed to breed and that aunts and uncles and siblings may protect the young, thereby ensuring their own genetic continuity in an indirect manner. For instance, year ago I read an interesting book by a German woman about African Dwarf Mongooses that had that kind of family arrangement. I don't know if this is the case among any primate species. I certainly don't know of any human society at any stage of development wherein the hypothetical "gay uncle" would have conferred a survival benefit, thus ensuring the transmission of a possibly recessive "gay" gene or genetic complex. In any event, in contemporary human society, any biological advantages of the "gay" gene(s) would have been lost long ago, and one would assume under Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection that it would have been bred out of the gene pool.
Although I know that contemporary doctrine holds that homosexuality is strictly genetically predetermined, I remain skeptical.
It is frequently argued that no-one would "choose" to be gay, but in point of fact, it is not uncommon for individuals who have seemingly functioned in the heterosexual world--had long-term marriages, had children, etc.--to suddenly throw it over and "come out" as gays. One could comprehend this in the past when gays had to "closet" themselves to avoid stigma and persecution, but these events are not uncommon in the present era and in liberal jurisdicitions where there would be far fewer deterrents to proclaiming oneself gay. The father of John Walker Lind ("Taliban John") is a good case in point. I have known of a couple of similar cases among men I've known personally.
Before the notion that homosexuality was strictly a genetic-biological matter became the established dogma, it was generally believed that it was the result of complex psychological factors. I still think there may be something to this (as does my wife, who has a couple of advanced degrees in the behavioral sciences). Admittedly, some of the older theories were pretty crackpot: For example, a popular book of the 1950s "The Homosexual Matrix" argued that the scenario most likely to turn a boy gay were the combination of a weak or absent father and a domineering, strong-willed mother. Since I never had a father courtesy of WWII and my mother had a will of iron, if that theory had any validity, I should be so gay I'd make Carson Kressly look like a two-fisted, John Wayne-type he-man by comparison!