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Mandystalin

Homophobia and Evolution?

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A rather controversial idea that popped into my mind at 3am one morning...

 

Given that theories of evolution etc are all pinned on the importance of creating the next generation, of passing genes on and ensuring that your species survives and grows stronger... and that homosexuals are unable to partake in that (at least until very recently thanks to medical science)... is homophobia a side-effect of evolution?

 

Something fun to get your teeth into :D

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I don't think that being homosexual necessarily excludes you from passing on genes. If it required for the survival of the human race, males could still pass genetic material to females independent of the sexual orientation.  

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In extremis, yes. But in the normal course of events it doesn't happen

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I'm not a evolutionary biologist by any stretch, but there are some theories I've heard around this. There are cultures where there are long-established third genders. These are not exactly the same as homosexuality by our definition, but it works reasonably well as an existing, parallel example. For example, here's an interesting article by the BBC on the Fa'afafine of Samoa: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-37227803

 

The point here is that while these non-reproducing members of a society don't replicate their own genes, by nurturing and supporting their families' offspring they give those offspring a better chance of survival. Considering that these are often the children of their siblings or other relatives, they do--in the end--support the furthering of their families' genes, of which they share a large part.

If this theory holds water, then I'd argue that homophobia is not particularly a natural side-effect of evolution. ;)

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I think evolution plays into everyone's different biases for and against people. However I believe that it's not as much as a natural inclination to be biased as much as it is a learned behavior. I really don't believe that it's something in our DANA saying that this person can't reproduce so they're dangerous to the species. I just think that some people just plain don't like it because it's not natural. So, is this a question of physical evolution making people hate gays or is it the psychological evolution of the society?

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Loving the interesting ideas raised so far - I'll respond to a few points when I get a bit of time to think

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Loving the interesting ideas raised so far - I'll respond to a few points when I get a bit of time to think

Mandy doesn't think very quickly. ;)

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