JABbering Stooge

Thursday, July 14, 2005

No wonder why the right hates science

An oldie, but goodie from the local fishwrap (registration required):

Born gay?
Growing body of research points to biological explanations for sexual orientation.

By Sandy Doughton


Sunday, July 03, 2005

SEATTLE — As the culture wars rage over gay rights, a flock of sheep at Oregon State University may help answer a key question behind the controversy: Is homosexuality a matter of choice or biology?


Sheep aren't people, but the Oregon work adds to a growing body of research that bolsters biological explanations for sexual orientation across species — including humans.

In other words: BEING GAY ISN'T A CHOICE! (Not that that will stop the scienceophobes of the right from continuing to bleat otherwise - just look at the persistence of anti-evolution rhetoric).

The social and political implications of the research are impossible to ignore, leading to unease on both sides of the gay-rights debate. If science proves homosexuality is innate, is there any basis to deny gays equal treatment — including the right to marry? But if scientists unravel the roots of sexual orientation, will it some day be possible to "fix" people who don't fit the norms, or abort fetuses likely to be born gay?

Now there's an unanticipated possibility that'll send righties for a loop - do you send homos to a genetic "re-education camp" or do you "murder" them before they're born? I'll leave that as an exercise to the reader.

And last fall, Italian scientists offered a possible explanation for the persistence of gay genes — even though evolution tends to weed out traits that discourage reproduction. The team from the University of Padua found that mothers and aunts of gay men had more offspring than female relatives of heterosexuals, suggesting genes that influence homosexuality in men may increase fertility in females.

'Nuff said.

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