Thursday, June 26, 2008

homosexuality and evolution

For years I've wondered about why homosexuality has not been selected against by evolution. Hence, I was fascinated to discover this article, sexual antagonism, which claims to answer this question from a genetic standpoint:
... the female relatives of gay men produce children at a higher rate than other women do ...

... if the authors are correct, we're not really talking about genes for homosexuality. We're talking about genes for "androphilia," i.e., attraction to men. The importance of the genes lies in what they do not to men but to women, by increasing reproductive output so powerfully that these women compensate for the reduced output among their male relatives. You can't isolate gay men as a puzzle or problem anymore. You have to see them as part of a bigger, stronger, enduring phenomenon.

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