Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Another reason for being gay?

Ever alert for the latest speculation on a possible biological basis for why I might be gay, I come across this little gem on fruitflies: genetic manipulation that enhances dopamine levels in males makes them more likely to court with other males.

8 comments:

Meryn Stol said...

Have you ever read "The Puzzle" by Louis A. Berman? If so, what did you think of it?

Deric said...

I'm sorry to say I haven't read the book. From checking out the table of contents on Amazon, it looks fascinating.

Meryn Stol said...

I've done both a lot of research and soul-searching on this in the past, and I'm personally a "believer" in his general theory that the biological component (not determinant) of homosexuality in males is "low masculanized brains". Since I've finished my research to personal satisfaction, I consider myself "gay" as for my biology (I think I've got a low masculanized brain), but but not homosexual, because I think this is essentially a social construction. I feel sexually attracted to females, so this makes me heterosexual in the common usage of this word.

You should certainly read the book if you have the chance.

kldickson said...

You've probably read this, but Biological Exuberance by Bruce Bagemihl has some interesting accounts of homosexuality in species from rats to grey whales. (Try saying 'gay grey whale' ten times fast!) There's a copy of it in the LGBTCC at Memorial Union, if you're looking for one.

It's kind of interesting to speculate why homosexuality evolved - I've always thought of it as an effective form of keeping heterosexual or bisexual animals' breeding propensities in check.

kldickson said...

Speaking of evolutionary neuroscience, can you point me toward some good resources for it? I've just discovered the subfield of evolutionary neuroscience and think it's fascinating and will definitely aid me in gathering knowledge before I decide which route I want to pursue my studies of the biological basis of human intelligence in graduate school for neuroscience.

Deric said...

In response to your evolutionary neuroscience question I began to look at my book shelf (Panksepp's Affective Neuroscience has interesting evolutionary stuff, Damasio makes an evolutionary account in "The Feeling of What Happens", etc, but then, as usually is the case, I found stuff that looks fascinating by simply entering "evolutionary neuroscience" in the google search box. An MIT press book, programs at Harvard and Cornell, etc.

Meryn Stol said...

The LMB theory of homosexuality is that women who partner with an LMB-man will have better protection for her children because LMB-men are more caring.

I think it really makes sense.

All you need is plenty of LMB-men willing to partner with women, which I think there are observable plenty of. This remains speculation on my side of course, because you can't really slice up each man's brain, especially not when their alive.

Meryn Stol said...

I could have better said: You can't slice up every "heterosexual" man's head. LMB (Low-masculinized brain) in a percentage of them remains speculation (to my knowledge at least).

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