60 Minutes: Gay or Straight?

  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    Mar 21, 2009 6:04 AM GMT
    "What makes a person gay or straight? Lesley Stahl talks to researchers trying to answer that question. One clue may be found in twins."

    Are you gender conforming? I think I may have a new fetish for left-handed, middle brothers!

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    Mar 21, 2009 8:43 AM GMT
    Hmmmm, I'm the eldest and play Lego/Transformers/M.A.S.K. when I was growing up, hmmmmmm...................
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    Mar 21, 2009 8:51 AM GMT
    This is wild. Very interesting.

    They say at one point they study stereotypes to see if they are real. OF COURSE THEY ARE REAL, but that does not mean that they are physiological.

    There is some interesting thinking here and some really muddled thinking too.

    Society plays a large role in this part. The first question is what is gay? But ignoring that, which is a big problem, what if gender roles were different as they are in past cultures? Then the stereotypes change. They are not proving gay because a kid likes to cook or play with dolls, they are proving a kid likes to cook or play with dolls and we think that if this kid is a boy, then he is gay.

    What would happen if we did not split gender into a binary and people were able to fall in love with anyone. What would the idea of gay mean then and how would one predict that a child would be attracted to someone of the same gender when an adult (would it matter)?

    There is just too many silly assumptions in this that wont last the test of time. But that said, it is really interesting!

    I think we need to go back to what it means to be gay, there is too much of everything mixed up in it from biology to society to create an answer that lasts the test of time.
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    Mar 21, 2009 12:10 PM GMT
    Lots of good info, thanks for starting the thread! icon_biggrin.gif
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    Mar 21, 2009 1:24 PM GMT
    Yes, we need to get to the bottom of this so we can FIX THE PROBLEM!
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    Mar 21, 2009 2:08 PM GMT
    According to the "older brother" theory, the Duggers better be prepared to hear, "Mom, Dad, I'm gay" quite often. The little kid in front with the yellow shirt even has the "gay face" down pat already. icon_wink.gif

    fc-duggars.png
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    Mar 21, 2009 2:29 PM GMT
    Anyone else feeling like their in a cage at a testlab? Also, i fit into no stereotypes like those mentioned in the segment...am i str8? haha no! They just set us back a few here, because most of the gay men i know act nothing like this, we dont cross our legs and crush our junk when we talk, we ont wave our hips when we walk, ugh need i continue...
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    Mar 21, 2009 2:41 PM GMT
    Somebody posted a link to Straight Guise in one of the ubiquitous threads about straight-acting or masc-only guys. I think this guy, Joe Kort, is on to something.

    http://straightguise.blogspot.com/2007/07/what-is-straight-guise.html

    BTW, is there a link to Stahl's interview, or is this report going to be aired, tomorrow?
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    Mar 21, 2009 2:42 PM GMT
    Wow sterotype city. I think the focused too much on the swish if you know what I'm saying, this seems to further reinforce that we are glorified women. I don't know if this is a step forward or a step back.
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    Mar 21, 2009 2:57 PM GMT
    Yeah, no one likes the stereotypes but he said they were only true on average. Anyway there is lots to be learned from it. Hopefully some people would see something like program and realize that that kid as well as other gays are actually born that way and it's not a choice and that there is even less reason - despite what their religion says - to hate and persecute people.

    ALSO it should be a message to Gay guys themselves to stop being asses to "femme" guys. If I had a little brother like that I have a feeling I would be getting in a lot of fights on his behalf if I saw people picking on him.

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    Mar 21, 2009 3:01 PM GMT
    ActiveAndFit If I had a little brother like that I have a feeling I would be getting in a lot of fights on his behalf if I saw people picking on him.


    Far closer to the way it should be than the demonizing and outcasting of fey guys that takes place. It's a cowardly world that preys upon and bullies the weakest among us.
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    Mar 21, 2009 3:03 PM GMT
    I'm not saying that "femme" guys are wrong or anything, my own boyfriend is quite swishy. I'm just saying that's not 100% of us, not even close. personally I find those guys who grew up in smaller, more conservative towns in the south and midwest feel like the have to be more masculine in general.

    Blending is a powerful factor.
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    Mar 21, 2009 3:10 PM GMT
    " I'm just saying that's not 100% of us, not even close. "

    Your assertion may be true, but, what if it was 100% of us? What difference should that make and what difference would that make? Though I'm of the mind that one's sexuality, though one's sexual behavior may be, is not a choice, I get tired of using that as a defense for anything. Whose business is it what I do with my body? People who are staunch demanders of behavioral standards, and very narrowly ranged standards, have a screw loose. They are the Gladys Kravitzes of the real world, screaming "Abna, Abna, the Stevenses are doing ...!".
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    Mar 21, 2009 3:16 PM GMT
    I think we would be easier to identify and quantify and it would be easier for heterosexuals who are not comfortable with it to have a clear identifiable thing to get used, like people with darker skin or blind people. The thing is we don't have one baseline similarity other than we desire a romantic relationship with men. We're your brother, Bag boy, grandpa, and hearts partner. I think what most people have a problem with is that some of us come out of left field and turn their whole stereotype upside down, like my Bfs roommates who were surprised when I changed my oil in their garage and helped my BF hand Drywall and knew what I was doing,
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    Mar 21, 2009 3:25 PM GMT
    Hmmm... I think the report has some good research in it and it may be well-intentioned, but (and this may be due to the time constraints) it seemed to really stress stereotyped behaviors and make it seem like those behaviors are what it means to be gay. Lesley and her producer should have been a little more thoughtful about addressing the portions of the gay population who don't fit those behaviors but still are gay. I think it actually would have made for a more interesting and convincing story since that would have shown the ways in which outward behaviors and sexuality can be greatly disconnected, helping to dispel the myth that one can be made un-gay just by changing their behavior.

    Additionally there are recent studies that were left out of the story which through MRI and PET scans have shown that gay males may have "feminized" neurological activity, meaning their brains demonstrate response patterns that are more similar to females than to men. This, in my opinion, is much harder science than any lisp or limp-wrist-measuring video studies.

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    Mar 21, 2009 3:26 PM GMT
    Jamesrific saidI'm not saying that "femme" guys are wrong or anything, my own boyfriend is quite swishy.
    I realize this. Like I said people don't like to be stereotyped because it means that people are not looking at you as an individual.

    On the other hand look at some of the post by guys on here where even though they say "I am not judging" go on to express disgust with "femme" guys or whatever - the sad irony is that a some of those people have the characteristics they condemn. More importantly, they fail to really understand that people get that shit all the time and they are pretty much crucifying people that really are just acting out the nature they were born with .. it is very inhumane. Some guys may be born with "femme" tendencies, but I wonder if people are born with asshole tendencies?
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    Mar 21, 2009 3:32 PM GMT
    Addendum to my previous post:

    I don't want it to sound like I'm condemning feminine behaviors or trying to say that they are not a part of being gay/can be used as a measurement. It is definitely noteworthy that the majority of gay men DO demonstrate behavioral characteristics that we normally associate with females. (I think we all can say that we do, even many of the extremely masculine guys on here, as witnessed by the "most gay thing about you" thread) In fact these behaviors are certainly an indication of "feminization" of the brain in gay males. However, I don't think that is all there is to it, since behaviors can be so greatly shaped by environment (people, places, events, etc.), consciously altered or censored to make them seem more "normal" (I catch myself doing it all the time), and are just highly variable on their own anyway. Who knows, both of those young twins they profiled may end up being gay!
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    Mar 21, 2009 3:35 PM GMT
    I hope my mom didn't see this. When she was pregnant with me she had to take extremely high doses of estrogen to carry me full term. I was thankfully a healthy baby 8.5lbs. But after seeing that, all I can imagine is my mother blaming herself. While she accepts me and thinks nothing of it, I feel as though the "hormone exposure theory" will shift blame back to pre-natal care and environment and thus many people will start some sort of "ritual" to avoid having a gay child.
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    Mar 21, 2009 3:48 PM GMT
    muchmorethanmuscle saidAnd hey...

    Kudos to the mom who nurtures her son (the one with painted pink fingernails) for the person he is. Look at how many over bearing judgmental parents damage their children because they push their own agenda on their kids.

    From the looks of things that child has very high self esteem.



    I agree. I found that quite touching.


    Pinny, you bring up a very interesting point. What if the maternal hormone theory is proven to actually be a large part of the mechanism behind determining sexuality? Do you think physicians will have an obligation to monitor mothers' prenatal hormone levels and keep them at "normal" levels? The same thing applies for "gay genes". If we are able to pinpoint the genes that are linked to homosexuality and can weed out embryos that carry them, should parents be allowed to make those decisions?

    I guess that opens a HUGE can of worms... and maybe something to start another topic on...
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    Mar 21, 2009 3:48 PM GMT
    Jamesrific saidWow sterotype city. I think the focused too much on the swish if you know what I'm saying, this seems to further reinforce that we are glorified women. I don't know if this is a step forward or a step back.


    I think they should have shown gay men who had straight acting quailities just to show how diverse the gay community is.

    And part of me hopes they never find that gay gene.. I could only imagine what the Christian right would do if they had the power to prevent homosexuality.
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    Mar 21, 2009 4:03 PM GMT
    There is nothing about this documentary I can relate to.....

    I was the oldest of three, had a bedroom full of sports gear, and had every G.I. Joe figure available (including all tanks, airplanes, and the aircraft carrier) There is absolutely nothing about my youth that anyone would have considered "feminine." I have to say all of my gay friends, and BF grew up the same way.

    I hate to say this, but what little funding they are getting to do this study is too much in my opinion. Glad to see the 60 minutes nation now thinks all of us grew up with pink sheets, and played with dolls.
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    Mar 21, 2009 4:04 PM GMT
    Heya SwimBikeRun-
    I just watched Leslie Stahl's clip with my buddy.
    We loved it and so many parts were so adorable of the kids.
    The science piece is fascinating to me and I'm glad to see more progress in the research since I last participated in a study in the 90's.
    I sent the link to my buddy, Mark, who is a fraternal twin himself and gay, but his twin brother, like the kids in the story, is straight as an arrow.

    Thanks for posting. Much appreciated~!
    Perry
  • phunkie

    Posts: 325

    Mar 21, 2009 4:12 PM GMT
    Interesting. I have five older brothers and I'm right handed.
    *edit*
  • metta

    Posts: 39144

    Mar 21, 2009 4:19 PM GMT
    I have seen it before. icon_smile.gif I will say that it is a wonderful thing to see how well the mom has dealt with it. I wish that all parents would deal with it intelligently.

    They mentioned that both straight and gay men tend to be shallow and focus more attention on looks and casual sex. Personally, physical attraction is very important (I don't know if that really makes me shallow, though) but I really do not like casual sex.
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    Mar 21, 2009 4:22 PM GMT
    skifan08 said
    Pinny, you bring up a very interesting point. What if the maternal hormone theory is proven to actually be a large part of the mechanism behind determining sexuality? Do you think physicians will have an obligation to monitor mothers' prenatal hormone levels and keep them at "normal" levels? The same thing applies for "gay genes". If we are able to pinpoint the genes that are linked to homosexuality and can weed out embryos that carry them, should parents be allowed to make those decisions?

    I guess that opens a HUGE can of worms... and maybe something to start another topic on...


    That is what I am scared of. I doubt doctors will have obligation to monitor hormone levels and tell their patience when their child enters into the possible "gay" zone; however I can easily see parents requesting it as well as piles of books being written on how to prevent over exposure to estrogen or testosterone during the pregnancy. Women won't realize the danger they are putting themselves in and their babies if they were to deviate from what their body needs to produce a healthy baby.

    Like you said, this is a can of worms I never want opened because the next step is trying to find a "cure".