What are your thoughts on the possible ramifications of homosexuality being genetic?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 09, 2009 6:15 AM GMT
    I've posted my thoughts in another thread about the nature vs nurture debate, and alluded to this there, but thought I'd start a new thread about what if a "gay gene" is found. There are ramifications of this that I feel conflicted on. I'm curious what others think...

    So...what if a gay gene is found? What are the possibilities then? Yes, we cans say "see we were born this way, we deserve our rights" - and we would have a good point and a great argument. But what happens when doctors can determine this in the womb, like many other genetic things? Do a mother and father then have the choice to abort that baby and try again for a straight baby? This seems to create quite a dilema for those who advocate for a women to have the right to abort a baby for any reason - yet who are gay or progay themselves. As wrong as it seems to me to abort a baby because I don't want a gay child, is it anymore wrong than aborting a baby because I don't want a child period?

    And what if doctors find they can "fix" the gene? Do parents have the right to have a child "fixed"? And if they can - is it in womb only? What if the kid is 12 and the parents just found out the kid is gay - can they make him/her get "fixed"?

    Thoughts?
  • creature

    Posts: 5197

    Aug 09, 2009 7:06 AM GMT
    First of all, the decision to have an abortion is not an easy one to make. As frequently as it may happen, for the individual woman, it is a painstaking and difficult choice to make. It's most likely the last thing they want to do.

    Even if there are women who would abort a gay baby if they could, they would make up only a tiny fraction. Nothing significant as to cause any real dilemma. And for those who want nothing to do with a gay baby, don't assume they'll go through with an abortion. Depending on their beliefs (Pro-Life), they will choose to have the baby, but give it up for adoption.

    As for a Doctor being able to "fix" it if he could, I would like to think there would be laws in place to protect the right of the child — the right of the individual. After all, it's not a disease. It doesn't require medical treatment. It would just fall under the category of cosmetic surgery. If it's not detrimental to the child's health, then children should be born as nature intended.

    There is a prank call on a related note that's perfect to embed in this post, but I've been doing that too much lately. Oh well.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 09, 2009 7:46 AM GMT
    Depends on what the perceptions of being gay will be.

    Did you know that at this time, a lot of the abortions happening are the results of possible Down Syndrome on the unknown child? Even that is arbitrary because the symptoms of Down syndrome vary wildly. From very very mild to severe retardation, and yet most parents will simply abort it than risk having to take care of someone for the rest of their lives.

    If being gay finally escapes the stigma it has had for centuries, I don't see why parents would test for it, much less abort it if positive. Probably the hyper-religious will, but they're already wrong in the head anyway.

    At a time and age where reprogenetics can be implemented before conception and even after conception (as opposed to before fertilization), I highly doubt we'd even be asking this question anyway. We'd most probably be so advanced by then that gender would probably not even matter. There is even already research into creating genetic children of same-sex couples. Research which has already been successful in animal tests.

    http://www.samesexprocreation.com/

    It's like an 18th century man asking if we could breed stronger, faster, longer-lived horses if we apply genetic recombination with them. The question is moot, because by then, we'd be driving cars. By the time these technologies will be discovered, society would have already changed or been forced to change.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 09, 2009 11:33 AM GMT
    Well then the heterosexual, and bisexual world would be able to eradicate homosexuality, if they wished.

    But they want find a gene, as it's to do with the women's hormones during pregnancy. The fact some womens body's can not deal with a male fetus, so instead of it aborting it, it tries to feminise the fetus instead.

    All the boys the women who gave birth to me, gave birth to are all either homosexual, or bisexual, and she had 4 boys.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 09, 2009 12:22 PM GMT
    First, it's clear while homosexuality could have a genetic basis that it's certainly not derived from a single gene, which would make "fixing it" exceedingly difficult. (As it is, we still haven't worked out how to fix single gene issues like cystic fibrosis without killing some of the patients). Thus far in the 'post-genomic era' (I hate that phrase) all attempts to locate a gay gene locus have failed (discounting Simon LaVay's horrible work).

    Secondly, even if there is some genetic basis, we know that there is some 'nurturing' basis, and likely some epigenetic basis as well. There are well-known examples of genetic twins in which one is gay and one is straight.

    Sexuality is extremely complex, and I don't think it's going to be possible to extrapolate a sexuality before birth, much less before adolescence.

    As a scientist, I really think this is a non-issue.
  • mustangd

    Posts: 434

    Aug 09, 2009 3:10 PM GMT
    there are too many unknown factors regarding the origin of homosexuality. myself, i don't rule out the concept that is is natures form of population control. possibly the chemical balance present in the womb, from the environment the mother lives in, favors different embryonic development. have there ever been any studies in areas of above average infant mortality areas, third world countrys of percentage of homosexuals/heterosexuals versus developed countrys? environment may play a role in many ways on brain development, both in the womb and as an infant. who knows for sure? it would be interesting to see in the future, if this planet survives long enough to become ( more ) over crowded, to plot any changes in the percentages of homo and heterosexuality.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 09, 2009 3:13 PM GMT
    Homosexuality is nature's way of ensuring that there will always be a group of people willing to spend $300 on a pair of jeans and then convince the masses that anything less is unacceptable. icon_smile.gif
  • Latenight30

    Posts: 1525

    Aug 09, 2009 3:25 PM GMT
    you know if there wasn't the fear of being beaten up, harrased in school and offered the same rights as everyone else being gay wouldn't be looked upon as a bad thing so no reason to search out a Gay Gene or Abort a gay baby.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 09, 2009 3:25 PM GMT
    Wouldn't that be fine, eh?
    The religious right would be in a panic to backpedal on their viciousness about gays, in order to PREVENT more abortions.

    Not ALL the religious right, however, would do that, as a friend talked to an Imam about this for me last year. The results of that request were completely depressing; abortion and 'fixing' the problem was A OK'd by the Imam, who also said that if a gay man wanted to join their religion he should be, er, gelded first.

    Extremism, ugh.

    -Doug
  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Aug 09, 2009 3:46 PM GMT
    For starters, it is unlikely there is a single factor that conclusively determines sexual orientation. As long as part of sexual orientation is influenced by environmental factors or biological development, the debate will not change for those who are hateful.

    I think there are broader problems than the possibilities of genetic manipulation and abortion as well. To use the "It's normal because it's genetic.." argument as the basis for sexual liberation does a disservice to everyone involved. Not everything that is normal or natural or genetic is necessarily morally acceptable. Further, what will happen next time when freedom is not validated by the underlying science - when someone wants to behave in a non-harmful manner without the protection of a new "normalcy" that includes homosexuality? Will you be willing to curb someone's rights to choose their own destiny on the basis of what you and science say is "normal" or will you argue for self-determination in its own right?
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Aug 09, 2009 4:22 PM GMT
    There's a movie, based on a play, called Twilight of the Golds that explores this.

  • nv7_

    Posts: 1453

    Aug 09, 2009 4:24 PM GMT
    badmikeyt saidHomosexuality is nature's way of ensuring that there will always be a group of people willing to spend $300 on a pair of jeans and then convince the masses that anything less is unacceptable. icon_smile.gif


    300 is so downscale, seriously... icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 09, 2009 4:51 PM GMT
    Yeah, this is one reason why I don't like abortion because if there's a gay gene then i know doctors will be able to tell parents their child will be gay and then people will elect to abort the fetus because of it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 09, 2009 5:11 PM GMT
    I am reading a book currently that has a pretty big chapter on homosexuality in animals and genetics. There are several competing models to explain this behavior.

    The model which has a simple genetic basis, that is a single gene in which homosexuality is a recessive trait, does not adequately explain the incredible diversity in sexual behavior. In some species the vast majority of individuals are homosexual, with less than 5% actually reproducing. In some species only females are predominantly homosexual for most of their life. In a species of bird they will actually change plumage depending on their sexual preference. The genetic explanation would require a model so complex by the time we have figured it out science will discover a cure for ignorance.

    What is more likely to happen, we will learn a broader understanding of sexuality and discover it is far more fluid than we currently think and made up of a combination of genetic, environmental, and social components.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 09, 2009 5:31 PM GMT
    I am actually amazed that there is a body of gay men who are not convinced by the media that propagates the disinformation about a so called "gay gene." Thanks for the comments gents.
  • Sirkit

    Posts: 182

    Aug 09, 2009 5:50 PM GMT
    It is a moderate concern but at this rate Queer acceptance will outpace the need for any kind of gay gene therapy, at least in the 'West'. The concern would be that if such a cure were discovered that it would propagate into less accepting areas and that Queers in places like Contemporary Iran would use it as a way to detect and cleanse those portions of their society.

    Personally I think the argument that 'it's not our fault we were born this way' is a weak one. Human rights should apply to humans, gay, straight, black, white, blue, kinda tannish, maybe a little trans, ect. Trying to decrease ourselves to sacks of genes that force us to do things detracts from the nobility of the human condition and our experiences within it. What we need is for societies to recognize that diversity is a strength and that fostering acceptance of diversity will create more cohesive societies.
  • jlly_rnchr

    Posts: 1759

    Aug 09, 2009 5:58 PM GMT
    Latenight30 saidyou know if there wasn't the fear of being beaten up, harrased in school and offered the same rights as everyone else being gay wouldn't be looked upon as a bad thing so no reason to search out a Gay Gene or Abort a gay baby.


    Or, if every single person on the planet came out of the closet, we wouldn't be so small of a minority, and those things wouldn't happen either.



    My thoughts on this are...i'm not really sure. If it were to be discovered that homosexuality was exclusively a result of biology, be it genes, hormones, etc., then groups that are intolerant should and likely would reverse their opinions on being gay. However, I would prefer that they reverse their opinions after a lengthy debate amongst themselves about why they have to be so hateful, and not just because they finally realize it's not our fault that we're this way.

    As for the abortion possibility...if it's one gene (it's not) and if you could test for which allele an embryo carries of this one gene and you could be certain that this one gene will be expressed no matter what environmental conditions...so if you could be positive that your child was going to be gay, I still think there would be some limits on whether you could abort it because of that fact only. I would think a lengthy, official questioning of prospective mothers would have to take place, detailing what you could do with the results of this prenatal test. Otherwise, you could argue that this is a preemptive hate crime against unborn gay children. Maybe doctors would pledge not to do this test until the third trimester.

    As for the "fix", I don't think this is feasible either. If it is one gene (it's not), it's something in development or very early in life, something that, once it's missing or a different protein or whatever, it probably irreversibly affects the fetus or child. Like a domino effect, with the final result being homosexuality. It's not going to be like hemophilia, where once you figure out what's missing, you supplement it and the patient is fine.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 09, 2009 10:16 PM GMT
    to the op
    just to many if,s in your thoughts

    were gay, lets leave it at that
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 09, 2009 10:23 PM GMT
    Have no thoughts on it either way. Not going to change my life one way or the other.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 10, 2009 2:29 AM GMT
    This kind of perspective, gayness being innate AND detectable before birth, whether because of genetics, the mother's hormones or a combination of the two is one of the factors that has helped me to become pro-life.

    And boy, do I get grief from some of my friends and family for that, heck, not even my father is pro-life.

    This is one of the rare issues in which I believe my former church (Catholic) is right when put into a more holistic practice. But sometimes the pro-life lobbies are so loud and narrow minded that I wish I could be pro-choice just out of spite.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 10, 2009 5:14 AM GMT
    Thanks for your thoughts guys! This was a much more rational discussion than the thread that made me think to start it. I appreciate that a ton.