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Posted by on Mar 27, 2013 in Evolutionary Psychology, Featured Inc, social justice | 26 comments

The science of homosexuality

With the US Supreme Court hearing arguments today about whether or not to dash California’s anti-gay marriage law (Prop 8), this seems like a good time to talk about the state of the scientific understanding of homosexuality, and in particular, the biological bases of it.

As noted by my Skeptic Ink colleague Notung recently, scientific knowledge and rationality are separate from moral judgement, which he bounded as a purely philosophical activity. Nonetheless I assert (and I believe that Notung agrees) nobody’s moral consideration process works very well without good knowledge, no matter what that process is. In my own judgement, the causes of homosexuality in humans are irrelevant to any consideration of rights or law. If it could be chosen as freely as choosing what shirt to wear today, I would still consider it anyone’s legitimate choice in the eyes of the law or under the Constitution.

Sexual preference is not a choice, though, and there are negative consequences in the form of the actions of people who believe that it is. These include “conversion therapy” Christians who believe homosexuality is a curable disease, and post-modernists views that sexual orientations can be socially manufactured which lead to the “political lesbianism” among second-wave feminists and to transphobic feminists outting of transpeople. For these reasons, and because it’s fucking interesting, I’d like to discuss the findings in biology.

A recent Quarterly Review of Biology paper by William R. Rice, Urban Frieberg, and Sergey Gavrilets proposed an epigenetic model attempting to explain homosexuality among humans, and reviewing some of the existing literature on the topic. In this writing I will summarize and discuss the paper, Homosexuality as a consequence of epigenetically canalized sexual development. You can read the full PDF online here.

A queer evolutionary mystery
Any trait that consistently reduces the (statistically likely) number of offspring should be quickly filtered from any gene pool. And yet, Rice et al. report that about 8% of women and men are homosexual (inclusive of bisexuals). Humans are far from unique in this as homosexual behavior is documented in over 500 species. Past genetic models have been based on proposed adaptive benefits that might compensate for a homosexual individual’s reduced reproductive output. The kin selection model supposed that the support a gay person might give to their close relatives (particularly nieces and nephews) could provide a greater adaptive benefit. Alternatively, a model of “sexually antagonistic” genes asserted that genes which might make a sex especially good at mate competition also occasionally (inadvertently) resulted in homosexuality. Both approaches have failed upon analysis and empirical testing. Even the search for proximate mechanisms is a list of mostly failures.

Is there a gay gene?
Nope.  In spite of many attempts to find a genetic correlate of homosexuality, there is no definitive link so far. This is even more vexing in light of the evidence that the trait is heritable and runs in families (by which I mean genetic families. Siblings raised apart are more likely to have the same orientation).

Maternal antibodies?
Researchers noted in the 90′s that gay men were more likely to have older brothers than straight men. A few years ago a theory about maternal antibodies was advanced to account for the finding. Namely, that maternal antibodies attack male-specific antigens which can pass through the placenta and affect sexual differentiation in the fetal brain. This hypothesis enjoys some empirical support, but only explains a fraction (at most 1/7) of the of gay men (those who have one or more older brother) and says nothing at all about women.

Classical hormone model is also inadequate
Prenatally gonadectomized male rodents grow into behavioral and morphological females. A similar outcome is seen in humans. Genetically XY individuals with complete androgen insensitivity (the inability of cells to respond to testosterone and other androgens) grow into physically and behaviorally female adults, despite the presence of the Y chromosome. The role of hormones is clearly important to producing male and female phenotypes, but it turns out there is much more to it than mere levels of available testosterones or estrogens.

Rice et al. point out that during gestation there is overlap in the levels of testosterone (T) among male and female fetuses in all weeks except for 15-19. This means during all other weeks, some female fetuses have as much or more T than male. Specific consideration was given to the development of the genitals. Genitals should be the most affected by androgen levels, and are among the most sexually dimorphic traits, and yet in humans and rats male and female embryos have significant overlap of T levels. At the same time, discordance between genetic sex and that sexes typical genital formation is rare. Even at the most basic physical level, hormone levels by themselves are not enough to explain developmental outcomes. The new model proposed by Rice et al. focuses on epigenetically canalized sexual development which could fit the data better.

Epigenetic canalization: Lamarck vindicated?
Canalization is a kind of robustness in which phenotypic outcomes are safeguarded against environmental and genetic vicissitudes, which are unpredictable.  C.H. Waddington coined the term and conducted an experiment in which fly pupae exposed to heat shock developed a “crossveinless” phenotype in some flies. By selectively breeding them, he eventually produced flies of that phenotype even without the heat shock. The change in phenotype did not involve new mutations or any particular changes in the genome, so how did the apparent phenotype change? Through epigenetic mechanisms, but more on that in a bit.

Sexual development is canalized because many things can impact androgen availability: random genetic mutations, environmental agents, misregulation of T, and even ingested foods. One Indian medicinal herb Tinospora cordifolia is an “androgen mimic”. These could all cause tremendous problems for a developing fetus, were it not protected by canalization. The authors describe six such mechanisms, but to be brief I will describe just one. A particular enzyme can convert T into a more powerful form of T called DHT (dihydrotestosterone). However, said enzyme may not convert the T mimic (such as T. cordifolia), preventing disruption it might cause. This is just as effective for canalizing a female embryo because in the brain T is converted to estradiol (E, a common estrogen) but since the mimic will not be converted, there will be no adverse effects from it. Aromatase, the enzyme that converts T to E, may itself be a form of canalization. Now let us return to the question: if there is no change in the genes, how are these enzymes up-regulated depending on the sex of the fetus?

Epigenetic mechanisms. Click to embiggen.

Epigenetics is the study of “changes in gene expression …caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence.” There are many ways that this can happen, but to briefly describe a few, it turns out that DNA can be bookmarked by molecules called methyl groups. The bookmarks can lead to genes being “read” more or less often. Also the protein balls called histones, which DNA spends most of its time coiled around, can have their shape altered to effect the expression of genes (see image above). Canalization (in this case) then can be understood as applying bookmarks early in embrionic development to stem cells, and selectively so depending on whether the embryo is XX or XY. Note the stem cells part. Changes made to the stem cell epigenome will be inherited by all future cells, including eventually, eggs or sperm.

According to the authors, shortly after conception an attempt is made to wipe all epigenetic modifications from the DNA. This makes a good deal of sense, as cumulative epigenetic markers (the authors use the expression “epi-marks”) could really make a mess of things over time. However, this erasure process does not erase all of the methyl bookmarks and histone modifications. What happens next is astounding: a nearly genome-wide epigenetic imprinting. Some genes are silenced as they will not be used until much later while genes necessary to stem cell functioning are up-regulated. The authors speculate that at this point, if fetus is XY, epigenetic markers could cause androgen receptors to be more sensitive and T signaling to be up-regulated in order to protect it from low androgen conditions (and the opposite for and XX fetus, to protect it in the case of overly-elevated circulating T).

Neat. Now explain the gayness and heritability
So, epigenetic canalization is well and good. Let’s imagine an XY fetus genome gets canalized as described. This leads to many changes, such as more DHT at particular times and places and greater sensitivity to T in parts of the body and the brain during both development, and the lifespan. Said individual may eventually father a daughter. His sperm cell, like all of his cells, inherited the original canalizations for maleness. The epigenetic erasure process after conception fails to erase all of the epigenetic modifications designed to canalize male not female sexual development. The fetus is still XX and will never have testes, so the individual will be female but there may have been masculinization of parts of the brain during development, resulting in homosexuality. The opposite scenario could as easily occur for an XY individual.

Rice et al. constructed a mathematical model designed to suss out the relative fitness benefit of hypothetical genes which sexually canalize a fetus during development (see the math in Appendix B of the paper). They concluded,

These calculations demonstrate that mutations causing sexually antagonistic epi-marks can invade even when the cost to the harmed sex far exceeds the benefit to the favored sex. This conclusion holds irrespective of linkage to the sex chromosomes or autosomes.

In some scenarios, the detrimental cost (lost fitness of homosexual offspring) would have to be 4 times as large as the benefit value before it would cease to be adaptive overall. Why so much? If I am understanding the model correctly, this is because of the diminishing likelihood of detrimental expression in the hypothetical grandchildren. The immediate offspring are guaranteed to have the gonad-concordant canalization. Of potential grandchildren, only half of them will be opposite-sex versus its parent (and therefore, perhaps be homosexual). The other half will gain the same benefit as the parent. This is assuming 100% heritability, which is unlikely, of course. With lower, more realistic heritability, the model favors epigenetic canalization even more strongly.

Other evidences
Astonishingly, observable physiological sex differences appear in the earliest stages of development,  as soon as 5 days after conception:

[...] At this time, XY embryos are physiologically distinct from XX embryos, having a higher metabolic rate, faster growth rate, and increased resistance to some stress agents (reviewed in Gardner et al. 2010). Correspondingly, by the preimplantation blastula stage, the two sexes are reported to have widespread differences in gene expression levels at many hundreds of genes, most of which are autosomal (see Bermejo-Alvarez et al. 2010 and reference therein). Regulation of gene expression in complex eukaryotes is usually accomplished via epigenetic modifications (methylation of CpGs on the DNA or modification of histone tails;

The author’s model is consistent with the current unexplained heritability (20-50%) of homosexuality among genetically identical twins. It also explains why genetically identical twins can differ in their sexual orientation (epigenetic processes have developmental variance without regard to genes).

Other androgen-sensitive phenotypes, including cryptochidism and hypospadias “show the same pattern of high prevalence, strong familial associations, low monozygotic twin concordance, and discordance between the gonad and the trait”. There are also fitness costs associated with these conditions, and yet they also persist in the population at small but significant frequencies.

Epigenetic gene promoters have been shown to transmit across generations.

There are some studies which indicate mothers and/or female relatives of gay men are more fecund.

Conclusion
While this is a fascinating paper and an intriguing model,  the hypothesis is only that. Specific epigenetic mechanisms implicated are not presently identified. It’s also not clear why epigenetic canalization is so important (if it is) that about of 8% of the population can incur a fitness penalty as a result. There are other imaginable adaptive means including regular genetic mutations or modifications to the developmental processes which could theoretically perform the same functions. I also would have liked to see discussion of epigenetic imprinting during sperm formation, and not merely post-conception. Every sperm cell bearing a Y chromosome is destined to create a male, and X a female. Therefore, they should be targets for canalized imprinting.

Whatever the causes of sexual behaviors turn out to be, all people should be treated with dignity and respect.
Homosexuality as a Consequence of Epigenetically Canalized Sexual Development
 William R. Rice, Urban Friberg and Sergey Gavrilets The Quarterly Review of Biology , Vol. 87, No. 4 (December 2012), pp. 343-368

Article DOI: 10.1086/668167
Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/668167

  • http://www.facebook.com/Scott1328 Tim McCollough

    One assumption that I see rarely challenged in discussions about the “evolutionary explanations” of homosexuality is the assumption that homosexual men and especially women are less fertile. In the environment where 99% of human evolution occurred, why is any credence given to the assumption that men with a sexual preference for other men did not produce children? This objection applies even more so for women: is it even remotely plausible that a woman with a preference for women would have had her preferences honored? I would actually like to see some evidence that homosexuality actually reduces selective fitness.

    • f_galton

      You aren’t very good at math, are you.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Scott1328 Tim McCollough

        You are right, I cheated to get my mathematics degree.

    • http://www.skepticink.com/incredulous Edward Clint

      1. A good explanation for homosexuality is just part of the explanation for sexuality in general. Heterosexuality and its related behaviors evolved because they were adaptive. That entails that not having them is less adaptive or they could not have evolved. We must then conclude that other forms of this suite of adaptations are either directly beneficial, or else a side effect in some way of those which are. You are therefore suggesting that men being sexually attracted to women is not adaptive, which I find a preposterous idea.

      2. The question is not did they produce children? The question is, were they statistically likely to produce as many offspring as heterosexuals? I think we can reasonably infer the answer is no. It should also be noted that even traits with a small impact on fitness can dominate over time.

      3. The model in this paper suggests to me that if there were zero fitness penalty for homosexuality, the epigenetic canalization would be incredibly strong and much more prevalent. There should be a far higher rate of homosexuality in that case and there is no evidence for this.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Scott1328 Tim McCollough

        1. ” You are therefore suggesting that men being sexually attracted to women is not adaptive, which I find a preposterous idea” I suggested nothing like that whatsoever. I merely challenge the assumption that homosexual individuals were less likely to reproduce in the environment in which humans evolved. I am also challenging your assumption that gay men aren’t sexually attracted to women. What makes a man gay is his preferred partner, not that they don’t have sex with women.

        2. “The question is, were they statistically likely to produce as many offspring as heterosexuals? I think we can reasonably infer the answer is no.” I do not question that the assumption that homosexual individuals reproduced less is plausible, I just think it needs to be demonstrated rather than assumed.

        3. “There should be a far higher rate of homosexuality in that case and there is no evidence for this.” I don’t follow your reasoning here.

        Let me go at this from another angle, suppose gay men (and women) were equally reproductively fit as their straight counter-parts, how does this actually change anything about the mechanisms that lead to homosexuality? how does this change the frequency in the population?

        • Warrior4just

          @facebook-100002304766312:disqus
          Men and women evolved for each other…hence the compatibility of sexual organs…

        • http://www.skepticink.com/incredulous Edward Clint

          I merely challenge the assumption that homosexual individuals were less likely to reproduce in the environment in which humans evolved. I am also challenging your assumption that gay men aren’t sexually attracted to women. What makes a man gay is his preferred partner, not that they don’t have sex with women.

          I think you have an impoverished understanding of both evolution and sexuality. It is the case in modern, but especially premodern societies that (very often) men who take several kinds of risks tend to have more children; in some cases this means hunting and in others, warfare and violence. (This is well established in the ethnographic record). Why would a person take great risks, often unnecessary ones? Because they are highly motivated. If they’re not, they probably won’t so much. So it is therefore logical to conclude for this (and many other) reasons hetero attraction is adaptive and lacking it is quite the penalty to fitness.

          It is well documented that gay men are not sexually attracted to women. I have had many gay friends, and know this to be true. Some men are bisexual or somewhere between the two, but others are definitely not, and definitely do find the idea of sex with a woman… off-putting.

          Let me go at this from another angle, suppose gay men (and women) were equally reproductively fit as their straight counter-parts, how does this actually change anything about the mechanisms that lead to homosexuality? how does this change the frequency in the population?

          This question is nonsensical. The assertion that gay people are likely to have just as many children on average is preposterous. We’re a species, like many, where men constantly compete for sexual access to females; where hard-earned or hard-fought polygyny is fairly common globally and historically. You’re supposing the “meh, I guess” males equal the offspring count of the more ardent competitors? That’s just one of the silliest things that I have ever heard. The accepted account of why males are about 15% larger than females (with double the muscle % by weight, and more clot factors in the blood which aid in wound healing, but also cause more strokes) is that they’ve fought with each other semiconstantly through our recent evolutionary history.

      • Warrior4just

        @Skeptic_Ink:disqus
        any explanation that caters to answer to justify homosexuality as opposed to answering why would it occur…is a scientific fallacy. Real scientists are not obliged to consider that it has to be good, normal, natural or any of that…..all biology is subject to evolutionary dynamics…and homosexuality isn’t explained by evolutionary dynamics, kin selection….is problematic because it fails to demonstrate the feedback mechanism by which genes are informed from the outside world, if it’s random….than every homosexual being born is at a cost to survival of the species, if it’s random it means there is no biological adapatation to the randomness , hence it is detrimental to the continuity of the species…this is again because of the tendency of species to eliminate negative traits that hinder growth and survival advantage.
        and if it works like other genetic illnesses…it does not change the fact, that it is disroder after all….and should be dealt with accordingly, regardless of how homosexuals feel.

        • http://www.skepticink.com/incredulous Edward Clint

          I don’t think this paper attempts to “justify” anything, and I haven’t either.

          I don’t know why you then go on to make moral arguments, if you’re concerned with moralizing hypotheses. “detrimental” and “negative” seem like value judgments, the way that you use them. YOu then mention how “homosexuals feel”. What has that to do with any theories of sexuality & evolution?

          And let me clarify a couple of things. Since homosexuality appears in many species, it is not at all clear what its fitness effects are of the genes that directly or indirectly influence such things. You also seem to be personifying the species, using expressions like “detrimental to the continuity of the species” and “tendency of species..” but I would argue selection doesn’t act on species, it acts on individuals. That’s why you see species with extremely costly behaviors that make them much more likely to become extinct: runaway sexual selection resulting in death battles among enormous males, utter dependency on organisms that might vanish (e.g. bees & flowers, obligate parasites requiring multiple hosts). So you should not think there is any sort of mechanisms seeing to the health or fitness of a species en masse. That just is not how evolution works.

          Here’s my moral stance on homosexuality: People should be free to do anything they like that does not harm anyone else and I don’t give a damn what it means for “the species”.

          • Warrior4just

            Edward Clint

            I beg to differ…on few things here

            you said “if you’re concerned…..seem like value judgement”

            of course i have the right to make judgement when assertions aren’t proven, i have to employ common sense based on observation adn sensical deductions. For one, i have the right to express the absurdity of the actual sexual act that is detrimental to nonsexual organs…, just because it is politcally incorrect to say that homosexuality is irrational doesn’t mean it isn’t in view of what sex means. the redefinition of sexuality, is a human construct…..sex involves necessarily two sexual organs….and if animals practice it “i’ll come back to this point”, it is for mainly an emulation.

            you said ” but I would argue selection doesn’t act on species, it acts on individuals”, of course….but the outcome directly affects the specie…, nature favors qualities that are advantageous to guarantee survival at the individual level. So if a quality is favorable from a natural stand point, the nature “radom event” would allow for the evolution such that it will equip the individual with elements that enable their perpetuation of their genes….but homosexuals aren’t equipped to perpetuate their genes.

            As for kin selection, you said “So you should not think there is any sort of mechanism seeing the health or fitness of species”
            A mechanism previously referred to the most primal reactionary dynamics that reacts to inputs from the environments….all species that have survived “and most species didn’t” are the ones we see continuing to exist.,.as more extreme random events become perilous for species , the specie if not comping with minute changes, it will disappear. With that said, saying that kin selection has evolved inherently….must have an input mechanism “feedback” that determines when and how to trun gay genes….and if so the same could be said for virtually any fatal causes for humans.

            and if kin selection is purely random…not only “kin selection” loses its meaning, but each birth of homosexual is on the expense of the inherent drive of species to procreate “unless you deny that, it’s another sotry”…., hence technically they should be no homosexual,

            So the only random process would be that of the sort of disroders ( something human get affected by)….like mutations, so it goes back to my stance, that homosexuality should be called for what it is….regardless of how homosexual feel about it. We can’t pretend that it is normal…., unless we know why it exist. Natural selection doesn’t present its positive outcome by a disadvantage (lack of compatible sexual organs)…but by an advantage, that has much greater chance to evolve

            Something that one needs to think about, why is it that in kin selection, homosexuals weren’t rather asexual, why rather dimorphism…., do infertiles folks have the same purpose as the speculated purpose of homosexuals. Why would natural selection continue to allow for a group of ppl to live with a practice that leads to GBS and other homosexual specific maladies

            In sofar as the observation in animal, the 500 species that are claimed “to practice homosexuality” look at word practice…..a large of postion of which, are in fact hemaphrodites and bisexuals, you can’t say that hemaphrodites are homosexuals because they’re equipped with both sexual organs, or morph into opposite sex (e.g. certain reptiles and fish,)…, and as matter of fact, many bisexual animals do it for many other reasons -social hierachical communicative behaviors, some of which are temporary….non-alpha male status…., some animals do not differentiate between make and female when bombarded with sex hormones (e.g. sheeps, dogs)…yet all of this somehow goes to be interpreted as exclusive homosexuals, Exclusive homosexuality in the animal kingdom is rare….

          • http://www.skepticink.com/incredulous Edward Clint

            I don’t think you understand evolution, sexuality, or the above article and further, and I believe you are abusing badly butchered science to support your homophobia. There is no place for that here.

    • http://www.facebook.com/gojaejin Jeremy J. Goard

      “is it even remotely plausible that a woman with a preference for women would have had her preferences honored?”

      Even under the dubious assumption that *no* women could avoid getting knocked up, it still seems obvious that women who actively pursued healthy, intelligent and powerful men had more successful descendants than those who avoided pairing up until someone came along and forced them.

    • raytheist

      Physical fertility isn’t an issue. I’ve always been gay, but have 4 children all made the old fashioned way. Only relevance to fertility would have been taking advantage of the opportunity, or not.

    • Warrior4just

      @facebook-100002304766312:disqus
      you whole statement departs from the assumption that sexual preference is inherent…meaning that those who chose homosexuals lifestyle are actually gay-have something that made them like that. Well unfortunately, the studies cited above are are flawed, the only thing they do is assert without proof , speculations that is…hence they are fallacious

  • f_galton
  • Kwame

    Good to know that homosexuality is still ‘a head job’. No scientific finding will dispute that.

    • http://www.skepticink.com/incredulous Edward Clint

      What do you mean by “head job”?

    • http://www.skepticink.com/tippling/ Jonathan MS Pearce

      I’m not sure it particularly says that in the article…

  • ncovington89

    Awesome article! Reminds me of PZ Myers’ fascinating blog posts about science research.

    • http://www.skepticink.com/incredulous Edward Clint

      Thanks.. I think.

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  • psittacus

    Homosexuality is apparently can be just as much a “choice” as religion. There’s several influences: 1.) whether homosexuality is an option in a culture; 2.) whether a given child is predisposed to being sucked or routed into that mind set through biological & social influences; 3.) socialization – eg: improper parenting and the influence of peers.

    A person can rightly at the top level claim that it wasn’t their choice per se, because their brain was simply drawn along a given course. Now, as to whether that means that change is not possible – that is a completely separate question. I believe it is, and should be attempted in all cases.

    For several years I observed first hand my gay nephew, with his petty stunted permanent-childhood state. I observed how a convicted pedophile was accepted back into my nephews gay friend circle. I observed what happened at gay parties & bars. I observed how I had an uncle who died of AIDS leaving his regular family with no father. He cheated on his wife because he thought it was a good idea to try out his “homosexuality.” He grew up in repressive Manti, Utah (heavily Mormon), so going to San Francisco and doing what he did was his way of rebelling.

    But, is Bruce Bagemihl right in his claim that homosexuality is *good* just because it may exist in other animals? No, that goes too far. I believe homosexuality exists simply because of the machinery of how sex gets set up in animals – in humans. The setup process involves both biology & socialization, but the process can sometimes go awry.

    Not everything is equal. Clearly the human animal, with evolutionary designed sex organs, were never “designed” as such by evolution through natural selection, to engage in homosexual sex. Humans aren’t Bonobos either. So just because something *can* happen doesn’t mean it’s valuable.

    An atheist / humanist / naturalist / skeptic can get caught up into the de facto religion of the left. It’s very hard work to pick out what may be of value on the right side of the social & political spectrum. Sometimes we have to see first hand what impacts come from “letting it all hang out” before we can admit that, hey, the right does have a point on this front. But how can that be possible?

    Since religion is a natural phenomenon (ref. Dennett), fully natural human morality can and does exist within religion. And sometimes ethical codes in religions have very good naturalistic reasons for existing. This can be something very hard for an ex-religionist to admit.

    Related thoughts: http://goo.gl/Prz2Vh

  • Warrior4just

    So with that said, it is an aberration regardless. look, here is the problem as long as political correctness is rampant….the answer will always be prevented to surface. The researchers could very well be looking in the wrong direction…that it is just matter of rebellion, lack of moral judgement, and brainwahsing from an early age.

    • http://www.skepticink.com/incredulous Edward Clint

      Your remarks are homophobic and irrational. Your allegations baseless and unwarranted. This is not a forum for preaching hate. Please take your business elsewhere.

      • Warrior4just

        @Edward Clint
        Which part of freedom of speech do you have problem with Edward, is it the fact that people express different opinions, cause that’s bigotry….or is it the type of ideas that raise the bar in critical thinking….i bet the latter, because they trigger a cognitive dissoance. Guess what, it is matter of time before you hear time and time again….

        It is the responsibility of the scientist to consider all interpertations and explanations, including possibly that homosexuality comes from environement : coersion, brainwahsing, lack of adaptation, etc….
        To discredit this in view of lack of proof by elimination…remains an alternative and viable explanation.

        Just because you don’t like to hear , doesn’t mean it couldn’t be true….remember APA, suggests equally the environmental factor…

        you know better than calling someone homophobic, you are a grad psychology student…so, refrain from social definitions and memes

        • http://www.skepticink.com/incredulous Edward Clint

          Freedom of speech means that the government is not permitted to prevent you from expressing your views. This is a private website that I own. That means I am free to decide on its content. One of the things I have decided is that hateful attitudes are not part of any discussion I wish to have happen here. The good news for you is that there are thousands of websites where you can go and talk about how you do not approve of homosexuality. You can even make your own. Make twenty. Nobody will stop you. I certainly won’t.

          I might be tempted to engage with you further, to try to understand your twisted rendition of evolution or your emotional discomfort with homosexuality (for example why you continually focus on the anus, perhaps not realizing that lesbians exist, or that many gay men never have that sort of sex, or that many straight men and women do). But I won’t because your language is as choppy as your ideas. I assume this is because you are not a native English speaker, and if so, I do not fault you for that. But I also have no idea what you are talking about half the time, and I don’t have the time or patience to try to sort it out.

          • Warrior4just

            Yeah, it’s your private website sure, you can determine what to read or be wilfuly ignorant about, but you can’t decide on the content, because one has to be honest with him/herself rationalizing ideas….and the process of rationalizing ideas is unbiased….not necessarily what you’d hope to hear.

            bear in mind Edward, i didn’t comment in an attempt to disrespect , let alone you in your website, but i would allow myself to be critical of your ostentation in your ability to discuss objectively this topic…that is if you are intellectually honest.

            And speaking of honesty, why would anybody have any stance on anything if there weren’t any emotions associated with it, i woiuldn’t say necessarily a discomfort but rather due to cognition…one that refuses to accept an idea just because some assert it to be true or acceptable.

            And If i focused on the non-sexual organ “anus”, it’s because that’s where the idea of irrationality originates mainly. To ignore it, it’s denial….the denial of knowing that a certain organ isn’t made for a task yet to continue to lead it to medical condition….

            With no reservation, the same apply for the so called straight folks who engage in similar practices

            As far as love is concerned, like i said, it is a modern human social construct, invented by women to gain access to male ressources, power, and protection.

            In regards to my english, it is fine…, i could comment on yours

            At this point, i no longer want to discuss this issue with you. You lack the critical capacity, and your views remain parochial