Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bisexual Men Have Female Relatives to Thank

Tip of the Hat to MR for the pointer.
There's a new study out on different sexual orientation. The New Scientist says:
"Bisexual men might have their "hyper-heterosexual" female relatives to thank for their orientation.

Previous work has suggested that genes influencing sexual orientation in men also make women more likely to reproduce. Andrea Camperio Ciani and colleagues at the University of Padua, Italy, showed that the female relatives of homosexual men tend to have more children, suggesting that genes on the X chromosome are responsible. Now the team have shown that the same is true for bisexuality."
Read it here.


Jamie said...

I've been thinking much on account of friends and family members of mine and such. Anyway, from a social/theoretical point of view, why is there so much interest in scientific research about inclination and orientation? I mean, I don't see a lot of fuss over left-handedness or people having eyes of different color....

Sra said...

To answer Jamie, it's because people don't think left-handedness or eye color is a sin (at least not anymore on the left-handed bit).

I'm reminded of something I either saw on PBS or read somewhere about how a man's likelihood of homo- or bisexuality is greater if he has an older brother. It had to do with male hormones being foreign in a woman's body, and so when a woman is pregnant with a boy, her body builds up a resistance toward the male hormones, and this resistance can mean less male hormones in future sons, thus increasing likelihood of other than heterosexuality.

Something along those lines. This is all secondhand fuzzy remembrance information, so it can't be trusted.

Mary said...

Right, social conditioning and much of established religion seem to have much to say on the matter. Relying on science, makes full sense to me. But then again I think of Galileo back in the day trying to make the church hierarchy believe in, well, science, and it took that institution centuries to realize that he was not a 'heretic.'
For some reason, science needs to serve as "Big Brother' for many. If it helps elucidate the people, bring it on, I say.
I'm of the thinking that sexuality is fluid and not entirely contingent upon a set genetic code. I also think that the environment, personal choice, and exposure to certain micro cultures play a role.
But I do know many who take other people's 'ontologies' more seriously than the said people themselves. This will keep on being an important topic.
Nature of Nurture?
I don't really care much about being convinced either way but I do realize that most feel better about the whole 'alternative way of being' thing if science backs them up a little bit.
-The Staunch Heterosexual

Nicki said...

As much as I see where Jamie is coming from, I also get the importance of science pulling some weight here. Needed weight.
Yeah, it took Galileo a while to get cred from the pope, but....
Studies like these help socially too in that other, generally marginalized 'alternative sexualities' come closer to the center. And, as most of us might agree, the center and the suburbs of it are not as controversy-ripe as the poor but blessed margins.....

Nicki said...

And the concept of fluidity seems easy to grasp for some but it's still a pretty novel idea.
And I also had to share this. I was channel surfing the other day and some guy on a reality show was asked if he was gay or bisexual.
He said he was polyamorous. At least that's what his shrink told him.....

Anonymous said...

What about the idea that social identity, while it is biologically influenced, is also a matter of acquisition and individual choice?
There are people out there who think about identity along these lines.
Personally, I find it interesting how life balances itself out.

Will said...

So, are the female relatives of gay men instinctually aware of their need to be extra fecund? This was a very interesting bit.