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Sunday, 21 June 2015

The paradox of homosexuality in evolution

Yesterday my mother claimed that homosexuality is heritable in her family. My son and I opposed to that line of thinking as homosexuals do not tend to reproduce and it should thus fade out from an evolutionary point of view. A former girlfriend even comes from a country where they still consider homosexuality a human disease. I replied to her that even animals show homosexuality. Latter fact was even the reason why Texas lifted its sodomy laws (BBC).

Actually, scientists still have no clue where homosexuality comes from. There are several theories though. One of them is the hereditary (DNA) theory of my mother. Another interesting theory could be labelled as the womb theory. The womb theory suggests that an extra dose of hormones during pregnancy determines the sexuality. (BBC News, New Scientist)

An interesting statistical fact is that the likelihood (chance) on homosexuality increases with the number of births. Each younger brother has a 33% higher chance of becoming homosexual. However, no one knows why (BBC). Obviously, this would imply that larger families show at least one homosexual child. My mother's family was large indeed and lived up to statistical expectations.

To date, scientists do not understand the paradox of homosexuality in human evolution as it doesn't seem to make sense that homosexuality survived human evolution as reproduction is the key feature in passing on genes. They have come up with secondary arguments (e.g., social bonding, care taking of siblings) to explain its evolutionary survival. (link 1, link 2)

In my view, scientists overlook a crucial aspect: homosexuals love children too. The assumption that homosexuals did not reproduce during evolution is wrong. In my view, this entire scientific paradox is time bound as homosexuals hardly ever came out of the closet in "recent" history. Only nowadays, western homosexuals come out of the closet, marry and have children, either through adoption or surrogate mothers.

In the not to distant past, homosexuals married and had children, just like any other couple. It would be interesting to know about homosexual behaviour before religion imposed its views. I think and feel that it is a safe bet to look at the animal kingdom where religion never banned homosexuality. Based upon my research, homosexual animals are bisexual when it comes to mating and reproducing. The animal offspring is however raised by the homosexual animal couple.

Given the above, there never was a paradox in the evolution of homosexuality. Before religion imposed its views, homosexuality was just "neutral" and for pleasure's sake. Reproduction required mating with the opposite sex and that was not a (psychological) issue. After religion imposed its views, homosexuals were hidden in plain view: marriages.

The coming out of homosexuals may finally create the paradox that the scientists were looking for. Homosexuality has become an identity similar to skin colour. Reproduction of homosexuals is far less common now than it was ever before. This may well imply that the (allegedly) 4% of western homosexual men, will go down to near zero in the centuries to come. Ironically, the coming out of homosexuals may also imply a fading out.