Thursday, December 07, 2006

It's genetic

Today I uncovered irrefutable evidence that SSA is genetic. It turns out that Another Other and I are, in fact, fourth cousins once removed. Our common ancestor was a prominent polygamist and the author of High on the Mountain Top. On further reflection, this should hardly be surprising in light of the following:
  1. We are both brilliant
  2. We are both married gay Mormons
  3. We are both undeniably attractive people
You can see how this ought to put to rest forever contentions over whether or not genetics plays a large role in sexual orientation.

21 comments:

santorio said...

my father has four older brothers, hmmm

i had unmarried uncle
hmmm

i have an older brother
hmmm

yup, genetic

Latter-gay-saint said...

I have an uncle who is gay. I've only met him once though.

Ben said...

No way! My great-great-grandfather wrote High on the Mountain Top! So it's all his fault!

Oh, and seriously, I do have immediate relatives who are gay.

Anonymous said...

So when we say "genetic" what does that mean? What does it mean to our culture, to how we have viewed the world, to how we view our respective faiths?

What we are moving towards, I think, via science, is the understanding that it is time to put aside superstitions, stereotypes and bigotry, and fully realize the absolute love that the ancients spoke of, and that enlightened people today (usually not associated with "church") speak of.

Are we brave enough to reach out and grab that?

-L- said...

That's a lovely thought, if slightly incomprehensible. Feel free to clarify what the heck you are talking about.

Scot said...

Curse you L. I’ve been collecting papers upon papers that show the effect (and lack thereof) of genetics and you go and prove one side of the debate. Quick, submit to a journal before you’re scooped!

G'pa Bob said...

I believe that this is a light conversation so am not sure that a serious question is expected but I will try since you brought it up. When I am with gay friends and relatives we do not talk about this so my questions have remained unanswered.

It would seem that by "genetic" we mean that because a relative has SSA the offspring do (as compared to saying that simply because we are made up of genetically driven material the offspring do).

The questions:
1) does it depend on a male or female ancestor
2) is it a guaranteed effect
3) how did it first happen
4) is there a person with no gay ancestors
5) if so then if one of them chose to be gay would that modify their genes so that their children would be gay

I would appreciate your opinion/facts on these and other ideas if you (the group) are willing. This is a fascinating subject to me with my being extremely attracted to females.
Thanks,
G'pa Bob

Scot said...

I’ll take a shot :-)

1) does it depend on a male or female ancestor
Seems to. Some of the mechanisms for gay men seem different than those for lesbians (for one thing there’s about half as many lesbians as gay men). Also, there is evidence that stronger genetic influence comes from a gay man’s mother’s side.
2) is it a guaranteed effect
Seems no, not with genes alone. There may be many genes involved. They may all only make it more likely, dependent upon another occurrence, but I suppose there’s conceivably still room for genes among them that pretty much give a guarantee. You should take a look at some of the other established effects too, such as the Fraternal Birth Order Effect, that I’ve just so happened to have gone over :-).
3) how did it first happen.
The same way all our genetic characteristics happened: mutation or, if you prefer, the programming of God :-). Something has to be in our programming to tell most of us men to find women attractive, find pleasure in that interaction. Something similar has to tell others of us to find men attractive; else there’d be no one wanting either :-).
4) is there a person with no gay ancestors.
I’d feel pretty comfortable saying no; but gay men aren’t too honest about being gay beyond a few decades ago ;-).
5) if so then if one of them chose to be gay would that modify their genes so that their children would be gay
In short, no; that’s not how we think inheritance works. That’s what’s called “inheritance of acquired characteristics”. Maybe I’d read something like http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-intro-to-biology.html to get an introduction to the topic of evolutionary biology. Fun stuff ;-).

Anonymous said...

L,

Ok, beyond a doubt, religion kills, it hurts people, far more people than it helps. Come on, dude, you're a gay mormon, you know what it's like.

Can we take this science, this rationalism, and go the next step in saying "Enough with religious hate and hate ideology. Here is where we draw the line."

Even if it goes against doctrine, are we brave enough to do that? If not I'm we are all wasting our time.

Master Fob said...

Enough with religious hate and hate ideology. Here is where we draw the line.

Okay, I've said it. I've taken the next step. Now what? Please tell me quickly, as I feel all giddy and anxious to be part of this revolution of yours.

Scot said...

[Sigh] I wanted to talk about genetics, and now look... ;-(

Sully said...

-L-, you have successfully produced a humorous post gone wrong! You call yourself the ardent Mormon, but there are obviously others more ardently passionate about their ideas than you. But have no fear, brother; I understood exactly what you were trying to say--you and Another Other are both gorgeous. :)

Anonymous said...

Not sure what you're getting at, Master Fob???

-L- said...

My goodness, I step away from the internet for a few minutes and look at all the comments. And on a post about virtually nothing. Hmmm. I should learn something from this.

G'pa Bob, although Scot has given you the boring factual answers, I'm here to give you my fantastical conjecture. Sexual orientation is plastic throughout life (but not casually so) and results from social factors, neurologic imprinting during sexual development, ongoing reinforcement from sexual experiences, and last but not least: intrinsic biological factors (i.e. genetics and others). The idea that there is a dichotomy between genetically determined sexual orientation and chosen orientation (i.e. that it is either/or) is FALSE FALSE FALSE.

The factors mentioned above have also all been influential in making me gorgeous.

Anonymous, you are slightly insane. Go to a church and apologize to the nice folks there. ;-) There's a heckuva lot of good in religion and if you haven't seen it you are either in denial or under-exposed.

Another Other said...

Wait, I've been trying to figure out what anonymous could possibly be talking about in response to this *cough*satirical*cough* post, but then my wife realized that of course it's just Jack Handy, here to share his deep thoughts with us all. Thanks for the laughs, Jack!

Catchya later, cuz.

G'pa Bob said...

Thank you all. I appreciate your thoughts and your company. Scot, we did talk about genetics so peace unto you:)

I wonder if an anonymous hatred of relegion is genetic? And Ben, I agree with putting an end to hating religion - good show:)

-L-, I appreciate your letting me use your blog for this. Hopefully, you will not block my IP address. I will try to be good from now on. I appreciate your fantastical conjecture - from my experience, it is right-on.

My very best wishes to each, G'pa Bob

Samantha said...

Okay, I've held my peace long enough. First of all, I am also related to said hymnest, and I believe AtP is, as well (and probably has a more direct line than the rest of us, hence his claim to being the most attractive gay blogger). This brings me to a number of conclusions:
1. All gay bloggers in the queerosphere are physically the most attractive people around and they owe this to inbreeding and Brother Johnson.
2. All factors in life are genetic, including favorite color, propensity to eat meat, and a proclivity to enjoy shopping. Nothing is left to chance. All characteristics that make us what we are can be linked to some gene or another. Oh yes, this also includes the ability to type quickly, preference of toilet paper, the rapidity with which one is able to blink, and a hatred of God and church. All genetic.
3. There is a belief that gay men outnumber gay women. I must modify this and say, the number of openly gay men outnumber openly gay women, since the majority of lesbians don't necessarily identify themselves as such until later in life, if at all. It seems our ability to live in denial has a much higher threshold than that of a male. Which does not necessarily mean that the women aren't gay (genetics, remember), just more tolerant--and attractive.
4. Above average intelligence is definitely a genetic characteristic shared by all queerosphere bloggers. And if you need more than you were endowed with (genetically), I'll loan you some. -L- and AO need all of theirs, currently, because of that being a doctor and going to med-school thing, Ben can't afford to lend any because he has a fobriarchal order to maintain, AtP and Sully are, well, sort of young, and the list goes on and on...However, as the QoQ, I am perfectly willing to sacrifice any remaining intelligence that I have, in order to maintain the "intelligent gay gene" argument.
5. Anonymous, you are not invited to join our elitest gene pool because your genetic make-up lacks a sense of humor. More than that, I'm sure that you are genetically predisposed to disapprove of Mixed-Orientation Marriages, of which I am a great fan, for obvious reasons.
6. g'pa bob, as you can see, we are all insane, but very smart and attractive and, well, gay. You're welcome to join in the fun...at your own risk (and the risk of your gene pool--you never know when you might become gay by choice or association), of course. :)

Samantha said...

P.S. Item number 4: I meant "grad-school" not "med-school". Keep this in mind if you decide to take me up on my offer to loan intelligence (how embarrassing).

Another Other said...

We're all descendents of Johnson???? That explains so much! We're all just one big happy queer family. That's just more tender than I can express in words... *weeps effeminately*

G'pa Bob said...

Thank you Samantha - what a creative statement. As you said, everything is genetic. But, and I fear to ask another question, is choice genetic? I don't think so? It seems that there is another side of mortals the exercise of which can make choice stronger than genetics.

Your (you and each of you) company is greatly enjoyed.
G'pa Bob

emma said...

hehehe -- As my son said to me last week, "I think there are too many egocentric people in this family." (He is currently taking a high school psychology class. So I not only have to deal with a teen, but one who is becoming 'scientifically' expert in analyzing me beyond the norm ;-).

Though I add the above comment in jest, I am struck by these posts because 1. a sense of humor can be critical in dealing with life's challenges. 2. Some people just don't have a sense of humor. 3. Sometimes I find myself most depressed when I give too much heed to my struggles.

Just so we don't think we are too special because we deal with SSA and not another challenge that may or may not be genetic, I throw this out for your semi-serious and possibly very non-scientific consideration: I am the descendant of a long line of alcoholics. I have chosen not to drink. I choose not to take part in that lifestyle. I realize that genetically I have the high possibility of becoming an alcoholic myself. I agree with the sentiment that no matter what we are given in life - and whether it is a genetic challenge or not - does not matter. It is the choices we make that lead us along our path to Godhood. (Was that serious enough for everyone?) Emma