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Armchair Hypothesis – A Concurrence In Part

January 12, 2010

Since this is such a controversial, though in my opinion not entirely unreasonable, viewpoint, I feel it necessary to shed light on my own views on the subject.

Justin may be right that what’s at play here is not entirely genetic, but I’m not prepared to believe that sexuality is 100% cultural.  I’m not even sure it’s mostly cultural.  Justin hasn’t addressed how tallness and fitness are almost universally found attractive across cultures.  Nor that high-income and intelligence are similarly thought of as prime considerations in finding mates both in the East and West. Nor that animals, despite a lack of televisions and billboards, sometimes practice homosexuality in the wild.  This common knowledge (and plenty of other studies on cross-cultural attraction) should lend credence to the idea that there are some evolutionary, and therefore, genetic pressures on attraction.

But I’m not sure how else to reconcile the meme that ‘sexuality is a spectrum’ without taking a hard look at the spectrums within the spectrums as Justin has done.  It’s highly doubtful that a gene like “Loves the Simpsons” or “Has Killer Tattoos” is hard-wired into our genetic code, the same way that I doubt a preference between the protagonists in Twilight or 17 Again is.  I therefore share Justin’s skepticism that there exists a 100% controlling “gay gene,” especially given the existence of the androgynous David Bowie, who is hot no matter what you have between your legs.

Furthermore, holding up “sexuality is only genetic” as a canard for political correctness’ sake is dangerous. Genetic justifications for otherizing disadvantaged groups have done as much, if not more, harm than those based on beliefs and customs developed through experience.  I hope I don’t need to offer evidence for this assertion.

I find it a much healthier idea, if we aren’t concerned about the science (which I’m also not versed in), for us all to to believe that any one of us could have been more or less attracted to the same sex if not for some random events each member of society could conceivably and inevitably experience.  It is at this point that the firm distinctions between what a gay person is and what a straight person is break down, allowing us to view sexuality in a more mature and nuanced light.

Not to trivialize this obviously touchy subject, but this is also the reason that music and film snobs should get over themselves – these tastes are partially determined by a right-brain dominated personality, but also partially determined by exposure that individuals in no way caused to come about.  But somehow I get the feeling that we are going to come together on LGBT rights and realities much, much sooner than we will get consensus on what it means to love The Fast and The Furious.


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