Re: Homosexuality: male & female

Mary Beth Williams (
11 Sep 1996 13:29:10 GMT

In <515fpv$> (Yousuf Khan)
>On 10 Sep 1996 07:51:04 -0500, (Lars Eighner) wrote:
>>In our last episode <512qo1$>,
>>Broadcast on sci.anthropology
>>The lovely and talented (Yousuf Khan) wrote:

>>>Is it just my imagination or do male homosexuals tend to outnumber
>>Every study has found this to be the case. There are good reasons
>>to suppose the studies are biased and that some cultural biases will
>>prevent people from recognizing female homosexuality when they
>>see it, but the disparity is so great and so uniform that it is not
>>really within the realm of reason to attribute all the difference
>>to the various biases.
>So let me get this straight (I'm not being facetious here, I really am
>certain what you are saying here), you're saying:
>(1)yes, males outnumber females because the studies say so.
>(2)however, this could be because of cultural biases
>(3)however, even if cultural biases are factored in nearly every
>out with nearly equal numbers, so it can't be because of cultural
>Is that right? It's between points #2 and #3 that I got kinda lost.
>>However, there really is no good reason to suppose a priori that
>>male homosexuality and female homosexuality would be symmetrical
>>phenomena. So far the interesting but far from conclusive attempts
>>at finding a biological basis of homosexuality have almost all
>>restricted themselves to male subjects or made wholly unwarrented
>>assumptions about female subjects. Female homosexuality has been
>>extensively under-studied and ignored.
>Why should this be the case anymore? I've seen for decades now that
>psychology majors are evenly male and female, so one would think that
>studies should be symmetrical now too, since the studiers are now
>distributed too.

Just because the researchers are evenly distributed by gender does not
translate into an corresponding distribution in interest in the
research. Funding, publication, etc., still favor studies based on
male subjects/interests, and thus even women who want to *succeed* in
the field pursue a more *traditional*, i.e., male preference, line of

This has been the case in archaeology for a long time. Women have
entered the field in increasing numbers in the last 20-30 years,
however, *gender*-based research has only been *hot* for the last 10,
and even now, women are its main proponents (I can count on two hands
the number of men who participated in the last Gender and Archaeology
(Boone) Conference, compared with the many score of women.) This is
particularly troubling as *gender* archaeology is not about *adding
women and stirring*, but deals with issues effecting all genders.
Still, in many academic circles, admitting that your research invoives
issues of gender can pigeon-hole you as a *non-scientific*
archaeologist, a professional death-warrant in many institutions.

MB Williams
Dept. of Anthro., UMass-Amherst