Re: Homosexuality: male & female

Robert Long (
Sun, 29 Sep 1996 15:18:37 GMT

On 27 Sep 1996 18:14:01 -0500, (Lars Eighner) wrote:

|In article <empty-2409960615140001@>,
|Posted to: sci.anthropology
| (CU Student) wrote:
|> Blah Blah Blah!
|> i recall a recent issue (Spring '96?) of FORBE'S MEDIA WATCH -- "Hyping
|>the Gay Gene" -- which noted that both the samples on which the genetics
|>of sex orientation claim was based were very small,
|This true. Moreover, they have been done without real controls.
|The studies compare similarity of base sequences in certain regions
|against statistical models of the likelyihood of the sequences being
|the same. What they have not done is compare the base sequences with
|those of a heterosexual control group.


I'm a writer, rather than an anthropologist, but I hope I won't offend
if I offer a footnote here based on two observations: 1) the genius of
Shakespeare, and 2) the intensitivity and negativity with which some
people react when they discover in themselves a sexual impulse that
does not conform to their own sexuality definition.

How is it, I wondered, that Shakespeare, demonstrably writing at
speed, rather than drafting and carefully polishing, could so
consistently come up with so precisely apt images--images that seem to
be inherent to the personality and character of the figure into whose
mouth he is placing them? My answer, which has evolved gradually over
many years, is that, like a green-thumb horticulturalist, he was able
to "grow" his characters within his own psyche for long enough to
write them down. He was, after all, an actor. He had the knack of
focusing a mental image of his characters and putting into motion, so
to speak.

>From this consideration has grown an ecological view of the human
psyche. If we take a local ecology--say, a meadow--and study it
minutely over a lifetime, we will find that it is the recipient of an
enormous variety of seeds, blown in, washed in, dropped by birds or
carried in animal fur. Some germinate readily and flourish, some
germinate but languish, some don't even germinate. Considerations of
moisture, sunlight, pH, nutrients, and so on will not only affect
different seeds differently but can differ from one part of our meadow
to another. If we tend the meadow--say religiously removing all
thistles but leaving everything else--it will perforce have an effect
on the population of our meadow. But the population will exert its
own peer-pressure so to speak. Let's say a maple sapling spring up in
a sunny spot. As it grows it will cast a larger and deeper shadow
with every passing year, and this will profoundly alter the ecology of
the area beneath it and to its norrth (in this hemisphere).

Even so, the seed/potential of the human personality is enormously
varied and can be altered by both time and intent. Potentially, I
believe, every human personality is capable of any impusle to which
any other personality is subject. Literally, we are all murders, in
embryo. But the combination of dominant species (call them scruples
or ethics or whatever) and of positive husbandry keeps most human
"ecologies" from supporting such sinister growths.

That certainly is not to say, however, that meadows cannot be
inherently different--sunnier (depending on climate or latitude) or
wetter than another, for example. Perhaps some human meadows really
are potentially "gay." But I strongly suspect that at least
short-term they can sustain a heterosexual blossoming.

The problem seems to lie with the notion that these multiple species
are mutually exclusive, and that each human meadow must be given some
sort of sexuality tag. We seem absolutely obsessed with this idea in
our culture, and I believe it can be enormously destructive. I
remember in particular an episode in which a self-styled "straight"
ex-marine was goaded into a fury by the discovery of a homosexual
impulse within himself. Thistles can be quite lovely (as Walt Disney
emphasized in Fantasia) if we don't let them take over the meadow.
Why can't we just say, "Oh, there's a thistle among the grasses and
daisies and black-eyed susans and maiden pinks and wild strawberries
and whatnot." and let it go at that?

This is not to advocate unbridled hedonism. Obviously some growths
must be kept in check. Anyone who suffers from pedophilia, for
example, had better confine it to fantasy if the impulse is not to
turn destructive--of the objects of his or her affections and,
ultimately of the pedophiliac. No garden grows well without some