Saturday, May 31, 2014

Gay genes

It is very likely that a certain reader or the occasional browser who reads the newspaper just to look important has just found out that their spouse, friend, sibling or neighbor is gay. I cannot blame the reader for asking what is wrong with that special person who has just dropped this bomb on you either by choice or by way of catching them.

A few months ago I came across an article that wrote on the biological basis of homosexuality in humans. This is all well and good until the writer warns of the danger of the study. Think about it, if the study concludes on a genetic malfunction or hormonal imbalances (note how both terms are negatives) than people would consider homosexuality as a disorder of some kind that can be "cured".

A concept of note I found particularly interesting is that of homosexual antagonism. The idea basically tries to explain how homosexuality in men has a prenatal cause. It can get very technical but the basic idea is this; men who have older brothers are more likely to be born gay.

The theory is that an antigen that makes unborn boys straight induces antibodies in the mother's immune system. This means that the mother's own immune system acts against the unborn boy's heterosexuality.After the pregnancy, the immune system is ready for another attack thereby increasing the chances of the next male sibling being gay.

I can already imagine the social uproar from gay-rights activists and sympathisers as expecting mothers start terminating or somehow altering their child's genetic sequence to prevent the child from being born gay.

Now, homosexuality will always be a touchy issue, but when homophobes have science in their arsenal, I foreseesexual apartheid. I know, that feels as weird as it sounds and when you have a homophobe in power, this just might be a possibility.

Homophobes aren't the only problem, as we have a history of pandemic deniers and the US has the unfortunate problem of climate-change deniers and those guys are just plain stupid and dangerous.

But back and closer to home, I think we really need to sit down and change the way we look at homosexuality and stop hiding behind religious and biological concepts and outright admit to senseless homophobia.

Historical misinformation may also play a role. Some people have this idea that homosexuality is only emerging now, as if it is a by-product of the times. A day at the history section at the local library might do a lot of us some good in this respect.

Some hide their staunch prejudices behind texts like the Holy Bible and say that it says this and that. Ah, and then there's the naturalist who claims how unnatural it is for a man to be romantically involved with another man.

I would personally think it unnatural if homosexuality never existed, I'd wonder how it is that we are hardwired to exclusively fall for only the opposite sex. Our intelligence and freewill distinguishes us from all the other creatures of this planet and part of that freewill compels us to challenge any conventions.

If this was not the case, science, art and even religion would not exist.

There would not be any need for these cultural traits. One flaw of the human race is our ways of settling differences and a misguided sense of self preservation. And history has
shown us how dangerous it is when segregation and the suppression of a group (be it racial, religious or sexual) are applied in an attempt to preserve a self elevated group.

Even Voldomort failed in his attempts to eradicate mud-bloods. We are more than our genes and I think we have evolved beyond the ideas and propaganda of old. If we don't like something, we should just out and say it, and engage like sane human beings in constructive debate and maybe we can all just try to get along.

I know history is against us but if one reader should apply an open mind toward homosexuality than I haven't wasted a good hour writing this.

Stay hungry. Stay curious. Keep an
open mind.

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