Wednesday, June 07, 2006


I'm going to take on this topic, knowing full well I'll probably get a lot of offensive comments that will have to go in the trash.

Not wanting to say anything too heavy. But. I would like to hear some scientific input about the gays.... [some stuff asking about why gay men like anal sex] Is this a biological mechanism for population control ?

-- Anonymous commenter

I've chosen to censor some of Anonymous' comment that was more explicit - and distractingly so - in favor of discussing the main point:

I guess I can see how a straight man might not be able to relate to being the catcher in a game of anal sex. I for one haven't tried it and I suspect it would be painful the first few times- much like more 'traditional' intercourse between a man and a woman. But that's why God invented Astroglide, am I right ladies? (Anonymous commenter apparently isn't aware of the whole industry devoted to commercial lubricants.)

Um, since when are we talking about legalizing gay sex? There are already incredibly outdated, offensive laws against gay sex in some states. Obviously those states shouldn't legalize gay marriage without fixing those laws first.

Actually, I just thought of something. What if legalizing gay marriage made it easier for the gay-bashers to find your address and show up at your house? Would all the newly-married gays wake up to burning crosses on their lawns?


I find it interesting, sociologically speaking, that some straight men freak out at the idea of gay men having sex on a regular basis.

As if the presence of gay male sex, and god forbid, giving everyone equal rights, would somehow equate with a risk to straight men of ending up on the women's side of things-?!

What could be scarier, I have to ask, than being treated like a woman in today's society?

Being treated the way we treat gays.


Is being gay a more evolved way of life and a mechanism for population control?

Yes, I've definitely thought so.

Is it genetic?

I think so. I think there are pretty good data, especially from studies of Drosophila genetics, that it is caused by biological mechanism, that it is not a choice. Furthermore, since this entire debate began, there is evidence from almost every sexual organism that homosexual pairings occur throughout nature in most species.

Does any of that matter for this debate?

I don't think the issue of being gay is the problem here. Amazingly, the conservatives seem to have learned not to make an issue out of that this time around.

No, I think equal rights, and separation of church and state, are at issue here.


What I don't understand is, why straight people in this country are so goddamned insecure about their marriages. As John Stewart put it nicely last night on the Daily Show, "It's not like 50% of marriages end in gayness."

So where's the threat?

Stewart's guest last night was particularly offensive, saying that gays only deserve to be parts of families in the roles of sons and daughters, not as partners in marriages or having children of their own. Then he went on to make the so-called 'slippery slope' argument about how legalizing gay marriage will lead to legalizing polygamy.

I find these arguments really interesting since it's absolutely not the way I think. To me, gay relationships are the most egalitarian of all, while polygamy is the least egalitarian.

I think there should be age limits on marriage, and no one should have to get married against their will. Other than that, why do we have to make laws about it?

Because, they say, it's so important. And the catchphrase they've been using is "the most important human institution"

Is there really such a thing? Do we really need to be institutionalized in every aspect of our lives?

This sounds like typical Republican framing to me.


I'm really frightened that, as someone aptly put it on tv today, we have almost 50 ELECTED BIGOTS who voted for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage today.

My own home state is going to be among those putting the issue on the ballot this fall. In the past, they've passed things like banning books.

Banning books. Banning marriages. Just think on that for a while. Then think about how we supposedly stand for freedom, and what year it is.

Welcome to 2006. Are things getting better, or are they getting worse?


At 7:32 PM, Blogger Abel PharmBoy said...

I'm with you on all counts and suggest that you may enjoy the Orrin Hatch/Ted Kennedy exchange as moderated here at The Two Percent Company.

At 7:35 PM, Blogger etbnc said...

Wow. Well, I suspect the lack of comments is only because blogspot has been down much of the day.

With the can open and lots o' worms released, it's difficult to comment on anything in particular.

As you mentioned in passing, this is a manufactured debate. The Neocon party invents this stuff just to distract voters from things that actually matter to our quality of life.

It's important to reject their manufactured crap. Thanks; I'm glad you spoke out against it. Beyond that, I'm inclined to refuse to play along with their bogus game.

At 12:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, I would like to comment on the last post. I agree that this issue does not matter to my life so much, but there is a signifigant voting bloc that cares about this stuff. I call them the people who live in the middle (of the country-(red states)). People who have never seen the ocean before. People who worship in those stadium sized churches. Anyway, they are fellow citizens and must be acknowledged by anyone serious about improving things.
I'm straight man and could not ever imagine being the pitcher either. Instant overcooked spagetti.
Politicians hate to repeal laws already on the books. Legal inertia.
The only valid reason reason I could come up with for gov't involvement in marriage is...........none. I think it is about exerting control over the people, kinda like the public school system does.
The main point I would like make is that the whole gay partnership is weird. If I forget about my intellectual sensibilites and just go on instinct it immediatly occurs to me that these people are odd. Try to convince yourself that their relationship is as beautiful as that between a man and a woman. I doubt you honestly can.
What about gays adopting kids? Imagine. What if our gov't built lavish orphanages that are equally as endowed, or even better, than the prep schools that Bush, Kerry, and Gore all went to. Doesn't it seem like the least our filthy rich gov't could do for kids without parents. My opinion is that this is would be better for a child than having two dads or two moms.
Does anyone else ever put off talking about good result for a few days so that they can take a little mini vacation from work. When people start wondering why you haven't been in lab you bust out your good data and act like you have been working really hard (at night ?) for the past few days. I've been using this for a long time but have never discussed it with anyone. Is this usual ? I hope my boss isn't reading this. I need to get my own blog, sorry for writing too much.
Here is a very relevant link June 7th post.

At 8:46 AM, Blogger etbnc said...

Did you have this article at Seed magazine in mind when you wrote your post?

Seed: The Gay Animal Kingdom

The article offers some interesting observations.

At 10:14 AM, Blogger Ms.PhD said...

Huh. I just wrote a whole comment in response and Blogger lost it. LOVELY.

The Seed thing is great, thanks- I hadn't seen that!

Sorry this is the short version:

If you don't have any gay friends, you wouldn't understand how gay relationships are beautiful. Get some gay friends. You seem open-minded, ish, so I think you can handle taking some time to get the information you need to really consider all sides of the issue.

Put yourself in their shoes: if you were gay, how would you want to be treated?

And, um, there is something to be said for separation of church and state. see link on my next post.

And, no, I don't put off telling anyone about my good results, at least not for the reasons that you do. But hey, congrats on getting good results. And you probably deserve a mini vacation if you're so worried about what you boss thinks. Fortunately I don't have this problem.

At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked the Seed article. I already knew about gay sheep, but not all the other species. There was an article in PNAS, 2006 103: 8269-8274, about a month ago dealing with phermones and it shows that straight men and lesbians have similar responses to a specific phermone. It's nice to see people studing the molecular basis of homosexuality, in fact it seems like a very interesting research area to be in, maybe even something to make a career out of.
Well, I need to go now so that I can go make some gay friends and see how beautiful their relationship is. But the are going to need to be lesbians -- I still must turn my head whenever the television shows two gay men kissing, it just gives me the willies. And yes I know that I am stuck in a permanent state of adolecence, in fact the only reason I read the PNAS article was to find out if the phermones are commerically available and who sells them ! .

At 10:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is my two cents:

When/if I get married I will seriously considering never informing the government about it. Why should I ? The usual reasons are not good enough for me.

From casual observation it appears that there are less gay people in science than there are in the general population. Anyone have any data or personal observations on this?

Comment moderation retards conversation and debate on the blogs.

At 10:44 AM, Blogger Ms.PhD said...

I agree about not letting the government know if you get married. That said, why bother getting married? These days, it seems to me that the biggest advantages have to do with things where you need to be able to prove you're legally married- insurance, power of attorney, that sort of stuff.

There may be fewer gay people in science, there are certainly fewer people who bother to check their grammar.

Seriously though, there is definitely pressure in science to stay in the closet. It's interesting, because I've worked at places where people were out, and it's the same as for women: groups who experience frequent discrimination tend to find it's better to stick together. Where I work now, I don't know many people who are really OUT. I don't think this means there are fewer gay people, necessarily. I still think the self-declaration polls vastly underestimate the gay population in this country.

I agree that comment moderation slows things down, but I get too much spam not to do it. Today, for example, I got two 'comments' advertising something having to do with dog food-? But originally I stopped letting just anybody comment because of some of incredibly offensive stuff people were posting. Nobody needs to read that.


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