Posted by: bridget | 13 April 2007

Women Indiscriminate but Picky Sex Partners, Study Finds

The New York Times, always good for mindless drivel, has sunk to a new low. In an article claiming that men and women are sexually dissimilar due to different neural wiring, and that gay men have different desires than straight men, the following testimony was presented for our perusal:

The most direct evidence comes from a handful of cases, some of them circumcision accidents, in which boy babies have lost their penises and been reared as female. Despite every social inducement to the opposite, they grow up desiring women as partners, not men….

Presumably the masculinization of the brain shapes some neural circuit that makes women desirable.

More, after the jump:

The y chromosome does not disappear during accidental castration; rather, it remains in every single cell of the body doing exactly what DNA usually does: providing instructions for carrying out life and making a functional human body. Neither does loss of the penis correlate to loss of testosterone: that hormone continues to be produced and will continue to act upon the brain.

But since gay men have about one-fifth as many children as straight men, any gene favoring homosexuality should quickly disappear from the population.

The NYT rambles on about the only possible mechanism for a continued gay gene is if gay men make better uncles, and then claims that there is proof to the contrary. It misses a larger point: genes rarely act alone. The gene that promotes homosexuality in men, if there is one, may promote fertility and nesty feelings in women. So long as the positive reproductive effects for women outweigh the negative reproductive effects for men, the gene will continue to be passed along. There is the interesting question of how birth order influences male homosexuality: apparently, it’s a gene, and it’s also a prenatal environment issue. Nonsensical, to say the least.

Such experiments do not show the same clear divide with women. Whether women describe themselves as straight or lesbian, “Their sexual arousal seems to be relatively indiscriminate — they get aroused by both male and female images,” Dr. Bailey said. “I’m not even sure females have a sexual orientation. But they have sexual preferences. Women are very picky, and most choose to have sex with men.”

Oh, mindless leftists should not mess around with science! Apparently, we’re picky and get aroused at anything, but are able to (Dr. Bailey is unclear here) ignore the mad rush of hormones at seeing our girlfriends in bikinis and be entirely finicky about partners.

Many social scientists (or archaelogists, for that matter) spend their lives finding evidence to support a pre-determined conclusion. Dr. Bailey has dispensed with the second step and just gathered evidence, whether or not it actually supports – or is even related to – his inner lesbian theory. At least he is creative and claims that women, deep down, really want Bill Gates and not Brad Pitt:

It so happens that an unusually large number of brain-related genes are situated on the X chromosome. The sudden emergence of the X and Y chromosomes in brain function has caught the attention of evolutionary biologists. Since men have only one X chromosome, natural selection can speedily promote any advantageous mutation that arises in one of the X’s genes. So if those picky women should be looking for smartness in prospective male partners, that might explain why so many brain-related genes ended up on the X.

“It’s popular among male academics to say that females preferred smarter guys,” Dr. Arnold said. “Such genes will be quickly selected in males because new beneficial mutations will be quickly apparent.”

Nerdy doctors with lesbian fantasies should be relegated to subterranean laboratories. Since this rule, which would appear to be nearly axiomatic, was violated, Dr. Bailey should be addressed:

Great theory, except for a little problem: the logical conclusion of is the exact opposite of the one proffered. Men should drool over smart, nerdy women, as they are the ones whose intelligence genes actually get passed on to the next generation.

Men get their X chromosomes from their mothers, while women get one X from each parent. Ergo, women influence 3/4ths of the intelligence of the children, while men only influence half of their daughter’s intelligence. It doesn’t matter if a guy has an amazing X chromosome; if his wife is, say, Britney Spears, his sons will be drooling idiots. Contrariwise, women’s intelligence directly (and entirely) influences their sons’ intelligence and half of their daughter’s brains. So unless a guy wants sons who are the first to be stomped on by a woolly mammoth, he ought to find a smart woman.

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Responses

  1. very interesting. i like the part about women influencing intelligence of children :) although my dad is a genius… guess i didn’t get that ;)

  2. LOL! Well, half of your x-chromosomes are from your dad, so you can’t be that bad. ;)

    I remember when my cousin heard that women are the main factor behind their son’s intelligence. She turned to her husband (who had a wife and a son before her, and was extremely proud of said son’s intelligence), and started chanting, “Debbie Debbie Debbie!” (Well, the ex’s name isn’t Debbie, but you get the point.)

  3. The gene that promotes homosexuality in men, if there is one, may promote fertility and nesty feelings in women. So long as the positive reproductive effects for women outweigh the negative reproductive effects for men, the gene will continue to be passed along. There is the interesting question of how birth order influences male homosexuality: apparently, it’s a gene, and it’s also a prenatal environment issue. Nonsensical, to say the least.

    This was an interesting reflection on genetic inheritance. Thanks for it.

  4. Kenneth,

    Thanks for reading. My last sentence (upon reflection) should be re-written. I’m not sure how scientists can, on one had, claim that gay men are genetically doomed, while simultaneously claiming that men are gay because of prenatal conditions.

    Oddly, there is some genetic component to infertility. One would think that no amount of social pressure (unlike that of gay men) would allow afflicted people to pass on their genes, but it happens. As an engineer, I can’t help but think that we ought to look at this in the aggregate, not one gene at a time.


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