June 20, 2007

Good title, good article

In New York:

The Science of Gaydar
If sexual orientation is biological, are the traits that make people seem gay innate, too? The new research on everything from voice pitch to hair whorl.
By David France

My 1994 National Review article "Why Lesbians Aren't Gay," which lists three dozen traits where statistical differences among the sexual orientations are found, appears to have held up well over the years.


My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

21 comments:

Shouting Thomas said...

Steve,

It would be interesting to hear your comments on just why the topic of conversation is always gaydom. I can remember a time when we talked about other things and didn't really pay much attention to this.

Is this some kind of evolutionary change? Having reached 6 billion people, do we no longer need to insist that everybody reproduce? Is this obsession really a birth control method?

Anonymous said...

Two thoughts:

1. Nobody ever talks about asexuality: not being attracted to anyone. Most people don't get too worked up over those not interested in dating. Well, perhaps just a little...

2. As can be expected by a gay writer, the article doesn't broach the topic at all as to why Gays are universally despised and have been throughout history. At one point or two, religious far-righters are referenced as though they are the only ones upset by gayness.

He even proposes the notion, backed with data, that those who believe being gay is biological are more tolerant and therefore, educating the public would be good thing for Gays. I think this is mostly correct, but unfortunate. Liberalism reigns and teaches that all peoples and cultures are equal. All the pathologies associated with the gay lifestyle have been downplayed and even blamed on heterosexuals... in order to equalize the two groups.

The author believes that prejudice results from primitive beliefs... I will believe my lying eyes, however.

Anonymous said...

3 gays guys live next to my girlfriend, but only one of them has the stereotypical gay lisp/mannerisms and is a bit "over the top" (he is also a florist). I am pretty sure that gays choose to speak/act in what I would call the typical gay manner as I have known a few gay guys who would not strike me as typically gay in mannerism, speech, etc...
Puerly anecdotal of course.

fifi said...

I find it difficult to believe that the hormonal or immunological environment in the womb determines sexual orientation.

Maybe a sketch artist could draw the heterosexual version of a gay person or vice versa. It might be interesting to see the version that would've existed had they been born earlier or later, or if mom hadn't been stressed during pregnancy, etc.

Anonymous said...

I'm keeping a running tally of observed lesbians: so far, 9 out of 9 people I have good reason to believe are "real" lesbians (i.e. not wishy washy experimental bi-sexual types) had ring fingers longer than index fingers. It's sometimes difficult to get a surreptitious reading. Suppose a potential mate has had some lesbian flings; the finger length test may help distinguish whether or not she's just a cool person willing to stretch the boundries a bit (longer index), or a genuine les. who will humiliate you when she eventually leaves you for a woman (longer ring).

josh said...

Everybody's checking their "hair whorl" now! :D Happy to report I am clockwise,baby!

hans gruber said...

Good article! I have often felt that it's pure nonsense to discuss gay marriage as a unified, all or nothing proposition. Truth be told, people are much more amenable to same sex marriage for lesbians than men (I wouldn't be suprised if lesbian marriages proved more stable in many ways). Still, the lack of a male role model would certainly take its toll on any children, but the stability of the marital bond would be, I think, quite strong.

The promiscuity found among gay males has less to do with their gayness than with the the lack of a female sexual break in the equation. Thus, gay males are inherently more likely to cheat on a spouse (because of the ease of which sex is obtained). Thus, in addition to a lack of gender diversity in common to both kinds of gay marriage, gay male marriage is presented with a particular problem regarding stability and longevity not found in the case of lesbian marriage.

I'm sure gay men like treating it as a unified question, as if one concedes the desireability of lesbian marriage then one must accept gay male marriage as well.

Anonymous said...

I'm keeping a running tally of observed lesbians

Let me know if you need any more data. I work at one of the "seven sister" colleges. Lesbians abound. Not sure how I'd get an accurate reading, however.

Anonymous said...

Oh geez, trying to connect handedness and hair whorl to homosexuality. How strong is the correlation? Isn't handedness connected to IQ, specifically left-handed males, a lot more strongly than to homosexuality? As an engineer I certainly worked with a ton of smart lefty guys and only ever recall one openly gay one. Also, hair whorls are correlated with handedness.

Anonymous said...

Oh geez, trying to connect handedness to homosexuality. How strong is the correlation? Isn't being a left handed male pretty strongly correlated to above average IQ. As an engineer I certainly worked with a lot of smart left guys and can only recall one openly gay one in a 20 year career. Additionally, hair whorls are connected to handedness.

sf said...

"As an engineer I certainly worked with a ton of smart lefty guys and only ever recall one openly gay one."

Yeah, but you're an engineer, a masculine profession, so there aren't that many gay guys to begin with. Now if you were an actor...

Isn't handedness connected to IQ, specifically left-handed males, a lot more strongly than to homosexuality? As an engineer I certainly worked with a ton of smart lefty guys and only ever recall one openly gay one. Also, hair whorls are correlated with handedness.
Two things can be correlated with a third thing without being correlated with each other particularly strongly (ie Cov(X,Y)>0 and Cov(X,Z)>0 but Cov(Y,Z)=0). It can even be negative: practice of Judaism and East Asian ethnic origin are positively correlated with IQ, but I'm pretty sure East Asians who practice Judaism are pretty rare.

Human behavior is a composite of thousands of genetic and environmental factors, each of which is correlated to some degree to each other.

Anonymous said...

From the last para: It’s bizarre to think some value systems might lump gayness in with —say— sickle-cell anemia or Down syndrome.

Bizarre to you, chief, not to me!

I think it's bizarre to write a whole article about physical differences that (statistically) mark male homosexuals and then conclude that gayness could be anything but an analog of, say, Down syndrome (hair whorl, harelip; what's the difference?).

(I don't mean gayness will necessarily be traced to a mutations in a single gene complex, just that gayness is obviously a serious developmental disorder with a syndrome of more- or- less visible physical symptoms to go along with the mental ones.)

(I also don't mean gayness is wicked. I don't think people afflicted by Down syndrome are wicked either.)

I think it's natural for homosexuals to tell themselves that they are good, desirable people just the way they are. And it's natural for homosexuals to fear they will feel lonely in a world devoid of young homosexuals. But I doubt they would be able to suppress any method which would enable parents to avert gayness in their children. The human drive to reproduce--and to see one's own offspring reproduce in turn--is too strong to be deflected by a handful of nearly sterile gay political activists.

Anonymous said...

How many dimensions to sexuality are there typically recognized in psychology? I know that many pedophiles are not classified as "homosexual" because their sexuality is said to be focused on age rather than sex. Maybe someone can do a study to see if there is a genetic component to pedophiles.

Anonymous said...

Why havent gays died out? If gays dont reproduce, why is the gay gene so persistent? I think I read something in the NYT about gays being smarter or more creative - which would make a least some sense. But, to me, this is an intriguing question - that Im sure Steve has considered himself.

SFG said...

An interesting theory I heard was that the genes that decrease fertility in men by making them gay increase fertility in women by giving them a stronger sex drive.

Most likely everyone has a female and male sexual program wired in, and in homosexuals the wrong one gets turned on. Apparently there are cell clusters in female rats you can stimulate to cause them to engage in mating behavior, so there's no reason there couldn't be similar systems in male and female humans causing us to do the same.

guest007 said...

I find it odd that one of the big question about homosexual is not answer. Is it evenly distributed amont the socio-economic class. I have always believed that gay men in the U.S. are more white and come from more affluent families than the averages male in the U.S. It could easily explain why college campus at expensive liberal arts colleges are much more gay than directional state universities.

dizzigillizbi said...

Lefthandedness, like colour blindness, offers advantages in a general population who don't have that trait, so it can be genetically based, but more lefthanders among homosexuals supports the idea that homosexuality is caused by some kind of brain infection. If righthandedness is genetically normal in the large majority and lefthandedness in a small minority, a pathological switch to the opposite handedness will produce far more lefthanders than righthanders.

tggp said...

guest007: The Inductivist has data.
http://inductivist.blogspot.com/2006/05/blacks-have-most-gays-and-fewest.html
http://inductivist.blogspot.com/2006/05/blacks-have-most-gay-men-i-thought-it.html

I think you can find more from the GSS at www.halfsigma.com especially when it comes to class, which HalfSigma seems more interested in.

Anonymous said...

From the Gaydar article:


“I will bet my life that if a quote-unquote cure was found, that the religious right would have no problem with genetic or other kind of prenatal manipulations. People who don’t think that’s a clear and present danger are simply not living in reality.”


Clearly, that person is not a parent. Oh, right, parents have no rights in this brave new world.

Anonymous said...

sfg says:


Most likely everyone has a female and male sexual program wired in, and in homosexuals the wrong one gets turned on. Apparently there are cell clusters in female rats you can stimulate to cause them to engage in mating behavior, so there's no reason there couldn't be similar systems in male and female humans causing us to do the same.


I think you have that slightly wrong. All of our genes have coding for each combination of sexual behavior. However, what gets constructed during development depends.

Some people end up as normal males and females as far as sexual orientation is concerned. Some don't.

If find Greg Cochran's virus theory of homosexuality persuasive, especially since there are observation in sheep that match. His theory is that a virus attacks the part of the developing brain in males that drives male behavior in the area of recognition of appropriate individuals to be sexually interested in, leaving behind a female-like system.

Anonymous said...

Why nothing about str8 guys who are always being accused of being gay, like me and a very large number of my friends. By the way, neither me nor the vast majority of my friends were effeminate in any way. We were just soft men, soft voices, very pretty, feminine looking faces and *some* of us were kind of wimpy and non aggressive (not ME!). I am so tired of this gaydar nonsense. It is so clear that neither gays nor str8's can reliably tell who is gay and who is not. I have never heard of a bigger bunch of nonsense than gaydar - I am sure that it does not exist as anything reliable at all.

What I have learned in my 50 years of life is that there is simply no way whatsoever to reliably determine which man is gay and which is not. The main way you can tell is the way the guy acts around you. Gay men act like they are attracted to you and they are ok with that. Str8 men in general do not act this way. This is the main way to tell - Hell with mannerisms etc. I have also met quite a few obviously totally str8 men who, to be frank, are pretty faggy and effeminate.

Though I don't promote it, judging from the huge number of "straight" young men in their 20's who have propositioned me in one way or another, I really think we need to take into account the incredible amount of situational homosexuality amongst basically str8 men in their teens and 20's.