During my research of The Fraternal Birth Order Effect, I came across the following “facts” that I found to be interesting. Thought I’d share. Muah!
“The fraternal birth order effect is limited to younger boys who are right-handed. In other words, if a younger boy has many older brothers but is left-handed, he does not have an elevated chance of being gay…The right-handed exception to the fraternal birth order effect was particularly surprising because other research had previously uncovered another puzzler: Both men and women who are left-handed are slightly more likely to be gay.” (source: San Francisco Chronicle)
“With regard to sexual orientation, the most likely outcome of childhood gender identity disorder is homosexuality or bisexuality.” (source: Wikipedia)
“Prenatal exposure to nicotine, amphetamine, or thyroid-gland hormones increases the chances of giving birth to lesbian daughters.” (source: Wikipedia)
“Stress in pregnancy makes birth of a gay son likelier.” (source: Wikipedia)
“Curiously, gay men also have fingerprint patterns rather like those of heterosexual women. Most people have more fingerprint ridges on their right hand. Jeff Hall and Doreen Kimura (1994) observed that this right-versus-left difference is less true of females and gay males than of heterosexual males–a difference that these researchers believe is due to prenatal hormones.” (source: Soulforce)
I LOST it at the lesbian daughters quote. LMFAO, etc.
I’m so glad to have stumbled upon this blog. Keep being fabulous, you lot.
‘Both men and women who are left-handed are slightly more likely to be gay’
I’m left handed. And Gay. Whod’ve thunk it LOL…
Here is a reading suggestion for you: “Queer Science: The Use and Abuse of Research into Homosexuality”. It should be available on Amazon.
This kid could really use some help just a shout out on your blog or anything really he’s a transgender guy who is in a really tuff spot an also just learned that in december he will not be able stay at gis parents anymore an has no place to go so if you could just go to the website read his story write to his girlfriend if you have questions meltedplasticbag.tumblr.com/donate any kind of help would be appreciated by the both of them
How interesting. Both of my older brothers, and my ENTIRE FAMILY are right handed. I’m not even kidding when I say that I am the only left-handed (well, ambidextrous, but I write lefty) person entirely in my mother and father’s extended families.
I am bisexual.
I will however have to stop believing anything at the Wikipedia sources. Unless the Wikipedia article comes from a specific source (and is noted), I do not believe it.
Not sure I’d quote these as “facts”, but certainly interesting tidbits of opinions. In the long run though, who cares why it happens??
Perhaps a more pertinent question than “what makes a man/woman heterosexual/homosexual” then would be to investigate what the mechanism is for attraction in and of itself. Also, what are the sources on the insistance on gender differentiation as a model for human existence.
In absolute truth, the differences between the putative genders are nothing like as marked, (or intrinsically marked, at least) than the differences between individuals other than their putative genders. The determination to insist on the assignment of one or other of the genders to every individual is pretty draconian…
Explain the ambidextrous. Have fun with that one…
““Stress in pregnancy makes birth of a gay son likelier.” (source: Wikipedia)”
That makes me laugh a lot. I never trust Wikipedia for ANYTHING.
Who cares why it happens?! My concern with all this research is that it’s leading to prevention of anything outside the heterosexual norm.
Yeah, I feel like there’s a rush to confirm or disconfirm the ‘Born This Way’ hypothesis because most people think it has some moral significance. If people are born gay then I guess you have to accommodate them. Nothing you can do right? But if they’re not, feel free to impose whatever norm you want! (Cos that makes sense, right?)
The ‘Born This Way’ argument represents a huge swirling vortex of doubt, of lack of conviction, at the heart of the mainstream LGBT movement. It will never succeed as long as it continues to tow that line.
If you rely on the ‘Born This Way’ argument — if you think this is a good way to convince people being gay is not wrong — you commit yourself to the idea that someone who freely chose to enter into a homoerotic relationship would be somehow worse, somehow less innocent than someone who was born with exclusively homoerotic desire. And if you believe that, then by logical consequence you must also believe that — all other things being equal — heterosexual lust & love is on higher ground than homosexual lust & love. If being gay is only okay if you can’t help it, then it can’t be all that great.
Essentially the ‘Born This Way’ argument amounts to this: “Yeah, it’s probably not ideal that some people are gay, but there’s nothing you can do about it! Not everyone can be heterosexual, so you might as well let them have full love lives and sex lives rather than force them to be single and celibate! Baaaaabbby I was born this waaaayyy!” Imagine Lady Gaga signing that while she thrashes self-righteously.
Let me propose a provisional alternative to this ultimately self-loathing outlook: Sex is good. Pleasure is good. A body that is regulated by social norms is bad. A body radically free of judgment and restriction is sexy. And, in sexuality, what is normal is probably hegemonic.
I agree. It shouldn’t matter whether someone is Born This Way or chooses it. But I think that society – particularly the very vocal religious community – needs to accept that most people outside the sexual / gender norm /were/ born that way, before it can take the next step and accept that freely chosen love and self-identity isn’t sinful or shameful or wrong.
Baby steps. We’ve come so far, even in my lifetime, and I expect, by the time I die, that full equality will be the only socially acceptable outcome, and that the bigots will at least have to pretend tolerance in order to get along with others.
I am a left handed first born who was designated male at birth. I am exclusively attracted to women. From my very earliest memories my internal gender identity has been female. I remember a conversation I had with my mother when I was three or four in which I insisted that girls could have penises since I had a penis. I was very sad, way back when, to be told that girls never had penises.
I think it’s important look at this kind of research with a critical eye. Keep in mind most individual findings in science, especially in relatively undeveloped research areas, are overturned or generally turn out to be irrelevant. A few studies with intriguing results amount to a flashing red light saying “Investigate This!” but until you have a sizeable body of work it is a grave mistake to draw definitive conclusions.
Here’s the other thing: scientists who do research on gender and sexuality are basing their experimental design off of a theoretical model, and also interpreting their observations in terms of that model. In other words, long before they ever lay their hands on a petri dish, scientists (like all of us) already have fairly elaborate understandings of what the phenomena — gender and sexuality — are. This might seem like a trivial point but it is worth belabouring. If you had no idea what gender and sexuality were, what could possibly lead you to generate testable hypothesis about them? Where would the motivation to study them come from?
The point I’m trying to make in all this is that the science on gender and sexuality is born out of a certain prescientific understanding of gender and sexuality. In the same way detectives can ask a suspect leading questions about a crime, scientists often ask leading questions about gender and sexuality. The research you have cited is the result of some scientists asking the question “What makes a boy become a gay man?” This may seem like a reasonably objective question, but nay! It is in fact only intelligble given an underlying set of cultural ideas. If you asked this question to a scientist in ancient Greece, they wouldn’t have known what you meant. To the Greeks, all people were innately attracted to all beautiful things. Every man was innately attracted to men, but to uphold his masculinity and avoid becoming womanly (god forbid!) he had to control his desire. (Well, really, the only thing that would really jeopardize his masculinity would be playing the passive role in intercourse, but I don’t want to get sidetracked here.) Rather than being seen as aberrant perversity of certain individuals, homosexual desire (or at least desire to be in the passive role) was seen as a universal challenge for each man to overcome, a test of will and self-control. So, to the Greeks, the question “What makes a boy become a gay man?” would be nonsense. (In fact, according to historians of sexuality, the notion of “the homosexual” didn’t arise until around the 17th century.) Can we account for the discrepancy between ancient Greek sexuality and post-Victorian Western sexuality with hormone differences?
Another problematic question scientists ask is: “What makes lesbians so man-like that they desire women?” But why not ask: “What makes lesbians so womanly that desire to be with women all the time?” Then there is the search for the “gay gene”. But if this search is a sound scientific project, couldn’t we also locate a “straight gene”? If the notion of a “straight gene” is hard to compute, maybe that reveals that the “gay gene” is only intelligible because we think of homosexuality as a condition, like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, or because we think of it as a simple modifier of the norm & default, rather than a sexuality of its own right on equal footing with heterosexuality.
Phew, we are saved!!! My second son, who is definitely gender non-conforming is also most defiantly left handed. Looks like I should have listened to all the nay sayers and help him to man up while waiting for him to grow out of it!!!!
“Stress in pregnancy makes birth of a gay son likelier.” (source: Wikipedia)
That’s my favorite! I’m just imaging the “crazy-eyes” Bachman going on about this one.