Let's Talk About Homosexuality, Shall We?

August 24, 2021

Homosexuality is often a taboo topic in Malaysia due to the religion.

Ideally, homosexuality should not exist simply because it doesn’t yield offsprings, which means it won’t help passing on genes, which then means it is not useful. Yet nature is always a wonderland - no one knows all, we can only know more.

Same-sex attraction is far more common in humans than most people thought. If we want to remove all the external factors (culture, upbringing, belief etc), biologists would get the clues from other animals, especially the closest ones (chimps). It turns out same-sex behaviours are not rare at all, even widespread across all animal groups, from insects to reptiles to primates.

Enough about the evolutionary background of homosexuality. Let’s dive in a little more on this article:

1. The team analysed the genomes of 477,522 people - sample size is pretty huge

2. (This is the cool part) The researchers used a computer algorithm to simulate human evolution over 60 generations. They found that the array of genetic variations associated with same-sex behaviour would have eventually disappeared, unless it somehow helped people to survive or reproduce.

3. They tried to identify the “gay genes” but found none that’s significant, consistent with the previous studies

4. Mini conclusion: Genes linked to same-sex sexual behaviour are also found in straight people and cause them to have more partners.

Nonetheless, this study has received quite a few criticism from psychologists to geneticists, suggesting that the paper can’t draw any real conclusions about genetics and sexual orientation. Yet it does provide a statistical link between the variables studied.

Afterthought: We compare ourselves to animals in many evolutionary studis. Animals are by no means inferior to us - we are carbon-based machines made of cells, tissues, organs, hormones etc, Which is why we tested Covid-19 vaccines on animals - mice and macaques to be exact. They gave important comparable statistics & data as how it'd affect human body. So should we compare ourselves to animals? Of course.


[1] Genomic evidence consistent with antagonistic pleiotropy may help explain the evolutionary maintenance of same-sex sexual behaviour in humans” by Brendan P. Zietsch, Morgan J. Sidari, Abdel Abdellaoui, Robert Maier, Niklas Långström, Shengru Guo, Gary W. Beecham, Eden R. Martin, Alan R. Sanders and Karin J. H. Verweij, 23 August 2021, Nature Human Behaviour.DOI: 10.1038/s41562-021-01168-8