The Shaker Revival

Sometimes, when watching the ever-accelerating madness spreading through our ‘elites’, I worry. When Judith Shulevitz says “Scientists mostly agree that sexual identity is multifarious, not binary: fungible, not fixed.”, it sure sounds as if the EndTimes are approaching. You can recognize the fifth Horseman by the arrow through his head.

Then again, if you think about it, it’s just possible that this problem is going to solve itself. And in so doing, solve many other problems at the same time.

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194 Responses to The Shaker Revival

  1. Ron Pavellas says:

    People of uncertain sexuality are unlikely to reproduce as frequently or as those who are certain of being male or female, yes?

    • saintonge235 says:

              Predicting what crazy people will do is difficult. Doesn’t sound like they’ll want to breed, though. For which thank Ghu.

      Think of it as evolution in action.

    • MawBTS says:

      If you mean sexual orientation, yes, homosexuals don’t have many children. In Australia, about 11% of gay men report being parents. The pattern is stronger for male homosexuals than females – I suspect because many women who self-describe as gay actually aren’t.

      If you mean transgenderism/transexualism, it’s almost certainly true but we don’t have numbers and “trans” can mean a lot of things.

      A person who suffers from gender dysphoria is still physically capable of reproducing. A man who takes androgen blockers to become more feminine runs the risk of becoming infertile (depending on the dose), as does a woman who injects testosterone.

      A man who has had “bottom surgery” is definitely infertile, since the procedure involves removing the testes. In the case of women, I’m not so sure. I believe vaginoplasties alter the appearance of the genitalia, but leave the ovaries intact?

      “Intersex” individuals (Klinefelter syndrome, sexual mosaicism, and all the rest) might be infertile, or they might not be, depending on what you’re talking about.

      There’s still a lot of “unknowns”. For example, puberty blockers.

      Traditionally, pituitary gland inhibiting hormones like Leuprorelin are given to children who start puberty too early. Now, some trans activists feel that children who suffer from gender dysphoria should be put on them too, so that they have more time to make up their minds on whether they’re a boy or a girl.

      Are there problems with doing this? We aren’t sure. Leuprorelin’s still a pretty recent drug, and we haven’t studied the effects of delaying puberty indefinitely. Infertility? Osteoporosis? Nobody fucking knows. But it’s a trans rights issue, so full speed ahead.

      “We feel that this is a medical necessity when the parents and the child agree that this is what they want,” says Jamison Green, the president of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, which publishes widely-used protocols for the medical care of transgender patients. “Not providing this treatment is actually quite damaging.”

      • teageegeepea says:

        I know a variety of conditions fall under the “intersex” rubric, but I can’t say I recall hearing of anyone specifically classified as such who had children.

        There are some men who had children and later declared themselves intersex. I know Bailey distinguished the subset dubbed “autogynephiles”, which I believe tended to be later onset. Sailer wrote that he suspected steroid use when they were younger could play a role.

        • MawBTS says:

          There was an athlete called Ewa Kłobukowska who was an XX/XXY mosaic and conceived a child, so I guess you never know. Intersex just means you possess traits that make your sex unclear (usually as assessed by a doctor in the delivery room). Maybe your plumbing still works.

          What’s interesting about transgenderism is that it appears to have a substantial heritable component (about 62%). It’s known to correlate to stuff like androgen insensitivity, which is heritable. And sure enough, you see a reasonable number of siblings who both become trans (the Wachowskis being the most famous example).

      • TWS says:

        Any number of Shakers could have reproduced as well. They just didn’t and now they are gone.

        • Yudi says:

          This is the upshot of Greg’s post. Stupid ideologies like this are strongly correlated with not reproducing much.

          • Scott Locklin says:

            The Manichees lasted a fairly long time. For that matter, there’s still a few Catholics around. If crazypants ideologies can convince enough new adherents, or draw upon an “outer party” who still reproduces, they can last.

      • Marduc says:

        The strongest rebuttal I have considered to Cochran’s gay germ hypothesis is that being gay – whatever exactly it means biologically – is not all that big of a drag on fertility.

        Presumably your study indicating that 10% of gays report being parents means people who currently identify as gay and are currently parents. I am interested in a study measuring the lifetime fertility of men who identify as homosexual at any point in life.

        Or, for some reasonable proxy, what percentage of men who identified as gay at age 20 still do so at age 50? What percentage of those who no longer do are also parents?

        Gay might simply be a heterosexual reproduction strategy along the lines of tricking your way into the girls’ locker room and, oops, “I don’t usually do this, but…”.

        • gcochran9 says:

          In the US, a few years ago, lifetime fertility was about 20% of average. When you consider that men have been known to fight over women, I doubt if the uninterested had high fertility levels.

          You’re suggesting that gay men might be ‘sneaky fuckers’, a stealth morph, like Jack salmon. Only your hairdresser knows for sure!


          • j says:

            Our closest primate relative, the gorilla, employs the stealth technology. Some of the males persist as juveniles and rape the alpha’s wives when he is not around. I would not be surprised if we had wired in some comparable mechanism. That and the parasite amoeba, of course.

  2. spottedtoad says:

    There’s a similar argument here: “the future belongs to whoever shows up for it”

  3. curri says:

    Is it sexual identity madness that’s causing their belligerence to Russia? Wouldn’t rule it out.

  4. The Z Blog says:

    I would expect a tearful apology from here soon, for the crime of using the hetero-normative term “sexual identity” rather than the more inclusive and “fungible” phrase, “gender identity.” My goodness. Is this woman Hitler?

    I was recently in the presence of some middle-aged female social scientists. I kept using “sex” rather than “gender” just to watch their faces contort. If you were looking in from outside, you would have assumed I was torturing them with mind control.

    Good times.

    • gcochran9 says:

      There might be more enjoyable things to do than hang around with middle-aged female social scientists. In fact I’m sure of it.

      • TWS says:

        Hell yes. My mother-in-law was a psychologist and a social worker. I gamely smiled and visited dutifully and brought the kids over as often as she liked or maybe more.

        But it was like getting your teeth filed when the topics turned from anything but the kids, family, farm etc.

      • Jan Banan says:

        “If. in the first act, you have a superabundance of social scientists in academia, then in the following one gender should be a social construct. Otherwise don’t put them there.” ~~ JB’s principle

      • Cato says:

        Actually, it ain’t that bad. Especially when one is a male in late middle age. These are almost all kind, well-intentioned people, who look you straight in the eyes and listen. Wrong on a few things, of course, but heck we all are–an unkind future will judge us all harshly: me, you, all of us.

  5. but doesn’t she provide evidence for her claims?

    • gcochran9 says:

      She’s mistaken. If memory serves, she’s been mistaken in pretty much everything she’s ever written.

      • you might be right. or she might be right. evidence should decide, I guess.

        is the sentence quoted from a specific publication?

        • gcochran9 says:

          You’re nuts. Maybe not as nuts as the New York Times, but maybe worse. Why should I waste any time on you?

        • Maybe the Scientologists are right about Thetans, too. Prove they aren’t. But there’s a point with preposterous claims where you just laugh. Some crazy chick disagrees with biologists on the subject of… what biologists think. You know what? She’s nuts. Life is too short for that stuff.

          • I don’t want anybody to prove she’s wrong. I’ve explicitly asked if she has provided evidence for her claims, then asked if there was any sort of sources from her. For all I’ve gathered from people here, she is a writer and not a scientist (I didn’t know when I first commented), so I guess it’s more a matter of her opinion than of fact – which shouldn’t worry us at all, since uninformed and outright stupid opinions have been at large in elite thought since the dawn of times. My problem is with scientists making scientific claims with no or – even worse – false evidence.

            That’s why I asked, politely, if she had presented evidence. You guys could all chill, gee.

            • Frau Katze says:

              At this blog, readers are expected to be able to check that sort of thing themselves. Google the entire sentence (with quotes) to find the original.

              For me, as soon as I discovered she majored in French and was a writer and “critic” I wrote her off right there. She doesn’t know that she’s talking about. A problem with many self-styled “critics”.

              I had heard a bit about her before, but for some reason or other I thought might have been a psychologist or sociologist.

              Note that I’m not insulting French majors, but people should stick to writing about something they might know about.

  6. Marduc says:

    It’s undoubtedly going to solve itself, but may cause other problems in the meantime.

  7. Is social science fungible?

    • saintonge235 says:

              “Is social science fungible?”

              Now that I think on it, I believe it largely is.  One piece of reality-denying gabble can usually be substituted for another with no gain or loss in intelligibility or correspondence to reality.

  8. Bob says:

    Have you found the vaccine then Greg? If not don’t we just keep getting new ones? Or is it those of the Shulevitz social scientist cadre that are so sucessfully removing themselves that you point out (She did manage two I note). Hatethink no mater which way you go about it you old ist phobic deplorable you.

    Click to access Krivickas-Lofquist%20PAA%202011.pdf

    • Marduc says:

      It would be interesting to see the numbers for working academics.

      Most people who get a PhD never get a permanent job in academia. Women also seem to disproportionately choose the less monetizable subjects. So there are a lot of 28-32 year old freshly minted female PhDs who don’t have a career path in academia. My personal impression is that many of these people choose to become homemakers married to more successful male academics, which lets them stay close to that world without the need to draw an income. This probably isn’t the case for women who get business admin jobs, and that might explain why childlessness is highest in the masters’ degree category.

  9. Crosbie says:

    If we’re quoting journalists, I give you Julia Angwin:

    “Compas is basically a questionnaire that is given to criminals when they’re arrested,” she says. “And they ask a bunch of questions and come up with an assessment of whether you’re likely to commit a future crime. And that assessment is given in a score of one to 10.”

    The acronym – which stands for Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions – is very familiar to Julia Angwin of ProPublica, an independent investigative journalism organisation in the US.
    So while the algorithm itself may not be racially biased, it is reflecting racial biases in the criminal justice system and society more widely.

    “Angwin says that’s something that deserves deep thought.

    “I think it’s really important to remember that we’re looking at math, which is very adjustable. And so we could change it to make sure that it has the outcomes we want it to have.

  10. Economic Sophisms says:

    and the Amish inherited the earth.

  11. RCB says:

    It’s easy: if we define “sexual identity” as “what one chooses to call oneself”, and we allow people to choose from >2 terms, then sexual identity is not binary. QED.

    In other words, the statement doesn’t mean anything. If she had said something concrete, like
    “genetically/reproductively, there are more than 2 sexes” (imagine a Z chromosome – and I don’t mean the bird kind), or
    “a substantial proportion of babies are born with ambiguous genitalia”, or
    “most people aren’t strictly heterosexual”,
    then she’d actually be wrong.

    • Jim says:

      If I define the word “rocks” as meaning green cheese then the moon is made of green cheese.

      • RCB says:

        The point is that “sexual identity” is a very loose term, so you can say anything you want about it and still be “not wrong.”

        In contrast, the definition of a rock is pretty… solid. The wiki page doesn’t say anything about green cheese, for example.

        • gcochran9 says:

          “not even wrong” is often worse than just being wrong. Anyhow, let me call a spade a spade: these people are nuts. Nuts as a group, rather than have attained nuttiness by hoisting their own petards, but still nuts, for all that.

          And this kind of nuttiness has consequences.

          • Sinij says:

            I know you no longer try to educate on the subject, but simply calling nuts will only resonate with your true believers. Considering how easy it is to vilify your views, it is outright trivial to dismiss what you are saying outright.

            In evolutionary terms, your views are dead-end because you are not willing or able to spread them around and actively chasing away newcomers.

            • gcochran9 says:

              A logical case is enough to convince some fairly unusual people like Bill Hamilton that the idea is reasonable, but it ain’t gonna work on most people – subject is too emotional, and the current zeitgeist is agin it

              If I haven’t convinced you, I must endeavor to bear it. .

    • MawBTS says:

      Point well made, but after that quote she goes on to say:

      Sex-linked chromosomes; hormones; the internalization of cultural expectations — all develop differently in each individual, yielding a gamut of sexualities. Perhaps it’s time to retire the notion of two sexes.

      So it does sound like she’s talking about biological sex. Honestly, the whole thing is confusing and not particularly coherent, maybe on a different day she’d have used different crazy words.

    • Sandgroper says:

      The statistical distribution of ‘sexual identity’ is a continuous spectrum, but one which is strongly bi-modal. Anyone who does not recognise the mathematical reality staring them in the face must be either almost moronically stupid, or choosing not to observe reality for vested reasons.

      But then there’s this, so it seems that the population at large really isn’t too bright:

      • Thanks for the link Sandgroper, it gives me an excuse to talk about this crazy and interesting subject. How in the the hell can people be this incredibly misinformed. It is absolutely crazy/stupid/ignorant for people as a whole to overestimate the percentage of gay people by 600%. I won’t repeat what your excellent link substantiates. I have read this elsewhere and I know it is true, but it is nuts.

        3.8% of the public think they are gay but when asked to guess the percentage of gay people the public estimates 24%.

        What is going on to make people so ignorant of reality.

        • Sandgroper says:

          I think that’s the easy part to understand, Dave – highly vocal deviant small minorities endlessly talking up their numbers and vociferously demanding their ‘rights’ to give them more political clout; endless public discourse about gays in the military; endless LGBTQIXYZ advocacy, where ‘advocacy’ means people constantly getting it shoved in their faces; endless exhortations about encouraging ‘gender diversity’ in the workplace; and of course people who have studied French language being allowed to publish pieces in the New York Times claiming what most ‘scientists’ think about a subject they actually know nothing about, using words like ‘mulifarious’ and ‘fungible’ when they have absolutely no clue whether what they say approximates reality or not. And actually not caring, because it’s not the truth that matters. Even if you just contemplate the massive spectrum that constitutes ‘scientists’ (like, I don’t imagine most geologists have strong opinions on the subject), this claim is self-evidently self-aggrandising and wholly false; she can’t possibly know what even a tiny proportion of ‘scientists’ think about anything, even those in disciplines who might actually know something about this subject, as opposed to the vast majority of scientists who don’t, and could care less.

          Meanwhile, Razib Khan managed to publish one excellent piece with NYT before being ‘let go’ just in case he might have given an impressively well informed commentary and analysis of actual facts on a subject he knows a lot about that might have offended the sensibilities of some small minority of readers, who would get highly mobilised about it; or more likely a greater proportion of readers who have been thoroughly brain-washed to believe something that is not real.

          It’s not to be wondered at that Joe Public gets massively confused.

          As Crosbie noted above, the ‘math’ is ‘very adjustable’, and it’s been adjusted to hell.

        • gcochran9 says:

          If you look at the public’s beliefs on such things, you might note their estimates add up to well over 100%, which is even more alarming.

          • Sandgroper says:

            Nope, I count those particular numbers adding up to 100%.

            Although a public display of innumeracy would not surprise me either. Maybe some of this very adjustable math I’ve just been acquainted with.

            I diverge, but Australia, while having a gross over-supply of secondary school teachers overall, has a severe shortage of Mathematics and Science teachers, but an over-abundance of Physical Education teachers. Solution? They employ PE teachers to teach Math and Science subjects, then get e.g. a properly qualified Chemistry teacher to write detailed notes telling all the PE teachers how to teach Chemistry, including to Year 10 and 11 students; including practical hands-on classes in the lab., which require a knowledge of appropriate safety protocols.

            I can’t see how that could possibly go wrong, can you?

      • another fred says:

        You know how dumb the average person is?
        Well, half of them are dumber than that.

  12. Greying Wanderer says:

    personally i think one of
    – radiation sickness
    – gulags
    – bright sunlit uplands
    is gonna happen soon-ish.

  13. Jim says:

    I use to think that the US was a pretty stable country. I’m not sure if this will be true in the future. Interesting times seem to be coming.

    • saintonge235 says:

      I use to think that the US was a pretty stable country. I’m not sure if this will be true in the future. Interesting times seem to be coming.

              Yeah.  The crazy wouldn’t matter so much if it weren’t for the fact that this is the ruling class!  Watch your local reality for Civil War II® (“This time, with nukes!”)

    • Ananda Hohenstaufen says:

      Coming? They’re already here. This election is fomenting the most serious legitimacy crisis for the American political system since beyond living memory.

  14. G.M. says:

    Elites gonna elite.

  15. baloocartoons says:

    Elsewhere, somebody pointed out to me that when it’s claimed that ‘scientists’ or ‘most scientists’ say something or other (often about global warming), they’re including sociologists, economists, and basically anybody in academia who teaches anything that can be construed as a ‘science,’ plus non-academics with degrees in such things. And even among genuine scientists, who cares what a bacteriologist or astronomer thinks about sexual identity? Are their opinions more valid than a supermarket cashier’s?

  16. Xenophon Hendrix says:

    I’ve been having a tough time, so thank you for this. “He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.”

  17. I’m not sure sexual reproduction is their only method of perpetuating themselves. Being attuned to social shaming is a survival skill, and gender identity advocates are way better at using that to grab resources in the form of college sophomores than boring old scientists are. Rather like those birds that use nests built by others. Every decade produces a group that senses what the cooool thing is, and gravitates toward it. The revolutions with the hottest babes often win. (Not always.)

    It is cold comfort to expect that those will probably fall off the infographic in the end, as I am living now, and don’t care so much about posterity beyond my grandchildren. Screw ’em. I don’t expect I’m going to like the Men of The West in 2116 all that much.

    • gcochran9 says:

      College sophomores. I once considered initiating a contest, where you win by creating the most destructive contagious ideology, measured by the number of college sophomores it kills

      My candidate was the manifesto of the North American Man-Bear Love Association.

  18. Sandgroper says:

    I know a guy, deeply religious (plain white bread Methodist) who married and had 3 children. Then when the kids were teenagers he announced, without any prior warning, to his totally unsuspecting wife that he wanted a separation because he was gay, always had been, and boasted that he’d had sex with more than 500 different men. He also refused to be tested for HIV, effectively forcing his wife to go through the humiliation of being tested herself. I’m not making this up.

    He was an acquaintance via a mutual connection. His attitude towards me was always one of moral condescension, on account of me not being zealously overtly Christian/God-fearing/whatever, plus being obviously intellectually inferior because I graduated and got a real job in industry doing actual real stuff. I kind of have to wonder where he had the gall to get that from, but I guess I should just feel relieved that he never tried to hit on me.

    Meanwhile he continues his academic career totally unscathed, lauded as a botanist of great standing who has done ‘very valuable’ research on native plant species, and has droves of drooling sycophantic admirers/followers who continually sing his praises, while academia bestows him with various public honours. I assume he is also continuing his predatory behaviour, lurking in public toilets when not hitting on his male students.

    So the idea that they are not reproducing is not a safe assumption. Having said that, the 3 kids have turned out to be comfortingly normal and well adjusted, as far as I can see. Which is somewhat surprising to me – you’d think they’d be at least somewhat traumatised by it, but they seem to have gotten over it. His wife hasn’t; she’s still traumatised to hell, and always will be.

    • saintonge235 says:

              Being a sanctimonious hypocrite is not crazy.  It is merely disgusting and immoral.

              Believing that the biological reality of sex is altered by beliefs and feelings is insanity.  Both Bruce Jenner and Judith Shulevitz are nuts, but Shulevitz appears far nuttier.

              And despite your acquaintance, I doubt the crazies are having as many children on average as the rest of the population.

    • DataExplorer says:

      I get the feeling that if that guy grew up in today’s generation he would not get married and have kids in the first place because there would be no social pressure to do so. So he would most likely be eliminated from the gene pool.

  19. Cpluskx says:

    Sexual revolution was not a good idea.

  20. Henk says:

    For optimal results, “mad elites” would sincerely believe whatever madness can be profitably preached, yet be behaviorally immune to it themselves.

    A split-brain psychology where little of what they sincerely believe intellectually has much influence on their own non-verbal behavior. They should evolve into perfect hypocrites. Aren’t they almost there already?

    If we want to talk about how the “mad elite” problem could solve itself, we’d have to find a devastating, self-defeating weakness in the “split-brain” psychological setup sketched above. I don’t see an obvious one.

    • Marduc says:

      They are removing choice from individuals, and they can’t stop calling for choice to be removed from individuals because then they would have to abandon their stated beliefs with both brains.

      Our elites are like Cambodian communists leading one another to the killing fields for being insufficiently communist.

    • saintonge235 says:

              Go read Darkness at Noon and The Great Terror, and then meditate on the fact that Stalin appears to have died of natural causes.  Sane people would have killed him twenty years earlier.

              Or consider that Bernie Sanders blew his chance to be the Democratic presidential nominee by deliberately pretending that Hillary Clinton was not an obvious felon.  Or take Barack Obama (“please!“), who staked his ‘legacy’ on a plan to get healthy people to vastly overpay for medical insurance, voluntarily, to solve the ‘problem’ of people refusing to buy cheaper medical insurance voluntarily.

              The problem with living in the Very, Very Crazy Years is that insanity comes to seem normal.

      • I don’t think it was a sanity thing. People were afraid to stop clapping for Stalin. Why would you want to be the assassin?

        • saintonge235 says:

                  Why not, if he’s going to kill you anyway?  And with that many people at risk, they could easily have combined against him.  Look how they got rid of Beria.

                  Nope, it was madness.  The entire Marxist-Leninist program was based on denying reality.  And when finally, in desperation, Gorbachev allowed reality to peak through, the system collapsed.

          • gcochran9 says:

            Fortunately, the currently fashionable (and thus mandatory) ideology in the schools and courts of America is firmly grounded in reality.

          • Jim says:

            Supposedly Beria boasted after Stalin’s death that he had poisoned Stalin.

            • Toddy Cat says:

              If true, he sure as Hell waited long enough.

              • saintonge235 says:

                        Well, before he was head of the NKVD, he didn’t have much of a shot.  And as head of the NKVD, he didn’t have the motivation, since Uncle Joe was promoting him.  And then the purges stopped.  But in 1952-’53, Stalin seemed to be working up to a new round, and suddenly, he’s dead.

                        So, if Beria did it, it was well timed from his point of view.  I don’t think he did, but I could easily be wrong.

              • Jim says:

                Beria was not head of the NKVD at the time of Stalin’s death. Although at the time he headed the NKVD one would have thought he might have been concerned that he would share the fate of his predecessors. Of course eventually he did share their fate but after Stalin’s death.

                Possibly Beria thought after Stalin’s death that he had escaped a bullet in the back of the head but he was mistaken.

            • saintonge235 says:

                      I’m dubious, but if so, he was the only sane one among the leadership in 1953.

  21. G Pinfold says:

    There is some ambiguity around the word ‘identity’. The male/female dichotomy is no less binary because there are boundary cases. She may mean ‘preference’ rather than identity. This could elevate ‘foot lurving’ or ‘public transport masturbation’ to sexual identities. But I don’t think this is what she means. So not multifarious.
    And what kind of word is fungible? It comes from contract law and is used is economics. But the only time I have ever seen it in the last few decades, is in the context of queer-not queer-queer again, etc. Who cares?
    BTW, I had to add ‘queer’ into my Android dictionary.

    • MawBTS says:

      The male/female dichotomy is no less binary because there are boundary cases.

      Yeah, human sexuality follows a bimodal distribution: male, female, plus a few outliers who got hit by a mutational/environmental cluster bomb and turned out weird.

      Why make things any harder than they have to be?

      It’s like taking the statement “humans have five fingers” and saying “wrong! Polydactyly, etc! Human finger count is a spectrum that runs from one fingered individuals, aaaalllll the way up to infinity fingered individuals! Yeah, 99.9% of people have five fingers, but don’t let that fool you, it’s actually a spectrum! Also, don’t erase people who consider their toes to be fingers!”

  22. iffen says:

    Crazy people need jobs, too.

  23. Jan Banan says:

    Except that the revivalist Shakers imported a bunch of violent, low IQ people to replace them as they went extinct.

    • NobodyExpectsThe... says:

      Do you really think high IQ people are less violent that low IQ????

      Maybe for disorganized, random, senseless, reactive violence. But for massive organized violence, aka War, I will say intelligent peoples are orders of magnitude better at that.

      There is a reason why Israel is still on the map…

      • Jan Banan says:

        Yes I really do think that Switzerland is less violent than Swaziland, but you are quite welcome to move to the latter and preach about rule-of-law and WWI.

        • Pangur says:

          Can we just cool it with the anti-semitism here, please?

        • NobodyExpectsThe... says:

          Yes, The swiss are a lot less violent than the swazi, for mainly disorganized, random, reactive violence, aka Crime. But if the swiss actually want to be violent as a group, they can be A LOT more proficient at being violent than anything the swazi can even dream of.

          So when push comes to shove, and the reaction happens, the swiss, or any other nation suffering from the crazies at the top right now, will be able to do pretty much anything the want with the low IQ violent imports.

          • Marduc says:

            The issue being that the nationstate is the tool of organization. It is much easier for Switzerland to defeat Swaziland than for (say) 1m Swiss to defeat 10m Swazi living in the same country.

            Our elites seem to be trying to create a world in which countries on the lines of 1m Swiss and 10m Swazi are ruled for the benefit of the Swazi by a mostly Swiss bureaucracy kept in power by a mostly Swiss military. Kipling’s Christian imperialism in-sourced.

            • Frau Katze says:

              Indeed! I’m not optimistic that this state of affairs is reversible. It doesn’t help that maybe half the Swiss now believe that Swazi violence is a small price to pay for their marvel presence, so vibrant and diverse.

              This is epic insanity! I know it’s happening but it seems almost unbelievable.

      • Bob says:

        Are you really so daft you can’t see that the two things you imply equivilence of are not.

      • Jim says:

        Criminal conduct in the US peaks at around IQ 85. Higher IQ people seem to engage in less violence within societies. Organized warfare is a kind of behavior that is quite different from criminal violence.

  24. ckp says:

    The question of whether our betters really believe their bullshit or they’re just lying might have been decided in favour of the latter:

  25. curri says:

    Comment posted today at isteve:
    People who have researched gays have discovered a rather odd thing. Gays tend to come from unusually large and fertile families. There’s some new thinking that gayness is actually a side effect of genes for fertility. The mechanism goes like this:

    A set of genes make a woman more prone to chasing men (and getting pregnant by them). If this woman’s son inherits these particular genes, he’ll turn out gay (or bisexual, depending on how strong the effect is) and prone to chasing after men. Likewise, a man who’s a serious womanizer will be more like to have lesbian daughters prone to chasing after women. The supposition is that these genes don’t turn off if they happen to be inherited by offspring of the wrong gender, because the Darwinian advantage gained by being inherited by offspring of the right gender is too great.

    • Jokah Macpherson says:

      Haha yeah women have to chase men to get pregnant. Stupid fucking men always running away when there’s willing women around.

      • melendwyr says:

        No, but they do need to be receptive to men. Generally women are very picky about their sexual partners when sex can lead to pregnancy, with a few women being very receptive in exchange for material advantage.

    • Frau Katze says:

      It’s only a few data points, but my family tree (back to grandparents and forward to my (grown) children and nieces/nephews shows no such thing. Quite a few male womanizers in the tree, But the womanizing men often have womanizing sons (some were happy with just one woman)..

      It’s a bit harder to see among the females, but there no Lesbians thus far. (Despite one niece who after her badly chosen boyfriends went bad actually said she was “going to be a Lesbian” as if she could change herself: inevitably she’d show up with another boyfriend. Happily married to a decent man now).

    • MawBTS says:

      Great that he doesn’t cite any sources or provide any evidence, I love it when people do that.

      Nobody can find these supposed genes in GWAS surveys
      Increased fertility is a pretty overrated trait. For thousands of years virtually every person has been pressed against a Malthusian ceiling. Being able to produce 2.66 children is useless if you can only support 2 – the surplus offspring will starve.
      Causality might run the other way: something about larger families might make you gay. Or it might mean absolutely nothing (ice cream sales correlate with drowning, etc)
      Wouldn’t a variant that confers a fertility bonus and DOESN’T make you gay be even better?

      • tommy says:

        The chimera hypothesis links into this: increased female fertility -> higher rate of fraternal twinning -> more chimerism by fusion -> more homosexuals.

        We know that populations do exhibit different rates of twinning. There’s a population of German-Brazilians, if I recall correctly, who have an exceptionally high rate.

        How might one rule this out? Do homosexuals who have parents of different eye colors exhibit increased rates of heterochromia? Do the siblings of such homosexuals exhibit increased rates of heterochromia? For reasons I mentioned below, ambidexterity may be another trait to look at. Do children born to mothers who sought fertility treatment exhibit higher rates of homosexuality? Inquiring minds want to know.

      • melendwyr says:

        People have as many children as they can, even though the total number of survivors will only be about replacement, because there are lots of other causes of death than starvation. Disease, for example. And competition with neighboring peoples. A society that produces enough extra people to survive warfare will wear down one that produces only replacement and can’t afford to lose people in battle.

        Malthusian limits don’t imply that the best strategy is to limit reproduction.

    • saintonge235 says:

              That argument gets brought up on this blog, repeatedly, and shot down, repeatedly.  The “argument” only works if the carriers of these completely hypothetical genes have as many children, on average, as the rest of the population. All the evidence says they don’t, so they would be bred out of the population very quickly.  Besides, the genes can’t be found.

              The other argument that get brought forward is that Gay Uncle Bob helps straight siblings Sue and Fred raise twice as many extra surviving children to adult as Bob fails to have.  The math on that one is even worse, the evidence it doesn’t happen is stronger, and the genes still can’t be found.

              The only genetic cause left is a huge and implausible mutation rate, and the gene variants would show up in surveys.

              But nothing will stop this idea, because it makes people feel good: “it’s natural.”  An environmental cause says “gays are abnormal”, and that must be false, because the public would feel bad.

      • Henk says:

        You could be looking for this gene in the wrong place. See? Gay Uncle’s task just got a lot easier.

        • gcochran9 says:

          Since they looked at the whole nuclear genome, there’s no place left to look.

          For this to work, the helpful gay uncle would have to twice as effective as the mother at raising extra nephews/nieces ( since they are only half as related).

          You’re talking about a behavioral pattern much stronger than mother love, one that nobody has ever noticed. How stupid: but that’s about par for people talking about homosexuality.

          • Henk says:

            If male homosexuality is the extended phenotype of a maternal gene, her grandchildren’s Gay Uncle Bob only needs to increase reproductive success of his maternal siblings by (at least) as much as his own is reduced.

            • gcochran9 says:

              The behavior you’re talking about does not exist. Where I come from, that means you’re a damn fool.

              Moreover, you’re assuming that somehow the mother has manipulated the son into doing stuff that is good for her fitness but obviously bad for his. Not impossible, but there’s no evidence for it, and it’s evolutionary unstable: resistance to that kind of manipulation is favored by selection.

              Even in your notion, the gay guy would further his mother’s genes more efficiently if he took a role in the hay whenever offered, as well as performing his imaginary and never-observed avuncular duties: yet they don’t.

              This idea makes just as much sense as saying that after mating on her nuptial flight, the Queen of England has been laying thousands of eggs a day for the last 60 years, that all Englishmen are drones (with their own club !), and all Englishwomen are 0.75 related to each other and spend all their energy sedulously working to defend the realm. Sisterhood is powerful.

              • Henk says:

                The idea makes about as much or as little sense as naked mole rat mothers having infertile worker offspring.

                Human Gay Uncle Bob doesn’t build tunnels (usually), but what exactly his relevant behavior is would only be the second question. The first question is whether the setup is possible at all. Naked mole rats are evidence that something like this is possible for a mammal.

              • gcochran9 says:

                for eusocial species, there is usually a nest, the Place That Must Be Defended (and can be). Richard Alexander predicted something like naked mole-rats before he ever heard of them.

                We don’t have nests. Or, to be more exact, humans don’t. Maybe you do.

              • Henk says:

                It seems we agree that we don’t require haplodiploidy (although I liked your version of Her Majesty) and that “resistance to that kind of manipulation” can be overcome (this is already implicit in Gay Germ theory.)

                That’s the work I wanted the naked mole rat to do here. No further similarities are implied, including notions of “defending the nest”.

        • saintonge235 says:

                  I guess you didn’t understand what I posted.  I wrote:

          The other argument that get brought forward is that Gay Uncle Bob helps straight siblings Sue and Fred raise twice as many extra surviving children to adult as Bob fails to have.  The math on that one is even worse, the evidence it doesn’t happen is stronger, and the genes still can’t be found.

                  That’s exactly the argument you’re making: Gay Uncle Bob is enhancing the fertility of a relative, and, overall his loss of personal fertility is at least made up for by the enhanced fertility of his relatives.  And the answer remains the same: 1) Since the relatives he’s helping survive have, at most, half his genes, he has to help twice as many of them survive as he could his own children.  But unlike naked mole rats, Gay Uncle Bob is fertile himself.  Getting women pregnant, and helping his own children survive passes twice as many of his genes per child.  That’s what the bookies call ‘tough odds to beat.’ 2) The behavior is not observed to occur in reality.  3) If such genes existed, they’d be spotted when comparing gays and their relatives.  But they aren’t found.

                  It doesn’t exactly take a PhD. in Mathematics to figure this stuff out.  Once you’ve grasped that Gay Uncle Bob’s siblings have, on average, half of his genome, and his nieces/nephews have half his sibling’s genome, then it follows automatically that a niece/nephew is only half as valuable, genetically, as his own child.  So why is he working for them, rather than his own kids?

                  The ‘infectious pathogen’ hypothesis has an answer: the loss of fitness doesn’t matter to the infectious agent.  More broadly, only unavoidable environmental agents are compatible with the present genetic and behavioral evidence afaik.

          • Henk says:

            You’re still looking for that gene in the wrong place, because your factor of two doesn’t apply from Gay Uncle’s mother’s point of view.

            The behavior is not observed to occur in reality.

            We’re talking about being gay, right?

            If such genes existed, they’d be spotted when comparing gays and their relatives. But they aren’t found.

            Are you sure they’ve looked?

            But unlike naked mole rats, Gay Uncle Bob is fertile himself

            So is the victim of a Gay Germ. For both hypotheticals we have to assume that the victim’s evolutionary resistance was futile (or that the fight isn’t settled yet.)

            • gcochran9 says:

              The things homosexual men actually do in practice have no obvious benefits for relatives. Therefore, there is no reason to think that homosexuality is adaptive, and plenty of reasons to think that it’s not.

              Naked mole rats work hard at their digging job, just as worker bees or worker termites do. Homosexual men don’t do anything like this.

              Since that is the case, you’re wrong, but in a boring sort of way.

              • Henk says:

                Naked mole rats work hard at their digging job, just as worker bees or worker termites do. Homosexual men don’t do anything like this.

                There’s a clue here. It would seem that homosexual men can work as hard as straights, and many do. In fact, did you ever wonder why a Gay Germ should leave homosexual men so curiously undamaged overall, apart from that one effect?

                Between a pathogen and a mother, only one would seem to have an intrinsic interest in that kind of surgical precision.

            • saintonge235 says:

              “You’re still looking for that gene in the wrong place, because your factor of two doesn’t apply from Gay Uncle’s mother’s point of view.”

                      And you confirm that you don’t understand the subject.

                      Fitness, in population genetics, is not a prize that gets handed out like an track medal, and the next meet, we start fresh.  It’s about the continuing share of the population a given gene has.  If I have a gene that makes me father three times as many children as average, and raise them all to adulthood, but all of them are sterile, then that’s equivalent to me being sterile.

                      Since you seem to be completely innumerate, get a paper and pencil, work out your average normal mother’s children and grandchildren, then work out how many Gay Gene Mommy has to raise to adulthood to compete in the great-great-grandchild sweepstakes, given that her sons with this hypothetical gene have about one fifth as many children as straight sons.  And then explain how in any plausible society the same genes not only make Gay Gene Mommy have more pregnancies, but have more of those pregnancies be successful, and more of the children survive to adulthood.

              “We’re talking about being gay, right?”

                      No, we’re talking about whether people with this hypothetical gene maintain their share of the population.  Specifically, we’re talking about whether Gay Gene Mommy raises so many children to adulthood that it doesn’t matter that half her children have seriously impaired fertility, or whether Gay Uncle Bob does such marvelous things for his siblings that they raise two children to adulthood for every one that Bob does NOT have.

              Are you sure they’ve looked?

                      Yes, I’m sure.  They’ve been looking for decades.  Lots of people like you really want to find these genes.  They haven’t.

              “So is the victim of a Gay Germ. For both hypotheticals we have to assume that the victim’s evolutionary resistance was futile (or that the fight isn’t settled yet.)”

                      This last is so stupid it makes my head hurt.  There’s no such thing as “evolutionary resistance.”  In population genetics, there’s a question whether, in a given environment, those who possess a certain gene gain, lose, or maintain their share of the population, other things being equal?  The observed low number of offspring for gay men will breed the hypothetical gene out of population quickly.  Extremely quickly.

                      In the case of infectious disease, the question is whether on average the infectious agent can pass itself on to a new host before the old one either dies or kills the infectious agent.  Centuries of observational data show that infectious diseases can quite frequently do this.

                      Trying to equate these two different phenomena is like assuming jumbo jets and zeppelins must perform identically, because they can both fly.

                      Do us all a favor and learn the basics of what you’re attempting to opine about.

              • Yudi says:


              • Henk says:

                For everything you said, please ask yourself if by the same logic, naked mole rat workers must poof out of existence.

                … whether Gay Uncle Bob does such marvelous things for his siblings that they raise two children to adulthood for every one that Bob does NOT have.

                The multiplier in the extended phenotype of a maternal gene model under consideration is one. Whatever the effect at work, it need to raise maternal sibling fitness by only ever so slightly more than Gay Uncle Bob loses himself, not twice as much. Try to appreciate how much of a difference that is.

                They’ve been looking for decades. Lots of people like you really want to find these genes. They haven’t.

                They’ve been looking in the wrong body.

                Moreover, it’s not necessarily easy to see even if you know where to look. We know that in general not all of Gay Uncle Bob’s brothers are homosexual, which means that an unknown fraction of carriers would have no homosexual sons at all. (A priori, can we even rule out fixation? Now there’s a scary thought for you…)

    • jasonbayz says:

      Problem I have with the gay germ theory is that it’s based on the assumption that throughout generations of human evolution, 2-3% of the male population have been have been unreproducing gays, and thus humanity has been under a strong selection against it.(and thus only a virus could evade that selection) How reasonable is this assumption?

      I could be wrong, but looking at history, homosexuality as we know it today is largely a modern phenomenon. Hunter gatherer peoples, with a few exceptions, have never heard of it. Bisexuality was common in some(not all) civilizations, but then it’s also common in prisons. In the type of bisexuality common in the pre-modern world(like the type found today in prisons), it was almost always stigmatized to be the receptive partner.

      Were those men who were ‘secretly’ homosexual celibate their whole lives? Perhaps, but look again at the example of “situational homosexuality(really bisexuality)” in prisons. Perhaps homosexuals, without a chance to act on their inclinations, would have simply acted as (and become, for all intents and purposes) heterosexuals? There were incentives to do so, status and economic security in old age and such.

      These discussions about homosexuality usually assume that some people are just “born gay” and that there’s no effect the culture* can have on it. Proving or disproving this would be very difficult. I don’t see why we should automatically assume it’s true. I think people do so for the same reason they deny HBD, not because of the evidence but because they believe it’s what the Right People believe and that only the rubes disbelieve it.

      *As distinct from subculture(Mormons in Modern Family USA) or family environment.

      • saintonge235 says:

                While I don’t doubt that culture can have strong effects, there’s a huge body of evidence that says many people who call themselves “gay” or “lesbian” or act differently than most children from a very early age.  Attempts to change their behavior seldom if ever work.  That in turn is strong evidence of a physical difference.

                Nor is there anything strange about the pattern of our hypothetical “gay germ”.  Infectious disease organisms are attacked by the immune system, and the usual outcome is that eventually they are destroyed to the last microbe, or they kill the host.  (Killing the host sometimes kills the microbe too, but not always).  As a result, there’s a minimum host population size for most infectious diseases.  See William H. McNeill’s Plagues and Peoples, which discusses this at length.  Precisely because hunter-gatherers live in fairly small groups, they have hardly any infectious diseases as long as they’re not in contact with larger populations.  Same with people on small islands.  When a disease organism is introduced from outside, it spreads, runs out of new hosts, and dies out again.

                So the absence of homosexuality among hunter-gatherer groups is exactly what you’d expect for an infectious cause.  And persistence over thousands of years with low rates of occurrence in the host population is in line with other diseases.

                What needs to be explained is why some humans (and some sheep) refuse to mate, even though members of the opposite sex are available.  The “gay germ” hypothesis fits the evidence better than any other proposed cause.  All other suggested environmental causes have a fairly large weight of evidence against them (pollution by modern synthetic chemicals couldn’t have happened in Shakespeare’s England, e.g.).  All proposed genetic causes fail to satisfy elementary population genetics.

        • “The gay germ hypothesis fits the evidence better than any other cause.”

          The gay germ theory fits the evidence far better than genetics for obvious reasons that Cochran has explained multiple times. But any other cause? I don’t think so. First of all there is no evidence of any sort that transmission of homosexuality behaves like an infectious agent. That in and of itself proves nothing but it is a red flag, one would think that if there was a gay germ it would behave like a germ but it doesn’t.

          If homosexuality isn’t genetic (it isn’t) that does not mean it’s cause is disease. It could be a developmental issue that is neither genetic or a infectious agent. Are there studies out there that indicate this? Yep. There is a significant increase in the probability of being gay by the number of older brothers you have. There is even an increase in the probability of being gay (this is weird!?!?) if you are left handed. I don’t know what all this means, I just do not see why homosexuality is most likely to be caused by a germ if it is obviously not genetic.

          • saintonge235 says:

            Environments vary a lot, both in time and in space, but homosexuality has been around for thousands of years. It’s hard to find anything in the environment that fits that pattern.

            And if was environmental, you’d expect to see it in families rather more often than we do. We don’t get the clustering we’d expect with a non-infectious environmental agent.

            As for transmission, we refuse to look for a germ, so how do we know how it’s being transmitted (assuming its there)?

          • melendwyr says:

            Although plenty of left-handed people are perfectly normal, it’s well-established that people with certain kinds of neurological disorders (the ones that tend to arise from traumatic damage during fetal development, during delivery, or very early in childhood) are notably more likely to be left-handed. It’s thought that stress or damage can impair the execution of the genetic blueprints.

            Cleft palates, and similar birth defects, would have seriously impacted survival and reproductive success in the ancestral environment. So there probably aren’t genes which make them noticeably more likely. Yet we still have them. Best guess, homosexuality is the sexual equivalent of a cleft palate: a normal developmental process didn’t complete.

      • Matt says:

        If there is some set of gays allele which have a cumulative effect which manifests at low frequency (1-2%) in the population as homosexual men, and you have most humans living in small populations, I don’t know there’s near as much chance that they will necessarily meet one another and pair off as there is in present day cities. I’d doubt that fertility would be exactly the same for the affected male carriers, but might not be hit as much if you didn’t have lots of co-carriers in the same place? At least not enough to offset any other potential beneficial effects in females or non-affected carriers.

        (For instance on the history lack of homosexuality – – “The gay minorities from other societies left no records. Doubtful. We have documentation of so many aspects of people’s public and private lives that if there were long-ago gay people, we’d know about them. For example, there are thousands of 20th century letters and novels and speeches and diary entries that say some version of, “My parents want me to marry an opposite-sex person, but I don’t want to, because I only like my own sex.” But to my knowledge, there are virtually no such 10th-century documents.”)

        To me it seems Greg’s model is based on the idea that human mating and attraction is fundamentally a simple process, pretty much unchanged in mechanics from neurally simpler ancestral species, insensitive to our large brains and insensitive to our complex conscious minds and little could’ve happened in human evolution to disturb it to a state where maladaption is frequent. So there must be a pathogen that’s responsible to warp the simple stable process refined by evolution. I do doubt all of this to some degree. Could be true – like there’s just a simple mechanism in the hypothalamus and that’s all there is to functional sexual attraction and behaviour. It’s not crazy and it could work like that. I think there is room for some doubt here. I think it’s at least possible human attraction and the human mating instinct forms is probably quite a complex neurologically intensive thing with lots of innovation and new behaviors in the recent human family tree (and even recent human culture), and it’s not quite well adapted in all people, and that there are still fitness reducing tradeoffs in different variants.

        • Fisherking says:

          Let’s get all our ducks in a row here.
          Homosexuality has been around since time immemorial, or at least since Greek times (This is Sparta!).
          Twin studies have shown that homosexuality is not genetic. it has an 80% discordance in Identical twins.
          The rates of homosexuality geographically fits well with a distribution one would expect from a disease, big cities have more, rural areas less.
          Our best explanation thus far is a disease, but for some reason people would rather except any explanation other then one that works. The real question is why people don’t accept a theory that works, and then check it.

          • Jim says:

            Wow – 80% discordance rate in identical twins! If this is so it makes any purely genetic explanation untenable. Since the percentage of homosexuals in the general population is only a few percent though the sex-orientation of identical twins is not independent of each other. Is there data on the discordance rate for twins raised together vs. twins raised apart? Also do the discordance rates differ much between sexes?

            • Fisherking says:

              It was about the same for both male and female, 80 and 76 respectively. I am not sure if it includes data on separation, the cursory look I gave it did not have any mention of it.

            • gcochran9 says:

              It might be only 75% discordance.

              It’s hard to find a homosexual man who is one of a pair of identical twins separated early in life. Bouchard found two such pairs: one was concordant, the other was not. Small N.

        • Yudi says:

          Robert Boyd and Peter Richerson, the main scientists working in the field of cultural evolution, have devised a theory that modernization causes a decline in reproductive fitness. People spend more time in cities around non-kin, instead of with kin who urge them to get married, have children, and support their families:

          Click to access NewsonRichersonWhyModern.pdf

          Recently, he used that hypothesis to discuss attitudes about homosexuality:

          So there might be something to the idea that homosexuality had fewer reproductive costs in traditional societies than it does now. However, Greg focuses on strong homosexual tendencies among men, and it has always been harder for men to find a mate than women. A significant fraction of men in each generation never have any children, whereas nearly all women do. This means that even a slight reproductive disability among men would have major effects over the generations. I am still largely on Greg’s side of the debate (incidentally, I am gay myself).

          • RCB says:

            FYI, The application to homosexuality is primarily Lesley Newson’s work. She’s Pete Richerson’s wife (maybe girlfriend?). From what I’ve heard, the work hasn’t been well received, perhaps mostly for political reasons: everyone in anthropology is sure that homosexuality (but nothing else, I guess) is genetic.

            • JerryC says:

              Yes, that’s the party line, more or less. Homosexuality is genetic and fixed at birth, but all other other human characteristics are environmentally determined and infinitely malleable. You can create the New Soviet Man after all, but he’ll inevitably be 3% gay.

        • saintonge235 says:

                  Can anyone translate the above post into English?

      • giovanni says:

        Seems more likely that there have been homosexuals for millennia, and that they mostly reproduced while also having sex with men. While it’s not for me, it seems evolutionarily useful in a human context to have a particularly tight bond with certain other men. The fact that it was a secret bond might even make it more powerful. My understanding is that homosexuality was common in the Spartan army, a group noted for its cohesion, but not noted for its failure to reproduce.

    • RCB says:

      Since we’re on the topic, one can ask the question: given the high selection against male homosexuality currently observed in the world, how could gay genes still be around? What mechanisms would do it? That at least gives us some hypotheses to test.

      One answer, suggested by others, is that it may not have been as strongly selected in the past, because basically everyone was expected to get married and have kids. Maybe, although I think someone else mentioned that a lot of men in history ended up not having kids, so clearly the childless lifestyle was not unknown in the past. My understanding is that homosexual behavior is not terribly uncommon in non-modern societies, but is exclusive homosexuality common?

      Another possibility is that it is in fact genetic, but that the variance is highly non-additive. Then selection wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. Strong dominance effects or epistasis would do the job. GWAS is of no help here: it looks for linear effects of alleles, so we wouldn’t expect it to find anything. Instead, use twin studies: we’d see high similarity among identical twins, but much less similarity among fraternal twins or sibs. We’re talking >4x differences: very noticeable. Surely someone has looked here?

      Another possibility is stabilizing selection maintaining some non-zero frequency of gayness, on a quantitative spectrum. curri’s hypothesis is one example: there is an optimal breeding value for “being-attracted-to-men”, where the benefit is so that females will want to have sex with them (or, perhaps, it’s so that men can form strong bonds with each other?). Segregation variance causes some folks to have a lot more than usual; when this happens in dudes, it causes homosexuality.

      Perhaps there are more.

    • another fred says:

      I don’t know a lot about homosexuality, but I think it is a mistake to expect one cause for something that is not a single phenomenon. For one example, people can be blind for a variety of reasons, why expect a single cause for a complex behavior.

      • saintonge235 says:

                It’s relatively easy to destroy a capability.  But homosexuals are distinguished by having the normal sexual preference reversed.  The idea of multiple causes for the same result in this case is hard to believe..  Certainly, it shouldn’t be the starting assumption.

        • melendwyr says:

          Males start out physiologically female, and then hormonal levels trigger differentiation into physical maleness.
          Perhaps male homosexuals, which are far more common than female homosexuals, don’t have a ‘reversed’ sexual preference. Perhaps they simply never developed away from the female default in this one area.

          • Studies have shown that the odds for males being homosexual increase 33% for each older brother. An in-utero maternal response has been hypothesized for this effect. But this accounts for only 15% of the male homosexuality. So there are multiple causes for homosexuality. Even with this strong statistical evidence of some cases of homosexuality being caused by something going awry in normal human development, I remain open minded that Cochran may in part be right with his gay germ theory.

            Studies have shown that as many as one in ten rams are exclusively interested in other male sheep. That sheep are the only other animal to be exclusively homosexual besides humans is more than a bit odd. Highly coincidental that an animal that beastly men gave sexual attention to just happens to be the only other critter on God’s green earth that is exclusively gay. Why maybe Disney can make a movie about how this all came about.

    • TWS says:

      By percentage or in total numbers? What do they consider a ‘large fertile family’? Who are they counting? Uncles, aunts, cousins etc? Just momma, papa and siblings?

  26. Kraken says:

    Has anyone examined environmental estrogens and their effects and come up with a conclusive answer? Lower fertility rates among LGBTs don’t mean much if the entire mainstream population supplies membership at an increased rate due to environmental estrogens and their like. This would have the further effect of lowering overall fertility rates at a time when other nations are booming.

    • saintonge235 says:

              Environmental estrogens caused homosexuality in classical Greece?  Environmental estrogens make some men attracted to other men, but some women attracted to other women?

  27. jd016 says:

    This quote comes to mind:
    “IQ is a metric of such dubiousness that almost no serious educational researcher uses it anymore. You don’t have to be up on the latest pedagogical techniques to understand that intelligence is incredibly difficult to measure. But there’s an even more preposterous assumption hidden in his research: that you can measure race.”

    • Anonymous says:

      Education research is a field of such dubiousness that almost no serious student of human behavior takes it seriously anymore.

  28. anon says:

    Maybe you’re on another IQ plane to me. I just don’t get why you have to be so cryptic all the time. Just tell us already if you support trump.

  29. another fred says:

    ” You can recognize the fifth Horseman by the arrow through his head. ”

    Or the gun in his mouth.

  30. Yudi says:

    OT: I’m wondering what you think of this article, Greg:

    It give a rundown on theories for why the human brain has shrunk since the Ice Age. Seems like a topic you’d have done some thinking about.

  31. tommy says:

    I may be a chimera. My beard and moustache color is distinctly a mix of both blond and brunette sections, I’m allergic to some substances in distinct bands on my skin, and I may exhibit neurological signs as well: my arm preference is different from my hand preference. I prefer my left for boxing, shooting a basketball, throwing a baseball, or shooting a rifle but my right for writing, shooting a pistol, or holding silverware. The left for those things involving more of the arm and the right for those involving less of the arm and finer hand movements. Interestingly, I have both right- and left-handed siblings. It’s as though my brain were lateralized in a very abnormal way.

    Lately, this has led me to wonder if some kind of neurological chimerism, especially that involving the fusion of two opposite-sex twins, might explain at least part of the occurrence of homosexuality? Could chimerism be an explanation for other sexual disorders or mental illnesses since it might result in rearranged configurations of the brain? Has this angle even been explored by anyone?

  32. Trump Fan says:

    It’s a comforting thought, I don’t know if it’s true. These women, in spite of their anti-family ideas, usually develop a desire to marry and have children around age 30. They seem easily able to find men willing to drive off the proverbial cliff and wife them up. Judith Shulevitz has two children. Even Jackie Coakley found some putz who was insane enough to marry her.

    I used to tell my sister she should cool it with the anti-male feminist rants, I told her no man would want to marry her with that kind of attitude. I was wrong.(They have one child and are expecting another.) I, meanwhile, have no children.

    I’m afraid natural selection is going the other way, there is a selection for men who are most willing to put up with women’s BS, whether personal or political.

  33. Köksal Baba says:

    Dear Dr. Cochran, my name is Köksal Baba, I wanted to ask you some questions about boosting economic and industrial production by increasing local and national IQs by several methods. I would be greatly contented if you could elucidate some of these methods and give me some correct directions to research them further:

    1) Using national assessment test results to select candidates from whom sperm/eggs can be bought and fertilized eggs created on a massive scale, and implanted in women across municipalities and regions (who will be paid for carrying the fetus). My questions here: Is there a way to mass produce embryos from a single fertilized embryo? What possible problems can such a system run into?

    2) Taking samples from prominent global scientists, and cloning them. By the dozens. This one I think sounds more fun.

  34. Wencil says:

    The most plausible explanation for male homosexuality is that it provides reproductive fitness t your tribe. In order to maximize reproductive fitness, almost all the men in the tribe have to be willing to travel over an extended period of time to hunt big game. Men are not willing to travel unless their wives and daughters are being guarded by a small number of men they leave behind with the women. No one would trust a heterosexual man to guard the wives and daughters. Therefore if a tribe always has a few gay men around, those gay men are left behind to guard the wives and daughters.

    • gcochran9 says:

      Christ, how stupid.

    • Ursiform says:

      Aside from being inconsistent with all known evidence and not really making any sense when you think about it, it is an amusing idea.

      And how exactly do the hunters figure out which guys are gay? The ones who jump up and down and say: “I’m gay! I’ll stay behind and guard the wives and daughters while you try to kill a large, angry animal for dinner!”?

      If it was that easy there would have been no need to invent eunuchs.

    • tommy says:

      Yes, because there are so many epic accounts in tribal lore of handfuls of gay men–usually forced into transvestitism, no less–fending off invasions of enemy marauders hellbent on rape, pillage, and plunder. Lol.

      More seriously, if we don’t hear much about homosexuals in tribal societies it may be partly because of what would likely happen to a homo if he fell into the hands of the enemy. Homosexuality may be much like schizophrenia: tribal socieities know what to do with schizophrenics and it isn’t pretty.

      • Jim says:

        I have read that shamans in some primitive societies are often homosexuals. Homosexuals seem to be tolerated in some tribal societies.

        • tommy says:

          There used to be a theory that schizophrenics might have served as shamans in tribal societies and weren’t necessarily regarded as mentally ill. We now know that people in such societies have no problem recognizing schizophrenics as plain crazy and, because schizophrenics are usually obnoxious and a burden to the tribe–not to mention possibly possessed–they frequently take measures to shorten a schizophrenic’s lifespan.

          • gcochran9 says:

            One of those oh-so-common theories that you had to be nuts to believe.

            • tommy says:

              It’s hard to believe that anyone who has ever dealt with an unmedicated schizo could believe it, but that’s cultural anthropologists for you.

          • SealPup says:

            The theory was based on an oversimplified idea of schizophrenia as auditory or visual delusions, not on the progressive Alzheimers-like symptoms etc. Temporal lobe epilepsy may manifest w/o other schizo symptoms.

  35. not_an_economist says:

    A gene that removes all interest in women makes as much sense as a gene that removes all interest in food. Quite possibly the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard.

  36. Henk says:

    I’ve long been following your ideas of pathological causation of male homosexuality, but there’s a rather obvious question about it that seems under-explored.

    The question is whether the hypothetical pathogen causes the “gay” phenotype (1) by accident or (2) strategically as part of its life cycle.

    At least for me, it’s the first question that pops up whenever I try to think beyond the default argument of “pathogen because not gene.”

    From the Atlantic Monthly article, it seems you once had a clear opinion on this:

    “I was reading an article in Scientific American in 1992 about pathogens manipulating a host to get what they want,” Cochran recalls. “It described a flowering plant infected by a fungus, and the fungus hijacks the plant’s reproductive machinery so that instead of pollen it produces fungal spores. I thought, Could it be?” Cochran strayed from his field to try his hand at writing an article on biology — elaborating an audacious theory that human homosexuality might result from a “manipulation” of a host by a germ with its own agenda.

    Do you still agree with your older self?

    • Sandgroper says:

      You mean ‘younger self’, don’t you?

      Unless you’re paraphrasing Bob Dylan: “I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.”

    • MawBTS says:

      The question is whether the hypothetical pathogen causes the “gay” phenotype (1) by accident or (2) strategically as part of its life cycle.

      There’s at least a third option: that homosexuality is an allergic reaction to a germ.

      These are questions we still can’t speak much about. I have a hunch that homosexuality is an accident or byproduct of something else (mostly because I can’t see a way being gay would spread a germ while leaving no correlation to sexual activity), but I have no proof.

      Regarding causality in medicine, there’s a school that thinks even a healthy body essentially works by accident. Scott Alexander:

      You know those stories about clueless old people who get to their Gmail account by typing “Google” into Bing, clicking on Google in the Bing search results, typing “Gmail” into Google, and then clicking on Gmail in the Google search results?

      I am reading about serotonin transmission now, and everything in the human brain works on this principle. If your brain needs to downregulate a neurotransmitter, it’ll start by upregulating a completely different neurotransmitter, which upregulates the first neurotransmitter, which hits autoreceptors that downregulate the first neurotransmitter, which then cancel the upregulation, and eventually the neurotransmitter gets downregulated.

      Meanwhile, my patients are all like “How come this drug that was supposed to cure my depression is giving me vision problems?” and at least on some level the answer is “how come when Bing is down your grandfather can’t access Gmail?”

  37. Frau Katze says:

    The End Times can’t be far off. NYT, in a misguided attempt to promote women, is pushing witchcraft:


    blockquote>Witches, she writes, have “faith in the balance between humans and the natural world, in the power of sexuality, in human equality and dignity, and in community over hierarchical power or authority.”

  38. melendwyr says:

    Trying to find a single explanation for persistent human weirdness is a waste of time. It accomplishes nothing. What IS worth doing is trying to determine which potential explanations can’t work, and which don’t work, and then making educated guesses about which potential cause might have been responsible in particular cases.

    It’s valuable to know that low folic acid levels tend to result in more birth defects (and that a diet rich in the stuff, or supplementation, can reduce the rate of problems). Attributing all birth defects to folic acid deficiencies is stupid. Ignoring folic acid because there are plenty of BD cases where there’s no deficiency is stupid.

  39. James Kabala says:

    These ideas, however, seem to be propagating even in supposedly conservative lineages. Look at all the Republicans who now support gay marriage. What would Rob Portman’s father or Alan Simpson’s father or (most importantly) Anthony Kennedy’s father have thought of gay marriage, if they even could have understood the idea?

    For that matter, some of these ideas were not so long ago too far out even for the overt left. Judith Shulevitz’s parents (if still alive) probably pretend to believe this stuff without really feeling it in their hearts; her grandparents and great-grandparents would have it regarded with more contempt than the so-called far right does today. Yet somehow it took over.

  40. Wieland says:

    “You can recognize the fifth Horseman by the arrow through his head. ”

    This one goes into the book of quotes.

  41. James James says:

    “She married Nicholas Lemann in 1999”

    Ah yes, he wrote all those articles praising the Khmer Rouge when he edited the Harvard Crimson.

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