The genetic basis of homosexuality

Evidence that suggests that homosexuality has a strong genetic component appears to have influenced many people on the issue of whether homosexual should, say, be allowed to marry.

Has this been influential in your opinion on the issue? If it has, consider this:

Let us say we discover that pedophilia has a strong genetic component. With this then influence your opinion on laws against pedophilia?

(I'm not asking because I have in mind certain correct answers to these questions. I'm just curious about what people think about them.)



8 comments:

  1. You make a good point. Ultimately, it's not genetics that matters; it's the opinion of whether something is "good" or "bad." If we found a gene that explains sexual attraction to animals, most of society still wouldn't find it acceptable.

    Some folks who are opposed to gay marriage really do make the argument, "What's next? Can I marry my goat?" (An uncle of mine, for example, made this argument to me.) The distinction between the two cases is that we know that sex, marriage, dating, whatever between two gay men is consensual; we don't know that between a man and his goat. The same thing applies to pedophilia: the relationship between the pedophile and his/her victim is not consensual (and/or, the victim isn't mature enough to really give consent for that type of activity).

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  2. I believe it's also been established that one's political orientation has a (relatively strong) genetic component. What if "homophobia" has a genetic component? It almost surely does.

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    1. John,

      Here's a something for yours inspired me-- Hypothesis: If a behavior has a strong genetic component, then so do approving of and hating it.

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  3. Would such people be committing the genetic fallacy?

    (Seriously, though, I've never understood why the genetics of the thing should be an issue for people, one way or another, on pretty much all such topics. How about the genetics of sociopathy and violence? I can't see the relevance.)

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  4. Would such people be committing the genetic fallacy?

    (Seriously, though, I've never understood why the genetics of the thing should be an issue for people, one way or another, on pretty much all such topics. How about the genetics of sociopathy and violence? I can't see the relevance.)

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  5. If homosexualism has a strong genetic component and you want to reduce its occurence, there is a case why you'd be rallying for the right of same-sex couples to marry: it will reduce the rate of different-sex marriages in which homosexuals, conforming to the standards of society, are more likely to propagate their genes. How's that for seen and unseen? My intuition might be messed up, though.

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  6. If you think that homosexual behavior is (1) bad only for homosexuals and (2) spreads by example, you have a good reason to fight against it. If, however, this kind of behavior has a strong genetic base, (2) is largely false and the reason is weak: now you have to consider in (1) the greater pain that trying to cure homosexuals will cause.

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  7. What if we find that folks that are attracted to their family members are genetically predisposed to it, Jonathan? Would that make incest and marriages between family members moral? If we take these folks to be consenting adults, what would the argument against this be? If we assume that they cannot reproduce, what would the argument against this be?

    I'm not saying that you espouse such views; just that you cannot say that what two consenting adults do all the time is (or should be) moral.

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