"So cultivate your little prehomosexual's native talents, and your ultimate genetic payoff could, strangely enough, be even larger with one very special gay child than it would be if 10 mediocre straight offspring leaped from your loins." Jesse Bering
This is science?
Sounds more like bias: “one very special gay child.”
And insulting: “10 mediocre straight offspring.”
And demeaning: “ultimate genetic payoff.”
And Biblical: “leaped from your loins.”
Scientific American posts Jesse Bering’s article: “Is Your Child Gay?
In looking carefully at the childhoods of gay adults, researchers are finding an intriguing set of behavioral indicators that homosexuals seem to have in common. Curiously enough, the age-old homophobic fears of many parents reflect some genuine predictive currency.
Bailey and Zucker examined sex-typed behavior—that long, now scientifically canonical list of innate sex differences in the behaviors of young males versus young females. In innumerable studies, scientists have documented that these sex differences are largely impervious to learning. They are also found in every culture examined.
Researchers readily concede that there are quite likely multiple—and no doubt extremely complicated—developmental routes to adult homosexuality. Heritable, biological factors interact with environmental experiences to produce sexual orientation. Because the data often reveal very early emerging traits in prehomosexuals, children who show pronounced sex-atypical behaviors may have more of a genetic loading to their homosexuality, whereas gay adults who were sex-typical as children might trace their homosexuality more directly to particular childhood experiences.
Numerous studies have since replicated this general pattern, revealing a strong link between childhood deviations from gender role norms and adult sexual orientation.
Then we arrive at the most important question of all. Why do parents worry so much about whether their child may or may not be gay? All else being equal, I suspect we would be hard-pressed to find parents who would actually prefer their offspring to be homosexual. Evolutionarily, parental homophobia is a no-brainer: gay sons and lesbian daughters are not likely to reproduce (unless they get creative).
But bear this in mind, parents, there are other ways for your child to contribute to your overall genetic success than humdrum sexual reproduction. I don't know how much money or residual fame is trickling down to, say, k. d. lang, Elton John and Rachel Maddow's close relatives, but I can only imagine that these straight kin are far better off in terms of their own reproductive opportunities than they would be without a homosexual dangling so magnificently on their family trees. So cultivate your little prehomosexual's native talents, and your ultimate genetic payoff could, strangely enough, be even larger with one very special gay child than it would be if 10 mediocre straight offspring leaped from your loins.
Let's cultivate the talents of all children whether they display sex-atypical or gender-normative behavior. If a boy likes to play with his mother's make-up, maybe he'll go into theatre arts. And a girl who is good at sports could become an Olympic athlete. We don't need to buy into the stereotype that boys who play with dolls will develop same-sex attraction. Or the stereotype that one very special gay child is better than 10 mediocre straight offspring.