This site uses cookies. By continuing, your consent is assumed. Learn more

143.8fm shares

Evolutionary psychology explanation homosexuality statistics

opinion

Male homosexuality doesn't make complete sense from an evolutionary point of view. It appears that the trait is heritable, but because homosexual men are much less likely to produce offspring than heterosexual men, shouldn't the genes for this trait have been extinguished long ago?

What value could this sexual orientation have, that it has persisted for eons even without any discernible reproductive advantage?

One possible explanation is what evolutionary psychologists call the "kin selection hypothesis. Specifically, the theory holds that homosexual men might enhance their own genetic prospects by being "helpers in the nest.

They chose Samoa because males who prefer men as sexual partners are widely recognized and accepted there as a distinct gender category—called fa'afafine—neither man nor woman. The fa'afafine tend to be effeminate, and exclusively attracted to adult men as sexual partners.

This clear demarcation makes it easier to identify Evolutionary psychology explanation homosexuality statistics sample for study. Past research has shown that the fa'afafine are much more altruistically inclined toward their nieces and nephews than either Samoan women or heterosexual men.

They are willing to babysit a lot, tutor their nieces and nephews in art and music, and help out financially—paying for medical care and education and so forth.

In a new study, the scientists set out to unravel the psychology of the fa'afafine, to see if their altruism is targeted specifically at kin rather than kids in general. They recruited a large sample of fa'afafine, and comparable samples of women and heterosexual men. They gave them all a series of questionnaires, measuring their willingness to help their "Evolutionary psychology explanation homosexuality statistics" and nephews in various ways—caretaking, gifts, teaching—and also their willingness to do these things for other, unrelated kids.

The findings, reported on-line this week in the journal Psychological Sciencelend strong support to the kin selection idea. Compared to Samoan women and heterosexual menthe fa'afafine showed a much weaker link between their avuncular - or uncle like - behavior and their altruism toward kids generally.

This cognitive dissociation, the scientists argue, allows the fa'afafine to allocate their resources more efficiently and precisely to their kin—and thus enhance their own evolutionary prospects.

To compensate for being childless, each fa'afafine would have to somehow support the survival of two additional nieces or nephews who would otherwise not have existed. Do these findings have any meaning outside of Samoa? Samoan culture is very different from most Western cultures. Samoan culture is very localized, and centered on tight-knit extended families, whereas Western societies tend to be highly individualistic and homophobic.

Families are also much more geographically dispersed in Western cultures, diminishing the role that bachelor uncles can play in the extended family, even if they choose to. But in this sense, the researchers say, Samoa's communitarian culture may be more—not less—representative of the environment in which male same-sex sexuality evolved eons ago.

In that sense, it's not the bachelor uncle who is poorly adapted to the world, but rather the modern Western world that has evolved into an unwelcoming place. Tweet Favorites Email Print PDF Social media is affecting the way we view our bodies—and not in a good way November 15, Young women who actively engage with social media images of friends who they think are more attractive than themselves report feeling Evolutionary psychology explanation homosexuality statistics about their own appearance afterward, a York University study shows.

Recommended for you

Study finds mindfulness apps can improve mental health November 15, A University of Otago study has found that using mindfulness meditation applications apps on phones is associated with improvements in people's mental health. New research has revealed we are actually better at remembering names than faces November 14, With the Christmas party season fast approaching, there will be plenty of opportunity to re-live the familiar, and excruciatingly-awkward, social situation of not being able to remember an acquaintance's name.

Older adults' abstract reasoning ability predicts depressive symptoms over time November 14, Age-related declines in abstract reasoning ability predict increasing depressive symptoms in subsequent years, according to data from a longitudinal study of older adults in Scotland.

The research is published in Psychological The illusion of multitasking boosts performance November 13, Our ability to do things well suffers when we try to complete several tasks at once, but a series of experiments suggests that merely believing that we're multitasking may boost our performance by making us more engaged in Brain changes found in self-injuring teen girls November 13, The brains of teenage girls who engage in serious forms of self-harm, including cutting, show features similar to those seen in adults with borderline personality disorder, a severe and hard-to-treat mental illness, a new Please sign in to add a comment.

Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Social media is affecting the way we view our bodies—and not in a good way November 15, Young women who actively engage with social media images of friends who they think are more attractive than themselves report feeling worse about their own appearance afterward, a York University study shows.

Adjust slider to filter visible Evolutionary psychology explanation homosexuality statistics by rank. This doesn't explain anything about how homosexuality continues to perpetuate given the fact that homosexuals are much less likely to reproduce. This only explains how the eventual gene or something else might have value in nature; not what it's composed of. How come it suvives, in it self? Actually, homosexuality is an artifact Evolutionary psychology explanation homosexuality statistics all bird and mammal life, including humans, and has continued through the ages quite irrespective of any kinship behaviors, laws, persecution, discrimination, etc.

Bonding is fostered by sex, all sex. It doesn't need to be explained. What needs to be explained scientifically is why anyone in their right mind continues to take exception to this rather unavoidable fact, or study it.

Increasing the odds of your nieces and nephews survival preserves part of the homosexual's genetic heritage because each of them has half of their uncle's genes. If there is one gene pair that is critical the homosexuality, each niece and nephew has half of the pair. This kind of seems like grasping at straws to me. Completely removing morality from the debate, homosexuality does seem at this point to have a genetic component, but it obviously has a cultural component as well, and it seems very unlikely that every Evolutionary psychology explanation homosexuality statistics harbors this preference because of their genes.

A more likely explanation is that it is simply a random mutation that pops up in a certain percentage of most species. There is a big difference between a mutation and an adaptation. And there just isn't really any way to spin homosexuality as providing some kind of reproductive advantage for the individual. The limitation to this and similar studies is that they view homosexuality as a trait on its own, rather than as simply one of the more obvious of a genetic "grab bag" of traits.

Homosexuals are born the way they are, there is no morality or choice invloved. However, homosexuals display a greater tendency towards left handedness, creativity, cleverness, schizophrenia and emotional problems.

These traits in a Evolutionary psychology explanation homosexuality statistics setting where evolution has sway, alongside their ability to act as "super uncles" would create a slight advantage genetically to their relatives.

News feed