Researcher Claims Gay Men Fail to Break from Childhood

While I posted about new studies on fruit flies this morning which have led researchers to theorize that homosexuality is based on altering the strength of synapse connections, there are new behavioral hypotheses emerging as well. Anthropologist Desmond Morris has put forth a theory about why some men are gay in his new book The Naked Man that is sure to stir discussion:

Morris“In his latest book, The Naked Man, he concludes that men are ‘made gay’ because they retain infantile or juvenile characteristics into adulthood – a phenomenon known as neoteny. According to this theory, gay men also tend to be more inventive and creative than heterosexuals because they are more likely to retain the mental agility and playfulness of childhood. ‘Gays have in general made a disproportionately greater contribution to life than nongays,’ said Morris, who is also a noted artist. ‘The creative gay has very much advanced Planet Earth. The playfulness of childhood is continued with certain people into adulthood. This is very much a positive. Adult playfulness means that certain people, often a fairly large proportion of them gay, are more inventive and curious than heterosexuals.’ His theory was, however, attacked by Steve Jones, professor of genetics at University College London. ‘It’s arts faculty science to say that gays are neotenous,” he said. ‘It’s a stupid idea. Where is the real evidence?’ Morris points to work done by Clive Bromhall, who produced some of his television programmes. ‘Gays do infantile behaviour in the extreme,’ said Bromhall, who after gaining a PhD in zoology from Oxford, left academia to form a company making educational films. Morris, who is 80 in January, long thought that absent fathers led to boys and young male adults becoming gay. ‘[It is] the dominant and ever-present mother theory,’ he said. ‘But now I’m convinced that is wrong, and that it is neoteny which makes people gay. Gays are using what is reproductive or creatively constructive to non-reproductive ends. This is very much a positive.'”

Here’s an excerpt from Morris’ book.

Men are ‘made gay by the child within’ [times online]
Why are Men Gay? [EXCERPT – Desmond Morris]

Posted December 10, 2007 at 4:15pm ETC by Andy Towle
in Books, News