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One of These Twins is Gay


NatGeo TV takes a look at gay twins and nature vs nurture in homosexuality.


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  1. ¡Dios mio, Celso!

    Posted by: Scott | Nov 25, 2009 10:29:12 AM

  2. What is the name of the show that this aired on National Geo Channel - I'd like to see the entire episode - or download it on iTunes ... help!

    Posted by: Scott | Nov 25, 2009 10:34:19 AM

  3. LOL...Oh, Lord. They're going to start pumping testosterone into baby boys inside the womb. Some gay men hate stuff like this--you know, stuff about the level of testosterone as a factor in producing gay males. Don't let it bother you, fellas...just grow a beard.

    There must be different causes as to what causes homosexuality. Also different causes to what causes transgenderism. No one answer.

    Oh, and I'll take either of the twin Latino Papis. I wonder if I could find them up in New York...I couldn't tell.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Nov 25, 2009 10:36:07 AM

  4. As a gay man and an identical twin I find these programs both facinating and disturbing. Having been in a few twin studies in my life this clip is way too simplistic. My twin is straight and always has been. (But it is the question most asked of us - are you both gay?) He gets the brunt of it though - me, I just laugh and say "He is the one with two divorces"

    Posted by: Adam M | Nov 25, 2009 10:42:24 AM

  5. I gotta admit, I'm disappointed in Natty G for this report. They only covered one tiny line of evidence, and present it in a really stereotyped way. They know better.

    The thing about the low-testosterone hypothesis is that it's not consistently supported across the literature. But, it's such a compelling story - "Gay men are like women in that they like men, so they must be more like women," etc., and will never go away.

    For instance, differences in the finger-length ratio between gay and straight men suggests that gay men may be exposed to *increased* testosterone in the womb.

    Posted by: Michael | Nov 25, 2009 10:46:49 AM

  6. As a scientis, I cringe at some of the comments made during these shows. Complete oversimplification of an issue allows the whackos to latch onto the most ridiculous shit.
    And they need to be more specific and refer to it as "sexual orientation in gay males." The same could not be said for testosterone exposure in female twin pairs.

    Posted by: andy | Nov 25, 2009 10:50:41 AM

  7. scientist (who can't type today)

    Posted by: andy | Nov 25, 2009 10:51:17 AM

  8. They´re both hot.

    Posted by: Raul | Nov 25, 2009 11:22:52 AM

  9. I love the narrator "there are still many questions to be answered" No there aren't. We are born gay (or at the very least with an attraction to the same sex). Why is this so hard for straights to imagine??

    Posted by: ty | Nov 25, 2009 11:38:41 AM

  10. as (another) scientist-in-training, i'm glad i'm not the only one with some unease towards this program. derrick from philly and andy said it best, and i agree with their remarks.
    i, too, appreciate the desire to vulgarize the arcane; but i would just like to add that the video at times also employs phrasing that seems imprecise at best and *very* unenlightened at worst, like when the narrator says that maybe celso "did not absorb enough testosterone to differentiate his brain". seriously?

    Posted by: daftpunkydavid | Nov 25, 2009 11:57:41 AM

  11. The statement, "The gay brother didn't receive SUFFICIENT testosterone." is VERY problematic for me. If the narrator had said "the gay brother didn't receive sufficient testosterone to become attracted to women" I would still find the statement too simplistic but at least it would have reeked of editorial judgement that homosexuality, in and of itself, is an insufficiency.

    Posted by: Zeke | Nov 25, 2009 12:23:36 PM

  12. C'mon, yall, the point of this program wasn't to talk about homosexuality, but rather epigenetics. It's too bad that NatGeo simplified the nature/nurture debate (and, in fact, got it wrong-don't most "nurture" supporters feel that social factors and not environmental ones are what "turn" people gay?) but it did a good job introducing the concept of epigenetics, which is all that it was trying to do. It's not saying that homosexuality is a "disease" just trying to postulate some reasons as to why it happens and use those reasons to illustrate epigenetics.

    Posted by: JCashell | Nov 25, 2009 12:32:55 PM

  13. I have identical twin sons. One is straight and one is gay. I have often wondered about the nuture versus nature rational for being gay. The twins were raised in the same room and had the same DNA but I could tell by the time they were toddlers that one was straight and one was gay.

    My boys are wonderful young men now and I love them both very much. I guess the reality for me is that the answer to why one is straight and one is gay is more complicated than nuture versus nature. They have been who they are since they were born. It isn't a life style choice for either of them. As I mentioned I love them and am very proud of them both.

    Final thought - I would like them both to be treated equaly in this country. It doesn't make sense to me why one brother can get married and the other can't. The Churches that campaign against gay marriage have every right to do so but they shouldn't be able to dictate government policy. Neither should a majority of voters be able to vote away rights of a minority. The US Constitution is supposed to guide us in separation of Church and State issues and majority rule issues.

    Posted by: Hart | Nov 25, 2009 12:55:34 PM

  14. This is pure RUBBISH!

    There is simply no credible scientific evidence of these claims!

    Posted by: INTHE KNOW | Nov 25, 2009 1:04:11 PM

  15. Yeah, the "inadequate testosterone" theory doesn't make much sense--what is the evidence for that? Could just as likely be too much testosterone.

    Posted by: rayy | Nov 25, 2009 1:04:51 PM

  16. @rayy Yes, I totally agree

    Posted by: JCashell | Nov 25, 2009 1:09:58 PM

  17. How can you post this sh*t?! If I wanted Fox News reporting I'd log on to their website. "Insufficient testosterone," "sexual preference" - WTF?!

    Posted by: tsuyoikuma | Nov 25, 2009 1:11:02 PM

  18. Thanks, HART, for your comment...wish we had 100 million fathers like you in this country.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Nov 25, 2009 1:13:31 PM

  19. I don't understand this, they just seem like they're grasping at straws because if their theory for what causes homosexuality in males is inadequate testosterone then what is the cause of homosexuality in women? Too much testosterone? But that doesn't make sense since we all start out female in the womb (why would there start to be testosterone and then it suddenly stops and leaves the fetus female).

    I don't think they will ever find out how people come out gay, but I'm fine with that, I don't need to know, I'm secure in my sexuality.

    Posted by: Miel | Nov 25, 2009 1:25:58 PM

  20. Although National Geography may have set out to explore the genetic and epigenetic basis of sexual orientation, this clip sadly demonstrates the heterosexist origins of their journey. Noting that the gay twin's brain didn't absorb enough testoterone during fetal development, thus "he was left with a desire for men" and switching from use of the term "sexual orientation" to "sexual preference" part way through this segment feeds into the falsehoods, myths, and resulting bias and discrimination we all face on a daily basis. Stating that the differences are simply differences and not placing value on them would have made this more credible. I'd expect such nonsense from FOX NEWS, but I always thought National Geographic had more integrity.

    Posted by: Jim | Nov 25, 2009 1:27:24 PM

  21. It has to be the one in black. He has great posture, glowing skin and seems very engaged. Just sayin.

    Posted by: Beef and Fur | Nov 25, 2009 1:50:12 PM

  22. @JIM, my point exactly. They lost me when they started placing value judgments on the two sexualities with homosexuality being presented as the result of "insufficient testosterone" and then using the ignorant and anti-gay favorite term "sexual preference".

    I understand that this was not about homosexuality per se, but rather epigentics, but that doesn't excuse NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC from presenting bad science and editorializing scientific findings with value judgments.

    Posted by: Zeke | Nov 25, 2009 2:26:14 PM

  23. I agree with Andy and other scientists, this program over-simplfies scientific research and analysis. There are many variables that must be considered before any conclusion is drawn. Studies such as this that are watered down for public consideration need to be begun and/or followed with claimers explaining the hypothesis and overall conclusion that more facts are to be considered before any opinion is formed.

    Posted by: CJ | Nov 25, 2009 2:28:05 PM

  24. @ DERRICKFROMPHILY: Of course you hit the nail on the head with the first try. And I think the boys are in Chicago (wasn't that the Water Tower?).

    As for the topic of how things work in men vs. women, it simply needn't be the same. After all, our development paths are quite different.

    And for both sexes, there could be multiple roads to Nirvana: genetics and hormonal environment in the womb are the most obvious.

    Some scientists say men have a pretty fixed orientation from the "start" and woment don't (Anne Heche and Cynthia Nixon on lines 1 and 2 [no judgement here; Ms. Nixon is a true Goddess]).

    And in the end, the causes of homosexuality are a curiosity, amoral, and without consequence on public policy.

    Posted by: David R. | Nov 25, 2009 3:13:28 PM

  25. Their line of reasoning isn't bad--if you need testosterone to make a normally female fetus male then any gaps in this process will result in an "incomplete" male. However, very few gay men are feminine in more physical ways, such as having no facial hair, so the entire process is either much more complicated or it's very easy to make a male fetus, but harder to make a straight fetus. Sperm counts for all western males have been declining for decades, so environment is playing a role in the development of masculinity, though how and why are not understood.

    Posted by: anon | Nov 25, 2009 3:45:29 PM

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