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Jason Collins' Twin Jarron on His Brother's Coming Out: 'I've Never Been More Proud of Him'

Jason Collins, the NBA Center who came out of the closet today and is now the first active male openly gay athlete in a major professional sport, has a twin brother also in the NBA who spent eight seasons with the Jazz.

Jason_jarronSays Jarron in a separate SI piece:

This announcement will be surprising to some people. I already anticipate the questions: "Are you the gay twin or the straight one?" This is uncharted territory, and no one can predict how it will play out. It's a big deal -- but it's also not a big deal. When the media crush is over, Jason will have the strength to deal with whatever challenges come from being openly gay.

As for us, we're still going to give each other grief. (He's still going to be a terrible golfer; he's still the guy who could help more with changing my kids' diapers.) We'll still be competitive in our way. As kids we were always pushing each other, whether it was for good grades or for possession of the remote control. As NBA players we both wanted to be stronger, so each summer we would have a "liftoff" to see who could put up more weight.

Today, Jason has taken a huge weight off his shoulders. And I've never been more proud of him.

Watch an NBA.com profile of the brothers from 2007, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. That's cool. family.

    Posted by: mark | Apr 29, 2013 12:35:38 PM


  2. What a supportive brother! If only all sibling were so supportive.

    Posted by: MuscleModelBlog.com | Apr 29, 2013 12:40:01 PM


  3. Golf?

    Posted by: David Hearne | Apr 29, 2013 1:02:18 PM


  4. well, now i'm going to go watch The Wiz.

    why?

    because i can feel a brand new day.

    can you? feel a brand new day?

    :-)

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 29, 2013 1:08:09 PM


  5. So hurrah, it's finally happened. A major male sports figure from the NBA has come out as gay...and he and his brother are both very cool people, black guys on, it would seem, the model of Obama himself: affable, well-spoken, well adjusted people. Congratulations and relief. It's another fine marker in not just the burgeoning of gay visibility, but of gay respectability as the walls of Jerico come tumbling down.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Apr 29, 2013 1:09:53 PM


  6. Yeah David, Golf....why???

    Posted by: Rowan | Apr 29, 2013 1:12:50 PM


  7. Spoken like a true brother.

    Posted by: Douglas | Apr 29, 2013 2:20:38 PM


  8. So Jason Collins' identical twin brother is straight, while Jason is gay. I know other studies have started to be done on this whole issue, but on some level this seems to argue against the hypothesis that people "become gay" while in the womb, as a result of a mother's hormonal bath, or of epigenetics. I mean, if one twin in the womb was exposed to this hormonal bath, then the other one would be, too. Which means that both would turn out gay, you would think. Except both didn't.

    This would almost seem to help indicate that people are gay based on what takes place outside of the womb, rather than inside of it. Thoughts?

    Posted by: Jon | Apr 29, 2013 2:48:27 PM


  9. @Jon: At first blush, this looks like a case of "nurture" versus "nature", true.

    However, Jason and Jarron are FRATERNAL twins, not identical. They share a lot of common DNA, but not every single gene.

    The identical twin studies looking into sexual orientation support "nature" in that there is a much higher incidence of both twins being gay than in fraternal twins or other siblings. But it's not a perfect correlation, so "nurture" must play some kind of role as well.

    And at the end of the day, so what? He's gay, his brother isn't, they love each other regardless. And that's how it should be. Period.

    Posted by: One of the CA 36,000 | Apr 29, 2013 3:08:28 PM


  10. Wow, UFFDA was really hoping for a different outcome...

    Posted by: Fenrox | Apr 29, 2013 5:48:07 PM


  11. @ Jon. You might like to read "A Separate Creation" by Chandler Burr...an old book, but great nonetheless.

    Posted by: shane | Apr 29, 2013 6:27:42 PM


  12. People, he still sucks at hoops whether or not he's gay. I say drop his ass from the team. Hahahahaha!!!!!!!

    Posted by: Hestillsucks | Apr 29, 2013 10:08:45 PM


  13. From what I remember, about 50% of gay identical twins have a gay twin. But fraternal twins are just two brothers who shared a womb. Could just as easily have been a brother and sister.

    Posted by: emjayay | Apr 30, 2013 2:39:51 AM


  14. way" theory
    The Importance of Twin Studies

    N. E. Whitehead, Ph.D.

    A constant stream of media articles--several per year--assures us that there is a link between homosexuality and biological features. These articles mention genes, brain structure, hormone levels in the womb, ear characteristics, fingerprint styles, finger lengths, verbal skills...... and by the time you read this, some others may have appeared. The headlines imply that people are born with tendencies which infallibly will make them gay or lesbian, and that change of sexual orientation will be impossible.

    Individually some of these pieces are not very convincing, but the sheer volume of them suggests that they must amount to an overwhelming influence--or if not, further research will add to them and make it so. This is not true either, and we see shortly that twin studies refute it.

    Twin Studies

    Twin studies in their modern form investigate both identical and fraternal twins, but this article emphasizes studies of identical twins, which are sufficient for our purposes. Studies of non-identical twins are detailed elsewhere (1).

    Earlier studies mostly used informal or "snowball" samples of twins recruited from gay and lesbian associations, and by advertisements (e.g. 2,3). Such studies are possibly biased by the nature of twins who volunteer, but even so, if one identical twin was homosexual, only about half the time was the co-twin concordant (i.e. also homosexual).

    Better research, however, was based on twins who were recruited for other reasons, and only subsequently asked about their sexual orientation. These are known as "registry" studies, and they similarly gave a concordance rate between identical twins of less than 50%. There have been two major published registry studies (4,5), one based on the Minnesota Registry, the other on the Australian Registry. The larger of the two registry studies is the Australian one, done by Bailey, Martin and others at the University of Queensland. Using the 14,000+ Australian twin collection, they found that if one twin was homosexual, 38% of the time his identical brother was too. For lesbianism the concordance was 30%. Whether 30% or 50% concordance (snowball samples), all the studies agree it is clearly not 100%.

    The critical factor is that if one identical twin is homosexual, only sometimes is the co-twin homosexual. There is no argument about this in the scientific community.

    Interpretation

    Identical twins have identical genes. If homosexuality was a biological condition produced inescapably by the genes (e.g. eye color), then if one identical twin was homosexual, in 100% of the cases his brother would be too. But we know that only about 38% of the time is the identical twin brother homosexual. Genes are responsible for an indirect influence, but on average, they do not force people into homosexuality. This conclusion has been well known in the scientific community for a few decades (e.g. 6) but has not reached the general public. Indeed, the public increasingly believes the opposite.

    Identical twins had essentially the same upbringing. Suppose homosexuality resulted from some interaction with parents that infallibly made children homosexual. Then if one twin was homosexual, the other would also always be homosexual. But as we saw above, if one is homosexual, the other is usually not. Family factors may be an influence, but on average do not compel people to be homosexual.

    Twin studies suggest that as a class, events unique to each twin--neither genetic nor family influences--are more frequent than genetic influences or family influences. But many individual family factors (such as the distant father) are commoner than the individual unique factors. Unique events would include seduction, sexual abuse, chance sexual encounters, or particular reactions to sensitive events, when young. Everyone has their own unique path which only partly follows that of the theoreticians!

    A fascinating sidelight on all this comes from the work of Bailey (7). His team asked non-concordant identical twins (one was homosexual, one not) about their early family environment, and found that the same family environment was experienced or perceived by the twins in quite different ways. These differences led later to homosexuality in one twin, but not in the other.

    Strength of Influences

    At this point, some of you will be asking--what about the concordant identical twins who were both homosexual? Could their genes have "made them do it"?

    No. It can be a strong influence for a few, but even for those few, it is never overwhelming. The record strengths for genetic influence on behaviors are 79% in a group of highly addicted women cocaine addicts (8) and about the same or somewhat higher, for ADHD (9). Because those figures are not 100%, even among addicts or those strongly pushed towards some other behavior, there is room for outside intervention and change. Hence even if homosexuality is as addictive as cocaine for a few individuals, their genes didn't "make them do it."

    For perspective, it is valuable to compare genetic contributions to homosexuality with the question - is a girl genetically compelled to become pregnant at 15? Her genes might give her physical characteristics that make her attractive to boys - but whether she gets pregnant will depend greatly on whether her community is Amish or urban, conservative or liberal, whether they use contraceptives, and whether the parents are away for the evening.

    So the influence of the genes is very indirect. We can see this by thinking further - if she was in solitary confinement all her life, would her genes make her become pregnant? Of course not! Some influence from the environment (in this case a boy) is essential! The effects of genes on behaviors are very indirect because genes make proteins, not preferences.

    So the results of identical-twin studies are critical in understanding the biological influences on homosexuality. Only for physical traits like skin color are identical twins 100% concordant; otherwise they don't necessarily follow either their parents' genes...or their parents' admonitions! In this, homosexuality proves to be no different from such unrelated behaviors as violence, being extroverted, or getting divorced. All may be influenced by genes, but not overwhelmingly determined by them.

    Future Biological Research

    Will continuing research eventually find some overwhelming biological influences to produce homosexuality, or find that added together, all the biological influences are overwhelming? No. The twin studies prove that future research will never discover any overwhelming biological factors which compel homosexuality.

    Future Psychological Research

    The complementary finding is just as true. There are many influences from upbringing, and probably many we have not yet discovered--but however many we find, it will always remain true (because the twin studies tell us so) that family influences will never overwhelmingly compel children to be homosexual.

    Childhood Gender non-conformity (essentially strong sissiness, rather than a diagnosis of GID) is the strongest single influence ever found associated with adult homosexuality, but even this factor is not overwhelmingly compelling. 75% of a sample of extremely "sissy" boys became homosexual when followed through to adulthood (10). But we must remember they were so sissy that parents were extremely concerned and referred them to the research clinic for help. Only a small percentage of sissy boys from the general population become homosexual as adults (11). This is even more true of other factors which have been researched and publicized in the media, and leads to a another important rule of thumb: "Only a small minority of those exposed to any predisposing factor become homosexual."

    This may be a surprise to some clinicians, who may have found high percentages of sissiness, tomboyishness or same-sex parent deficits in their clients. But that is a clinical sample - out in the extra-clinical world, surveys show that only a small percentage of those with poor same-sex parent relationships become homosexual. For whatever reason those factors have often become extremely influential in such clients' lives and must be taken very seriously; but because they are minor factors in the whole population, clinicians must not force everyone into the same box, which may be uncomfortable, or simply not fit. They must be open to any unusual factor which has been important for the specific client.

    The scientific truth is - our genes don't force us into anything. But we can support or suppress our genetic tendencies. We can foster them or foil them. If we reinforce our genetic tendencies thousands of times (even if only through homoerotic fantasy), is it surprising that it is hard to change? Similarly, we have a genetic tendency to eat, but it is possible to foster this tendency and overeat for the pleasure it brings. If we repeat that often enough, we will not only reinforce a genetic tendency to become overweight, but find that "starving" the habit takes a long time!

    In summary:

    1. No scientist believes genes by themselves infallibly make us behave in specified ways. Genes create a tendency, not a tyranny.

    2. Identical twin studies show that neither genetic nor family factors are overwhelming.

    3. Conclusion 2 will not be altered by any research in the future.

    4. We can foster or foil genetic or family influences.

    5. Change is possible.


    References

    1. Whitehead, NE; Whitehead,BK (1999): My Genes Made Me Do It! Huntington House, Layfayette, Louisiana. See also www.mygenes.co.nz.

    2. Bailey, JM; Pillard,RC (1991): A genetic study of male sexual orientation. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 48, 1089-1096.

    3. Bailey, JM; Pillard,RC; Neale,MC; Agyei,Y (1993): Heritable factors influence sexual orientation in women. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 50, 217-223.

    4. Hershberger, SL (1997): A twin registry study of male and female sexual orientation. J. of Sex Research 34, 212-222.

    5. Bailey, JM; Dunne,MP; Martin,NG (2000): Genetic and Environmental influences on sexual orientation and its correlates in an Australian twin sample. J. Pers. Social Psychology 78, 524-536.

    6. West, DJ (1977): Homosexuality Reexamined. 4th ed. Duckworth, London.

    7. Bailey, NM; Pillard,RC (1995): Genetics of human sexual orientation. Ann. Rev. Sex Research 6, 126-150.

    8. Kendler, KS; Prescott,CA (1998): Cocaine use, abuse and dependence in a population-based sample of female twins. Brit. J. Psychiatry 173, 345-350.

    9. Rhee, SH; Waldman,ID; Hay,DA; Levy,F (1999): Sex differences in genetic and environmental influences on DSM-III-R attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. J. Abnorm. Psychology 108, 24-41.

    10. Green, R (1987). The "Sissy Boy Syndrome" and the Development of Homosexuality. Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut.

    11. Bell, AP; Weinberg,MS; Hammersmith,SK (1981): Sexual Preference: Its Development In Men and Women. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, Indiana.

    Posted by: bruce liuzzo | Apr 30, 2013 4:56:49 AM


  15. way" theory
    The Importance of Twin Studies

    N. E. Whitehead, Ph.D.

    A constant stream of media articles--several per year--assures us that there is a link between homosexuality and biological features. These articles mention genes, brain structure, hormone levels in the womb, ear characteristics, fingerprint styles, finger lengths, verbal skills...... and by the time you read this, some others may have appeared. The headlines imply that people are born with tendencies which infallibly will make them gay or lesbian, and that change of sexual orientation will be impossible.

    Individually some of these pieces are not very convincing, but the sheer volume of them suggests that they must amount to an overwhelming influence--or if not, further research will add to them and make it so. This is not true either, and we see shortly that twin studies refute it.

    Twin Studies

    Twin studies in their modern form investigate both identical and fraternal twins, but this article emphasizes studies of identical twins, which are sufficient for our purposes. Studies of non-identical twins are detailed elsewhere (1).

    Earlier studies mostly used informal or "snowball" samples of twins recruited from gay and lesbian associations, and by advertisements (e.g. 2,3). Such studies are possibly biased by the nature of twins who volunteer, but even so, if one identical twin was homosexual, only about half the time was the co-twin concordant (i.e. also homosexual).

    Better research, however, was based on twins who were recruited for other reasons, and only subsequently asked about their sexual orientation. These are known as "registry" studies, and they similarly gave a concordance rate between identical twins of less than 50%. There have been two major published registry studies (4,5), one based on the Minnesota Registry, the other on the Australian Registry. The larger of the two registry studies is the Australian one, done by Bailey, Martin and others at the University of Queensland. Using the 14,000+ Australian twin collection, they found that if one twin was homosexual, 38% of the time his identical brother was too. For lesbianism the concordance was 30%. Whether 30% or 50% concordance (snowball samples), all the studies agree it is clearly not 100%.

    The critical factor is that if one identical twin is homosexual, only sometimes is the co-twin homosexual. There is no argument about this in the scientific community.

    Interpretation

    Identical twins have identical genes. If homosexuality was a biological condition produced inescapably by the genes (e.g. eye color), then if one identical twin was homosexual, in 100% of the cases his brother would be too. But we know that only about 38% of the time is the identical twin brother homosexual. Genes are responsible for an indirect influence, but on average, they do not force people into homosexuality. This conclusion has been well known in the scientific community for a few decades (e.g. 6) but has not reached the general public. Indeed, the public increasingly believes the opposite.

    Identical twins had essentially the same upbringing. Suppose homosexuality resulted from some interaction with parents that infallibly made children homosexual. Then if one twin was homosexual, the other would also always be homosexual. But as we saw above, if one is homosexual, the other is usually not. Family factors may be an influence, but on average do not compel people to be homosexual.

    Twin studies suggest that as a class, events unique to each twin--neither genetic nor family influences--are more frequent than genetic influences or family influences. But many individual family factors (such as the distant father) are commoner than the individual unique factors. Unique events would include seduction, sexual abuse, chance sexual encounters, or particular reactions to sensitive events, when young. Everyone has their own unique path which only partly follows that of the theoreticians!

    A fascinating sidelight on all this comes from the work of Bailey (7). His team asked non-concordant identical twins (one was homosexual, one not) about their early family environment, and found that the same family environment was experienced or perceived by the twins in quite different ways. These differences led later to homosexuality in one twin, but not in the other.

    Strength of Influences

    At this point, some of you will be asking--what about the concordant identical twins who were both homosexual? Could their genes have "made them do it"?

    No. It can be a strong influence for a few, but even for those few, it is never overwhelming. The record strengths for genetic influence on behaviors are 79% in a group of highly addicted women cocaine addicts (8) and about the same or somewhat higher, for ADHD (9). Because those figures are not 100%, even among addicts or those strongly pushed towards some other behavior, there is room for outside intervention and change. Hence even if homosexuality is as addictive as cocaine for a few individuals, their genes didn't "make them do it."

    For perspective, it is valuable to compare genetic contributions to homosexuality with the question - is a girl genetically compelled to become pregnant at 15? Her genes might give her physical characteristics that make her attractive to boys - but whether she gets pregnant will depend greatly on whether her community is Amish or urban, conservative or liberal, whether they use contraceptives, and whether the parents are away for the evening.

    So the influence of the genes is very indirect. We can see this by thinking further - if she was in solitary confinement all her life, would her genes make her become pregnant? Of course not! Some influence from the environment (in this case a boy) is essential! The effects of genes on behaviors are very indirect because genes make proteins, not preferences.

    So the results of identical-twin studies are critical in understanding the biological influences on homosexuality. Only for physical traits like skin color are identical twins 100% concordant; otherwise they don't necessarily follow either their parents' genes...or their parents' admonitions! In this, homosexuality proves to be no different from such unrelated behaviors as violence, being extroverted, or getting divorced. All may be influenced by genes, but not overwhelmingly determined by them.

    Future Biological Research

    Will continuing research eventually find some overwhelming biological influences to produce homosexuality, or find that added together, all the biological influences are overwhelming? No. The twin studies prove that future research will never discover any overwhelming biological factors which compel homosexuality.

    Future Psychological Research

    The complementary finding is just as true. There are many influences from upbringing, and probably many we have not yet discovered--but however many we find, it will always remain true (because the twin studies tell us so) that family influences will never overwhelmingly compel children to be homosexual.

    Childhood Gender non-conformity (essentially strong sissiness, rather than a diagnosis of GID) is the strongest single influence ever found associated with adult homosexuality, but even this factor is not overwhelmingly compelling. 75% of a sample of extremely "sissy" boys became homosexual when followed through to adulthood (10). But we must remember they were so sissy that parents were extremely concerned and referred them to the research clinic for help. Only a small percentage of sissy boys from the general population become homosexual as adults (11). This is even more true of other factors which have been researched and publicized in the media, and leads to a another important rule of thumb: "Only a small minority of those exposed to any predisposing factor become homosexual."

    This may be a surprise to some clinicians, who may have found high percentages of sissiness, tomboyishness or same-sex parent deficits in their clients. But that is a clinical sample - out in the extra-clinical world, surveys show that only a small percentage of those with poor same-sex parent relationships become homosexual. For whatever reason those factors have often become extremely influential in such clients' lives and must be taken very seriously; but because they are minor factors in the whole population, clinicians must not force everyone into the same box, which may be uncomfortable, or simply not fit. They must be open to any unusual factor which has been important for the specific client.

    The scientific truth is - our genes don't force us into anything. But we can support or suppress our genetic tendencies. We can foster them or foil them. If we reinforce our genetic tendencies thousands of times (even if only through homoerotic fantasy), is it surprising that it is hard to change? Similarly, we have a genetic tendency to eat, but it is possible to foster this tendency and overeat for the pleasure it brings. If we repeat that often enough, we will not only reinforce a genetic tendency to become overweight, but find that "starving" the habit takes a long time!

    In summary:

    1. No scientist believes genes by themselves infallibly make us behave in specified ways. Genes create a tendency, not a tyranny.

    2. Identical twin studies show that neither genetic nor family factors are overwhelming.

    3. Conclusion 2 will not be altered by any research in the future.

    4. We can foster or foil genetic or family influences.

    5. Change is possible.


    References

    1. Whitehead, NE; Whitehead,BK (1999): My Genes Made Me Do It! Huntington House, Layfayette, Louisiana. See also www.mygenes.co.nz.

    2. Bailey, JM; Pillard,RC (1991): A genetic study of male sexual orientation. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 48, 1089-1096.

    3. Bailey, JM; Pillard,RC; Neale,MC; Agyei,Y (1993): Heritable factors influence sexual orientation in women. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 50, 217-223.

    4. Hershberger, SL (1997): A twin registry study of male and female sexual orientation. J. of Sex Research 34, 212-222.

    5. Bailey, JM; Dunne,MP; Martin,NG (2000): Genetic and Environmental influences on sexual orientation and its correlates in an Australian twin sample. J. Pers. Social Psychology 78, 524-536.

    6. West, DJ (1977): Homosexuality Reexamined. 4th ed. Duckworth, London.

    7. Bailey, NM; Pillard,RC (1995): Genetics of human sexual orientation. Ann. Rev. Sex Research 6, 126-150.

    8. Kendler, KS; Prescott,CA (1998): Cocaine use, abuse and dependence in a population-based sample of female twins. Brit. J. Psychiatry 173, 345-350.

    9. Rhee, SH; Waldman,ID; Hay,DA; Levy,F (1999): Sex differences in genetic and environmental influences on DSM-III-R attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. J. Abnorm. Psychology 108, 24-41.

    10. Green, R (1987). The "Sissy Boy Syndrome" and the Development of Homosexuality. Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut.

    11. Bell, AP; Weinberg,MS; Hammersmith,SK (1981): Sexual Preference: Its Development In Men and Women. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, Indiana.

    Posted by: bruce liuzzo | Apr 30, 2013 4:56:52 AM


  16. In rebuttal to the loooong cut and paste from a researcher with an agenda. The genetic influence on homosexuality is far from disproven. In fact the preponderance of evidence is growing every day to support that it is genetic. Epigenetics is the branch of science that explains why identical twins are not completely identical.For instance not all identical twins share a placenta. Among those that do concordance in many things goes way up.

    Some of the science:

    1. Epigenetics is the biological mechanism explaining variation in sexual preference

    First some background. Translating scientific jargon into plain English is a problem, and there is a mistake in equating “genetic” with “biological.”

    Epigenetics refers to "heritable traits (over rounds of cell division and sometimes transgenerationally) that do not involve changes to the underlying DNA sequence. The Greek prefix epi- in epigenetics implies features that are "on top of" or "in addition to" genetics; thus epigenetic traits exist on top of or in addition to the traditional molecular basis for inheritance."

    Consider a related question: is there a gene that determines whether a person will be tall or short? No, there is no "tallness gene." In fact, identical twins can be of different heights. Yet, as far as I know, no one claims that whether a person is tall or not depends upon whether there was a tall person in the family that served as a role model, or that any other non-biological cause dominates the trait of height. In the case of tallness, many biological factors are involved, including multiple genes determined before birth and some post-natal biological factors like the amount of calcium in the diet. Tallness is generally not a subject that bears upon preconceived beliefs, so no one attempts a non-biological explanation of why some people are tall and others short. It is accepted to be the product of many biological factors. There are hundreds of personal attributes that depend upon multiple biological factors, and sexual preference is one of them.

    There are at least four categories of influences upon a person's characteristics:

    1. Genetics are the genes that determine the basic human species. Humans begin with exactly one fertile cell that includes all the genes needed to build the human.

    2. Pre-natal epigenetics comprise the set of biological genetic tags that switch genes on and off as the human grows before birth.

    3. Post-natal epigenetics comprise the biological genetic tags that switch genes on and off after being born.

    4. Psychological influences are the factors affecting the faculty of reasoning.

    Epigenetics is a relatively new area of genetic science. For one thing, epigenetics explains the mechanism by which the original fertilized cell differentiates into cells for blood, bones, and the organs of the body. In the case of identical twins, the original cell divides into two individuals before developing.

    Epigenetics explains why identical twins are not completely identical. The pre-natal biological environments of the two twins are not identical, so the epigenetic tags may not be set identically. One twin may be left-handed and the other right-handed. The twins may or may not have the same fingerprints. One twin may have the same sexual preference as the other twin, but sometimes the sexual preferences are different. Because the womb environment is similar for both of the twins, there is a high correlation between the sexual preferences of twins. Whatever sets the epigenetic tags for one often sets the tags the same way for the other.

    Epigenetic tags can be triggered after birth. Identical twins become less like each other over a lifetime. Their personality traits diverge, and physical traits such as a tendency to fatness or thinness may occur. This is due to variations in the physical environments of the individual producing changes in the epigenetic tagging.

    2. The scientific consensus is that the mechanism in humans is biological

    "Environment" in the context of the literature on sexual preference usually means the biological environment, not the psychological environment. For example, Pro cites Bearman's attribution of a fraction of concordance to twins having a shared placenta rather than to common genes. A shared placenta leads to common epigenetic tags, which are biological, not psychological.

    A summary of a major research paper in Science Daily says:

    Homosexual behavior is largely shaped by genetics and random environmental factors, according to findings from the world's largest study of twins.

    ... environmental factors (which are specific to an individual, and may include biological processes such as different hormone exposure in the womb), ...

    "Overall, genetics accounted for around 35 per cent of the differences between men in homosexual behaviour and other individual-specific environmental factors (that is, not societal attitudes, family or parenting which are shared by twins) accounted for around 64 per cent. In other words, men become gay or straight because of different developmental pathways, not just one pathway."

    For women, genetics explained roughly 18 per cent of the variation in same-sex behaviour, non-shared environment roughly 64 per cent and shared factors, or the family environment, explained 16 per cent." [4.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com...]

    So, social attitudes and family or parenting account for only 1% of homosexual differences in males and 16% in women. The difference between men and women is attributable to women having XX and men XY chromosomes. 99% and 84%, respectively, are biological causes.

    3. Homosexuality occurs in 1500 species due to biological causes

    Wikipedia provides a list of animal species in which homosexual behavior has been observed together with references. [5. http://en.wikipedia.org...]
    It notes, "Bagemihl's research shows that homosexual behavior, not necessarily sex, has been observed in close to 1500 species, ranging from primates to gut worms, and is well documented for 500 of them." This does not of itself prove conclusively that the mechanism producing the behavior in humans is biological, but it proves that biological mechanisms are commonplace. It's not plausible that gut worms et al are subject to psychological causes. There is no logical reason why humans would be an exception.

    4. Sexual preference is immutable

    Alan Chambers, CEO of an organization that attempts to cure homosexuality admitted that 99.9% of homosexuals never change their sexual orientation. Virtually any learned behavior can be changed with conventional positive and negative reinforcement techniques. That sexual preference cannot be changed proves that it is biological.

    Pro-biology's Case

    a. There is no consensus on exactly what causes homosexuality. We also have no consensus on what causes tallness. Nonetheless, the causes are known to be biological. It is not known what genes are relevant, what epigenetic tags are operative, and what environmental factors set the epigenetic tags. However, all the candidates are biological.

    b. The shared placenta effect is predicted by epigenetics. It's biological.

    c. As Pro quotes Whitehead, the "10%genetic" counts only the non-epignetic part of DNA. the numbers are superceded by [4]

    d. Bailey et al determined that there is no "gay gene." That's consistent with the epigenetic origins of sexual preference now favored by scientists.

    e. Twin studies convincingly support the epigenetic origins of homosexuality.

    Posted by: DaveL | Apr 30, 2013 12:06:42 PM


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