Saturday, March 18, 2006

how could there be a gay gene?

how could there be a gay gene?
wouldnt evolution have eliminated it?

well there are couple of possibilities

1) there is some benefit to being gay - we understand that in some chimp communities sex between chimps of the same sex is a binding activity - it can be used to improve your social position.

but gay humans are often not bisexual but fairly purely gay. In the past social pressures might have ensured children anyway but in general this suggests bisexuality is the aim. Since having two of a gene is stronger than having one usually - we can say bisexuality is having one gene and having two raises the possibility of you being gay (depending on the situation of course).
the other possibility is it is not bisexuality but instead something more like a "gentle father" gene. So there is selection for men to have the gentle father gene but if they have two of them maybe they are more likely to be gay.

2) This one relates to how mutations work. Now there are 4 "bases" so lets term these ABC and D
Let's say a blue eye gene is ABBCCDAA now this is a chemical and chemicals can be more or less stable maybe ABBCCDAA is very easy to drop the C and change it to a B. Maybe that change produces brown eyes. If this is the case then it will be possible for blue eyed parents to have brown eyed babies. Maybe not very likely - but possible. this is also similar to some genetic disorders which would have strong selection pressures against them but keep on popping up every now and then.

3) Pairs of genes can cross over and swap a little genetic material. Imagine if the X had a gene in it that could cross over to the y (or vice verse). The information could be selected for on the X chromosome for any obscure reason but on the Y chromosome it might cause an effect such as a tendancy towards being gay. The Y chromosome gene pool would slowly have this gene pumped into it and so it would never go away.

In reality it probably involves complex combinations of genes - which obscure the selection proceses anyway - but it is easily posible to have traits that are not ones that promote survival.


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