Did some evolutionary occurrence enable Plato’s ancestors to get rid of all of those heterosexual genes?And what about native cultures in which all boys engage in homosexual rites of passage?Presumably, most men have a longer ring finger than index finger, whereas most women have the opposite (or they have index and ring fingers of the same length).Lesbians, according to this study, are more likely than straight women to have what we might call “male-pattern hands.” The researchers concluded that this finding supports their theory that lesbianism might be caused by a “fetal androgyn wash” in the womb—that is, when female fetuses are exposed to greater levels of a masculinizing hormone, it shows up later in the form of female masculinity: male-pattern hands and… But this study makes the same error that countless others have made: it does not properly distinguish between gender (whether one is masculine or feminine) and sexual orientation (heterosexuality or homosexuality).And while I am on this subject, what about the fact the United States is precisely one of those cultures?When young college women lick each other’s boobs at frat parties, or when young college men stick their fingers in each other’s butts while being hazed by their frat brothers, we don’t call this gay—we call this “girls gone wild” or “hazing.” My point here is that a lot of people engage in homosexual behavior, but somehow we talk about the genetic origins of homosexuality as if we are clear about who is gay and who is not, and as if it’s also clear that “gay genes” are possessed only by people who are culturally and politically gay (you know, the people who are seriously gay). Just 150 years ago, scientists went searching for the physiological evidence that women were hysterical.
In Ancient Greece, sex between elite men and adolescent boys was a common and normative cultural practice.
) would like us to know that their gender does not line up with their sexual desire in any predictable way.
And many very feminine lesbians would like us to know this too.
Just because an argument is politically strategic, does not make it true: A couple of years ago, the Human Rights Campaign, arguably the country’s most powerful lesbian and gay organization, responded to politician Herman Cain’s assertion that being gay is a choice.
“Because implying that homosexuality is a choice gives unwarranted credence to roundly disproven practices such as ‘conversion’ or ‘reparative’ therapy.