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We don't have to be Born Gay nor Bully!

EstherT1's picture
on December 18, 2011 - 2:34pm

Wanda found an article on Scientific Evidence of Homosexuality. She presented it to the class on the topic of bullying...

"Class this has been a really big issue in the culture of our education so perhaps we will expand our minds on the importance of diversity and compassion to one another. "

The class read the articles and Wanda had tem count to set up groups to discuss the topic.

"After reading the information I would like you to collaborate with your classmates and tell me how you feel about it and how one should treat a gay and a bully."

1. Are bullies and gays born that way?
2. Are they capable of learning?
3. How should you react when someone is gay?
4. How should you react when someone is a bully?
5. Is public display of affection straight or gay allowed? Why is bullying not allowed? Why?
6. Does acting or sounding like a woman say one is gay?

You have a lot of material and each group will do their act based on the information I gave you.

Scientists are currently uncertain as to whether homosexuality is primarily caused by environmental or genetic factors. The uncertainty arises because much of the available data involves correlations, human behavior is likely affected by interactions (complexity) and humans are VERY difficult research subjects when it comes to sex. But evidence is pointing to a combination of genetic and environmental factors influencing sexual preference..

Some of the most profound questions about humans address our behavior.  From culture to crime, science to society, we often want to know whether our destiny and who we are is in our genes or a matter of choice and determined by our environment.  Our parents went to great lengths to teach us and equip us for this world, but many of those efforts would be wasted if it was all in our genes.  To some extent, genes and environment are inseparable.  But when it comes to why some of us are scientists and others artists, or other differences in behavior, we can at least attempt to partition genetic effects from environmental ones.  As an analogy, if we want a hunting dog to retrieve birds, there are some obvious breeds to choose and train, but many breeds will be worthless for this task no matter how much they are trained.  Behavior of humans is more challenging to understand than that of other animals, but some of the same principles can be applied to both humans and other animals.

The question of whether a behavioral difference among people is due to genetic differences or environmental differences is known as the question of biological determinism, often phrased as “is it in our genes?” or as “nature vs. nurture.”  Biological determinism is relevant to many issues of social relevance:

crime

obesity

mental illness

IQ

addiction

risk-taking

and some others that will be given in class.  There are several reasons that answering the question of biological determinism is intrinsically difficult.  One is that humans make difficult subjects, especially limiting the kinds of experiments that can be done.  This limitation in turn means that we have to rely on correlations for much of our conclusions..  Finally, many of our behaviors are due to a combination of many factors, with possible interactions (complexity). Consequently, there has been little resolution of any of the nature-nurture debate.  

Your generation is perhaps unaware of the dark side of biological determinism that was manifested in the past.  The most notorious abuse was the eugenics program of Germany’s Nazi regime in the 1930s and 1940s.  The eugenics program was used to justify genocide of the Jews as well as the killing of gypsies and homosexuals and others deemed socially inferior.  The U.S. was never that extreme, but throughout much of the 1900s, the eugenics movement led to sterilization (castration) of those deemed mentally inferior.  The motivation for eugenics was to improve the gene pool, and castration was done to prevent the inferior individuals from having babies.  Yet, if the basis of their ‘inferior’ minds was environmental – perhaps nothing more than a lack of education – then preventing them from having offspring did nothing to improve the gene pool. 

In this chapter, the focus is on sexual preference.  A person’s physical sex depends on gonad type (testes, ovaries) as well as secondary sexual traits, such as genitalia (penis versus clitoris and vagina), breast development, facial hair, and so forth..  A person’s sexual preference is measured by whether they prefer to have sex with someone of the same sex (= homosexual preference, known as ‘gay’ if male and ‘lesbian’ if female), or whether they prefer someone of the opposite sex (= heterosexual or straight). A separate but related behavior concerns gender identity, which is whether a person thinks of himself/herself as man or woman.  Gender identity can be fully separated from sexual preference.  Individuals get sex change operations because of issues with gender identity, but men who get changed into women will sometimes have sexual preferences for women (for example).

Being gay/lesbian has social consequences, especially to the individuals with the homosexual preferences.  It is estimated that 2%-5% of men are gay, 1%-2% of women are lesbian, and these percentages appear to hold across cultures, as best one can tell.  Despite the relative abundance of these behaviors, many states have passed referenda that disallow same-sex marriages.  On a more individual level, ‘gay-bashing’ has led to many deaths and less brutal beatings, based entirely on widespread intolerance of homosexual preferences.  Perhaps for all of these reasons, there have been many searches for correlates of gay/lesbian behavior that might provide some clues to what determines it.  In the recent past, and thus likely still, it has been commonly thought that homosexual preference is a choice and even learned: a 1970 U.S. survey found that 43% thought that young gays learned their SP from older gays.  Thus, if we can find anatomical or physiological correlates of being gay, we may at least settle the question of whether sexual preference is learned or a ‘choice.’

Overall, there are a few patterns of association with homosexual preference, but they are weak (hence demonstrated only statistically) and prone to poor repeatability.  This topic is so far a difficult one to research because of the lack of decisive patterns.  Nonetheless, there is collective support for both environmental and genetic causes.

Genetics

Several lines of evidence suggest a weak-moderate genetic component to sexual preference.  A genetic basis is especially difficult to establish for human behavioral differences, both because we don’t do experimental crosses with people and because there is so much parental influence on behavior that confounds environmental effects with genetic ones.  One of the most useful comparisons therefore makes use of identical twins versus non-identical (fraternal) twins.  Identical twins are genetically the same, so any difference between a twin pair must be non-genetic (environmental).  Fraternal twins are genetically related but not identical.  Both kinds of twins share the womb and are the same age, so they experience many environmental similarities that might be thought to affect behavior.  As a consequence, if identical twins more often have the same type of behavior than fraternal twins, we suspect a partial genetic basis to the behavior.  If the behavior was 100% due to genes, two identical twins should always have the same behavior.  And if there is no genetic basis to the behavior, then identical twins should no more often be similar to each other than fraternal twins.

The twin data show that identical twins have about 50% concordance for sexual preference in some studies, 30% in others. Fraternal twins have nearly half this concordance.  So these data suggest that there is a modest effect of genetics.  Other data, using a combination of molecular techniques and pedigrees, suggest that an X-linked gene or region influences sexual preference, but that finding has not been confirmed in all careful studies. 

Rashid, " What is Eugenics?"

Corrine, " It's for population control, Nazi, Marxist and Darwinian Evolution promoted it. It's how they get rid of people deemed not have good genes!"

Rashid, "So it's like the movie Gattaka! Where people's children are created in labs to make sure they are the best children."

Luke, " Like predeterminism...Why can't gay be born that way anyway?"

Demitry, "I'm so glad I'm not gay...I can't imagine what my parents would say!"
Mia, " I think we can all act like the other sex but it does not mean we are gay!'

Rashid, " So are bullies born that way? I mean they have more children than the gays don't they? I mean I don't agree with bullies but can gay people have children?"

Lara Lei, " Rashid you are such a homophobe! I love gays! I think they make life insteresting!"

Fatima, "My uncle died in Iran because he is found gay! Islam will not tolerate it!!'

Mischa, "They used to persecute gays in Russia, then again they persecuted a lot of people. It's part of social order! That's why my grandparents moved to the US. Even if bullying happens here at least it's not the government."

Dash, "In biology, it says all humans have testotesrone and estrogen so perhaps that has an effect on people...But then again that could mean women could be gay when they loose their estrogen and men would be gay when they loose testosterone!"

Fatima, " Of course not! That would be weird! Look it says right here that only 2 % of population are gays...Why does it seems like they are all on TV and 25% or more of people seem gay?

Corrine, " I think some of them are just acting up to get attention and money from the media. Gays are fascinating. I can act like a man if I choose to? But that doesn't mean I want to be gay! I think some are really gay but I think some just try it and they become gay!"

Mischa, " My grandma said it's a spirit! It jumps in bed with you at night and convince you are gay!"

Fatima, " I used to have nightmares in San Francisco! It must be the gay spirit! Oh! Rashid the gay spirit wants you! Tan Tan ...Tan Tan... TanTan Tan Tan Tan Tan."

The class starts laughing...

Wanda, " Class get you paper and pen and start writing... all the chit chat needs to translate into skits!"

Mia, " I think biological or no gays must be treated like you and I. Bullies have to disciplined!"

Rashid, " I think gays have to behave as well! It's one thing to act gay and it's another thing to get into other's personal space!"

Demitry, "All I know is no public display of affection allowed in school...gay or not nobody should touch another inappropriately. We have to keep the school free from inappropriate behaviour!"

Wanda, " So Rashid what would you do if found 2boys kissing each other?"

Rashid, "I will run the other way!"

Mia, "I would just ignore it but I know most students will talk about it and make fun of the guys!"

Corrine, " First off if it happens in the school that is not appropriate the teacher should be notified! Parents have to be notified of their students bad behavior so it does not happen again. There should be no bullying and all attempts should be reported immediately"

Luke, " Yeah! I remember when they found the two girls in the bathroom kissing! All the boys went there...I'm not sure if they gave the Principal a note! Why should anyone bully women from practicing good CPR! Oops! I shouldn't have mentioned!"

The class laughed...
Corrine, "Oh! Those two just need attention from the boys! They're into weird stuff and think they'll be on MTV with Kathy Perry!

Luke, "I kissed a girl and I liked it!"

Demitry, " kissing your dog does not count!"

Luke, " yuk! I don't kiss my dog!"

Wanda, " Enough you guys just answer the questions and come up with the skit. Keep it clean and educational. "

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