The discovery of the specific biological cause of homosexuality in one sex, but not the other, will most likely result in the following set of effects on people’s understanding of gender, sex and sexuality:
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- The discovery in question would legitimize even further the idea that one’s physical attraction to the representatives of the opposite sex is not the matter of the concerned person’s conscious choice. As Greenberg and Bailey noted: “Recent scientiﬁc studies have presented evidence that the chances that a child will be homosexual are greatly inﬂuenced by his or her genetic makeup” (425). In its turn, this should result in increasing the level of a societal tolerance towards homosexuals, as individuals who simply cannot help experiencing the urge to enter into specifically the same-sex romantic/marital relationships. At the same time, however, it would also undermine the legitimacy of the politically correct assumption that homosexuality is something that well deserves to be ‘celebrated’. The reason for this is that the mentioned discovery would make it possible for people to draw parallels between homosexuality, on one hand, and a number of the genetically triggered mental pathologies, on the other.
- The discovery of a genetic marker, associated with homosexuality, would have a great impact on our current understanding of what the notion of gender stands for. That is, this discovery will naturally cause more and more people to think that the notion in question is discursively ambivalent, in the sense that the physiological aspects of one’s gender-affiliation only formally relate to the concerned individual’s ability to experience the sensation of an emotional comfortableness with either feminine or masculine existential values. As such, it would confirm the validity of Weininger’s idea that: “Homosexuality is merely the sexual condition of the intermediate sexual forms that stretch from one ideally sexual condition to the other sexual condition… all actual organisms have both homosexuality and heterosexuality” (30). In other words, the notion of gender can be best discussed as having been socially constructed, as one of the instruments of ensuring the society’s structural/functional integrity. This, of course, presupposes that the notion at stake (in its contemporary sense) is ill-suited to play a major role in the discussions, concerned with what accounts for the qualitative essence of how the representatives of the opposite sexes interrelate. The reason for this is that, as the hypothetical discovery of the ‘genetic marker’ of homosexuality would indicate, the law of a sexual attraction is far from being considered mechanically deterministic. Instead, it should be referred to as such that reflects the fact that the physiological subtleties of one’s sexual functionality are not necessarily consistent with the concerned individual’s gender-related subliminal anxieties.
- The mentioned scenario is potentially capable of providing social scientists with a rationale to refer to homosexuality as the form of one’s existential degradation. The line of logic behind this proposition is as follows: Given the fact that homosexuality can be discussed in terms of an ‘intermediary sexual form’, it naturally presupposes that a homosexual‘s sense of a gender-differentiation is utterly weak/non-existent. Because, the notion of a gender-differentiation is essentially synonymous with the notion of ‘specialization’ (in the evolutionary sense of this word), we can well conclude that the lesser sex-conscious a particular person happened to be, the less likely it would be him or her to succeed in the increasingly ‘specialized’ post-industrial society. After all, probably the most notable aspect of modernity is that the realities of today’s living presuppose that people grow increasingly concerned with attaining the state of self-actualization/individuation. Given the fact that individuals are endowed with physical bodies, it is only natural for them to strive to attain self-actualization in primarily the ‘bodily’ sense of this word. This implies that the lesser is the dichotomy between a person’s mental state and the particulars of his or her bodily constitution – the better. What it means is that homosexuality can be referred to as the indication of one’s evolutionary unfitness – the hypothetical discovery of the ‘genetic marker’ of homosexuality would legitimize the validity of this suggestion even further, because it would make it possible to discuss homosexuality as the consequence of a clearly socially-counterproductive genetic mutation.
In my opinion, the hypothetical discovery in question would definitely result in increasing the overall level of the society’s acceptance of homosexuality. One of the reasons for this is that the identification of the ‘biological trigger’ of homosexuality would prove conceptually consistent with the modern discourse of sexuality, concerned with the assumption that: “The origins of sexual orientation are to be sought in the interaction between sex hormones and the developing brain” (LeVay XI).
In turn, the mentioned discourse’s main societal implication is that it naturally causes people to regard one’s attraction towards the representatives of the same sex, as having been genetically predetermined, which in turn suggests that homosexuals cannot be considered ‘deliberately malicious’. At the same time, however, it would be unlikely for the mentioned discovery to result in more and more people referring to homosexuality, in terms of a fully legitimate (although somewhat unconventional) sex-style, as the promoters of political correctness believe it should be the case.
We can draw a parallel between what would be the effect of the concerned discovery on the level of a societal tolerance towards homosexuals, on one hand, and what has been the effect of the discovery that mentally inadequate individuals (such as schizophrenics) are simply ill, and not ‘possessed by the Devil’, on the other. It is understood, of course, that in the aftermath of the emergence of psychiatry, as a legitimate science, which in turn made possible the positive identification of schizophrenics, these people had ceased being ostracized, on the account of their behavioral unconventionalness.
However, this did not have much of an effect of the fact that, just as it happened to be the case during the ‘dark ages’, schizophrenics are being usually regarded ‘socially undesirable’. It appears that the mentioned hypothetical discovery would have essentially the same effect, within the context of how people go about forming their views on homosexuality. Whereas, in the discovery’s aftermath, it would be more likely for ‘straight’ people to treat homosexuals with understanding, this would not have much of an effect on the ‘straight’ individuals’ tendency to consider their ‘queer’ counterparts being nothing short of the socially marginalized outcasts.
The reason for this is that the currently predominant code of societal ethics, which in turn defines people’s attitudes towards homosexuality, cannot be thought of in terms of a ‘thing in itself’ – the manner in which citizens go about assessing the surrounding social reality, never ceases to remain implicitly observant of the society’s functioning as a ‘quasi-personality’. What it means is that, for as long as there are the objective reasons for the society to consider homosexuality detrimental to its functional well-being, the social acceptance of homosexuals is doomed to remain a spatially limited phenomenon – regardless of what science tells us about the actual roots of one’s mental predisposition towards ‘queerness’.
It appears that the manner, in which prospective parents would react to the hypothetical discovery in question, cannot be discussed outside of what accounts for the specifics of the would-be-be affected individuals’ religious/ethno-cultural affiliation (Earp, Sandberg and Savulescu 10).
For example, those parents that happened to be strongly religious, would probably be tempted to disregard the discovery’s implications, as utterly inconsistent with the religious worldview, on their part. From the psychological point of view, this could hardly be deemed beneficial to the concerned people’s mental well-being. After all, while understanding that this discovery is indeed fully legitimate, on one hand, and having a hard time trying to provide a religious explanation for it, on the other, prospective (religious) parents would be likely to experience the sensation of a cognitive dissonance. In its turn, this would have a negative impact on these parents’ ability to address life-challenges.
In this respect, the factor of ethnicity would play an important role, as well. The validity of this suggestion, can be well illustrated in regards to the fact that, as the statistical data indicate, the population of Whites in Western counties continues to decline rather rapidly (McArdle 32). What it implies that, as time goes on, more and more of today’s Whites are being increasingly deprived of their existential vitality, as the representatives of a particular race.
Therefore, it would be discursively appropriate, on our part, to speculate that when contemplating on the mentioned discovery’s significance, White parents would most likely to adopt a neutral attitude towards the hypothetical possibility to for their child to be identified as a ‘natural born’ homosexual. Being egocentrically minded, they would be naturally tempted to disregard the discovery’s most profound societal implication – the fact that homosexuals often chose in favor of leading ‘child-free’ lifestyles.
The reaction to the mentioned hypothetical discovery, on the part of prospective parents from countries that feature a high rate of fertility among citizens (the majority of which are rural-dwellers), would probably be much different. The reason for this is that the very realities of a non-Western rural living naturally presuppose people to be endowed the strong sense of a communal solidarity – hence, these people’s ability to indulge in ‘baby-making’ on an essentially industrial scale.
After all, the more children there are in such a family, the more likely this family-members would be able to ensure their physical survival, as even young children can be successfully turned into agricultural helpers. Moreover, because in the Third World countries, there are virtually no officially endorsed welfare-programs, it represents the manner of a crucial importance for locals not only be able to reproduce in sufficient numbers, but also to make sure that the conceived children would be capable of ‘making babies’ of their own, as soon as they reach puberty.
Yet, as it was implied earlier, homosexuals are not predisposed towards parenthood by the very virtue of their sexual stance in life. What it means is that, upon having been told that their yet unborn child will grow into a homosexual, the communally-minded parents from non-Western countries would be most likely to choose in favor of abortion – especially if this child happened to be a female.
There would be a number of ways for the discovery in question (in regards to either male of female homosexuality) to affect the sex, in which the biological basis of homosexuality has yet to be determined. Probably the main of them would be concerned with the fact that the mentioned discovery confirms the legitimacy of the ‘psychological’ outlook on homosexuality (Bailey 65) – regardless of whether we talk of men or women.
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In other words, in the discovery’s aftermath, people will be much more likely to regard one’s predisposition towards homosexuality, as the indication that it is not only that ‘queers’ are sparred of the opportunity to make conscious choices, while exploring their sexuality, but that they can also be regarded as such that suffer from having their sex-related anxieties largely unfulfilled. The reason for this is that, as the mentioned hypothetical discovery would imply, one’s homosexual longings are best discussed as being reflective of the concerned individual’s lack of an emotional comfort with what happened to be his or her formal sex.
In light of the above-stated, we can well suggest that, in the case with men, their ‘gayishness’ extrapolate the deep-seated femininity, on these individuals’ part. This, of course, supposes the discursive validity of the way, in which gays/’straight’ men are being commonly stereotyped: “Gay men enjoy show tunes, acting (more generally, the arts), fashion, decorating, dancing… Heterosexual men enjoy football, baseball, basketball, hockey, shopping for stereo equipment and cars” (Bailey 64). The statement’s legitimacy can also be illustrated in regards to Weininger’s observation that: “In the relations of two homosexual men one always plays the physical and psychical role of the man… whilst the other, who plays the part of the woman, either assumes a woman’s name or calls himself by it” (64).
Apparently, the amount of the homosexuality-triggering ‘femalness’ varies in different ‘gays’ rather considerably. Given the fact that the discovery of the biological ‘marker of homosexuality’ in men would result in advancing the idea that a man’s sexual attraction towards other men can be deemed indicative of his de facto affiliation with the virtues of femininity, this idea can also be used, when it comes to discussing the phenomenon of female homosexuality (lesbianism). Whereas, gay-men can be described as individuals who should have been born in the body of a woman, lesbians are best referred to as such, who should have been born as men. After all, it remains a well-known phenomenon that, in their relationship with each other, lesbians assume the roles of either ‘man’ or a ‘woman, as well.
The concerned discovery would be thoroughly consistent with this suggestion. This simply could not be otherwise, because as the finding of the ‘biological marker’ of homosexuality would point out to, there is indeed a good rational to believe that one’s homoerotic leanings are intrinsically (genetically) rather than environmentally predetermined – something that can be well observed empirically, in regards to the fact that, as practice indicates, the specifics of a particular individual’s early upbringing have very influence on his or her likelihood to adopt the sexual identity of a ‘queer’. It is understood, of course, that this would consequently result in undermining the conceptual validity of the discourses of ‘gender egalitarianism’ and ‘sexual diversity’ even further.
Bailey, Michael. The Man Who Would Be Queen. Washington: Joseph Henry Press, 2003. Print.
Earp, Brian; Sandberg, Anders and Julian Savulescu. “Brave New Love: The Threat of High-Tech ‘Conversion’ Therapy and the Bio-Oppression of Sexual Minorities.” AJOB Neuroscience 5.1 (2014): 4–12. Print.
Greenberg, Aaaron and Michael Bailey. “Parental Selection of Children’s Sexual Orientation.” Archives of Sexual Behavior 30.4 (2001): 423-437. Print.
LeVay, Simon. Gay, Straight and the Reason Why. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. Print.
McArdle, Megan. “Europe’s Real Crisis.” The Atlantic Monthly 309.3 (2012): 32-35. Print.
Weininger, Otto 1906, Sex & Character. Web.