Biological Explanations for Homosexuality Katherine Calla Opening This paper is aimed to address the question of whether homosexuality is biologically based. This topic is quite relevant today because homosexuality is a huge civil rights issue which is also conflicting with the church’s moral standards. While many religious bodies claim that homosexuality is a choice and a “sin”, many in the homosexual community have strongly refuted that claim, instead saying they were born this way and their sexual identity is not a choice for them. Currently one of the biggest debates regarding the rights of homosexuals is same sex marriage .
If scientist are Indeed able to show evidence that homosexuality is result of biologic or genetic factors and thus not a choice or a morality Issue then we as a society might be able to make better headway In legalizing sesames marriage. Each culture addresses the Issue of homosexuality In various ways, while tolerance Is slowly gaining momentum In the United States, many other cultures have long accepted and even embraced homosexual like style. Finding a biological explanation is important in helping countries who are strongly influenced by the Catholic churches moral code to refute the churches’ stance that homosexuality is a choice.
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Literature review In America today there Is a large social debate over whether sexual orientation Is Influenced by environmental or biological factors. If sexual orientation Is determined biologically the moral Issue of the debate would be be relevant. If however homosexual behavior is a choice or a preference then the stance of homosexuality being immoral may have some justification. Research suggests that left handed homosexual men have less older brothers that expected (Blanchard & Lippy, 2006). Compelling evidence has shown that homosexuality in men is associated with having more older brothers and being left handed.
Interestingly however having older brothers only increases the probability of developing homosexual behavior in males who are right handed not left handed. Blanchard (2006) recruited 2,486 participants to fill out questionnaires related to sexual orientation, older siblings and hand-preference. The participants were then separated Into eight groups based on hand-preference, sexual orientation and sex and a three-way nova was done to compare them. The results supported the prediction that left handed homosexual men had less older brother than expected. Left handed homosexual men ended up having more older sisters than older
Trotters Ana ruling nana nonsexual men Ana more older Trotters than slitters. One weakness in the research is that it cannot be determined if older brothers decrease the chances of homosexuality in left handed men. ANother weakness was that there was no distinction made between “genetic” left-handedness and “pathological” left-handedness. Future research should look at hand preference of family members to distinguish between the two. Previous research suggests that concentrations of sex hormones in fetal umbilical chord blood is related to birth order (Macomb, Doddering, Cackling & Kramer 1979).
Research has investigated the relationship of hormone levels and birth order as a potential biological cause of homosexuality in men. When analyzing three groups of newborns and looking at the concentration of five sex hormones from samples of umbilical-chord blood it data suggests that hormonal factors play a role in adult sexual orientation. The five hormones if interest that were assessed were estrogen, testosterone, interpretations, astraddle and progesterone. Past research had indicated that homosexual behavior is a result of postnatal environmental factors such as interaction with siblings and parents.
However it has been argued that family environmental factors cannot explain for the differences (Waldron & Bell 1966). Research has explored the possibility that variations in hormonal concentrations in the prenatal environment are the main contributors to variation in sexual orientation post birth through studying umbilical chord blood from three samples of newborn infants. Researches conducted a longitudinal study in which behavioral development was being studied in these infants through birth through the age of six (Macomb, Doddering, Cackling & Kramer 1979).
Their main objective was to asses whether and or how a newborn’s sex and birth order were related to hormones in the umbilical chord blood. Five sex hormones were measured: progesterone, two estrogen (estrogen and astraddle) and two androgen’s (testosterone and interpretations). The fist sample of infants consisted of 40 males and 35 females, the second consisted of 32 males and 42 females and the third consisted of 53 males and 54 females totaling to 256 newborns born between 1973 and 1974. Only infants with no complications during delivery (including caesarian births) and had an Pagan score of at least 7 were included in the samples.
Right after delivery, and severance of the umbilical chord a sample of ml of blood was extracted and frozen for hormonal analysis. After the mother agreed to enter her child in the six year longitudinal study the frozen samples of blood were then later tested for for the five sex hormones of interest, Underestimation ( 4-Andresen, 17-done), testosterone (17;-hydroxyl-4-Andresen-3-one), estrogen (3-hydroxyl-l, 5 (10) -straitens-3), 17 p- idol), and astraddle (1 , 3,5 (10)-straitens-3), 17;-idol) were estimated in a laboratory by retransmission’s methods.
Progesterone (4-peregrine-3,20-done) was analyzed y a competitive method of protein binding. The hormones were then purified to to remove any potentially interfering steroids or containments. To study the relationship between birth-order and sex a supply ex. analysis of two sexes and first born versus later born was used as well as a xx analysis of two sexes, two birth outers and three samples. for the second and third samples birth order was not evaluated until children were behaviorally assessed at a later time.
Due to drop outs (attrition) in the study the number of infants who remained came to a total of 234. Tater studying ten data collected It could De tetrameter Tanat males Ana a significantly higher level of testosterone in umbilical chord blood than females and that later-born males had lower levels of testosterone than first-born males. First- born of both sexes had higher levels astraddle, progesterone unravel estrogen to some extent. The study also recognizes other influences for increase of testosterone in first-born infants such as stress, mothers age, birthright, and length of labor. Hill they do recognize other possible variables they state that it is doubtful that hose conditions would account for birth-order differences in testosterone. They concluded that only testosterone showed a birth-order effect and only in males. And that progesterone was the hormone that showed birth-order effect regardless of sex. Another factor which could influence the results obtained was the spacing between births. for some samples this information could not be obtained which resulted in only 218 subjects being analyzed in the study. His because it was found that if more than 4 years passed between a first and second child’s birth testosterone levels were elatedly equal in male infants. Research examining whether there is a relationship between having older brothers and or sisters influences homosexuality in male children (Bankcard, & Bogart 1996) has indicated that regardless of cultural influences or demographics homosexual men have higher odds of having older brothers than heterosexual men. The subjects were chosen from a sample of 877 gay and straight men between the ages of 19 and 82 years of age from Canada. The homosexual groups mean number of siblings was 2. 3 and the mean age was 38. 33 years old. The heterosexuals mean number of siblings was 2. 5 and the mean age was 40 years of age. These means were compared with a two tailed t-test and there was no significant difference between means. Due to the negative stigma associated with homosexuality participants were not required to disclose their identity. Participants were informed that the study was examining the relationship between sexual orientation and family background. The subjects were asked to fill out a 10 min questionnaire,which asked questions relating to paternity and age of siblings born to the same biological mother.
Only full siblings from the same mother and father were included. The hypothesis was tested using logistic regression analysis and there were six predictor variables: the number of younger brothers, number of younger sisters, the number of older brothers, the number of older sisters, fathers age, and mothers age. Their results confirmed their Hypothesis that homosexual men had a higher number of older siblings than heterosexual men, but that there was no relationship with having older sisters, younger sisters or younger brothers.
The results showed that the odds of a male developing a homosexual identity increased by 33 percent with each older brother. It is interesting to note that only older brothers affect the chances of a younger sibling being homosexual while number of older sisters has no effect. Another factor could be that a mothers immune system may be able to remember the number of male children she has carried and since male fetus are more antigenic she may have maternal immune reactions. There have been many studies on the relationship between homosexuality and birth order, however the reason for this relationship is still vague.
It is interesting that there has been no evidence to support that birth order has any effect the sexual relation AT women, Wendell It Is ten strongest Inhalator Tort men I . T NAS Eden suggested in recent research that the fraternal birth order effect is linked to height (Bogart & Lie, 2006). This indicates that the fraternal birth order effect physical development as well as sexual orientation. Interaction of Fraternal Birth Order and Handedness in the development of the male Homosexuality (Blanchard, Cantor, Bogart, Broadleaved, & Ellis). The study examines the interaction between two etiological markers of homosexuality in males.
These to main factors are hand preference and the fraternal birth order. He fraternal birth order effect is lately based on the maternal immune hypothesis which hypothesized that each male child a woman carries increases her immunization to male-specific antigens by increasing anti-male antibodies which might effect miscommunication of the infants brain. Other studies ( bog rare, 2005) back up the fraternal birth order effect because the odds of developing homosexual behaviors in later-born males were not influenced by children being raised in different homes.
Comparative data on the relationship between the second to fourth digit ratio has indicated a scientific connection between heritability, prenatal hormone transfer, and sexual orientation (Hirsh, Assai, Sashimi, & And, 2012). Using a sample of Japanese twins the relationship between homosexuality and second to fourth digit ratio has been examined. This ratio may be influenced by prenatal hormones associated with homosexuality. The second to fourth digit ratio is the relative length of the index finger to the ring finger. The Koki Twin Project (KIT) recruited voluntary twin participants aged 14 to 30 years old from Tokyo.
Out of the 5, 217 pairs of twins ho were recruited, 2, 073 twins agreed to participate in the study. Part of the research involved questionnaires sent by mail which were then analyzed upon return. Included in the questionnaire was the Klein Grid, a questioner that assess sexual orientation, as well as questions about health, eating behavior, economic status, social status. The total number of participants who returned the questionnaires an a photocopy of their hands was 223. Participants signed consent and were informed of the purpose of the study and their right to drop out. Here were three main assures, Zygotic determination, finger-length measurement, and sexual orientation assessment. Zygotic was determined through physical resemblance and DNA information. There were 75 identical females, and 29 males as well as 22 fraternal females and 9 fraternal males. Sexual orientation was assessed using the Klein Grid which is comprised of questions relating to sexual attraction, sexual behavior, sexual fantasy, emotional closeness, social preference, sexual identification and heterosexual/homosexual life style during three phases in life (past, present, and future)