The Evolutionary Unlikelihood
of a "Gay Gene"

One major question for "gay gene" researchers to answer is why the "gay gene" hasn't been eliminated from existence by evolution. The conventional response to this question has been that gay people contribute enough to their nieces' and nephews' upbringing to increase the chance for their genes' survival. However, this argument falls apart under any kind of close scrutiny.

A parent contributes one half of their genes to a child, whereas an aunt or uncle shares only about one fourth of the genes of their nieces and nephews. Therefore, in order to compensate for not reproducing, a queer aunt or uncle's contributions to raising their siblings' children would have to be twice as strong as a parent's. Honestly, do you really think you contribute twice as much to raising your nieces and nephews than their parents do?

Okay, so a queer person could also contribute to the upbringing of great-nieces and great-nephews and perhaps an occasional cousin once removed. But seriously, there's very little evidence to indicate that queer aunts and uncles even contribute any more—in almost any culture, really—to raising their nieces and nephews than hetero aunts and uncles do.

Also: the following quote is from the pro-"gay gene" page at

Any genetic trait that reduces a person's chance of procreating is said to have a "fitness cost." A trait that has a fitness cost of 1% lowers the probability of having children by 1%. The cost would cause the trait to essentially disappear within 100 generations. Homosexuality has a "fitness cost that is much higher than 1%." A 1981 study in San Francisco showed that gays and lesbians have only 20% of the number of children as do heterosexuals; i.e. the fitness cost factor among that sample of homosexuals is 80%. This number was probably much lower in the past, as gays and lesbians were often forced into marriages in order to escape detection. But it would only have to be 0.001% to wipe out the trait in the lifetime of the human race.
—the pro-"gay gene" page at

Powerful numbers, yes? And the only response the site gives to its own argument is to suggest that instead of being genetic, there's always a chance that queerness could be caused by a virus, bacterium, or parasite. Ooh—now there's a liberating idea that'll make everybody glad to be gay. Well, that's why they call the site Religious Tolerance—because they think that queerness is a defect to be tolerated (and even that only as a last resort if they can first prove we "can't help it") instead of an achievement to be celebrated. The question now is this: Why are so many queer people agreeing with them?

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