What would happen if

During prenatal care, your doctor had a way of determining with some level of accuracy the sexual orientation of your soon to be born child? Would this be a good idea in a world that is already too homophobic, where in countries like Uganda and Nigeria, it is a criminal offence to be gay? Would this help matters or will this worsen a situation that is already delicate? What or rather how will a church that sees being gay as a sickness respond to such a breakthrough if we call it that? Wouldn’t this help their cause where parents would begin to choose for heterosexuality?

These questions and many more are what comes to mind when one reads this and this articles. It raises several moral questions especially on the pro-choice and pro-life[death] debate.

The science of gaydar paper is very interesting, and this for many reasons- when you begin to think about the idea, one may agree it would be important for the members of the gay community if this could be put at a rest, that is, the oft repeated statement that sexual orientation is a choice. The fear that I have, and that is similarly raised in the other article I have linked above, is wouldn’t this in some manner promote eugenics as  practiced by the Nazi not so long ago?

What do the ladies think about this comment

 Female sexual response is more democratic, opaque, and unpredictable: Arousal itself is harder to track, and there is evidence that it defies easy categorization. “I don’t yet understand female partner choices very well, and neither does anyone else,” [..]. “What I do think it’s time to do is admit that female sexuality looks in some ways very different from male sexuality, and that there is no clear analog in women of men’s directed sexual-arousal pattern, which I think is their sexual orientation. I am not sure that women don’t have a sexual orientation, but it is certainly unclear that they do.”

Do you agree with this proposition or has the researcher misrepresented a significant population of the human species?

And lastly, what are your thoughts in relation to this closing paragraph in the paper

It’s not playing with the number of toes you have; it’s really manipulating your very essence. So many people see gay people only in terms of sexual behavior, as opposed to what sexual orientation is really about, which is how you fit into the world. I don’t want to get mushy, but it’s about your soul?

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

44 thoughts on “What would happen if

  1. ladysighs says:

    I will let meme respond to your questions to the females. Somehow I don’t think she will be putting her nose in here this time.


  2. Oh my. There are a lot of issues brought up here.

    As far as female sexuality goes, I think *human* sexuality is way too categorized in general. We try to fit people into binary boxes and most individuals don’t fit not matter how hard you squish. We try to because that is our cultural norm, but I think the practice is far from honest.

    I’m not worried about souls, but I seriously doubt that humanity is ready to take on the responsibility of tailoring humans in the womb. We have too many prejudices. I’m not sure if it is a line we should ever cross, but certainly not at this point in time.


    • makagutu says:

      I agree with you here. There is an attempt to classify or categorise people as being this or that and to insist that anyone who do not fit in these boxes so created is unnatural.
      I don’t think there should be a possibility to be able to tailor children in the womb. It is a line I don’t want crossed not that it doesn’t happen already where in some parts of the world parents select for boys over girls.


  3. This is a highly consequential question to be sure. But, it’s important to make an ethical distinction between learning and behavior. Knowledge is intrinsically amoral. Human actions are perceived as moral or immoral based on societal norms. A good analogy is the development and use of the atomic bomb which had three separate component phases:

    Phase I – the theoretical study of nuclear fission, and later, nuclear fusion by the scientific community.

    Phase II – the technological development of nuclear weaponry by governmental entities.

    Phase III – the actual use of nuclear weapons to destroy people and property by the U.S. government.

    Each poses an increasing question of morality. Obviously, phase III is the most questionable. However, if we were to condemn phase I as immoral, then the very idea of human learning and understanding also becomes a question of morality. That, IMO, would be a tragic mistake.


    • makagutu says:

      I see your point here. That we shouldn’t stop the theorising phase or even the technological development phase. Question is, don’t you think once we are through the two phases, going to the 3rd phase would be just a question of time?


      • Considering our collective human history, yes, phase-III ethical transgressions are usually just a matter of time. I would add that phase-II, in my atomic bomb allegory, was also ethically wrong because its INTENT was to create a weapon of mass destruction. The intentions of scientists who performed phase-I were essentially intellectual in nature – to learn and expand human knowledge. It is this which should not be condemned, for to do so would have dire consequences for the future of humanity.

        Where do we draw the line? Criminal law provides the answer. In murder cases, the “motive to kill” must be proved for conviction. Likewise, in regards to human sexuality and gender identity, the INTENT of developing and using medical technology to alter the natural course of human physiology for these purposes must be intensely scrutinized. This ethical scrutiny was largely absent during the 20th century eugenics debacle. The theoretical study of medical science, however, should be allowed to work freely.


  4. themodernidiot says:

    Dude, I don’t have enough lifetime left to list all the reasons this shit is ridiculous. 😉


  5. aguywithoutboxers says:

    My Nairobi brother, a very interesting question that has many responses but very few answers. After reading only once, my “gut” feeling tells me that probably, far more same gender loving fetuses would be aborted than allowed to develop full term and birthed. This is a reflection of the sad state of modern society. However, it does put to rest, once and for all, that same sex attraction is a choice. If detected in the fetus in the womb, then it is genetic and not a conscious decision.

    Excellent references and post, my friend! Much love and naked hugs!


    • makagutu says:

      My brother and friend, whereas the study would put the matter whether sexual orientation is genetic or a ‘choice’ what would a parent who is already homophobic do? Will they let the child be born or would they then proceed to ask for genetic reengineering of the fetus? It is this question that disturbs me.

      Hugs and enjoy your Sunday


      • aguywithoutboxers says:

        My Nairobi brother, that is a VERY good question! One that I don’t have a ready answer. Probably, and sadly, most parents would opt for the abortion rather than the genetic alteration. Why? In their mindset, if the fetus is already gay, what other “abnormalities” exist?

        BTW: I missed your postings this past week. I was busy with a professional conference and am trying to play “catch-up” today. Love you, man! 🙂


  6. Eric Alagan says:

    The church that rails against gays – harbours more gays than most institutions, I reckon. It’s a case of the village thief trying to deflect suspicion and shouts at the market place – “There’s a thief amongst us!”

    That said, I believe what a person does behind closed doors – gays or ‘straight’ – is their business, as long as they don’t hurt themselves or anyone else.


  7. tildeb says:

    Very thought-provoking.


    • makagutu says:

      I thought so too. There are just so many questions and vistas that this could open. Could we tell if a fetus is likely to athletic or not, a blockhead or not and whatever box we categorise members of the human family.


  8. vastlycurious.com says:

    Duct tape on mouth 😀 here. have a great night : )


  9. emmylgant says:

    We are what we are as we are. We are not a Chinese menu where we can choose one from column A and 2 from column B or C!
    Whatever we call “soul” because we have no other word for it yet that fits our thoughts, is everything that we are, bigger and more complex than the sum of our parts… We need to expand our capacity to love and be in order to fix the mistakes we make as a specie due to our ignorance and preconceived notions… This idea makes me want to scream in frustration. I agree with Leah on that one. Jeesh!


  10. fojap says:

    Let’s see… my first “real” boyfriend rode a motorcycle, wore a black leather jacket and played guitar. My first real girlfriend rode a motorcycle, wore a black leather jacket and played guitar. I think I’m disappointingly consistent.

    A seven page article! Noel, are you trying to make us work? I’m going to have to read it and come back.


  11. fojap says:

    Needless to say, I have huge problems with that article, many of which are the same problems that I have with articles about sex differences.

    1. Penis size. The writer mentions that lesbians are more likely to be monogamous and gay men are more likey to be promiscuous. He then mentions penis size. Yet in animals, a relatively larger penis correlates with monogamy. Also, it’s debatable exactly how much more monogamous women really are. As a woman who doesn’t like monogamy, let me tell you, it’s tough out there.


    2. That aforementioned first girlfriend, she did her senior thesis in sociology on the subjet of the AMA’s reclassification of homosexuality as not being an illness. She was also something of an activist.

    3. Re: yours truly. Excellent ability to mentally turn around 3D objects – Dyke! Index finger longer than ring finger – Straight! Ambidextrous – Dyke! The hair whorl might be the deciding factor. “Prepulse inhibition”: I blink more easily than even most women – Straight! Until futher scientific findings come in, I guess I’ll just have to sleep with whomever turns me on.

    4. “As adolescents, male bottlenose dolphins perform a kind of oral sex on one another—or in threesomes or foursomes—in rituals that create lifelong friendships and defense partnerships against sharks and other predators. ” – Ah, they’re just like kids from New Jersey.

    5. The guy you quote, the one who doesn’t know what women want, he also says male bisexuality doesn’t exist. I know quite a few men who would take exception to that.

    6. “It probably comes as no shock to you that on average men say they’re interested in being mechanics, or electrical engineers, or construction workers, whereas on average women are more interested in, say, being an interior decorator or a social worker or an artist.” Well, most people already know what I think of this.

    7. I agree with Fausto-Sterling when she says, “…I think it’s a pretty fragile way to argue for human rights. I want to see the claims for gay rights made on moral, ethical, legal, and constitutional bases that don’t rely on a particular scientific view of sexual development.”

    It’s all very interesting- I just wish that I couldn’t already anticipate people acting on these bits of information while it’s so far from conclusive.


    • makagutu says:

      Thanks for the link and your observations. I think there is no point in trying to fit humans in boxes to further divide us when our lives are already so fragile.


  12. I’m still shaking my head at the description of the female unpredictability. This is the final line, really? My question is this: why don’t we appreciate the individual unpredictabilities, and welcome the surprises within our children when they are born?


    • makagutu says:

      Hey Marylin, it’s been ages since we were visited by you and we hope you and your mum are doing well.
      The question you ask is one that I don’t know the answer to.


  13. Sonel says:

    I don’t know why so many people are making an issue of other people’s sexual preferences. So what if some people are gay? It’s their life and they have a right to live it and it’s not up to us to change any of them or judge them. If one of my sons would come and tell me they’re gay, I would still love them just as much because it doesn’t change who they are. 😀


    • makagutu says:

      You are right about that my friend. They don’t become any less human because of that and to keep making a big issue of it is not helping our species


      • Sonel says:

        I totally agree but well, it seems it’s all over Mak, even if you are straight. Most folks look down on others because of their status, money or intelligence and it irritates the hell out of me. Our landlord is gay and he is adorable, kind and compassionate and we accept him like that. I can be a real bitch if I want to be and he accepts me like that. Who are we to really judge each other? Acceptance and compassion can be so easy…


  14. […] put up a post which got me thinking, always a dangerous idea, about some of the more problematic aspects of […]


  15. Jackie says:

    Both those articles give me a headache because the whole issue is stupid on steroids. WHY does anyone care about who is attracted to who? These articles say more about how backwards we are on this subject than anything else. According to Bruce Bagemihl (author of Biological Exuberance) homosexuality can be observed in more than 450 species of animals. Think about it. Why would we be any different?


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