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EP and Western Culture: copulation

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  • Pierre Tremblay
    Greetings David! You appear to be defining male homosexuality in heterosexual terms - as when I so often see when the word mating and copulation -
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 1, 2002
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      Greetings David!

      You appear to be defining male homosexuality in "heterosexual" terms - as
      when I so often see when the word "mating" and "copulation" - meaning
      penis-vagina sex, or sexual intercourse - are used to describe what
      homosexually oriented males apparently do - that 'must' be what is deemed
      to be the norm for animals engaging in sex for reproduction reasons.

      Now there are some people who smiled when Bill Clinton did not perceived
      what had happened to be 'real sex' that had historically been decreed to be
      "sexual intercourse" between a male and female, or "sodomy" (usually thought
      to be penis-anal sex) between males, But was Bill Clinton wrong?

      If you take the time to check the CDC developed survey called the "Youth
      Risk Behavior Survey"
      (http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dash/yrbs/2003/questionnaire.htm), you will see
      questions about "sexual intercourse" (question 58-63) and if you think those
      at the CDC believe that "sexual intercourse" means anything else but
      "penis-vagina" sex, Question 64 will correct your error, or the error a
      student may have also made: "64. The last time you had sexual intercourse,
      what one method did you or your partner use to prevent pregnancy? (Select
      only one response.)"

      Ditto - and maybe more so for the word "copulation" and even "mating." I was
      always under the impression when biologists talked about animals "mating"
      they meant acts related to the production of offspring. Please correct me if
      I an in error here.

      Anyway, I doubt if two boys mutually masturbating would be defined as having
      "sexual intercourse" or that anyone would define such behaviour as being
      "copulation," and the same may also apply for two males engaged in mutual
      oral sex - or a male-female engaged in the infamous "soixante-neuf." It is
      also likely that the experts at the CDC would agree with this given the
      information sought from adolescents as noted above.

      You may not know this but the Bell & Weinberg (1978) study -
      "Homosexualities" - reported that the majority of American predominantly
      homosexual males studied did not report anal sex to be their preferred form
      of activity, but that oral sex was their preferred sexual activity, and that
      Kinsey et al. (1948) did not even bother to report the icidence of anal sex
      between males because the incidence was so low for the 37% of males
      reporting that they had engaed in homosex since the age of 15. Now the
      question is: When a male and female are petting - manual stimulation - are
      they having sexual intercourse? Are they copulating? When a male is orally
      stimulating a female, or a female doing the same to a male, are they
      "copulating" or having "sexual intercourse"? I doubt this very much or else
      most related research work would be producing erroneous / meaningless
      results.

      Why then, when speaking about male homosexuality, you assumed that these
      males must be engaged in 'something' analogous to what males and females do
      for procreation reasons. This looks like "heterosexism" to me - as in
      assuming that what a male and female do to procreate - and what motivates
      this - must also underpin what two male are doing when relating sexually.
      Maybe not� I grew up in an environment where the great majority of males
      were relating sexually with each other and what we enjoyed was remarkably
      different than what 'society' was stating that males were to do with females
      - called "sexual intercourse" or "copulating" - with the word "mating" most
      often being used for animals. For more on the world in which I grew up see:
      "Male Homosexuality: From Common to a Rarity"
      (http://www.sws.soton.ac.uk/gay-youth-suicide/a2-homosexuality-common-to-rare.htm)

      Since the 1970s I noticed that males identifying as "gay" (a social
      construction) were more and more defining themselves as males who
      'naturally' enjoyed being anally penetrated. basically, they were more and
      more becoming as they were being defined - in "heterosexual" or "mating"
      terms that has dominated in EP. But how else could they get the 'benefit' of
      being "genetically" 'created' if they were not more and more to act in
      accordance with what was believed about them? This major behavioural change
      that set the stage for what was to result from HIV via mostly anal sex -
      that produced many deaths (more like a slaughter). Furthermore, the
      'creation' of male homosexuality into a 'genetic' rarity - and a version of
      heterosexuality - also caused another deadly problem: great increases in
      adolescent suicidality. This is the story reported in "the social
      Construction of male homosexuality and related suicide problems"
      (http://www.sws.soton.ac.uk/gay-youth-suicide/gay-youth-suicide-san-diego.htm).
      But then, when male homosexuality was equating to nothing more than the
      "mounting" behaviour of rats, little else but what was noted above could
      have been expected, and the price being paid for all this has been high
      indeed, and quite deadly.

      Cheers!

      Pierre

      >From: dwilmsen <dwilmsen@...>
      >To: evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com
      >Subject: RE: [evol-psych] EP and Western Culture
      >Date: Mon, 02 Dec 2002 02:14:04 +0200
      >
      > >Sadly, Evolutionary Psychology reeks with heterosexism - in that the only
      > >humans having value are the ones who copulate: the ones who happen to be
      > >called "heterosexual" and "normal" - [as opposed to] their so-called
      > >'opposites' - homosexually oriented males
      >
      >I think this a misreading of the stance of evolutionary theory. And I have
      >to
      >say this with the proviso that I have not been reading too terribly
      >extensively
      >into the literature on homosexuality of late. And I am not sure that there
      >has
      >been much evolutionarily-informed speculation in print about the role of
      >homosexuality in the development of modern humans. Probably because
      >speculation is about the best that can be mustered in explaining the
      >phenomenon. But very feasible speculations have been proffered to me in
      >private conversations (not over email since these conversations were
      >engaged
      >in before the days when email was widely used, in other words when the
      >debate
      >first got hot) by some of the better-known names in the field. It goes
      >like
      >this:
      >When viewed in the light of kin-selection, it is easy to imagine how
      >homosexuality might maintain itself in a population:
      >In an environment in which there was intense competition among males for
      >mates, males whose brothers or other male relatives managed to attract to
      >themselves copulation with some of those competitors would thereby have a
      >better chance of securing copulation with females, the field of competitors
      >being effectively reduced, if only temporarily. The brothers or other male
      >relatives might then be enlisted to assist in caring for the offspring of
      >the
      >matches so consummated. Even if they were to engage exclusively in
      >copulation with other males over their lifetimes, a condition that I myself
      >would speculate is rare in human populations, and therefore never sire
      >offspring of their own, they would nonetheless be enhancing their own
      >fitness by investing in their male kinsmen's reproductive success.
      >
      >This is hardly disparaging the value of homosexual males.
      >
      >David Wilmsen
      >Director, Arabic and Translation Studies
      >The American University in Cairo
    • Pierre Tremblay
      Greetings David! ... …There has been much language used in the 20th century when writing about male homosexuality that was unfortunate and misleading but I
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 2, 2002
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        Greetings David!

        >From: dwilmsen <dwilmsen@...>
        >To: Pierre Tremblay <pjtremblay@...>
        >CC: evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: RE: [evol-psych] EP and Western Culture: copulation
        >Date: Mon, 02 Dec 2002 11:51:45 +0200
        >
        >Actually I did not intend to define homosexual activity as comprising any
        >particular techniques, nor do I conceive of it as such. For that reason,
        >the use of the word "copulation" was perhaps unfortunate and misleading.

        �There has been much language used in the 20th century when writing about
        male homosexuality that was "unfortunate and misleading" but I did note that
        your language was very much in line with what "gay" males (a social
        construction) were increasingly made to believe about themselves, then
        causing them to become more and more as "defined".

        .The point remains that in a crowded field any success by males in
        attracting other males, whether for copulation or other forms of sexual
        activity, would have the effect of removing their relatives' competitors
        from the field.
        >
        �I am not sure if I understand what you are saying. But it would seem that,
        to the so-called "competitors," the presence of homosexually oriented males
        existing in the group that you state to be benefiting will make the
        competitors also into 'winners'. Hence, maybe no one would be benefiting
        from this situation. Or, the only families (genetic lines) benefiting would
        be those who have absolutely no homosexually oriented males in their group
        (meaning that all males are contributing to the procreation 'pot' - and if
        the others want to 'compete' they better rid themselves of homosexually
        oriented males in their clans). This also meaning, so it seems, that such
        'little' differences between clans (as in having homosexually oriented
        males) would form a kind of selection process through which homosexually
        oriented males would become extinct - if it is indeed 'something' only
        'afflicting' a minority of males and that same-sex desires are 'genetically'
        caused. Maybe not.

        ..In Ancient Greece, for example, where numerous males were involved in
        same-sex relationships in various forms (and some considered love between
        males to surpass love for women) depending on regions, such same sex
        relationships did not preclude procreation that was considered to be a duty.
        That most males in a culture have enjoyed relating sexually with other
        males, however, is 'something' that maybe EP researchers should investigate
        - as in 'discovering' why the majority of males in some cultures have
        manifested such an attribute.

        �Unfortunately, as noted in past email, widespread manifestations of
        same-sex desires has been under assault and, in some cultures where male
        same-sex sexual activities of kinds that may greatly differ from what exists
        (has existed) in the west, the ongoing hegemonic globalizing by the west is
        having a great negative effect as it was made evident in "What Ever Happened
        to Ritual Homosexuality" (a 2001 keynote address) by Bruce Knauft (Emory
        University): Text available as Word 97 Download:
        http://www.kcwh.unimelb.edu.au/full_length_papers/Bruce%20Knauft(Keynote%20address).doc
        The first two parts of the paper "The social construction of male
        homosexuality and related suicide problems"
        (http://www.sws.soton.ac.uk/gay-youth-suicide/gay-youth-suicide-san-diego.htm)
        also speak to this assault on male widespread male homosexuality that
        existed in the west not all that long ago.

        >Indeed my point in bringing this forward at all was to contest the notion
        >that evolutionary theory, in its preoccupation with reproductive fitness,
        >is in any way passing value judgments on other types of sexual behavior not
        >potentially leading to fertilization.
        >
        �.And my point had been that EP discourses generally assume that the kind of
        homosexuality males are manifesting today in the west - under the "gay"
        concept that is a recent invention - a social construction - is the result
        of some kind of genetic transmission - maybe from the mother's side of the
        family - and that homosexuality may even be related to 'something' different
        (than 'whatever' produces normal heterosexual males) on something like the
        xq28 chromosome, and a common assumption had been that those males claiming
        to be homosexually oriented are anomalous - most likely like females
        biologically - maybe more like hermaphrodites to some degree.

        The 'problem" in such cases, however, are significant if we are talking
        about same-sex sexual desires because these males are said to not be fully
        "male" - as in something incomplete having happened to them on the genetic
        road apparently travelled by the majority of males that, 'of course'
        produces 100% heterosexual males: the assumed male "norm" that happens to be
        a cultural norm not having existed in all cultures at all times. The
        citation from Kohl's recent article also has this 'something is incomplete
        or lacking' 'flavour'. In the final section of his article titled "Extending
        a mammalian model to humans" we read: "It is believed that this intermediate
        response indicates that homosexual men have higher levels of E2 during
        development. Accordingly, it was proposed that a neuroendocrine
        predisposition exists for male homosexuality and that the LH response to E2
        priming exemplified incomplete sexual differentiation of the homosexual male
        brain (see ref 45 also). This incomplete differentiation might include
        sexual differentiation of E2 receptor content in the amygdala, important to
        the processing of olfactory input." (p. 22: Homosexual orientation in males:
        human pheromones and neuroscience, Volume 3, No. 2 of The ASCAP Bulletin,
        June, 2002. Available at: http://www.theascapsociety.org/ASCAP/ASCAP.html

        Cheers!

        Pierre



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