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← The brain in love

irate_atheist's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by irate_atheist

16. Comment #214917 by Steve Zara -

There could be a good evolutionary reason for certain members of the population to refrain from breeding (perhaps to assist parents and/or siblings with child raising). Same-sex relationships may have some role in bonding groups together.
Where the relationship(s) are exclusively homosexual, and given that homosexuality is - at least primarily - genetically determined, surely exclusive homosexuality cannot be selected for? I may be wrong - I probably am - but you seem to be suggesting a kind of group selection.

May I suggest an alternative idea?

As a hypothesis, may I pose that human/primate sexuality (and not necessarily the desire to reproduce) may be an extension or affected by (or part of) that function of our brain that deals with empathy, understanding and the ability for benefical mutual co-operation. (Love & desire being, perhaps, just stronger emotions and facilities, but of the same 'type'.)

If this were so, I can see how - on a continuum - a species with a tendency for bisexual behaviour could be naturally selected for. This would result in stronger bonds, better co-operation etc. amongst members of the species. Rampant heterosexual behaviour and purely homosexual behaviour would be both be extremes of 'the norm'. This would, perhaps, go some way to explaining why we are all slightly bisexual and exist on the continuum.

Comments on this, rude or otherwise, are welcome.

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 03:47:00 UTC | #203839