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The Purpose of Homosexuality

LGBT Purpose Homosexuality

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#141 QueenTiye


    Behavior is not reproducible over multiple trials.

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 09:07 AM

Mr. Synystyr, on Jun 21 2004, 10:46 PM, said:

I live in San Diego; not as famous for its homosexual population as San Francisco, but we have a large openly homosexual community.  My best friend for over 20 years is gay.  My wife is bisexual.  I mention all of this so that anyone that cares to read this post will hopefully understand that I speak with some familiarity with the subject.

I think the question is valid, if not pleasant for everyone.  Nothing will help homosexuality, and homosexuals (and bisexuals and transexuals), be accepted more readily than education.  But to educate, first you have to understand.  To return to the comparison to skin tones, it's kind of difficult to hold someone's skin color against them when you understand what melanin is and how it works.

I certainly don't have a definitive answer to the question.  I don't think it will be as clear cut as pigment levels.  I don't think it will be as simple as a single gene, or social element.  

I would be curious to hear your ideas on bisexuality.  I believe HM mentioned this earlier, in regards to the relative acceptance of female bisexuality.

Love and laughter!

Jason - thank you very much for your contribution here.  I appreciate you sharing your experiences and your thoughts.  If this thread, for all the misunderstandings and all the hurt feelings, succeeds in bringing lots of ideas to the table, without encouraging bigotry and enmity, and if this thread encourages the sharing of different pov so that we can learn from each other - it isn't in vain.


Een Draght Mackt Maght

#142 Consubstantial


    Paradox by Incongruity

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 09:13 AM

Rhea, on Jun 22 2004, 04:15 AM, said:

Rhea wrote:


Anthropology is probably the purest of the social sciences, because it's purely observational. In other words, everything you cite is simply a way of describing observed behavior.

One of the reasons I became an anthro major in the first place is because there is no value judgement involved in anthro. Pyschology studies what is "normal" or "abnormal" behavior for individuals. Sociology, in its way, does the same for groups of human beings.

Anthropologists don't deal in right or wrong or normal and abnormal for groups of human beings or other related species - they record behavior and attach labels to that behavior for the simple convenience of having a descriptor so that the behavior can be discussed and categorized in some common form.  To an anthropologist dominance displays are simply a commonly observed form of behavior. Period.

The problem comes when you take those studies out of the context for which they were intended and try to attach a value to them.

All an anthrolopologist cares about is describing homosexuality as it occurs in whatever group of primates that anthrolopologist is studying, and how a homosexual individual interacts with other individuals in a group. Period.
Clifford Geertz's essay "'From the Native's Point of View':  On the Nature of Anthropological Understanding" argues that anthropologists are just as human as the rest of us.  He continues this argument in his book Works and Lives where he analyzes the methods and results of anthropologists like Malinowski, Levi-Strauss and Benedict.  His work questions the purported objectivity of anthropologists and points out that the anthropologist's observations and the conclusions drawn about those observations are filtered through the anthropologist's cultural assumptions and thereby distorted.  

Moreover, science has repeatedly shown that the very act of observation impacts the observed.

Simply labeling a behavior a "dominance display" indicates cultural attitudes regarding that behavior and impacts future reactions to it by those who hear or read the label.  Value judgements can be implicit in the very labels used.
From the start, our terms jump to conclusions--Kenneth Burke

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