HBD: Human Biodiversity

Born That Way


Of late, the gay-rights movement has made recourse to something like genetic determinism. In the words of Lady Gaga,

I’m beautiful in my way,
‘Cause God makes no mistakes,
I’m on the right track, baby
I was born this way.

Don’t hide yourself in regret,
Just love yourself and you’re set,
I’m on the right track, baby,
I was born this way.

As the argument goes, American gays should embrace their inner nature (“Don’t be a drag, just be a queen”); no one should object to their marrying whomever they choose (after all, “God makes no mistakes.”).

Liberals are, of course, quite selective in applying such argumentation. If, for instance, you’re in a discussion of varying educational outcomes or measures of intelligence among the races, you won’t get far by singing,

Forget Stevie Jay Gould
He was liar and fool.
They’ve got small brains, baby
Blacks were born that way!

Though I don’t support most things that fall under the banner of “gay rights,” I agree with Lady Gaga’s basic premise—in all but rare cases, gays don’t “choose” their same-sex preference. I’ve known a number of gays over the years: each one’s identity was not a passing fad or something he took lightly.  They were born that way.

That said, the genetic version of the “Born This Way” thesis is dissonant with the fundamentals of evolutionary theory.

If there were a gene, or constellation of genes, that led one to prefer his own gender as a sexual partner, then such people would, by definition, be a Darwinian dead-end: lacking reproductive parters, they would not pass on their gay DNA. Even if “gay gene” carriers were relatively less likely to reproduce themselves, the identity would fall into extinction over the millennia—and certainly wouldn’t manifest itself in 1-to-3.5 percent of the population. A “gay gene” isn’t like a genetic predisposition to malaria; it positively discourages reproduction. It would be the “anti-selfish gene,” to borrow Richard Dawkins’s terminology.

One could counter that in the past, social pressures to take a mate of the opposite sex overwhelmed gay-gene expression; gay genes were thus maintained despite themselves. The irony of the genetic theory would be that gays’ “liberation” in the second half of the 20th century—that is, society’s tolerance of their pursuit of non-reproductive sexual partnerships—will ensure a gay genocide. After a few generations of unadulterated gay-gene expression, gays would vanish from the earth.

(Another version of the gene thesis is that a gay gene might be associated with other genes that are reproductively beneficial. Steve Sailer has written on this possibility, along with the gay germ theory, but little here seems conclusive.)

There is another option all together—that homosexuality is physical but not genetic. Gays are “born that way” in the sense that homosexuality is a suboptimal deviation from the norm, much like a birth defect, caused by a random abnormality in the womb. As I discuss further below, this prospect won’t be relished by the gay movement, which wants gays to be “born that way”—but not that way. 

In 1989, Anne Moir and David Jessel wrote Brain Sex: The Real Differences Between Men & Women; it’s an entertaining volume that should be recognized now as an HBD Classic. The book was written as a rejoinder to the kind of First Wave Feminism that had been mainstreamed over the course of the ‘70s and ‘80s—in essence, Since we’re all equal, any job a man can do, a woman can do (better).

Moir and Jessel argue that the differences between the sexes are not a mere accident of genitalia, and that men and women are different “because their brains are different.”

The Homosexual Question relates to this fundamental asymmetry:

One of the most dramatic differences between the sexes is that overwhelmingly more men than women are homosexual. In men, the figure is probably around 4 per cent—although Kinsey put it as high as 10 per cent, while only one woman in a hundred is a lesbian.

Indeed, sexual deviancy—be it transvestism, voyeurism, exhibitionism, or sado-masochism—is almost entirely a male preserve. [...]

This book addresses itself to the brain-derived differences between the two sexes; in fact, assessed on brain sex and behavior rather than on simple anatomy, there are many more sexes than the traditional two. And the evidence now points overwhelmingly to the conclusion that sexual deviance is as much a function of biology—as much a product of nature—as the orthodox sexuality which society accepts as “natural.”

Interestingly, the most serious studies of the origins of homosexuality took  place in the Soviet sphere.

The East German scientist, Dr. Gunter Dörner, has developed his life’s work to the theory that exposure to certain hormones before berth determines sexual inclination. He claims that potential future homosexual behavior can be detected through amniocentesis, the test of the uternine fluid which can reveal Down’s syndrome in the unborn child. Dörner further claims that, with pre-natal injections, homosexuality can be prevented. 

Dörner has, not surprisingly, attracted anger from homosexuals, who see his theories as equating homosexuality with disease, or as a 1930s-style totalitarianism involving ‘the endocrinological euthanasia of homosexuality.‘ [...]

[T]he chromosomes instruct the developing foetus, around the sixth week of pregnancy, to develop female ovaries or male testicles. These in turn produce hormones. Male hormone masculinises the mind. [...]

Dörner suggested that in men and women too it is the presence or absence of male hormones that build the structure of the brain bit by bit into a male or female pattern of sexual identity. It happens, he says, in three stages— the development of what he calls the sex centres, the mating centres, and the gender-role centres of the brain. First, with the ‘sex centres’, the hormones set to work on creating typical male or female physcial characteristics. The next, and to some degree overlapping stages, is the transformation of the ‘mating centre’. This Dörner identifies as the hypothalamus which, it is now known, is arranged differently in men and women, and controls sexual behavior in adult life. 

The last stage is when the hormones get to work on the ‘gender-role centres‘ in the brain of the unborn child, laying down the networks in the brain which determine our general behavior like the level of aggression or lack of it, our sociability or individualism, our adventurousness or timidity—characteristics which get fully expressed under the hormonal influence of puberty.

Dörner believes that each of these centres can be independently upset at each stage of development.  [...]

The beauty of this theory is that it explains how, for instance, obviously physical males, with obviously male identities and mannerisms, may be attracted to same-sex partners; in that case, only the second stage, the development of the hypothalamus, and the mating centre, has been upset. Similarly, it explains how some boys, effeminate in looks and behavior, may still be robustly heterosexual in their sexual preferences; their sex centres and gender-role centres have been hormonally unbalanced at a key stage of development, but during the development of the mating centre, nothing untoward occurred.

In short, it explains why not all sissies are homosexuals, and not all homosexuals are sissies.

Dörner’s theory, then, is both falsifiable and predictive: a key piece of evidence comes from his study of German mothers who, while pregnant, experienced the fire bombing of Dresden during the Second World War. One would presume that such women were more likely to have imperfect pregnancies due to the immense stress.  As predicted, these women birthed a significantly higher number of homosexual males than the national average.

The fact that this kind of research was promoted in the German Democratic Republic—and causes discomfort in the postmodern West—is revealing on many levels.

In America and Europe, support for gay marriage has become a shibboleth for determining whether one’s on the side of angels and can gain entrance into the Huffington Post-“Caviar Gauche” set. This was hardly the case in the Soviet era; indeed, opposition to homosexuality was ideological, and not simply a residue of past prejudices.  Maxim Gorky, for instance, exclaimed in 1934, “Exterminate the homosexuals, and fascism will disappear.” Stalin’s “social conservatism”—among other things, he banned abortion in 1934—was not merely a means of consolidating support for the Soviet state, but expressed a vision of Communism based on a productive, fertile, and conventionally gendered population.  The East German government that sponsored Dörner’s studies viewed homosexuality as bourgeois decadence—the kind of thing they had expected to vanish once Real, Existing Socialism was instituted and whose persistence surprised them. Dörner was studying homosexuality so that he might learn how to prevent it. 

On the Homosexual Question, as well as much else, Soviet Marxism was at odds with the “Cultural” variety that triumphed in the “free world.” Contemporary popular culture in Europe and the United States is supersaturated with gayness. We have contentious national debates about redefining marriage on behalf of some 2 percent of the population, only a small fraction of whom desire to marry one another. Sassy gays are so ubiquitous in television sitcoms that America’s couch potatoes have been convinced that a quarter of the population must be homosexual.

In Americanized Marxism, each and every combination of racial, ethnic, religious, or sexual identities—except Whiteness, of course!—is morally validated a priori. Yet paradoxically, a search for the origins, history, and development of an identity is taboo.  For instance, the notion that Europeans’ higher IQ, greater willingness to cooperate, and wider time-horizon was forged in the perilous experience of the Ice Age can only be discussed with academic detachment. The implication that the human species might be made stronger, more intelligent and beautiful through selective breeding is unmentionable. “Progress,” in the democratic Western mind, is always towards greater equality—never higher levels of being.

There is, of course, an alternative meta-politics to American egalitarianism. The Ethno-State, as envisioned by figures as various as Guillaume Faye and Wilmot Robertson, would not merely be an egalitarian state that happens to govern a White population (like Finland or the state of Maine); it would be “eugenic” in the sense of seeking greater human flourishing of the European people (as opposed to the actively dysgenic policies of the contemporary West, which seek to subsidize and import the dysfunctional, ugly, and unintelligent.)

A potential Ethno-State would view homosexuality as an unfortunate malady, for society as well as the homosexuals themselves. Simply “letting be” would be an option. But rational, preventative steps might also be taken to ensure that fetuses undergo normal, properly gendered brain formation, all of which is entirely possible with existing technology in prenatal testing.

What’s most striking about such a sensible policy is that it would be entirely unacceptable to both Left and Right as they are currently articulated, perhaps best represented by Lady Gaga and Rick Santorum.  Gaga wants gays to be “born that way” and for their identity to be embraced unquestioningly; she would deem treatment to prevent homosexuality something  akin to murder. The Right—or at least the portion of the Right that criticizes the gay movement—wants homosexuality to be a bad choice, deriving from the inherent sinfulness of man. Gays must be cured not through rational medical treatment but through indoctrination  in“conservative values.”

Vis-à-vis Santorum and Gaga, the Ethno-State—the alternative Right—is radically “other.” And unless our meta-political environment is revolutionarily changed, eugenic measures such as the one described above will remain unthinkable. Until that day, “there ain’t nothin’ wrong with lovin’ who you are.”