Reflections on Homosexual Behaviors
Wow, certainly a lot of blogging of late here at the old Liberty and Power Blog, mainly about Ayn Rand and then homosexuality, almost to the obscuring of the Hans Hoppe case itself, as well as other issues.
If Blogs had meta tags like web sites, and if the name of the Blog was determined by the content, our ISP might suggest ours be called something like the"HomoRandian" Blog. Or, did La Rand make the ultimate pronunciamiento on that as well?
Since others have held forth at length on the above, please allow me to make a few comments.
As I argued many years ago in Egalitarianism and Empire, there are three sources from which we can ultimately derive a value such as Equality; Supernatural law (God), Natural Law (Nature) and Positive Law (the State).
Although a number of religions condemn homosexual behaviors, no God(s) have ever communicated with me on the subject, and I reject State pronouncements on the question, which can change between sneezes by bureaucrats or judges. That leaves us with studying Nature for some clues about such behavior.
I believe one does not have to look very far in Nature, among a number of species, to observe what appear to be homosexual behaviors.
Perhaps the most thorough study was done by the French and reported in Realité in the late 1960s. I regret I cannot provide the exact citation since a number of my books and papers remain packed from my auto accident, while others were soaked, damaged and destroyed.
The French observed what occurred to those so-called beta lions in the Pride who lost out in the fight to become the top alpha male, of which it takes very few to continue the species. Did the fight renew itself the next year?
No! The defeated males formed a sort of bachelor colony, lying around grooming each other, looking very handsome, indeed. The females, however, wanted nothing to do with them, apparently sensing they were threats to their cubs. The most interesting finding though, was that at the end of a year the testosterone levels of the defeated males had dropped to zero. The alpha males looked a bit like beleaguered husbands, with no one to groom them, and consumed with such activities as protecting the Pride and servicing the females, not a small task in and of itself.
The Luver Lion:
Fast forward a bit to the story of Frasier the Lover Lion in the San Diego Zoo as reported by Time, and then also again when he died, copulating with the females 26 times that day, before just keeling over. As retold by the magazine it was evident the zoo keepers had not the slightest knowledge of the French study.
It seems the Zoo needed some cubs, and so they tossed a couple of well groomed, young males in with the females, expecting amor to ensue, but the females literally attacked the poor guys.
In frustration, someone remembered there was an old male named Frasier pining away in the nether recesses of the Zoo. He had lost his mate, but years before he had fathered cubs. So, he was tossed in with the females with very low expectations by his keepers.
But the females could apparently sense/smell? the testosterone and cued up for old Fraz, with an ensuing cubs a-go-go until the old boy died.
I could tell some interesting tales about raising a litter of Doberman pups in which two dominant males fought it out for hierarchy and the Vet predicted which would win based on who attacked first.
Galtian Monkey Business:
But, for the sake of our Randian cadre, let skip to the story of Spike, or, as I nicknamed him, John Galt. As some may know, Japanese anthropologists have for over 4 decades studied the behavior of a monkey colony on one of their outlying islands.
Given the males fighting over hierarchy, it was an entrepreneurial female who managed to modify the culture by changing the cleaning of foods from rubbing them in the sand to washing them in the ocean.
At one point an interesting thing happened; 3 old males came to share power, ceremoniously mounting each other, and beating down together any challenge by a strong, young male.
At this point Galt was born.
Rather than grow up in the colony and subject himself to this defeat, he left the colony to live alone on an off lying hill. As he grew one could see the females yearning to meet him and Galt exchanging the feeling, for he was becoming one hell of a giant stud, Still, he hung back. Then, one day he surged in taking on the old Troika, and beating them all until they slunk off into oblivion, whereupon the cycle of monkey life returned to normal.
While I would not want to read too much into this, I think it tells us as much as does the work of some philosophers about the relationship of leadership to the masses and the intervening roles of aristoi elites,
Human Homosexual Behaviors:
What do we know about the origins of homosexual behaviors in human males - of Nature and Nurture, with the intervening variable of the hormone, testosterone?
One of the defining characteristics of human society is that we have a large plurality of potential hierarchies, at least in complex, market ones, so that individuals can seek one in which to compete successfully, rather than being confined to one alone, with whatever the hormonal consequences of defeat, if any.
We also know that testosterone kicks in at two different points in the life of the male, the first at about six months in the womb. Some have suggested that a failure to do so may occur if the mother finds herself in a situation of traumatic stress at that crucial point in time, and that this may be factor in subsequent homosexual behaviors,
The second kick-in period occurs at puberty. I believe that is a reason societies will accept some measure of homosexuality but not a blatant culture seeking to attract young males at this point, or priests also seeking to seduce them into such behaviors.
In the evolution of civilizations, Imperial Ages have been characterized by a demographic decline among the elites, a breakdown in the structure of the family, and a rise in the acceptance of homosexual behaviors. There was a similar woman's revolution in Rome, with the women running the political clubs, and old conservatives like Cato complaining,"how is it that we Romams, who rule over all other men, are ruled by our women?" (Again, see, E&E).
I have homosexuals in my own family whom I love and respect, as well as a number of friends. On the other hand I understand how religions have not condoned such behaviors. Dietary laws are also not really health related, but rather concocted to develop an in group, and, growing out of the insight from perhaps cave times, that the female is not going to cook two different meals, and she does have"the power of the pot."
And so, to sum up, I think Imperial Ages will tolerate more homosexual behaviors than some earlier epochs, but that these also will find opposition when homosexuals develop an overt culture and attempt to recruit/seduce among the young, especially those in the years of puberty.
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William Marina - 2/9/2005
Of course, there is a wide spectrum of sexual behaviors beyond simply male homosexual ones, but that has been the focus here at the blog, and I therefore focused on that, especially the possible role of testosterone in several species.
It would take volumes to discuss all of these.
John W. Payne - 2/9/2005
First, let me apologize for the post above; I was typing the subject and accidentally hit enter. Anyway, it seems very common, and this post is an example, for anyone discussing homosexuality to limit themselves to male homosexuality. Another example can be found in Karen DeCoster's comments about the Hoppe situationon the LRC blog:
"Now, Hoppe's belief can surely be debated, but common sense and observation dictates that homosexuals likely do live a more promiscuous lifestyle, and do have higher time preferences for the reason that Hoppe spoke of. The promiscuity of homosexuals comes about due to the lack of "the civilizing feature" found in a man-woman relationship wherein the female "civilizes" the male sexually, refocuses him on the relationship and family, and changes his time preferences through her love and through her nature of sexuality, which is based on long-term stability and *low* time preferences."
I think DeCoster is correct about male homosexuals being more promiscous than heterosexuals, but that is only because I believe that men are more promiscous than women. So, what about the lesbians? They should be more monogamous than heterosexuals. Furthermore, according to DeCoster, all else being equal (e.g. the number of children) a lesbian couple should have a lower time preference.
This observation brings me to a different but related point. Most arguments against gay marriage that don't simply consist of "Because God said not to" rely on the supposed inability of homosexuals to maintain monogamy or a domesticated home suitable for raising children. I can see this argument when it comes to gay men (I don't buy it, but I see it), but in the case of two women, it should be no problem at all, and in fact, if we are going to decide who gets to be a family and have a certain ceremony based on these criteria, lesbians should be preferred by the "pro-family" crowd to heterosexual couples, which end in divorce over half the time, after all.
So why is it that no one has really mentioned any of this? Well, I believe the fact is that the rightist faction in the so-called Culture War is not terrified by the mental image of two women sleeping together or even marrying, but they are deathly afraid of two men doing the same. When someone mentions homosexuals recruiting, does anyone seriously think they ever mean lesbians? In short, it is not homosexuality in general that animates anti-homosexual rhetoric but male homosexuality more in particular.