A new book by a well-known British academic suggests that some men are gay because they don’t break with other boys during childhood and retain some of their juvenile characteristics when they become adult.
In The Naked Man: A Study Of The Male Body, Desmond Morris questioned why “a certain percentage of adult human males, with or without the approval of society at large, find members of their own gender attractive.”
His answer is that it happens for social reasons, therefore discrediting any “gay gene” theory.
But he also changed his previous theory that people would become gay because of the lack of absence of a father or a male role.
Comparing experiences of young heterosexuals and homosexuals, the best-selling author believed that the main change would happen at the pubertal phase.
At about the age of five, sexes would draw apart and a boy would play only with other boys, a phase that: “will last about ten years, during which time he will be going through an intensive educational period, programming the amazing computer inside his skull.”
For many boys, with the flood of sex hormones during puberty the interest in girls would suddenly rise.
But not for others, because according to Morris “they get stuck in the stand-off phase, and stay there for the rest of their lives.”
During the ten-year learning phase, male-to-male attachment would become so powerful for them and “if there are any special social factors adding their weight at this point, the break can be thwarted.”
Morris suggests that some gay men may have had unpleasant experiences with girls during the stand-off.
“Or he may have found the boyish sex games that are so common in the stand-off phase to be particularly exciting and this may have fixated him on other males as sexual companions.
“For him it is impossible to make the switch because he cannot bear to leave behind what he had before.”
He concluded that men are “made gay” because they keep juvenile characteristics when they become adult, what is known as “neoteny.”
The 79-year old zoologist and anthropologist also said that gay men tend to be more creative than heterosexual as “the playfulness of childhood is continued into adulthood,” which he claims explain why so many artists and creative people are gay.
Morris is best known for his series of “popular science” books in the 1960s and 1970s, such as The Naked Ape.