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Desmond’s new theory on causes of male homosexuality

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  1. My own life experience tells me that Morris’ theory as explained in this article is a whole loads of cobblers which don’t even deserve my spending time to type up all the counter examples I have….

  2. Barry Atkinson 10 Dec 2007, 2:25pm

    I have been gay ever since i can remember – 63 year ago – and simply cannot identify with Dr. Morris’ piece.I have read some of his other material, but i’m afraid that here, the man simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about.With gay issues, you’ve got to be it to know it.Sorry, Desmond!

  3. Desmond Morris is a zoologist who received his D.Phil. from Oxford University back in 1954 for his doctoral thesis on the “Reproductive Behaviour of the Ten-spined Stickleback.” His examination of humans from a bluntly zoological point of view has attracted controversy. Since their publication, some of Morris’ theories explaining elements of human behaviour via a zoological lens, in particular via natural evolutionary mechanisms, have been attacked as incomplete, incorrect, or overly simplistic. Some explanations have also been criticised for being male-centred or supporting a sexist view of sexual behaviour.Hmm …. Not exactly the “definitive authority” on the subject then ….

  4. Not that I know a lot about the subject, but I don’t really like the gay gene theory itself, and his new thesis, from which I know only what has been described, does seem to accord with my life thus far. I think I shall read his book!

  5. As far as I can tell this guy is calling gay men childish and juevenille people who havnt grown up.I dont think thats very accurate or nice.

  6. Can we assume that the same applies to gay females?Those who concentrate on male homosexuality and ignore female homosexuality tend to have an agenda against what they personally find repulsive. So, to me he is a crack-pot.What I don’t understand is why so many crack-pots believe it is a lack of male role-model, lack of a father, dominating mother – if this was the case, EVERYONE in a fatherless family or dominating mother would be gay.Now, if *male* homosexuality is also caused by social boyhood sex games, does this mean gay sheep, penguins, monkeys and other animals become gay because of the same reasoning? I could accept this if animals had the same social structure as humans, but they don’t!Lastly, I can see his point about remaining juvenile, but I think he’s somewhat mis-guided in his understanding. Gay men tend not to have children and other committments that heterosexual men have – therefore they can afford, both financially and time wise to persuit the male desire to play!Boys will be boys – straight, bi or gay!

  7. evan willis 10 Dec 2007, 5:46pm

    Be very wary of those who have simplistic ‘one dimentional’ theories to explain complex human behavior. Morris has fallen into this trap and applied value judgements in place of hard, scientific and measurable evidence to support his theory

  8. Robert, ex-pat Brit 10 Dec 2007, 5:57pm

    Zefrog, check out the attached link on what some U.S. scientists have discovered. Of course, we all know the implications of this. It could probably give ammunition to the right wing religious nutters to push for more research to discover a “cure” which if they ever could, would put the ex-gay ministries and religious bigots out of business. I’m sticking with Simon LeVay’s research, to date, the most revealing and nothing to do with curing.

  9. Robert, ex-pat Brit 10 Dec 2007, 5:58pm

    Barry, Desmond is hardly qualified to publish such nonsense. Check out the link I posted on Zefrog’s response.

  10. Robert, ex-pat Brit 10 Dec 2007, 6:01pm

    Adam, my personal belief is that sexual orientation is genetic from all that I’ve read. Even if there were an aggressive search for a socalled “cure”, assuming we’d ever need one, it would take decades, perhaps centuries to bring that about. Science and medicine has not even been able to find a cure for congenital cancers, HIV or any other fatal illness associated with a genetic mutation. Praying it away also has never worked.

  11. William - Dublin 10 Dec 2007, 6:08pm

    Folks, while I have the utmost respect for the work Dr. Morris in the past, he is prone to making intelligent, but misguidedly unproven statements. This man had previous postulated that humans might have been aquatic at some stage in our past, his “proof” was that we had downward pointing nose and hair, and slightly webbed hands. While this is a clever observation, that’s all it is, an observation, its not scientific proof. I have done some research on his statement on the “juvenile gay”, and surprise, surprise, its all postulation, nothing but painful simplified observations and not one real piece of proof.Personally, I found his statements a little offensive. I was always gay, not because of some supposedly bad experience with women, and I’m not even going to dignify the “juvenile” statement he made. Like most of you, I know I was born gay, in fact, there is nothing I am more sure of. No, I’m afraid Dr. Morris is making statements that have no more scientific proof than the nuts with the bible do. Its just publicity to sell books to those who like to pretend they know science and use it to justify their petty hate against us.

  12. Robert, ex-pat Brit 10 Dec 2007, 6:09pm

    NH, Morris is spinning his wheels, he’s trying to capitalise on his new book. They’ll put forward or postulate on various things to make a fast pound. Its going nowhere. We don’t need to justify our existence or really know why. We are who we are, our orientation is like eye or hair colour, predetermined in the womb. If the purpose of his book and anyone else’s research for that matter is to imply that it is possible to “cure” a gay orientation, then science should find out which gene predisposes people to a straight orientation first and then find out how it can be manipulated to produce a same sex attraction. Why is it that we need to be cured in the first place? If I could be born all over again, I would still want to be who I am, a happy gay male. I have absolutely no desire to be straight, ever, no matter the hardships, stigma, bigotry, hypocrisy or injustice we suffer.

  13. Robert, ex-pat Brit 10 Dec 2007, 6:15pm

    PJW, I so agree with you. I came from a loving, ever present father and mother, neither of whom was more dominant than the other. I was like any normal young boy growing up, playing sports, doing all the things boys do and yes, had girlfriends. I just happened to have a predilection for my own sex without any influence, duress from otherse. We are what we are. Why do we always have to justify who we are, straights don’t? Maybe someone should take a look at them a little closer, they’re far from perfect if you look around the world and see what has been done in their name, wars, famine, torture, rape, adultery, prostitution, sex-slave trade, racial and sexual discrimination, religious bigotry, breeding for the sake of breeding, nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, the list is endless but [they] certainly have the monopoly on all of it.

  14. William - Dublin 10 Dec 2007, 6:16pm

    Robert, I couldn’t agree more. Gay is who I am, and what I was born to be… not because someone postulates I am because some slag down the road made me cry when I was 7. Like you, if I had it over again, I would be gay again. Every time and without hesitation.And this is the bit those sad religious freak never quite grasp:- why would I, even for one second, give up my wonderful partner I have lived with for 5 years? I have a education, great friends and family, a very well paid job as a manager. Basically, why would I give up all I am, when I couldn’t be happier with what I am?

  15. I agree with the previous Robert, why does there need to be an explanation for same-sex attraction? Why can’t it just be like any other human characteristic? Why is it also that only heterosexuals try to find a reason for homosexuality? Nothing pisses me off more than having someone who doesn’t even know what you feel or how you feel it giving their “theory”. Mind your own business and shut the F— up already!

    1. i agree with you totally, fair enuf if its out of inquisition or exploratory just as many other sex scientists do so for hetero’s. it does however as another guy earlier in this thread said that ppl who try to understand it have a hidden agenda which is as we probably suspect to “cure” us. i am bisexual and i stand by who and what i am. and like many others find these “theories” interested to read purely at a superficial level, without hard evidence it won’t impact on us I’m sure.

  16. Well everyone seems pretty much in accord on this subject.I know I was born this way and don’t need some idiot telling me it was my choice of playmates. As a lot of us know, the social pressure not to be gay (or ho-mo-sexual or sodomite as the choice was) was immense. The trauma of growing up with feelings of same sex attraction explained a great many teenage suicides many years ago.

  17. Robert, ex-pat Brit 10 Dec 2007, 7:18pm

    William and Rob, exactly, and thank you for your support on that. We owe society nothing for who we are nor do we have to explain why. Their apparent obsession with our sexuality along with all the religious bigots is a revelation. Its way beyond the prurient I think. Personally, I think they’re envious of us for a lot of reasons. If you look at divorces wherein the husband has been caught cheating with a male, the wives usually kick them out and their reason aside from adultery is that they can’t compete with another man. For them, its worse than cheating with another woman.Though I do agree with Morris on one point. I strongly believe that we are a lot more naturally talented than the average straight.I would NEVER change places with a straight. I’ve enjoyed a beautiful relationship with my partner for almost 15 years, better than many marriages I know. We’ve built a wonderful life together, both have successful careers and couldn’t ask for more. The sooner staights understand that part about us, the better off they and the rest of society will be. We should never have to justify our existence to any of them. They need to clean up their own house before they start taking shots at us and coming up with these absurd theories about our orientation. They need to look closer at themselves first.

  18. 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. how offensive is this???So amongst other things now , we are to be labelled imature and childish. I WAS BORN GAYGET OVER IT

  19. Hmm, I know this is rubbish when I know personally, from a very early age I was gay, Yes most of my friends were also male but hey isn’t that society? thats not to say I have very good female friends too.Why do we have to scientifically prove who we are, heterosexuals dont, nor does the bible or other animals or anything else like that.Im happy who I am, I knew who I was from an early age, I don’t want or need Science to prove that, everyone needs to grow up.

  20. Robert, ex-pat Brit 10 Dec 2007, 8:20pm

    “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.how offensive is this???So amongst other things now , we are to be labelled imature and childish. I WAS BORN GAYGET OVER IT”anon….I totally concur. Many straight males never break the bond with boys either, so how would that idiot explain away their gravitation towards the opposite sex? His theory just doesn’t hack it, its all conjecture and has NEVER been proved, ditto with Morris’theory. Its empirical, nothing more.I think these academics should find out why there is so much homophobia, find out why the straight male in particular is so driven towards hatred of same-sex, maybe find the gene for that, it it exists which I doubt. I’m sick and tired of these straights trying to tell us who we are and why we exist. Its beyond offensive.

  21. I’m a gay man living with 4 straight men, and a woman. Helen and I regularly gang up on the boys, who have a pack mentality, and are scared of her. In fact, they have no idea about women. I’ve been playing with/friends with girls since I was at nursery school, and preferred female company as a child. My closest friends are female, but I’ve only ever been sexually attracted to men. I guess Desmond Morris knows my life history better than I do…

  22. And people actually buy his books…..amazing!!!!

  23. i agree totally with all of you i think desmond morris is stuck in some single sex public school time warp…as a kid most of my close friends were girls, and that continued into my twenties…if there is anything in his theory….and i don’t think there is…gay men aren’t sexually attracted to women because they are too close to them and regard them a bit as desmond morris thinks straight men regard their sisters…anyway his theories and all the other “nutters” out there don’t wash….as many of you have said we were born gay….i don’t waste my time trying to work out why otherwsie perfectly rational and intellignet men are heterosexual…i might think it’s a waste but that’s there business…why can’t suppossedly intelligent straight men grant us the same level or respect! how dare he come up with sucha ridiculous theory without actually interviewing 100’s of gay men!

  24. disgusted in tunbrudge wells 11 Dec 2007, 12:43pm

    Morris is a Charlatan. Theres nothing scientific, or even socially scientific in his work. He just uses the terminology of zoology onto his own perceptions and assumptions of human behaviour. I really wouldnt give this much credence. I studied anthropology and the man isnt even seen as a populist writer he is a non entity in academic circles.The why for gay is an interesting question regardless of views here, but its also found in a huge range of animal species. Any theory that negates this, especially when purporting to be from a scientific perspective is laughable.

  25. Robert, ex-pat Brit 11 Dec 2007, 1:10pm

    Disgusted in Tunbridge Wells, you’re probably right about that. There are over 500 species that have been documented as having same-sex attraction and sexual contact. How would Morris explain that I wonder?Maybe the ex-gay ministries should start looking at that and see if they can pray away the gay in the animal world.

  26. Cambridge Zoology Student 21 Sep 2011, 4:12pm

    If anything I would have thought that the anecdotal evidence he is quoting (you can tell he is an old scientist, they’re just not as rigorous as us 21st century zoologists) would have lead him to the opposite conclusion. My own personal history, and that of most other gay men I’ve spoken to about it (and in fact the same story goes for the few lesbians I know) is that throughout their childhood, they were predisposed to seek opposite gender friends, so nullifying his argument. Now that is again completely anecdotal but there’s a difference between quoting anecdotes in a news comment and daring to publish a so-called ‘scientific’ book about it.
    At any rate I would discard this as ridiculous, popular psuedo-science. I can guarantee that no decent modern zoologists or anthropologists would give this book any credit.

  27. More sexist and homophobic drivel from Morris. His scientific acumen seems not to have improved since ‘The Naked Ape’ (1967), in which he essentially discourses on Homo Sapiens as if we were socially and pychologically indistinguishable from baboons. As noted by others, he is oddly silent about lesbians, and, for that matter, bisexuals. In ‘The Naked Ape’ the only female sexual renegades he can conceive of are ‘spinsters’!

  28. Sam Maloney 21 Sep 2011, 6:22pm

    So many holes in this theory– hope the straight folk don’t take it seriously,

    If Morris were correct, sexuality wouldn’t emerge until puberty when some boys would change and others would not.

    Personally, I had a crush on Tarzan long before I had any idea what sex even was. 40 years later, I still haven’t had similar feelings for a woman.

  29. This is ridiculous and I have a feeling that Morris hasn’t actually been around or observed the development of many (or any!) children who became gay. The majority of gay men I have grown up with, and trust me I know a lot, actually spent their childhoods playing equally with boys and girls. For the most part they mainly played with girls, which makes this prolonged ‘stand off’ seem like the biggest pile of rubbish I have ever heard.
    Plus, if he does want to suggest that gay girls go through a similar development, I can say that in my own experience, I always played with boys AND girls quite equally really. I still do, just I’m only attracted to the girls.

  30. Desmond Morris is not academically qualified to theorize about human sexual development. The only reason we are reading about this is because he knows how to sell books.

  31. James Adams 21 Sep 2011, 11:38pm

    I see many of you rushing to deny this and I have long been a believer in being born this way as a bisexual. However, a lot of what he says made sense to me. While his theory may not apply to all gays, what if it applied to some? Maybe there are 2 possible causes?

    When I was growing up our class had a pretty strong gender divide. All games were girls vs boys apart from that they did not interact, the boys just hang out with the boys. I then went to an all boys school and only had the company on other boys.

    I am very childish and juvenile, I’m 18 but can act like a 10 year old sometimes. I always said it was just that I was fun loving or a kid at heart of Peter pan in real life, but maybe this man is correct about me? Maybe its not even homosexuality, it might be something mistaken for homosexuality. I do have feelings for women as well as men. Maybe the feeling for men arent actually sexual just this desire to go back to childhood where it was only the boys who id be friends with

  32. The problem with sexology, the most obscure branch of psychology, is that every new research and study on homosexuality, bisexuality and transgenderism is always going to gather too much opposition and hate from the LGBT community itself, no matter if it’s made with good intentions, without any kind of prejudiced bias or if what they say is true despite sounding offensive (I wouldn’t be offended if some really good psychologist examined my latent autogynephilia by an Adlerian perspective, I suspect that myself).

  33. Besides, the sexology, even more than the psychology as a whole itself is a very little positivist science and has too much intuition on it. I am a bisexual psychology student and I was really interested in reading scientific literature about the human sexuality, like Havelock Ellis, Magnus Hirschfeld, Alfred Kinsey and Ray Blanchard, but I got turned off by them first because my college library doesn’t have anything on the issue, and second because very little of what they say seems true and scientific. I think I’ll have to satisfy myself with sexual sociology, like The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault.

  34. I know this is an old story but the poor guy is clearly bonkers.

    He made a fortune peddling the most ridiculous anthroplogical garbage just because he had a kiddies programme about zoos.

    I think we should all ask Johnny Morris the ultimate of questions, ‘Why are we here?’ At least he did funny voices.

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