MadSci Network: Evolution

Subject: Evolution and homosexuality

Date: Fri Jul 3 08:46:22 1998
Posted by Ade George
Grade level: teacher/prof
School: John Taylor High
City: Barton-under Needwood State/Province: No state entered.
Country: U.K.
Area of science: Evolution
ID: 899473582.Ev

I have just got round to reading 'The Selfish Gene' by Richard Dawkins and whilst trying to explain the theory to my wife the following came into the conversation. If the genetic imperative is to replicate and only those which replicate successfully remain in the gene pool, why has homosexuality not 'died out' as a behavioural trait in our species as the majority of homosexuals do not procreate. I am not assuming a gene or group of genes for homosexuality necessarily, but as Dawkins points out genes can extend their influence to behaviour that results in their having a better chance of survival. I can see no such genetic advantage in homosexual behaviour. Is their any explanation can co- exist with Dawkins' theory?

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