Editors' Note: Guest blogger Dr. Helen Fisher is the founder and Chief Scientific Advisor to Chemistry.com. Dr. Fisher has been posting every Sunday evening for the past month, so I hope someone fixed her a plate.
I'm learning a lot from reading your responses. Thank you. And I must admit, I get a bit lost at times with genetics too. I study love, not DNA. But genetics is part of my background. And I wanted to give you a taste of the academic buzz on homosexuality.
You might also be interested in the book, BIOLOGICAL EXUBERANCE: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity, by Bruce Bagemihl. It was the "Publisher's Weekly Best Book of 1999." It has chapters on elephants, antelopes, seals, and, of course, the birds and the bees.
As the great evolutionary biologist, JBS Haldane wrote, "The universe is not only queerer than we suppose, it is queerer than we can suppose." So, as I wrote in my first blog, I have long wondered what the fuss is all about.
Which brings me to the future of sex and homosexuality. We are currently experiencing two dramatic worldwide social changes: 1) the aging world population (some demographers say we should begin to regard middle age as up to age 85); and 2) the entrance of women around the world into the paid labor force.
Both are initiating dramatic changes in sexuality worldwide. Where women work, they can afford to be themselves. As a result, we are seeing the rise of childhood and teenage sexuality, and more sexual expression by men and women across their lives. Our lives are likely to be long, too. And with Viagra, estrogen replacement, hip replacements and many other medical advances, more and more people will be sexual into old age.
I think these trends bode well for the gay and lesbian communities. The rigid agrarian concepts of "man" and "woman" are breaking down, replaced by far more educated and flexible concepts of sex, love and human variation.
For every trend there is a counter-trend, of course. Many current religious tenets are tethering sexual expression. Nevertheless, as the Arabs say, "The dogs may bark but the caravan moves on." We are gradually moving toward far more accepting sexual mores. Frankly, I'm glad to be alive now. I would probably have made a bigger hash of things had I lived 100 years ago.
And so, I feel complimented to have "talked" with you and I wish everyone happiness and romance.
PS: Thanks to the reader who just joined Chemistry.com. I hope we give you what you are looking for. Everyone needs love.