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Posted 12/22/07
This is an article from the Sunday Times (9th December)


Men are ‘made gay by the child within’

Richard Brooks Arts Editor

DESMOND MORRIS, who became a bestselling author by applying zoology to explain human behaviour, has now utilised the techniques to put forward an explanation for homosexuality.

In his latest book, The Naked Man, he concludes that men are “made gay” because they retain infantile or juvenile characteristics into adulthood – a phenomenon known as neoteny.

According to this theory, gay men also tend to be more inventive and creative than heterosexuals because they are more likely to retain the mental agility and playfulness of childhood.

“Gays have in general made a disproportionately greater contribution to life than nongays,” said Morris, who is also a noted artist. “The creative gay has very much advanced Planet Earth.”

“The playfulness of childhood is continued with certain people into adulthood. This is very much a positive. Adult playfulness means that certain people, often a fairly large proportion of them gay, are more inventive and curious than heterosexuals.”

His theory was, however, attacked by Steve Jones, professor of genetics at University College London. “It’s arts faculty science to say that gays are neotenous,” he said. “It’s a stupid idea. Where is the real evidence?”

Morris points to work done by Clive Bromhall, who produced some of his television programmes. “Gays do infantile behaviour in the extreme,” said Bromhall, who after gaining a PhD in zoology from Oxford, left academia to form a company making educational films.

Morris, who is 80 in January, long thought that absent fathers led to boys and young male adults becoming gay. “[It is] the dominant and ever-present mother theory,” he said. “But now I’m convinced that is wrong, and that it is neoteny which makes people gay. Gays are using what is reproductive or creatively constructive to non-reproductive ends. This is very much a positive.”

But his argument that gays are more creative than heterosexuals also has its flaws. Steve Jones said: “What of somebody like Pablo Picasso who was a hugely creative man and yet was obviously decidedly heterosexual?” Many other creative individuals such as Vivienne Westwood and Mary Quant, the fashion designers, are also clearly heterosexual.

Morris’ point is proved by gays like Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci, Tchaikovsky, Cole Porter and Oscar Wilde. TE Lawrence, the author, Arabist and first world war hero, was also homo-sexual and hugely creative.

Peter Tatchell, the gay rights campaigner, agrees that many gays are unusually creative, although he suggests they are also characterised by being closely in touch with their emotions.

He added: “I would also think that being gay is very much a mix of genetic factors and hormonal influence in the womb. I don’t really know about this playfulness idea being carried from childhood to gay adulthood.”

Most commentators though, including Morris, Tatchell and Glenn Wilson – co-author of the book Born Gay, published in 2005 – believe that the so-called “gay gene” theory is discredited.

“I argued that sexual orientation is two-thirds prenatal and one-third environmental,” said Wilson, who works at London University’s Institute of Psychiatry. “I suppose the neoteny argument is not incompatible, but I haven’t heard it advanced before.

“I would also say that gays certainly tend to gravitate towards expressive or service occupations, but I have never heard or seen evidence that they are academically better.”

In his book Morris also argues that homosexuality has always polarised societies: “While many countries over the past 30 years have relaxed attitudes and less prejudice, there are eight I know of where homosexuality can still be punished by the death penalty,” he said.

After the success of The Naked Ape, published in 1967, Morris turned to subjects as diverse as city dwellers (The Human Zoo), professional football (The Soccer Tribe) and The Naked Woman, a precursor of his latest book.


Now I'm not really sure how I feel about this, beyond the fact that it's generalisation (using the upper range of people...)...

So what do you think? Is it a positive view? Negative view? Could it create false expectations? Is it complete bollocks?
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Posted 12/24/07
well i agree that its generalist, but i think its also a load of shit absically. lets face it there isnt a reason people are homosexual other than thats what flips there switch, i think of it as a fetish, everyone has his or her own fetish just some of them are homosexual in oragin (i havent explained this very well ) ill edit it later to make more sense
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Posted 12/25/07
Ah ha, it turns out that Desmond Morris is a complete moron. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/men/article3025009.ece
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Posted 1/18/08
Hmm. Don't believe it.

From my experience reading on what the scientific community's stance is on homosexuality, I'd have to agree with the majority of them: that it's a combination of genetic and environmental factors, but the environmental factors were probably prenatal, so there's no chance of changing it after the fact.
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Posted 1/19/08
not exactly sure on this one.
Posted 2/24/08
That is a load of crap. Anyways does he have decisive evidence and proof?
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Posted 3/7/08
WTF?! Is he serious?! What a freakin moron.
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Posted 5/12/08
Interesting idea... but I would have to disagree with this personally. I wish I could say that I have a childish air about myself, but I actually need to learn to be more spontaneous and childish personally. Too generalized and no research to make such a claim.
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Posted 5/16/08

Tyrfing wrote:

Ah ha, it turns out that Desmond Morris is a complete moron. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/men/article3025009.ece


wow... fucking wow... this is such a load of shit...
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