Richard Posner Opines on Homosexuality and Natural Selection

May 14th, 2012

That there is a genetic component in homosexuality may seem paradoxical, since homosexuals produce on average fewer offspring than heterosexuals, which might lead one to expect that over time homosexuality would diminish and eventually disappear—which of course has not happened. But in the harsh ancestral environment in which human beings evolved, there was a tradeoff between number and survival of offspring. A family with many children would not be able to feed and protect them; none might survive childhood. Both menopause and homosexuality are ways of increasing the ratio of adult caregivers to children, since homosexuals can provide care to their nephews and nieces and menopausal women to their grandchildren, without either group having obligations to their own children. The result can be a net increase in inclusive fitness (number of descendants); there are fewer offspring but more survive to an age at which they produce offspring.

This is just a theory; it has not been confirmed by evidence.

I think this post may generate some reactions.

And this paragraph should be cited in any motion for recusal in any case involving SSM in the 7th Circuit:

It seems that the only remaining basis for opposition to homosexual marriage, or to legal equality between homosexuals and heterosexuals in general, is religious. Many devout Christians, Jews, and Muslims are strongly opposed to homosexual marriage, and to homosexuality more generally. Why they are is unclear. If as appears homosexuality is innate, and therefore natural (and indeed there is homosexuality among animals), and if homosexuals are not an antisocial segment of the population, why should they be thought to be offending against God’s will? Stated differently, why has sex come to play such a large role in the Abrahamic religions? I do not know the answer. But whatever the answer, the United States is not a theocracy and should hesitate to enact laws that serve religious rather than pragmatic secular aims, such as material welfare and national security.