It’s not me – it’s something else. I developed out of my own control, from forces that were pre-determined. I don’t really have to explore it, I just have to know it is that way – as a reason for being what I am. And yeah, it’s not my fault.
Or, um… I’m not limited! I’m free to be or become anything – I’m undefined and free-floating, cannot be pinned down, and have no limitations. Sure that’s all my doing, and what are you going to do about it? I’m just about everything – and can’t really find anything to put my finger on…
Well, two extreme sides of a coin, if you ask me. As someone who’s adopted, I have been able to see very clearly the influence of hard-coded genetics interplaying with the more subtle influences of environment.
Mike just wrote some interesting thoughts on a book he recently read.
Being gay, and not really fitting into the neat categorical definitions of in utero formative constructions where my mascuilinity and femininity – or domineering and submissive characteristics, can be neatly defined and sectioned off, I have to conclude that there might be something a little bit more going on than what Moir might be saying.
There is certainly something to research claiming that people are born gay or straight, or that women come pre-loaded with girly behaviour, and men with dumb macho crap. But does this hard-wiring explain the way people rigidly cling to these definitions even when they’re feeling otherwise?
Does this explain the slow blending of these differential behavioural constructs in recent times?
Or is it really some kind of celebration and glorification of “traditional” modes of behavior for us all? A scientifically-based set of off and on toggle switches for our souls?
I’m afraid this scientist is running into the familiar old problem that even still many people ignore. Applying observations upon the thing that we are is highly prone to error in that we cannot distance ourselves into the necessary objectivity away from ourselves to reach any absolute conclusions.
It is undeniable that genetics plays a part in our development. It is also undeniable that forces completely separate from genetics influence who we become.
To my mind, the hard-coded genetics is merely a framework from which the entirety of our experience can… well.. be experienced. And if we tinker with that, shaping it into some kind of ideal, the scope, bredth and depth of that larger experience becomes hugely diminished with even the tiniest of structural alterations toward the normative.
I haven’t read this book, but such studies make me nervous. Why devote so much effort to uncovering the impossible to uncover gender behaviour causes when we have diseases, deformations and horrific birth defects to worry about?
I suppose he can do what he likes with his time, and other people’s money.
Thinking back, I remember speaking with Koray Tanfer, a pioneer in studying a genetic basis for homosexuality. I was young and stupid, and basically gave him a very hard time about it because I knew that I was more than a hard-coded program running. And I had seen too many people crossing all kinds of lines and borders that was just well beyond the capacity for any genetic structure to account for.
He told me that really, it meant very little. It was just a trend – a noticable predisposition, if I’m remembering right. And that it certainly did not account for the entirety of our experience as human beings.
I have no idea how this meshes with studies showing that most people are bisexual, too.
But I do know that women who are true women are very boring and predicatable. And men who are true men are pretty much the same. In that respect, I suppose they could be hard-coded – because they are rather like computer programs.
Then again, I’m far more true to myself, steadfast in my doings and stronger in my resolve than many straight men are. And also more sensitive and giving, intutive and nurturing than many of the straight women I know.
Maybe I’m just hard-coded Superior. In that case, screw his normative definitions. Who needs them? Or, if I’m just delusional, at least I’d make a good Nazi.