Men loving, female loving

Male-loving, female-loving

Nigerian lesbian sends sex video to UK government to avoid deportation… South Africa appoints its first openly gay cabinet minister… ‘Gay genes’ are out; ‘man-loving genes’ and ‘woman-loving genes’ are in… These news flashes and more in this week’s Sex in the Press.

I’m a lesbian. Here’s the proof.

A Nigerian asylum seeker, Aderonke Apata, sent a lesbian sex video featuring herself to the UK’s Home Office to avoid being deported back to a country where she had been sentenced to death for being gay, according to ‘Naija lesbian exile sends sex video to avoid UK deportation’.

‘Ms Apata shares the experience with many African LGBT asylum-seekers in Britain who have to prove their sexuality to sceptical immigration officers.’

‘I was asked to bring my supporting documents for my judicial review for the court to look at. […] I knew we had a home video of ourselves, so I thought why not just put it in? I cannot afford to go back to my county where I will be tortured, so if I have to prove it with a sexual video, then I have to do it,’ says Ms Apata.

‘However she still feels frustrated at having to expose such an intimate record of her private life.’

Born this gay?

In the early 1990s, some people were surprised to learn that a gene had been discovered that could predispose people to being homosexual.

‘To an evolutionary geneticist, the idea that a person’s genetic makeup affects their mating preference is unsurprising. We see it in the animal world all the time. There are probably many genes that affect human sexual orientation. But rather than thinking of them as ‘gay genes’, perhaps we should consider them ‘male-loving genes’,’ according to ‘Born this way? An evolutionary view of “gay genes”’.

‘The puzzle is not whether ‘gay genes’ exist in humans, but why they are so common (estimates from 5-15 per cent). We know that gay men have fewer children on average, so shouldn’t these gene variants disappear?’

The answer: female relatives cover gay men’s asses – reproductively speaking – by having more children.

‘Lots more children. An Italian group showed that the female relatives of gay men have 1.3 times as many children as the female relatives of straight men.’

So, if a man has certain ‘male-loving’ genes, he may end up being gay; if a woman has these same genes, she may mate earlier and more often and thereby have more offspring.

Similarly, if a woman has certain ‘female-loving’ genes, she may end up being lesbian; if a man has these same genes, he may mate earlier and more often and thereby have more offspring.

‘It’s a bit like height, which is influenced by variants in thousands of genes, as well as the environment, and produces a ‘continuous distribution’ of people of different heights. At the two extremes are the very tall and the very short. In the same way, at each end of a continuous distribution of human mating preference, we would expect the ‘very male-loving’ and the ‘very female-loving’ in both sexes. Gay men and lesbian women may simply be the two ends of the same distribution.’

A role model for truckers

Africa has its first openly gay cabinet minister, according to ‘Being “first openly gay…” matters’.

Lynne Brown, South Africa’s new Minister of Public Enterprises, says she was shocked by ‘the sensationalising of my sexuality’. But she still believes ‘it’s important to acknowledge our identities to the public’.

However, Ms Brown believes that she represents another equally-important ‘first’: ‘I’m the first daughter of a truck driver from District Six who made it to the cabinet.’

So is Ms Brown also the proud owner of a trucker-loving gene?

Why do so many people still believe that homosexuality is strictly a ‘lifestyle choice’? Leave a comment below or join the discussion on Facebook.

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