Friday, August 17, 2007

Masks of Sexuality III

I don't really know what to say in this one, but I said I'd do a set of three. I guess I'll start with a comment from Pete of Falling off a log.

It seems in the first post of this series, Masks of Sexuality I, I forgot to mention maternal effect. Biologically, maternal effect is where certain things (transcription factors, hormones, etc) in the mother's womb (or eggs in non-mammalian species) can/do influence the outcome of the children. Pete mentioned studies where increased hormone exposure (I think it's increased estrogen) was correlated with a male child being gay. And another study where fraternal twins, specifically one girl and one boy, can influence the sexual orientation of one or the other to be homosexual.

Personally, I don't like to take these kinds of studies at face value. I like to think that with behavior, there are different mechanisms of control than just maternal effect. Of course it can and probably does play a role, but perhaps not as much as the studies tend to make it seem. In science there's an important difference in understanding a correlation (however strong) with cause-effect, because really only cause-effect can be tested. Correlations might be interesting, but they can also be false. Hurray, I actually remember something useful from my stats class (most boring class EVER, so thankful for the invention known as coffee)!

So now, what else to write. I think I'll write about what I "think" my attractions are to either girls or guys. Yeah, I've spent way too much time in analyzing such things about myself. Alright, so, girls first. The order of attraction goes sort of like: face, personality, body. The face is a big thing, and a good funny/amusing personality is a must. Intelligence is also a must. A hot body is nice but not absolutely necessary, just "good enough" will do. I'm actually rather attracted to fairly average-looking women for some reason, might be their attitude though. They tend to not be as snobby or think they're "all that." There was this really hot sophomore in a study group I led - perfect breasts (not too big, not too small), flat stomach, toned arms and legs, nice face, good attitude - alas she has a boyfriend (again? I fall for the wrong people). I'm also attracted to Asian women more, but I think that goes with the cultural atmosphere I was raised in. But there are also various other cultural reasons that I won't get into here.

My attraction to guys is somewhat different. Again, the face is perhaps the first thing I notice. But then the body - slim and toned, not too muscular but not bordering anorexic thin either. Personality-wise, I've never met a guy who I think "matched" mine. That's kind of weird I guess, perhaps I'm looking for something I haven't found yet, I don't know. Anyway, one of the most appealing things about guys over girls is the anatomical knowledge. You know what feels good on you and you can bet it probably feels good on another guy too. Like when a guy orgasms and ejaculates, you know how good that feels and you can visually tell when that happens. There's something very appealing and arousing about that. With women, who knows, they could be faking it the whole time for all I know (and that's annoying to think about). This is also why I prefer male porn to female porn, because in male porn you know when he orgasms but with women, you never really know (if someone can tell, please teach me to figure it out).

So like the other posts, where does this leave me? It almost seems I'm more emotionally attracted to women but I'm definitely more physically attracted to men. But I think in any long-lasting relationship there needs to be both emotional and physical attraction. This leaves me more confused and uncertain, but more clear about where I stand. Which is to say, somewhere between worlds. So yeah, definitely the most disjointed conglomeration of thoughts pieced into a single post thus far, for me.


Pete said...

You're so right about correlations, but short of identifying specific genes, it's all we can work with. Still, I think oestrogen exposure as a mechanism makes sense, as does testosterone exposure in mixed twins.

On the other hand, sometimes you see facial structures - like that girl on the L Word - that are just so typical there has to be a genetic component too.

The older brother effect I find especially baffling. Could this be evidence of a behavioural component?

Matt-CNS said...

I like this post, you make some good points I can relate to.

Nice blog btw.

Aek said...

Hi Pete, I don't know if you'll read this (and I don't know if there's a function to reply to comments, since I'm new to blogging). Anyway, here goes my explanation for the older brother thing.

It could work on a similar mechanism as hormone exposure. Since women have predominantly estrogen and men have testosterone, it's possible that the increased testosterone of a male child could cause a kind of host-rejection on the mother's part. So with each successive pregnancy, her body might make more estrogen to counter the testosterone of successive male children. This effect is seen similarly in Rh compatibility between mother and child.

So it's unlikely some kind of behavior effect. It also wouldn't explain homosexuality in older siblings and such. Now what's more interesting are studies of identical twins where one is straight and the other is gay. That alone suggests something more than biology is involved.

Pete said...

Hi aek, that idea of countering testosterone went through my mind as well.

I do know that the last time I read about this the scientific consensus was that it was behavioural, so there probably is another theory I'm not aware of.

B said...

I also feel like I'm more emotionally attracted to women and physically to men, at least at this point in time. Nice to know there are others in similar situations.