Sexual attraction: All in the genes?

“When it comes to the matter of desire, evolution leaves little to chance. Human sexual behavior is not a free-form performance, biologists are finding, but is guided at every turn by genetic programs.

Desire between the sexes is not a matter of choice. Straight men, it seems, have neural circuits that prompt them to seek out women; gay men have those prompting them to seek other men. Women’s brains may be organized to select men who seem likely to provide for them and their children. The deal is sealed with other neural programs that induce a burst of romantic love, followed by long-term attachment.

So much fuss, so intricate a dance, all to achieve success on the simple scale that is all evolution cares about, that of raising the greatest number of children to adulthood. Desire may seem the core of human sexual behavior, but it is just the central act in a long drama whose script is written quite substantially in the genes.”

So writes Nicholas Wade on the front page of today’s New York Times . If what he is saying is true, it obviouly has enormous implications for ongoing debates about sexual morality.

How solid does the scientific evidence presented in the piece seem to you? And if homosexuality is biologically determined, how does that affect your views on the morality of monogamous gay partnerships?

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