Sunday, May 26, 2013

Boy Scout Membership Policies

The Boy Scouts of America made headlines by revising the membership policy to no longer include boys based on sexual orientation alone. Some conservative scouts predicted doom and gloom. Gay rights activists applauded the change.

In actuality, the benefits will probably flow the other way around.

The policy stresses that any sexual activity by boys will not be tolerated. This will encourage scouts to place a greater emphasis on moral chastity. By having a wide open door to boys that are "questioning" their sexuality, the scouting organization will be able to play a larger role in their lives. They will not be forced to turn to the gay community for support.

Same-sex attraction is a behavior "quirk". It doesn't necessarily impact the ability to function in life. It could be akin to liking an obscure form of music. It can make you a little weird, and it can cause issues if you obsess over it. But, it doesn't create any direct harm. Lack of attraction to the opposite sex, however, is a Darwinian defect. Humans sexually reproduce. Without the attraction, obtaining a mate and reproducing becomes extremely difficult. Without reproduction, genes cannot be passed on and the individual has reached a genetic dead-end. While this would not impact the ability to live, it significantly impacts the ability to "carry on."

The modern gay-rights movement has tried to shift things around and call homosexuality an inborn sexual preference that should not be treated. This would make it like Down Syndrome. People with it learn to adapt and live their life. They can be perfectly happy. However, reproduction will be difficult.

The "gay rights" agenda seems to have gone to the extreme of proclaiming homosexuality as normal. Trying to "cure" people of it is considered bad and a waste of time. This, alas, posits a huge number of assumptions. First, it assumes there is a genetic binary gay/straight divide. One possibility would be a "dead-end" gene. If we assume it is a simple dominant/recessive gene, then we could see a rapid dye out. If it were dominant, it would never be passed on. (People with it could not reproduce.) If it were recessive, then you could potentially have heterosexual carriers. However, they would only have a 25% chance of gay offspring. Since the recessive ones would not reproduce, their representation in the gene pool would gradually decrease until they did not exist at all. A crude genetic analysis is shown below. There could also be more complex variations. However, if it is a trait that does not allow reproduction, it would quickly go away.

So, what has happened? Why does it seem to be occurring more frequently now? Some explanations are given by epigenetics where the gene expression is triggered during early development. But why?

Well, perhaps it is related to infertility. Today, there are many options to allow reproduction where it could not take place unassisted. Perhaps these contribute to the preponderance of the trait. There are also many means used to prevent or postpone reproduction. Perhaps some of these contribute to it.

Or perhaps it just isn't such a dichotomy. Attraction can occur on a spectrum. People tend to be attracted to different traits in a partner. Perhaps some of these occur more commonly in the same sex than in the opposite sex. Or perhaps there is some social conditioning involved. If you pop out at 50 on the 100 point spectrum and all your friends are at 100, then you may drift towards 100. Even a 30 may be pulled more towards the 100 side due to peer pressure. The advantage the gay community has is that it is the "outside" view. If somebody is feeling a little bit "different" than what they perceive everybody else feeling, they may be more likely to latch on to the outside view. Thus a small deviation could become significant. In the past, somebody that was 20% gay may have simply lived a hetero life. Now, they may feel more inclined to go the opposite way to live a gay life.

Or perhaps it is just a learned "preference" that is extremely difficult to change. It could be like being a fan of a specific sports team. Some people have the ability to change. But others may have the Packers so embedded within them, that they still support the cheese-heads even after moving to Chicago. I wonder what would happen if we lived in the age of the internet, yet without the activist movement. If people could go online and find same-sex partners, yet they knew they would be discriminated against and could be arrested for homosexual behavior. Would some gays never consider homosexuality, and live a perfectly normal life? Or would they appear to live an awkward life when where their preference did not match with their current living condition. All would probably not be the same.

Alas, today, it would be difficult to encounter the truth in the matter. And it may not be the same for everyone. Since homosexuality is officially "normal", a cure for it would not be sought. But isn't that a form a discrimination? After all, plenty of research is being done on other types of infertility. Why is this type of infertility being ignored? Yes, it is possible to get a donor or adopt offspring, but it wouldn't be the same as a true genetic child.

Going back to Boy Scouts, most of the boys are simply discovering their own sexuality. The membership tends to skew younger. A boy may have all sorts of attractions that may not have any bearing on the future sexual orientation. Being morally clean means not acting on these impulses. It doesn't matter whether the object of attraction is a boy or a girl. The attraction needs to be appropriately controlled. In the sexually-charged environment of today, that can be a challenge. If a scout comes out as an active participant in "free love" or "gay" activities, that could be grounds for discipline. Otherwise, discussing attraction should not matter much.

Some of this environment may be a logical result of birth control. Now that birth can be controlled, sex has become simply a "pleasure" activity. If we are worried about population growth, limiting reproduction seems like a benefit. Homosexuality has the benefit of allowing the "pleasure" without any of the "risk" of offspring.

There could also be ties to the Catholic priest (and other) sexual scandals. A few decades ago, a gay man might have found the celibate priesthood as an easy option. He was not attracted to girls, so he would not have to do as much to fight the sexual urges. Homosexuality had such a negative position in society that it would not even be considered. Then as the "sexual revolution" occurred, and people were encouraged to given in to their urges, the man found his position weakened. He found society no longer protecting him from his desires, but instead encouraging him to give in. Without the strong conviction otherwise, he faltered, and did so in a negative way. And after doing so, found society no longer supported him, but fought against him since it deemed his urge to be the one non-acceptable one. (There could also be a number of other factors - notably the possibility of riches. If compensation helps the victims, why do we limit it to those that are harmed by employees of deep-pocketed organizations? Why don't we just pool it all together and divide it out to all victims? And should we extend it to other damage? What about teachers that damaged self-esteem? Or the emotional damage caused by a girlfriend dumping you? But this is delving in to legal deficiencies.)

In the end, I think the scout policy is good. Controlling urges and impulses is one of the most important things that scouts can learn. The scouts can help each other as they do this. Maintaining celibacy in youth is a struggle these days no matter what the orientation. The scouts should be applauded for taking a bold moral stand.

Ugly genetic analysis.
Hh X Hh -> HH Hh Hh hh 67% carrier
HH x Hh -> HH Hh HH Hh

HH Hh Hh
Hh HH HH Hh Hh HH Hh Hh hh HH Hh Hh hh
Hh HH HH Hh Hh HH Hh Hh hh HH Hh Hh hh
4/36 hh - 11%
16/36 HH - 44%
16/36 Hh - 44%

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