TV & Radio
What Makes People Gay?
The debate has always been that it was either all in the child's upbringing or all in the genes. But what if it's something else?
By Neil Swidey | August 14, 2005 - Boston Globe Magazine
With crystal-blue eyes, wavy hair, and freshly scrubbed faces, the boys look as though they stepped out of a Pottery Barn Kids catalog. They are 7-year-old twins. I'll call them Thomas and Patrick; their parents agreed to let me meet the boys as long as I didn't use their real names.
Spend five seconds with them, and there can be no doubt that they are identical twins - so identical even they can't tell each other apart in photographs. Spend five minutes with them, and their profound differences begin to emerge.
Patrick is social, thoughtful, attentive. He repeatedly addresses me by name. Thomas is physical, spontaneous, a bit distracted. Just minutes after meeting me outside a coffee shop, he punches me in the upper arm, yells, "Gray punch buggy!" and then points to a Volkswagen Beetle cruising past us. It's a hard punch. They horse around like typical brothers, but Patrick's punches are less forceful and his voice is higher. Thomas charges at his brother, arms flexed in front of him like a mini-bodybuilder. The differences are subtle - they're 7-year-old boys, after all - but they are there.
When the twins were 2, Patrick found his mother's shoes. He liked wearing them. Thomas tried on his father's once but didn't see the point.
When they were 3, Thomas blurted out that toy guns were his favorite things. Patrick piped up that his were the Barbie dolls he discovered at day care.
When the twins were 5, Thomas announced he was going to be a monster for Halloween. Patrick said he was going to be a princess. Thomas said he couldn't do that, because other kids would laugh at him. Patrick seemed puzzled. "Then I'll be Batman," he said.
Their mother - intelligent, warm, and open-minded - found herself conflicted. She wanted Patrick - whose playmates have always been girls, never boys - to be himself, but she worried his feminine behavior would expose him to ridicule and pain. She decided to allow him free expression at home while setting some limits in public.
That worked until last year, when a school official called to say Patrick was making his classmates uncomfortable. He kept insisting that he was a girl.
Patrick exhibits behavior called childhood gender nonconformity, or CGN. This doesn't describe a boy who has a doll somewhere in his toy collection or tried on his sister's Snow White outfit once, but rather one who consistently exhibits a host of strongly feminine traits and interests while avoiding boy-typical behavior like rough-and-tumble play. There's been considerable research into this phenomenon, particularly in males, including a study that followed boys from an early age into early adulthood. The data suggest there is a very good chance Patrick will grow up to be homosexual. Not all homosexual men show this extremely feminine behavior as young boys. But the research indicates that, of the boys who do exhibit CGN, about 75 percent of them - perhaps more - turn out to be gay or bisexual.
What makes the case of Patrick and Thomas so fascinating is that it calls into question both of the dominant theories in the long-running debate over what makes people gay: nature or nurture, genes or learned behavior. As identical twins, Patrick and Thomas began as genetic clones. From the moment they came out of their mother's womb, their environment was about as close to identical as possible - being fed, changed, and plopped into their car seats the same way, having similar relationships with the same nurturing father and mother. Yet before either boy could talk, one showed highly feminine traits while the other appeared to be "all boy," as the moms at the playgrounds say with apologetic shrugs.
"That my sons were different the second they were born, there is no question about it," says the twins' mother.
So what happened between their identical genetic starting point and their births? They spent nine months in utero. In the hunt for what causes people to be gay or straight, that's now the most interesting and potentially enlightening frontier.
野党優勢、初の女性首相か シュレーダー氏３選危うし (共同 2005/08/16)
現代英国人女性、バストが平均ワン・カップ分「大型化」し、背骨に負担 (UK Today 2005/08/15)
Bigger breasts could become a pain for Britain's women
By Amy Iggulden
(Filed: 15/08/2005) - Telegraph
The breasts of Britain's women have grown by a cup-size in the past decade and could be changing the shape of the female spine, according to new research.
An average bra size of 34B 10 years ago has increased to a 36C across this country and Australasia, the bra manufacturer Bendon has discovered.
The result was supported by retailer Marks & Spencer, but a spokesman said it had only noticed the change in the past five years.
Experts suggested that the increase was due in part to the popularity of breast enhancement, and fitted into a pattern of women gradually getting bigger.
Results from the most recent National Sizing Survey, released last year, revealed that women's busts and hips had grown by 1½ins since 1951. Waists had also grown by 6½ins. But details about bra size had been kept confidential by retailers.
Bendon also found that more than half of women were wearing ill-fitting bras, despite publicised information that this caused back pain and other problems.
Fiona Walsh, an osteopath on the General Osteopathic Council, said: "Breasts are growing, not only as a result of women getting bigger generally, but across the board."
She said that bigger breasts could lead to a flattening of the upper spine. However, the right bra could alleviate back and neck pain.
Japanese Politician Comes Out at Country’s Pride Event
By Ross von Metzke - Gay Wired
(Tokyo, Japan) – A Japanese politician came out over the weekend at Tokyo's first Gay Pride event in three years, saying she chose the event to make the announcement as a call for more understanding of sexual diversity in the country.
Thirty-year-old Kanako Otsuji told Japanese news agencies it was important for her to come out at the high-profile event because she said too many people had kept "silent" in the past, fearing "discrimination and prejudice."
"By declaring I'm homosexual, I would like to highlight the problems and put an end to a vicious circle of discrimination and prejudice," Otsuji said, according to the Kyodo news agency.
Otsuji, 30, is a member of the Prefectural Assembly in Osaka, the country's second-largest city. Tokyo's event was the first after a three-year hiatus in Pride festivals.
Those behind the event said this year's celebration would be a chance to celebrate Japan's lesbian and gay community, as well as raise awareness among the nation's mainstream population. More than 3,000 people attended Tokyo's Pride events, which were held in the city's central shopping districts. Otsuji is due to publish her autobiography in Japan later this year, detailing more aspects of her sexuality and her coming out.
Japanese politician comes out
Monday 15 August, 2005 12:22
A Japanese politician came out at Tokyo’s first lesbian and gay Pride event in three years at the weekend, calling for more understanding of sexual diversity in the country.
Kanako Otsuji chose to come out at the high profile event because she said too many people had kept “silent” in the past fearing “discrimination and prejudice”.
“By declaring I'm homosexual, I would like to highlight the problems and put an end to a vicious circle of discrimination and prejudice," Otsuji said, according to the Kyodo news agency.
Otsuji is a member of the Prefectural Assembly in Osaka, the country’s second largest city.
Tokyo’s event was the first after a three year hiatus in Pride festivals.
Those behind the event said this year’s celebration would be a chance to celebrate Japan’s lesbian and gay community, as well as raise awareness amongst the nation’s mainstream population.
More than 3,000 people attended Tokyo’s Pride events, which were centred in the city’s central shopping districts.
Otsuji is due to publish her autobiography in Japan later this year, detailing more aspects of her sexuality and of coming out.
Japanese Legislator Comes Out At Gay Pride - 365Gay.com