Exploring the Origins of Bisexuality
Bisexuality is defined as romantic and/or sexual attraction to both males and females. Individuals who identify as bisexual, along with other sexual minorities, have long fallen victim to stigmatization and erasure; however, sexual minorities have increasingly been met with widespread social acceptance in Western society, and as of 2016, same-sex marriage is legal in 22 countries. Increased acceptance and awareness of bisexuality has likely been a factor in increased self-identification for bisexual individuals. In spite of the prevalence of bisexuality in our society, the origins of human sexual orientation remain poorly understood; furthermore, bisexuality has received less attention in the academic literature than other contemporary sexualities. While there is no definitive consensus in the scientific community regarding the etiology of bisexuality, it is likely to be the result of genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences. In this paper, I will briefly review the historical context and popular conceptions of bisexuality in the United States and then discuss the prevailing scientific theories of the origins of bisexuality and how it fits into an understanding of human sexuality from an evolutionary perspective.
The historical prevalence of bisexuality is hard to determine because bisexuality is often ignored in historical discussions of sexual orientation, and same-sex sexual activity has traditionally been very stigmatized. Nonetheless, over the past few decades, the status quo with regard to same-sex sexual activity has changed drastically. The elimination of sodomy laws and the 2003 supreme court decision Lawrence v. Texas, which eliminated all sodomy laws in the United States...
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...uperior reproductive advantage over those with a homozygous genotype, similar to the alleles which predispose sickle cell anemia (when heterozygous, an individual has resistance to malaria, but when homozygous causes sickle cell anemia which can cause a variety of health problems including serious pain, anemia and stroke). Possible reproductive advantages of heterozygous genotypes for sexual orientation could be increased attractiveness to the opposite gender or sperm with a competitive advantage (Miller 2000). An alternative theory is sexually antagonistic selection, which posits that alleles that decrease fitness in one sex give a competitive advantage in reproductive fitness to the other sex (Arnqvist & Roe 2005). Some studies have found that relatives of gay men are more fertile than the general population (King, Green, Osborn, Arkell, Hetherton & Pereira, 2005).
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