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Home > Media

Journojism: Still no cure for gay

15 October 2004

An amazing scientific breakthrough occurred this week. Journalists, with their extensive knowledge of DNA structures, evolution, genetic theory and the nature vs. nurture argument, discovered the 'gay' gene.

'The genes which make men gay may also make their female relatives more fertile, scientists said yesterday,' reported the Daily Mail, while quietly fantasising about Dr Josef Mengele heading up a team of eugenicists who could finally selectively breed Aryan supermen with no gay traits whatsoever, apart from bodybuilding.

The discovery of the gay gene must come as something of a surprise to most scientists, since genetics is in its relative infancy, and proof of a gay gene remains as elusive as proof of the intelligence gene much beloved of white trash white supremacists who think that poor SATS from black kids in South Central makes whitey the superior species (despite the fact that Martin Luther King never set his own dog on fire for a laugh after drinking 16 Buds.)

So what was the actual story? In a nutshell: a study by the University of Padova in Italy has suggested that there are genes that cause a certain number of men to be gay, but these same genetic factors may cause higher fertility rates in their maternal relatives, ie. mothers, aunts, sisters. The same team admit that their (extensive and convoluted) findings may be skewed by social factors.

And this is fine. In the world of reputable science anything goes. You reckon you and your team at MIT can stick your pet cat in particle accelerator wearing a Superman costume and send it back in time to rescue Schroedinger's cat? That's just the kind of time/determinism/ Superhero/sci-fi cat challenge that nerds love. Now go and do it. Then do it again to make sure it wasn't just a fluke that the two cats emerged unharmed from the particle accelerator.

And that's it. Science requires repeatable results and is constantly challenged - unlike the media's discovery of the gay gene. Bear in mind this is the same media that repeatedly gives credence to the Bible Code, crystals, homeopathy, dowsing, ghosts... you name it.

Unfortunately, while ghosts'n'crystals'n'UFOs are essentially light entertainment for the undiscerning/credulous newspaper reader, the search for the gay gene has slightly more sinister undertones. If only the Mail had the balls to print the headline they really wanted to use...


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