men are limpwristed and may have a “queen gene,” according
to a controversial segment on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” “The
Science of Sexual Orientation.” The show suggests that gay men
are prissy and prance and wear lavender pants while they lisp and dance.
Which can certainly be true, in some cases, but is this just crass stereotyping
masquerading as science?
The segment featured two sets of twins. The first set of twins — Adam
and Jared — were nine years old. Jared was tough as nails and had
a collection of G.I. Joes, while Adam painted his nails and dreamt of pantyhose.
Steve and Greg, the second pair of twins, were adults. Steve, who is straight,
grew up playing sports, while gay Greg “liked helping out in the
The idea of studying identical twins is to show that upbringing has nothing
to do with the outcome of sexual orientation. Indeed, one has to be a dolt
with an agenda to still believe the outdated myth that homosexuality is
caused by bad parenting.
“Psychologists used to believe homosexuality was caused by nurture — namely
overbearing mothers and distant fathers — but that theory has been
disproved,” reporter Leslie Stahl authoritatively said. “Today,
scientists are looking at genes, environment, brain structure and hormones.
There is one area of consensus: that homosexuality involves more than just
sexual behavior; it’s physiological.”
Identical twins with differing sexual orientations suggest that there are
other factors at work than just genes.
“There’s also the environment that happens to us while we’re
in the womb,” said Northwestern University researcher Michael Bailey
in the segment. “And scientists are realizing that environment is
much more important than we ever thought it was.”
NGLTF has called Northwestern University researcher
work ‘shoddy and filed with assumption.’
Michigan State University’s Marc Breedlove drove home this point
by showing Stahl how he can take a rat that scurries and make him sashay
with a shot of hormones or castration.
“I wouldn’t call these gay rats,” explained Breedlove,
who has the perfect name for a vermin sex researcher. “But I would
say that these are genetic male rats who are showing much more feminine
The show also pointed out that for every older brother a man has, his chances
of being gay increase by a third. Additionally, Bailey addressed the lie
that gay men are more promiscuous by nature. He said both gay and straight
men are “shallow” and tend to focus on looks, but gay men simply
have more opportunity.
“They’re [gay men] just more successful at it, because the
people they’re trying to have sex with are also interested in it,” Bailey
I applaud this dose of truth, because anyone who has spent five minutes
around straight men, know that they are just as frisky as their gay counterparts.
The only people who deny this are uptight fundamentalists. And they are
really no different, except they have hang-ups and feel guilty after the
Whether Bailey has hit the scientific jackpot or is a crackpot is open for debate.
Many people bristle, for example, when he claims that gay people walk and talk
differently. True, one’s gaydar does not have to be finely tuned to figure
out Richard Simmons or Clay Aiken is gay.
Oh, wait, is Clay gay?
Before Bailey makes such broad assumptions, however, he should put on football
pads and collide with former NFL player Esera Tuaolo. This might rattle him out
of his one-dimensional mindset and lead him to expand his research to include
gay and lesbian people who are not borderline transgender.
There are also critics who rightfully question Bailey’s potentially dark
motives. He once told The New York Times that if it became possible for parents
to determine sexual orientation in the womb, “selecting for heterosexuality
seems to be morally acceptable. … Selection for heterosexuality may tangibly
benefit parents, children and their families and seems to have only a slight
potential for any significant harm.”
“His research is highly questionable,” said Lisa Mottet, a transgender
rights attorney with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. “Bailey’s
work is simply not credible.” NGLTF has criticized his research on transgender
people and bisexuals calling it shoddy and filled with unscientific assumptions.
Still, the “60 Minutes” segment, as a whole, was very helpful to
the gay rights movement. It brusquely dismissed the inane pseudoscience of our
opponents. But in the process of neutralizing the right, it neutered gay men.
While we are cheering the segment, Bailey should know that most of us aren’t