“The Manhood Deficit”

That’s the title of an excellent post by Steve Hays of Triablogue. The post is so good and so succinct that I’m quoting it in its entirety:

Homosexual men are unmanly. They suffer from a manhood deficit. Something in their social formation went awry. Some psychologists trace this to a dysfunctional father/son relationship.

That’s not necessarily incurable. Not necessarily something be ashamed of. Many adults suffer from aftereffects of inadequate parenting. And in many cases, their parents were poor parents because their grandparents were poor parents. For many men and women, psychological maturation is a life-long game of catch-up.

Not only are homosexual men unmanly, but straight men who defend sodomite marriage are unmanly as well. Indeed, straight men who defend sodomite marriage carry on like sob sisters. It’s embarrassing to read.

Men have a duty to uphold basic standards of masculinity. To be good fathers, husbands, brothers, friends, and mentors. To be good role models for their sons and daughters. Or coaches, teachers, and scoutmasters. To set an example for the up-and-coming generation.

The manhood deficit is one result of rejecting God’s design for men and women.

Hays followed this post with another good one, “Ministering to homosexuals:”

How should the church minister to homosexuals? Nowadays it’s becoming a dilemma.

Ideally, homosexuals, or men who struggle with homosexual urges or sexual identity confusion, need straight male friends. Need natural normal male affection and camaraderie.

However, the homosexual community is making itself a threat to heteronormative standards. Passing laws that prosecute and persecute Christians who maintain Biblical standards of manhood and womanhood. Threatening their livelihood.

It’s like the insanely jealous psycho boyfriend (e.g. Mark Wahlberg in Fear) who stalks a girl in high school. When she tries to let him down gently, he turns vindictive.

How do you befriend someone whose bottom-line is: “Love me or die!” It would make it a lot easier if he put the gun down.

To oppose the forced legitimization of homosexuality is not to engage in “bashing.” [“Bashers” do exist; they have their own psychological disorders.] Instead, it is to love and encourage the good; in this case, proper masculinity. Men, especially we fathers, do have a duty to uphold basic standards of masculinity.

It is wicked to lie (and it is especially wicked for the authorities to lie) about things of fundamental importance such as the proper natures of love, sex and family. We should strive and pray for the reestablishment of a properly (or at least adequately) ordered society in which the authorities no longer lie about sex, as they currently do.

91 thoughts on ““The Manhood Deficit”

  1. Some psychologists trace this to a dysfunctional father/son relationship.

    This has been thoroughly discredited. The causation runs the other way. Homosexual sons alienate heterosexual fathers. The best book on homosexuality is still Michael Bailey’s The Man Who Would Be Queen which goes through all this.

    The most likely cause of homosexuality is some sort of virus. See here:

    That’s not necessarily incurable.

    Homosexuality is not curable with any currently available technique.

    • Surely you don’t mean to imply that No.Man.Ever substantially changed his sexual preference. Sexual preference is at least to some extent cultivated by the individual. Especially at an impressionable age, infatuations can become obsessions, obsessions can become fetishes, fetishes can become nearly intractable habits of thought. But surely, all disorders lie along a continuum from less to more disordered and from less to more intractable. And if a self-destructive fetish can be caught early enough, there ought to be, in many circumstances, hope of some correction.

      • There are heterosexual men who will have sex with men when nothing else is available. This happens a fair bit in rigidly sex segregated societies: Ancient Greece, much of the Muslim world, prison.

        There are also homosexual men who try to behave as straight, either because they genuinely want a family with children, or they don’t want the stigma of being gay.

        There isn’t much in between. Researchers have found a few genuine bisexuals or switchers, but they had to really go looking for them. Most are actually one of the above.

        Lesbianism seems to be more of a continuum.

      • My understanding of prison sex is that it is more about control and dominance than relief for when “nothing else is available.” Prison rape is the common term, suggesting that it is coercive, not consensual.

        Ancient Greek pederasty was… complicated. I don’t really want to enough about it to be able to summarize it properly.

        The less said about the Moslems, the better.

    • Can’t say I’ve ever heard that analysis of the etiology of homosexuality before. The ones I’m more familiar with are (a) homosexuality as the result of a maternal immunological response against testosterone interfering with sexual differentiation and (b) homosexuality as the result of improper inheritance of a mother’s genetic inclination to seek out as much sex with men as possible. Both explain why homosexuality persists even though it’s evolutionarily lethal to the man who possesses it.

      • The problem with most of the explanations for homosexuality is that the numbers don’t add up. There would have to be a massive advantage in some other area for the loss of reproductive fitness to be balanced out.

      • I don’t know about “massive.” It would need to be large enough to balance out the loss of one or two male children. Suppose the same gene induced a woman to have an additional two children. Worst case, it cancels out. Best case, her daughters have enough kids to make up the difference and then some.

    • I have just finished reading the link provided by The Man Who Was. The article is entitled, “An Evolutionary Look at Human Homosexuality.” The article begins with the assumption that macro-evolution is a fact, and then builds on this false assumption.

      Why are the Orthosphere folks who are commenting on this thread giving “The Man Who Was” so much quarter in this debate? There is no debate. Homosexuality is a disease of the soul, and it can be cured by Christ. I will grant that some boys do exhibit effeminate traits at an early age, and I will also grant that these boys are not necessarily at odds with their fathers. However, if we accept the genetic predisposition argument (or the loony “gay virus” theory), then we have already lost the fight with the culture. If homosexuality is innate to anyone, then it leads inevitably to the conclusion that gays are simply gay, and are eligible for the same sort of civil rights protections afforded to women, blacks, and other minorities.

      The Man Who Was is behaving like a troll, and I am not happy. I can read this sort of crud over at the Huffington Post. And the tepid responses I’m reading here are discouraging.

      • If homosexuality is innate to anyone, then it leads inevitably to the conclusion that gays are simply gay, and are eligible for the same sort of civil rights protections afforded to women, blacks, and other minorities.

        That’s assuming that anyone qualifies for “civil rights protections” at all for any reason. That should be pretty far from a foregone conclusion among reactionaries.

        The Man Who Was is behaving like a troll, and I am not happy.

        AFAIK, Man Who Was is a regular commentator here and not by any means a troll. I’ll admit on this topic that he presents a point of view under-represented among Orthospherites, and one that I would say lacks a bit of nuance. But he’s not doing so in anything close to a trollish way.

        There is no debate. Homosexuality is a disease of the soul, and it can be cured by Christ.

        Alcoholism is a disease of the soul, and it can be cured by Christ. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a legitimate, perhaps very important, debate about the causes of alcoholism, nor about how, if at all, it might be cured. We are bodily creatures. It ought not surprise us how frequently our many diseases of the soul have roots (in part) in our biology.

  2. Not only are homosexual men unmanly, but straight men who defend sodomite marriage are unmanly as well. Indeed, straight men who defend sodomite marriage carry on like sob sisters. It’s embarrassing to read.

    They’re unmanly in more ways than just this. The more level-headed ones are possessed of a kind of bitter, snarky sarcasm that makes me think of dagger-faced lesbian feminists. The rest are utterly in thrall to their passions.

    • Proph, this expression of yours, “dagger-faced lesbian feminists,” gets me chuckling every time. But it raises an interesting question: is there a difference between a dagger-faced woman and a hatchet-faced woman?

      Not that I would jack the thread or anything. Just curious.

      PS What would be the relation of either of those terms to the venerable “old battle-axe”?

      • You know, I never thought about that. I’ve always used “dagger-faced” to mean “characterized by sharp, pronounced lines; skeletal; vaguely masculine.” Think Barbara Corcoran. When I hear hatchet-faced, I think irredeemably ugly. Such that, perhaps, taking a hatchet to such a person’s face would generate an improvement.

  3. If homosexuality rooted in nurture and culture (this idea is described in great detail by Anthony Esolen at Touchstone site) then it implies that the homosexual population is not necessarily limited at the current 2-4%.
    Depending on the social dysfunctionality, it may go up to any degree, 20%, 40% or even higher. It could be a vicious cycle, higher percentages contributing to further dysfunctional society leading to still higher homosexual percentage

    • Esolen’s theories about the origin of homosexual orientation are complete nonsense. Seriously, people should at least read Michael Bailey’s book before speculating.

      That isn’t to say that homosexual behaviour can’t spread. But you usually need to restrict access to women as a precondition.

      • Esolen is supported by CS Lewis as well. In the Preface to Paradise Lost, he writes that normal sexuality is attained by a process of delicate adjustment and many individuals and many societies fail to attain it- the discussion of the Fallacy of Unchanging Human Heart as CS Lewis calls it.

        Point is that many right-wingers are attached to biological determinism, forgetting that humans are cultural animals. Culture is not super-added to human biology but human biology and culture go all the way down.
        Thus even if it turns out that some

  4. Proph,
    “mother’s genetic inclination to seek out as much sex with men as possible”

    Extreme biological reduction does not work; it is not even scientific since it results in unfalsifiable propositions.

    There is extreme equivocation in terms such as ‘mother’s genetic inclination’.
    What could that mean? Could you specify?

    • I’m not overly familiar with the work done. My understanding is that studies have shown that homosexual men have vastly larger families, but only on the mother’s side. Hence this was posited as one possible explanation. This doesn’t preclude any other possible factor, including alterations in the prenatal milieu, an uncorrected disposition toward girlishness, cultural influence, etc.

  5. To give one example of why Esolen’s theory is full of it: it explains nothing of why gay men are typically, from earliest times, interested in stereotypically girly things like ballet, figure skating, dolls, hair, make-up etc. Attraction to men is only one of a suite of feminine traits that they have. F@$#, they even walk and gesture like girls.

    • Bailey has assumptions too and his major problem is that he does not realize that he is operating within the American culture only. Eg dancing and hair-dressing are not everywhere feminine occupations and not everywhere dominated by homosexuals. In Mid-East, you would be very unsafe to assume thus about your hair-dresser.

      • You’re grasping at straws. Homosexuals are interested in the things girls are interested in, and, while there is some variation across cultures, there are limits to that variation rooted in biology.

    • I wonder if the “walk and gesture like girls” thing isn’t part of a constructed identity i.e. trying to act “gay.” With many of them, the lispy voice and effeminate gestures are over-the-top feminine. They speak and gesture in a more feminine way than women do! How can this be? They’re not more of a woman than a woman is. It seems like over-the-top theatrics.

      • This stuff shows up in early childhood well before the child has a chance to form a gay identity, and no role models are needed.

      • It is undeniable that some boys are more feminine than others. But this doesn’t necessarily determine that they develop a sexual fetish for male flesh. It is natural that such boys will idolize their more masculine age mates and boys slightly older than themselves. It is natural that they will even develop crushes on them. If they can be prevented from acting on those impulses and thus developing a certain taste for them, they are likely to grow out of it.

        I guess I would say that the etiology of any male sexual preference is extremely complex, and never less so than homosexuality. It could be prenatal or postnatal envioronment, it could be genetic, it could be a virus, it could be distant fathers and overly mothering mothers, it could be poor adolescent choices or an unnatural affinity for Judy Garland, it could be recruitment. It could be any or all of the above, and I seriously doubt any one explanation will ever be found.

      • The results of Green’s study are among the clearest and the most striking in all of developmental psychology. About 75 percent of the young men who had been feminine boys said that they were attracted to men, compared with only one young man who had been a typical, masculine boy. The odds against these results being due to chance are astronomical.

        The other 25 percent of the young men who had begun as feminine boys denied attraction to men. Green does not seem very skeptical about these denials, but I am. For one, the 25 percent who claimed to be heterosexual were three years younger, on average, than the 75 percent who admitted attraction to men. Coming out as gay to others, or even to oneself, sometimes takes time, and it is likely that at least some of the 25 percent who claimed to be heterosexual would eventually become gay men. Green himself wrote of some subjects who denied homosexuality at earlier ages and then admitted later that they had not been completely honest. It is conceivable that every one of the feminine boys grew up to be attracted to men.

        – Bailey, p. 19.


        The average age for the last interview was. The average age for those who said they were not attracted to males was 16.

      • I assume this was in response to me, but I hardly think it is dispositive. First of all, there are what(?) 5 million gay men in the US. And the “largest” kinda-sorta longitudinal study we can come up with is 66 boys with 56 controls? And what of the controls, how many of them were attracted to men? And of the young men “attracted to men”, how many had sex with men? Were parents more or less accepting? Perhaps the moderate approach (between acceptance and rejection of feminine behavior) produces the “best” (i.e., least gay) outcome? How would we know? What was the p-value?

        I mean Bailey even admits right up front, “Not all gay men are like Edwin, but almost all men like Edwin are gay.” So I am really trying to see what any of this is really explaining. What of all those gay guys who are not like Edwin? So it would appear that there is a range of propensity toward homosexuality. This is not surprising.

        I really find this subject fascinating, but I have to say the studies are simply nowhere near complete enough to draw any strong conclusions from them. Clearly, many (perhaps most) cases of homosexual attraction have biological causes among the causes. Beyond that, best stay skeptical.

    • I’ve wondered if the lisp was an affectation, too. There’s no reason for it. It seems to be a status marker. Not all gay men have it but the proportion is certainly greater than it is among straight men.

      • Just as a data point. I am a teacher and I currently have zero students out of 160 that are obviously gay, though doubtless some will eventually “come out”. Will they start lisping?

      • Enough anecdotes *do* make statistics! None of the gay men I’ve known have been particularly effeminate (tho’ to be sure not particularly masculine in personality either), and the most effeminate men I’ve known have not been gay. YMMV.

  6. Esolen does not pretend to have all the answers. His concern is not the feminine boy that Bailey speaks of (I had read him previously) but the diffident boy that might turn homosexual.

    The American discourse is overly polarizing and confounds many types of male deviation. (1) Feminine boy (2) Diffident boy (3) Top of the latin type.
    (4) ephebophiles (that admire boy physique)

    However, it is undeniable that Original Sin causes male deviation; it can not be otherwise. How it causes and what forms it takes are empirical matters.

    • the diffident boy that might turn homosexual

      The number of these appears to be vanishingly small, and so they are almost entirely irrelevant as to how trads should deal with homosexuality.

      • Hardly that small. Even homosexualists recognize this category under the label “Questioning”

      • I think there is tender age for boys somewhere between preadolescence and say about 16, where if they were sexually socialized in just the right (wrong) way, they could “turn” gay. I don’t know what fraction of the total gay population was “recruited” in this way, but it would be crazy to assume it is zero. A great many homosexuals are not flamboyantly feminine. More did not start out so, but chose put on personalities that got them notice (and sex) within their subculture. Many homosexuals, in other words, were not, or at least did not seem, strongly disposed in early childhood towards effeminancy. These are the kids that our society should try to protect. And for them, I think Alan Roebuck’s post is spot on. They need good masculine role models to imitate and finally learn to be attracted to the right sex. For the “Questioning”, there is a right answer: Girls. They’re beautiful, smell good, and have a few things you lack.

      • “Questioning” usually means gay but doesn’t want to admit it.

        Experiments have been done where you see what arouses men. There are damn few fence sitters.

      • Well “questioning” for a 22 year-old is not the same as “questioning” for 13 year-old. In the former case, a sexual preference is likely to be well ingrained, especially if he has acted on his impulses. In the latter case, well “sexual preference” has just been recently planted and requires further cultivation. The 22 year-old may or may not be too far “gone” to fundamentally change, but I doubt that most 13 year-olds are (some perhaps, but not most).

  7. Among Touchstone authors on homosexuality, I prefer R.V. Young. The fact that nobody noticed this phenomenon called homosexuality before the 19th C is a problem for people who think it exists, is genetic, and is common. It is not a problem, of course, for people who believe in the cultural, pathogen, or environmental toxin theories. It is valuable data for them.

    There is also the problem of exclusively penetrative “bi-sexuals,” a common feature of gay bathhouse culture. Ancient Greek pederasts and various flavors of opportunistic/situational homosexuals (sailors, prisoners, British public schoolboys and etc) are of the exclusively penetrative bi-sexual variety. That is, these people only want to be the penetrative party. They accept the receptive role only under threat or out of reciprocity. In prison culture, there are no reciprocal homosexual relationships. There are punks/bitches who involuntarily perform the receptive role and there are their penetrators.

    In sharp contrast to what TMWW says above, nobody becomes homosexual in the absence of women. Rather, they continue, as before, to express the normal masculine desire to penetrate the most feminine-looking humans available. There is plasticity in the heuristics humans subconsciously use to identify sex in others, as there must be.

    The other kind of homosexual, the kind that desires the receptive role, is the origin of the various stereotypes about the femininity of homosexuals. “Gay culture is a million bottoms looking for a top.” Problematically for the “gay men are men with some kind of femininity-inducing crossed wire” theory is that there are lots of feminine men who are not gay. FemDom is not an especially unusual fetish, for example. All of us know flouncy men who like girls (“They’re all in the closet,” say the leftoids)

    Of course, plenty of cultures (including the Ancient Greeks) have noticed the problem of feminine men and that there is something seriously wrong with them. And plenty of cultures have thought that men who desire to penetrate pretty much anything that moves, while possibly unfortunate, are not categorically abnormal or needing any particular special name, other than “horndog.”

    The homosexual/heterosexual categorization scheme was made up, very recently, in the West, by our enemies. In fact, this happened in the 19th C, precisely at the time that Western culture was dying. The guys who made it up and popularized it were not scientists. They were a bunch of people like Freud: pseudo-scientific, head-shrinking freaks. Using bad categories is a barrier to thinking clearly.

    • nobody noticed this phenomenon called homosexuality before the 19th C is a problem for people who think it exists

      Again, false. Bailey goes into this too.

      Do the work.

      • As vishmehr24 has pointed out , Bailey’s book is about feminine men. It’s not about homosexuals. It assumes the gay/not schema is right; it does not examine whether it is right. He’s read the book. I’ve read the book. It is supportive of my position, though I doubt Bailey would be. Have you actually read and understood this book?

        [TMWW quoting me:]
        nobody noticed this phenomenon called homosexuality before the 19th C is a problem for people who think it exists

        [TMWW replied:]
        Again, false. Bailey goes into this too.

        Your quotation of me seems dishonest. You get that the way you truncated my words significantly changes their meaning, right?

        You are talking, I guess, about “Chapter 7: Is Homosexuality a Recent Invention?” The chapter is an attempted take-down of social constructivism. Since I ain’t no social constructivist, its main argument largely is not relevant to me. This is vishmehr24’s point again–Bailey is sailing merrily along assuming that gay/not is carving nature at her joints. He disagrees with social construcivists not about whether gay/not is a correct, relevant distinction here-and-now but about whether the distinction causes the rightness or whether the rightness causes the distinction.

        Page 128, for example, is a straightforward endorsement of my position. The Greeks had the distinction feminine/masculine, not the distinction gay/not. Receptive anal intercourse made you a girly-man which was a very, very bad thing. Now, Bailey asserts “Aristophanes portrayed Agathon as a feminine man who enjoyed receptive anal sex” and then concludes “some Greeks recognized that at least some people had a homosexual preference.” Wait, “homosexual preference.” What does that mean? Is it different from “homosexual,” simpliciter? Different from “homosexual orientation?” The Romans were similar, though Bailey seems not to agree with this, claiming, as he appears to, that cinaedi just means gay, whereas I think it means girly-man. Here’s a thought experiment: what would the Romans think of a guy who prefers to get it from his girlfriend via a strap-on dildo?

        I kind of wonder if you actually read this chapter. My comment reads as pretty much a paraphrase of it. I don’t remember having read the book before now, though. If you ignore the use of the categories gay/not and just read the facts recounted, you see almost exactly what I said. Lots of cultures have the feminine/masculine distinction. Few or none (before ours) have the homo/hetero distinction.

        The signature of a bad categorization schema is that it (the schema) makes it harder to talk about reality. On pages 134-8, Bailey again straightforwardly endorses my position using his (our contemporary) schema. But, gay/not turns out to be a poor schema, forcing Bailey to develop distinctions between “transgender homosexuality” and “egalitarian homosexuality.” The former is typified by a masculine man taking the penetrative role in sex while a feminine man takes the receptive role. The latter is one in which the partners switch off. Then, we get gibberish sentences like: “The main difference between transgender and egalitarian homosexuality is that in transgender homosexuality, only one of the partners is truly gay” What the fuck? Instead of the gay/not schema we were promised, now we have trans-homo/egal-homo/truly homo/hetero, not to mention “homosexual preference” from above. This is because the gay/not schema is fucked up. Then, he goes on to admit that, in societies where there is no gay/not distinction, a subset of masculine men who otherwise like girls are willing to perform the penetrative role (only) on suitably feminine men. This is also true in our current society (my point about gay bathhouse culture and the point about prison), though it is perhaps less common, owing to the fact that the girly-man stigma gets spread to these masculine men via the gay/not schema. This tangle comes from the bad categories.

        So, Chapter 7 more-or-less admits that “egalitarian homosexuality” is a recent invention, that it was invented when I said it was, that it is a post 19th C, Western thing. In common use, however, “homosexual” just means “egalitarian homosexual.” So, the answer to the question in chapter 7’s title is, according to Bailey, “yes.” Not that he would agree, of course. Such is the cost of crappy categories.

        You don’t have to read all the way to chap 7 to see Bailey endorsing my position. He does it in the preface. “Edwin is a feminine man, one of the most feminine men I have ever met . . . Not all gay men are like Edwin, but almost all men [the figure he later gives is 75%] like Edwin are gay.” So, there are girly-men. Not all girly-men are “gay,” Not all “gays” are girly-men. The gay/not gay schema does NOT correspond to natural biological categories. Feminine/masculine does.

        It’s hard to tell whether you are dishonest or clueless. Either way, it would be in your interest to actually engage the points being made rather than reminiscing about the time you read a book.

      • Did you read the data on brain scans below? Apparently all gay men’s brains have major structural similarities to heterosexual women’s brains.

      • Bill, thank you for this. I’ve been alluding to the same sort of thing. It really seems like Bailey is saying really girly boys are very likely to end up gay. But this is dog bites man. It doesn’t explain how so many “not very girly” boys end up gay, and how some really girly boys end up not gay. Are we to believe that both such groups are somehow in different closets? Unlikely. Any preferential complex human behavior, like, e.g., deciding what to do with one’s sexual organs and with whom, seems unlikely to admit of simple biological or genetic reduction. If it were, it would have been explained… I dunno… a thousand years ago.

      • Uh, well couples where both men are attracted to other men are a lot more common these days. But that’s not really the issue.

      • 1. Almost all gay men have significantly more feminine traits than all but a very few heterosexual men. People are getting hung up on a tiny number of exceptions.

        2. Gay men will often consciously suppress this because other gay men prefer masculine traits in partners. For that and other reasons, gay men probably act more like heterosexual men than their inclinations would otherwise have them. They have to learn masculinity much more than other men.

        3. The femininity of gay men is reflected systematically in their brain structure, down to lobe sizes. The idea that social influences cause lobe sizes to change is pretty ridiculous.

        4. How this all manifests itself in individual cases will have variation. But keep in mind that some actual women like science or like sports, even though those things are masculine. Why should we expect anything less of gay men?

      • Obscene (literally) amounts of anonymous sex, incredible numbers of sex partners? These are feminine traits? They sound like horny men–really REALLY horny men… and not like women at all (at least normal ones). What do lesbians bring on the second date? The U-Haul. Ya know what gays bring on the second date? … What second date? I know stereotypes are not destiny, but neither is genetics.

        I’ld like to see the numbers on the assertion that the “overlap” region in which we find girly non-gay men and non-girly gay men is small. I don’t believe it is tiny. A few exceptions might prove a rule, but too many break it.

      • Obscene (literally) amounts of anonymous sex, incredible numbers of sex partners? These are feminine traits?

        “Vilain, who studies the genetic factors behind sexuality and sexual orientation, notes that it may turn out that the brains of gay men possess only some ‘feminized’ structures, while retaining some masculine ones, and this is reflected in how they act on their sexuality.”

        Read more: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1815538,00.html#ixzz1v3eS3c8s

        I could say a few choice words on the quality of the previous comment, but will refrain.

      • Look, Man Who Was, I am merely arguing for skepticism regarding any particular etiology of homosexuality. Humans are complex creatures, even gay men.

      • Bailey claims that male heterosexuals are stopped from toting up 500-1000 sexual partners SOLELY by the lack of attractive women willing to have ‘safe’ sex with them.
        It does not matter that a man may love his wife; may value his wedding vows; may have beliefs regarding right and wrong; may have a sense of purity and disgust. These things matter not a jot.

        I wonder what immense sexual frustration the heterosexual world must be dealing with–the discrepancy between 500-1000 desired partners and 1 or 5 or 10 in reality. Why aren’t all heterosexuals terminally depressed or crazy?

        Bailey discounts the self-revelation of autogynephliics. Perhaps he should have done the same with his male heterosexual respondents. Do they have no reason to lie?. Perhaps the males like to brag about their sexual drive or attitude towards casual sex?.

      • Judging by straight men’s porn consumption, Bailey would seem to be correct that the major obstacle to straight men racking up similar numbers of sex partners is female reluctance. That doesn’t mean every man wants to be that promiscuous, but then the same is true of gay men, most of whom are not promiscuous, at least not post-AIDS. Several blogger have looked up up the numbers in the GSS. There appears to only be a minority of gay men who are promiscuous, though they are often extremely promiscuous. There may have been selection effect in the 70s too, with more conservative gay men staying in the closet until fairly recently.

      • TMWW, re: your list:

        1-2, for me, are a reflection of the bad way “gay” is defined and the social consequences of that definition. What “gay” men want, largely, is to be nailed by “straight” men. Since there are a million of these bottoms all chasing a very few tops, they spend a lot of time trying to trick each other into believing that they are tops.

        3 misses the point. I believe in feminine men. I’m happy to believe their brain structure, hormones, whatever are different—behavior has something to do with brains, obviously. Tell me that feminine, straight men’s brains look just like masculine, straight men’s brains and I’ll be interested. It would not be enough to convince me, but I would tally it as a point against me.

        Wait! No! They’re all in the closet, says Bailey. This reaction on his part is grist for another whole discussion. Bailey has a somewhat unsettling tendency to reason like an astrologer. Big, obviously important exceptions to his view like situational homosex, straight guys in bathhouses, straight feminine men, the problematic evolutionary status of gayness all get mentioned, called exceptions/problems, and then ignored. This is how the better sort of pseudo-scientists argue.

        Got no problem with 4. We’re talking about averages and covariances.

      • Bohemund, I agree with your main point. I find both the social constructivists and the essentialists annoying. It just can’t be all environment or all genetics.

        Some plasticity of male sexuality is proved by the points the social constructivists make, or by considering the gigantic and bewildering array of fetishes men have—there is not a gene for getting turned on by having your partner dressed head-to-toe in latex, is there? For getting turned on by furries? Similarly, the little bit of longitudinal evidence showing that girly-boys grow up to be very different from regular boys even when people are trying to stop them doing so is a serious problem for the constructivists. More generally, nobody who believes the theory of evolution can possibly believe that sexual behavior is uninfluenced by genes, sexual behavior being, like, kind of an important part of evolution and all.

        The polarized argument between these two sides is unedifying. It’s even worse, really, than the IQ-and-genes debate. In that one, there is a clearly sensible side which thinks IQ is between 50 and 80 percent genes, and nobody denies environmental influences completely. If one is interested in the truth, there, it’s probably OK to just trust the sensible, non-PC side of the debate. In this one, there is no sensible side. And, as I have now ranted at length, I think the debate is about the wrong thing, anyway.

      • Would not “Having sex with men, or wanting to do so” be an acceptable definition of gay? Wouldn’t that at least be objective?

  8. I find it extremely odd theology that a biological cause for homosexuality somehow automatically means homosexual behaviour is not sinful. Many quite uncontroversial propensities for bad behaviour have clear biological roots. The logic seems to go that because liberals are strongly advocating something, it must be false.

    • Who is specifically denying a biological cause? I think the default assumption is only that the causes are not merely biological. Why do you assume that there is, or ought to be, only one cause? There is no one reason that men, say, prefer fat-bottomed women to thinner ones, or blondes to brunettes, or small-breasted Asians to DD Europeans, or doggy-style to missionary positions. These are tastes that are rooted to some extent in biology, but they are cultivated by the surrounding environment and by the personal choices of the individual. I realize homosexuality is more extreme, but it is a difference of kind or merely of degree? Isn’t at least imaginable that a man could cultivate a taste so strong, for example, for small-breasted 100-lb Asians that he becomes positively repulsed by the thought of a big (or enhanced) breasted 130 lb blonde woman (that most ordinary men would find positively hot)? And if so, do you really think we would, even in theory, be able to find a purely biological cause for it?

    • … all of which is to say… There are feminine men, even who love Broadway shows and speak with a lisp, that are not gay. And there are masculine, sloppy dressing lovers of Metallica who ARE. Apparently… biology is not destiny. And why would we have thought it is?

    • I find it extremely odd theology that a biological cause for homosexuality somehow automatically means homosexual behaviour is not sinful.

      Wait, who here is denying this? I know leftists say this all the time, but I don’t think anyone here would buy into that logic. Even if a single, dichotomous gene (“on” for homosexuality, “off” for heterosexuality) were discovered today, it wouldn’t change our argument. It would only prove that the disordered impulse originates in genetics. The behavior the impulse inclines a person toward remains chosen, and chosen acts are always legitimate subjects of ethical inquiry.

  9. Having trashed Prof. Esolen’s speculations on homosexuality, I should note that he is a fantastic translator of Lucretius and Tasso. His Dante has its moments too.

  10. Why does everyone automatically assume that homosexuality is linked to attraction to the same sex, rather than fear of or aversion to sexual engagement with the opposite sex? Is it not entirely possible that children are overexposed to variations of pornography through entertainment and public schools that they find it difficult to love and admire others without responding in a sexual way? We should keep in mind that since the ’70’s, school children have been constantly indoctrinated with the idea that real sex is dangerous — and that “safe sex”, i.e. alternative, simulated sex, is healthy and satisfying.

    • I think homosexuality in women, so far as it exists at all, consists largely of such an aversion, and certainly more than actual same-sex preference.

    • But sexual preference in men is, at least after it has developed in grown men, very much ingrained. The man who has an aversion (i.e., feelings of disgust) towards the female body may or may not develop a fetish for the male. But no man who has a sexual preference for the female has anything but visceral feelings of disgust for male sexual contact. And it goes the same way for a man who has developed a preference for the male. In other words, when we speak of “sexual preference” we are actually talking about a strong, ingrained attraction, and not a vague sense that one sex is a bit more or less disgusting than the other.

      • Certainly by the time one has grown up in and become habituated within the culture of homosexuality, the “preference” would be very much ingrained. But what I am suggesting is that many of us “of a certain age” tend to think of childhood and coming of age in terms of our own time, and do not recognize the very different conditions today — especially in the public schools. Do you realize how much of the curriculum is devoted to sex/safe sex/anti-bullying/tolerance indoctrination and “myself and others” encounter groups for students? Have you paid attention to the girls’ empowerment projects, the effects of Title IX, the increasingly aggressive “mean girls” behaviors? Add to this the constant message, as Mr. Esolen notes, that if you feel “different” maybe you are gay — but don’t worry, It Gets Better.

        The schools, with the help of curriculum developed by such organizations as Planned Parenthood and GLSN, now begin the ingraining at an early age so that the children coming of age all know how dangerous real sex is, and are equipped and encouraged to engaged in any form of sexual activity that will not result in pregnancy. Safe sex includes same sex and self sex.

      • Oh, gay acceptance is positively net destructive. Boys naturally hate girls for a while, and naturally idolize other older or more dominant boys. To even suggest that this might mean a boy is gay, to even admit that there is anything but normal sexual attraction that will eventually (almost surely) take hold of him later in life, and to encourage a young man to consider whether he might intrinsically be attracted sexually to males, is a great way to expand the gay population… and positively tantamount to child abuse. It is recruitment, pure and simple.

  11. I have heard some posit, contra a strong biological argument, and indirectly contra the father-relationship argument, that a strong sexual attraction to the same sex develops most strongly as a result of poor relationships (esp. a sense of non-acceptance) with one’s same-sex peers in critical phases of childhood. While a poor relationship with one’s father can set oneself up for likely failure in feeling accepted among one’s peers, it is not the poor relationship with the father itself that causes an inclination to same-sex attraction, but a deep-seeded and ultimate feeling of “not measuring up” to one’s same-sex peers, and not belonging as a member of one’s own sex.

    I admit that this explanation seems plausible to me, and also offers a good explanation for why boys with feminine tendencies are also the ones who manifest same-sex attraction. Most boys with an innate tendency toward more feminine characteristics than the majority of boys will experience rejection among the latter, usually to such a degree that only the strongest among the former would not develop strong and persistent feelings of rejection among equals of his own sex. In crucial phases of development in childhood and then into puberty, these feelings of not belonging to one’s own sex, when they become residual, manifest themselves in an attraction to one’s own sex. It is very likely that such maladjustment would occur among boys with more feminine tendencies, but it need not be so.

    I thank TMWW for the Bailey link also, and may look into his writing some. I’ve never heard of him, but I wonder if he touches on any of the positions I mention here. I would guess that he would disagree pretty strongly.

  12. Have you? All you have said is to read Bailey. And I have read him twice, in fact. He is careful but trapped in
    (1) Biological determinism
    (2) Inability to break out of late 20C American categories.

    That is, he posits a universal male sexual drive to have casual sex by asking questions (page 89) about “commitment” (question 3) and “sex partner” and “monogamy”.
    But many languages and many cultures (even most), do not have these categories at all.

    • I would agree with this analysis. The Man Who Was Thursday is spot on in his analysis at times, but I think it is harder to convince me in this time. We can’t ignore the massive social factors of modern society. Without modern medicine, there would be no sex change operations. That alone is one example of the massive changes in human sexual relations that are only present in societies as advanced as ours.

    • But many languages and many cultures (even most), do not have these categories at all.

      Are you really going to argue this? Cause it’s just dumb. All people from all cultures understand those concepts, even if they would not use exactly those kinds of terms. Like arguing English speakers never experience schadenfreude because we don’t have a native world for it.

      • Well, a freely-floating “commitment” or emotional commitment is a late 20C Western category. Traditional people only know marriage. Anything else is not commitment.

        The questionnaire about Casual Sex is permeated with modern American assumptions. See Question 1: “safe sex” or “hurt” in (8).
        The questionnaires are notoriously asked to college students so it would not be a good representation of modern America too.

        Bailey takes it for granted that males have no notion of purity. The whole history of the world disproves him. For instance answer to (5) and (7) is objectively most men do live monogamously. There economics they call it
        “revealed preference”.

  13. Allow me to put on my Greg Cochran hat. An emotional vulnerability that can easily cause you to massively lose reproductive success like that would have been weeded out of the gene pool long ago unless it provided a correspondingly large benefit. No such benefits have been observed.

    Emotional maladjustments of this kind usually don’t cause people to lose reproductive capacity. Often they cause people to have too much sex with members of the opposite sex. They can make you miserable, but not less reproductively fit.

    • Something like about 50% of every human male ever born produced offspring. The other 50% did not. Mammalian males in general have much greater variance, vis-a-vis females of the same species, in practically every trait. Fait tails-n-all that. And yet loserdom is not apparently very well de-selected. It doesn’t seem therefore like we need very much to explain how a 2%-3% incidence of “gayness” crops up.

      • As Cochran has noted. It isn’t the succeeding or failing that illustrates this, but the failing to even try.

  14. Also, isn’t it just simpler to assume that if gay men are innately similar to women in some ways (interests, emotional stability) then they might be innately similar to women in who they are attracted to instead of positing all these baroque theories about how being a feminine man creates problems for emotional maladjustment.

  15. It may be simpler to embrace a simple assumption and move on. But isn’t it precisely such simple, fundamentalist positions that tend to solidify into slogans, harden into positions, and close the mind to nuance and to the ability to see and hear and think? The “born-that-way” assumption that underlies the image of the homosexual as victim, and drives the equal rights agenda leaves no room for further thought.

    If we think about our own growing-up experience, would we actually assert that we were born desiring to have sex with anyone of any sex? Would we be able to say that we were strongly attracted to applying make-up or attending the ballet if we had not been exposed to these aesthetic experiences? When we swooned over glamorous movie stars or outstanding sports figures, did we identify that thrill with sexual intimacy? Did adults routinely ask us to consider whether our bodies revealed our true sex, or which sex is better or whether sex matters at all?

    Simply accepting the innateness of masculinity or femininity closes off consideration of all the cultural influences — both overt (androgenization, feminism, sexualization, politicization), as well as that more subtle “hidden persuasion” — that shape the post-Boomer consciousness.

    • I agree.

      All of modernity has modified human sexuality, and I see no reason to believe that homosexuality is an exception. Before the 19th century no one thought it was a good idea to strap anti masturbation devices to boys and girls, and no one really thought and adolescent was a boy or girl. But this was respected medical science in this period.

      I don’t think that modern sexual medicine is entirely trustworthy.

  16. It is too often the case that responses concerning the etiology of homosexuality assume that, if it is an inborn tendency (whether due to genetics [unlikely] or to a maternal hormonal reaction during the fetal stage [more likely]), then it must be both accepted on all levels and mainstreamed. I am persuaded that homosexuals are born with that tendency, but that it does not necessarily follow that homosexuality or its various social manifestations should simply be accepted as “normal.” After all, a tendency to alchoholism likewise has a physiological basis, and while we sympathize with people who struggle with such a tendency, we do not therefore say that it’s okay for them to drink as much as they please. Instead, we encourage them to become involved in AA, and to resist the tendency. I see homosexuality in the same light.

  17. Arriving very late to this discussion, but I’d suggest another perspective, namely that the initial issue is not one of sexual attraction but of sexual identity. If you don’t identify positively as male in early childhood, then it becomes difficult later on to adopt a masculine sexual orientation.

    Why wouldn’t a child identify positively as a male? TMWW has suggested that father/son relationships have been discounted as a factor, and perhaps he is right about the science, but it’s noteworthy how many homosexual men had very deeply dysfunctional relationships with either their father or mother, e.g. they witnessed their fathers beating their mothers.

    Perhaps if you’re a boy at the more effeminate end of the scale, and you determine in early childhood not to be like your father, then you’re vulnerable to not developing a clearly masculine sexual identity. Once this is in place, then attraction to women becomes difficult later on.

    • With all due respect to Mark here, who has a great blog, many gay men throughout the past few decades have identified as men and have been highly motivated to join the ranks of the heterosexual.

  18. Not only are homosexual men unmanly, but straight men who defend sodomite marriage are unmanly as well. Indeed, straight men who defend sodomite marriage carry on like sob sisters. It’s embarrassing to read.

    It’s even more embarrassing to watch, as I discovered through this video I came across recently: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PD-INsIbVcw.

    The fashionable glasses, the perpetual lip-curled sneer, the violent gesticulation, the shameless (and admitted) ignorance born, no doubt, of reading nothing but hipster trash like “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” Watching such vacuous nonsense, I am reminded of why liberals so hate bullying, having no doubt involuntarily spent much time stuffed upside down into a locker, waiting for the school janitor to come by with the bolt-cutters and set them loose.

  19. Pingback: “The Manhood Deficit,” Continued « The Orthosphere

  20. Pingback: “The Manhood Deficit,” part III: This time, it’s episcopal | The Orthosphere

  21. As a non-Christian researcher of Masculinity, I know that Christianity is the biggest enemy of Manhood. I would like to ask the author — is there a cure for Christianity?

    • Christianity is truth, not an enemy. To be sure, non-Christians have infiltrated the church and propound many non- and anti-Christian doctrines from within, such as teaching that white Americans must allow anybody who wants to immigrate here, or that men generally ought to kowtow to women, but these are not authentic Christianity. To see that my assertion is correct, read the Bible, especially the New Testament, and observe how it speaks of human life.

      True Christianity, as taught by Christ and the Apostles, is not about disarmament. It is about the forgiveness of sins through repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ. It gives life. That’s why our Christian ancestors built great civilizations and defeated formidable enemies.

    • “I know that Christianity is the biggest enemy of Manhood.”

      Nothing tendentious about that assertion at all.

      Shall we take a look at some famous Christian wimps?

      Winston Churchill
      Constantine the Great
      Dwight Eisenhower
      Ulysses Grant
      Daniel Inouye
      Stonewall Jackson
      Justinian I
      Abraham Lincoln
      Audie Murphy
      Horatio Nelson
      Constantine XI Palaiologos
      King Jan III Sobieski
      George Washington
      William Wilberforce

      There are also the countless Christian martyrs who, instead of saying words that would save their lives, chose to die for their faith. Effeminate cowards all, I’m certain.

      Seeker, you fail to differentiate between Christianity and liberalism. Liberal “Christians” are Christian in name alone, and are often, as you put it, “enemies of manhood.” If the distinction between Christianity and liberalism is unclear to you, the differences are laid out in J. Gresham Machen’s Christianity and Liberalism.


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