Back in the 19th century no one thought deeply about this, as the Christian Church at the time were condemning homosexuality as an unnatural act, and as homosexuality didn’t fit in with evolutionary theory, scientists agreed with the Church on this point. (It is of interest that many laws against homosexuality were passed in the 19th century when both the Christian Church and Science were against it.) In more recent times since the 1960s, with homosexuals demanding equal rights with heterosexuals, the homosexual problem in evolutionary theory couldn’t be so easily ignored. This came up with Richard Dawkin ‘s selfish gene theory. He claimed that the only purpose of life was to pass on your genes on to the next generation, which homosexual people where unable to do, unless they went against their natural desires and mated with heterosexual people. So to get around this, some religious and scientific people have suggested that homosexuality came from childhood conditioning.
Freud put forward the theory that homosexuality in boys, was caused, if the mother was too domineering and his father too passive. This was considered to be a prime candidate, because many homosexual men had a strong emotional bond with their mothers. Then someone decided to test the theory by interviewing the heterosexual brothers of homosexual men and this undermined the theory completely. It turned out that the heterosexual bothers reported that their mothers were normal human beings, who didn’t dominate them. But this hasn’t made any difference to many religious groups that still promote this idea, and like to condemn bossy mothers for turning their sons into queers.
Homosexual scientists have resisted any suggestion that homosexuality comes from childhood conditioning, because if that was the case, some people will want to try to retrain homosexuals to be heterosexuals. So homosexuals want to prove that homosexuality is part of their genetic make up and some scientists have attempted to look for a homosexual gene, with mixed results. Simon LeVay has taken a different approach and in his book, Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of sexual orientation, he claims that homosexuality happens in the womb, when female hormones produced by the mother’s body, affect a male fetus when its brain is developing.
The problem is that a gay gene, or a mix up of male and female hormones when a fetus is developing, doesn’t tell us the evolutionary reason for this. This is because people with homosexual genes or a hormone mix up in mother’s bodies, are far less likely to successfully pass on there genes, to coming generations, than parents who only produce straight heterosexual children.
We know that the homosexual population is large; though how large is in dispute. It is claimed in Wikipedia. “In the modern West, major studies indicate a prevalence of 2% to 13% of the population. A 2006 study suggested that 20% of the population anonymously reported some homosexual feelings.” As a homosexual person is far less likely to have children than a heterosexual person, we have to ask; what is the evolutionary drive that is keeping homosexuality going? Because as most homosexuals are more likely to have heterosexual parents, there must be some reason this happens. This then suggests there must be an evolutionary advantage to have homosexuals in the general population for it to continue. So what that would it be?
To answer this, the obvious place to look, would be the bonobo and chimpanzee. Homosexuality is commonplace in bonobo society but nearly unknown with chimpanzees. And we can see that bonobo live in Matriarchal societies and chimpanzees live in a patriarchy. So is homosexuality and Matriarchy strongly linked? The problem with comparing humans with bonobos is that we humans do not have homosexual sex as freely as bonobos do. After all, all bonobos seem to be bi-sexual, whereas we tend to divide ourselves into being homosexual or heterosexual, bisexuality is hardly mentioned. But we cannot be sure this didn’t happen in the Stone Age. The reason is that throughout the world, there is a strict taboo on homosexual sexual behaviour, so we cannot know how we all would behave, if this taboo were completely lifted. We know that when men are deprived of female company most of them do practice homosexual sex. This was true in the past, when sailors in sailing ships went on long oceans voyages lasting months or even years, without the company of women. It is also true in prison populations, where men are locked up for a very long time. This may also be true of women as well, when deprived of men’s company, but women are far more secretive about these things, than men. Though it seems it did happen in Europe after the First World War when millions of men died in the trenches. After the war there was a serious shortage of men, and many women did live together, though they kept their sex life secret.
So it means, that without the taboos against homosexual behaviour, this behaviour could be more commonplace than we would admit to. I have read authors who have made claims that humans are all bisexual and it is only social pressure that keep us all pigeonholed in heterosexual or homosexual boxes. If this is the case, and homosexual behaviour was more prevalent in the Stone Age than we see today, what evolutionary advantage would homosexual behaviour give Stone Age people? It would be exactly the same evolutionary advantage that bonobo behaviour gives them.
Bonobo females bond together through lesbian sex, forming a powerful sisterhood. Something similar happened in the Feminist movement in the 1960s and 70s. It was lesbian women who were the backbone of this movement, as they were more able to work together and organize themselves better than heterosexual women. As with bonobo males, although men can also bond together through homosexual love, the bonds are not as strong as it is with lesbian women. We can see this in the Aids outbreak in the 1980s. This plague spread so quickly among gay men because there were irresponsible men, who continue to have unprotected sex with other men, in spite of the fact they had been diagnosed with Aids or HIV. And as one man with Aids can have sex with hundreds of other men, this greatly fueled Aids among homosexual men. So their sex drive was far more important to them, than their brotherly love for other gay men.
If we were similar in behaviour to bonobos in the Stone Age, then, then it suggests that most people then were bi-sexual. So it means that either it is patriarchal taboos that is suppressing homosexual desires within the general population, or that the sexual orientation of most of the population changed, when people used agriculture to feed themselves.
As previously mentioned, in times of rapid climate change and times of starvation a Matriarchal tribe is far more likely to survived than a patriarchal tribe. And as we can see with the bonobo ape the foundation of the powerful sisterhood of bonobo females, is lesbian love.
So the reason why we have homosexuality in our species is that lesbianism among women, made it more likely we had Matriarchal tribes in the Stone Age. And Matriarchal tribes were more likely to survive than patriarchal tribes until the time of agriculture revolution. The problem is that when women stopped gathering plants and began to plant them instead and so creating agriculture, they probably undermined their position of power. This was because with the abundance of food that agriculture created, the survival advantages of living in a Matriarchal community disappeared.
Women still ruled the first civilizations created by the agriculture revolution, for thousands of years, but somehow their authority was undermined and patriarchy came into being. The reason could be that the lesbian sisterhood was destabilized.
Back in the Stone Age if the powerful lesbian sisterhood was undermined in a tribe and men took over, the survival chances of the whole tribe was greatly reduced. This is because in times of starvation the men would hog all the food leaving the women and children to starve and then without enough women, the tribe would quickly go extinct. So having a sort of gay gene in women would be a big advantage to any tribe. This then is probably why most patriarchal societies have made homosexuality taboo. Although male homosexuality is not much of a threat to patriarchy, lesbianism is, and patriarchy didn’t differentiate between male and female homosexuals.
When agriculture was invented patriarchy no longer became such a disadvantage to the survival of any tribe. Yes, it is true that you can have years of famine with agriculture as well, and whole civilisations have been wiped out through years of famine. Though this didn’t happen too often, as most civilizations also stored food in good years so to make sure they had enough to eat in bad years. Also over the last 10 thousand years the human race hasn’t experienced any rapid climate change like what was experienced in ice ages over the last few million years. (Though this could change in the near future, with global warming).
So does that mean that now we have agriculture we will always have patriarchy? All this means is that women cannot dominate society in the same way they did in the past. It is debatable whether women can restore a powerful lesbian sisterhood like they had in the Stone Age and Neolithic age, but this doesn’t have to be the only way women can regain power. The big problem with patriarchal is that it hasn’t benefited the people ruled by it.
Patriarchy has created a world of conflict, violence, warfare and widespread poverty. During the cold war, from the time of the 1950s to the 1980s the whole world was threatened with nuclear annihilation, as both the USSR and USA had deployed enough nuclear weapons to wipe out civilization, many times over. With a situation like this, people must wonder why we have allowed idiots like this to rule our world. The only reason why people put up with patriarchy, is because people believe there is no alternative to it. But there is, and that is Matriarchy.
Knowledge about the Neolithic age has to be censored, because if the general public were aware that people in the past lived for thousands of years in peace, without no sign of warfare. Then people today are likely to ask the obvious question, why can’t we do the same today? Once people catch on to the fact that women can do a far better job in ruling our world than men, then that could start a worldwide revolution that will restore Matriarchy to our world.