In a number of my writings, a gay character is the youngest of several boys. And while, in family I’m the second son, having two younger brothers, if a Canadian study is accurate, it seems these characters of my imagination have some basis in reality.
In a study appearing in Tuesday’s issues of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Anthony F. Bogaert of Brock University in St. Catharines, Canada, reports “that having several biological older brothers increased the chance of a man being gay.” In a telephone interview with AP, Bogaert said that this is “an effect that can be detected with one older brother and becomes stronger with three or four or more.”
This is not the first time I have read of a study suggesting that birth order could influence sexual orientation.
He believes this confirms a biological basis for homosexuality as he found that when raised “with several older step- or adopted brothers,” men “do not have an increased chance of being gay.” Thus, he finds that the environment in which someone is raised doesn’t make “much difference.”
This is fascinating in light of something I uncovered last week in my research on the berdache tradition of the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere. Among the Laches tribe (of what is now Colombia), if a family only had boys, they were allowed to raise one of the youngest as a girl. Perhaps, it’s because they knew that such a child were more likely to be (what we today would call) gay?
Food for thought.