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Sambia tribe homosexuality statistics

opinion

This article was originally published on the New Statesman website, and can be found here.

The Papua New Guinean Sambia...

Anyone who respects personal freedom and equality will surely be impressed by the gay rights movement. Although there is much work still to do, these are notable successes, achieved after a plethora of debates fought by brave and outspoken LGBT campaigners across the world.

The Sambia people are a...

Yet one of the arguments used in these debates is tenuous at best and harmful at worst; the idea that LGBT equality should be justified on the grounds that being gay is natural.

This is problematic for two reasons.

The Etoro tribe in New...

The science of sexual orientation is far from conclusive. Similarly, the common claim that over species of animals exhibit homosexual behaviour is often exaggerated — very few of these species show a long-term preference for the same sex.

The sexual or romantic attraction to members of the same sex is part of the human condition that exists as soon as somebody experiences it. Perhaps surprisingly, there is persuasive evidence for such theories, found in non-Western societies that harbour different beliefs about sexual orientation to our own. The Papua New Guinean Sambia tribe, for instance, believe that all men transition through an age of homosexuality before becoming heterosexual later in life.

It would be unreasonable to make any wide-reaching conclusions based on such divided evidence. If, as is very possible, it transpires that homosexuality is partially determined by socialisation, then Sambia tribe homosexuality statistics backlash could result for LGBT rights. Only in were we reminded of the dangers of basing our social outlook on primitive scientific evidence.

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