February 2, 2024

What If the World Was Gay?

If everyone suddenly woke up to discover they were sexually and romantically attracted to the same sex, it’d probably have little effect in the short term. They might just assume they were the only people to experience it, and would continue with their lives in much the same way as before.

In the long run, though, a world where all humans were gay could be dangerous for the human race. That’s because — as you might remember from your secondary school biology class — for reproduction to occur, there needs to be a combination of sperm and egg cells. And unless there’s some miracle of immaculate conception, that means two people of the same sex can’t produce children without outside intervention.

Homosexuality among humans has become more accepted over time, but attitudes vary by country and region. People in richer countries tend to be more accepting of homosexuality than those in poorer ones. The question is also influenced by political ideology, with those on the left being more likely to say that homosexuality should be accepted.

Researchers at Imperial are leading the way in unravelling why homosexual behaviour is so common in nature. They’re able to observe it in wild animals like birds and reptiles, and are even beginning to see it in some mammals, including gorillas. But the research was once taboo, with scientists claiming that homosexual behaviour undermined Darwin’s theory of evolution.

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