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Lesbians, according to this study, are more likely than straight women to have what we might call “male-pattern hands.” The researchers concluded that this finding supports their theory that lesbianism might be caused by a “fetal androgyn wash” in the womb—that is, when female fetuses are exposed to greater levels of a masculinizing hormone, it shows up later in the form of female masculinity: male-pattern hands and… But this study makes the same error that countless others have made: it does not properly distinguish between gender (whether one is masculine or feminine) and sexual orientation (heterosexuality or homosexuality).
Simply put, the fact that a woman is “masculine” (itself a social construction) or has been introduced to greater levels of a male hormone need not have anything to do with whether she is attracted to women.
If men having frequent and sincere sex with one another is what we mean by “gay,” then do we really believe that something so fundamentally different was happening in the Ancient Athenian gene pool?
By implication, if we could choose, of course we would choose to be heterosexual.And what about native cultures in which all boys engage in homosexual rites of passage?Do we imagine that we could identify some genetic evidence of propensity to ingest sperm as part of a cultural initiation into manhood?In Ancient Greece, sex between elite men and adolescent boys was a common and normative cultural practice.
According to historians Michel Foucault and Jonathan Ned Katz, these relationships were considered the most praise-worthy, substantive and Godly forms of love (whereas sex between a man and a woman was, for all intents and purposes, sex between a man and his slave).And many very feminine lesbians would like us to know this too.