A Drug That Makes You Gay

Illustration for article titled A Drug That Makes You Gay

Today we learned that scientists can turn fruit flies gay in hours with drugs . But this isn't the first gay-making drug to appear in sensationalized (or fictionalized) science. Last year, a minster with a blog caused a freaky panic by announcing that there's scientific evidence showing that soy beans can feminize you and make you gay. He relied on the (true) information that there's a chemical in soy beans that's similar to estrogen to bolster his argument. (Yes, he has been thoroughly debunked.) But there are other, better gay drugs out there.

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In Ken MacLeod's novel Newton's Wake, characters can get a sexual orientation modification if they want to, using various post-human technologies. Often, it's just considered the polite thing to do.

And orientation-bending drugs are a staple of scifi erotica. The short story "Blue" [nsfw] is a classic example. An undercover cop takes a mysterious drug called "blue" that makes her want to fuck anything that moves — including a nice lady porn star.

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Our favorite moment in gay-making drugs, however, was an article that appeared in New Scientist several years ago about how sperm is an anti-depressant. In one of those head-clutching moments of scientists talking about shit they know nothing about, the researcher involved in the study, Gordon Gallup, said:


I understand that among some gay males who have anal intercourse, it is not uncommon to attempt to retain the semen for extended periods of time. Suggesting, of course, that there may be psychological effects.

Um, yeah. So if those fruit fly drugs and soy beans hadn't made you gay yet, the need to break out of your depression by having anal sex with a guy will do it. AP Photo/Pat Sullivan

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DISCUSSION

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The Neurocritic

The fruit flies weren't REALLY gay, they were bisexual. In a critical commentary in the same issue of Nature Neuroscience, Joel D. Levine wrote:

"Apart from its merits, however, this paper has a serious language problem. Throughout, the authors use the term homosexual to describe the behavior of a male mutant that courts both males and females with equal probability. If anything, these flies might be bisexual, but the data are also consistent with the possibility that genderblind mutants would court anything painted with 7-tricosene..."

See also [neurocritic.blogspot.com]