–I came out to a Christian counselor in a treatment session in 2001 when I was 14. He convinced me to take part in conversion therapy, a pseudoscientific clinic to alter a person’s sexual orientation based in the premise that such behaviours are”unnatural.” He produced a post describing a discussion at this year’s American Psychological Association convention that signaled the treatment worked.The queer community, 25 million years (or more) in the making this painful experience encouraged me, once I began my scientific career, to analyze queerness in mathematics.Understanding how complicated human relationships developed necessitates a comprehensive picture of our social behaviour during development. I believe leaving out significant behaviours, like same-sex sexual behaviour, can bias the models we use to describe social evolution.Many researchers have postulated how queer behaviours, like same-sex sexual behaviour, might have developed or how they are expressed. Recently, scientists at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT published a paper indicating a genetic element to same-sex sexual behaviour expression in modern people.However, no studies offer an argument of if queer behavior may have arisen during people’ evolution. A new paper I was the primary researcher on, published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, asserts that queer behavior appeared well before people.My paper is based on a systematic review of published literature to put out a connection between the loss of a gene called TRPC2 and same-sex sexual behaviour.No modern people carry a functioning replica of the TRPC2 gene. TRPC2 was operational in a primate-like creature 65 million years back. This creature would evolve into two lineages. 1 branch could result in new world monkeys and another to old world monkeys and apes. The ancestor of new world monkeys never dropped the TRPC2 gene. However, the primate-like ancestor of humans and our nearest primate relatives — apes and old world monkeys — dropped function of TRPC2 a while between 23-40 million years ago.New world monkeys don’t, or very rarely, exhibit same-sex sexual behaviour. However, same-sex sexual behaviour is routinely expressed by people in virtually all primate species which did not obtain a functional TRPC2 in their ancestor.One way to test this theory would involve removing TRPC2 from animals with a complete gene and observing how their behavior changes. Fortunately, this experiment was done and, indeed, reduction of TRPC2 induces same-sex sexual behaviour in mice.I believe it is intriguing that same-sex sexual behavior is also common in other animal groups which have lost TRPC2 like bats and whales.Bats and whales (below) both exhibit same sex and opposite gender, sexual behaviour. jekjob/Shutterstock. I connect the reduction of TCRP2 to printed changes in the nervous system of primates and the development of same-sex sexual behaviour and have analyzed this link in the brains of mice where TRPC2 has been disabled.As part of my research, I used mice lacking TRPC2 and showed that their special behaviours are accompanied by altered cell populations in the brain. Maybe these changes to neural pathways in the brain contribute to same-sex sexual behaviour in mice. It’s intriguing to imagine similar changes could have occurred in the brains of human ancestors once they lost TRPC2, allowing the identical behavior.Importantly, TRPC2 isn’t a”gay” gene — the largest population with no gene are heterosexuals. TRPC2 reduction presents one possible source for same-sex sexual behaviour: the time point when it appeared during our development. In the absence of TRPC2, species seem to have more diversity in sexual partners, which surely formed the evolution of primate sexuality. This leads me to hypothesize that same-sex sexual behaviour is expressed by some people in part because our ancestors dropped TRPC2. Nonetheless, the ability to express same-sex sexual behaviour represents just a small step toward creating the intricate human identities that exist now.Queer in mathematics When I first heard of this TRPC2 knockout mice in 2009 and that nobody has the gene, I was instantly captivated.While studies have shown that the environment in STEM fields can be homophobic and transphobic, I was persistent and discovered supportive mentors. I felt attracted to the area of sex differences and I combined a graduate neuroscience program to examine them with Cynthia Jordan and Marc Breedlove.I introduced TRPC2 knockout mice into the Breedlove/Jordan laboratory for neuroscience research. While exploring previous work on these mice, I analyzed the information through the lens of my own queer experiences and requirements. Finally, I produced my debate on the source of same-sex sexual behaviour in human ancestry, which resulted in the newly published paper in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.Some queer people may find this study affirms their experiences and I expect to keep on encouraging the queer community in my future career by fixing our distinctive health issues through translational research. Want more? Subscribe to The Conversation’s daily newsletter. ] Daniel Pfau, PhD candidate Department of Neuroscience, Michigan State University Read the first article.◊♦◊Have you read the first anthology which was the catalyst for Your Great Men Project? Purchase here: The Great Men Project: Real Stories from the Front Lines of Modern Manhood ◊♦◊If you think in the work we’re doing here at The Great Men Project and wish to join our calls on a regular basis, please join us as a Premium Member, now. All Premium Members get to See The Great Men Project with NO ADS. A whole list of advantages is here.–Photo credit: Istockphoto.com

Same-sex sexual behaviour is common to a lot of species and evolved millions of years back.

The article An Origin Story for the Queer Community appeared on The Great Men Project.

Download my eBook The Secrets to Attract Women FREE now by clicking here