For years, researchers have been looking for how homosexuality evolved, which is awesome and hella useful. On the island of Samoa, homosexual men are recognized as a separate gender called fa’afafine. The University of Lethbridge in Canada decided to do some studies on the role that the fa’afafine play in Samoan culture, and here’s what they found.
Acting on previous studies that have found that the fa’afafine are more likely than straight men or women to be attentive to their nieces and nephews, these researchers wanted to see if the fa’afafine were more fond of their own relatives, or just children in general. Are they natural caregivers*, or are they just promoting their own genes?
What they found was that the fa’afafine doted solely on their own nieces and nephews, and that this behavior was cherished and respected by Samoan culture, as they acted as extra parents and strong adult role models. The researchers reasoned that “Samoa’s community-centered culture may be representative of the type of environment in which homosexuality evolved eons ago”.
Western culture, however, hasn’t been family-centered in decades, focusing rather on being so individualistic and homophobic that a doting gay uncle would no longer be valued. Keep moving, research! This is awesome!
What if the biggest reason things were better “before” (as the Christian Family Coalition so vehemently believes) was because your preciously intact family included an awesome gay uncle?
*of course, no one is saying that gay men are naturally great with children.