Gays and lesbians in comedy

A (gay male) research psychologist examines the over-representation of lesbians in comedy for Scientific American.

Researchers who study homosexuality have discovered that the brains of many lesbians were over-exposed to male hormones during prenatal development, influencing not only their adult sexual orientation, but also masculinizing other behavioral and cognitive traits in which there exist innate sex differences. This is not true of all lesbians, but it is especially true for those who exhibit male-typed profiles. So it is not implausible that some lesbians’ courtship strategies would largely mimic opposite-sex-typed patterns, including a differentiated capacity for humor production that attracts female attention. This would not be a conscious strategy, it must be emphasized, and indeed this is what many critics of evolutionary psychology repeatedly fail to realize. So, for heaven’s sake, don’t mistake this as me saying that lesbian comics go on stage just to score chicks. Gene replication is simply a mechanistic means to an end; if it works, it works. Many evolutionary psychologists, including Miller, believe that our minds are often just epiphenomenal interpreters.

Ah, academics. I wish I could go onstage and start ideas with "it is not implausible that..."

Anyway, interesting theory about why lesbians want to be comics. I think a big part of the story is audiences too and how they respond differently to straight/gay female comics. It takes two to tango and the audience (i.e. society) is half the equation in standup.

This guy also mentions he can only come up with the name of a single gay male stand-up (Ant). But rumor is there are at least several big-name gay male comics out there who just choose to keep it under wraps for Spacey-like reasons.

And he also fails to mention there's a new crop of gay male comics coming up. Guys who talk about being gay but don't rely on the usual stereotypes about homosexuality to get laughs (e.g. Brent Sullivan, Gabe Liedman, etc.). There's a great feature article waiting to happen about that. Get on it New York Magazine.

Anyway, I found the orig story via Mandy Bardsley, who posted this about it on Facebook:

Wow. What scientists (who aren't also historians) say about (homo)sexuality in general is the dumbest shit I've ever read. If only this guy knew that he was repeating some ancient garbage from the turn of the century, like before we found out that women and men both have estrogen and testosterone. I gave the author a list of reading materials.

Ok, so women and men both have estrogen and testosterone. Why does that prove this guy's an idiot? I'm all for a good sexuality-related fight so feel free to post links to any of these relevant reading materials in the comments.


Red Rocket said...

Re: gay comics: Kevin Meaney divorced his wife and announced he was gay a few years ago.

Alex Grubard said...

That is a good idea for an article and I bet you could write it, Matt. Just saying.

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