Can You Choose to Be Gay?
'Sex and the City' star Cynthia Nixon recently said she chose to be gay, sparking a conversation over whether choosing to be gay entails the opposite ability: choosing not to be gay.
What's the Latest Development?
Before 'Sex and the City' star Cynthia Nixon gave a prepared speech to a gay audience recently, organizers wanted to make changes where Nixon had written that she chose to be gay. In a follow up story, Nixon said: "A certain section of our community is very concerned that it not be seen as a choice, because if it's a choice, then we could opt out." What is more important, she says, is solidarity in the community with those who self-identify as gay, no matter how they came to see themselves that way.
What's the Big Idea?
Where does science fall on the question? Most biologists say nature is more influential than nurture—the education one receives or the interactions one has with peers—when it comes to preferring your own sex in intimate situations. Studies show there is some genetic consistency between individuals who are gay or lesbian. Ellen Schecter, a pyschologist in Hanover, New Hampshire, thinks there is a role for both biology and free will. "You feel what you feel," she said. "What you do with those feelings might be a choice."
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Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.
- The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
- Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
- Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.
- Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
- Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
- It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
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