Tyler Cowen of Marginal Revolution comes around on the question of why there is so little evidence for a lot of male homosexuals in most sports to my position that the fundamental reason is that there aren't a lot of gays in sports:
"Having read through 110 plus comments, I am now more inclined to see genetic correlations -- rooted in the human mind rather than the body -- with athletic achievement …"
(I think it's premature to attribute male homosexuality to "genetic" causes as opposed to the broader category of "biological" causes.)
A reader writes:
When I was going to university, I worked as a bouncer at clubs. I was from a hick blue-collar town called O****** and worked in strictly "straight" bars. After 2 years I moved to downtown Toronto and worked in "night clubs" for 2 years- generally straight but with a significant amount of gay males or clubs that had a "mixed night (gay and straight night)" or "gay night" (it's the big city).
Bouncers all noticed that gay males don't cause problems that are violent in nature (drug OD's and sex in the washrooms are another matter). I remember other managers/head bouncers all agreeing after I commented that gay males are unusually very orderly at coat checks (it's on the order of several orders of magnitude of difference).
My girl friend lived at Church and College, on the edge of the gay area of Toronto. During Pride week we would comment at how polite the crowds were when I went to park in her apartment's underground garage. They'd all stop, sort of smile and make way for us to proceed - all very orderly and non-confrontational.
Gay males are not as aggressive and more polite - traits that put gay males at a disadvantage in competitive straight dominated sports.
If primatoligists can observe aggressive interactions among primates in the wild, I’m sure they could do the same comparing gay males and straight males at night-clubs.
I guess you'd have to control for drugs, especially alcohol, but my guess (invoking Occam's razor) is that gay males are more co-operative and more averse to conflict.
Frank Salter conducted a Jane Goodall-type study of bouncers, which I wrote about here.
Another reader writes:
I think that sometimes rules that work in America, might not transfer well into Europe. I recall a segment on SNL in the 80s that showed pictures of people and asked "Straight, Gay or European?" It was funny because things that only gay men would do in America, were done by heterosexual Europeans. Writing poetry, painting, opera, etc are all seen as gay in America, but not in Europe.
My working-class Detroit friends often make fun of me for my liking classical music. But it's the best when they say that waltzing and tangoing with women all evening is "gay" but sitting on a couch with a bunch of guys, watching a bunch of guys in tight pants slap each other on the butt and grunt, with no women in sight, is not. In modern America, "gay" is synonymous with "aesthete" (though they would probably have to look that word up.
A big example of this is dance. I have been involved in ballroom dancing for a couple of years and, at the top, the male ranks are completely dominated by Russians. In Soviet times, playing chess, dancing ballet, doing gymnastics were not seen as gay at all. So, parents make sure that their sons (and daughters) learn to dance and sing and appreciate the finer things.
I think the difference is class. In Europe, opera, ballet, waltz, etc are markers for the upper class. If your son studies ballet, that signals that you are wealthy and cultured. In contrast, in America, we don't have class markers of that type. What seems upper-class there seems soft and effeminate here. Americans strive for middle class (albeit, comfortably upper middle class) and there is then no place for opera or ballet. Football is a proper middle class activity for a boy. Ballet may be a good thing for a young aristocrat, but in America, there is no aristocracy. If your son studies ballet in America, that signals that you are trying to "turn him gay" or that something isn't quite right.
Another example you gave is articulateness. That is a marker for an elite education more than being gay (as seen in Idiocracy). But perhaps there is a connection after all. Only a man of leisure, an aristocrat, could actively be homosexual because he had the resources to be discreet and could avoid having a family.
Of course, the question remains, why does masculinity seem to be opposed to culture and civilization? Are those "womanly pursuits"? But if so, it seems that that is a very recent trend, as most of the best poetry, painting, literature, etc was created by men. Indeed, civilization was in large part created by men. Then why is it seen as unmanly to enjoy it?
For an answer to these questions, see my 2003 article in The American Conservative, "The Decline of the Metrosexual."