Oct 29, 2009

OSS # 177: Care Bear

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Who Cares?

Insisting that there should be no difference between a gay man and a straight man (except the sexual preference) is like saying there's no difference between a man and a woman (except the physique), or between a white American and an African-American (except the skin tone). Although we are under a big umbrella called human, there are differences. Being different is neither good or bad, per se. We should even celebrate it. It is not saying one is better than the other. They are just different.

Although I try to avoid stereotypes saying gay guys are like this or that, there have been studies showing the differences. When we talk of statistical studies, we talk of probabilities and chances, not certainty nor absolute truth.

One area showing the difference between gay and straight guys is in their manner of caring. A study revealed that gay men makes the most caring and sensitive father. There will also be a difference with the children of this groups of people.

In his book, The Soul Beneath the Skin: The Unseen Hearts and Habits of Gay Men*, David Nimmons sites various studies showing how caring the American gay community is especially in AIDS-related causes like caring of AIDS patients and volunteering in lab experiments for vaccines. He also sited a study that this was not merely a case of taking care of our own. A study revealed that the charitable (time and money) contributions are divided equally between gay and non-gay causes.

A Harvard professor, E. O. Wilson, went as far saying that homosexuals may be the genetic carriers of some of mankind's most altruistic impulses. Evolutionary biologist recognized the significance of "helpers at the nest" in the animal kingdom. They members of the pack that don't breed but helps in supporting the community they belong to. Some are proposing that the gay community can perform (or is already performing) that role. On the other hand, there's a study concluding that "levels of empathy and altruistic values did not differ between homosexually experienced and exclusively heterosexually experienced adults."

I don't know of any similar studies done in the Filipino community. The results could also be different knowing we have a different culture. Whether or not statistical studies can prove that gay guys are more altruistic than straight men, or this is just a baseless stereotype, this is one stereotype I'd like to live by and be proud of without looking down on the other.


* This and my last two previous posts are actually inspired by Nimmon's book. I'm currently reading it at a snail's pace. Although, I don't agree to some of his views (which I find very CareBear), I still find that it's a good read. As a corollary, just because I'm sharing his views, it shouldn't mean I agree with them. I just wanted to share something to think about.


PUSANG-gala said...

Hi---I miss being here...

one thing for sure. Filipinos are loving and caring people regardless of gender....

D7ana said...

I've heard that it's better to have a gay male hairdresser than to have any female hairdresser because the gay male hairdresser supposedly will do a better job because they aren't jealous of women. Shrug.

I would not be surprised to learn that gay men are more sensitive than straight men. I have no scientific data to base that claim on so I just appreciate the greater sensitivity when I encounter it. Nice to have kindess in the world.

Niel Camhalla said...

Thanks PUSANG-gala. :)

Dana, I agree with your statement "I would not be surprised to learn that gay men are more sensitive than straight men." The problem is I know some people who thinks being sensitive is a sign of weakness and that it's not manly (read:good). We both know we all could use a little more sensitivity. :)

katcarneo said...

Hmmm, I don't think altruism is hereditary, nor is it more prevalent in a specific group companred to others, but I'm glad to read that you, as an individual, would like to live by this stereotype. It all starts with each person.

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