Will gay bird study lead to better gaydar?

Posted on 03 Dec 2010 at 3:21pm
Gay ibises

Of all the gay-related stories I’ve seen recently, this one is my favorite.

Increased exposure to mercury may cause homosexuality in ibises, according to a new study done at the University of Florida, in Gainesville, not South Beach. The study was published in Nature.

Male ibises that consumed toxic methylmercury were more likely to mate with other males. As the amount of mercury exposure increased, so did the same-sex pairings.

The researcher made clear no assumptions should be made about people.

Peter Frederick, a University of Florida ecologist involved in the study, said, “People will read this and immediately jump to the conclusion that humans eating mercury are going to be gay. I want to be very explicit that this study has nothing to say about that.”

But I wonder. Mercury is the substance in thermometers. I’ve always thought of gaydar as a sort of thermometer and I wonder if those of us with more mercury can just take the temperature of those around us with just a little more accuracy than those with less. I think it’s worth studying.

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