But after reading yet another story about a study into male birds that turned gay by eating fish, I have to ask a question. Should anybody really care and why on earth does this matter?
Let me begin by stating that, on a broad scale, of course people should care. One of the big, important topics in Australia right now is the legalisation of gay marriage, and I think it's of utmost importance that people are aware of the situation going on, not just in Australia, but in the world. For the record, I personally believe that the fact a man or woman can't marry somebody of the same sex is absurd and needs to change now. But that's another story. Let's look into the story at hand.
Basically, scientists in Florida have undertaken a study researching the correlation between high-mercury diets and sexual orientation in male birds. The resulting tests found that male birds on a high-mercury diet were less interested in females and actually paired up with another male instead, prompting people to ask whether the same could be for humans and whether we need to consume less.
Now I must ask straight up, what do you think? Does anybody actually care? I mean, sure, this is interesting and I understand the fact that these results may be of high importance someday, so I can see why these types of studies are undertaken.
The thing I am unsure about is why this must be a 'news' item and thrown in with other stories on sexual orientation. Surely a story on 'Why people are still un-accepting about homosexuality' would be more interesting, and important. Or even a study on 'Why our society is/is not ready for the legalisation of gay marriage'. I guess what I'm afraid of, is that putting these news stories together in one 'bunch', we are actively taking credibility away from one of the most important topics in the world today. But perhaps it's just me…
I'm a young, straight man. Despite this, I happen to wear ladies’ canvas shoes because they fit me better, cleanse and moisturise my face twice a day and openly listen to a lot of pop music. Does this make me gay? No. Do I think consuming too much mercury through fish will make me gay? No. Do I care? No. And that's all it is. It just doesn't matter.
But the fact that these studies are thrown across the news is concerning because if the public see a correlation between say, eating fish and turning gay, then that in turn makes it appear that there is something wrong with being gay in general. Which just isn't the way it should be.
To put it simply. Yes, homosexuality is important. No, a study that found 'mercury consumption has turned male fish gay' is not. We live in a time now where the stories on research really need to step up and go beyond what is an 'easy read'. And if doing so makes people feel 'uneasy' then so be it.