Various parts of the media have picked up the story of Dr. Anthony Bogaert’s research today. In summary, it appears that the more biological older brothers a man has, the more likely he is to be gay. A typical report is that carried by the Guardian.
But I was slightly taken aback by the bit at the end of the story, where the Guardian reports a comment by David Puts of Michigan State University, where he is quoted as saying:
"One possible explanation is that after giving birth to a first son, the mother may develop maternal antibodies directed against male-specific proteins. These might then disrupt development of the younger son".
Erm, what’s this word "disrupt" doing here? The words "change" or "alter" I would feel perfectly comfortable with, but somehow the word "disrupt" brings in overtones that smack of a negative value judgement. Strange, really, looking at the photo of David Puts somehow makes me think that if he’s not a friend of Dorothy, he may well have a nodding acquaintance with her…