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But what about the growing numbers of gay parents out there? Would we be within our rights as parents to chemically alter our childrenís sexual orientations?

Sounds like instant population control to me.

Posted by Ivan Cockrum | December 11, 2007 2:17 PM

Sweet lord let me be dead before society has to deal with these issues.

Posted by Michigan Matt | December 11, 2007 2:20 PM

Just think, soon you can turn your gay kids into zombies.

Ain't life under King George just peachy?

Posted by Will in Seattle | December 11, 2007 2:22 PM

If your completely straight (or gay) it doesn't seem like you'd have much interest in experimenting with it. If you're already interested why take a pill?

Posted by chi type | December 11, 2007 2:23 PM

My brain aches.

Posted by The General | December 11, 2007 2:24 PM

Love is just a lazy generalisation

that we use for 100 different feelings and as many situations

going through each others pockets is not like us

and flattery will get you somewhere

and your happiness is just a chemical

-- Darren Hanlon

Posted by Fnarf | December 11, 2007 2:26 PM

Speaking as someone who had his parents send him to straight camp to reorient me and "regulate" my sexuality, I think any attempt by parents to change their child's sexual orientation whether it be in the womb or when the child is 6 or 16 is simply wrong.

Most children lack the autonomy to make their own decisions regarding their mental or physical health (see Jehovah's Witnesses), but for parents to make that decision for them because they view homosexuality as an illness violates all medical and scientific ethics

Posted by blaire | December 11, 2007 2:26 PM

oh, ag. this can't be going anywhere good.

Posted by adrian | December 11, 2007 2:27 PM

Nevermind that humans are a hell of a lot more complicated than fruit flies.

Posted by keshmeshi | December 11, 2007 2:28 PM

All straight women would take the drug! I just know it!

Posted by Cat in Chicago | December 11, 2007 2:29 PM


Posted by yikes! | December 11, 2007 2:32 PM

As a young queer growing up in a conservative household in Eastern Washington, I would have given anything for this drug. But now that I've become a grown-up, or at least as close to a grown-up as I'm likely to get, I wouldn't want to be straight.

Posted by josef | December 11, 2007 2:34 PM

"Teirney wonders if straight and gay people alike will want to use these drugs to manipulate their sexual orientations."

Damn, I hadn't even thought of that. And, I really would. Have you seen all the pretty, sexy feminine boys wandering around in skinny jeans? It's so disappointing that there's a penis under there.

-Not quite bi enough to stay turned on when the pants are off.

Posted by Rebecca | December 11, 2007 2:34 PM

i like the idea that it's a switch. it could get confusing for parents that way.

Posted by infrequent | December 11, 2007 2:34 PM

Boy, I'm glad I'm already bi and don't have to worry about this.

...oh, except for the horror it will unleash on the rest of the population.

Posted by Dianna | December 11, 2007 2:39 PM

Iím straight and I would definitely do it recreationally, at least once or twice.

@1. Thereís a science fiction novel written in the 70s (The Forever War) where a drug like this is used for population control/selective breeding. Not the main focus of the novel, but an interesting detail.

Posted by Julie | December 11, 2007 2:42 PM

One fascinating point is that this all would force pretty much all religious types to concede that Homosexuality is biological and not choice, right?

Posted by Lake | December 11, 2007 2:43 PM


Posted by jamier | December 11, 2007 2:43 PM

And ohhh how much of it I would slip in to straight-dreamy mens' drinks.

Posted by Lake | December 11, 2007 2:45 PM

(from 19 -- not really. I love my partner wayy to much to change anything. But someday for myself to have children? Maybe......)

Posted by Lake | December 11, 2007 2:47 PM

I highly doubt that this treatment would work for a vastly more complex human mind where sexuality is wrapped up with identity and personality. And if something similar could be created, it would undoubtedly fuck you up in other ways just like any other mind-altering drug.

I think this needs some research from Ask Science!

Posted by boxofbirds | December 11, 2007 3:04 PM

As a terribly confused and unhappy closeted teenager in the late 1970s, I would have given an arm for a drug to make me hetero. For real.

This can only end badly.

Posted by SDA in SEA | December 11, 2007 3:07 PM

I feel that the only morally acceptable use of a human version of this drug would be recreational. Never again would the words "This bar is such a sausage fest, let's go on to the next one" be uttered. Instead, "Bartender! Two Orientaritas!"

Posted by Kiru Banzai | December 11, 2007 3:10 PM

so when will they turn on the switch that makes chicks want stutering fat guys in glasses ?

Posted by FredE | December 11, 2007 3:24 PM

Dude, I would totally go for that. I have such deep envy for bisexuals, since they can look at the entire world as a sexual smorgasbord, something that would be made even easier if anyone you were attracted to could have their orientation flipped.

Additionally, mothers like my own, who is fucking ecstatic that I'm gay, would love to have the option of turning straight sons gay. She would also fund research into how to turn gay sons into drag queens. I'm a major disappointment to her in that I dislike doing drag.

Posted by Gitai | December 11, 2007 3:24 PM

ooooo i didn't think of the recreational use. i'm sorta bi but hell i'd try it anyhow. i'd rater be a girl for a day tho. far more interesting

Posted by Brian | December 11, 2007 3:25 PM

Turn me off!!! I'm tired of sucking Kokk!

Posted by Madge-YoursoakingINIT! | December 11, 2007 3:43 PM

Hetero on "ladies night" and Homo on "boys night". Never again do you have to enter a bar unprepared unless you happen to meet the wrong sex later that night.

Posted by Gay Seattle | December 11, 2007 3:45 PM

Yay! CURE for overcrowding!! When everyone is gay all babies will be wanted!!
That said, I am happy in my orientation, thank you.

Posted by subwlf | December 11, 2007 3:49 PM

I'd want my kids to be gay. I hate breeders.

Posted by Mr. Poe | December 11, 2007 4:04 PM

I'd feed it to my boyfriend. I never can get him quite drunk enough to make out with shirtless boys.

Posted by Gloria | December 11, 2007 4:11 PM

Using a term like breeder in a derogatory manner basically shows Mr. Poe to be pretty much a contemptible person. That's too bad. And, Mr. Poe, if your parents had not been breeders, where would you be. Basically I really don't like the use of derogatory terms. So keep your hate to yourself and spare me and countless other humans who have kids the bad-mouthing.

Posted by chas Redmond | December 11, 2007 4:15 PM

"Mr. Poe, if your parents had not been breeders, where would you be."

I don't know. Was that a question? Where do you think I'd be, you moron? Not here. Which is something most would consider to be good.


Posted by Mr. Poe | December 11, 2007 4:17 PM

This was totally my slog tip yesterday. I'm a little bitter Dan and by a little, I mean a lot.

Posted by Richard | December 11, 2007 4:26 PM

perhaps I'm too literal. I was serious, though, about derogatory terms - I think we can discourse without resorting to slang and slurs. And if we can't I'll answer your next retort by stating outright that I do have the freedom to NOT read Slog. But you're usually much funnier.

Posted by chas Redmond | December 11, 2007 4:32 PM

@ 17, it might make their heads explode.

What does this drug mean for raging bisexual folk like myself? Is it gonna just... turn us on to everybody EVEN MORE, making us something of a sexual force to be reckoned with? Or will it do absolutely nothing.

One thing for sure, it would weed out those true hets bis and homos that wear opposing labels, would'nt it!

Posted by Luis | December 11, 2007 4:41 PM

Well I'm confused, chas. How could you possibly find anything I ever say to be funny if you turn around and take a comment like #30 super butthurt serialz?

Posted by Mr. Poe | December 11, 2007 4:47 PM

Although @24 was perhaps being only partially faceteous, it does bring up an interesting point.

Assuming such a drug could be developed, given the higher complexities involved in human sexual attraction, it makes sense that someone, at some point would experiment with tailoring the drug, basically turning it into the much sought-after "universal aphrodisiac", which would basically have the effect of making anyone - at least temporarily - sexually attractive to anyone else.

So, the end result would be a form of sexual liberation unseen since the advent of female birth-control, wherein all sorts of previously-not-attracted-to-each-other people would be going at it like rabid lagomorphs.

THAT should be one interesting future...

Posted by COMTE | December 11, 2007 4:54 PM

Mr. Poe, probably cause I'm over sensitive to being a parent and a guy with all the bad dads out there and all that - like I said, perhaps too literal plus - for a change - you hit one of my hot buttons. Being a good parent is a real challenge, raising kids today is a real challenge - no matter what flavor one is. Being a good parent is costly in money and time and - alas - most parents probably aren't that good. So, I'm fighting two fronts here - the whole parent thing and the whole tolerance thing. You're sarcasm and wry humor usually work for me - probably the headache I've had all afternoon - something about pressure yanks (way down two days ago, way up today).

Posted by chas Redmond | December 11, 2007 5:04 PM

On the other hand, I'm into relatively benign recreational chemistry and this sounds like it "might" be relatively benign. If nothing else, it would give insight into a lot of perspectives and yearnings - wouldn't it? I'd probably take a test pill or two. I wouldn't submit to waterboarding, though. Or want to be the target in a feces-flinging contest, either.

Posted by chas Redmond | December 11, 2007 5:08 PM

1) Owen briefly explored the orientation flipping idea on Torchwood with an alien pheromone spray and--of course--hilarious results.

2) Being gay or straight is about a helluva a lot more than just who you fuck.

I love and respect my female friends, but I have no interest in forming a romantic relationship with any of them. How does this sciency dude account for that, hmmmm?

Posted by Original Andrew | December 11, 2007 5:11 PM

Well, if there's something out there that might make me 'suade for women, maybe there's something out there for kids who don't like their vegetables. Just sane...

Posted by RHETT ORACLE | December 11, 2007 5:31 PM

@41 Great points since orientation is so much than who you want to have sex with. It is who feel that you want to spend the rest of your life with.

Posted by Gay Seattle | December 11, 2007 5:54 PM

Where can I score this stuff?

Posted by NJ Matt | December 11, 2007 7:11 PM

Where can I score this stuff, and when will it be made into a pleasing, unisex fragrance?

Posted by Ariel | December 11, 2007 7:45 PM

Where can I score this stuff in a Roofies form?

Posted by Y.F. | December 11, 2007 8:43 PM

Neil Gaiman wrote a short sci-fi story about a drug that allows people to switch sexes overnight.

Posted by pain | December 11, 2007 9:10 PM

As a straight man, I am, of course, often in the position of being simultaneously horny and feeling too lazy to deal with the extra red tape in heterosexual mating. Hell yeah I'd go temporarily gay.

Posted by tsm | December 11, 2007 9:36 PM

Dan, didn't you just do a podcast about how humans are not affected by pheromones? Since they seem to play a role here it seems unlikely that it would work on people.

Posted by Kevin Lyda | December 11, 2007 10:46 PM

This seems to me all about a chemical response to Pheromones. I am sitting at home here and there are no Pheromones anywhere near me and I am attracted to men so changing my conditioning to Pheromones would only put me in the position of possibly being stimulated by them but in my brain still attracted to men. It is not going to change my brain and the way I was born.

Posted by -B- | December 12, 2007 12:56 AM

One of the first things I thought of was a quote from The Simpsons:

Bart: Mr. Smithers, I always thought you were, you know...
Smithers:(Laughs)No, I'm straight, as long as I take these injections every ten minutes. (Injects himself.) I love boobies!!

Posted by Jessika | December 12, 2007 7:01 AM

It may be naive of me, but I feel like once homosexuality is reduced to a switch that any hetero or homo can toggle on or off, the whole point of discriminating against either side will sort of be moot.

Posted by Vasya | December 12, 2007 8:14 AM

But more importantly, have these scientists located the genes that will turn bottoms into tops?

Posted by Will | December 12, 2007 10:19 AM

And would this drug instantly cause a swishifying effect in the hips?

Posted by Catman | December 12, 2007 10:35 AM

@38: It would also be one hell of a date rape drug. :P

Posted by Toby | December 12, 2007 10:42 AM

Yeah how would that work?? Honestly the thought is kinda scary... I know a lot of gay men who crave my boyfriend, but consider him off-limits because he's straight (has nothing to do with dating me, I guess...) One slip and suddenly he's left me behind for cock.
*Sigh* I'm not sure I want to deal with a world that wants to fuck so much with my biology. Just leave me as I am people!! Just let me exist without wanting to pump me full of drugs every other day to fix this tiny abnormality, or this minor personality quirk. Let us all worship at the mighty altar of science...

Posted by Marty | December 12, 2007 5:34 PM


Posted by Chad | December 14, 2007 5:33 AM

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