Sunday, 13 November 2011

How were you born? How were you born? That way? The question scarcely troubles the gay communities of Europe. (Unless you count clergy in the Vatican. Technically, they're a gay community, too.) But in the United States, it sits at the core of the gay rights debate. Advocates quote much science to show that homosexuality is innate, immutable and probably genetic; some of that science is contentious. The subject came up in a discussion on the blog of the redoubtable Mark Simpson—required reading, by the way, for anyone with an interest in issues of gender, sexuality, or culture at large. It got me thinking. Problem is, it got me thinking like a marketer. (Readers may know, that's sorta what I do for a crust.) The whole born-this-way question reminds me of chocolate. Specifically, chocolate with peanuts or chocolate with coconut. You see, there are peanut people, and coconut people. People who eat Snickers are unlikely to eat Bounties very often, and vice-versa. Most of us have tried both, at some time or other. A few will experiment regularly over the course of their lives. Many enjoy a bit of variety when the opportunity presents itself. But true biconfectionals are rare. You work out your taste early in life, and it abides. No matter how much marketers try, we cannot change you. We have wasted a lot of money trying, over the years. Does a genetic predisposition cause this abiding preference in the pursuit of pleasure? Marketing data suggest it runs in families. Or maybe...

The Honourable Husband

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