MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA—Tracing the unique behavior back to the dawn of civilization, researchers at Monash University announced Wednesday that lowering one’s voice to discuss a person’s sexual orientation is a physiological trait that evolved in humans over thousands of years. “The fossil record shows the human larynx completing a transformation around 11,000 years ago, which coincides with the time period when Homo sapiens appear to have begun speculating about their fellow clan members’ sexual preferences in fevered whispers,” said Dr. Raif Gonzales, who added that evidence from archaeological sites in the Indus valley suggests that, around this time, ancient humans developed the ability to gather in small groups to privately discuss their friends and neighbors, sneak glances over their shoulders, and drop their voices to a hushed, barely audible level when intoning the word “gay.” “Recently unearthed fragments of skull bones suggest eyebrow-raising evolved during this period for much the same purpose. While these are largely vestigial traits nowadays, they are reminders of our ancestors’ evolutionary tendency to keep this kind of information hush-hush.” Researchers stressed that the behavior of lowering one’s voice should not be confused with the ability to speak in loud, accusatory tones about a person’s sexual orientation, a phenomenon that can be traced back to the first proto-linguistic bellows of angry, insecure primates.

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