Gay men share brain detail with straight women
Tuesday 17 June 2008
Gay men and straight women share some characteristics in the area of the brain responsible for emotion, mood and anxiety, researchers said yesterday in a study highlighting the potential biological underpinning of sexuality.
Brain scans also showed the same symmetry among lesbians and straight men, the researchers wrote in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"The observations cannot be easily attributed to perception or behaviour," the researchers from Sweden's Karolinska Institute wrote. "Whether they may relate to processes laid down during the fetal or postnatal development is an open question."
A number of studies have looked at the roles genetic, biological and environmental factors play in sexual orientation but little evidence exists that any plays an all-important role. Many scientists believe both nature and nurture play a part.
Brain scans of 90 volunteers showed that the brains of heterosexual men and homosexual women were slightly asymmetric with the right hemisphere slightly larger than the left, Ivanka Savic and Pers Lindstrom wrote. The brains of gay men and heterosexual women were not.
Then they measured blood flow to the amygdala - the area key for the "fight-or-flight" response - and found it was wired in a similar fashion in gay men and heterosexual women as well as lesbians and heterosexual men.
The researchers added that the study cannot say whether the differences in brain shape are inherited or due to to exposure to hormones such as testosterone in the womb and if they are responsible for sexual orientation.
"These observations motivate more extensive investigations of larger study groups and prompt for a better understanding of the neurobiology of homosexuality," they wrote.
Swedish stars ask fans for £195 pledges on crowd-funding website
filmFilm producers sue Warner Bros for $75m over Hobbit films
musicThe 21-year-old beat Ella Eyre and Chlöe Howl to win the honour
lifeFull of the joys and want to help your fellow man? December isn't the time to do it
techLuke Blackall reports on precision engineered prams and babygros that monitor your child 24-7
The ten coldest places on Earth
Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute
David Cameron explains selfie with Obama and Helle Thorning-Schmidt at Mandela Memorial
Krokodil in Mexico? Teenager hospitalised after 'injecting drug into her genitals'
Australia incest case: Filthy and severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute
- 3 Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
- 5 Selfie at funeral: Cameron squeezes in on Obama snap at Mandela memorial
- < Previous
- Next >
£77099.84 - £96375.26 per annum + Bonus + Benefits : Harrington Starr: My clie...
£45000 - £60000 per annum + Bonus and Package: Harrington Starr: Trading appli...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Developer (Win...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Senior QA Engineer Tes...