Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The "gay" brain?  

More research on where homosexuality comes from has shown some interesting results. Researchers scanned the brains of straight women and gay men and found strong similarities between the two types of people, particularly in language use, which might explain why both gay men and straight women tend to outperform straight men on verbal skills tests.

They also found similarities in emotional processes, and discovered that gay men and straight women are more susceptible to depressive disorders than straight men. Although it should be obvious that gay men are more depressed than straight men, since straight men generally aren't called homophobic slurs their entire lives or beat up for their sexuality. Some scientists try to argue that the brain of a gay man is "feminized," thus explaining why some gay men act effeminate. But others shoot this theory down by saying that gay men possess certain "masculine" traits that most straight women do not possess, such as responding to sexually aggressive images.

I also read a really interesting article yesterday in Psychology Today about the origins of homosexuality. The fact that gays and lesbians have been around for hundreds and thousands of years now completely perplexes scientists because logically, evolution should have gotten rid of it, since it "harms" our species' reproductive abilities. Speaking completely scientifically, homosexuality does not help our species to survive, so why does it seem more prominent than ever? New research has shown that gay men tend to have more relatives than straight men, suggesting that maybe families with homosexual members "compensate" for it by reproducing more children. Gay men tend to have more older brothers than straight men - so the more older brothers a boy has, the larger chance he has of being gay. Also, one researcher found that mothers of gay men tended to have more sexual partners than mothers of straight men. The researcher suggested the existence of a "man-loving" gene in the mother, causing her to desire more sexual partners, that was passed onto her son, causing him to be gay.

Yeah, it's going to be hundreds of years before we figure this one out. I'm 100% sure that being gay comes predominantly from biology. There's no way that it can be completely a factor of environment, or else everyone in San Francisco would be gay, and there would be zero homosexuals in Alabama. Also, how would same-sex attractions in animals be explained? I think maybe that homosexuality can lie "dormant" in some people and certain environments can encourage it to arise. I mean, I had boyfriends my entire life until I went to an extremely liberal college with a very large lesbian population... and then I got my first girlfriend. Do I think my college "turned" me gay? No. I think to some level, I was always queer... but wasn't completely comfortable with addressing it until I was surrounded by liberal people.

Anyone want to contribute their theories? How does everyone feel about the search for the "gay gene"? On one hand, it will shut up every person who argues that being gay is a "choice." On the other, if a "gay gene" is found, no doubt people will go about trying to find a "cure" or ways to determine their child's sexual orientation before birth.

What next?

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6 comments: to “ The "gay" brain?

  • June 17, 2008 at 4:23 PM  

    People are all born with unique dispositions of character, hell - my son is like a mini The Bruce... You can't choose who you are, but you can choose what you are. If you are gay, it is a lifestyle choice, not an uncontrollable circumstance.

    Do with that statement what you will.

    The Bruce
    The Sagamore Journal

  • June 17, 2008 at 4:53 PM  

    Of course sexuality is genetic. Unfortunately once it is figured out you'll have bible belt idiots becoming okay with abortions... if it's to get rid of a gay child, and homophobic doctors encouraging women to get abortions if they find out the child will be gay.

  • June 17, 2008 at 4:55 PM  

    And the bruce's statement basically just ignored scientific proof to say "being gay is a choice that no one should make because I hate gays".

    Sexuality is part of people's identity... part of the "who", so according to you, the CAN'T choose it.

    "You can choose what you are"? So we can choose to be male or female, black or white?

    I really wish people would read what they've just typed before posting.

  • June 17, 2008 at 5:29 PM  

    I remember watching the film Trembling Before G-d, about homosexual Orthodox Jews trying to reconcile their sexual identity with their religious identity. There was one man whose rabbi counseled him to try to get rid of his sexual feelings through aversion therapy. So the man went around with a rubber band around his wrist, snapping it whenever he felt a homosexual attraction to someone. Now, a snapping rubber band is not nearly as painful as something like electroshock therapy. But it hurts! So this guy was causing himself physical pain in order to deny who he was. And it didn't work. And neither did practicing celibacy, because he was lonely, and knew he was missing out on love, and also knew that he could not force himself to love a woman. So he was going through all this physical and emotional pain to try to change who he was. I felt so sorry for him and his struggle.

  • June 17, 2008 at 5:58 PM  

    Bruce, I wonder then how you would explain the extremely high suicide rate among gay males. The Department of Health reported that gay youth are up to six times as likely to attempt suicide as straight youth. Many gay males report attempting suicide because of harassment, and being tortured by their peers because of their sexuality.

    You cannot tell me that if in any way these youth could "choose" to be straight, they wouldn't do so before attempting to kill themselves. If being gay or straight is a "lifestyle choice," why are so many gay teens feeling like they have no way out?

    Moreover, why do so many gays and lesbians confirm having known they were gay for as long as they can remember? When exactly did they make the "choice" to be homosexual? When they were four years old? Seems like a big choice for a toddler to make. Or perhaps every child gets a visit from the "sexuality fairy" who presents them with a McDonald's-like menu with varying sexualities and allows them to choose: straight, gay, bisexual, queer, etc.

    I'm not sure what kind of fantasy land you're living in, Bruce, but I suggest you pull yourself out of it quickly.

  • June 20, 2008 at 10:04 AM  

    These studies have been going on for years. In neuroscience, psychology and Neurodevelopmental text books (if they are written by truthful individuals) the brain chemistry and composition of gays vs. straights is mentioned when gender and sexuality comes up. Specifically they touch on the hypothalamus, in which particular areas in homosexual men more closely resemble women's brains and in homosexual women more closely resemble men's brains. The reason for this cannot be anything other than biology and what occurs during development (an incorrect balance in testosterone/estrogen for example). Sure to an extent enviornment can influence the display of the 'behaviours' associated with the brain make up but it cannot be the cause.