Homosexuality is Biological, New Research Suggests

June 18, 2008 06:57 AM
by Lindsey Chapman
Scientists have observed similarities in the brain structure of homosexual individuals and heterosexual members of the opposite sex.

30-Second Summary

Researchers in a Swedish study used brain scans to examine the brain size and structure of gay men and women, and their heterosexual counterparts.

They found that brain halves in heterosexual women and gay men were similar in size. In heterosexual men and gay women, the right side of the brain was larger than the left.

Another difference researchers noted dealt with neural connections in the left and right sides of the amygdala, a portion of the brain that directs emotional responses like whether someone is attracted to a potential mate.

Heterosexual women and gay men had more connections in the left amygdala, while heterosexual men and lesbian women had more connections in the right.

“As far as I’m concerned there is no argument any more—if you are gay, you are born gay,” said Dr. Qazi Rahman, a lecturer at Queen Mary, University of London.

These findings come at a time when members of the gay community are pressing for equal rights, and continuing to argue that they haven’t chosen their sexual orientation.

Recently, the gay marriage debate has been particularly prevalent in news headlines. “If science proves homosexuality is innate, is there any basis to deny gays equal treatment—including the right to marry?” asks the Seattle Times.

“Controversy can’t obscure the facts,” according to Brian Mustanski, who has studied genetics and homosexuality. “It’s pretty definitive that biological factors play a role in determining a person’s sexual orientation.”

Headline Link: ‘Gay men and heterosexual women have similar brains, study says’

Opinion & Analysis: Consequences of scientific research

Related Topics: Sexual responses; gay marriage debate

Sexual responses
Gay marriage

Reference: GLBT Resources


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