Study: Brains of Gay Men Look Like Straight Women
June 5, 2009
(ChattahBox)—In a new study that examined the brains of gay men and straight women, scientists discovered that the brains of gay men are feminized and are more like women’s brains than straight men’s. This finding points to yet another study that shows a definite connection between sexual orientation and biology.
This study provides further evidence that sexual orientation is hard wired into our brains. It’s not an affliction that can be “cured” or something that people have a choice over.
Previous studies have found differences in the brain functions of gay men. A study conducted 10 years ago compared the hypothalamus in straight and gay men, finding it smaller in the brains of gay men. The hypothalamus controls sexual behavior.
However, this latest study examined different areas of the brain, providing further proof of a biological link to homosexuality and the structure of the brain.
Scientists from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm examined areas of the brain controlling language and emotions and found distinct differences in the brains of gay men, which closely resemble those of heterosexual women.
Having more language and emotion ciruits, may be responsible for gay men performing better in language and verbal sections of standarized tests, similiar to the testing scores of straight women.
Lead researcher Ivanka Savic used magnetic resonance imaging to scan the brains of 50 heterosexuals and 40 homosexuals. All straight women’s brains are different from straight men’s in that the left and right hemispheres of a woman’s brain are symmetrical, compared to a man’s brain that has a larger right cerebral hemisphere.
The results of the scans showed that the brains of gay men had symmetrical brains just like a straight woman, providing stronger circuits in the areas of language and emotion.
The scans of gay women were less conclusive. Their brains were found to be only slightly asymmetrical.
The entire study is available in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.