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NEWS: Gay Men Respond Differently To Pheromones

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posted on May, 9 2005 @ 06:50 PM
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A study performed by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that homosexual men react differently from heterosexual men to a chemical believed to be a possible human pheromone. If confirmed, this would suggest a biological component in the development of homosexual traits among human males.
 



news.yahoo.com
WASHINGTON - Gay men's brains respond differently from those of heterosexual males when exposed to a sexual stimulus, researchers have found. The homosexual men's brains responded more like those of women when the men sniffed a chemical from the male hormone testosterone.

"It is one more piece of evidence ... that is showing that sexual orientation is not all learned," said Sandra Witelson, an expert on brain anatomy and sexual orientation at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.

Witelson, who was not part of the research team, said the findings clearly show a biological involvement in sexual orientation.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


While controversy still swirls around the question of “choice” or “destiny” in the case of homosexuality, more research continues to suggest that, at the very least, it may well be a combination of the two.

For homosexuals seeking to better understand themselves, more research is undoubtedly welcome.

For those who choose to castigate homosexuals as “wicked”, evidence that “God made them that way” would most likely be unwelcome, although it would probably not have much of an impact on their thinking in the long run.

What is your opinion on the topic?




posted on May, 9 2005 @ 07:09 PM
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This finding will add to the knowledge base, but it tells us very little more than we already know. Homosexuals are sexually aroused by members of their own sex. One would have to be very obtuse, indeed, not to suspect a biological substrate for such a reaction. The case for pheromones in humans is far from being made, although most suspect that they are an important factor in human sexual behavior.


[edit on 05/5/9 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on May, 9 2005 @ 09:05 PM
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Perhaps, but psychosematic processes are powerful, and this could easily be the procession of a chemical reaction beginning with a decision in the brain. It is less a nature/nurture question than, "which came first, the chicken or the egg?"

Zip



posted on May, 9 2005 @ 09:21 PM
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When I'm hungry, the aroma of Bar-B-Q really gets my attention.

When I'm full, it just smells like burnt grease.

So, am I "genetically hard-wired" to lust after Bar-B-Que? Or am I responding to subconscious stimuli based on my desires??

Yes, it is a pretty silly example. But we find ourselves getting back to the fundamental attribution error that journalists always miss:

Correlation is not causation.

Now, there's a mantra.



posted on May, 9 2005 @ 11:02 PM
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The Smell Of Barbecue In The Morning


Originally posted by dr_strangecraft

When I'm hungry, the aroma of Bar-B-Q really gets my attention.

When I'm full, it just smells like burnt grease.

If barbecue smelled like feces, would you still lust after it?

Speaking as a confirmed heterosexual (don't ask), I find the musky odor of men rather foul.

Am I straight because I dislike the smell of men, or does the smell of men offend me because I'm straight?

Chicken and egg, indeed.


As for pheromones and humans, it is admittedly speculative at this point, but I find it highly unlikely that humans are truly so unique as to be insensitive to pheromones.

We're basically animals with attitudes, when you get down to it.



posted on May, 9 2005 @ 11:18 PM
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When I read this in the news earlier, I got to wondering about lesbians. Do they react in the same way as straight men, when smelling man funk?

It would be an interesting correlation, but anyway...

I sort of agree with Grady, in that biological attraction was a pretty shut case. There have been several studies on odor, and the attraction that it can elicit, including one using menstruating women, and one using men with unwashed nethers. Both found scent increased rates of attraction.

I always considered it a given that men and women use pheremones as part of the unconcious check-list when sizing up a potential mate. There are dozens of factors, including learned fears/behaviors, along with social stigma to varying degrees, and visual clues like bald patches or musculature.

We are animals, and yes, there is something special about us. We have really neat minds, but we're still just animals. We have a reptile living on our spine and, to a large degree, it determines our actions and behaviors so that we don't have to waste time thinking about them. It's an evolved separation mechanism, I think. Maybe we just haven't evolved past it, I don't know. Jury's still out on that one.

But as far as gay men being attracted to the smell of other men, the compound they are responding to is a testosterone byproduct, so would they be more attracted to female steroid users, or perhaps less attracted to homosexual men undergoing a sex change that required estrogen injections?

My thoughts on homosexuality can be summed up in one short sentence. A condition created, nurtured, and mostly confined to cities. The first homosexuals sprang up in crowded social groups, it's in essence a lifestyle that arises when competition for females is stiff, and there are many males living in close proximity. I don't have a problem with people being attracted to there own sex, certainly. However, I worry that my genetic legacy might suffer if I were to raise sons in the city. That's why I plan on moving to a farm before having children (and playing with farm animals prevents adult alergies and boosts the immune system).

If I move to a farm, have some sons, and they grow up gay, it will disprove my theory, and I'll eat my hat. It seems though, to be a logical assumption that cities and homosexuality are closely tied.

I would also argue that due to bi-sexuality, genetic homosexuality is more prevalent due to cultural bias against openly homosexual men. Most gay men of earlier generations still raised families. So, if there is a gentic link, they were perpetuating it. Many modern closeted gay men still marry women and have children, some of them remain in the closet their entire lives.

So, in a funny way, societal stigma against gays actually led to the proliferation of more gays.

So people, take note of what fruits hate hath produced.
I'm so clever, hehehe.



posted on May, 9 2005 @ 11:25 PM
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Originally posted by MajicSpeaking as a confirmed heterosexual (don't ask), I find the musky odor of men rather foul.


Precisely. Other women smell really awful to me. It's not bad when I'm with a bunch of women (and everyone's bathed) and we're in an open area, but when I room with 2 or 3 other women for a weekend, the odor really irritates me.

It's not that the odor is strong (it's just barely there) and these are people who are very clean. But I can on some level detect the pheromones and it's not pleasant.



posted on May, 9 2005 @ 11:34 PM
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Nose Of The Beholder


Originally posted by Byrd
But I can on some level detect the pheromones and it's not pleasant.

I find the natural (i.e. not perfumed -- I HATE PERFUME!) smell of women to be, well, intoxicating.

I love the smell of a woman's unwashed skin. Is that kinky, or just me being a healthy human male?

I think it's the latter. While I respect that the effects of pheromones haven't necessarily been proven in humans, they are damn sure proven enough for me!

I love the natural smell of women. A lot. Perhaps too much for my own good.

Meanwhile, I can't stand the smell of men, which I find cloying and irritating -- just as you find women to be likewise.

Coincidence? I think not.

People can reasonably disagree, but I think we're on to something here.



posted on May, 9 2005 @ 11:41 PM
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Down with Deoderant!

(Seriously, it's a conspiracy)

If you can't choose a mate on scent, what do you fall back on? Looks or money?

It's a damn conspiracy I tell ya'...

And Majic, I share your hatred for perfume. Some girls wear enough to kill a Rhino. (Not that men and their cologne are any better)



posted on May, 9 2005 @ 11:50 PM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne
My thoughts on homosexuality can be summed up in one short sentence. A condition created, nurtured, and mostly confined to cities. The first homosexuals sprang up in crowded social groups, it's in essence a lifestyle that arises when competition for females is stiff, and there are many males living in close proximity. I don't have a problem with people being attracted to there own sex, certainly. However, I worry that my genetic legacy might suffer if I were to raise sons in the city. That's why I plan on moving to a farm before having children (and playing with farm animals prevents adult alergies and boosts the immune system).

If I move to a farm, have some sons, and they grow up gay, it will disprove my theory, and I'll eat my hat. It seems though, to be a logical assumption that cities and homosexuality are closely tied.


I find this a little bizarre. Not just because I know so many mamma's boy Clay Aiken effeminant Opie Taylor "something's in the well" country bumpkin church going Gomer Pyle southern conservative farm boy homosexuals (most of which do indeed move to cities), but it came from you. (Plus you promote playing with farm animals in the same context as promoting heterosexuality.)


I don't get the connection. For example, just because a high concentration of people with a college degree move to a city, doesn't mean raising a child in the city makes them more likely to get a college degree.

(edited semantics for sake of logic)

[edit on 9-5-2005 by RANT]



posted on May, 10 2005 @ 12:05 AM
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.
Lou Reed says "My love is chemical".

WyrdeOne, does growing up in a town of 15,000 count as a 'big city'?

People are stupid [not just you WyrdeOne] when there is no cost to being ignorant. When it is culturally acceptable to pretend all homosexuality is some trivially made choice, the intellectually lazy will continue to do so.

How people do LOVE to lie about other people when it insulates them inside their smug little cocoon worlds.

To repeat for the 50,000th time, If you are bisexual you may be able to choose, If you are for the most part gay or straight you have no choice.

And if you happen to be male there isn't even any faking it.
.



posted on May, 10 2005 @ 12:35 AM
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Originally posted by RANT
...[J]ust because a high concentration of people with a college degree move to a city, doesn't mean raising a child in the city makes them more likely to get a college degree.


While there is a movement toward gentryfication (what liberals call urban renewal, when it means more whites and a stronger tax base) of urban areas (cities), I believe that ultimately, it is more accurate to state that a high percentage of college graduates move to the suburbs.



posted on May, 10 2005 @ 12:39 AM
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Originally posted by slank
To repeat for the 50,000th time, If you are bisexual you may be able to choose, If you are for the most part gay or straight you have no choice


Few would argue that they have a choice as to whom they are sexually attracted. Traditionally, society has expected people to channel their proclivities into pro-social behaviors. The pedophile cannot help that he is attracted to children, but most expect him to contain himself.

[edit on 05/5/10 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on May, 10 2005 @ 02:20 AM
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First of all, if 'Gay' was evolutionary behavior, or biological differences here is a question for ya...

Shouldn't Gay men emit different pheromones, and only THAT should turn on the other gay men?

Otherwise, they have not developed anything. What is the use of being attracted to the same men as women?

The chemical they tested was NOT a human pheromone. A 'derivative' is hardly natural.

"If barbecue smelled like feces, would you still lust after it?"
A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet. How could food smell the same as waste? There would be no polarity, Majic...

I think many people function as animals, but it is hardly a part of everyone. To deny that it can be overcome is equal to submitting to it

Its not when competition for females is 'fierce' that homosexuality only abounds, it is also in any society preparing for war, as well as a society where women de-masculate men for a large part.

This makes men think they cannot turn on a woman, because of how the woman tries to take the masculine (active) role.
Believing there is something wrong with you = First step towards experimenting

Believing its not wrong, its natural = First step in what is called a downward spiral that can take affect over many incarnations, as well as take many incarnations to over come, on the road back to spiritual well-being.



posted on May, 10 2005 @ 03:48 AM
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I draw comparisons from the animal kingdom. The example of chimpanzee populations where males can increase their chances of survival by cozying up to other males, as opposed to females (which might land them in a fight) is fitting. Homosexual behavior (sans penetration) has been observed in plenty of animal groups, we're not alone in that regard.

The behavior isn't evil, or wrong, it's naturally evolved. Humans started living in cities and cultivating wheat and other crops, and they were subjected to the same environmental conditions (approx.) as chimpanzees in densely populated, geographically restricted territories. It only makes sense that we would start evidencing certain traits that were selected in our cousins.

I know that many gays come from places other than cities, and my point was not to try and say that youth moving to the city invariably turn gay. My point was, as stated above, a deduction based on behaviors selected by evolution. It makes sense from a survival standpoint, so it makes sense to our genes. And our genes make us who we are. Those people with an altered hypothalmus are selected for longer, safer lives in large peer groups.

So once again, for those who think I'm ignorant, check your own definition of evolution. Does where we were born (city/country) or where we move have anything to do with the genes that mingled in mommy's tummy? No. The behavior was selected in the cities of our monkey ancestors, and refined in places like Jericho, Crete, Rome, Athens, and so on, perhaps still reinforced today, by de-selecting those young men who get in fights and kill each other over a girl.

So is there an argument against my point in the house, or just another insult from slank?



posted on May, 10 2005 @ 11:36 AM
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It has been noted that homosexual behaviors have been noticed in lab mice when the population density crosses a certain threshhold. It is true of cattle as well. The "Bullers" (Bulls or steers that assault other males) don't generally exhibit dominance/submissive behavior unless they are penned in a corral.

Olsen and other biologists have suggested that homosexual BEHAVIOR is a response to crowding.

As an aside, I think that pherimones have a definite impact on our attractions.

I personally think that women taking hormones as "the pill" produces much less pherimones than women who are not taking anything. I will say that my wife was not on the pill when we met, and she certainly had crowds of men following her wherever she went.

It is important to note that women on the pill still attract lots of men, too. So I think that genuine pherimones are a factor, and not "mind control" when it comes to breeding.

You always have a choice of what to do with your lovlies. If you don't then you are some kind of robot. We all have urges. Being adult means choosing appropriate responses. I think the whole argument about gay/straight is really one of what are acceptable responses to our (biological) urges.




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