Differences Between The Brains of Homosexuals and Heterosexuals

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posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 06:47 PM
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A provocative new study has found striking differences between the brains of homosexuals and heterosexuals in both men and women.




A study at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm has provided strong evidence that sexuality is a biologically fixed trait demonstrated in physical brain differences, New Scientist reports.

Specifically, key brain structures in homosexuals which govern "mood, anxiety and aggressiveness" resemble those in heterosexuals of the opposite sex - something likely to have been "forged" in the womb and not the result of later learning processes.



Savic and Lindström put a group of 90 volunteers through the MRI scanner - 25 heterosexuals and 20 homosexuals of each gender - to determine their overall brain shape and volume. The results showed that straight chaps boasted asymmetric brains, "with the right hemisphere slightly larger", something they shared with lesbians.

Gay men, however, demonstrated symmetrical brains, in common with straight women.


Amygdala activity in heterosexual men and women (HeM and HeW) and homosexual men and women (HoM and HoW)




In straight men and lesbians, the amygdala sends signals "mainly into the sensorimotor cortex and the striatum, regions of the brain that trigger the 'fight or flight' response". For gay men and straight women, meanwhile, "the connections were mainly into regions of the brain that manifest fear as intense anxiety".



Ivanka Savic of the Karolinska Institute and her colleague Per Lindstrom first used magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, to compare the symmetry of the brains of 25 straight men and 25 straight women with those of 20 gay men and 20 gay women.

Gay men tended to have brains that were more like those of straight women than of straight men -- the right and left sides were about the same size, the researchers found. Gay women's brains tended to be more like those of straight men than of straight women -- the right side tended to be slightly larger than the left.


www.theregister.co.uk...
www.washingtonpost.com...
www.pnas.org...




posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 06:49 PM
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Is sexual orientation associated with structural differences in the brain?




To address this question, 80 homosexual and heterosexual men and women (16 homosexual men and 15 homosexual women) underwent structural MRI. We used voxel-based morphometry to test for differences in grey matter concentration associated with gender and sexual orientation. Compared with heterosexual women, homosexual women displayed less grey matter bilaterally in the temporo-basal cortex, ventral cerebellum, and left ventral premotor cortex. The relative decrease in grey matter was most prominent in the left perirhinal cortex. The left perirhinal area also showed less grey matter in heterosexual men than in heterosexual women. Thus, in homosexual women, the perirhinal cortex grey matter displayed a more male-like structural pattern.




Figure 1. Areas of increased GM concentration in heterosexual women compared to homosexual women. Coronal sections from y = 8 to y = −6 (phomosexual) was implicit masked with the contrast heterosexual (women>men). That way the intersection of significant voxels of both contrasts was gathered. As a result we found one cluster that matches both comparisons. That is, this brain area showed both, a lower GM concentration in heterosexual men compared to heterosexual women and a lower GM concentration in homosexual women relative to heterosexual women.



Figure 2. Heterosexual men and homosexual women compared to heterosexual women.

Areas of decreased GM concentration in heterosexual men are shown in blue and areas of decreased GM concentration in homosexual women are shown in yellow. Reduced GM concentration of homosexual women (relative to heterosexual women) is located within a sex dimorphic brain area.


www.plosone.org...:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0000762



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 06:50 PM
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In 1991, a neuroscientist in San Diego named Simon LeVay told the world he had found a key difference between the brains of homosexual and heterosexual men he studied. LeVay showed that a tiny clump of neurons of the anterior hypothalamus - which is believed to control sexual behavior - was, on average, more than twice the size in heterosexual men as in homosexual men. LeVay's findings did not speak directly to the nature-vs.-nurture debate - the clumps could, theoretically, have changed size because of homosexual behavior. But that seemed unlikely, and the study ended up jump-starting the effort to prove a biological basis for homosexuality.

Later that same year, Boston University psychiatrist Richard Pillard and Northwestern University psychologist J. Michael Bailey announced the results of their study of male twins. They found that, in identical twins, if one twin was gay, the other had about a 50 percent chance of also being gay. For fraternal twins, the rate was about 20 percent. Because identical twins share their entire genetic makeup while fraternal twins share about half, genes were believed to explain the difference. Most reputable studies find the rate of homosexuality in the general population to be 2 to 4 percent, rather than the popular "1 in 10" estimate.

In 1993 came the biggest news: Dean Hamer's discovery of the "gay gene." In fact, Hamer, a Harvard-trained researcher at the National Cancer Institute, hadn't quite put it that boldly or imprecisely. He found that gay brothers shared a specific region of the X chromosome, called Xq28, at a higher rate than gay men shared with their straight brothers. Hamer and others suggested this finding would eventually transform our understanding of sexual orientation.


www.bri.ucla.edu...

Unfortunately, that hasn’t really happened yet has it? It sickens me when people still in what should be a modern society adopt primitive concepts like, “homosexuality is a choice,” or “homosexuality is a mental disorder,” or “Homosexuality is caused by bad parenting.” These ideas are atrocious and are based on zero evidence. Homosexuality is not a choice and homosexuals have been driven to suicide because of such an ignorant accusation. Do you really think a man or woman would want to be homosexual when they have to put up with all kinds of abuse from the general public? The point of this thread is to shine some actual light on the homosexual community because I’m sick of seeing all the threads condemning homosexuals based on nothing but opinion. Homosexuality is not bad and no one can get rid of homosexuals you are holding us all back when you subject people to undeserving punishment and slander. It is unproductive and I should hope the overall community here is much more sophisticated than that.



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 06:54 PM
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One group like their sex organs so much they dedicate their lives to getting more of that organ. Straight people like the complementary organ a lot and try to more of it. Bi sexual are just greedy.



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 07:34 PM
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S&F, anything to discourage those poor "sexuality is undoubtedly a choice because god said gays are sinners" fools is valuable in my book. But, I suppose those are the people who don't care much for science anyway, so this information is likely to be lost on them.



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 07:42 PM
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The brain is a complex organic machine.

I believe that it never remains the same, thus it is always in a state of change.

That being said, I would also like to see studies to determine if this type of brain growth can occur mid-life and or reverse itself mid-life.

I think that it can switch back and forth, but it probably takes several years for it to fully change.



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 07:45 PM
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Originally posted by OnceReturned
S&F, anything to discourage those poor "sexuality is undoubtedly a choice because god said gays are sinners" fools is valuable in my book. But, I suppose those are the people who don't care much for science anyway, so this information is likely to be lost on them.


That is very ignorant.

Just because I am firmly convinced it is a choice does not mean I am religious. That makes you as ignorant as those you condemn, because your umbrella hate accusation does not fit every person.

Anyways, I would like to see studies to show if the brain can switch from type 1 to type 2, and back and forth. I bet it will. Which will prove once and for all that it is a CHOICE.

You will cry when those studies come out, because your precious little view of the world will crumble.

If I am proved wrong I won't care though, because it's not a big deal.



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 07:50 PM
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Given the undeniable fact that overpopulation is destroying the planet, I should think that any and all measures to encourage homosexuality as a lifestyle in men and women would be a very prudent reaction. The fact that there are so many organizations out there that continue to discourage and vilify this natural manifestation of human sexuality tells me that there are a lot of people out there who think it in their best interests to see the world destroyed. So many of the people in the throes of Christo-insanity, et als, seem to feel that they can hasten the return of Jesus, etc. if they, in fact, hasten the end of humanity. That's why they shoot abortion doctors and oppose the distribution of condoms in 3rd world countries and turn the human fetus into a fetish object. They believe that if they end this world then they will enter a better world. Sadly, they couldn't be more wrong.



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 07:52 PM
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reply to post by muzzleflash
 


While the brain remains plastic throughout life, it never regains the level of plasticity that it possesses during fetal development and childhood. Usually any changes that occur later in life are found in the cortex, specifically places like the somatosensory and motor cortices. I'd be highly surprised if a structure like the amygdala actually had a radical change in shape or function later in life.



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 07:55 PM
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reply to post by Hullabaloo
 


Cool post, S&F!



Brain study science sure has advanced a lot since the 80's;




posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 08:02 PM
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Originally posted by Hullabaloo


Dean Hamer's discovery of the "gay gene."… Hamer and others suggested this finding would eventually transform our understanding of sexual orientation.


www.bri.ucla.edu...

Unfortunately, that hasn’t really happened yet has it? It sickens me when people still in what should be a modern society adopt primitive concepts like, “homosexuality is a choice,” or “homosexuality is a mental disorder,” or “Homosexuality is caused by bad parenting.” These ideas are atrocious and are based on zero evidence… Homosexuality is not a choice …Homosexuality is not bad and no one can get rid of homosexuals


I believe that is true. I have always maintained that homosexuality has a biological and not moral/spiritual/ethical basis. That being said however, that does not mean it is normal. My objection to the ‘normalization’ of homosexuality is based upon the assertion that while it may be natural it is not normal. This study seems to reinforce that reasoning. Therefore, while homosexuality should be tolerated it should not be thought of as just an ‘alternative’ norm.

As a basis for my argument, let’s use a parallel; there are many people that are born blind. That is not their fault and it is a result of a natural – albeit failed – biological process. Nature has failed them in not making them normal, i.e. sighted. Now, we certainly should not beat them or shun them because they were born blind. Society should treat them with as much dignity and respect as possible.

But that does not mean that we should also accept them as completely normal and allow them the complete and unfettered freedoms that a sighted person would have; because the fact is that they are not completely normal. We all recognize the fact that they are different and should accept that their difference will always keep them from realizing all potentials as an normal/sighted person. We cannot simply allow, as a functioning society, blind bus drivers or police officers. Any sane person realizes that.

The same goes for homosexuals. While we can accept them and treat them with the same basic rights as any other human being we cannot presume that they are entirely normal. That means that there must be certain limitations and limitation of expectations placed upon homosexuals, e.g. marriage, adoption, etc. Trying to tell people that they must accept homosexuality as different but completely equal to heterosexuality is like saying it’s just as good to be blind as it is to have sight no matter what endeavor the person is engaging in.

Therefore, speaking of gayness as simply an alternative lifestyle is just as illogical as saying blindness is just an alternative method of seeing. It is not – it’s a birth defect.

It should be tolerated as such but not accepted as normal or simply 'alternative'.



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 08:27 PM
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reply to post by passenger
 


So are you saying homosexuality is a disability? How can you seriously draw parallels between being sexually attracted to the same gender and blindness?



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 08:37 PM
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reply to post by passenger
 


edit double post

[edit on 13-4-2010 by hotpinkurinalmint]



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 08:38 PM
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We put limits on blind people to protect blind people and to protect others from blind people. For example, we do not allow blind people to drive because doing so would be disastrous.

I cannot see why putting limits on gay people would have any adverse consequences for gay people or straight people. I am not affected one way or the other if every gay person in my town gets a piece of paper from city hall saying the are "married." I am not affected one way or the other if gay people are out and about doing their thing.

You say gay people should not be allowed to adopt and I must disagree. Gay adoption should also be allowed because it produces a net benefit to society. There are plenty of kids out there who have NO parents or who have parents that are severely abusive. I Perhaps the "ideal" situation for these kids is to more in with Ozzy and Hariette rather than Ozzy and Harry. However, these kids are better off with two dads or two moms than no parents at all.

[edit on 13-4-2010 by hotpinkurinalmint]



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 08:48 PM
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Originally posted by oppaperclip
One group like their sex organs so much they dedicate their lives to getting more of that organ. Straight people like the complementary organ a lot and try to more of it. Bi sexual are just greedy.


OMG I was laughing my butt off at this. I guess I'm greedy.



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 08:56 PM
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Nice find Op


Hopefully it may shut-up some of those haters who come here simply to attack homosexual people



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 08:57 PM
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reply to post by muzzleflash
 


Unless these people are somehow able to willfully change the the actual size and shape of certain parts of their brains, then I still don't see how it's a choice.

I really don't even know how to respond to this. Do you actually believe that people can change the the size, shape, and chemistry of their brains just by choosing to do so? Next time you run across someone who suffers from manic depression or schizophrenia, ask them if they had the choice of being mentally healthy or ill which would they choose. If they choose the former over the latter, then inform them that you've just cured them of their ailments. Be sure to report back here with your findings.



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 08:57 PM
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Ahh, homosexuality always brings out the ignorant in folks eh?

Good sound science that shows exactly what we've been saying our entire lives.

You can't CHOOSE attraction.

It's just your brain shooting chemicals around...

Ohh well, some will argue this isn't proof of anything without peer review and further study. I somewhat agree.

Let's not discredit sound science and replace it with moral objection or personal belief.

Edit To Add: This is your first thead
! You Sir, are a brave man.

~Keeper


[edit on 4/13/2010 by tothetenthpower]



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 08:59 PM
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reply to post by Hullabaloo
 



It sickens me when people still in what should be a modern society adopt primitive concepts like, “homosexuality is a choice,” or “homosexuality is a mental disorder,” or “Homosexuality is caused by bad parenting.” These ideas are atrocious and are based on zero evidence. Homosexuality is not a choice and homosexuals have been driven to suicide because of such an ignorant accusation.


90 people are proof of anything? I am VERY willing to bet that you will say that the pedophile priest are proof of the evil that exists in the catholic church.

You choose to love someone of the same sex. You choose to love someone in a way that is against the species. Once you must procreate by test tube your species will die off.

Gays are NO DIFFERENT then the bannana...


The banana is about to disappear from store shelves around the globe. Experts say the world's favourite fruit will pass into oblivion within a decade. No more fresh bananas. No more banana bread. No more banana muffins or banana cream pie.



The banana's main problem is that it has become sterile and seedless as a result of 10,000 years of selective breeding


Let's go with your premise that it is natural to be gay. Ok. then the fact that you MUST replicate by artificial means proves your species MUST go extinct because even scientists who bring species back from near extinction need help from BOYS and GIRLS doin' the dirty.

Ok. When you are the next museum example of failed evolution then can we say you are not natural?



posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 09:04 PM
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reply to post by crmanager
 


Sure sure, we can CHOOSE to be with somebody of the opposite sex, choose to have sex with them, choose to marry.

However, if you are a man, and are physically and mentally attracted to men, but resist those urges and mary a women, that doesn't make you ANY less gay.

~Keeper





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