6.16.2008

Scans Reveal Similarity in Brain Structure Between Gay Men and Straight Women
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Once again, the objective mirror of science casts lights on a controversial topic. In this case, the National Academy of Sciences' latest publication is reporting that gay men and straight women share common attributes in the area of the brain responsible for emotion, anxiety, and mood.

"The observations cannot be easily attributed to perception or behavior," the researchers from Sweden's Karolinska Institute wrote. "Whether they may relate to processes laid down during the fetal or postnatal development is an open question."

Brain scans of 90 volunteers showed that the brains of heterosexual men and homosexual women were slightly asymmetric with the right hemisphere slightly larger than the left, Ivanka Savic and Pers Lindstrom wrote. The brains of gay men and heterosexual women were not.

Then they measured blood flow to the amygdala -- the area key for the "fight-or-flight" response -- and found it was wired in a similar fashion in gay men and heterosexual women. Symmetrically, the brains of heterosexual men and those of the inhabitants of the island of Lesbos, e.g., lesbians, also were similar.

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