back to article Lesbians like straight men, researchers find

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 …

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(Written by Reg staff)

Simon Holt, consider yourself nixed

Right. Anyone else attempting to quibble with the headline here (which knows what it's doing and is officially very amusing, and no I don't take credit for this one) is on comment probation.

It's gonna be a long day.

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Unhappy

misleading title

Here was me expecting scientific proof that the men now had a chance with lesbians. Dammit...

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Gold badge

Everyone will welcome this news

So depending on your (political) orientation, we now EITHER know that homosexuality is not an issue of personal morality OR we know that it is a medical condition that might be cured by surgically trashing the offending part of your brain.

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amazing...

that lesbians like straight men.. do they like us as much as we like them tho? :)

mines the trenchcoat with a model directory in the big pocket :)

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Dead Vulture

Headline

I think your headline is misleading. That'll be me on probation.

This research seems a bit ropey to me. They only sampled 20 people from each sex and each side of the fence. What % were found to be the same? 100%? If not is that because some people were still in the closet or because the research was crap.

Only sampling 20 people and not stating what % their findings are base don makes me think this is a little bit of sensationalisim.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Headline

If you think the headline is misleading you have no sense of humour nor understanding of tabloid convention, much less of irony. This is, according to my paper to be published forthwith, due to a smallening of your prefrontal cortex.

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Tim
Happy

So, Sarah...

The world wants to know: do the thickos who don't get the headline make you angry, or just anxious?

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Joke

hallelujah

If the lesbians are chasing the straight men, and the straight women are chasing the straight men..

And gay men are chasing gay men

who's chasing the sheep?

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Paris Hilton

@Chris

waddayamean? only 20 samples - you ever tried finding even 2 lesbians when you need them? hats off to the researchers! (Paris coz i can dream!)

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Luckily the religious dickheads don't believe in science

Else there would probably be a directive for the papal "Surgen General" to hit the streets bringing God's "knife" to people.

Actually, how would the church explain their current doctrine that gays are abnormal/abhorrent when they are performing EXACTLY as the churches fairy story leader designed them to?

The headline is funny as fuck btw

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Dead Vulture

Re: Re: Headline

@Sarah Bee

" If you think the headline is misleading you have no sense of humour nor understanding of tabloid convention, much less of irony. "

Oh the irony of responding to someone being ironic about an ironic headline by accusing the perpetrator of one of the aforemention ironies of having no appreciation of irony...!

There's so much irony here that my anaemia has been permanently cured and my skin has started to rust.

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Silver badge

Brain Structure

I think this sort of story is dangerous for gay people. For example if someone's "fight or flight" mechanism is triggered by a gay person, and the gay person gets attacked, how can you blame the person for it - anymore that you can blame someone for being gay.

Not that I advocate gay bashing but I do think that taking decisions out of people's hands and making them "uncontrollable behaviors" is dangerous for everyone.

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What a tease

Im going to cry, :-(

All lesbians do is tease us anyway!

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: So, Sarah...

Both.

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Boffin

@Ken Hagan

"...a medical condition that might be cured by surgically trashing the offending part of your brain..."

If researchers were able to find the part of the brain which controls whether someone is left-handed for example, would you suggest "trashing" that part of the brain in an effort to "cure" them of their left-handedness? I don't think you would, as being left or hand-handed is simply a part of a person's being, in the same way that someone's sexuality is just a part of their being. It is NOT something that needs to be "cured".

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Alien

Backs to the wall

One can only imagine the glee with which this will be received by the brass in the armed forces. As another commentator ([url=http://neurocritic.blogspot.com/2008/06/dr-suzanne-corkin-gay-brain-skeptic.html]Suzanne Corkin[/url]) pointed out though, they failed to match the groups properly for a range of factors, including measures of depression and anxiety. This makes the findings rather weak.

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Coat

Bi-Sexual

"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."

The logical conclusion there is that those of us who are bi-sexual have generally larger brains overall than the rest of the population?

Icon Choice?... Because it's my brain is not my only 'larger than average' organ....<sorry />...Mine's the lab coat.

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Alert

@Sarah Bee

Smallening ?!!!one!!1!111!eleventyeleven!!!!111111!!!

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Dead Vulture

I want a gig like this

So these researchers were paid vast sums of money to do the research and the best they could up with was "Hey, gay men and straight women tend to think along the same lines?"

O RLY?

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: @Sarah Bee

It's nice to be appreciated.

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Anonymous Coward

smallening

A lovely bit of lexical creativity.

Why should anyone be surprised at a correlation between patterns of brain activity and patterns of behaviour?

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Anonymous Coward

OK then

The sample seems a little small to make those conclusions. I have to say that only one gay woman I've met has had any stereotypical male traits, the rest have seemed no different to any straight woman I've met.

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@Solomon Grundy

There are already so many behaviours that are "uncontrollable" - The need for food, the need for sex, the action of running like hell when you see a sabre-tooth...

Now it seems that sexual attraction is just one more of these uncontrollables.

I don't see these findings as being significant for the over-all debate of "free will" vs "determinism", it's just useful in the more narrow context of homosexuality.

Plus, now that I think of it, your example confuses desires and actions. The gay person feels a sexualy *desire* for members of the same sex. But *acting* on those desires is a different matter. The homophobe is *acting* on his twisted desires, and that action fails the broadest social norm: "Do no harm to others".

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Unhappy

@ Everyone re. Simon Holt

I just want to know what Simon Holt said, so I can avoid ever saying anything like it.

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Happy

Nature vs nurture

This adds nothing to the nature vs nurture debate! Or at least adds it equally to both sides. What you need is studies of people who are repressed, in denial, bi...

Next question is... how do you work out that a test subject is in denial? Is a good gaydar that strong?

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Alert

Not to be trusted.

I don't trust these sorts of things, next you have organisations getting scans done to determine lifestyle choices for job suitability!

It wasn't so long ago, back in the 18th century, that respected doctors and scientists stated that those of African and West Indian origin were vastly inferior to white people due to the fact their navels were higher! Then there was the 19thC scientist who claimed that women were inferior to men, as their brains were smaller so they lacked the ability to perform complex calculations.

These were genuine statements, made in good faith at the time, now it's absolutely abhorent to think people actually thought like that, and even worse to think that some knuckle-dragging scum still think that now. We don't need silly things like this, helping the already twisted individuals in our society, further their aims.

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Paris Hilton

Significant point missed

Take a careful look at the PET scans. Who shows the least amount of brain activity? Every single time? Just a single teeny brain spark?

Heterosexual males...

Paris. Because that pretty much explains the continuous shot circuiting we heterosexual males experience between our brains and balls.

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Anonymous Coward

@Michael, re. left-handedness

"

If researchers were able to find the part of the brain which controls whether someone is left-handed for example, would you suggest "trashing" that part of the brain in an effort to "cure" them of their left-handedness?

"

Memory is short, isn't it. Left-handedness was something to be removed even within my memory. My brother (lefty) was forced to use a knife and fork to conform to righty convention, lefters were taught often to write with a right hand. That was an attempt to 'cure' them, albeit a cultural rather than medical one.

You also say

"

It [homosexuality] is NOT something that needs to be "cured".

"

because you believe that it is innate and acceptable. Well, I'm with you on all points but that is a moral judgement, not a scientifically testable one. Others have their own moral judgement that is in opposition to yours and mine and they think is is wrong and should be cured if a cure can be found, and they have their reasons ("god says so, it's written here" - a very strong argument if you believe in god).

That makes disputing the ethics of homo/heterosexuality messy. Just shouting that it's 'NOT something to be cured' will get me and many others to pipe up and agree but it's a statement of our feeling, not an justification of anything.

My point is, try and understand your opponent's view. That way you can more effectively deal with it.

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Happy

@Sarah Bee

I can't think of an Ironic reply to your Ironic reply to my ironic comment about your ironic warning about your irionic headline so you win!

Man I'm ironiced out. I sound like bloody Alanis Morissette.

Sarah I can assure you my small (as proved by my inabillity to generate more ironic statements) normal brain ensures that I am a hetrosexual male so feel free to get in touch! ;-)

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Coat

Oh Sarah, Don't let her steal your heart away

I'm sorry Sarah, but the title of the article gives so many of us lonely men false hope. I'm not necessarily talking about men without any girlfriends, but also those with a girlfriend hoping to add (at least) another one.

My new gf says she is curious about having a threesome with another girl, so there is hope yet, although the arrangement would probably prove to be highly temporary.

Given the number of useless research studies out there -- are there any scientists busy at work trying to figure out a solution to these issues? Pairing two lesbians with a straight man I mean? Without involving a desert island? Any such research paper should contain plenty of illustrations and pictures IMO.

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Coat

Re: Re: @Sarah Bee

>It's nice to be appreciated.

That's what SHE said!

Oh wait... that IS what she said... dammit...

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Paris Hilton

RE sample

Without any indepth study of this, I have to agree the sample size is very small. Surely you would expect to see a crossover between homo and hetro and syme

Or the methods used for selection or self selection are bias and excluded those people. Statistically significant could be 2% difference between homo and hetro brain symmetry in 1000 people, but 20 one person could slant the whole study.

Sensationalism worthy of El Reg.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Oh Sarah, Don't let her steal your heart away

Good grief.

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Anonymous Coward

Is this analagous to, fruit flies like a bannana

Didn't bother to read the article, always been lucky with the lesbians myself :)

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IT Angle

well that's all very interesting...

but, where's the IT angle?

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Gordon Pryra

Ah. Don't you just love people who shout about something they know so little about?

You are getting the views of US hardcore evangelists mixed up with those of the Catholic Church.

Whilst it is not something I agree with, the Catholic church's view (well, the Roman Catholic, but this is not the place to get in to a debate on the various factions of the Catholic church), is that being Gay is fine, and not an abnormal/abhorrent. The feel that it is something you are "born with". It is practicing of "homosexual relations", as they put it, which is wrong. It is in the same area as there views on sex outside marriage and on contraception, basically that sex is something that should only occur to have children.

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Heart

I knew it!!

I've always felt that I am a lesbian trapped in a straight man's body ... and now here is the proof.

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Paris Hilton

Tiring Saturday Date Night

If it ends up being totally physical, then they can get a "cure". If they can find a "cure", then they can also find a "temporary a lez until she wakes up the next morning sleeping between her sister and me with a pounding headache and that 'not-so-fresh' feeling".

Anon because my wife has a sister, and Paris 'cause her sister kinda looks like her.

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Gold badge

@Michael

"If researchers were able to find the part of the brain which controls whether someone is left-handed for example, would you suggest "trashing" that part of the brain in an effort to "cure" them of their left-handedness?"

I wouldn't, but someone will. You can be certain of that. (I can think of a couple of world leaders who would be quite keen on the idea of surgically "dealing with" homosexuals.)

I'm surprised you took my comment the way you (apparently) did. I said "trashing part of the brain" and to my mind that's something that you'd only consider seriously if, er, part of your brain had been trashed. To you, the absurdity of this suggestion was less obvious. That may be because I've never been threatened by the kind of moron who wants to rewire my brain and you perhaps have. Sorry if that's the case.

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Sam
Joke

I wonder if

Sarah goes through one keyboard a month, which is the frequency that Alanis Morisette writes songs at?

Alledgedly.

The armour, ta.

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@Tawakalna

What IT angle? Everyone knows El Reg is a lesbian online mag, and as such this article sits perfectly within its remit.

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@Chris Morrison

Good points on the statistical validity of the small group. It is enough to begin to establish a relationship...um ah...in the data sets. More or less this is an interesting start, which will lead to more funded research and larger data sets.

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Anonymous Coward

Bring on the cure

Of course people should have access to a cure if there ever is one developed and they wish to avail themselves of it.

People who wish to DENY pointblank any cure for homosexuality on the other hand, are clearly moral monsters ......it's the sort of thinking that's got Zimbabwe into the state it's in, not to mention every other Marx-inspired fruitloop who has thought that people should be made to suffer in support of making an extreme political point.

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Coat

A dense cloud of comments appears

See, now you've done gone and ended me. I live in a redneck province, and finding things like this that continually prove that homosexuality is a genetic trait, something that can be "wished away" makes me the freak outsider. Defending homosexuals against high-handed bigotry can get you in deep around here. Cries of "sympathizer," or "against god." (Dear God, for Christmas, send me a pony, and a teddy bear, and please take all these inhuman bigots and send them straight to hell. Amen.)

(Also, for the god-botherers out there who want to flame me, I am religious, just not Christian, and I do believe in something as strongly, or stronger than you: The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. Which, while not contianing a direct reference to sexual orientation was written in 1948 where discrimination based upon sexual orientation simply wasn't an issue. The spirit of inclusion encoded therein, however, that sentients everywhere are equal, regardless of ANYTHING, is as strong and important a belief to a great many people in this modern era as anything your, mine, or any other religion has to offer.)

Ranting aside, I am shocked and dismayed (though whimsically amused,) that the article did not contain proof that lesbians in fact liked straight men. (Perhaps final proof that all lesbians were, in fact, bi?) That is, however, just the male in me.

To everyone picking on Sarah: tsk, tsk. It's not her fault one of colleagues decided to completely annihilate the pent up hopes and dreams of a few thousand lonely geeks. No, no, she's the one that gets to read all our comments. The vast number of them. Submitted for all these crazy articles. Somehow this can be abused!

All right, all right, I'm gettin' ma coat...

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Thumb Up

Moral objections to the genetic argument...

...on the grounds that proving a genetic basis to homosexuality opens up the possibility of a 'cure' are outdated.

If it does turn out to be the case that homosexuality is genetically predetermined, then not only is it shown to be natural, but rather than object on the basis that it is then 'curable', the question for society becomes whether they still believe that homo-sapiens should be uniform (most of us don't) or whether diversity is more valuable and indeed, the natural order of things.

We shouldn't be afraid of a genetic basis for sexual orientation - we should embrace it, and then argue the case against 'cure' because collectively we no longer believe that being gay is a disorder to be 'fixed'.

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Alien

Let me get this straight

If lesbians think like straight men and like each other, does that infer that straight men are attracted to each other? Also, if lesbians are men trapped in a women's bodies, shouldn't they seek out straight women?

Doubtless its all very scientific, just not as logical as I had hoped. The Church may be against homosexual activities, but it would appear that the selfish gene takes a dim view of it too.

Mr Grey, cos he wonders why so many are concerned with an issue which is relevant to so few people, rather than the fact their governments are killing large numbers of foreigners.

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Moon cycle

Lesbians not prone to Hysteria, study finds.

Lesbians capable of full month of rational thought, study finds.

Homo men more girly than girls, researchers find.

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Boffin

References

What consenting neuroscientists get up to behind closed doors is their business, just as long as they don't do it in public.

Anyway, here are the references for all you picky swine who don't like the size of the sample, or are otherwise upset about the quality of the science:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14146

http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0801566105

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Joke

I'm a repressed homosexual and nobody asked me...

...whether I wanted to play with some lesbians in the name of science.

Wait, does that make me straight, openly gay, or repressed again?

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Anonymous Coward

Cause?

As another recent study showed that activities like meditation can alter brain structure what's to say that these orientation changes aren't socially altered rather than genetic? Perhaps choice does still come into it...

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