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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  1. Sarah Bee (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.

  2. Mike Crawshaw
    Unhappy

    misleading title

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

  3. Ken Hagan 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.

  4. Liam

    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 :)

  5. Chris Morrison
    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.

  6. Sarah Bee (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.

  7. Tim
    Happy

    So, Sarah...

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

  8. Pavlovs well trained dog
    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?

  9. spezzer
    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!)

  10. Gordon Pryra

    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

  11. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  12. Solomon Grundy

    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.

  13. Daniel Hall

    What a tease

    Im going to cry, :-(

    All lesbians do is tease us anyway!

  14. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: So, Sarah...

    Both.

  15. Michael
    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".

  16. Charles King
    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.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  18. Peter Ford
    Alert

    @Sarah Bee

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

  19. Thomas
    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?

  20. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Sarah Bee

    It's nice to be appreciated.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    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?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  23. Stuart Van Onselen

    @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".

  24. Frank Silver badge
    Unhappy

    @ Everyone re. Simon Holt

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

  25. Pete
    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?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  27. Billy Verreynne
    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.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  29. Chris Morrison
    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! ;-)

  30. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Re: Re: @Sarah Bee

    >It's nice to be appreciated.

    That's what SHE said!

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

  32. peter
    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.

  33. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

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

    Good grief.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    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 :)

  35. Tawakalna
    IT Angle

    well that's all very interesting...

    but, where's the IT angle?

  36. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  39. Ken Hagan 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.

  40. 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.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Tawakalna

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

  42. multipharious

    @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.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  44. Trevor Pott Gold badge
    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...

  45. James Whale
    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'.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  47. Simpson
    Thumb Up

    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.

  48. Gianni Straniero
    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

  49. Anonymous Coward
    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?

  50. Anonymous Coward
    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...

  51. Trevor Pott Gold badge

    @ Bring on the cure

    One word:

    Gattica.

  52. Peter Kay
    Thumb Down

    Insufficient data...

    Sample is too small, analysis is too weak. Sounds almost as bad as the study that strapped electrodes to genitals, played them porn, then made conclusions based on how they responded.

    The point on mental health is also rubbish. Straight women are affected more than straight men, Gay men more than straight women, Lesbians more than gay men and bisexuals of both sexes more than any of them - pity that we blow their theories out of the water, isn't it?

    Damn ride a brain surgery cure should be denied. It's one thing if there could be a pill that shifted sexual orientation (although the mental knock on effects are likely to be nasty - you don't just instantly acclimatise to your sexual preferences changing), but we're talking about dangerous and unreliable surgery.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    @Bring on the cure

    Gattica? There's an 'i' nucleotide now? Ah, the IT angle!

  54. beast666

    Minimise Free Energy

    So, there's a set of matrices for the chance of 'copping-off' depending on the details of the 'src' and 'dest' (according to this study!)

    I want to know the details so I can perform an extensive search for a new gf... (Hopefully she'll turn out to be lesbian, but I trust the maths... I suppose if its a guy then I'll get to put my a*** where my mouth is...)

  55. John Mikesell
    Coat

    Statistical significance has nothing to do with one's predilictions

    A sample size of 20 could be quite representative. No one can tell either way from an article in the popular press. As to statistics (complained about by an earlier commenter--who seemed more interested in sticking to beliefs rather than openly considering new information), popular press articles are always a lousy place to judge scientific merit and statistical significance. Doesn't have anything to do with the subject of the article. If an individual is really interested in the statistical basis of scientific results reported in the popular press, he or she can go to the source, in this case the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" either online or in a decent library at a research University and assess the scientific results directly. Scientific results are always a matter of public record, just depends if one wants to make the effort (which admittedly can be substantial) of analyzing the record--but unwillingness to make the effort does not invalidate scientific results. Significant sample size depends not on one's predispositions, but on the level of variation represented by the phenomena one is studying. It also depends on how representative a sample is of the population one is studying. A sample size of 7 individuals may be significant in some cases, while in other cases a sample size of 100 might generate indeterminate results.

  56. Bounty
    IT Angle

    Devil's advocate

    And cancer is natural, and actually so is murder...... wow that really was devilish. But seriously... It's all just perspective.

    The only time something is a disease (or a sin) is when someone doesn't like it. And is so, only to those who don't like it.

  57. Andrew Taylor
    Joke

    @Bring on the cure

    Why, what can Robert Smith do in this instance

  58. Kevin Reader
    IT Angle

    Errr... but aren't they assuming something here?

    They appear to be assuming that the brain structure of these (presumably) adult test subjects is the same as what they were built with.

    Is there any research that confirms this? Especially as it has been shown that those with severe brain injury (from birth) build non standard brain structuures which often appear to function quite normally. And some patients make recovery from quite serious stroke which almost certainly involves brain function migrating to undamaged regions.

    So while the study may be interesting and informative it does not tell us if the brain structure is the result or the cause of the sexuality. It does suggest - from a small sample - that there is a suprising degree of correlation BUT it may not tell us anything about causality.

    Eg. Many footballers have dodgy knees or feet. We know that these probably result from their lifestyle choices - having a bad knee is not a pre-requisite for playing. Conversely it may be that a "sporting" knee is actually more fragile than that of less able person - or it may only be the stresses of the sports activity that cause the damage. Anything like this is hard "prove" since an individual can have only one life and so you cannot really comparison test things. That is why identical twins are so popular in medical studies.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Amygdala?

    Isn't that the princess in Star Wars Episode 1?

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Title

    Beeb headline: " Scans see 'gay brain differences'"

    El Reg headline: "Lesbians like straight men"

    Guess which one I read? ;)

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Alanis

    Couple of quick OT points.. ;-)

    Something that was pointed out to me (I'm not that sharp): If a guy makes a statement that he REALLY likes Alanis Morisette odds are he's gay. Didn't believe it, but it has turned out to be a frighteningly accurate Alpha Indicator.

    Second one, isn't it Ironic that nothing in the song is actually Ironic? They're all simply unfortunate. Thanks to Eddie Izzard for pointing that one out, a man aparrently with a VERY large brain!

    Posted anonymously because I live in a red meat eating, Gawdphjeering redneck country where guns are legal but fireworks are not. On grounds of safety I might add..

    I'll get me coat.

  62. brainwrong

    Asymmetry

    '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.'

    So what they're saying is that anyone who fancies women has a wonky brain.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    So,let's get this straight...

    ...if you'll pardon the expression. This means, from the perspective of their brains at any rate, that homosexuals are actually lesbians and lesbians are actually homosexuals? No wonder they're confused 'cause I sure as hell am;). Will the islanders of Lesbos be happy with the discovery though?

    Paris, 'cause her brain is definintely in the right body;).

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    @brainwog

    No what they're saying is, contrary to what this post says:

    "By Anonymous Coward

    Posted Tuesday 17th June 2008 11:24 GMT

    "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."

    Homosexuals have smaller brains than both straight men and lesbians;).

    Mine is my coat of smug, heterosexual superiority;).

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

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

    Good && !Grief

  66. Jim
    Happy

    title

    Re: Let me get this straight

    "... Also, if lesbians are men trapped in a women's bodies, shouldn't they seek out straight women?"

    I seem to remember Quentin Crisp commenting that he always dreamed of having sexual relationships with straight men but also realised that this was obviously impossible. Or something like that anyway.

    Re: @Bring on the cure

    Well if he could rid us of Mecha-Streisand...

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lesbians are like straight men ..

    Shouldn't that be Lesbians act like straight men .. :)

  68. jeanl
    Thumb Down

    the research is a joke and bias.

    You take a brain already formed it path is like a PC programmed the way doing thing then use it to prove it's that the way should be.

    Bare in mind, research found, Children from infant to toddles are not much difference between boy and girl. Meaning they could be program as boy or as girl regardless physical by nature.

    The gay research result are all a big joke in scientific world.

  69. Kanhef
    Boffin

    Better description

    People who are attracted to men have one kind of brain structure.

    People who are attracted to women have a different kind of brain structure.

    Gay/straight isn't really relevant.

    The APA considers homosexuality to be a problem if the person concerned is disturbed by it. So some sort of biology-based 'cure' could be useful.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Great

    Let's scan kids' brains to find out what their sexual orientation is before they're in middle school, to avoid that 'awkward discovery' phase.

  71. Martin Richards

    @Michael: "cure" for lefties

    Just go look-up the root of "sinister" if you want to understand the historical response to left handedness... I reckon the mediaeval neurosurgeons would have been right in there if they'd found one!

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When I want to read fiction, I turn to works of biology—I like my fiction wild!

    I will give any lesbian one hundred dollars in cash who signs an affidavit declaring that she personally likes men!

  73. John Murgatroyd

    Oh-My-God.

    Where does all this leave the gay male who also fancies straight women ?

    And what about the bi-married-women ?

    And where does it say anything about red-headed bi males who are married to bi-blond-women ?

    I'm confused.

    Something to do with both sides of my brain doing the same thing at the same time ?

  74. Anonymous from Mars
    Unhappy

    Bisexuality

    I am disappointed in the lack of attention or even acknowledgement of bisexuality by the researchers. That would be very insightful.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Argument against a cure is proof a cure is needed.

    "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."

    What a pathetic argument - probably the product of a female-type brain, if the complete lack of logic is anything to go by....

    According to your "argument", we get:

    Downs Syndrome is "genetically predetermined", it is therefore "natural", therefore we should insult and denigrate any researcher who tries to "cure" Downs Syndrome.

  76. Trix
    Black Helicopters

    Which way do I go?

    Well, I get on with straight men, but I don't have any male bffs. Sorry.

    I also use deodorant, moisturiser and perfume, don't adjust parts of my anatomy in public, and don't much fancy bimbos with fake boobs and trowelled-on makeup. You guys can have your Page 3 babes.

    AC with your 100 dollar offer, c'mon then. I like straight men a heck of a lot better than a lot of straight women do. I don't have to shag 'em or live with them (well, I do live with one... as a flatmate).

    ...And I'd agree with the comments about bisexual people seemingly missing from the equation here. And since most theory agrees that most of us are more or less bi, maybe they've just been measuring people at the absolute extremes in that study... who won't be representative of much.

  77. Mr Larrington
    Coat

    Ow!

    My brain hurts.

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Re: Re: (...ad infinitum) Headline

    >Lesbians like straight men

    You mean, as opposed to bent ones?

  79. Richard

    the lesbians like me and i like them too

    i have always suspected that homosexuality has somthing to do with lesbians....

    on a more serious note, attraction is a basic instinct, if you had the instincts of the opposite sex than surley it stands to reason that you brain my be "different" because thats where these instincts come from.

    but there are those that still choose to be gay, because they feel like they want to belong to somthing. (or some crap like that)

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Something doesn't add up

    > Savic and Lindström put a group of 90 volunteers through the MRI scanner -

    > 25 heterosexuals and 20 homosexuals of each gender

    Am I missing something here, or doesn't that imply they sampled 3 1/4 genders?

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @Let me get this straight

    Anonymous Coward wrote:

    "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..."

    As the research by Savic and Lindström suggests, I think the best way to look at sexual orientation is as follows. Men and women who have a particular brain structure (i.e., straight men and homosexual women) are sexually attracted to women. Not straight women or homosexual women; just women in general. By the same token, men and women who have the other kind of brain structure in question (i.e., straight women and homosexual men) are sexually attracted to men. Not straight men or homosexual men; just men. It doesn't matter which gender they are, or who they think they should be attracted to; brain structure is the key.

    As you can see in these comments, plenty of straight men are attracted to homosexual women as well as heterosexual women. People are attracted to other people's bodies, not their brains, so the other person's sexual orientation (i.e., the other person's brain structure) doesn't matter when it comes to sexual attraction. If you try to create a set of rules such as, "Homosexual women should only be attracted to homosexual women" or "Straight men should only be attracted to straight women," you will only get yourself confused, and you will be wrong.

    The question arises, are people born with the idea that men should be attracted to women, and women should be attracted to men, or is that sort of belief the product of upbringing and cultural conditioning? Is it possible for a society to change that sort of attitude for good, or is it a natural instinct that we must constantly reckon with?

    Other research has shown that, as a general rule, children will not fall in love with other children who have grown up in the same household with them (regardless of biological parenthood). It seems to be "hard coded". Perhaps a similar attitude about what to expect of other people's sexual orientation is also "hard coded". In that case, you cannot blame the Bible thumpers for it (although they can certainly make things worse).

  82. Carl Pearson
    Heart

    Nurture vs. Nature

    I love all my friends, but wouldn't want to sleep with them. Well, maybe *some* of them... ;)

    This article is right on track. The idea that homosexuality is a "choice" is ludicrous. The main benefit of sexual reproduction is a further mingling of genes and their resulting behavior, allowing for greater diversity and chance of survival for future generations.

    Since all mammals start out as female, and reproduction is not a perfect process, it's not at all surprising that mistakes creep in. And since it's the male which determines gender, that means once again we men are at fault.

    Biologically speaking, being gay is no different from having a club foot, or poor eyesight. It's a genetic malfunction, plain and simple.

    That doesn't mean the affected people are any more or less proper or good. It just means their internal wiring went a little haywire. From the start, at conception.

  83. TrishaD

    One to File

    Under 'Hmm.... interesting..'

    I too would like to see a larger study to include those people who consider themselves to be bisexual...

    Also of interest btw is that Dutch research (again a small sample size) showed that the brain structure of male to female transsexuals more closely resembled that of women rather than men.

    What's also interesting is that being transgendered does not appear to affect sexuality

    There's a paradox there somewhere.....

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The fact that we would all eventually die out...

    ...if everyone was gay suggests to me its not that natural.

    Remember, there are two parts to "diversity" and "natural selection" etc - some of the "diverse" are winners, the others are losers. The losers die out. Which, if it weren't for adoption, or genetic engineering etc, is what would happen to homosexuals.

  85. ratfox Silver badge

    @Pearson

    "The idea that homosexuality is a "choice" is ludicrous."

    Oh really? What do you think of the fashion statement among teenagers of declaring yourself gay, depending on who's the current pop icon? It's your actions which define who you are... And what about bisexuals? They have no choice to have the choice between men and women?

    When someone will publish an article showing difference in the brain of tories and labour people, will you say that the idea of political orientation being a choice is ludicrous?

    By the way, the article never implied anything was genetic. It might be a trait acquired in the womb.

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    @ratfox

    ratfox wrote:

    "When someone will publish an article showing difference in the brain of tories and labour people, will you say that the idea of political orientation being a choice is ludicrous?"

    I don't know about Pearson, but I would say "yes" in answer to your question.

    Back in September 2007, there was an article published in the journal Nature Neuroscience which reported the results of an experiment performed by scientists at New York University and UCLA. They found that political orientation is affected by the way the brain processes information. For example, they found that liberals tolerate ambiguity and conflict better than conservatives, which results in a more liberal mindset. In other words, there is a simple neurobiological explanation why conservatives are so single-minded and liberals are so open-minded (or fuzzy-minded, if you prefer). Look it up if you want more details. I think it reinforces the notion that people can't help the way they are.

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    "genetic malfunction"

    "Biologically speaking, being gay is no different from having a club foot, or poor eyesight. It's a genetic malfunction, plain and simple."

    Even though it wasn't the point of the original article, yes, some homosexuality is undoubtedly genetic.

    Sexual differentiation within a species is represented as a kind of double bell-curve, with the two peaks representing each of the sexes. Some individuals fall in the central valley between the peaks, and these are individuals whose sexual differentiation is ambiguous: eg women with facial hair, men without facial hair, etc.... with those in the dead centre being the hermaphrodites and other serious freaks.

    So, in a sexually differentiated species, it is indeed quite normal and natural for a very small number of individuals to display ambiguous sexual characteristics.

    On the other hand, some homosexuality is undoubtedly learned behaviour - if you are molested at an early enough age, it will affect your choices for life.

    And for some, it's simply a rather tasteless fashion statement.

  88. Rose Dylan

    But...

    It's interesting but what does it all mean?

    Brain symmetry and asymmetry. It seems to me like saying all those with straight noses have more in common with each other than those without.

    Lesbians, gay men, straight women and straight men are all totally different no matter what symmetry or dys-symmetry there is in their brains

    This research draws or infers conclusions that I don't think are valid

    Webmaster

    http://www.moviesforlesbians.com/Movielist.html

  89. andreyvul

    Re: Re: Re: @Sarah Bee

    http://xkcd.com/436/

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