Posts Tagged As: Brain Studies
June 13th, 2012
When you hear “but there’s no gay gene”, it can make you want to pull your hair out. Or, if as in my case you want to keep every last hair that you have, you want to go into excruciating detail as to exactly what science does or doesn’t say, what twin studies reveal, and lesbian auditory evoked potentials.
Instead, just refer them to this amusing and interesting primer from Ma. Isabel Garcia in the Philippine Star. The entire article is a joy, but here is the masterpiece ending paragraph.
Biodiversity is a concept that we are so eager to promote because we recognize that it faithfully reflects nature’s realities. But we cannot seem to readily think “diversity” when it comes to gender. Somehow, we become frugal and intellectually budgeted when we classify human genders that nature gives rise to. Most of us are limited to thinking only in binary gender denominations — male or female. If you want to look for gender, look at the person, inner and outer spaces, and put genitals in the bottom of your clues. The person will tell you rich, scrumptious tales. Genitals are boring.
June 22nd, 2010
There is another study which looks at the interplay between brain use, sexuality, and handedness. (Science Blog)
The study, published in the journal, Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition, examined the influence of gender, sexual orientation and whether we’re right-or-left-handed on our ability to recognize faces. It found that when memorizing and discriminating between faces, homosexual men show patterns of bilaterality — the usage of both sides of the brain — similar to heterosexual women. Heterosexual men tend to favour the right hemisphere for such tasks.
But, perhaps not surprisingly, handedness made a difference
Steeves and her colleagues also investigated the influence of hand dominance on such tasks. They found that left-handed heterosexual participants had better face recognition abilities than left-handed homosexuals, and also outperformed right-handed heterosexuals.
Hand dominance is thought to be linked with both hemispheric functioning and sexual orientation; previous studies have shown that homosexual individuals are 39 per cent more likely to be left-handed.
This can be added to the growing pile of studies that identify specific biological differences between heterosexual and gay men (and, to a lesser extent, heterosexual and gay women).
This past weekend I was at a conference where a very well-intentioned man droned on about the causes of sexual attraction. After far too long listening to him read his slides about Freud and Foucault and infant parental relationships (along with Engels’ perspectives thrown in to add credibility), I was ready to scream.
Yes, the way in which we respond to our sexual attractions, the way we think about ourselves as either individuals or members of a group, the limitations we put on ourselves, and the way we talk about our attractions are all impacted to some extent by our culture, its expectations, and our own self-identity. Of course our upbringing assigns roles and expectations that carry with us through our lives.
But you simply cannot overlook the increasing evidence that biology is also at play. All of the Freudian theories or NARTHian models just can’t get around the twin studies, brain measurements, spacial navigation, click response, pheromones, handedness, hair whorls, x-chromosome deactivation, and all the other peculiarities that appear when we decide to stop theorizing and begin measuring.
June 16th, 2008
There have been plenty of studies that identified differences between the ways in which males and females process information. And there have been several that found that gay men are similar to straight women and that lesbians are similar to straight men. New Scientist is reporting another one.
Brain scans have provided the most compelling evidence yet that being gay or straight is a biologically fixed trait.
The scans reveal that in gay people, key structures of the brain governing emotion, mood, anxiety and aggressiveness resemble those in straight people of the opposite sex.
But until now, the question has remained as to what came first, the orientation or the brain development.
To get round this, Savic and her colleague, Per Lindström, chose to measure brain parameters likely to have been fixed at birth.
“That was the whole point of the study, to show parameters that differ, but which couldn’t be altered by learning or cognitive processes,” says Savic.
First they used MRI scans to find out the overall volume and shapes of brains in a group of 90 volunteers consisting of 25 heterosexuals and 20 homosexuals of each gender.
The results showed that straight men had asymmetric brains, with the right hemisphere slightly larger – and the gay women also had this asymmetry. Gay men, meanwhile, had symmetrical brains like those of straight women.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.