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PART 2 (page 23 of 34)
Advances Toward Proving
that Homosexuality is not a Choice for
Homosexuality: Nature or Nurture? (Part 2 of 5)
Further Proof that Homosexuality is Not a Choice - The Results of Scientific Studies Plus
Gay Rights is a Civil Rights Issue and Not a Moral or Religious Issue
Sufficient Proof that Homosexuality is not a Choice for Everybody Else
Click Here for: Bogaert, A. F. (2006). Biological versus nonbiological older brothers and men's sexual orientation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103, 10777-10774.
Click Here for: R. Blanchard, "Fraternal birth order and the maternal immune hypothesis of male homosexuality," Hormones & Behavior, 2001, 40, Pages 105 to 114.
Click Here for: R. Blanchard & L. Elllis, "Birth weight, sexual orientation, and the sex of preceding siblings," Journal of Biosocial Science, 2001, 33: Pages 451 to 467.
Click Here for: Blanchard, R. (2007). Sex ratio of older siblings in heterosexual and homosexual, right-handed and non-right-handed men. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 2008 Dec;37(6):977-81
Advances Toward Proving
that Homosexuality is not a Choice for
2) Identical Twins - If homosexuality is largely genetic in origin, then the more closely related that people are, the greater should be the concordance of their sexual orientation. That is in fact what the following studies found. Since identical twins have the same or 100% genetic makeup (genotype) while non-identical or fraternal twins share only 50% of their genes, a difference between these types of twins provides evidence of a genetic component. In studies done in 1991 by Boston University psychiatrist Richard Pillard and Northwestern University psychologist J. Michael Bailey, they compared fifty-six "monozygotic" twins (identical), from the same zygote, or fertilized egg, fifty-four "dizygotic" twins (fraternal) , and fifty-seven genetically unrelated adopted brothers. They found out that when one identical twin is a gay man, the other twin is gay up to 52% of the time, when one fraternal twin is a gay man, the other twin is gay up to 22% of the time, percentages far higher than would occur if genes played no role. Another way to say this is that it was found that 52% of monozygotic brothers (identical twins), 22% of the dizygotic brothers (fraternal twins) were concordant for homosexuality and only 5% of non-related adopted brothers were concordant for homosexuality. In fact, these studies show that genes play a greater role in determining sexual orientation than they do in whether or not you're right or left handed. And we don't punish the left-handed, at least not any more. One note of caution here: 52%, not 100%, of monozygotic brothers (identical twins) were concordant for homosexuality in the study. Therefore, there are other complicated biological and even some social environmental factors involved in the cause or causes of homosexuality. Click Here for more details.
3) Structure of the Brain - Scientists Ivanka Savic and Per Lindström at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden in a study dated April 30, 2008 using PET and MRI technology studied brain scans of 90 living gay and straight men and women, and found that the size of the two symmetrical halves of the brains of gay men more closely resembled those of straight women than they did straight men. In heterosexual women, the two halves of the brain are more or less the same size. In heterosexual men, the right hemisphere is slightly larger. Scans of the brains of gay men in the study, however, showed that their hemispheres were relatively symmetrical (equal), like those of straight women, while the brains of homosexual women were asymmetrical (unequal) like those of straight men. The number of nerves connecting the two sides of the brains of gay men were also more like the number in heterosexual women than in straight men.
"The big question has always been, if the brains of gay men are different, or feminized, as earlier research suggests," says Dr. Eric Vilain, professor of human genetics at University of California Los Angeles, "then is it just limited to sexual preference or are there other regions that are gender atypical in gay males? For the first time, in this study it looks like there are regions of the brain not directly involved in sexuality that seem to be feminized in gay males." Click Here for more details. Click Here to see the original study abstract.
Click Here for: Savic, Ivanka and Lindstrom, Per. “PET and MRI show differences in cerebral asymmetry and functional connectivity between homosexual and heterosexual subjects.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 105.27 (2008): 9403-8.
4) Fingertip Ridges - In 1994, J.A.Y. Hall and D. Kimura at the University of Western Ontario at London, Ontario, Canada examined the fingerprints of 66 homosexual and 182 heterosexual men. They found a relationship between the number of fingertip ridges on men and their sexual orientation. They compared the number of ridges on the index finger and thumb of the left hand with the number on the corresponding fingers of the right hand. They found that 30% of the homosexuals tested had a surplus of ridges on their left hand, whereas only 14% of the heterosexuals did. This is a particularly interesting finding, because fingerprints are fully determined in a fetus before the 17th week of pregnancy, and do not change thereafter, through birth, infancy, childhood, youth and adulthood. This would seem to prove that for at least some adult homosexuals, their sexual orientation was pre-determined before birth, perhaps at conception; certainly by the end of the 4th month of pregnancy. Click Here for more details.
Click Here for: Hall, J.A.Y., Kimura, D. 1994. Dermatoglyphic asymmetry and sexual orientation in men. Behavioural Neuroscience 108:1203-1206.
5) "Sexy" Smells Different for Gay, Straight Men - A study published in May of 2005 by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden shows that gay men respond differently from straight men when exposed to a suspected sexual stimulus found in male sweat. When homosexual men smelled the odor of male sweat—more specifically, a chemical in the male hormone testosterone—their brains responded similarly to those of women. The findings suggest that brain activity and sexual orientation are linked.
exposed heterosexual men and women and homosexual men to chemicals found in male
and female sex hormones. One chemical is a testosterone derivative produced in
men's sweat. The other chemical is an estrogen-like compound in women's urine.
These chemicals have long been suspected of being pheromones, molecules emitted
by one individual that evoke some behavior in another of the same species.
Pheromones trigger basic responses, such as sexual attraction, in many animals.
But scientists have long debated if humans respond to pheromones. The new study
suggests that pheromones indeed play a part in making humans sexually attractive
to one another. The researchers found that the testosterone compound activated
the hypothalamus in homosexual men and heterosexual women, but not heterosexual
men. Conversely, the estrogen compound activated the hypothalamus only in
"It shows a different physiological response to the same external stimulus," said Ivanka Savic, a neuroscientist at the Karolinska Institute and the study's lead researcher. "This response [occurred] in the brain region involved in reproductive behavior." The results show that the human brain reacts differently to potential pheromones compared with common odors. When the study subjects sniffed scents such as cedar or lavender, all of their brains reacted only in the region that handles smells—not sexual behavior. "It directly shows a link between brain activity and sexual orientation. This is one more line of evidence that there's a biological substring for sexual orientation," said Dean Hamer, a geneticist at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
different pattern of activity that Dr. Savic sees in the brains of gay men could
be either a cause of their sexual orientation or an effect of it. But this study
does seem to provide us with another bit in a longer and longer line of evidence
suggesting a biological basis for homosexuality. Click
Here for more details in the article in National Geographic from which much
of this summry comes from. Click
the article entitled For Gay Men, an Attraction to a Different Kind of Scent
by Nicholas Wade, published in the New York Times on May 10, 2005.
Click Here for: Savic I, Berglund H, Lindström P (May 2005). "Brain response to putative pheromones in homosexual men". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 102 (20): 7356–61. doi:10.1073/pnas.0407998102. PMID 15883379.
6) Male Homosexuality Study: Gay Men Have Evolutionary Benefit For Their Families, New Research Suggests
By: Natalie Wolchover, Published: 06/12/2012 12:59 PM EDT on Lifes Little Mysteries
sexuality appears to be more fluid, research suggests that male gayness is an
inborn, unalterable, strongly genetically influenced trait. But considering that
the trait discourages the type of sex that leads to procreation — that is, sex
with women — and would therefore seem to thwart its own chances of being
genetically passed on to the next generation, why are there gay men at all?
Put differently, why haven't gay man genes driven themselves extinct?
This longstanding question is finally being answered by new and ongoing research. For several years, studies led by Andrea Camperio Ciani at the University of Padova in Italy and others have found that mothers and maternal aunts of gay men tend to have significantly more offspring than the maternal relatives of straight men. The results show strong support for the "balancing selection hypothesis," which is fast becoming the accepted theory of the genetic basis of male homosexuality.
The theory holds that the same genetic factors that induce gayness in males also promote fecundity (high reproductive success) in those males' female maternal relatives. Through this trade-off, the maternal relatives' "gay man genes," though they aren't expressed as such, tend to get passed to future generations in spite of their tendency to make their male inheritors gay.
While no one knows which genes, exactly, these might be, at least one of them appears to be located on the X chromosome, according to genetic modeling by Camperio Ciani and his colleagues. Males inherit only one X chromosome — the one from their mother — and if it includes the gene that promotes gayness in males and fecundity in females, he is likely to be gay while his mom and her female relatives are likely to have lots of kids. If a daughter inherits that same X-linked gene, she herself may not be gay, but she can pass it on to her sons. [Why Are There Gay Women?]
But how might the "gay man gene" make females more reproductively successful? A new study by Camperio Ciani and his team addresses the question for the first time. Previously, the Italian researchers suggested that the "gay man gene" might simply increase androphilia, or attraction to men, thereby making the males who possess the gene homosexual and the females who possess it more promiscuous. But after investigating the characteristics of 161 female maternal relatives of homosexual and heterosexual men, the researchers have adjusted their hypothesis. Rather than making women more attracted to men, the "gay man gene" appears to make these women more attractive to men.
"High fecundity, that means having more babies, is not about pleasure in sex, nor is it about promiscuity. The androphilic pattern that we found is about females who increase their reproductive value to attract the best males," Camperio Ciani told Life's Little Mysteries.
Turns out, the moms and aunts of gay men have an advantage over the moms and aunts of straight men for several reasons: They are more fertile, displaying fewer gynecological disorders or complications during pregnancy; they are more extroverted, as well as funnier, happier and more relaxed; and they have fewer family problems and social anxieties. "In other words, compared to the others, [they are] perfect for a male," Camperio Ciani said. Attracting and choosing from the best males enables these women to produce more offspring, he noted.
The new study appears in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Of course, no single factor can account for the varied array of sexual orientations that exist, in men as well as in women. "It is quite possible that there are several influences on forming a homosexual orientation," said Gerulf Rieger, a sexual orientation researcher at Cornell University. He noted that environmental factors — including the level of exposure to certain hormones in the womb — also play a role in molding male sexuality. But as for why genetic factors would exist that make men gay, it appears that these genes make women, as well as gay men, alluring to other men. This article taken from The Huffington Post.
7) Study finds Epigenetics, not Genetics, underlies
Scientists may have finally solved the puzzle of what
makes a person gay, and how it is passed from parents to their children.
A group of scientists suggested Tuesday [Dec. 11, 2012] that homosexuals get that trait from their opposite-sex parents: A lesbian will almost always get the trait from her father, while a gay man will get the trait from his mother.
The hereditary link of homosexuality has long been established, but scientists knew it was not a strictly genetic link, because there are many pairs of identical twins who have differing sexualities. Scientists from the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis say homosexuality seems to have an epigenetic, not a genetic link.
Long thought to have some sort of hereditary link, a group of scientists suggested Tuesday that homosexuality is linked to epi-marks — extra layers of information that control how certain genes are expressed. These epi-marks are usually, but not always, "erased" between generations. In homosexuals, these epi-marks aren't erased — they're passed from father-to-daughter or mother-to-son, explains William Rice, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California Santa Barbara and lead author of the study.
"There is compelling evidence that epi-marks contribute to both the similarity and dissimilarity of family members, and can therefore feasibly contribute to the observed familial inheritance of homosexuality and its low concordance between [identical] twins," Rice notes.
Rice and his team created a mathematical model that explains why homosexuality is passed through epi-marks, not genetics. Evolutionarily speaking, if homosexuality was solely a genetic trait, scientists would expect the trait to eventually disappear because homosexuals wouldn't be expected to reproduce. But because these epi-marks provide an evolutionary advantage for the parents of homosexuals: They protect fathers of homosexuals from underexposure to testosterone and mothers of homosexuals from overexposure to testosterone while they are in gestation.
"These epi-marks protect fathers and mothers from excess or underexposure to testosterone — when they carry over to opposite-sex offspring, it can cause the masculinization of females or the feminization of males," Rice says, which can lead to a child becoming gay. Rice notes that these markers are "highly variable" and that only strong epi-marks will result in a homosexual offspring.
Though scientists have long suspected some sort of genetic link, Rice says studies attempting to explain why people are gay have been few and far between.
"Most mainstream biologists have shied away from studying it because of the social stigma," he says. "It's been swept under the rug, people are still stuck on this idea that it's unnatural. Well there are many examples of homosexuality in nature, it's very common." Homosexual behavior has been observed in black swans, penguins, sheep, and other animals, he says.
Rice's model still needs to be tested on real-life parent-offspring pairs, but he says this epigenetic link makes more sense than any other explanation, and that his team has mapped out a way for other scientists to test their work. Click Here to read the original article in USNews by Jason Koebler.
8) New Study Suggests Genetic Link For Male
Homosexuality CHICAGO (AP) — A large study of gay
brothers adds to evidence that genes influence men's chances of being
homosexual, but the results aren't strong enough to prove it.
Some scientists believe several genes might affect sexual orientation. Researchers who led the new study of nearly 800 gay brothers say their results bolster previous evidence pointing to genes on the X chromosome. They also found evidence of influence from a gene or genes on a different chromosome. But the study doesn't identify which of hundreds of genes located in either place might be involved.
Smaller studies seeking genetic links to homosexuality have had mixed results.
The new evidence "is not proof but it's a pretty good indication" that genes on the two chromosomes have some influence over sexual orientation, said Dr. Alan Sanders, the lead author. He studies behavioral genetics at NorthShore University HealthSystem Research Institute in Evanston, Illinois.
Experts not involved in the study were more skeptical.
Neil Risch, a genetics expert at the University of California, San Francisco, said the data are statistically too weak to demonstrate any genetic link. Risch was involved in a smaller study that found no link between male homosexuality and chromosome X.
Dr. Robert Green, a medical geneticist at Harvard Medical School, called the new study "intriguing but not in any way conclusive." Click Here to continue reading the original article in the Huffington Post by Lindsay Tanner. Dr. Sanders' research: http://www.gaybros.com
9) Commonality in Nature - Some people, especially the Anti-Gay Religious Right, like to say that Homosexuality is unnatural. But zoologists have discovered that homosexual and bisexual activity is common throughout the animal kingdom. Experts say that all in all, as many as 1,500 different species of birds and animals are known to have displayed homosexual behavior.
Canadian researcher and author Bruce Bagemihl documented such characteristics among birds, mammals and insects in his book "Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity", published in 1999. The book argues that homosexual and bisexual behaviors are common among animals and proposes a theory of sexual behavior in which reproduction is only one of its principal biological functions. Bagemihl proposes that group cohesion and lessening of tensions are other important functions of sexual behavior. He noted that same-sex partners don't meet only for brief encounters, but may form long-term bonds, sometimes mating for years or even for life.
"Biological Exuberance" was cited in the U.S. Supreme Court case Lawrence v. Texas as evidence to demonstrate the naturalness of male-male anal copulation (sodomy). The law in question, which criminalized sodomy, was ruled unconstitutional in a 6-3 decision on June 23, 2003.
"No species has been found in which homosexual behavior has not been shown to exist, with the exception of species that never have sex at all, such as sea urchins and aphis. Moreover, a part of the animal kingdom is hermaphroditic, truly bisexual. For them, homosexuality is not an issue." Click Here for more details. As Mark Morford (SFGate-July 1, 2009) put it in his column Confirmed: God is slightly gay-Just ask the animals. As soon as they stop having all that homosexual sex, "Here's the shocking new truism: In the wilds of nature, to not have some level of homosexual/bisexual behavior in a given species is turning out to be the exception, not the rule." So much for the argument that homosexual and bisexual conduct is unnatural. Click Here to read the column.
Can Animals Be Gay? by By Jon Mooallem, Published: March 29, 2010 in The New York Times Magazine. This is a great article which shows that unlike in humans, animals who engage in homosexual sex do so for many complex reasons. Also, it explains why trying to equate homosexual sex in lower animals to human behaviors can be very tricky.
Biased Studies?Research studies, often conducted by individuals or organizations with a vested interest in the outcome, are contradictory. Studies linked to conservative political and religious groups almost never show anything positive about homosexuality and studies linked to liberal political and religious groups and/or gay support groups almost never show anything negative about homosexuality. So this means that we all have to take a step back and look at all these studies with a calm and a cool head. Though obviously being biased (since I know what the truth is from my own life experience) I still can not include any studies financed by the anti-gay religious right because for me the results are disingenuous, outrageous or even outright laughable. For example, Click Here to read about the ruse or junk science known as the Thomas Project or “Ex-Gays?”: A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change In Sexual Orientation whose principal investigators, Stanton Jones and Mark Yarhouse both worked for universities with strong anti-gay biases (and therefore had a vested interest in the outcome of the study) Wheaton College and Pat Robertson University respectively. I also did not include the results of the New Family Structures Study because of conflicts of interest among the reviewers and other significant defects (July 2012).
On the other hand I have tried to weed out the studies
with the more favorable outcomes to my side that seem to have some basic
problems with their methodology. For example, I have not included the results
of the following studies because these results could not be independently
replicated by other researchers:
a) The so-called "gay gene (Xq28) study" done by Dean Hamer.
b) Post-mortem (after death) studies of the hypothalamus of the brain of homosexual males done by D. F. Swaab, Laura S. Allen, and Simon LeVay.
What Does All Of The Above Mean. . . . . . . . .
However in spite of all of the above scientific studies, according to the American Psychological Association's own website, "there is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; however most people whether heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual, experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation." Click Here on the American Psychological Association Website link, then scan down to the question "What causes a person to have a particular sexual orientation?" and you will find the direct quote as used above.
What does all this mean when the contentious issue of Religion is taken out of the whole issue of homosexuality, at least as much as possible? Can we expect the fields of science and medicine to help society to accept homosexuals and bisexuals as equals by slowly tipping the scales more and more from nurture (environmental/psychological factors) to nature (biological factors) as to what is the main determinant/cause of sexuality? Let's look at some of the hopes and challenges.
The above mentioned scientists had to sift for their conclusions through results from a disparate group of small and underfunded studies that are sometimes difficult to interpret. Yet out of all the web of complexities it is becoming ever clearer that biological factors play a role in determining human sexual orientation, but we just don't know exactly how much. But Harvard neuroscientist Simon LeVay said that because there's been so much of this disparate research, we can see it "all sort of pointing in the same direction, [which] makes it pretty clear there are biological processes significantly influencing sexual orientation."
The search for scientific answers is not without its opponents. Some, recalling earlier psychiatric "treatments" for homosexuality, discern in the biological quest the seeds of genocide (Click Here to read about the horrific cruelty that was carried out in the 1940s and 1950s by medical doctors trying to "cure" homosexuals under the heading "The Difficult History of How Society Has Viewed Homosexuality-Before 1973"). They conjure up the specter of the surgical or chemical "rewiring" of gay people, or of abortions of fetal homosexuals who have been hunted down in the womb. "I think all of us working in this field," Angela Pattatucci, a geneticist at the National Institutes of Health, says, "have delusions of grandeur in thinking we can control the way this knowledge will be used." Certainly the potential for abuse is there, but that is true of much biomedical knowledge. It is no reason to forswear knowledge of ourselves, particularly when the potential benefits are great.
Some of the benefits could be indirect. Laura Allen, a postdoctoral assistant in Roger Gorski's laboratory in the department of anatomy at UCLA, points out, for example, that there are many now-mysterious diseases—autism, dyslexia, schizophrenia—that affect men and women differently, hiding inside parts of the human mind and body that we cannot penetrate. Neurobiological research into sexual differentiation may help us to understand and cure these diseases, as well as to unlock other mysteries—the mysteries of sexuality.
Science and Human Rights, Human Freedom, and Human Tolerance
Some would ask: How can one justify discriminating against people on the basis of their sexuality, as more and more evidence points in the direction of a large role for biological determination? And more and more are answering: One cannot. Yet it would be wise to acknowledge that science can be a rickety platform on which to erect an edifice of rights. Science can enlighten, can instruct, can expose the mythologies we sometimes live by. It can make these objective distinctions — but we cannot rely on science to supply full answers to fundamental questions involving human rights, human freedom, and human tolerance. The issue of gay people in American life did not arise in the laboratory. The principles needed to resolve it will not arise there either.
And finally for all of us doing our bit for the fight for fair and equitable treatment for everybody in the Homosexual and Bisexual communities remember that this struggle has been going on for a long time and that "faint heart never won fair lady" so we just need to persevere knowing that time, the tide of history and the Almighty God of Love Himself are on our side.
A Gay Teen Short Story ♂♂
Church is so confusing for Zack. His new pastor preaches nothing but hate and condemnation of gays and lesbians, but no matter how carefully he reads his Bible, he can’t find where it says God hates him. Will things change when Zach's boyfriend Billy suggests that they all go to his church instead? Click Here or on the icon to read the story.
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"What Does All Of The Above Mean . . . " uses much of the ending summary of an article by Chandler Burr entitled "Homosexuality and Biology" that appeared in the June 1997 issue of the The Atlantic magazine. The URL is http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/199706/homosexuality-biology
Click for Page 24 - Homosexuality: Nature or Nurture? (Part 3 of 5)
After 1973-Where Has The Mental Health Community Stood Up To Today?
Could The Ex-Gay Programs be a Form of Brain-washing and a Cruel Hoax?
Your Sexual Orientation Can Indeed Change Over Time, But You Can't Change It
Click for A Bisexual's
Beliefs About God and Religion at The Present Time - Gary Lynn
below to go to:
The Anti-Gay Religious Right's Really Cruel and Idiotic Argument
Their Message to a Gay Person is: Be alone. Live alone. Die alone.
Click for Homosexuality is neither a Choice nor a Sin - Table of contents
Click for Gary Lynn's Home Page
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