Brain/genetic differences and homosexuality

Rexer, Jennie L. psycpc at rosie.uh.edu
Mon Oct 4 19:29:00 EST 1993


In article <bdaniels.62.2CAFC3F4 at psychnet.psychol.utas.edu.au>, bdaniels at psychnet.psychol.utas.edu.au (Brett Daniels) writes...
>A student of mine is interested in the relationship between biology (
>particularly brain/genetic) differences and homosexuality.
> 
>I am aware that there has been some recent work where some brain differences 
>were reported but I cannot recall the references.  I would much appreciate 
>someone emailing me (or posting they like) the relevant citations.
> 
>Thanks


Well, i'm not an expert on this, but the researcher who is most widely
known for speculating the existence of a sexually dimorphic nucleus 
(SDN) is S. (Simon?) LeVay.  There was some interesting controversy
which arose after this because, if I'm remebering correctly, his
research involved neuronal counts in various anterior hypothalamic
nuclei which showed some nuclei to be twice as large in males than in
females, while homosexual men showed an intermediate size difference.  the
controversy revolved around the fact that the researcher himself (s. Levay)
is a homosexual male, and due to the subjective nature of the methodology
of neuronal counting, alot of experimenter-bias type speculation arose.

A well-published researcher on SDN differences in animals is Gorski.

Here are some general refs:

Friedman, R.C. & Downey, J. (1993)  Neurobiology and sexual orientation:
current relationships.  J of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences.
5(2), 131-153.

S. Levay (1991)  A difference in hypothalamic structures in heterosexual
and homosexual men.  Science, 253 (5023), 1034-1047.

Swaab, D.F. et al (1992) Gender and sexual orientation in relation to hypo
thalamic structures.  Hormone Research, 38 Suppl 2, 51-61.

Homosexuality and the hypothalamus, (1991) lancet 338(8768), p. 688.

also, re hormonal differences:

try Downer, G.



J. Rexer
Clinical Neuropsychology
University of Houston



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