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BSTc region of brain & transsexualism

Lai, Ken klai at pbi.nrc.ca
Wed Feb 7 13:55:16 EST 1996


Regarding Transsexualism-  Just a  query, if female-like BSTc regions are 
found in brains of transsexuals, then  why would transsexualism persist in 
the evolutionary scheme of thing?  Would such structural differences persist 
through time, or vary?

K.  Lai
 ----------
From: BIOSCI-REQUEST
To: neur-sci
Subject: Re: BSTc region of brain
Date: Sunday, February 04, 1996 9:37PM

kmarians at nmsu.edu (KEITH ANDREW MARIANS) wrote:
: I read an article in "Discover", Jan 1996, that related transsexual
: behavior to the BSTc region of the brain.  Anyone know more?

Here's the reference and the abstract.

   Zhou JN; Hofman MA; Gooren LJ; Swaab DF.
     A sex difference in the human brain and its relation to transsexuality
   Nature, 1995 Nov 2, 378(6552):68-70.
       (UI:  96061003)

Abstract: Transsexuals have the strong feeling, often from childhood 
onwards,
    of having been born the wrong sex. The possible psychogenic or 
biological
    aetiology of transsexuality has been the subject of debate for many 
years.
    Here we show that the volume of the central subdivision of the bed 
nucleus
    of the stria terminals (BSTc), a brain area that is essential for sexual
    behaviour, is larger in men than in women. A female-sized BSTc was found
in
    male-to-female transsexuals. The size of the BSTc was not influenced by
sex
    hormones in adulthood and was independent of sexual orientation. Our 
study
    is the first to show a female brain structure in genetically male
    transsexuals and supports the hypothesis that gender identity develops 
as
a
    result of an interaction between the developing brain and sex hormones.

Tara
 --
Tara R. Marchand
t_marcha at psych.ucsb.edu           http://www.psych.ucsb.edu/~t_marcha




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