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BSTc region of brain & transsexualism

insomniac apence at minerva.cis.yale.edu
Thu Feb 8 09:55:52 EST 1996

Lai, Ken (klai at pbi.nrc.ca) wrote:

: 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?

There is more than one way to explain this.  It could be that the right 
hormone at the right time in brain development can cause the different 
development of certain structures.  One could imagine a lot of things 
which could cause this, many of which are not inherited (viral infection 
of the mother during a specific trimester, for example).  It could also 
be that the cause of transexualism is something else entirely, and that 
the differential size is a _result_ rather than a cause.  Remember we are 
only talking about a correlation here, you cannot conclude anything about 
causation.  Also, I haven't read this particular article, but in most 
cases the subject pool in a study like this is far from random.  (I know 
in similar studies about the so called sexually dimorphic nucleus and gay 
men, most of the men in the study died from AIDS)

apence at minerva.cis.yale.edu
Department of Neuroscience
Yale University

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