Homo Or Hetero? The Neurobiological Dimension Of Sexual Orientation
There have been several reports of twin studies indicating the probable genetic link of sexual orientation. Dr. Goldstein has begun accumulating a database of identical twins, whose sexual orientation will be further evaluated by MRI, fMRI scanning, and PET scanning.
Origin of sexual orientation: current data
"Using volumetric studies, there have been findings of significant cerebral amygdala size differences between homosexual and heterosexual subjects. Sex dimorphic connections were found among homosexual participants in these studies," Dr. Goldstein noted. He provided current data regarding homosexuality showing differences and/or similarities, between the brains of homosexuals and heterosexuals.
Similarities between the brains of gay men and heterosexual women
"Some of the most striking results were delivered recently by Dr. Ivanka Savic-Berglund and Dr. Per Lindström of the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden", Dr. Goldstein reported. The Swedish experts performed volumetric studies, fMRI and PET measurements of cerebral blood flow. Using volumetric studies, they found significant cerebral and amygdala size differences between homosexual and heterosexual subjects. Thus the brains of homosexual men resemble those of heterosexual women and those of homosexual women resemble to heterosexual men. The plan for continued studies is to expand the number of subjects evaluated, thus verifying the validity of data already available.
Pheromonal studies also have added to the scientific knowledge of sexuality, according to Dr. Goldstein. "Sex-atypical connections were found among homosexual participants. Amygdala connectivity differences were found to be statistically significant and provided evidence towards sexual dimorphism between heterosexual and homosexual subjects. "
"We must continue to bring forward data that show the differences or similarities between the brains of homosexuals, heterosexuals, bisexuals, and trans gender persons. Clearly the basis of sexual orientation is in the brain and differences in brain structure and function and the province of neurology", Dr. Goldstein added. "Neuroscience has much to offer in the area of understanding the origins of all variations of sexual orientation. The neurobiology of sexual orientation and the gay brain, matched with other hormonal, genetic, and structural studies, has far-reaching consequences beyond sexual orientation." Treatment variations are already emerging as a result of recognition of sexual orientation differences and the advent of gender specific medicine.
Source: ENS Abstract The neurobiology of sexual orientation - total medical evidence presentation
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