In a new study from Stockholm's Karolinska Institute,
researchers reported clear similarities in brain
physicality and function among straight men and
lesbians, and straight women and gay men, The Toronto Starreported today. The
results of the study could indicate that people
are born gay, as these similarities are almost
certainly present at birth, according to the Star.
With the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI),
researchers noted that in straight men and lesbians,
the right hemisphere of the brain is markedly larger
than the left. In both straight women and gay men,
however, the right hemisphere is approximately the same size
as the left, the Starreported.
In the brains of the 20 straight men, 20 straight women, 25
gay men, and 25 lesbians who participated in the
study, similarities in amygdala function were also
noted. The amygdala, a segment in the brain, is
responsible for emotional behavior, fear responses, and aggression.
McMaster University neuroscientist Sandra
Witelson told the Star, "These are differences
that can't be explained by any
environmental or learning factors...so in fact,
there's a [genetic] predisposition."
These results could help LGBT political causes
such as marriage equality and legal protections.
The study, authored by Karolinska's Dr.
Ivanka Savic, was published online yesterday in the
journal Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences. (The Advocate)
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