In the last decade or so, there has been an increasing popularity and movement of homosexuality. With the rise of this movement, also came the rise of social issues regarding the whole aspect of homosexuality and whether gay marriage should be allowed. This has been made difficult with many religious people opposing the movement. Recent laws and amendments, however, have been generally favorable for the gays, but there will always be detractors to them.
As with anything with a magnitude of this sort, there will be curious scientists questioning “why?” And with this in mind, there have been many scientific research studies conducted, aimed at identifying what causes homosexuality.
Contrary to popular belief, a gene for homosexuality has yet to be found. However, there has been recent news that states that the brains of gay men and women are similar.
A study conducted by scientists at the Stockholm Brain Institute in Sweden report that gay men and straight women share similar traits, in that their brains are of the same size and that the amygdala shows similar activity. In addition, straight men and lesbians also share a similarity in this respect.
It was stated that the amygdala, which was associated with emotion, anxiety, fear, and aggression, developed in the womb near infancy. This implied that there could be no psychological or environmental factors that could in play determining a person’s sexual orientation.
The study involved MRIs taken to determine the brain size, volumes, and shapes of the 90 volunteers. It was discovered the brains of straight men and lesbians were asymmetrical – the cerebellum was larger on the right side than on the left. On the other hand gay men and straight women had symmetrical brains, and their respective cerebellums.
As the next step, PET scans were then used to measure blood flow to the amygdala. The scans illustrated how the amygdala connects to other parts of the brain. Blood flow was measured in an attempt to see how it might influence behavior. It was found that in gay men and women, blood flowed to parts connected to fear and anxiety, while in straight men and lesbians, blood flowed to parts connected with aggression.
These findings highlight sexual orientation might come from developments in the brain. However, there are still those who argue that they might come from environmental factors as well as genetics. Further research must be conducted of course, to ascertain the true origins of homosexuality, and whether they might be a combination of all of those factors, to silence the detractors of homosexuality who say that sexual orientation is a choice.