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pengluv
Feb 6th, 2007, 12:14 AM
a study of gay sheep appears to confirm the controversial suggestion that there is a biological basis for sexual preference.

The work shows that rams that prefer male sexual partners had small but distinct differences in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, when compared with rams that preferred to mate with ewes.

Kay Larkin and colleagues from Oregon Health and Science University found the difference was in a particular region of the hypothalamus - the preoptic nucleus. The region is generally almost twice as large in rams as in ewes. But in gay rams its size was almost identical to that in "straight" females.

The hypothalamus is known to control sex hormone release and many types of sexual behaviour. Several other parts of the hypothalamus showed consistent sex differences in size, but only this specific region showed differences that correlated with sexual preference.

The differences are almost identical to those identified by the neuroscientist Simon LeVay in his studies of the brains of gay men. His work has always been considered controversial, partly because the brains he studied were mostly from men who had died of AIDS. So it was not clear whether the differences were related to the disease or to sexual preferences.

Hormone converter
But the findings in sheep are an important confirmation of LeVay's work, says Jacques Balthazart from the University of Liege in Belgium.

Sheep are particularly interesting, he says, because besides humans, they are the only animal where the males may naturally express exclusively gay sexual preferences. As many as one in 10 rams can be gay.

Larkin's team also found that the hypothalamic region had a rich supply of the enzyme aromatase, which converts testosterone into oestrogen. It is in this form that the hormone interacts with the brain. This may help support one theory that sexual orientation, in part at least, may be related to the hormones present during fetal development, says Balthazart.

But Larkin suggests there may also be the influence of genes at work, at least in predisposing the animals to homosexuality. This is because selective breeding seems to have been responsible for the high proportion of gay sheep compared with other animals.

Larkin presented the research on Monday at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Orlando Florida, US

Monica_Rules
Feb 6th, 2007, 12:16 AM
interesting

!<blocparty>!
Feb 6th, 2007, 12:21 AM
I thought penguins have been known to the gay, too?

Interesting study. :cool:

égalité
Feb 6th, 2007, 12:24 AM
No no no, the sheep are consciously choosing to commit an abomination against the Lord. OBVIOUSLY :o

I wish articles like this would make more front pages.

hingisGOAT
Feb 6th, 2007, 12:29 AM
Sheep are particularly interesting, he says, because besides humans, they are the only animal where the males may naturally express exclusively gay sexual preferences.

as much as i would like to believe the article as a whole, its credibility was lost once i read this blatantly false statement :shrug:

No Name Face
Feb 6th, 2007, 02:13 AM
even when it's empirically proven, it won't be a surprise.

Apoleb
Feb 6th, 2007, 02:17 AM
as much as i would like to believe the article as a whole, its credibility was lost once i read this blatantly false statement :shrug:

We're talking about a world class scientist, and this research has caused a lot of controversy. I doubt he has his information wrong. It could that in other animal species, "gay" males also exhibit some sort of sexual attraction towards females.

Scotso
Feb 6th, 2007, 03:59 AM
It's nature and nurture. I don't think you have to be a scientist to see the obvious.

~Eclipsed~
Feb 6th, 2007, 04:28 AM
It's nature and nurture. I don't think you have to be a scientist to see the obvious.

True, but i would like something like this to be proven to shut a lot of people up.

égalité
Feb 6th, 2007, 04:46 AM
It's nature and nurture. I don't think you have to be a scientist to see the obvious.

What's obvious is that nurture has nothing to do with it. Sheep have no concept of sexual preference.

LudwigDvorak
Feb 6th, 2007, 04:48 AM
Why does it matter in what manner I "turned" gay? Science could prove God came from the heavens, touched a bunch of people, turned them queer, and made rainbows fly out their asses and people would still say it was wrong.

Science can't prove anyone's religious faith.

Goai
Feb 6th, 2007, 04:55 AM
my guinea pigs are lesbians...

SelesFan70
Feb 6th, 2007, 06:13 AM
I thought sheep were only gay if a guy was fucking them...or vice versa. :confused:

MrSerenaWilliams
Feb 6th, 2007, 06:16 AM
:rolleyes: Maturity is just ROLLING off of your keyboard :rolleyes:

controlfreak
Feb 6th, 2007, 11:44 AM
Are the sheep really gay, or are they just afraid to say those three little words..... "I love ewe"....? :confused:

"Sluggy"
Feb 6th, 2007, 11:50 AM
Gay sheep? I'm tempted to think that behaviour mostly occurs in absence of receptive femailes, no?

hdfb
Feb 6th, 2007, 11:51 AM
I have never been a big believer in the idea that homosexuality is 100% biological.

Think about it. If it was, wouldn't homosexuality die out? Homosexuals can't reproduce, so how can they pass on the genes and keep it in the gene pool?

jamatthews
Feb 6th, 2007, 12:50 PM
I have never been a big believer in the idea that homosexuality is 100% biological.

Think about it. If it was, wouldn't homosexuality die out? Homosexuals can't reproduce, so how can they pass on the genes and keep it in the gene pool?

People have heard of recessive genes right?

Wigglytuff
Feb 6th, 2007, 01:04 PM
Are the sheep really gay, or are they just afraid to say those three little words..... "I love ewe"....? :confused:

who writes your "jokes", a pre schooler?

hdfb
Feb 6th, 2007, 01:05 PM
People have heard of recessive genes right?

Well I have. (I studied this stuff last year). But recessive or dominant or co-dominant or polygene or HOWEVER homosexuality is determined in our human genome, logically it would eventually die out if it is 100% biological if homosexuals do not reproduce.

Wigglytuff
Feb 6th, 2007, 01:09 PM
Gay sheep? I'm tempted to think that behaviour mostly occurs in absence of receptive femailes, no?

nope, not true

Andy_
Feb 6th, 2007, 01:10 PM
HOWEVER homosexuality is determined in our human genome, logically it would eventually die out if it is 100% biological if homosexuals do not reproduce.

And do you really think they never do? It's really not that they can't...

hdfb
Feb 6th, 2007, 01:13 PM
And do you really think they never do? It's really not that they can't...

Of course it's not that they can't, of course they can. And probably more than ever now due to IVF technology. I just do not believe it is 100% biological. Of the gay population, very few ever have offspring anyway. I still think in such a linear world without technology homosexuality would die out IF it was 100% biological, which I believe it isn't.

Johno_uk
Feb 6th, 2007, 01:37 PM
Well I have. (I studied this stuff last year). But recessive or dominant or co-dominant or polygene or HOWEVER homosexuality is determined in our human genome, logically it would eventually die out if it is 100% biological if homosexuals do not reproduce.


Some diseases such as IPEX dont die out, even though it kills all the affected before they are old enough to have kids. Yes, its genetic.

Besides most characteristics are MULTI-FACTORIAL, so simple Mendelian inheritence wont explain it.... there is not a single gay gene: so it is far more complex than simply selecting against one gene....

égalité
Feb 6th, 2007, 02:13 PM
I have never been a big believer in the idea that homosexuality is 100% biological.

Think about it. If it was, wouldn't homosexuality die out? Homosexuals can't reproduce, so how can they pass on the genes and keep it in the gene pool?

Because straight people keep making new ones :shrug:

hdfb
Feb 6th, 2007, 02:35 PM
Some diseases such as IPEX dont die out, even though it kills all the affected before they are old enough to have kids. Yes, its genetic.

Besides most characteristics are MULTI-FACTORIAL, so simple Mendelian inheritence wont explain it.... there is not a single gay gene: so it is far more complex than simply selecting against one gene....

Yup that's entirely true. Rarely is it as simple as just Dominant or Recessive when it comes to genetics.

It's good that you mention Multi-Factorial. Because the phenotype expressed is never determined by the genotype alone (IF there is one), and hence that is why I say it is not 100% biological.

There are also genes that switch on and off. There's a 'switch' on the operator part of the gene. And studies have shown that even if someone has a gene, they may not express it as it has been shut off. A lot of the genes essential for baby growth (like teeth and stuff) are only utilised during infant years, and are switched off by the body when it is not needed. Scientists are looking into manually switching these genes on to correct disabilities and chronic illnesses.

But my point is, maybe the gay gene, if there is one, operates like that. Though I still think it's not 100% biological.

Because straight people keep making new ones :shrug:

You can't really "make" genes apart from passing on your own. Mutations occur all the time but most of the time they don't make any difference.

Bezz
Feb 6th, 2007, 05:45 PM
I think its unlikely to be a certain gene, more like hormones released whilst a woman is pregnant. I still refuse to believe being gay is a choice like many straights claim it to be.

Monica_Rules
Feb 6th, 2007, 05:50 PM
There has been a study done in Italy which showed that women who gave birth to gay men were more fertile afterwards so having a gay son supposedly means you will breed more and have more offspring which is prob a biological reason why homosexuality hasn't been selected against.

Helen Lawson
Feb 6th, 2007, 05:50 PM
I have never been a big believer in the idea that homosexuality is 100% biological.

Think about it. If it was, wouldn't homosexuality die out? Homosexuals can't reproduce, so how can they pass on the genes and keep it in the gene pool?

Ted Casablanca had twins with Neely, so who says fruits don't reproduce? ;)

It didn't make it into the movie version, but in real life, what made Neely attack me in the ladies' room and tear off my wig was that I pointed out that her ex-husband was "a fag" and then I asked her, "are your twin sons fags, too? Don't be upset if they are, I hear those types are very good to their mothers." I know, not nice, but Neely needed to be taken down a notch.

gentle
Feb 6th, 2007, 05:51 PM
It could be a combination of all things! Nature nurture genes choice!

UDACHi
Feb 6th, 2007, 08:28 PM
i think it's obvious. the concept that you can choose what turns you on is weird to me. if someone came up to me and said 'hey, get turned on from that guy over there', i couldn't CHOOSE to suddenly get excited. it just seems stupid.

Tripp
Feb 6th, 2007, 09:05 PM
Well, my dad's gonna be releaved if he finds out about this. Now I can finally convince him that it's not his fault that I'm gay.

Europe rocks
Feb 6th, 2007, 10:30 PM
Interesting article, I shall have to ask my teacher about it tomorrow :p

LoveFifteen
Feb 6th, 2007, 11:19 PM
True, but i would like something like this to be proven to shut a lot of people up.

They will never shut up. The Bible is their sole authority, and scientists are obviously doing the Devil's work.

Gerri
Feb 6th, 2007, 11:37 PM
I thought penguins have been known to the gay, too?

Interesting study. :cool:


Yes they have, and lesbianism is very common among seagulls and swans apparently. Homosexuality is pretty common throughout the animal world. I wonder what Fred Phelps thinks about that.

Marshmallow
Feb 6th, 2007, 11:54 PM
as much as i would like to believe the article as a whole, its credibility was lost once i read this blatantly false statement :shrug:

:rolleyes: Key word is EXCLUSIVELY.

Marshmallow
Feb 6th, 2007, 11:58 PM
It's interesting, but i think in the long wrong, it may all be a lose lose situation. Now i am no pessimist, but if there is a biological basis - an exclusive one, i can see in the future Parents wanting to someone screen their embryos to select the non-gay ones. I can see, people referring to Homosexuality as a disorder / Mutation.

And if proven to be environment, i can see people seeking corrective therapy.

But oh well. Progress it is... :shrug:

Tennis Fool
Feb 7th, 2007, 01:03 AM
This study has become controversial. I don't have Times Select, so maybe someone else can download the article. Here's the abstract:

Of Gay Sheep, Modern Science And the Perils of Bad Publicity

January 25, 2007, Thursday
By JOHN SCHWARTZ (NYT); National Desk
Late Edition - Final, Section A, Page 1, Column 4, 1173 words
DISPLAYING ABSTRACT - Dr Charles Roselli's research into homosexual behavior of some sheep sets off storm of protests from People for Ethical Treatment of Animals and some gay rights advocates; Roselli, researcher at Oregon Health and Science University, says their criticism is based on bizarre misinterpretation of what his work is about; says about 8 percent of rams seek sex exclusively with other rams instead of ewes, and his goal is to understand fundamental mechanisms of sexual orientation in sheep; says other researchers may one day build on his findings to determine which rams are likeliest to breed; controversy has spilled into blog world, with attacks on him, his university and Oregon State University, which is also involved in research; Roselli and Jim Newman, Oregon Health and Science publicist, say they are working to correct record in print and online; researchers acknowledge that sheep are killed in course of research so their brain structure can be analyzed, but say they follow animal welfare guidelines to prevent suffering.

KYLIE
Feb 7th, 2007, 02:48 AM
Homosexuality is a very real reality to a segmant of the human population. At least 10-15% of the world is classed as being "homosexual" and when you add on "bi-sexual" as well as just guys fooling around...that % rises dramatically (trust me, ive fucked plenty of "straight men")
I believe its genetic, totally. Is it biological? I dont know about that...i think its more of a chemical thing or brain thing ...maybe something in the fetus stage that turns...who knows? Im not a scientist, all i know is that ive been "gay" since before i knew what "gay" or "straight" was.

égalité
Feb 7th, 2007, 02:49 AM
Homosexuality is a very real reality to a segmant of the human population. At least 10-15% of the world is classed as being "homosexual" and when you add on "bi-sexual" as well as just guys fooling around...that % rises dramatically (trust me, ive fucked plenty of "straight men")
I believe its genetic, totally. Is it biological? I dont know about that...i think its more of a chemical thing or brain thing ...maybe something in the fetus stage that turns...who knows? Im not a scientist, all i know is that ive been "gay" since before i knew what "gay" or "straight" was.

Exactly :worship:

Apoleb
Feb 7th, 2007, 02:55 AM
Well I have. (I studied this stuff last year). But recessive or dominant or co-dominant or polygene or HOWEVER homosexuality is determined in our human genome, logically it would eventually die out if it is 100% biological if homosexuals do not reproduce.

Well I guess you didn't understand the concept well enough. Recessive genes tend to stay in the population even though they can be detrimental to reproduction and survival. That's why you have genetic diseases. Those diseases survive even though a lot of them cause death.

Anyway, I highly doubt that something as complex as sexuality can be solely determined by genes alone, or by the environment alone. It's most likely a mix, and the interesting is how much is it biological and how much is it because of upbringing.

KYLIE
Feb 7th, 2007, 02:58 AM
Exactly :worship:


Thank you. I do stand by that 100%, if theres one thing id want every ignorant fool with nothing but blind, irrrational logic towards the Homosexual population is that we are not given a choice, its programed like a chip inside of us. Its a natural choice that we have no power to control.

Good or bad, the choice was not made for us. We are this way, we started out this way and we will die this way. And frankly, we are always going to be around. Like it or not. :wavey:

MrSerenaWilliams
Feb 7th, 2007, 03:10 AM
:yeah:

Scotso
Feb 7th, 2007, 05:01 AM
What's obvious is that nurture has nothing to do with it. Sheep have no concept of sexual preference.

I was talking about humans. Nurture can definitely make people tend toward homosexuality. It's well documented in sexual abuse cases.

Scotso
Feb 7th, 2007, 05:02 AM
In any case, it's not a conscious decision to be gay/bi/straight/whatever. It's out of one's control.

hdfb
Feb 7th, 2007, 06:22 AM
Well I guess you didn't understand the concept well enough. Recessive genes tend to stay in the population even though they can be detrimental to reproduction and survival. That's why you have genetic diseases. Those diseases survive even though a lot of them cause death.

Anyway, I highly doubt that something as complex as sexuality can be solely determined by genes alone, or by the environment alone. It's most likely a mix, and the interesting is how much is it biological and how much is it because of upbringing.

Yes I know. But if it was 100% biological, and can be correlated with such deadly genetic diseases that you mention, then it does not explain the increasing numbers of homosexual people, IF it is a recessive gene of which any human can possibly be a carrier. But obviously everyone agrees such traits, IF determined by genes are rarely ever as black and white as a dominant or recessive gene.

I say it is a mix. I am more leaning to the environment and life experiences while a bit of it decided by genes. But people are right, it's out of our control.

bionic71
Feb 7th, 2007, 09:30 AM
This subject has been done to death...so I offer a brief response from my own experience as a gay child, adolescent and adult.

Nature?...I have always felt attracted to the same sex...even well before I was sexually aware. By the time I was 10 or 11 I can remember being sexually interested in boys.

Nurture?...I did not learn being gay from my parents...they are both heterosexual. My brother is a product of the same family environment...he is not gay. Sexual preference is not learned from parents...it is innate...for me being gay just is...

There was no revelation...
Does a non gay person suddenly have an epiphany and realise that they are heterosexual?....no...it just is....same for being gay.

Choice?...the only choice I made was to accept that I was indeed gay and to live my life openly and honestly....not to hide, not to pretend, not to wallow in self hatred.

bionic71
Feb 7th, 2007, 09:37 AM
then it does not explain the increasing numbers of homosexual people.

Just wondering how this can be substantiated?
Isn't there merely an increasing number of people in general?...
I am not ware of a gay population explosion worldwide.
Merely, there are more gay people not concealing their sexual identity....many are now able to live their lives openly.

hdfb
Feb 7th, 2007, 09:41 AM
Of course I'd be refering to the percentages of homosexual people. I am well aware that the the population is rising and it is somewhat easier for homosexuals to be open about who they are, but I still think the number of homosexual people have grown in modern times, albeit we are still a minority.

By they way great post. I just wish the whole world understood so I wouldn't be sitting here typing in such a thread that will never really get anywhere.

Kart
Feb 7th, 2007, 11:50 AM
There's loads of work into the origin of homosexuality out there and has been for ages - we were learning about the LeVay study when I was a university student, which was, well, a little while ago :angel:.

Personally I don't see a few dead gay sheep brains adding anything substantial to the global discussion.

LudwigDvorak
Feb 7th, 2007, 01:33 PM
Since no one seems to understand that it's pointless to decide whatever it is (and aren't most things in a grey area instead of black or white?), I'll just say what I think caused it for me and why I feel it's grey matter.

Environment was a large part. I do think some of it was "natural," but I believe both affected it for me. I didn't grow up looking at boys. I had crushes on girls until I was about 11. But I grew up with entirely women. I won't go into any detail, but I just saw and found so much wrong with each of my family members and elsewhere I just didn't understand the appeal anymore--most of which I still largely think. I can't look at a girl as more than a friend.

What I think turned it "on" officially was seeing this beautiful, well-toned man undress in a locker room when I was 10, and I liked it. Prior to then I hadn't looked at guys, even when they were naked. And after that I never really stopped looking.

It was probably in me all along, but I'm just saying what I think helped get it out. I'm definitely not one of those "but eye alwayz noo i wuz ghey" people.

égalité
Feb 7th, 2007, 02:46 PM
Yes I know. But if it was 100% biological, and can be correlated with such deadly genetic diseases that you mention, then it does not explain the increasing numbers of homosexual people

The only thing increasing is the number of "out" homosexuals. And I bet, worldwide, most still aren't out.

égalité
Feb 7th, 2007, 02:52 PM
I had crushes on girls until I was about 11.

Yeah, so did I. Before puberty, i.e. before I was capable of sexual attraction. I just had crushes on girls because that's what I was "supposed to do." They weren't real "wow, you're hot and I wanna put my twinkie in your ho-ho" crushes. They were just non-sexual, juvenile crushes. When you're that age, the extent of a "crush" is platonic admiration for a person. And then when sexuality develops, you realize you either wanna bone those girls whose hair you used to pull in the cafeteria or you realize you're gay. No choice. No environment. That's it.

SpankMe
Feb 10th, 2007, 11:46 AM
I have never been a big believer in the idea that homosexuality is 100% biological.

Think about it. If it was, wouldn't homosexuality die out? Homosexuals can't reproduce, so how can they pass on the genes and keep it in the gene pool?
"Biological" does not just mean "genetic"...

"Biological" can refer to a wide varity of things, hormones the foetus comes into contact with in the womb, chemicals the foetus comes into contact with in the the womb, chemicals and or hormones the brain will come into contact with outside the womb.
Foods the person eats or does not eat, the sprays, deodorants, soaps, shampoos, etc etc all contain chemicals which can affect the brain.

Human brains are very versatile with many pathways being capable of rebuilding or reorganising practically up until the moment of death.

The human brain is incredibly complex and personally I don't agree with lawyers or ecomomists proclaiming that they know what is wrong or right when it comes to issues relating to the human brain when they become members of parliment/goverment as they have not a clue about the human brain.

Leave it to the unbiased neurologist and other medical and psychological professionals who study the human brain.

Sheep and other mammals brains are now very different to humans brains due to evolution.
Some animal biologists believe that, what humans interpret as homosexual behaviour in mammals, is a sign of a chemical imbalance in the animals brain and can be treated with hormones.
This approach has been tried on human males and does not work at all.
Baa :P

mykarma
Feb 11th, 2007, 06:47 PM
No no no, the sheep are consciously choosing to commit an abomination against the Lord. OBVIOUSLY :o

I wish articles like this would make more front pages.
:lol::lol::lol:

LudwigDvorak
Feb 11th, 2007, 10:11 PM
Yeah, so did I. Before puberty, i.e. before I was capable of sexual attraction. I just had crushes on girls because that's what I was "supposed to do." They weren't real "wow, you're hot and I wanna put my twinkie in your ho-ho" crushes. They were just non-sexual, juvenile crushes. When you're that age, the extent of a "crush" is platonic admiration for a person. And then when sexuality develops, you realize you either wanna bone those girls whose hair you used to pull in the cafeteria or you realize you're gay. No choice. No environment. That's it.

Good points. My mom asked this "pyschic" about that, about how I could possibly like girls, and the "psychic" more or less said what you did, but I guess it is common sense.

But I do think though that I needed some triggering for me to acknowledge I preferred men. Some guys go decades before they realize what they want and who they are concerning their sexual preference.