Simon LeVay’s theory of homosexuality in Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why nicely balances solid science and common sense
Deborah Blum, contirbutor
IN THE summer of 1991, neuroscientist Simon LeVay published a paper that would make him famous. It reported a study that clearly demonstrated a structural difference between the brains of gay and straight men. For nearly two decades since, LeVay has been in pursuit of more evidence to support the study’s core implication: that sexual orientation derives from biology, not from personal choice.
Lesbian and heterosexual women respond differently to specific human odours, a brain-scanning study has found. The homosexual women showed similar brain activity to heterosexual men when they inhaled certain chemicals, which may be pheromones, the researchers say.
A GENE has been discovered that appears to dictate the sexual preferences of female mice. Delete the gene and the modified mice reject the advances of the males and attempt to mate with other females instead.
While it is impossible to say whether the finding has any relevance for human sexuality, it provides a clue as to how sexuality develops in mammals.