From Medical News Today, there’s news of a biological basis for “gaydar,” the rumored ability of some gay people to identify one another through poorly understood, non-verbal cues:
Gay men preferred odors from gay men and heterosexual women, whereas odors from gay men were the least preferred by heterosexual men and women and by lesbian women.
Reference: Yolanda Martins, George Preti, Christina R. Crabtree and Charles J. Wysocki. Preference for Human Body Odors Is Influenced by Gender and Sexual Orientation. Psychological Science, September 2005 (not yet published).
Meanwhile, the New York Times reports new evidence of biological underpinnings for sexual orientation:
Using a brain-imaging technique, Swedish researchers have shown that men and women respond differently to two odors that may be involved in sexual arousal, and that homosexual men respond in the same way as women. …
The new research may open the way to studying human pheromones as well as the biological basis of sexual preference. The study, by Dr. Ivanka Savic and colleagues at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, is being reported in Tuesday’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
But the studies do not mean that sexual orientation is necessarily fixed…
From the Chicago Tribune:
The current climate of debate over whether homosexuality is a matter of choice or is inborn makes such research extremely controversial, said team leader and neuroscientist Dr. Ivanka Savic of the institute’s Center for Gender Related Medicine.
“I want to be extremely cautious – this study does not tell us anything about whether sexual orientation is hardwired in the brain. It doesn’t say anything about that,” Savic said.
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