There’s another article out today about research done at Oregon State University on gay sheep.
The researchers found marked differences in the brain anatomy and hormones between male- and female-oriented rams, Stormshak said.
In rams who like other rams, the anterior preoptic area of the hypothalamus was about half the size of this part of the brain in heterosexual rams, he said.
“This was exciting to us because this area of the brain has been found in many species to regulate sexual behavior,” Stormshak told The Gazette-Times of Corvallis.
This study seems to correlate with sexuality studies on humans, many of which reference the hypothalamus (including pheromones, Simon Le Vay’s studies, etc.). Anti/ex-gay activists have been quick to discount the human studies, arguing that the physical differences may be a result rather than a cause of sexual orientation.
Even the observations of penguins and seagulls have been dismissed as being caused by an environmental factor, the lack of mates.
However, in the case of the rams it is not so easy to dismiss. These rams had more than ready access to ewes. In fact, the research was started out of observation that some rams refused to provide stud service and instead preferred to mount other rams. And it is silly to suggest that the rams had distant fathers, dominant mothers, inadequate rough play, or any of the other pseudo-psychological answers that are provided regularly by the “change is possible” crowd.
While the jury is still out on exactly what are the factors contributing to the determination of sexual orientation (in rams or people), it is becoming increasing difficult to argue that there is no biological component.