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Old 05-09-2005, 08:31 PM   #1
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gay men smell different

Gay Men Respond Differently to Pheromones

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, Associated Press Writer 20 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Gay men's brains respond differently from those of heterosexual males when exposed to a sexual stimulus, researchers have found. The homosexual men's brains responded more like those of women when the men sniffed a chemical from the male hormone testosterone.

"It is one more piece of evidence ... that is showing that sexual orientation is not all learned," said Sandra Witelson, an expert on brain anatomy and sexual orientation at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.

Witelson, who was not part of the research team, said the findings clearly show a biological involvement in sexual orientation.

The study, published in Tuesday's issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was done by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

They exposed heterosexual men and women and homosexual men to chemicals derived from male and female sex hormones.

These chemicals are thought to be pheromones — molecules known to trigger responses such as defense and sex in many animals.

Whether humans respond to pheromones has been debated, although in 2000 American researchers reported finding a gene that they believe directs a human pheromone receptor in the nose.

The Swedish study was one of a series looking at whether parts of the brain involved in reproduction differ in response to odors and pheromones, lead researcher Ivanka Savic said.

The brains of different groups responded similarly to ordinary odors such as lavender, but differed in their response to the chemicals thought to be pheromones, Savic said.

The Swedish researchers divided 36 subjects into three groups — heterosexual men, heterosexual women and homosexual men. They studied the brain response to sniffing the chemicals, using PET scans. All the subjects were healthy, unmedicated, right-handed and HIV negative.

When they sniffed smells like cedar or lavender, all of the subjects' brains reacted only in the olfactory region that handles smells.

But when confronted by a chemical from testosterone, the male hormone, portions of the brains active in sexual activity were activated in straight women and in gay men, but not in straight men, the researchers found.

The response in gay men and straight women was concentrated in the hypothalamus with a maximum in the preoptic area that is active in hormonal and sensory responses necessary for sexual behavior, the researchers said.

And when estrogen, the female hormone was used, there was only a response in the olfactory portion of the brains of straight women. Homosexual men had their primary response also in the olfactory area, with a very small reaction in the hypothalamus, while heterosexual men responded strongly in the reproductive region of the brain.

Savic said the group is also doing a study involving homosexual women but those results are not yet complete.

In a separate study looking at people's response to the body odors of others, researchers in Philadelphia found sharp differences between gay and straight men and women.

"Our findings support the contention that gender preference has a biological component that is reflected in both the production of different body odors and in the perception of and response to body odors," said neuroscientist Charles Wysocki, who led the study.

In particular, he said, finding differences in body odors between gay and straight individuals indicates a physical difference.

It's hard to see how a simple choice to be gay or lesbian would influence the production of body odor, he said.

Wysocki's team at the Monell Chemical Senses Center studied the response of 82 heterosexual and homosexual men and heterosexual and homosexual women to the odors of underarm sweat collected from 24 donors of varied gender and sexual orientation.

They found that gay men differed from heterosexual men and women and from lesbian women, both in terms of which body odors gay men preferred and how their own body odors were regarded by the other groups.

Gay men preferred odors from gay men, while odors from gay men were the least preferred by heterosexual men and women and by lesbian women in the study. Their findings, released Monday, are to be published in the journal Psychological Science in September.

The Swedish research was funded by the Swedish Medical Research Council, the Karolinska Institute and the Magnus Bergvall Foundation. Wysocki's research was supported by the Monell Center.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/homosexual_brains





my response: duh.

i think sexual attraction has lots to do with smell.
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Old 05-09-2005, 08:36 PM   #2
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Lately I must be putting off an 'older women pheromone' for I can't go out without some woman at least 8 years my senior hitting on me.

Not that I'm complaining.
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Old 05-09-2005, 08:44 PM   #3
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interesting.
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Old 05-09-2005, 08:50 PM   #4
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irvine, something i just thought of -

has there every been a poll of gay men asking them why they believe they are homosexual. you know: by choice, biology, or environment?
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Old 05-10-2005, 05:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
Lately I must be putting off an 'older women pheromone' for I can't go out without some woman at least 8 years my senior hitting on me.

Not that I'm complaining.
Interesting

That's fascinating Irvine, it definitely seems to support the biological component of homosexuality. I have always believed that it is innate and one is born gay or straight.

I think it's definitely true that "smell" is a factor in all of that. I often wonder if it's that attraction you have for someone that you can't quite explain. Sometimes it's so powerful when you don't even know them all that well, and it's not really that strong physical attraction.It's those damn pheromones, remember when they came out w/ a perfume w/ pheromones in it? Does anyone know where you can still get that?
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Old 05-10-2005, 05:26 AM   #6
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This is interesting. I also think being gay is something you're born with and not anything acquired.
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Old 05-10-2005, 06:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Se7en
irvine, something i just thought of -

has there every been a poll of gay men asking them why they believe they are homosexual. you know: by choice, biology, or environment?


not one that i could cite.

i can't think of a single gay person who "chose" to be attracted to the same gender -- they might "choose" to stop lying to themselves and to others and live honestly, but most gay people would say that their attraction to the same gender came into being around puberty and is as complex as your attraction to the opposite gender.
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Old 05-10-2005, 08:09 AM   #8
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Originally posted by Irvine511
not one that i could cite.

i can't think of a single gay person who "chose" to be attracted to the same gender -- they might "choose" to stop lying to themselves and to others and live honestly, but most gay people would say that their attraction to the same gender came into being around puberty and is as complex as your attraction to the opposite gender.
i was not trying to insinuate that it was by choice.
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Old 05-10-2005, 08:17 AM   #9
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Wow..thats really interesting!
I do believe that a person can either be driven to homosexuality by events in their life OR they can be born that way, so this kind of confirms what I thought.
It would be interesting to do a study of homosexuals who did and did not suffer sexual abuse in their lives and see if theres any difference.
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Old 05-10-2005, 10:17 AM   #10
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Originally posted by Se7en


i was not trying to insinuate that it was by choice.


i didn't think you were.

sorry if my response came off a bit confrontational -- there's no such thing as "tone" in posts on a message board -- it wasn't intended to be at all.
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Old 05-10-2005, 10:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by u2bonogirl
It would be interesting to do a study of homosexuals who did and did not suffer sexual abuse in their lives and see if theres any difference.


would you want to study heterosexuals who had been sexually abused as well?
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Old 05-10-2005, 10:38 AM   #12
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would you want to study heterosexuals who had been sexually abused as well?
Yes. To make the study thorough, and it would be interesting
I would want to study my mother actually......
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Old 05-10-2005, 10:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by u2bonogirl
Wow..thats really interesting!
I do believe that a person can either be driven to homosexuality by events in their life OR they can be born that way, so this kind of confirms what I thought.
It would be interesting to do a study of homosexuals who did and did not suffer sexual abuse in their lives and see if theres any difference.
Do you think people are driven to be heterosexual by events in their life, too?

edit: I guess my question is confusing because of course gay people lead hetero lives because they don't feel they can come out, but that doesn't mean they are straight. But I'm asking if you think people genuinely choose their sexual orientation.
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Old 05-10-2005, 10:55 AM   #14
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Do you think people are driven to be heterosexual by events in their life, too?
Yes I do. I think that in more cases than just sexual orientation, a traumatic event in somebodys life can leave really bad scars.
Kind of like somebody being trapped in an elevator for a really long time and almost dying. Theyre really not going to have an easy time getting back into that elevator. But the stairs!
Im not comparing homosexuality to elevator trauma I was just making an illustration.

Another reason I have for believing this is because it happened to a person close to me
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Old 05-10-2005, 11:01 AM   #15
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Originally posted by u2bonogirl

Yes I do. I think that in more cases than just sexual orientation, a traumatic event in somebodys life can leave really bad scars.
Kind of like somebody being trapped in an elevator for a really long time and almost dying. Theyre really not going to have an easy time getting back into that elevator. But the stairs!
Im not comparing homosexuality to elevator trauma I was just making an illustration.

Another reason I have for believing this is because it happened to a person close to me
But that doesn't mean they have changed their genuine sexual orientation. It means they are traumatized and in denial. I, too, know people who fall into this category.

p.s. I saw you dance with Bono in Denver. I was 2 or 3 people to your right.
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