The Straight Poop on Being Gay

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by rtwngAvngr, Apr 15, 2004.

  1. rtwngAvngr
    Offline

    rtwngAvngr Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Messages:
    15,755
    Thanks Received:
    511
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +511
    Since it's such a hot topic these days.

    "Yet, current research indicates that because of the expected hormonal exposure secondary to genetic sex, a certain gender bias probably exists in all newborns. This rudimentary gender identity, although incomplete, is an important determinant in gender development. The dimorphism of the brain itself suggests this. Nevertheless, variations may occur when endogenous or exogenous factors create a fetal environment where hormone levels do not follow the genetically determined pattern. The gender bias of these infants may be tilted away from one that correlates with the genotype. Such variations are discussed below. "


    http://www.emedicine.com/PED/topic2789.htm

    I don't know if this proves the morality/immorality of being gay either way, just as evolution doesn't disprove god. God and Satan could BOTH work through the mechanism of biology I suppose.
     
  2. rtwngAvngr
    Offline

    rtwngAvngr Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Messages:
    15,755
    Thanks Received:
    511
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +511
  3. rtwngAvngr
    Offline

    rtwngAvngr Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Messages:
    15,755
    Thanks Received:
    511
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +511
    http://www.viewzone.com/homosexual.html
    Homosexuality: Does it have a natural cause.
    by Dan Eden


    Since my youth, I have been asking questions and seeking answers. "Why is the sky blue?" "Why do we have to die?"

    These simple inquiries usually went unanswered and caused a distinct wrinkle in the forehead of my parents; nevertheless, as I grew older and wiser, the answers were available in the form of scientific explanations. As a young adult I began to ask other questions which seemed to allude scientific explanations. One of the most perplexing, for me, was why some people were homosexual.

    I am not homosexual. I state this not as an excuse or out of fear for being labeled as such. It is simply a fact. But in my nearly fifty years of life I have known many homosexual people and have had many friends who were homosexual-- some secretly and some openly. As a mental health worker in my youth, I counseled many homosexuals and was able to witness the painful humiliation and blatant disrespect that most people afforded individuals who preferred their own gender. It always seemed an oxymoron to call them "gay." Despite their own acceptance of who and what they were, they continued to struggle against the name calling and ridicule that came from even the clergy and so-called "moral" people.

    One of my closest friends, Michael, once confessed to me that he first "knew" that he was homosexual when he was just ten years old. He vividly recalled watching his mother put on makeup and style her hair in front of her boudoir and later he would play with her clothes. He was not interested with the things that usually amused little boys. When he was older and entered the military service, he became emotionally and physically attracted to a fellow recruit who was openly homosexual. This event validated his suspicions that he was somehow "different" from other males.

    The fact that such feelings could be cognizant at the age of ten always bothered me. I had been taught that homosexuals made the choice to be such-- or that they were somehow coerced into homosexual identity by an adult at some delicate stage in sexual development. In subsequent conversations with other gay men, I learned that almost everyone had a similar revelation at some point in their early life. Hardly anyone actually made the free choice to be homosexual. In fact, studies confirmed that almost 95 percent of homosexual men were adamant that they were born gay.

    I learned that there were homosexuals as far back as recorded history. Historians (Gore Vidal in particular) suggested that there has always been, more or less, a constant 10 to 15 percent of males that have preferred their own gender. Once again the question puzzled me: was homosexuality an aberration, an evil choice, a disease-- or could it be a natural phenomenon?

    While watching a news story on brain research this year, I was surprised to learn that scientists had determined that the characteristics which make us "think" either as males or females was localized in a small portion of the brain called the hypothalamus. Autopsies showed that the relative size and configuration of this master gland is different in males and females. Further research indicated that the hypothalamus in homosexual men was significantly different from that of "straight" (heterosexual) men (see Science, 253: 1034-1037, 1991). To clarify this story, I contacted Dr. Barry Kosofsky, Chief of Neurology at Harvard Medical School's Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

    Doctor Kosofsky [pictured right] warned me that this was a controversial issue and that he would only state what he knew to be true. He wanted it understood that his answers, although enlightening me on the neurological aspects of the hypothalamus, should not be taken as an affirmation of any theories relating to homosexuality. "Fair enough," I said. He then confirmed that my recollection of the scientific bulletin was correct. It does appear that brains, at least the hypothalamus, are gendered.

    Quickly, I sent him another question regarding embryonic development of the brain. "Is it true that the hypothalamus is formed in the first few weeks of pregnancy?" His response was affirmative, "Most parts of the brain are formed in the first trimester..." (i.e. the first three months of pregnancy).

    Embryology teaches that early embryos all start out as female. At some point in early gestation, if the chromosomes destine the fetus to be male, this female embryo is altered by the genetically programmed addition of certain hormones, called androgens. These androgens, especially testosterone, instruct the embryo to develop male characteristics. In their absence, the embryo continues to develop into a female.

    An "XX" pair of chromosomes will yield a female; an "XY" pair will result in a male. The "X" is always contributed from the mother (since she has only "X's"), but the father can contribute either an "X" or a "Y"-- so it is the father's genetic contribution that determines the gender of the child. Homosexual men have "XY" pairs which are typically male in all respects.

    If all homosexual men have the same chromosomes as heterosexual males, what makes their hypothalamus different? This inquiry received no definitive commitment from my learned friend at Harvard, but he did refer me to some studies where I could find the answer.

    In a paper published almost a quarter of a century ago, a research psychologist at Villanova University was also puzzled about gender. Dr. Ingebog Ward was studying the sexual behavior of rats, years before the role of the hypothalamus was even suspected of gendering human brains. She divided a group of pregnant rats into three groups. Suspecting that something special might be happening in the early stages of pregnancy, she subjected the first group to stress during the first ten days of gestation by irritating the mother rats to bright lights, noise and annoying vibrations. Ten days in a rat's pregnancy corresponds to the first trimester (3 months) of a human pregnancy. The second group was subjected to stress towards the end of their pregnancy, just before birth. The third group was comprised of male offspring from both prenatal stressed mothers and unstressed mothers. These babies were subjected to the same stress producing stimuli.

    Dr. Ward then allowed all the males to grow to adulthood without further interference. She then placed each group of males in cages with healthy females to observe if their ability and desire to mate with normal adult females. Here is what happened.

    "Abstract: Male rats were exposed to prenatal (i.e. before they were born) or postnatal (after they were born) stress, or both. The prenatally stressed males showed low levels of male copulatory behavior and high rates of female lordotic responding. Postnatal stress had no effect. The modifications are attributed to stress-mediated alterations in the ratio of adrenal to gonadal androgens during critical stages of sexual differentiation. Specifically, it appears that stress causes an increase in the weak adrenal androgen, androstendione, from the maternal fetal adrenal cortices, or both, and a concurrent decrease in the potent gonadal androgen, testosterone."

    Parental Stress Feminizes and Demasculizes the Behavior of Males, Science, January 7, 1972 (83-84).


    Her findings showed that if a mother is stressed during the early stages of pregnancy, she will release an adrenaline related hormone into her own bloodstream and that of her unborn baby. This hormone, called androstendione, is structurally similar to testosterone, the male hormone. If the baby carries "XY" chromosomes and is destined to become a male, testosterone needs to be active when the Central Nervous System (including the hypothalamus) is being formed. This is the only way that the CNS "knows" to develop along male lines. Because the stress hormone seems to bind to the receptors that would normally be receiving testosterone, there is the delay or blockage of the effectiveness of testosterone, even if it is plentiful.

    In 1972, Dr. Ward had no idea that androstendione in male pregnancies would prevent or inhibit the hypothalamus to develop into a healthy male brain, but this stress-related hormone now appears to do just that. The brain makes its gender committment very early in development and, once committed to either male or female, it can not change. The interference with testosterone in the later stages of pregnancy, or after birth, does little or nothing to inhibit primary gender development of the other organs of the body.

    In Doctor Ward's own words:


    "...The present data support the hypothesis that exposure of pregnant rats to environmental stressors modifies the normal process of sexual behavior differentiation in male fetuses by decreasing functional testosterone and elevating androstenedione levels during prenatal development. During stress conditions plasma testosterone emanating from the gonads decreases while adrenal androstenedione rises. The molecular structure of the two androgens, being very similar, it is postulated that the two hormones compete for the same receptor sites. Since androstenedione is a less potent androgen than testosterone, the decrease in male copulatory ability and increased lordotic potential seen in the prenatally stressed animals of the present study would be expected. The relative difference in potency between testosterone and androstendione has been repeatedly demonstrated.

    _

    It is therefore possible that while the body and organs of an animal can be a "male," the brain can coincidentally be "female." This extreme reaction to maternal stress even has a very logical and natural purpose. Sensing that a population is under the stress of crowding or poor living conditions, nature provides this hormonal mechanism as a means to limit population growth and thereby reduce the cause of the stress. Homosexual behavior results in less offspring than heterosexual behavior.

    Again, in Doctor Ward's own words:


    "The resulting alterations in sexual behavior provide the basis for an effective population control mechanism, since offspring so affected would not possess the behavioral repertoire necessary to contribute to population growth. Thus, the environment, by triggering an adrenal stress response, may control the reproductive capacity of successive generations of differentiating fetuses and, thereby, population size. "

    _

    Rats have been routinely used as psychological models for human brain studies for decades. Although no primate studies have attempted to duplicate this effect, it therefore seems fitting to apply these rodent findings to humans. Prenatal stress in early pregnancy seems to be a rational and plausible explanation for male homosexuality and should be viewed as a natural population limiting phenomenon. Personal choice in homosexuality appears to be an insignificant factor in those offspring who are born with a female hypothalamus, encapsulated in an otherwise normal male body.

    The social implications of these findings have likely contributed to the lack of primate research or even the replication of Dr. Ward's work with rats. This theory, if accepted at face value, would mean that there are at least three naturally occurring human sexual genders: male, female and homosexual. The problematic explanation (or lack of one) for female homosexuality might well be hidden in some similar biologic mechanism but this ought not to be used as a valid argument against this theory.

    Dr. Harry Harlow's famous studies with Rhesus monkeys demonstrated that such things as love and the ability to nurture healthy children was a learned skill that could be altered by post-natal experiences. This non-biologic effect may play a role in female homosexuality and may also be a contributing factor in the degree to which male homosexuality is either expressed or repressed.

    So another of life's perplexing questions has, for me, been resolved by science. This consistently occurring phenomenon has been labeled everything from a "terrible sin" to a form of mental illness. It should perhaps, in light of the hypothalamus discovery, be viewed as part of the natural variety of human biology. As such, it could be protected from slander by our strong admonitions prohibiting discrimination based on gender. A violation of any human privileges against males with a "feminized hypothalamus" ought to be seen as an affront to basic civil rights.

    As we approach the next millennium, antiquated prejudices need to be cast off, letting the light of science and understanding show us ways to live in harmony, to foster compassion and understanding and to devote our attention to more important moral issues. If you seek the truth, you will eventually find it. And the truth, however elusive, will ultimately set us all free.
    Terms and Definitions

    androgens: Any substance (usually hormones) that produces male characteristics, such as androsterone and testosterone.

    chromosomes: In human cells, a linear thread of DNA which transmits genetic information. In man, there are 46 chromosomes, including two (XX or XY) which determine the sex of the organism.

    copulatory behavior: In animals, this refers to the apparently innate knowledge of how to mate and is generally referring to the active role of the male. In female animals, this innate behavior is more passive (see lordotic).

    embryonic: In animals this term refers to the rapid stages of growth and development that take place in the early weeks (usually from the second to seventh week) in the womb. It is during this important phase that the "blueprints" of the Central Nervous System are formed.

    fetus: In humans, the unborn offspring in a stage of development immediately following the embryonic stage (from about the seventh or eighth week through the ninth month of pregnancy).

    gestation: A term usually applied to the period of time starting when the egg is fertilized and ending when the organism is born and can survive independent of the mother.

    gonadal: In humans, this refers to the testis in males and the ovary in females.

    heterosexual: Refers to the attraction of either sex to those individuals of the opposite gender.

    homosexual: Refers to the attraction of either sex to those individuals of the same gender.

    hypothalamus: A small portion of the gray matter, located at the base of the brain, near the brain stem, this important part of the brain has many functions, including control of body temperature, water retention, food intake, hormone secretion, secondary sexual characteristics and is now believed to be the portion of the brain responsible for sexual characteristics associated with gender and gender preference.

    lordotic: The curving of the lower spine and arching of the back usually characteristic of female mammals during copulation.

    It should be noted here that in the rat studies conducted by Dr. Igebog Ward, the rats which were subjected to prenatal stress not only failed to show interest in the adult mating experiments but also, when placed with other normal male rats, did not resist being mounted, as normal rats usually do, but exhibited this lordotic posture. This suggests that the masculine behavior had been replaced by female behavior and showed that the rats were not merely rendered asexual or disinterested in sexual stimulation.

    prenatal: Refers to the period of time before birth.

    postnatal: Refers to the period of time after birth.

    testosterone: The hormone usually produced in the male testes which is responsible for secondary male characteristics such as hair growth, muscle development and body shape. It has been suggested that another source of testosterone in embryonic development may reside in the placenta.

    trimester: Three months, usually used in reference to the passage of time in pregnancy.

    Other Research

    Some primate work has been done at the University of Wisconsin's Harlow Primate Research Center on the effects of stress and the importance of maternal care on the sexual behavior of monkeys; however, much of this work measured postnatal nurturing and was not experimentally designed to assess homosexual behavior. A review of this work does suggest that the expression of healthy sexual behavior and successful knowledge of mating can be environmentally inhibited by the lack of parental nurturing. This work indicates a potential source of aberrant sexual behavior and dysfunction rather than simple homosexuality.

    Currently, Dr. Simon LeVay, a neurobiologist at California's Salk Institute and founder of the Center for Gay and Lesbian Studies in Santa Monica, California, has been the most vocal proponent for some type of gendered brain influence on homosexuality but his work has unfortunately remained unreviewed by many professionals.

    Some of LeVay's works are listed here for recommended reading:

    Albrick's Gold - New York: Richard Kasak Books, 1997.

    Queer Science - Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996.

    City of Friends - Cambridge Press, 1995.

    The Sexual Brain - Cambridge: MIT Press, 1993.
     
  4. Aquarian
    Offline

    Aquarian Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Messages:
    440
    Thanks Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Ratings:
    +1
    I've always thought it was a combo of nature and nurture. nature because it's been around for thousands of years amongs almost every culture, nurture (environment) because we receive as youngsters a lot of input on how we are supposed to view sex, both direct and indirect. Procreation aside, sex usually comes down to what the individual thinks feels good, limited to what they feel is appropriate by any of several measures: society, religion, personal universe view etc.
     
  5. rtwngAvngr
    Offline

    rtwngAvngr Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Messages:
    15,755
    Thanks Received:
    511
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +511
    This is partially true. But gays almost all, all other things being equal, have a gosh I like boys and like to wear dresses moment early on in life, even with the same surroundings as the rest of their family and heterosexual peers. I feel it probably leans a lot more toward the biological explanation than is fashionable to believe.
     
  6. Aquarian
    Offline

    Aquarian Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Messages:
    440
    Thanks Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Ratings:
    +1
    possibly, but remember identical twins raised in the same household are often quite different personality wise. There was actually a study that showed that twins raised apart were more alike than those raised in the same house. Biological influences can be tracked down much easier than social ones as social influences are constant and varied throughout a persons life and difficult to observe all of them, especially without spoiling the study by making the observation apparent to the subject.
     
  7. NewGuy
    Online

    NewGuy Guest

    Ratings:
    +0
    You guys are missing something that blows the whole argument away.




    Who cares what the cause is?


    If it is wrong, it is wrong.

    Anyone looking for an excuse to practice it because it is an "urge" needs to realize there are HETEROSEXUALS who are single and DO NOT have sex.

    Therefore, this whole argument on what the cause is is pretty much irrelevant, and just gets away from the real issue of responsibility and civil behavior with right and wrong.
     
  8. rtwngAvngr
    Offline

    rtwngAvngr Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Messages:
    15,755
    Thanks Received:
    511
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +511
    I just thought being evil had something to do with choosing evil. Wait. No, we're born evil? RIght. And cleanse ourselves of our born evil, we must judge gays? My theology is rusty. Do you think it's evil?
     
  9. jimnyc
    Offline

    jimnyc ...

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    Messages:
    10,113
    Thanks Received:
    244
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    New York
    Ratings:
    +246
    If they are born that way, that just confirms my belief that it's a genetic disease.
     
  10. NewGuy
    Online

    NewGuy Guest

    Ratings:
    +0
    :p:

    Evil?

    Is kicking a guy when he is down evil? Is murder evil?

    I dunno. I think that "evil" is best used if someone is wholeheartedly bent on destroying masses of people or doing such in a torturous way overboard fashion.

    Homosexuality is not natural, or else nothing would populate.

    Homosexuality is a LEARNED behavior or a genetic mutation.

    Homosexuality has been declaired by the Bible and Christ as wrong.

    Homosexuality has been declaired by society a long time ago as wrong.

    Homosexuality when looked at in history is right smack in the middle of the root of decline of society (Rome)... (not THE root).

    Homosexuality is not required by the body to be practiced.

    The end result is society declaires it wrong, it MUST be declaired wrong to keep society intact, the Bible calls it wrong, it is not required to be practiced, and if it was universally -nobody would exist after 130 years.

    Is it evil? -Maybe not. Should it be practiced? -OBVIOUSLY NOT.
     

Share This Page