9.5.05

science ripe for preaching

ooh, i almost can't wait for the pseudo-scientific backlash to this one:
Several years ago, Dr. Savic and colleagues showed that the two chemicals activated the brain in a quite different way from ordinary scents. ... The two chemicals seemed to be leading a double life, playing the role of odor with one sex and of pheromone with another.

Dr. Savic has now repeated the experiment but with the addition of homosexual men as a third group. The gay men responded to the two chemicals in the same way as did women, she reports, as if the hypothalamus's response is determined not by biological sex but by the owner's sexual orientation.

The different pattern of activity that Dr. Savic sees in the brains of gay men could be either a cause or an effect of their sexual orientation. If sexual orientation has a genetic cause, or is influenced by hormones in the womb or at puberty, then the neurons in the hypothalamus could wire themselves up in a way that shaped which sex a person is attracted to. Alternatively, Dr. Savic's finding could be just be a consequence of straight and gay men using their brain in different ways.
from the nytimes

could this potentially settle the biology versus culture argument? if biology wins, would attempts to 'reform' gays and repression of those desires go away? nah. maybe it'll get labelled as some type of genetic defect? a whole new direction for aromatherapy? well, correlation is not causation kiddies - which came first, the gay behaviour or the physical reaction to the pheromone?

there'll probably still be some pretty decent mudslinging though.

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