Issues in Interdisciplinarity 2019-20/Evidence in the Causes of Homosexuality

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Behavioral Psychology[edit]



  • Jacques Balthazart: peak in testosterone production during pre-natal period → development of sexually dimorphic nucleus (preoptic) in brain: endocrinological evidence

(Paredes, R.G. & Baum, M.J. (1995) Altered sexual partner preference in male ferrets given excitotoxic lesions of the preoptic area anterior hypothalamus. J. Neurosci., 15, 6619–6630.) proof of involvement of nucleus in hypothalamus

(Houtsmuller, E.J., Brand, T., de Jonge, F.H., Joosten, R.N., van de Poll, N.E. & Slob, A.K. (1994) SDN-POA volume, sexual behavior, and partner preference of male rats affected by perinatal treatment with ATD. Physiol. Behav., 56, 535–541) -> female typically small (=attraction to males) sdn male typically big (=attraction to females) rats -> perinatal treatment with ATD = small sdn -> homosexuality

(Jacobson, C.D., Csernus, V.J., Shryne, J.E. & Gorski, R.A. (1981) The influence of gonadectomy, androgen exposure, or a gonadal graft in the neonatal rat on the volume of the sexually dimorphic nucleus of the preoptic area. J. Neurosci., 1, 1142–1147.) -> sdn 5 times larger in male rats than female rats Castration (CX) during the first day after birth (d1) reduces nucleus size in males, and this may be offset by treatment with testosterone (T). Perinatal treatment of females with testosterone, estradiol (E2), or a synthetic estrogen (DES) increases the volume of this nucleus

(Henley, C.L., Nunez, A.A. & Clemens, L.G. (2009) Estrogen treatment during development alters adult partner preference and reproductive behavior in female laboratory rats. Horm. Behav., 55, 68–75.) estrogen treatment causes female homosexual behavior

  • Sexual orientation and behavior separate
  • Cannot explain bisexuality (lack of evidence)
  • Nathan Bailey, Lindsay Yang, Janet Mann