Gay men and straight women have similar brains

Old stand-up comedy jokes find a new scientific basis.

Published June 17, 2008 4:15PM (EDT)

Research published Tuesday shows that the brains of gay men resemble those of straight women.

"Using brain-scanning equipment, researchers said they discovered similarities in the brain circuits that deal with language, perhaps explaining why homosexual men tend to outperform straight men on verbal skills tests -- as do heterosexual women.

"The area of the brain that processes emotions also looked much the same in gay men and straight women -- and both groups have higher rates of depressive disorders than heterosexual men, researchers said."

The research also showed that gay women had brains that resembled those of straight men. Since these differences are thought to develop in the womb or infancy, they present some compelling evidence for a biological basis of homosexuality. As one doctor told the BBC, "As far as I'm concerned there is no argument any more -- if you are gay, you are born gay."

By Sarah Hepola

Sarah Hepola is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, "Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget."

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