Angier, Natalie. "Zone of Brain Linked to Men's Sexual Orientation," New York Times, 30

 

Angier, Natalie. "Zone of Brain Linked to Men's Sexual Orientation," New York Times, 30
August 1991, pp. 1, D18.

This item appears on page 1. It was quoted extensively on NPR yesterday. Science magazine
published an article on the biological basis of homosexuality. And while there are many
demurrals and limitations contained in this article, clearly the thrust is one of celebration: here is
evidence of a biological basis for behavior.

Dr. Simon LeVay, a neurobiologist at the Salk Institute and an admitted gay himself, reported
that "one segment of the hypothalamus, an important structure in the forebrain, is only a quarter
to a half the size of the same region in heterosexual men." (p. 1)

"In the new research, Dr. LeVay examined thin slices of autopsied brain tissue from 19
homosexual men, 16 presumed heterosexual men and six women also thought to have been
heterosexual...

"He focused on a particular segment of the hypothalamus known as the third interstitial nucleus
of the anterior hypothalamus, which previous studies had shown to differ significantly between
men and women. Measuring the volume of cells in the region, he found that in the heterosexual
men it averaged about the size of a large grain of sand, but that in the women and the gay men it
was almost undetectable." (p. D18)

"‘It's axiomatic that sexual orientation is going to be represented in the brain somewhere,' said
Dr. John Money, a professor emeritus at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore who
has long studied the origins of sexual behavior." (p. D18)

"...Dr. LeVay also said he did not know for certain that the men he assumed to have been
heterosexual actually were."(p. D18)

"Dr. Roger A. Gorski, chairman of the department of anatomy and cell biology at the University
of California School of Medicine in Los Angeles, said he was preparing for publication the
discovery of yet another difference in brain structure between homosexual and heterosexual men.
‘I don't think any of this work proves anything yet,' he said. ‘But it's important to start people
thinking about it.'" (p. D18)