Barinaga, Marcia. "Is Homosexuality Biological?" Science 253 (30 August 1991), pp. 956-957.
Science is making much of its publication of an article by Simon LeVay which appears in this
issue. This piece is a lead in to the LeVay research report which suggests biological differences
between homosexual males and heterosexual males. There is no desire here to avoid controversy.
LeVay's findings are summarized here: :...in homosexual men part of the anterior hypothalamus -
a brain region that governs sexual behavior - has anatomical form usually found in women rather
than the form typical of heterosexual men." (p. 956) This is, according to this author, "potentially
explosive..." "Homophobes could exploit the result by pointing to the brain ‘defect' in
homosexuals; they might even envisage screening for homosexuality in utero. Others may
interpret the data as evidence that homosexuality is as natural a variation from the average brain
as left-handedness. And many gays will see LeVay's finding as welcome confirmation of what
they have always believed."
LeVay is reported here to have begun this study as a "hobby."
Science contexualizes LeVay's work as part of the continuing broader debate over gender
differences and the brain.