He didn't know anyone's sexual orientation for sure, and didn't objectively examine any scalps up close. A study of nearly men -- on Delaware's Rehoboth Beach, popular with gay men, on a beach without that reputation -- found that hair on the heads of men on the gay beach was 3. So measuring a subject's shoe size is permissible; asking about ownership of Barbra Streisand albums would be cheating. Rahman's group is attempting to replicate the results in the lab. But the result could be insight into biological origins of homosexuality. More lefties -- or at least more somewhat-ambidextrous folks -- crop up in the gay population than among straight people, several studies have shown. Exactly how it would do all this, however, is anyone's guess. The preferred term is "sexual orientation correlates.
Another theory is that development of a fetus might be disturbed by factors such as a mother's illness, steering the fetus into being less than strictly right-handed -- and, in some cases, less than strictly heterosexual. A link between male homosexuality and finger lengths isn't holding up, and a claim that gays have distinctive fingerprint ridge patterns is largely discredited. But what about innate traits that might correlate with homosexuality? Scientists don't really know. A study of nearly men -- on Delaware's Rehoboth Beach, popular with gay men, on a beach without that reputation -- found that hair on the heads of men on the gay beach was 3. Studies contradict each other, and some promising paths don't pan out. Anthony Bogaert of Brock University in Ontario and his colleagues re-analyzed data on 5, gay and straight men from sexologist Alfred Kinsey's famous files, collected from the s to the s. The author walked around while on vacation, collecting hair-whorl observations on men from a discreet distance. After giving birth to a boy, her immune system might create antibodies to foreign, male proteins in her bloodstream. Lesbians don't show such patterns. What does gay look like? The study, although intriguing, suffers from a lack of scientific rigor. Exactly how it would do all this, however, is anyone's guess. Study after study -- including one of 87, British men published last year -- has found that gay men have more older brothers than straight men do. He didn't know anyone's sexual orientation for sure, and didn't objectively examine any scalps up close. Testosterone levels might peak early, causing enhanced penis growth, then drop off later in pregnancy -- leading to some feminine characteristics. It might tick off the left-handed folks too. Scientists don't always agree on how to interpret the results, and more progress has been made with regard to men than to women. This might reflect your sexual orientation. So having one older brother ups the chance to only about 2. How does your hair grow? One guess is that different-than-normal levels of testosterone in the womb -- widely theorized to play a role in determining eventual sexual orientation -- could nudge a fetus toward brain organization that favors left-handedness as well as same-sex attraction. Rahman's group is attempting to replicate the results in the lab. As to whether gay or straight men are more likely to exaggerate about penis size, "It would be an interesting master's thesis project," Bogaert muses. Only big brothers count. Just don't refer to it that way. Subsequent sons in the womb could be exposed to these "anti-boy" antibodies, which might affect sexual development in the brain.
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