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 New Theory of Sexual Orientation

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ΔημοσίευσηΘέμα: New Theory of Sexual Orientation   16/8/2012, 22:55

New Theory: Sexual Orientation Determined by Brain Hemisphere Dominance


One California author believes he’s found the missing link to
the physiological source of sexual orientation, and it lies in the
brain, not the loins.

A Northern California author says he's discovered the missing link that
explains the biological source of sexual orientation. While doing
research for his recent book,
The Whole-Brain Path to Peace, James Olson stumbled
upon what he says is the direct correlation between hemispheric
dominance in the brain and whether a person is gay or straight.


Olson’s theory
portends that both heterosexual men and lesbians are generally
dominated by the left hemisphere of the brain, which is committed to
sequential, thought-oriented processes. And heterosexual women and gay
men are much more likely to be dominated by the right hemisphere of the
brain, which regulates feeling and cultural awareness.


Olson
believes that current research looking for a “gay gene” is searching in
the wrong place. Rather, Olson contends, sexual orientation is
determined by brain hemisphere dominance. Most men are left-brain
dominant, whereas most women are right-brain dominant. Seizing on the
implication that “most” necessarily excludes some people, Olson wondered
what happened when brain dominance was reversed from the standard.


After
reviewing a large collection of scientific literature, Olson
hypothesized that when a man is right-brain dominant or a woman is
left-brain dominant, that person will be gay or lesbian.

“I
think that probably a hormone or a gene is responsible for the
brain-dominance [pattern],” said Olson in an exclusive interview with The Advocate. “That [reversed brain dominance] is what causes homosexuality.”

If
sexual orientation is determined by brain dominance as Olson contends,
it’s important to note that the pathways connecting the two hemispheres
of the brain and determining which side is dominant are mostly finalized
before birth. As such, Olson reiterates conventional scientific wisdom
that sexual orientation is predetermined and unchangeable. The author, a
straight, single man originally from Oklahoma, also believes that his
observation could help demystify the source of sexual orientation and
thereby foster peace and understanding.

“We
fear what we don’t understand,” said Olson, who holds a business degree
from the University of Oklahoma. “I’m looking for peace and an end to
this war against gay people. The answer is education — if people
understand what’s going on, then the fear disappears.”

Olson
says he culled numerous peer-reviewed articles about the hemispheric
preference — and corresponding behavior — of straight, gay, and bisexual
men and women. One important study Olson cites comes from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden,
which found that scans of gay people’s brains most closely resembled —
in structure and composition — those of heterosexual people of the
opposite sex. Essentially, the 2008 study posited
that a lesbian’s brain closely mirrored the structure of a straight
man’s brain, while a gay man’s brain was most similar in structure to a
straight woman’s.

Ultimately,
Olson may have found the scientific explanation to what many consider
to be common colloquial knowledge about traditional gender roles and
queer sexuality. Olson’s theory provides a physiological basis for the
idea that men are more aggressive and logical, whereas women are more
compassionate and emotional.

Brain
dominance, Olson contends, regulates more than just sexuality — it also
controls perception of the world, which heavily influences perspective.
Olson explained that right and left-brain processes and functions are
nearly identical in all brains, regardless of race, gender, or sexual
orientation. Given that, he said, one could understand how a male
perceiving the world through a right-brain dominant lens — like the one
used by most heterosexual women — would share a similar perspective with
that straight woman. This is the case with gay men and lesbians, he
said, whose brains closely resemble the brains of straight people of the
opposite sex.

The
author, who considers himself an integral philosopher, says his theory
can predict the sexual orientation of a person according to his or her
hemispheric brain dominance with a 95% accuracy rate. Tests to discover
one’s own hemispherical dominance are available online, and free to the
public on Olson’s website.

Olson
is quick to highlight the great amount of diversity among humans and
readily admits that his theory is not proscriptive for the entire
spectrum of human sexuality. He hypothesizes that people whose desires
don’t fit into a binary model, such as bisexual, pansexual, and
genderqueer folks, may engage both hemispheres of their brains on a more
regular basis, though he currently lacks supporting research. Less
research exists on transgender identities, bisexuality, and other
non-binary sexual attraction, so Olson says his conclusions aren’t
expected to extend to every segment of the LGBT spectrum.

Nevertheless,
Olson’s supporters say his common-sense conclusions may be our next
best hope at understanding the origins of sexual orientation and proving
that LGBT people are not mentally ill, making a lifestyle choice, or in
need of a cure.

Olson’s book, The Whole-Brain Path to Peace, has received four national book awards and required a broad range of research to complete. This brain-dominance theory, and the paper which presents it,
is his first effort to synthesize scientific information, and Olson
believes it is the first to discover the connection between brain
hemisphere dominance and sexual orientation.

http://www.advocate.com/health/2012/08/06/new-theory-says-sexual-orientation-determined-brain-hemisphere-dominance

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New Theory of Sexual Orientation
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