Tuesday, 29 March 2011

‘The cause of Sexual Orientation’

That was the title of an article found some days ago in a Greek news website that I usually check. The article was referring to a neurotransmitter, called serotonin, a chemical brain substance that allegedly controls sexual behavior. According to the article, males lacking this substance showed a lack of interests towards females and more interest towards males. When more serotonin was injected, males renewed their interests to females.

This, according to the same article, was the first scientific proof that homosexuality is proven to be caused by a well known neurotransmitter and therefore controlled or affected. The experiment was done by Professor Yi Rao of the University of Beijing in mice and published in ‘Nature’ magazine.

What I didn’t like in the article was that the first couple of paragraphs do not mention that the experiments were done in mice and that sexual behavior in mice differs from the human sexual behavior. It refers vaguely on males, females and test subjects probably to impress. Although it does mention that drugs modifying serotonin levels are in use in humans for years without affecting the sexual orientation of the subjects, it is stated in the last paragraph. The article is quite lengthy and easily misleading. Someone speed reading it can easily miss that bit.

The article referring to the same scientific research in BBC is written quite differently. It states in the title that ‘Sexual preference chemical found in mice‘. Also there is a clear paragraph referring to humans mentioning the differences and how what happens in mice cannot be easily extended to what happens in humans.

It doesn’t of course come as a shock to me how propaganda works, however it never stops to amaze me. It is the same set of news presented in a totally different way. Homophobia in Greece is still very strong, especially in the media, and I wouldn’t easily expect to find an article from a gay friendly point of view or defending gay human rights.
It could be the case however that I am reading too much into this and that I might be wrong.


  1. I have worked 20 years in psychiatry and neurology; I am quite aware of neurobiology and psychology and dynamics of human behavior.
    I can assure you, serotonin matters < homosexuality is complete rubbish.

  2. Straight people are intent on "proving" we are defective and therefore should be rounded up and done away with.