Study Finds Sexual-Orientation Related Differences in Task Performance
[LONDON] - Gays think like women and lesbians' brains work like heterosexual men's, according to a new study by English psychiatrists.
In tests, scientists from the Institute of Psychiatry in London found that gay men excelled at mental tasks women generally perform better than men, but were not so good at tasks traditionally seen as "male."
Similarly, lesbians did as badly as heterosexual men in a test geared to women.
The researchers conducted a series of neurocognitive tests of spatial skill -- the ability to mentally reposition shapes and objects and judge the orientation of lines. They found that gay men performed less well than heterosexual men, but matched the ability of women.
But gay men performed better than heterosexuals and as well as women at remembering the locations of objects in an array.
In several language tests, traditionally a female strong point, gay men did as well as heterosexual women. Lesbians, on the other hand, performed the tests as poorly as straight men.
The findings by Doctors Qazi Rahman and Glenn Wilson are published in the journal Neuropsychology.
The researchers theorize that that the results indicate that varying levels of exposure to the male hormone testosterone before birth plays a role in "hard-wiring" the brain.
Rahman said: "The fact that gay men and lesbians show cross-sex shifts in their brain functioning might also be related, partly, to the cross-sex shifts in their presentation of certain mental health problems in gay men, such as higher levels of anxiety disorders, depression and eating disorders usually found in women."
Rahman added that the findings suggest that homosexuality is a normal biological phenomenon, and not the result of biological fault.