Essay on Homosexuality

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For years scientists have been attempting to ascertain whether or not homosexual behavior can be linked to a biological catalyst. From Alfred Kinsey's revolutionary survey in 1947 to the current media upheaval about a prospective "gay gene," the desire to pinpoint a cause for the personalities and behaviors associated with homosexuality has reached new plateaux. The scientific community is constantly developing more and more evidence to suggest that there may well be a neurological explanation for homosexuality. Although historical studies and purposed treatments have ranged from group counseling to shock therapy, recent research suggests that exposure to an abnormally high or low amount of certain hormones could
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Prenatal hormonal exposure in rats (the major subjects of sex studies both because they are readily available and because their brains remain in a sex-neutral stage for a few days after their birth) occurs a few days before birth ( 3 ).

Hormones are responsible for activating specific neural circuits which in turn cause sex-specific behavior. In males, testosterone induces physical traits as well as "malelike behavior." Without testosterone, estrogen serves as the "default" hormone and causes female development (2). The term sex-specific behavior refers to gender-typical traits, whether the actions are themselves sexual (like rats mounting) or simply social (like young boys typically playing in a more aggressive manner than do girls).

Although both males and females produce the sex hormone testosterone, human production rates can differ by a factor as large as 100, making the effect of this hormone significantly more crucial to attain a balance in the male body than in the female ( 4 ). In the absence of testosterone, estrogen causes female development; in the presence of testosterone, testes will develop — regardless of genetic sex. It has been established ( 3 ) that at a certain prenatal period, the infiltration of superfluous testosterone has a masculinizing effect on female fetuses. An overactive adrenal gland (either in the mother or fetus) or the usage of anti-miscarriage drugs (which mimic
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