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Being Gay Determined By Mother’s Lifestyle Choices Claims Neuroscientist

by David Badash on January 20, 2014

in Discrimination,News

Post image for Being Gay Determined By Mother’s Lifestyle Choices Claims Neuroscientist

If You’re Gay, It’s Not Your Lifestyle Choices But Your Mother’s, Says Top Brain Doctor

A highly-respected Dutch neuroscientist is claiming a mother’s behavior during pregnancy can increases chances of having a gay or lesbian child. Dick Swaab, the former Director of the Dutch Institute for Brain Research at the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences is claiming that smoking or doing drugs while pregnant increases the chances of having a daughter who is lesbian or bisexual. He also claims that a woman who is under stress when pregnant is more likely to have gay or lesbian children.

Schwaab’s new book, We Are Our Brains: A Neurobiography of the Brain, from the Womb to Alzheimer’s, is being called “controversial” by the London Daily Mail.

The lifestyle of pregnant mothers affects the sexuality of their unborn child, altering their hormones and the formation of their brains, it claims.

“Pregnant women suffering from stress are also more likely to have homosexual children of both genders because their raised level of the stress hormone cortisol affects the production of foetal sex hormones,” says Dr. Swaab. “Pre-birth exposure to both nicotine and amphetamines increases the chance of lesbian daughters,” he adds.

“The more older brothers a boy has, the greater the chance that he will be homosexual,” Swaab says. “This is due to a mother’s immune response to male substances produced by boy babies in the womb, a response that becomes stronger with each pregnancy.”

We certainly are strong believers in science, but common sense seems to have been left out of this study.

Of course, gay, lesbian, and bisexual people have existed since the dawn of time, and there is no accurate information that leads us to believe gay people are now being born at a higher rate. And since nicotine and amphetamines are relatively new inventions, common sense seems to be lacking here.

“There does not seem to be a shred of evidence to support the idea that a mother’s lifestyle changes a child’s sexuality,” says Ben Summerskill, the head of Stonewall UK.

Some good news, though, in the book. “Professor Swaab, 69, says his view that sexuality is decided in the womb demolishes the argument, often made by ultra-conservative groups, that gay people can be ‘cured,’” the Mail reports.


Image via Wikimedia

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redtinboat January 20, 2014 at 6:37 pm

This "highly respected" guy… is an ass. I think I will write my resume and omit all the important stuff. I'm just going to put my name and under it, "highly respected" because that's enough.

Nomadic_view January 20, 2014 at 6:56 pm

And you can determine a person's character by feeling the bumps on his head. Bet you didn't know that?

Actually this information has been around for years but it is just one step away from trying to find a way to prevent gay babies which is not only absurd but insulting.

Magilacutty January 21, 2014 at 2:39 am

I am a gay man and none of the theories mentioned above apply to me. My mother has never smoked nor taken drugs. I am the third of four children the oldest a girl the next a boy and the youngest another boy. By the above information I should have been straight and my younger brother should have been gay as he was not only the third boy but our mother had a difficult and stressful pregnancy.

BJLincoln January 21, 2014 at 7:37 am

Everyone is trying to figure out why we exist. In the end, does it matter? We do exist. We have been around longer than man has been upright. We are not new. Our families are not new. The only new thing is we have stepped out of the closet to ask for the same protections for our love and families that the rest get. We will not be going away any time soon either. Why is this so hard for some people to understand?

Llantha January 21, 2014 at 2:27 pm

So how do you explain gay horses and birds… What a jerk.

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