Do Gay Men Have a Poor Sense of Direction?
Posted by jonathanfryer on Tuesday, 17th June, 2008
Scientific research rarely makes me laugh out loud, but the findings from work done by Ivanca Savic and Per Linstrom of the Stockholm Brain Institute in Sweden (published yesterday in the American journal, ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’) have led to the conclusion that heterosexual women and gay men have symmeticral brains, whereas heterosexual men and lesbians have asymmetrical ones. I have long beeen persuaded by the argument that sexual orientation is largely a matter of nature rather than nurture, i.e. determined by biology (including neurology) rather than psychology, let alone being a matter of ‘choice’. But this new research gives signifcant added weight to the theory previously propounded by Qazi Rahman at Queen Mary, University of London, just up the road from where I live, that differential brain structures make heterosexual women and gay men worse a having a sense of direction than their heterosexual male or lesbian counterparts. The first time I heard that argument, as Nancy Mitford would say, I shrieked, but now it seems at last that not only can husbands and wives find valid reasons for ‘her indoors’ being crap at map-reading, but it gives a whole new dimension to the old Lily Savage jibes about ‘dizzy queens’.