Gay dads' brains show activity akin to both parents': study


#1

Having a baby alters new mothers’ brain activity, researchers have found, and a new study adds the first evidence of such changes in the brains of gay men raising children they adopted through surrogacy. The men’s pattern of brain activity resembles that of both new mothers and new fathers in the study.

Very interesting!


#2

Interesting, I know some gays are actually pro-life even though they can’t reproduce, it’s always interesting to see which side they support. Some leave politics out of it.


#3

While this is nice…

Surrogacy is not.


#4

I wasn’t clear after reading that article…whether they meant fathers who were biologically linked to the baby…or fathers who were not biologically linked at all and just adopted…?

.


#5

Interesting and it leads more credence to the belief that the APA was wrong back in the 70s. Homosexuality seems to be proven more and more to be psychological in genesis at least in large part. This study seeks to prove that “gay” dad’s brains exhibit abnormal activity. Not exactly a shock.


#6

Sounds like somebody needed a publication so as not to parish. Earthly science is a scam! There is nothing that humans can know that does not come from God. Give credit where credit is due.

LOVE! :heart:


#7

The title somewhat misleading. While it’s true that homosexual men did exhibit both types of neurological activity, I sincerely doubt that this phenomenon is a result of their homosexuality. In reality, this is likely the result of a breakdown of traditional parenting roles. Mothers and Fathers both assume distinct parenting roles, and these roles probably influence brain activity. Since gay men have to assume both roles, it makes sense that their brain chemistry would reflect that diversity. By the same token, single heterosexuals and lesbian couples probably show the same brain activity. In other words, the title is misleading because it implies that this activity is unique to gay men while, in reality, it is a property of anyone who has to adopt both parenting role.


#8

I agree. I am a hetero female who happens to be married to a truck driver. During the time he was working over the road and only home a few days a month I was both mother and father to the kids. I’d be willing to bet that my brain then and now is more similar to the men in this study than to the average married housewife.

Also, just because the thought crossed my mind, I’d go a step further and say it’s not just the distinct way men and women parent that has broken down and caused the difference in brain activity. It’s probably the breakdown in gender roles in other areas, too.


#9

:thumbsup:

Sounds like somebody needed a publication so as not to parish. Earthly science is a scam! There is nothing that humans can know that does not come from God. Give credit where credit is due.

LOVE!

Sorry, but this is nonsense. Science isn’t a scam, it’s a gift form God to help us understand the glorious universe that He created for us. The more I learn from science, the greater my admiration for God becomes. Scientists trying to use science to prove or disprove God is certainly a scam, but science itself is a wonderful tool.


#10

Ehm… that would be one of the worse non sequiturs I’ve seen this month. This study proves nothing of the sort. It says something about brain activity in people who are raising a child in a same-sex setting (it would not surprise me if heterosexual, single-parent fathers exhibited the same characteristic), not about general characteristics in gay males’ brains.

Lastly, if differences in brain function were indeed found between gay and heterosexual individuals, it would indicate a neurological genesis, not a psychological one. It would actually be a strong indication that they are, most likely, born that way, since structural change of the brain is rare (and limited) later in life.


#11

Do you have a source? Is there anything that exists that is outside of God? It’s God who infuses us with knowledge, and we need to turn to religion to understand this. Our world belongs to God; there is nothing that can be learned that does not come from God.

LOVE! :heart:


#12

Neurological and psychological are heavily linked. Problems in brain chemistry are generally behind most Psychosis (which is why we’re able to treat most of them with various forms of medication. If it weren’t the result of brain chemistry, this wouldn’t be possible). Basically what Corki was trying to say is that it lends credence to the train of though which says that homosexual inclinations are a result of a imbalanced chemistry in the brain, which would make it a treatable condition, meaning that it is not a natural state for the human person to inhabit.

Being “born that way” has zero affect on if something is moral, or if it’s an appropriate or desirable state of being. A Schizophrenic may be born a schizophrenic, but that doesn’t mean that being a schizophrenic is a good thing. Similarly, if homosexual inclinations can be shown to be the result of an imbalanced brain chemistry, the appropriate thing to do would be to seek a way to correct that imbalance and allow the brain to function properly.

I still think it’s a mixture though, part chemistry part upbringing.


#13

I agree. This study shows that a biological mother’s brain activity is unique. No matter how much men want to pretend to be Mom, they just aren’t. Plus, brain activity says nothing about whether someone is a good parent.


#14

I agree with that 110%. All I’m saying is that science isn’t a scam. All knowledge comes from God, because all that exists comes from God. The pursuit of this knowledge isn’t a bad thing though, so long as it’s done properly in pursuit of God. The Church has always supported scientists and “learned men” who seek a greater understanding of His creation, so long as they do not violate natural law.


#15

Obviously neurology and psychology is linked. However, that does not mean that if something shows on an MRI (or other imaging), it is psychological in the sense that it should be in the DSM, which is what Corki implied.

Following Corki’s logic, everything from epilepsy to Alzheimer’s should be in the DSM.

Basically what Corki was trying to say is that it lends credence to the train of though which says that homosexual inclinations are a result of a imbalanced chemistry in the brain, which would make it a treatable condition, meaning that it is not a natural state for the human person to inhabit.

If it is the product of structural differences in the brain (which is very likely), then no, it’s not automatically treatable.

As for the increasingly dreary debates about it being a “natural state” or not: People should stop confusing the theological term “nature” with the scientific term “natural”. The former says something about our teleology, not our biology. The latter says something about our biology (which is a product of our fallen state), but nothing whatsoever about our teleology.

Psychosis is natural. Epilepsy is natural. Narcolepsy is natural. Alzheimer’s is natural. Bipolar disorder is natural. All of those are conditions which are often heavily linked to either genetics or events during pregnancy. In the same way, homosexuality is natural in the scientific sense - it occurs in nature. The reason it is not in any diagnostic handbooks is simply that it doesn’t cause impairment and is therefore not worthy of treatment from a medical point of view. Unless of course you see living in celibacy as an impaired state of life, in which case you’re really starting to be at odds with the Church here :wink:

Being “born that way” has zero affect on if something is moral, or if it’s an appropriate or desirable state of being.

Did I say it did?

A Schizophrenic may be born a schizophrenic, but that doesn’t mean that being a schizophrenic is a good thing.

Did I say it is?

(I would, however, say, that in and of it self, being schizophrenic is neutral. The effects may be horrible when the patient is psychotic, but those I know who are schizophrenic also have creative abilities which are rather unique for people with such disorders. For this reason, few of them would really wish they were born otherwise.)

Similarly, if homosexual inclinations can be shown to be the result of an imbalanced brain chemistry, the appropriate thing to do would be to seek a way to correct that imbalance and allow the brain to function properly.

Why? We don’t correct congenital conditions unless they cause impairment. Your fundamental notion here is a dangerous one; namely, that any and all difference in neurological function should be treated to return it to “normal”. There’s a very short leap from that to eugenics. Should someone with Autism Spectrum Disorder, whose brain functions very differently from the “normal”, be “corrected”, too? ASD actually causes impairment, but yet, “allowing the[ir] brain to function properly” would in this case be tantamount to erase the person and replace them with a new one. I suspect the same would be true for someone who’s attracted to the same sex.

As an example regarding the impairment condition, I have delayed sleep phase disorder, which in my case was clearly visible on a polysomnography. It is (when it persists into adulthood) probably something I’m born with, but it can be easily treated through the use of melatonin. Yet, the first thing the neurologist asked me was if it caused any impairment. Would it be possible for me to just sleep when I needed sleep, and work when I was awake? Sadly, in my case that’s not possible most of the time, so I take melatonin to correct it. But this is a prime example of how medicine works (or should work): Unless a condition causes impairment, it is not to be treated. If a condition as such doesn’t cause impairment, it’s simply not seen as an illness or disorder at all. That is the reason homosexuality was removed from the DSM.

Not being attracted to the opposite sex does in no way cause impairment; celibacy is celebrated, not frowned upon, in Catholicism. It has traditionally been seen as the better way. In that sense, being homosexual could even be seen as a blessing, if it prompts the person to choose the better way :wink: . In either case, I would see changing the (again, in the scientific sense) natural sexual attractions of a gay person through medicine as a form of castration, or perhaps even lobotomy. According to the Catechism, those who struggle with homosexual attractions are called to chastity, not to seeking a “cure”.

I still think it’s a mixture though, part chemistry part upbringing.

There’s probably generally a mix of nature and nurture, yes. That does not however mean it can (or should) be treated.


#16

I’ll probably care more about the brains of gay fathers when God tells me He supports gay parenting and adoption.


#17

I disagree that he implied that, however, that’s not really the point

If it is the product of structural differences in the brain (which is very likely), then no, it’s not automatically treatable.

Not currently treatable, no, however, as our understanding of the brain grows, it would become more and more likely that a treatment could be developed.

As for the increasingly dreary debates about it being a “natural state” or not: People should stop confusing the theological term “nature” with the scientific term “natural”. The former says something about our teleology, not our biology. The latter says something about our biology (which is a product of our fallen state), but nothing whatsoever about our teleology.

I’m not implying that it does say anything about theology, or have anything to do with theology at all. Observation of nature (scientific nature) easily concludes that the natural state of sexuality is geared towards procreation, and sexual activity not geared towards procreation could be considered abnormal because it rejects the proper ends of a natural act. The point of sex is procreation, that’s what it’s completely geared towards. The pleasurable components of it are intended to increase the likelihood that sexual intercourse will occur (again, this is speaking purely from nature, ignoring theology). When sex is not geared towards procreation, it is not fulfilling it’s purpose. When something in nature is not doing what it’s supposed to, we generally call that something disordered.

Psychosis is natural. Epilepsy is natural. Narcolepsy is natural. Alzheimer’s is natural. Bipolar disorder is natural. All of those are conditions which are often heavily linked to either genetics or events during pregnancy. In the same way, homosexuality is natural in the scientific sense - it occurs in nature.

Agreed, all of these things -may- occur naturally (the may thrown in specifically for homosexuality in that list). I don’t think we’d agree that those things are good things though? And, in all but one (again, homosexuality) fixes/cures are being actively sought.

The reason it is not in any diagnostic handbooks is simply that it doesn’t cause impairment and is therefore not worthy of treatment from a medical point of view. Unless of course you see living in celibacy as an impaired state of life, in which case you’re really starting to be at odds with the Church here :wink:

That’s a matter of opinion. It doesn’t cause impairment in that a person is still able to function on a social level…usually… However, it does cause impairment in that it prevent the natural ends of sex from being achieved (that is, homosexual acts are incapable of procreation, which is the natural end of sexuality). From that stance, it is an impairment because it makes use of a natural faculty in an unnatural way. Celibacy is not comparable because it does not use a natural faculty in a manner contrary to it’s goal, it simply chooses not to use the natural faculty at all.

Did I say it did?

Nope, I just threw it in as a continuation of the thought I was having.

Did I say it is?

(I would, however, say, that in and of it self, being schizophrenic is neutral. The effects may be horrible when the patient is psychotic, but those I know who are schizophrenic also have creative abilities which are rather unique for people with such disorders. For this reason, few of them would really wish they were born otherwise.)

Again, no, you didn’t. However, if you recognize that one is an impairment, it is necessary to recognize that the other is an impairment based on the “fact” that (in this theoretical scenario) they are both based on a faulty distribution of chemicals in the brain…

continued…


#18

Why? We don’t correct congenital conditions unless they cause impairment. Your fundamental notion here is a dangerous one; namely, that any and all difference in neurological function should be treated to return it to “normal”. There’s a very short leap from that to eugenics. Should someone with Autism Spectrum Disorder, whose brain functions very differently from the “normal”, be “corrected”, too? ASD actually causes impairment, but yet, “allowing the[ir] brain to function properly” would in this case be tantamount to erase the person and replace them with a new one. I suspect the same would be true for someone who’s attracted to the same sex.

You’re drawing conclusions that are not present in my statement. I did not say that any neurological differences should be treated, I simply drew a comparison between various neurological disorders that are treated, and one that people have chosen not to treat. As I said above, whether or not it causes an impairment is open to debate. I maintain that it does, and should be treated as such. Autism is a different beast entirely, however, if a treatment existed which would allow an autistic person to function fully, then yeah, I’d say that it would make the most sense (in a strictly natural discussion) to seek that correction.

Treating a disorder is very, very different from eugenics, which actively seeks specific traits. I’m talking about fixing something once a problem occurs, through the use of therapy/medication. Eugenics is about preventing certain traits from procreating, with a specific desired end in mind. I don’t see how you can compare treating a disorder once it’s occurred with forcibly seeking specific genetics traits. Therapy would also not “replace” the person with the disorder any more than treating a drug addicts addiction changes who they are. The final expression of their personality may be different due to increased capacities, but the core person remains intact. This discussion is beginning to verge on the metaphysical, however, since science really has no idea where personality comes from or how it is “stored.” I would definitely start venturing into theology here, which is something you seem keen to avoid, so I will stop.

As an example regarding the impairment condition, I have delayed sleep phase disorder, which in my case was clearly visible on a polysomnography. It is (when it persists into adulthood) probably something I’m born with, but it can be easily treated through the use of melatonin. Yet, the first thing the neurologist asked me was if it caused any impairment. Would it be possible for me to just sleep when I needed sleep, and work when I was awake? Sadly, in my case that’s not possible most of the time, so I take melatonin to correct it. But this is a prime example of how medicine works (or should work): Unless a condition causes impairment, it is not to be treated. If a condition as such doesn’t cause impairment, it’s simply not seen as an illness or disorder at all. That is the reason homosexuality was removed from the DSM.

I think it boils down to whether or not you consider homosexuality an impairment. Personally, I do. That opinion is heavily based on somone’s personal experience, and therefore is far too subject to use as a basis for action, imo.

Not being attracted to the opposite sex does in no way cause impairment; celibacy is celebrated, not frowned upon, in Catholicism. It has traditionally been seen as the better way. In that sense, being homosexual could even be seen as a blessing, if it prompts the person to choose the better way :wink: . In either case, I would see changing the (again, in the scientific sense) natural sexual attractions of a gay person through medicine as a form of castration, or perhaps even lobotomy. According to the Catechism, those who struggle with homosexual attractions are called to chastity, not to seeking a “cure”.

Correcting a chemical imbalance can in absolutely no way be compared to castration or lobotomy, which completely destroy the natural operations of the body. They’re polar opposites…

(I welcome you to replay, and I’ll be happy to read your response, but I’m afraid I can’t continue this lengthy debate at the moment. Work beckons >_>)


#19

(First: I’m sorry about the heavy snipping in your quotes, I tried to fit it all into one post, then gave up… But rest assured I wrote my replies before snipping, so I’m not trying to misrepresent you :slight_smile: )

Given that his first statement was that “it leads more credence to the belief that the APA was wrong back in the 70s”, I’m having a hard time to see how he could not have meant to imply it.

Not currently treatable, no, however, as our understanding of the brain grows, it would become more and more likely that a treatment could be developed.

Quite possible, but when something is structural, it generally affects more than just one aspect of a personality. This is my main point here; to change the sexual orientation, you’d probably have to change too much of the person.

I’m not implying that it does say anything about theology, or have anything to do with theology at all. Observation of nature (scientific nature) easily concludes that the natural state of sexuality is geared towards (…)

Your argument here is teleological, and hence an exact example of this confusion of theology and science I’m speaking about.

Natural science don’t dabble in teleology. If something naturally occurs in nature with no external manipulation, then it is seen as natural.

That said, arguments from nature (as in inference from “is” to “ought”) are irrelevant and/or fallacious in ethics and moral theology. I’m just pointing out that countering people’s statements that homosexuality is “natural” with teleological argumentation is useless, since teleology isn’t even a concept in modern science, and most people use the word “nature” in its scientific meaning these days, or at least something close to it. Pointing out the “is to ought” fallacy works a lot better.

Agreed, all of these things -may- occur naturally(…) I don’t think we’d agree that those things are good things though? And, in all but one (…)fixes/cures are being actively sought

Some of the things I mentioned are neutral, some are bad. But again, cures are only being actively sought when a condition is detrimental to someone’s ability to function in life. Homosexuality simply doesn’t fulfill that requirement, unless you apply a generous amount of sophistry…

(…)However, it does cause impairment in that it prevent the natural ends of sex from being achieved (that is, homosexual acts are incapable of procreation, which is the natural end of sexuality).

From that stance, it is an impairment (…) [celibacy] simply chooses not to use the natural faculty at all.

By this logic, celibacy is also disordered. Celibacy is not simply the lack of exercise of one’s sexuality, but directing it towards other ends than sexual fulfillment.

And again, you’re mixing teleology, which a theological and philosophical concept, into medicine. Homosexuality is not an impairment according to the medical definition of the word, and hence it is not worthy of medical attention.

Nope, I just threw it in as a continuation of the thought I was having.
Again, no, you didn’t.

Okay, just needed to clarify :slight_smile:

However, if you recognize that one is an impairment, it is necessary to recognize that the other is an impairment based on the “fact” that (in this theoretical scenario) they are both based on a faulty distribution of chemicals in the brain…

The problem here is that you assume that different brain structure equals faulty brain structure. From a purely scientific level, there is no reason to believe this.

But again, you do not maintain that on grounds of medicine, but on grounds of ideology. I’m saying ideology here on purpose - Catholic teaching nowhere states that homosexual attractions should be “treated”.

Autism is a different beast entirely, however, if a treatment existed(…)

The problem here is that autistic people do “function fully”. They just don’t function like everyone else.

And in a strictly natural discussion, it would make no sense at all to seek that correction, other than from a (grossly mistaken) eugenic perspective. It would effectively erase the person, since autism so drastically affects the entire cognitive functioning. This is why you’ll find incredibly few, if any, autistic individuals who would be willing to accept such a cure.

That said, I’m not against social training, treatment for sensory dysfunction/oversensitivity, treatments which would help non-verbal autists speak, and so on. But a cure which turns an autistic person into a neurotypical one? It would be morally despicable, and not least detrimental to society - too many of those people we call “geniuses” are really autistic.


#20

Treating a disorder is very, very different from eugenics, which actively seeks specific traits.

The problem is that when you start treating something you define as a disorder based on ideology, you are seeking specific traits, in this case normalcy.

The same goes for curing autistic individuals - in and of itself, the condition mainly causes impairment because of how the rest of society works. Even non-verbality would not be a problem on a deserted island. Most of the other conditions I mentioned, however, would be - even psychosis. The only place where autism needs to be “cured” is in a eugenic society.

(…)Eugenics is about preventing certain traits from procreating, with a specific desired end in mind.(…)

Your definition of eugenics is too narrow. It is also about the eradication of biological traits we don’t like; homosexuality is certainly one of those traits.

I’m probably using the term rather widely though; my point is that the motivation behind the eugenic movement of the last century can just as well lead society to “cure” conditions rather than seek to remove them from the gene pool.

Lastly, the comparison is relevant because homosexuality indeed was one of the traits many in the eugenic movements wanted to remove.

Therapy would also not “replace” the person with the disorder any more than treating a drug addicts addiction changes who they are.(…)

A “cure” for homosexuality isn’t even close to how we treat drug addicts. More similar would be how drug addiction can be cured once and for all (it’s done in China, among other places); by removing (in some cases parts of) the pleasure center in the brain. In that case, the person is indeed drastically changed, since pretty much all drive to achieve anything which is rewarded by that center is erased.

Homosexuality statistically also often comes with a greater affinity for the aesthetic; there is a reason why you’ll see a much higher percentage of gay people in creative communities. If you modify the brain (either through drugs or surgery), there is every reason to believe those traits would be changed, similar to what happens to drug addicts in China (or was it Russia, or both…).

Whether or not the person would be “erased” or not is probably a matter of opinion. But if families were to barely recognize the person afterwards (which is generally what happens if large structures in the brain are altered), in a sense I think it would constitute a “rewrite”.

This discussion is beginning to verge on the metaphysical, however, since science really has no idea where personality comes from or how it is “stored.”

Science has a rather good idea where personality is stored, given the fact that it is rather predictable what happens to someone’s personality if you mess with their brain.

That is, it’s predictable that something happens, not exactly what happens. Which is why I’m extremely skeptical to any treatment of traits that seem to be governed by larger structures of the brain. Whether the treatment is chemical or surgical, it is a kind of lobotomy.

I would definitely start venturing into theology here, which is something you seem keen to avoid, so I will stop.

I’m afraid you ventured into theology the second you mentioned “purpose” :slight_smile:

I think it boils down to whether or not you consider homosexuality an impairment. Personally, I do. That opinion is heavily based on somone’s personal experience, and therefore is far too subject to use as a basis for action, imo.

Impairment is rather well defined in medicine, and while obviously it’s not an exact, measurable term, I have yet to see a good argument for why homosexuality should be seen as an impairment in the medical sense of the word. Most of the arguments could just as well be used to turn heterosexuality into a diagnosis, too.

Correcting a chemical imbalance can in absolutely no way be compared to castration or lobotomy, which completely destroy the natural operations of the body. They’re polar opposites…

Ehm no, they’re everything but polar opposites. Whether a treatment is surgical or chemical, if it changes brain function for good, it is the same thing.

And if a future chemical treatment is invented which changes the brain into heterosexual permanently, it’s exactly the same. A permanent alteration of the brain. Some people had great effects from lobotomy too, but it doesn’t mean the treatment was ethical. In the same way, I would find any “cure” for homosexuality that changed the brain, and their personality along with it, to be unethical.

(I welcome you to replay, and I’ll be happy to read your response, but I’m afraid I can’t continue this lengthy debate at the moment. Work beckons >_>)

Same here really. Thank you, it was fun :slight_smile:


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