Wondering,”Why am I gay?” It may be your brain’s suprachiasmatic nucleus.
It’s okay to be gay. It’s what your brain is telling you to be.
While research is ongoing, as of January 2021 certain structures within the brain’s hypothalamus have been associated with sexual orientation:
- suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN)
- interstitial nucleus of the anterior hypothalamus-3 (INAH-3)
- anterior commissure
If you haven’t already read this site’s home page, it may be helpful to do so. The Intersex article also has additional information.
In short, about six weeks into fetal development, the SRY gene on the Y chromosome initiates production of male hormones in the embryo, kickstarting male development. Absent this influence and male androgens, the sex organs, genitals, and brain development follow female patterning. Sexual anatomy develops during the first half of fetal development, while certain brain structures develop during the second half of fetal development.
If a fetus is exposed to changes in sex hormones, drugs taken by the mother, or environmental chemicals or toxins, these may affect development of brain structures that differentiate between female and male patterning.
If a genetically male (XY) child develops both internal and external sexual organs as male during the first half of fetal development, and then during the second half of fetal development is subject to influences that diminish the amount of male hormones in the fetus, this can push development of one or more brain structures associated with sexual orientation in a different direction, toward female patterning. This can account for a man:
- feeling sexually attracted to men
- feeling sexually attracted to both men and women
- not feeling sexually attracted to anyone
It should be noted that in this case, exposure to sex hormones after birth will not change the structure of the brain or of one’s sexual orientation.
Depending on the degree to which these structures develop either female patterning or male patterning, one’s sexual orientation may lean strongly one way or the other, favor being bisexual, or be ambiguous. However, sexual orientation is not a choice.
For additional information on the complexities and potential mosaic or inconsistent mix of female and male development in both anatomical and brain development, check out Not a Choice.
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1 thought on “Wondering,”Why am I gay?” It may be your brain’s suprachiasmatic nucleus.”
Congratulations on your first, very informative, post, PJ!