Are you asking,”Why am I attracted to other women?” Ask the brain’s INAH-3. Or its suprachiasmatic nucleus.

Are you asking,”Why am I attracted to other women?” Ask the brain’s INAH-3. Or its suprachiasmatic nucleus.

It’s okay to be attracted to other women. It’s what your brain is telling you to do.

While research is ongoing, as of January 2021, specific 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 detail.

In short, sexual anatomy develops during the first half of fetal development, while certain brain structures develop during the second half of fetal development. By default, that is, without the influence of a Y chromosome, fetal development proceeds with female patterning in internal sex organs, genitals, and sexually-differentiated brain structures.

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. Certain drugs administered to the pregnant mother or environmental chemicals to which she is exposed can mimic male hormones and push development of the fetus toward male sexual patterning.

If a genetic female – XX, or any number of X chromosomes with no Y chromosome present – child develops both internal and external sexual organs as female during the first half of fetal development, and then during the second half of fetal development is subject to influences that push development of one or more brain structures associated with sexual orientation in a different, male-patterned direction, this can account for a woman:

  • feeling sexually attracted to other women
  • feeling sexually attracted to both men and women
  • not feeling sexually attracted to anyone

It should be noted that exposure to sex hormones after birth will not change the structure of the brain or 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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