Feeds

Inside the mind of the gay sheep

Boffins seek reason for ovine homosexuality

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Absolute proof that scientific research budgets are not always squandered on sniffing around the Martian surface or making particles go really fast comes with the latest findings of a team from the Oregon Health & Science University School.

Indeed, proponents of the theory that there may be structural differences between the brains of heterosexual and homosexual men will be delighted with the results of the latest research into gay sheep.

The team's probing of the workings of the minds of these furry Friends of Dorothy indicate that they have smaller ovine sexually dimorphic nuclei (oSDNs) than their straight counterparts.

These nerve cells are found in the hypothalamus, which is - among other things - responsible for sexual behaviour. Apparently, rams who prefer the company of ladies have larger oSDNs packed with more neurons.

The team tested 27 adult, 4-year-old sheep of various breeds. The group comprised eight males who preferred girls, nine with a penchant for boy-on-boy and 10 ewes whose sexual proclivities are not noted. Animal experts reckon that around 8 per cent of domestic rams demonstrate homosexual tendencies.

Team leader professor Charles Roselli said: "This particular study, along with others, strongly suggests that sexual preference is biologically determined in animals, and possibly in humans. The hope is that the study of these brain differences will provide clues to the processes involved in the development of heterosexual, as well as homosexual behaviour."

So there you have it. Mankind takes another significant step on the road towards ultimate scientific enlightenment. ®

Related link

The Volume of a Sexually Dimorphic Nucleus in the Ovine Medial Preoptic Area/Anterior Hypothalamus Varies with Sexual Partner Preference

Animal crackers

Barging ants solve network congestion
Mice grow monkey sperm

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Saturn spotted spawning new FEMTO-MOON
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.