Still just monkeys, but with gaydar

While listening to the podcast “And the winner is…”, a compilation of CBC radio shows which have won awards in various competitions around the world, I heard an old Quirks & Quarks episode about ongoing research into the gay gene. That there’s a biological basis for the homosexual behaviour seen in most animals is hardly news, but they mentioned a 2005 study I hadn’t heard of before. You might have thought that gaydar was just about noticing a swishy walk, but apparently gay men can also identify the pheromones of other gay men. That impresses me just as much as learning that women can detect aptitude for childrearing in men just from a photo.

One other point of interest in that podcast was a brief explanation of why there seems to be so much research on homosexual behaviour in men, but not women. The opinion of the researchers they interviewed was not that more research had been done on men, but that the results tended to be less clear in the case of women, making it harder to find answers. Part of the problem is that men’s sexuality has historically been studied more, but women’s sexuality also seems to be more complex. I’ve often wondered about this apparent research bias myself, but the interviewees seemed just as interested in learning about women, they just thought it would take more time. Good to know.

Oh, and by the way, I have to say that one of the male researchers they interviewed sounded totally gay to me. I’ll leave it to the women reading this to offer opinions about the female researchers, though.