Dr. Veronica Drantz, Researcher in Human Sexuality July 20, 2009
Posted by Geekgirl in Uncategorized.
This past weekend I spent some time looking for research and researchers in the area of LGBT Science. I came across Dr. Veronica Drantz, a researcher who actually does research on human sexuality. I wrote to her and let her know that I admired her own blog and that I would be very grateful for any words of wisdom. I was so surprised to receive a lovely email from her and even more surprised that she was gracious enough to post a comment on the blog entitled “Should Scientists Research Why People Are Gay?” Dr. Drantz shares her perspective on the value of this research.
I was so impressed that I decided to use her comment for today’s blog. I strongly encourage you to visit her website. Her explanations and reviews of scientific publications are so much better than mine. And she has cool animated videos to explain things in simple language. Dr. Drantz, watch out, I’ll be learning from you.
Comment from Veronica Drantz, Ph.D.
Why We Should Study Homosexual and Transsexual People
Here’s how I see it. Even if the researchers themselves only wanted to understand the biological basis of homosexuality, the data obtained would tell us much more. If we know the “cause” of homosexuality, then we also know the “cause” of heterosexuality. Comparing the physiology of “gay brains” to “straight brains” allows us to better understand both. There was a time when many people assumed that there was no other “biological” possibility than heterosexuality – that no particular brain structures or functions were involved in sexual orientation per se. Now it is generally agreed that different sexual orientations result from brain differences and furthermore, that those brain differences are innate. This is a major leap in understanding. If the research indicates that homosexuality is not a choice, then it also indicates that heterosexuality is not a choice. Everyone’s sexual orientation has a genetic, anatomical, and physiological basis. The research objective is to understand the biology of sexual orientation – in anybody and everybody, not only gay people. And not just people either – the other mammals too. Sexuality is ancient. The hypothalamic and limbic brain regions involved in sexual behavior are far more ancient than people and are likely much the same in all mammals. So the study of gay and lesbian people is basic biology.
Additionally, by comparing transsexual brains to typical brains, we can eventually understand the neuroscience of sexual identity and know the anatomical and physiological basis of a person’s sexual sensibility of self, whether female, male, or intersex in identity. Once more, the objective is to understand the biology of sexual identity in all people, and likely other mammals as well. Again, this is biology, and it is why the study of innate “core sexuality” is so fascinating to me.
And because I feel like I just got a celebrity’s autograph, I cannot resist sharing her encouraging email. I hope she doesn’t mind.!
Thanks so much for contacting me. I really like your blog too. What good is the scientific research if only the scientists know about it? And LGBT people need all the allies we can get! I have posted a comment to your excellent blog. Keep up the good work!
Ronnie (aka Dr. Drantz)