The findings of the Karolinska Institute are all over the net and were referenced in this post in this thread among other places. Synopsizing: when exposed to the sex pheremones of males and females, the hypothalamæ*of gay men responded to the pheremones of men rather than of women, while heterosexuals responded to the pheremones of the opposite gender.
The study has been taken a bit further. Gay men respond more strongly to the pheremones of other gay men than they do to the pheremones of straight men. From the abstract of the article in the 7-5-05 issue of The Advocate:
The article is entitled Scents and sexuality by Lisa Neff and is available through a keyword search of the magazine’s homepage but does not have a direct link.
So, could it be that there really is a biological basis for gaydar? Of course, I’m quite attracted to photographs of guys whose scents I could never guess, but this is quite interesting and could provide a hypothesis about how a few times I’ve clocked a fellow traveler even though nothing about him was identifiably gay. Odd.
- Old joke: The hypothalamus is one of the most important parts of the brain, involved in many kinds of motivation, among other functions. The hypothalamus controls the “Four F’s”: 1. fighting; 2. fleeing; 3. feeding; and 4. mating. –
Psychology professor in neuropsychology intro course