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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Klüver-Bucy Syndrome, sexual preference changes and Simon LeVay Book


PHOTO: (click photo to enlarge) table of changes to sexual preferences in patients due to damage of their brain. The table was printed in the medical journal paper by Miller, et al., "Hypersexuality or altered sexual preference following brain injury," Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry with Practical Neurology, Aug. 1986, Vol. 49, pp. 868-873 -- PDF. This table included one woman who changed from homosexual to heterosexual orientation. The article notes that “temporal lobe structures play an important role in sexual preference and activity.” The paper notes that the Klüver-Bucy Syndrome, the bilateral temporal lobe dysfunction, is more commonly associated with changes in sexual preferences rather than hyper-sexuality. Note that the term sexual preferences is not the same thing as sexual orientation, such as being gay or straight, because sexual preferences includes other things, such as pedophilia and a desire for sex with objects. The Klüver-Bucy Syndrome and this paper was referenced in the book by Simon LeVay, "Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why, The Science of Sexual Orientation," Oxford University Press, 2011, p. 219, as part of a larger discussion on possible theories for sexual orientation, which may include a biological mechanism in most humans that suppresses homosexual behavior instead of something that would activate it, such as a gene or other biological development process. See previous post Simon LeVay's new gay science book (10/14/10)

Unfortunately, this paper has been quoted out-of-context by ex-gay groups to justify their unethical attempts to change gay people to be straight via prayer and psychotherapy. It is clear from reading Simon LeVay’s book that being gay is an inborn trait that can, at best, be repressed in humans. with a choice for celibacy, and it is set at birth or very early in the development of both men and animals. It is clear that attempts at changing sexual orientation can cause iatrogenic harm.

Due to my low vision blindness, it is taking me years to read Simon LeVay’s news book on gay science. Simon LeVay has been a prolific author on the science of sexual orientation for decades: