Does stress in womb raise chances of baby growing up to be gay? Controversial book also claims smoking and drugs affect sexuality

  • conservativej...

    Posts: 2465

    Jan 20, 2014 3:53 PM GMT
    From the Daily Mail

    Women who suffer stress during pregnancy increase the chance of their child being gay, according to a controversial new book.

    The lifestyle of pregnant mothers affects the sexuality of their unborn child, altering their hormones and the formation of their brains, it claims.

    Smoking or taking drugs can also result in a child who grows up to be gay, according to the book by Dutch neuroscientist Dick Swaab, which is yet another chapter in the debate about the origins and causes of homosexuality.

    Professor Swaab believes that a child’s sexuality is determined in the womb and cannot be altered, while others argue that it is affected by upbringing or ‘selected’ as a lifestyle choice.

    In his book, We Are Our Brains, he writes: ‘Although it’s frequently assumed that development after birth also importantly affects our sexual orientation, there’s no proof of this whatsoever.

    ‘Children brought up by lesbians aren’t more likely to be homosexual. Nor is there any evidence at all for the misconception that homosexuality is a “lifestyle choice”.’

    Professor Swaab says that the development of the brain during pregnancy is altered by the tiniest of chemical changes.

    As an example, he claims that a drug prescribed to two million mothers to combat miscarriages during the 1940s and 1950s increased the likelihood of bisexuality and homosexuality in their unborn children.

    ‘Pre-birth exposure to nicotine or amphetamines also increases the likelihood of lesbian daughters,’ he writes in the book.

    ‘Pregnant woman suffering from stress are also more likely to give birth to homosexual children, because their raised levels of the stress hormone cortisol affect the production of fetal sex hormones.’

    And he claims: ‘The more older brothers a boy has, the greater the chance that he will be homosexual.

    ‘This is due to a mother’s immune response to male substances produced by boy babies in the womb, a response that becomes stronger with each pregnancy.’

    Professor Swaab, based at the University of Amsterdam, has ignited controversy with his opinions before.

    When he first explored differences in the brains of homosexual and heterosexual people in the 1980s there was a huge outcry from gay rights campaigners, who said his findings cast homosexuality as a ‘medical problem’.

    But Professor Swaab, 69, says his view that sexuality is decided in the womb demolishes the argument, often made by ultra-conservative groups, that gay people can be ‘cured’.

    Homosexuality is not the only subject of Professor Swaab’s wide-ranging book.

    His other controversial claims include the idea that annoying behaviour in teenagers may be evolution’s way of preventing incest, and that difficult births may cause schizophrenia, autism and anorexia.

    Ben Summerskill, chief executive of gay rights organisation Stonewall, said: ‘There does not seem to be a shred of evidence to support the idea that a mother’s lifestyle changes a child’s sexuality.

    ‘Our feeling is that sexuality is probably is caused by genetic inclination, but until the evidence is there, nobody can say either way.’

    Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell welcomed the professor’s ideas.

    He said: ‘It is a slapdown for religious and political homophobes. If being gay is mostly or wholly determined by biological factors prior to birth, it is immoral to condemn or discriminate against lesbians and gay men.’






  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 20, 2014 6:43 PM GMT
    Where did they find women who *don't * suffer stress during pregnancy? That's a hard job.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jan 20, 2014 6:55 PM GMT
    JohnSpotter saidWhere did they find women who *don't * suffer stress during pregnancy? That's a hard job.

    I remember hearing that decades ago there was a stigma placed on mothers of autistic children, based on similar reasoning that it was their fault, due to failures during pregnancy. There was actually a made for TV movie about it, which I watched as a kid, starring Angelica Houston.

    I think my own parents have faced some stigma for their son and daughter (my sister and me) both being gay.

    (I wouldn't be surprised if posters on RJ add their own snide comments to this revelation about my family.)icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Rowing_Ant

    Posts: 1504

    Jan 20, 2014 8:22 PM GMT
    As an Identical Twin, I'd be interested to see the data set and methodology used as presumbly both my twin and I in my mother's womb were affected and effected by the same "stress" my mother went through....so why one gay and one straight?

    Anyone's gues
  • metta

    Posts: 39089

    Jan 20, 2014 8:30 PM GMT
    What is he basing this on? Where are the studies?

    I think he is way off.

    My parents never smoked or did drugs. Some of his other statements I agree with.

    I do believe that women that have children later in life have a higher chance of having a gay child, especially when they have previously had several boys. And I think that hormones may play a part in that.

  • Rowing_Ant

    Posts: 1504

    Jan 20, 2014 8:32 PM GMT
    Well said, Jaggal!

    But it mustve really hurt the Daily Mail to print something which says being a Gay is not a Choice....
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jan 20, 2014 8:40 PM GMT
    Rowing_Ant saidAs an Identical Twin, I'd be interested to see the data set and methodology used as presumbly both my twin and I in my mother's womb were affected and effected by the same "stress" my mother went through....so why one gay and one straight?

    Anyone's gues

    Inequality in the womb, via epigenetics???

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenetic_theories_of_homosexuality
  • bro4bro

    Posts: 1030

    Jan 20, 2014 8:43 PM GMT
    If you read closely, you'll see that all of the theories that homosexuality is a congenital, as opposed to a genetic, condition - the "stress/hormonal" theory, the "older brothers" theory, etc - hinge on the idea that homosexuals are "feminized" males.

    It certainly doesn't do much to explain the existence of tops.

    Or, more to the point...

    Fuck that shit.

    Bring that so-called scientist over here and I'll kick his pussy ass for him. And then he can tell us who's feminized.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 20, 2014 8:46 PM GMT
    HottJoe said
    JohnSpotter saidWhere did they find women who *don't * suffer stress during pregnancy? That's a hard job.

    I remember hearing that decades ago there was a stigma placed on mothers of autistic children, based on similar reasoning that it was their fault, due to failures during pregnancy. There was actually a made for TV movie about it, which I watched as a kid, starring Angelica Houston.

    I think my own parents have faced some stigma for their son and daughter (my sister and me) both being gay.

    (I wouldn't be surprised if posters on RJ add their own snide comments to this revelation about my family.)icon_rolleyes.gif


    Well your mother can rest assured that my mother has her beat. She gave birth to three gay sons.
  • Rowing_Ant

    Posts: 1504

    Jan 20, 2014 8:54 PM GMT
    Was she a smoker? icon_lol.gif
  • conservativej...

    Posts: 2465

    Jan 20, 2014 8:56 PM GMT
    JohnSpotter saidWhere did they find women who *don't * suffer stress during pregnancy? That's a hard job.


    I have two pregnant women in my household at the moment along with three gay men and two one year olds. Believe me, pregnant women know how to pass the stress along. :-)
  • conservativej...

    Posts: 2465

    Jan 20, 2014 8:59 PM GMT
    HottJoe said
    JohnSpotter saidWhere did they find women who *don't * suffer stress during pregnancy? That's a hard job.

    I remember hearing that decades ago there was a stigma placed on mothers of autistic children, based on similar reasoning that it was their fault, due to failures during pregnancy. There was actually a made for TV movie about it, which I watched as a kid, starring Angelica Houston.

    I think my own parents have faced some stigma for their son and daughter (my sister and me) both being gay.

    (I wouldn't be surprised if posters on RJ add their own snide comments to this revelation about my family.)icon_rolleyes.gif


    I think it is wonderful you have a lesbian sister. I would very much enjoy having a lesbian sister I think.
  • conservativej...

    Posts: 2465

    Jan 20, 2014 9:05 PM GMT
    Rowing_Ant saidWell said, Jaggal!

    But it mustve really hurt the Daily Mail to print something which says being a Gay is not a Choice....


    I did not know the Daily Mail had an opinion as to whether gayness was a choice. The article was within a clipping service e-mail I received and not something I went looking for, although I do manage the key words for which it searches.
  • conservativej...

    Posts: 2465

    Jan 20, 2014 9:10 PM GMT
    HottJoe said
    Rowing_Ant saidAs an Identical Twin, I'd be interested to see the data set and methodology used as presumbly both my twin and I in my mother's womb were affected and effected by the same "stress" my mother went through....so why one gay and one straight?

    Anyone's gues

    Inequality in the womb, via epigenetics???

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenetic_theories_of_homosexuality


    Possibly epigenetics both in the womb and prior to the first pruning of connections when the rain is wiring out. Although that cannot be the whole story as gay men as well as lesbians build proteins not seen in their straight counterparts, including your brother Rowing_Ant. Now finding that answer is worth a Nobel Prize. ;-)
  • Rowing_Ant

    Posts: 1504

    Jan 20, 2014 9:12 PM GMT
    The Daily Mail is pretty Conservative (capital C): anti gays, anti abortion, anti immigrants and all things foreign (so anti-Europe)and very down on the Political Left. It also likes to think Britain was, and still is, somehow a 'Christian' country....

    The founder and owner of the Daily Mail was Lord Rothermere who had supported Oswold Mosley and the British Union of Fascists.

    It's a nasty piece of work.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 20, 2014 11:13 PM GMT
    HottJoe said
    JohnSpotter saidWhere did they find women who *don't * suffer stress during pregnancy? That's a hard job.

    I remember hearing that decades ago there was a stigma placed on mothers of autistic children, based on similar reasoning that it was their fault, due to failures during pregnancy. There was actually a made for TV movie about it, which I watched as a kid, starring Angelica Houston.

    I think my own parents have faced some stigma for their son and daughter (my sister and me) both being gay.

    (I wouldn't be surprised if posters on RJ add their own snide comments to this revelation about my family.)icon_rolleyes.gif

    I love Angelica Houston so will have to look for that movie.
    I'm sad if you're parents faced any stigma.

  • TheSkyWasYell...

    Posts: 310

    Jan 21, 2014 12:10 AM GMT
    That can't be right; half a century ago and long before most mothers smoked during pregnancy and yet the majority of the male population has always been straight. So logically, this finding is junk science.

    And BTW, most pregnant women have always gotten stressed out and emotional and yet still the majority of the world's population is straight.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 21, 2014 12:13 AM GMT
    Rowing_Ant saidThe Daily Mail is pretty Conservative (capital C): anti gays, anti abortion, anti immigrants and all things foreign (so anti-Europe)and very down on the Political Left. It also likes to think Britain was, and still is, somehow a 'Christian' country....

    Multiculturalism has killed Britten, and it's Christianity.

    The founder and owner of the Daily Mail was Lord Rothermere who had supported Oswold Mosley and the British Union of Fascists.

    It's a nasty piece of work.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 21, 2014 2:05 AM GMT
    conservativejock said...Dutch neuroscientist Dick Swaab...

    ...But Professor Swaab, 69...


    Yes, yes... Professor Dick Swaab (get it? dick swab) is 69. And this is a serious article...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 21, 2014 3:47 AM GMT
    themachine said
    conservativejock said...Dutch neuroscientist Dick Swaab...

    ...But Professor Swaab, 69...


    Yes, yes... Professor Dick Swaab (get it? dick swab) is 69. And this is a serious article...


    lol!

    Seriously flawed.

    When I was born just about everyone smoked. Mom didn't, nor did she drink any alcohol regularly, and none during pregnancy. Drugs? Nope.
    There should be, per that article, a majority population of gays, and a small minority of straights in the boomer generations and afterwards.

    As for CJ, our OP, his background stories change faster than than a runway model's outfits. icon_lol.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 21, 2014 4:25 AM GMT
    Rowing_Ant saidWas she a smoker? icon_lol.gif


    She always brags that she smoke and drank throughout all her pregnancies!
  • Rowing_Ant

    Posts: 1504

    Jan 21, 2014 8:33 AM GMT
    Stress in the womb and hormonal balance may be one of the reasons a kid turns out gay or straight or whatever.

    Human sexuality I think is far too complicated an issue to have one direct cause. Same as with a person - we are a combination and product of very many factors.