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Monday, May 08, 2006

 

Lesbians and pheromones, Part 2. Email from Ivanka Savic

Here is an email I sent to Dr. Ivanka Savic today about the study of lesbians' response to putative pheromones. My note is in italics and Dr. Savic's reply is in bold letters.

Dr. Savic:
The Associated Press story came out today about your study and I think they have reported it incorrectly.


First I am wondering if you can help me understand things more clearly. I am enclosing a link to the AP report: http://www.forbes.com/entrepreneurs/feeds/ap/2006/05/08/ap2729698.html

First, in the report the reporter writes: "It's a finding that adds weight to the idea that homosexuality has a physical underpinning and is not learned behavior."

THIS IS INCORRECT AND NOT STATED IN THE PAPER

As I understand your article in PNAS, you specifically offer learning as a hypothesis for your findings. Isn't this true? I believe the reporter is misleading on that point.

THIS IS VERY UNFORTUNATE; AND YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT

Second, the AP report says: "In lesbians, both male and female hormones were processed the same, in the basic odor processing circuits, Savic and her team reported." I understand that the study did show that AND (male condition) was processed akin to other odors by lesbians. But wasn't there also some hypothalamic processing of EST (female condition) by lesbians?

YES! AND ALSO CONJUNCTIONAL ANALYSIS SHOWED A COMMON HYPOTHALAMIC CLUSTER IN THE HYPOTHALAMUS:

It was weaker and apparently not in the anterior hypothalamus but didn't you also find dorsomedial and paraventricular hypothalamic activation? So it would be inaccurate, would it not, to say "both male and female hormones were processed the same?"

YOU ARE FULLY CORRECT

THANK YOU VERY MUCH. HOW DO I ACCESS THE AP REPORT??

Ivanka Savic

ADDENDUM: Someone posted and asked why I changed the AP wording when I wrote to Dr. Savic. I did not change it but it appears the AP did from saying homosexuality had a "physical underpinning" to a "physical basis."

Comments:
Well well,

Looks like some wishful thinking on the part of gay activists!

People often say that a "growing body of research" indicates that sexual orientation is purely inborn and immutable.

In fact, that "body of research" doesn't necessarily indicate anything, any more than Savic's research indicates that being gay is inborn.

In fact, you can interpret a research study to say two completely different things, depending on what your political beliefs are.

Scientific data needs to be interpreted, and that is when things go nuts.

Nate
 
Interesting that this AP article coincides with the publication of Mary Cheney's book.
 
It's sorta splitting hairs, but why did you slightly misquote the AP piece? The AP quote is:

"In both cases the findings add weight to the idea that homosexuality has a physical basis and is not learned behavior."

Why did you change it to "physical underpinning" in your email to Dr. Savic?
 
The AP must have changed it between the time I sent it to her and now. I simply cut the phrase and pasted in the email.
 
Online articles are often changed throughout the day, usually to clarify points or to correct mistakes.
 
I see that happen a lot; so strange to me that the AP wouldn't remove the components that Savic said were erroneous.
 
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