The Role of Brain Dominance in Sexual Orientation

In doing research for my book The Whole-Brain Path to Peace—which examines how our dual mental perspectives affect our behavior—something rather unexpected happened. I discovered a connection between sexuality and brain perspective that casts new light on why some people are sexually attracted to members of their own sex. This connection is implicit in recent brain research, but has not been fully explored.

Although most sexual-orientation research is still focused on genes, social conditioning, and hormones, the role of the brain is increasingly being taken into account. Scientific research has now established that the brains of gay men show strong similarities with the brains of heterosexual women in many respects; and the brains of lesbian women show areas of similarity to those of heterosexual men.

The hypothesis I am presenting here takes these findings a step further. I am proposing that the similarities in the brains of homosexual men and heterosexual women (or homosexual women and heterosexual men) include perspective—dualistic and/or holistic—and that perspective is the trigger that determines sexuality. This hypothesis, which I will explain in detail, complements existing non-brain-based theories and findings rather than refuting or discrediting them. And it is consistent with recent research—both brain-based and non-brain-based—in lending strong support to the position that one’s sexual orientation is not a choice.

The focus of my research, mental perspective, might be best understood in comparison to its cousin, physical perspective. Perspective reflects our “point of view”—what we sense and feel of the world around us in terms of things, ideas, and feelings. Perspective supplies us with raw information which we then interpret and give meaning to in light of our experiences and the influence of cultural forces. The end result is perception, a state of understanding that reflects how we view the world. Depending on our perception (which is often based on other people’s perceptions), we then formulate a response (or respond automatically). Thus our behavior—including our sexual responses—is profoundly shaped by what we perceive of our environment.

The human brain is split laterally into two complementary hemispheres that separate the information flowing to consciousness so effectively that Roger Sperry described the two hemispheres as having a consciousness of their own, a discovery that earned him a Nobel Prize in 1981. Based on more recent studies, Michael Gazzaniga, Sperry’s student assistant at the time, and others now view consciousness in terms of “multiple dynamic mental systems” rather than a dichotomous one.1 Nevertheless, the conscious experience of the two hemispheres appears to be specialized and very different, a conclusion so well supported by research that Gazzaniga describes it as “obvious”.2

What does having our information inputs separated into two specialized channels do for us? It sets up a dynamic similar to 3-D vision or stereo sound, but instead of a physical event, our experience is a mental one. From two relatively fixed fundamental elements—a dualistic perspective and a holistic perspective—we create a highly fluid, “three-dimensional” hybrid perspective capable of changing from moment to moment depending on what we choose to experience and believe. Unlike our eyes and our ears, which are obviously complementary, our two mental perspectives are so radically different that they often appear to be irreconcilable, which can make their integration complex and difficult and can create conflict (within ourselves or with others). If we are to make our way through the maze of information that confronts us at any moment, our choices are either to listen to our default setting; to try balancing the channels so that both sides can be heard equally; or to turn one channel up or down to some degree (for example, we may turn one channel down when we don’t want to hear what one side is telling us). In addition to perspective, which shows us our world, each hemisphere has its unique methods of helping us respond to what we see. It is up to us to integrate these sources of information or (at our peril) ignore some portion of it.

In terms of its perspective and responses, the left hemisphere is dualistic. It sees reality in terms of a continuum and responds to problems by separating and deconstructing their component parts and analyzing the details. In contrast, the right hemisphere is holistic; it sees reality in its state of oneness and interrelationship and solves problems through synthesis. But one or the other usually dominates in a given individual, so a crucial factor governing our perception and behavior is which hemisphere dominates our mental vision.


Brain Perspective and Sexuality

Perspective is a relatively simple concept, yet it serves an extremely crucial function in our lives. How we behave, and even a large part of our personal and social identity, is a function of how we perceive our surroundings—in other words, a response to our own unique perspective. Those of us who are left-brain-dominant have a very different mental perspective than those who are right-brain-dominant. It is like we inhabit two different universes. If your brain dominance were to suddenly change, everything about your life would change.

One of many areas that would change would be your sexuality. To generalize: most men respond as they do because they view life through the biased lens of the left brain; most women behave as they do because they perceive life from the bias of a right-brain perspective (or, really, a more integrated perspective, since the holistic perspective of the right brain is inclusive of the left brain’s more specialized functions). Of course, everyone uses both halves of the brain to some degree, but because of brain dominance, one side or the other usually takes charge and directs our thought processes.

Notice I said most males are left-brain dominant, and most females are right-brain dominant. There are many exceptions, the most notable of which include lesbians and gay men. In those groups, my research suggests, brain dominance is the reverse of what it is among heterosexuals of their sex. In other words, gay men show right-brain dominance, and lesbians show left-brain dominance.

I first came to this conclusion about the sexual effects of brain-dominance reversal as I was developing a chart to explain the behaviors of left-brain-dominants—the majority of whom are males. What effect, I asked myself, would right-brain dominance in males, or left-brain dominance in females, have on their behavior?

Seeking a logical answer, I was led to conclude that when the right brain hemisphere directs the thinking and behavior of a man, he will see life from the perspective typical of heterosexual women. (However, similarity of perspective does not mean a gay man is “a woman in a man’s body,” only that certain characteristics are shared.) The fact that he is male does not alter the perspective of his brain. But the perspective of his brain does alter his sexuality.

When the home base from which a male views life is fed (and thus led) by the holistic, “female” right brain, the complex of factors that make up his or her sexual identity and orientation are profoundly affected. Such individuals want more or less what the typical female wants—and that often includes a male partner. Likewise, when a female individual is directed by an analytical, dualistic, “male” left brain, that person is turned on by the same things as most guys, including other women.

Of course, there are other influences on sexual attraction and behavior, ranging from genetic and hormonal factors to cultural influences and opportunities. Cultural factors can weigh heavily on our decisions, and sometimes even dominate; nevertheless, in important and decisive ways, the mind—which is the arbiter of our creative energy—is in the driver’s seat. The creative energies of the mind are in charge of and direct the body, not the other way around—although when I suggest that the mind directs the body, I do not wish to imply that sexuality is all in the mind and therefore subject to being changed by mental intention. We see evidence of the mind’s influence over the body in observable, mind-directed behaviors such as gestures, body language, speech patterns, and the like. (Obviously the way one speaks or moves his or her body can be either suppressed or exaggerated, but there is still a strong connection between mental energy and the natural bodily expressions of any individual—gay or straight, male or female.)

Sexual attraction begins in the brain—even if most researchers are looking for answers to sexual orientation in our hormones and genes. Specifically, sexual attraction begins in our dominant hemisphere—the hemisphere (left or right) that serves as our primary guide to behavior. By way of example, I’ll illustrate how this works through our vision.

In sacred geometry—which involves the study and contemplation of pure form and reveals the underlying structure of reality—straight lines are male lines and curved lines are female lines. Being feminine in perspective and seeking completion (wholeness), the holistic right brain is visually attracted to male lines—to the geometry of the male body—including, but not limited to, the sexual organs. (The close structural relationship between male sexual organs and the masculine perspective, and between the female sexual organs and the feminine perspective, is described in my book, The Whole-Brain Path to Peace.) Likewise, if we view life from a male perspective, since it too is drawn to achieve wholeness, we are attracted to female geometry, to the curves of a female body.

A recent Harvard University study3 involving attraction to various types of faces lends support to the structural relationships implied by sacred geometry. It showed that gay men—which my research suggests are men directed by the feminine side of their brains—were most attracted to the more masculine-faced men (those with generally more angular, less rounded features). Heterosexual men were attracted to the most feminine-faced women—but their preferences among men (in a nonsexual sense) were less “masculine” than gay men’s preferences. Straight women, like gay men, were most attracted to masculine-faced men (although women’s preferences were more complex because they were influenced to a greater degree by other factors, such as ovulation, contraceptive use, self-perceived attractiveness, and sex drive). Lesbian women in that study preferred more masculine female faces than did straight women or men.

Our brain structure and perspective are inherited traits. One can try to teach a gay man to act like a straight male—and even “go straight”—and one can suppress outward behaviors, thus bringing him a bit more in line with cultural expectations. But it’s not going to change his perspective—what he sees through his dominant brain, the one that is in charge of directing his cognitive processes. He is still, at a deeper level, going to respond to life in the same way that we all respond—based on what his brain is showing him rather than what others tell him. The experiences of gays and lesbians who have desperately tried to go straight in order to avoid negative social stigmas and potentially life-threatening bullying attest to the futility of trying to be someone we are not.

What does science have to say about the determination of sexual orientation? In numerous studies covering a wide range of subjects, neuroscientists have found that gay men and heterosexual women tend to exhibit similar responses to stimuli, and even demonstrate similar abilities and behavioral preferences. This is also often true of lesbians and heterosexual men.

In areas ranging from verbal fluency and/or verbal association (often strongest in straight women and gay men) to childhood activities and sports participation (with gays and lesbians participating less in gender-typical activities and more in activities associated with the opposite gender), numerous studies have shown these associations. You can find these studies in a variety of books about the brain. For an excellent collection of these studies check out Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation (Oxford, 2011) by Simon LeVay, a neuroscientist who has been studying this issue for many years (and is himself openly gay).


The Continuum of Sexuality

Male behavior, like female behavior, is most accurately expressed in terms of a continuum. Extremely masculine males are often referred to as “macho.” They are hyper-aggressive, and are often very identified with this aspect of themselves. They would rather die than wear pink—just ask Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who makes male prisoners wear pink as punishment and uses pink handcuffs. On the other end of the continuum are those men who seem to have few if any obvious masculine characteristics other than a male body. And of course we find a wide range of types in between the extremes.

Likewise, females range from the emotional, “can’t get enough pink” stereotypes to those women who, although biologically female in every way, seem almost completely masculine in their energies.

This diversity applies as much within the gay and lesbian communities as it does with men and women as a whole. There are degrees in sexual orientation and sexual behavior. Whether a male body is paired with a “female” brain, or a female body with a “male” brain, we still find magnificent diversity in sexuality. Like everything else, brain dominance is highly variable; so, for example, lesbians range from relatively “butch” to highly feminine. And among gays and lesbians, as with straight individuals, opposites attract.

Likewise, some homosexual males are difficult to identify as gay because their feminine qualities are so slight as to be invisible to a casual observer; others may appear almost completely effeminate in their voice tone, gestures, movements, and emotional states—or, at the other extreme, may choose to display a hyper-masculine persona. When there is a strong dominant feminine presence in a male body, the disconnect and resulting conflict between mind and body can be so powerful that the individual feels like he or she is in the wrong body and may even be willing to go to the great physical and emotional pain of gender-reassignment surgery in order to bring the mind and body into harmony.

Of course the same thing can happen when a sufficiently strong left-brain/masculine perspective inhabits a female body (Chaz Bono is a well-known example of this.). But in most individuals the dichotomy between mind and body is not so extreme as to cause them to want to change their body.

For a variety of reasons, the terms used to describe variations in sexual and gender identity and experience have been changing and evolving. Because of some disagreement in the “trans” community regarding proper word choice, for clarity I’ll explain my usage. Those who choose to change their body to match their mind (how they see themselves—their perspective) are generally known as transsexual individuals. Lori B. Girshick (in Transgender Voices: Beyond Women and Men) describes the experience as that of “an individual who feels his/her gender identity does not align with his/her physical body, as traditionally defined.”4 Those who also experience this dichotomy strongly, but choose to live with their body more or less as it is, sometimes refer to themselves as transgenderists. “Transgenderist,” according to Girshick, refers to those who “live full-time as another gender without undergoing any surgery.”5 Those whose experience of a perspective reversal is moderate or subtle may not recognize that they have a reversed perspective, but find out that something is different about them when they discover that their sexual orientation is reversed. This group includes gays, lesbians, and others. In the center of the continuum (and possibly all along the continuum) we find bisexuals and others attracted to both sexes. The umbrella term transgender in recent usage describes a variety of individuals and behaviors at variance with conventional gender roles, without specific association with sexual orientation.

Based on my observations, it appears that bisexuals may have a double dominance or a relatively balanced dominance that can go either way. Rather than being at the extremes in terms of perspective, more likely they find themselves near the center of the male-female mind continuum. Keep in mind that in viewing sexuality we are trying to draw lines and differentiate between things where there are no lines. Our lines are artificial and arbitrary efforts used in an attempt to distinguish subtle differences along a vast continuum.

The accompanying chart shows the spectrum of sexual orientation and sexual/gender identity. Transsexuals start out on one continuum and through the gender reassignment process move to the other. Transgenderists (not shown) would be located near the gay and lesbian extremes of the continua where transsexuals start out. These same relationships are depicted in a more “natural” circular form in a chart at the end of this paper.

The “Feminine” Brain and Full-Spectrum Sexuality

A number of researchers and observers have commented that bisexuality seems more natural—and less threatening—to women than to men. The surveys of Kinsey and others have shown that, over a lifetime, a significant minority of males have also had experiences with both sexes. But in most males, the tendency in adulthood is to be exclusively involved with one or the other sex, with comparatively little overlap. Women, on the other hand, may seem more naturally inclined to the whole spectrum of sexuality.

Some recent studies have concluded that between 20 and 60 percent of all women have reported being sexually attracted to other women,6 even though only a small fraction of those identify with the “bisexual” label. Instead, according to a recent 10-year study conducted by University of Utah psychologist Lisa M. Diamond,7 many women with attraction to both sexes did not label themselves at all, and this tendency toward being “unlabeled” or “bisexual” (rather than gay or straight) actually became stronger as these women grew older in the course of the study. (Interestingly, this group was even more likely to maintain stable monogamous relationships than self-identified lesbians or straight women. This finding strongly indicates that, for women, being “unlabeled” or “bisexual” is not a transitional state and does not translate into non-commitment or promiscuity.) Thus, the Diamond study shows that women’s sexuality, over time, becomes less defined, and moves toward the center of the spectrum (bisexuality or unlabeled).

Another very interesting finding of these studies concludes that sexuality for many women seems to be part of a continuum that includes other kinds of physical affection and emotional bonding—thus, “several experts mention that women’s friendships are hardly different from romantic friendships.”8 For men, in contrast, sexuality is more often in an exclusive compartment, in keeping with the separative nature of the left brain. Traditionally, males tend to have fewer intimate friends, and friends and sexual partners often seem to be non-overlapping categories.

Brain research offers some clues as to these differences. The right hemisphere—the one that typically provides the vision that most women rely on for guidance—is holistic, and therefore inclusionary, meaning it encompasses the left-brain perspective as well as its own. It tends to integrate rather than separate or compartmentalize experiences and relationships (such as “friends” and “sexual relationships”). In contrast, heterosexual males not only tend to be left-brain-dominant and rely on a focused perspective; they also tend to exclude their non-dominant (in this case, right-brain) perspective much more than do females.


Brain Connectivity and Sexual Orientation

There is some intriguing anatomical evidence that gay men share with most women a more interconnected brain than is the case with lesbians and heterosexual men—and also that areas of their brain are connected very differently. Pierce J. Howard notes research findings that most gay men and most women hear equally well in both ears (whereas straight men tend to hear better in the right ear), which “supports earlier findings that homosexual men [like most women] have larger connections between the hemispheres” than heterosexual men.9

In a landmark 2008 Swedish study involving 90 individuals almost evenly split by gender and sexual orientation,10 brain scans showed that “in gay people [both lesbians and gay men], key structures of the brain governing emotion mood, anxiety and aggressiveness resemble those in straight people of the opposite sex,” and that these differences are likely to be present in infancy or earlier. In addition to finding that some physical attributes of the brains of gays and lesbians resemble those typical of the opposite sex, the researchers “used PET scans to measure blood flow to the amygdala, part of the brain that governs fear and aggression,” and “revealed how the amygdala connected with other parts of the brain…. In straight women and gay men, the connections were mainly into regions of the brain that manifest fear as intense anxiety…. In straight men and lesbians, the amygdala fed its signals mainly into … regions of the brain that trigger the ‘fight or flight’ [action-related] response.”11 The authors of this study note that these results show a basis for previous findings that heterosexual women and gay men tend to be more depressive, and heterosexual men and lesbians tend to be more active and aggressive (“fight or flight”). The study noted that “homosexual men and straight women showed significantly more neural connections across the two brain hemispheres than heterosexual men did.”12

A 2007 study led by Sandra Witelson of McMaster University in Ontario (Canada) “found that the posterior part of the corpus callosum [by far the largest interconnecting structure between the brain hemispheres] is larger in homosexual men than heterosexual men.” Most amazing was a “correlational analysis” undertaken by the researchers, which included “size of the corpus callosum, and test scores on language, visual spatial and finger dexterity tests.” Witelson noted that “by using all these variables, we were able to predict sexual orientation in 95 percent of the cases.13

A 2010 York University study found that “gay men can recall familiar faces faster and more accurately than their heterosexual counterparts because, like women, they use both sides of their brains.”14


Accessing the Holistic Perspective

My contention is that hemispheric integration (as described here) lends itself to a holistic mindset—the ability to perceive the broad picture (the right brain’s specialty) as well as the details (the left brain’s specialty). This is generally a characteristic of right-brain-dominants, including gay men and heterosexual women. Left-brain-dominants tend to be more focused and leave no stone unturned, provided the stones are within their sphere of attention. As with our sexuality, our left- or right-brain dominance is given to us. We can (and should) use our non-dominant hemisphere, but that does not affect our overall dominance pattern.

Although right-brained males (gays) and right-brained females generally have a more inclusive (and therefore relatively balanced) perspective, left-brained individuals can overcome this disadvantage by consciously seeking their right-brain perspective and its big-picture view (or context), which is the subject of The Whole-Brain Path to Peace. It is the right brain’s job to unify the left brain’s details; and therefore, right-brain-dominants find it difficult to ignore what their left brain sees (although right-brain-dominants can still be out of balance if their perspective has been heavily skewed by cultural and personal biases).

Left-brain-dominants, on the other hand, are, to a considerable degree, able to ignore the right hemisphere’s information—the larger context of a situation—and thus may be less flexible and more likely to arrive at dangerous or inaccurate conclusions. And as stated above, the inclusive nature of the right brain’s design sets up conditions that appear to allow right-brain-dominants to be more open and fluid in terms of sexuality.

We see this same inclusiveness or flexibility in women in other areas as well—for example, in their choice of clothing. Consider the fact that most women are comfortable wearing traditional men’s as well as women’s clothing, and women’s fashion in general tends to cross sexual barriers; whereas most men wouldn’t think of wearing women’s clothing (with a few exceptions such as cross-dressing, Halloween, and other situations in which they get a sexual or emotional charge from doing so).


Determining Your Brain Dominance

In discussing my theories about brain dominance and sexual orientation with friends, much of the resistance I have received has come from straight male friends who think they are right-brain-dominant, and straight women who believe that they are left-brain-dominant.

My experience suggests that, while people know their sexual feelings, it’s not all that easy to know one’s brain dominance, especially if one frequently uses both sides of the brain. Life situations such as our job can dictate that we make heavy use of our non-dominant brain and allow us to become highly skilled in its use. But frequent usage and proficiency are not the same as dominance, a factor that appears to be assigned early in life. Artists and other creative types are examples of individuals who are adept at right-brain activities, but still may default to left-brain dominance. Right-brain-dominants are susceptible to misidentification when their jobs (and perhaps dealing with a male partner) require them to be immersed in left-brain details most of the time. Others, whose position on the continuum is close to the center, might use both sides so extensively that it is difficult to determine just what the dominant (or default) side is. Keep in mind that there are degrees of dominance.

I perceive in some males a strong and understandable belief that they are more right-brained than they actually are. When we compare the two perspectives, there is a tendency to want to see oneself as right-brain-dominant since it is more complete, considered more spiritual, and therefore might be seen as more desirable. My own experience reflects this bias as well. Years ago, after I took a brain dominance test, I found that I was considerably more left-brain-dominant than I thought I was, and in fact, that very experience triggered the explorations that lead me to write The Whole-Brain Path to Peace.

In right-brain-dominant women, determination of brain dominance is complicated by the fact that they live in a culture that has long been controlled by males and thus strongly reflects the masculine perspective. As previously mentioned, cultural factors—including the powerful cultural dominance of the male perspective—can actually trump one’s natural brain dominance. Because of this, some right-brain-dominant women may identify so strongly with left-brain responses that their natural response is partially obscured. Thus, women are often taught to think, and to a lesser extent behave, like males, leading some of them to see themselves as more left-brained than they are.


Our Inherited Characteristics

Can brain dominance be changed—and thus sexual orientation? Probably not—at least not in any meaningful ways. What happens is that, as we use one hemisphere or the other, we become practiced at doing so, just as we become practiced at our handedness. The more we use it, the more skilled we become, and the more skilled we become, the more accustomed we become to using it. This lifelong cycle builds us into a specialist in either right-brain or left-brain ways of viewing and responding to life. But brain dominance can limit us only if we choose to remain on autopilot and ignore the contribution of our non-dominant brain

Studies have shown strong correlations between various inherited characteristics and sexual orientation. Pierce Howard quotes two studies involving fingerprint patterns. A 1994 study showed that twice as many homosexual men as heterosexual men showed more ridges on the left hand than on the right (in alignment with women, and contrary to the pattern among heterosexual men)—a pattern that is formed within four months of conception. A 1995 study showed that both men and women with higher left-hand ridge counts excelled at typically feminine tasks (“nurture and verbal skills”), and those with higher right-hand ridge counts excelled at typically masculine tasks (“involving aggression, math, and spatial skills”).15 Such findings suggest that at least some of the determinants of our future sexual orientation are already in place at the time we are born.


Where We Look for Answers

That scientists as well as laypersons seek a physical answer to homosexuality is not surprising. As a culture, we tend to focus on the physical and overlook the power of mind. Speaking of this bias in terms of cell biology, his specialty, Dr. Bruce Lipton, author of The Biology of Belief, says, “even after the discoveries of quantum physics, biologists and medical students continue to be trained to view the body only as a physical machine that operates in accordance with Newtonian principles. In seeking knowledge of how the body’s mechanisms are ‘controlled,’ researchers have focused their attention on investigating a large variety of physical signals…. However, because of their Newtonian, materialistic bias, conventional researchers have completely ignored the role that energy plays in health and disease.”16 If we are to fully understand what determines our sexual orientation, perhaps we need to pay more attention to the effects of the energy of the mind.

I’d like to point out again that apparently-conflicting theories of causation or association (for example, genetic “versus” brain-dominance explanations) may all be true. For example, it is possible that a gene causes a reversal of brain dominance—or regulates other factors (such as testosterone) that in turn might contribute to a reversal of brain dominance—thus triggering homosexuality. It might even be that cultural effects trigger some of the physical triggers mentioned; remember that the mind, being creative energy, has control over matter.

In summary, sex begins in the brain. Because of brain dominance, most of us view life from either a masculine or a feminine perspective, depending on which brain hemisphere is dominant and has default control over the information flowing to consciousness. This creates four fundamental sexual orientations: left-brain-dominant males (heterosexual men); right-brain-dominant males (gay men); right-brain-dominant females (heterosexual women); and left-brain-dominant females (lesbians). However, because the non-dominant hemisphere also contributes to consciousness to some degree, each of us experiences a unique synthesis of the two perspectives rather than just one. The result is a wide range of variation in sexuality. This is normal. This is healthy. This is beautiful.


Brain Dominance Testing

The complexities of the brain, coupled with the powerful, often dominating effects of cultural influences on our belief systems—such as our educational and emotional experiences—create a situation in which it is difficult to accurately measure brain dominance using questions. Free tests are especially suspect and perhaps suitable only for entertainment purposes. Even paid tests may not be accurate, especially if your dominance is subtle. For your information, the test I took was the Herrmann Brain Dominance Indicator, HBDI®, a 120-question, fee-based test.


The above chart, which is divided horizontally (top/bottom) by sex, and vertically (left/right) by dominant perspective (which gives us gender identification), depicts the relationship between the four fundamental sexual orientations (straight and gay men, lesbians and straight women).

The blue portion of the circle represents a left-brain perspective; the pink portion represents a right-brain perspective. Although blue dominates the left half of the circle and pink dominates the right, notice that the two perspectives overlap to varying degrees all around the circle. Sexual orientation, like brain dominance, is on a continuum; thus there is considerable overlapping of the categories (not fully shown in this simple illustration). Where we see the evenly mixed colors toward the top and bottom of the chart, bisexuality is the tendency, but we can expect to find individuals who are straight or gay in this area as well.

Note that transsexuals are shown on the chart where they fit in after reassignment surgery. Once they change the sex of their body to match their perspective, they (by definition) shift to a different quadrant on this chart. The term “transgenderists”, as I have explained above, is a broader category of individuals who identify as the opposite of their biological sex. Thus, while all transsexuals can be said to start out as transgenderists (the broader category), most transgenderists are not transsexuals and will never have reassignment surgery.


James Olson

James Olson is an integral philosopher whose studies have included business, engineering, art, Eastern and Western religion, language, psychology, and sacred geometry. He is the author of The Whole-Brain Path to Peace: The Role of Left- and Right-Brain Dominance in the Polarization and Reunification of America (Origin Press, 2011), which has received four national book awards.


1 Michael S. Gazzaniga, Who’s In Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain (New York: HarperCollins, 2011), 61.

2 Ibid., 63, 62.

3 See Harvard University (2009, October 30), Gay Men Prefer Masculine-Faced Men, Study Suggests. Science Daily. Retrieved June 13, 2012, from

4 Lori B. Girshick, Transgender Voices: Beyond Women and Men (UPNE, 2008), 206.

5 Ibid.

6 Anouk Vleugels, Research: Bisexuality Is Natural for Women (October 21, 2011), United Academics. Retrieved June 12, 2012, from Quotes a Boise State University study of principally heterosexual women that found 60% of study’s respondents admitted being attracted to other women; article states that some previous research had shown 20% of women being attracted to other women. See also Elizabeth M. Morgan and Elizabeth Morgan Thompson (2011), Processes of Sexual Orientation Questioning among Heterosexual Women. Journal of Sex Research, 48 (1), 16–28.

7 The findings of this study, involving 79 women with starting ages of 18–25, monitored over 10 years, were summarized in a NovaNewsNet article, “Bisexuality in Women is Real—Study” by Aaron Burnett (January 29, 2008)—retrieved June 12, 2012: For full study, see Lisa M. Diamond (2008), Female Bisexuality from Adolescence to Adulthood: Results from a 10-year Longitudinal Study. Developmental Psychology, 44 (1), 5–14 (online at

8 Vleugels, Research: Bisexuality Is Natural for Women, United Academics,

9 Pierce J. Howard, The Owner’s Manual for the Brain: Everyday Applications from Mind-Brain Research, 3d edition (Austin, TX: Bard Press, 2006), 275.

10 Andy Goghlan, Gay Brains Structured Like Those of the Opposite Sex (16 June 2008), NewScientist (retrieved June 12, 2012): Summarizes and quotes from study conducted by Ivanka Savic at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (DOI: 10.1973/pnas.0801566105).

11 Ibid.

12 Quoted from National Geographic News summary of the same Karolinska Institute study, titled “Gay Men, Straight Women Have Similar Brains” (June 16, 2008),

13 McMaster University study (November 7, 2007): Genetics Has A Role In Determining Sexual Orientation In Men, Further Evidence. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 14, 2012, from Italics in last quotation added for emphasis.

14 York University study (June 22, 2010): Gay Men’s Bilateral Brains Better at Remembering Faces, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 12, 2012, from

15 Howard, The Owner’s Manual for the Brain, 3d ed., 274–75. Here Howard references a study by Doreen Kimura published in December 1994 issue of Behavioral Neuroscience, and a 1995 study by D. Kimura and M.W. Carson in Personality and Individual Differences.

16 Bruce Lipton, The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter, and Miracles (Hay House, 2008), 102.

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