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Sexual Orientation and Body Proportions New Research on Bone Growth in Homosexuals and Heterosexuals

by Rodney Tanaka

January 29, 2004

Read 1 mins

Body proportions in homosexuals and heterosexuals have been

studied and differences have been discovered by researchers at the

College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP), Western University

of Health Sciences in Pomona, CA. The study is published in the January

2004 issue of the scientific journal “”Hormones & Behavior.””

James T. Martin, professor of physiology and behavioral science

at COMP, and Duc Huu Nguyen, now at the University of California, Irvine,

authored the article based on their research funded by a grant from

Western University of Health Sciences.

According to Martin, they measured body proportions in

homosexuals and heterosexuals and found that gay men have relatively

shorter arms and legs than heterosexual men and that lesbians have

relatively longer arms and legs than heterosexual women. The study was

conducted at 24 different sites in Utah, Washington, D.C., West Virginia

and southern California. A total of 514 persons were examined for the


The researchers believe their data supports the concept that the

actions of androgens and estrogens, which controls both bone growth and

sexual differentiation of the brain, differs between gay and straight

persons during early development. Boys who later become gay may have had

lower levels of sex steroids prior to puberty than other boys, whereas

girls who later become lesbians may have had higher levels of sex

steroids prior to puberty than other girls.

Martin summarizes that they have shown that long bone growth,

occurring before puberty, varies with later sexual orientation. This

research adds to the growing body of research on the differences between

gay and straight men and women.


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