Document Detail

Handedness and sexual orientation.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  7836493     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Surveys of handedness distribution (i.e., the distribution across handedness categories in large samples, typically based upon self-reported right-, mixed- and left-handed classification) indicate approximately 90% of the population is right-handed (Springer & Deutsch, 1989). This distribution toward right-handedness has been called right shift based on a genetic model (Annett, 1985). The present study examined possible handedness distribution differences between 141 gay, lesbian, and bisexuals and 260 heterosexuals who have a homosexual/bisexual first-degree (biological) relative. Based on a five-category self-assessment handedness questionnaire that was validated using Briggs and Nebes' (1975) reformulation of Annett's inventory (1970), non-heterosexuals showed a reduction of right shift compared to heterosexuals (i.e., a population shift toward mixed- and left-handedness), confirming the results of Lindesay (1987) and Becker et al., (1989). Sexual orientation also weakly predicted handedness. The findings indirectly support the hypothesis of Geschwind and Galaburda (1985a, 1985b) that sexual orientation and handedness may be linked, both possibly influenced prenatally by testosterone. The discussion emphasizes (a) the meaninglessness in distinguishing genetic from hormonal influences and (b) non-heterosexually biased assumptions about human sexuality.
D W Holtzen
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of clinical and experimental neuropsychology     Volume:  16     ISSN:  1380-3395     ISO Abbreviation:  J Clin Exp Neuropsychol     Publication Date:  1994 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1995-02-28     Completed Date:  1995-02-28     Revised Date:  2008-04-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8502170     Medline TA:  J Clin Exp Neuropsychol     Country:  NETHERLANDS    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  702-12     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychiatry, Cambridge Hospital/Harvard Medical School.
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MeSH Terms
Aged, 80 and over
Bisexuality / psychology*
Functional Laterality* / genetics
Homosexuality, Female / genetics,  psychology*
Homosexuality, Male / genetics,  psychology*
Neurologic Examination
Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
Testosterone / physiology
Reg. No./Substance:

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