Friday, May 12, 2006

The PNAS Word


Or rather, "No-Word," because they still haven't posted the pheromone article. It's annoying that their manuscripts are released to the press so far in advance of when they're available to the rest of us without press credentials (you know, the public, e.g., scientists).

However, viewers of The L Word will be happy to hear that lesbians aren't just like heterosexual men, after all!

Lesbian Responses to Pheromones

Lesbian women respond to pheromones differently than their heterosexual counterparts, although lesbian responses are not quite similar to those of heterosexual men.

news image 3 expanded view
Results from the latest study by Ivanka Savic and colleagues
add further evidence to the idea that AND & EST pheromones
are involved in sexual preference, and also suggests that male
homosexuality is quite different than female homosexuality.

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2 Comments:

At May 14, 2006 7:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since the press gets the articles earlier, I conclude they have had the opportunity to vett them thoroughly, and what they say about them is likely to be accurate and true. So here's the Guardian's take

Kidding aside, they actually did use words like "putative" and "potential" when describing AND and EST

 
At May 14, 2006 10:06 AM, Blogger The Neurocritic said...

The distortion of this finding in the popular press is one reason why the embargo policy at PNAS is a crock of s**t. No one without a press credential has been able to read the article all week... in the meantime, the blatantly erroneous AP report is all that most people know about it.

Omni brain links to an e-mail exchange between the PNAS author, Ivanka Savic, and a blogger (who will go unmentioned, because he is using the distorted media coverage of the "pheromone" finding to publicize his crusade for "curing" homosexuality). Ignoring that piece of the puzzle for a moment, below we can see Savic's replies to his queries in ALL CAPS.

Homophobic Blogger: 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."

Savic: 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

 

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