Friday, February 02, 2007

 

PETA Attempts to Queer Gay Sheep Experiments


About 8% of rams seek sex exclusively with other rams. Dr. Roselli, a researcher in Oregon Health and Science University, is studying what makes these guys gay. A University press release quoted him that the research “has broader implications for understanding the development and control of sexual motivation … across mammalian species, including humans.”

There are a lot of complaints, some over the killing of the gay sheep to examine their brains, and some for fear the doctor is working on a cure. PETA outed the researchers in an open letter to set the record straight: "To put it simply, these experimenters are cutting open and killing sheep simply because they are gay. These experiments carry the insidious implication that homosexuality in humans can be cured". Marina Navratilova, the gay tennis star allied with PETA doesn’t like either aspect, and writes that the research “can only be surmised as an attempt to develop a prenatal treatment” for sexual preference. Shalin Gala, the PETA representative organizing the sheep campaign, claimed that altering sexual orientation was the “natural implication” of the research.

They may be on to something. The Seattle Times reported that the researchers have zeroed in on differences in the brain at birth, and hope to engineer the birth of gay rams by altering conditions in the womb. The New Scientist reported that “the difference was in a particular region of the hypothalamus - the preoptic nucleus. The region is generally almost twice as large in rams as in ewes. But in gay rams its size was almost identical to that in "straight" females” and further that the differences are almost identical to those identified by the neuroscientist Simon LeVay in his studies of the brains of gay men.

The researchers have a $2.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a test which can determine the likelihood of a ram being female-oriented before it is sold as a stud, thereby avoiding an abomination.

Comments:
Chuck,

First - take a second, doesn't it seem strange that PETA, and animal rights organization, is suddenly getting involved in gay and lesbian issues?

The reality is that PETA is attempting to create anger in the GLBT community as part of their own mission. In doing so, they have creatively edited quotes and even made things up.

Here are a few more articles that help clarify what the research is and what it is not:


The Guardian: Gay sheep? Let's get the facts straight
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,1989430,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=11

TIME Magazine: Yep, They're Gay
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1582336,00.html

National Post: How I fell for PETA's gay ram scam
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/columnists/story.html?id=01a31a64-0add-4761-b5ef-35aafbc1d5e2

New York Times: Of Gay Sheep, Modern Science and Bad Publicity
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/25/science/25sheep.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

ABC News: Are Some Sheep Gay?
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=2823706&page=1

The Oregonian: Baaa-d dream startles scientists
http://www.oregonlive.com/oregonian/stories/index.ssf?/base/news/11703921235130.xml&coll=7

Sunday Times apology and correction:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-2570061.html
 
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