Last Friday I had the great pleasure of attending a seminar intended to help professionals in the mental health field understand and counsel clients who are lesbian, gay and bisexual. Open to interested parties as well, it was held at the University of Indianapolis. (It was announced that because transgender individuals are markedly different under the circumstances being discussed, time would not permit inclusion of that population.)
The keynote speaker was Dr. Simon LeVay, who made headlines in the 90s with his research that showed physical differences in brain structure between gay and straight men. He showed a series of studies that supported his conclusion that "the findings suggest that gendered traits in humans, including sexual orientation, are influenced by a cascade of prenatal factors including genetic differences between individuals and differences in prenatal testosterone levels, that in turn influence the sexual differentiation of brain regions that meditate sexual feelings and behaviors. Environmental influences and random developmental variability may also play roles, though these have not been clearly identified."
When he stepped down to hear the other speakers, Dr. LeVay took his seat--next to me. Somehow I had been given the best seat in the house. I confess that I was completely unprepared to offer any coherent discussion on his field of study, so during breaks we chatted informally.