Lesbians like men -- with major difference

May 16, 2006

Lesbians react to body odors like heterosexual men but with an important difference -- they are not sexually aroused, Swedish researchers say.

In a study of lesbians who smelled a derivative of progesterone found in male sweat and an estrogen-like steroid found in female urine, the female compound activated the hypothalamus among the 12 lesbians, researchers at Stockholm's Karolinska Institute reported.

While the reaction was like that of heterosexual males, the lesbians' response was different in that they were not sexually aroused, said the study published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

That differs from earlier studies by the Swedish team, which found gay men and heterosexual women react to male sweat in the same way.

"This observation could favor the view that male and female homosexuality are different," lead researcher Ivanka Savic told The New York Times.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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