Social Question

rebbel's avatar

A brain scan confirms: you are straight. But in reality you are gay. How would you react?

Asked by rebbel (27843points) July 15th, 2010

I am watching a BBC documentary right now where a convinced gay man (actor John Barrowman) is going through a series of tests to see whether he is gay and if he was since birth or if he was nurtured to being gay.
They put him in a scan and showed him naked girls and boys, acting in straight, gay and lesbian scenes.
Afterwards they told him that certain areas in his brains were more active then others and those areas clearly showed he was more aroused by men or more aroused by women.
For a ‘joke’ they told him he was straight.
He was awe struck, until they told him that it clearly showed him being a gay guy.
That made me think: What would your reaction be if they told you that your brain scan told them that you are gay (when in reality you are straight) or vice versa/any other combination?
Would you laugh it of?
Or cry?
Start to doubt your sexual preference?
Doubt science?

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25 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I would disregard any brain scan aiming to tell me what sexuality I am.

pitchtheview's avatar

I don’t think it would change my point of view, because I know what I want and a brain scan couldn’t change that.

rebbel's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir and @DarlingRhadamanthus
He did it not because he was doubting his being gay, i guess he did it to join in this research program (maybe out of being in the spotlight, i don’t know), but like i said, he is a guy that knows he is gay, because, well…, he is.
I was curious for people’s reaction to an outcome like that, had they joined in a test like that.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@rebbel Okay, what one is is how one is – what they call themselves may change – I don’t know how you can not know who you’re attracted to…maybe you don’t have a precedent or a word or the experience or what the label is for your sexuality, but you know who you want to fuck.

Aster's avatar

I would laugh out loud. “Bogus result. Give that scanner to the Salvation Army” I’d say.

Pandora's avatar

I would chalk it up to another quack science experiment gone wrong, unless the pictures were of really repulsive men and women were really pretty. Then I would assume I would’ve had the same attraction level if it were repulsive men against beautiful gardens of flowers or beautiful nature scenes.
So I would just think that anyone looking at the same test would feel the same.
Haven’t met anyone who is solely attracted to ugly vs. pretty.
Now if the test showed equal amount of attractive people than I would either think the machine is wrong or the humans reading the test need to study longer.

rebbel's avatar

I agree, @Simone_De_Beauvoir , i know who (what sex) i wanna do.
He did/does too, but still he was surprised/shocked by the result.
I guess it falls in the category of experiments like Asch’s Conformity Study.
Edit: If persons (or scientists) convince you of something some people eventually believe what they are being told, no matter their believes beforehand.

DominicX's avatar

Even if you believe what you’re being told (and it’s false), that’s not going to change what sexually arouses you.

rebbel's avatar

@DominicX
As was the case with this guy.
They told him, jokingly, the opposite of what they saw (and what confirmed him being attracted to men), and he reacted, as i wrote before, astonished.
What i asked was Flutherites’ reaction to an event like that.

Cruiser's avatar

As sexual as my mind can get…results like that would not surprise me in the least even though doing it with another man is the way out past the farthest thing in my mind. Not my gig at all!

ucme's avatar

“That bitch scan is soooo jealous of my fabulous camp lifestyle. Scandalous, go figure!” Maybe something along those lines.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I would react with disdain.

I put myself through an experiment for over 10 years by living closeted in a straight marriage. I managed to act like a straight man by drinking a lot. I finally gave up pretending and found that I couldn’t stop drinking. I had to get help for that.

I have little patience for people who try to tell me that I’m not gay. They’re not in my head or in my skin. They don’t know what makes my heart race and my groin start to burn.

By the way, I have a simpler experiment for determining sexuality. If you’re ever at the beach and a very goodlooking man and woman walk by hand-in-hand, where do your eyes go? If your eyes jump to the woman, you’re straight. If your eyes jump to the man, your gay. It’s a fallible test but simple.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I would look to my choices and ask myself if I feel my life is better with them or an imagined alter scenario. See in my belief, most people are not 100% straight or homo but somewhere along the gray scale. How a person decides where to focus their sexual energies is up to them. I ask myself from time to time if I could choose one or the other and stick with it (since I prefer fidelity and monogamy) and I let myself act out accordingly. The way I chosen to handle family and friends affords me to contemplate more than feel pressure or fear. I understand some people have a whole lot else on their plate that can influence how they go about things. A brain scan wouldn’t help much with what already exists outside my skull.

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m bi, so I’d say the test was incomplete.

FutureMemory's avatar

I would just laugh. I don’t care what a brain scan says, I know I like pussy.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I would say either your instrumentation is faulty or your method of analysis is incorrect.
If this is an intentional psychological manipulation, then I am shocked in was approved by the Human Ethics Review Panel!

rebbel's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence
They revealed the true outcome after five seconds to him.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

That does not give them much time to observe and obtain data. Questionable methodology.

Blondesjon's avatar

I would sooo blow the guy who gave me the results and then tell him to put that in his pipe and smoke it.

mattbrowne's avatar

Oh, here’s a bisexual opportunity for further exploration.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

I would think that there is no evidence that scanners can determine sexuality. In other words, this area of research is very much in its infancy, so I question a scan’s ability to tell me about that aspect of myself.

Linda_Owl's avatar

A brain scan can measure responses, it cannot tell if a person is gay or straight. A person’s sexuality is (most likely) decided by the genetics during gestation – it does not come from the manner in which you were nurtured by your parents or treated by your friends. Each of us knows the gender to which we respond. Love does not have to be straight for it to be ‘good’ – love is a power unto itself, does not matter if it is love between gay individuals or straight individuals. Generally one tends to love the individual who makes one feel good about themselves & feel good about being together.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Linda_Owl Can you clarify? When you speak of ‘love’, do you mean someone you care deeply about or have a sexual attraction to?

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